Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Photo: Pablo Heimplatz

Have you ever been in a relationship in which you had one foot in and one foot out, never completely committing and never actually leaving? Or maybe you’re trying to leave but somehow you don’t quite get there? This was an issue a woman named Helena brought to my attention, saying, “I’ve been in an on-and-off relationship for six years. We have been breaking up, ghosting, and then reconnecting on and off for the last two years since he moved out. I keep trying to end it in a powerful way, but then we end up reconnecting again. What does a situation like this indicate, and how would you resolve this continuing dance?”

This is a tough one, and there are some major reasons it keeps happening. Here’s what you should know.

You’re holding on to hope.

One of the things that keeps partners going back over and over again is the hope that the other person will change—or that you can get him or her to change. This is especially true if each of you have professed to have changed. However, unless both of you are receiving help in dealing with your individual issues, change isn’t likely.

It may be hard to be realistic about change, but it’s important to accept that you can’t make another person change—they change only when and if they want to, and if they receive the help they need to heal their underlying issues. Without real change occurring through each of you doing your inner work, the only reason to go back is if you can accept this person exactly as he or she is, without hope of change.

You’re stuck in a pull-resist system.

One of the reasons for the yo-yo relationship concerns the relationship system. If you are in a relationship in which one of you is needy and controlling and pulls on the other for attention, approval, or sex, and the other is resistant to being controlled by the needy partner, you might feel that you just have to get away. But once apart, the same system might not be operating, so you start to feel good around each other again.

But once again, unless you have each been healing your end of this relationship system, you will find yourselves going right back into the same pull-resist system, with the same outcome.

You fear being lonely and not meeting someone else.

Often, the stress of a dysfunctional relationship leads to wanting to be alone, but once alone, the fear of being alone and lonely takes over. You might start to date, only to discover that it’s not easy to find someone you are attracted to, or you keep meeting the same kind of person over and over. You tell yourself that you will never meet someone and you will end up alone your whole life, and that it’s better to be with your estranged partner than to be alone.

Again, without doing your inner work to heal your participation in the dysfunctional relationship system, you will keep recreating the same relationship over and over. The most loving thing is to focus on doing your inner work, regardless of whether or not you go back to your partner.

You’re not investing in the learning you need to do.

Perhaps there is a genuine connection between the two of you, but neither of you are doing the inner work to heal underlying problems. When this is the case, you might feel drawn to the relationship over and over, knowing at some level that this relationship could work if some healing occurred.

When this is the case, it may be worth it to give the relationship a real shot. Unless there is physical or emotional abuse, there may be no real value in leaving without attempting to heal yourselves and the relationship first. In fact, you may be walking away from a great opportunity. You take yourselves with you when you leave, and you are likely to create the same relationship problems again in another relationship unless you work to resolve them within the current relationship.

If just one of you is open to doing your inner work, this might be enough to shift the system to a more loving one, or, if you do your inner work and then realize that you need to leave, you might be better equipped to create a more loving relationship the next time.

Source: https://www.mindbodygreen.com/articles/what-you-should-know-about-the-yo-yo-relationship

Photo: Thais Ramos Varela

When was the last time you broke the rules? If it’s been a lot longer than you can remember, consider this: When you break the rules, you feel powerful and like you’re doing exactly what you want to do. You feel free, and you don’t feel like there’s something hanging over you. That’s why there’s something so generative in breaking your own rules.

The violation of prohibition as a cornerstone of desire.

Even if it makes you nervous, there’s always a small thrill that comes from doing something you’re not supposed to do, which is why sexologist Jack Morin always talked about the “violation of prohibition” as one of the four cornerstones of desire. A little bit of rule-breaking goes a long way.

Ask yourself this: How can you introduce small transgressions in the midst of the safe and the predictable? You may know the outcome, but there are so many ways to be playful with each other throughout the day or night.

A few ideas for breaking the rules:

  • Leave a party early and get a drink together on the way home.
  • Close the door after your babysitter arrives and dedicate the beginning of the evening to each other and arrive at a party late. Or skip the event altogether and go for a walk or bike ride instead.
  • Stay home for a few hours in the morning midweek. Do something that you’re not supposed to do, because breaking the rules and changing the norm together leads to vibrancy.
  • Send a suggestive text during the day or evening. It’s all about talking about sex without talking about sex. Refrain from throwing the idea of sex in the other person’s face—be coy!
  • Drop a note that says, “I saw you in the elevator; has anyone told you how bright your eyes are?”
  • Meet him or her at a party and introduce yourself to your partner as if you’re meeting them for the first time. Once you give yourself the permission, you won’t be afraid of acting like a fool or being ridiculed.

Source: https://www.mindbodygreen.com/articles/why-breaking-the-rules-will-help-keep-the-spark-alive

Photo: @tanitaderuijt

If you haven’t dabbled in homemade ferments before, turmeric soda is a great place to start. Fermenting turmeric is actually the secret to dramatically increasing its bioavailability, meaning you’ll reap even more of the orange root’s amazing anti-inflammatory benefits. Even better? Making fermented soda requires only two ingredients—plus, a little bit of patience.

You start with a “bug,” or culture of beneficial bacteria. “It is similar to a sourdough starter for bread or a SCOBY for making kombucha,” explains Tanita de Ruijt, the author of Tonic (from which the below recipe was excerpted). “Though not overly tasty by itself, the bug acts as the base for homemade tonics such as root beer, ginger beer, and fruit ‘sodas.’ The turmeric imparts its flavor and, as it naturally ferments, creates a mixture of beneficial bacteria.” She also recommends rinsing but not peeling the turmeric, as the peel is rich in bacteria and yeast that will aid in the fermentation process.

Probiotic Turmeric Soda

Ingredients

Makes 200 mL (7 fl. oz.)

Ready in approx. 3 to 5 days

  • 200-g (7-oz.) piece of fresh (ideally organic) turmeric root, unpeeled
  • 3 to 5 tablespoons rapadura sugar or raw cane sugar
  • Filtered water

Method

  1. Chop the unpeeled turmeric root up finely or mash in a pestle and mortar. Transfer to a container with the lid left slightly ajar and keep on your kitchen counter.
  2. Take 1 tablespoon of the turmeric paste and add to a glass jar with 1 tablespoon of the sugar and 3 tablespoons of filtered water. Mix well, cover, and place in a warm spot—around 72°F is ideal.
  3. Every day, add 1 tablespoon of turmeric paste, 1 tablespoon of sugar, and 3 tablespoons of filtered water to the mixture, mix well, and leave to stand again.
  4. Repeat until the turmeric bug is nice and bubbly. It can take between 3 and 5 days. You can drink it straight or add additional flavorings and do a second ferment!

Source: https://www.mindbodygreen.com/articles/turmeric-bug-recipe

Photo: @michaeljameswong

What is an action? Webster’s Dictionary defines it as “a thing done.” I like this definition—so simple, so clear, so concise. An action has two distinct phases: an intention and an execution. Before we act, we must first have intention: “What is our purpose for doing this? What are we hoping to achieve? What is the motivation behind it?” Only then should we execute: “What is the best method for getting it done?”

This process applies to the smallest of actions and the grandest and can happen hundreds of times every day, often in a split second. For example, say you’re hungry. You don’t just magically get full—first, you must eat something. This is an action: You act by eating food. But before you do that, you need to have a clear intention.

Let’s break it down.

The problem:

I’m hungry.

What is the intention?

If I eat this sandwich, I won’t be hungry.

What is the execution?

Make a sandwich, eat the sandwich, and now I’m not hungry.

Do you recognize the stages? They may happen almost simultaneously, but each stage is there. With clear intention, our choices in execution are considered. Oftentimes, without the intention we simply react without thinking, and the outcomes can be less than ideal. A reaction, on the other hand, is a response. It’s an action that usually affects us and plays on our tempers, placing our bodies into postures and positions with full awareness and accountability—and in life we should be doing the same.

When you act with intention, you’re less likely to feel regret.

The idea of regret is one we all know and try to avoid. Regret isn’t a good feeling because we know we could have done better or achieved a more positive outcome. We’re human. We don’t need to be perfect, but we can do our best to see how our choices and actions best serve and support our lives instead of regretting those we made when reacting to something. There are some things in life that you can’t take back, so act carefully.

But what is regret? For me, regret is the idea that I should have done something differently. It’s often quite clear after the fact that our choices at the time could have been different. Sometimes, it may have been our egos getting in the way or choices we made in the heat of the moment—these are the moments that we define as regrets.

But what if we defined our actions differently? Rather than labeling them as regrets, what if we acknowledged them simply as experiences to learn from? Yes, we can all acknowledge that our choices could have been better, but regret keeps us looking back instead of moving us forward. With a simple shift in approach, we can start to live life without the burden of regret.

How yoga can help you act with intention.

How does this apply to yoga? In yoga, we always move consciously, maneuvering our bodies into postures and positions with awareness and accountability. But there will be a time when you might go too far or push too hard. Often, this results in injury that may sideline your practice for a day or even weeks. This has happened to me plenty of times over the years and to many yogis I know.

Once, I fell while I was in crow pose. I wasn’t paying attention, my hands slipped, and I twisted my wrist. I couldn’t practice that pose for almost six months. It would have been easy to get angry, regret the decisions I made when I was practicing, or try to blame the teachers for not giving me the option to try something different, or just let the frustration win. But the truth is, these were my actions, my choices, and my decision, regardless of how mindful.

I was in my actions. I may not have liked what happened, but looking back, I learned something about myself. The experience wasn’t pleasant, but it was valuable. I now know my limits, and I now always approach this pose with my full attention because I know what will happen if I’m not aware and mindful of my actions. So choose wisely, live without regrets, and learn from every experience. This is how we can live mindfully every single day.

Source: https://www.mindbodygreen.com/articles/how-to-avoid-living-with-regrets

Photo: Nadine Greeff

Melissa Coleman is not a woman of excess. On her blog, The Faux Martha, she shares clean photos of simple meals that happen to be healthy and delicious: the kind of cooking you’d actually do at home. Her new cookbook, The Minimalist Kitchen, showcases her philosophy further, with pared-down recipes that don’t sacrifice flavor. She also shares everything you need to know about stocking a kitchen with exactly what you need (how often will you really use that citrus press?). Here, she shares the genius pantry-stocking tips that will save you hundreds of dollars on groceries while still ensuring you can always get dinner on the table in a flash.  

Keep a list.

As soon as you think of something, write it down. This is a habit worth developing and one that took me a very long time to develop. Over- or underbuying will kill a pantry. I use a list-keeping app on my phone, Wunderlist, to keep separate lists for every store we shop at. My husband can see and contribute to the list as well, so either person can do the shopping. If you’re extra efficient, you can even manually arrange the shopping list according to the flow of the store.

Shop your list, not the store.

This is my No. 1 rule. A list is no good unless you use it, right? It’s important to note, a minimal pantry starts at the store, not at home. Be mindful of what you’re buying. If you notice yourself getting bored with the same old things, find a positive way to meet that need. Maybe it’s going out to eat to get something special. Or maybe you introduce a new rule—buy one spontaneous thing a month. Again, know the rules, so you can break them.

Break up shopping.

Grocery shopping is one of my least favorite tasks, and yet it has to be done on a weekly basis. To make it more manageable, I break up shopping into two categories—pantry/bulk shopping and weekly maintenance shopping. About once a month, I shop in bulk for the pantry, using the list we’ve been maintaining. About one to two times a week, I make quick maintenance trips to the grocery store to pick up fresh produce and other perishables. As you consider shopping in bulk, keep a couple of things in mind. If an item is shelf-stable, do you have a designated spot to store the excess so that it doesn’t crowd the everyday? If perishable, can you consume it before it goes bad? If not, consider buying in smaller portions from a traditional grocery store. Waste from buying in bulk can cancel out the cost savings.

Restock the pantry when you get home.

As soon as you get home from the store, restock the pantry by emptying store-bought boxes and bags into the designated pantry containers. If you’re anything like me, later rarely happens.

Stock the fridge smartly.

Sometimes I forget to address the fridge. Because when you have a well-stocked pantry, a meal plan, and do only minor grocery shopping for fresh produce and other perishables one to two times a week, the fridge handles itself pretty well. In the book, I talk about what to keep stocked in the fridge versus what to buy on an as-needed basis. As with the pantry, give yourself parameters here, too. I find meal planning to be the most helpful for keeping the fridge from going wild.

By design, the fridge comes with its own set of flaws. Some are too small, others are too deep, and very few are just right. I think we often assume that more space is always better. Sometimes, in the case of really small refrigerators, this is true. But in the case of most, there’s often too much space. Like deep pantry shelves, deep fridge shelves are places for food to go to get lost. Extra space often begs to be filled. So if you have deep fridge shelves, consider using the full depth only when absolutely needed in an effort to keep visibility high. Stock amounts you’re able to consume before expiration, and don’t be afraid to have empty spots in the fridge. When (and if) you find yourself in the market for a new fridge, I’d recommend a counter-depth fridge, which is more shallow than the traditional fridge. It has just enough space.

Source: https://www.mindbodygreen.com/articles/how-to-stock-a-healthy-pantry

Photo: @nshafinaz

If you’ve ever wondered why it seems like your best friend just gets you, there’s a new science to explain that. According to a studypublished in the journal Nature Communications, close friends actually share strikingly similar brain waves.

For the study, researchers had friends watch a wide range of videos while measuring their brain waves. From videos about college football to videos about how water behaves in outer space, they found that close friends felt emotional, paid close attention, and got distracted at similar points in each video.

“I was struck by the exceptional magnitude of similarity among friends,” Carolyn Parkinson, a cognitive scientist at the University of California, Los Angeles, said, adding, “our results suggest that friends might be similar in how they pay attention to and process the world around them…that shared processing could make people click more easily and have the sort of seamless social interaction that can feel so rewarding.”

The similarity in brain waves may be a contributing factor in making friends, but keeping them is extremely important for our mental health. Previous research has found that having close friendship is associated with a lower risk of cognitive decline and that friendship builds resilience—so keep a close eye out for those people who share not just your interest but your brain chemistry.

Source: https://www.mindbodygreen.com/articles/best-friend-brain-waves

Photo: @jacoblund

When you’re trying to decide whether or not to eat before a workout, you’ll encounter a host of conflicting information. Some people say yes, eating before a workout can give you more energy, and others say no, it’ll slow you down. Here’s why I tell my clients to practice fasted exercise for the sake of their metabolism and fat-burning potential.

For starters, studies demonstrate that aerobic exercise performed in a fasted state as compared to a non-fasted state increases the reliance on fat—and subsequently reduces the reliance on carbohydrate—as fuel during exercise. In fact, several publications have shown that fasted exercise oxidizes (burns) around 20 to 30 percent more fat than non-fasted. Overall, this makes you less reliant on carbohydrates to fuel.

Using carbohydrates for energy isn’t always the best option.

Being less dependent on carbohydrates for energy is a good thing; you will end up feeling less hungry because your body knows how to tap into fat reserves for energy rather than being dependent on the food you eat. For day-to-day activities like walking, jogging, and cycling, fat can be a much better fuel source. Plus, not craving high-energy foods all day can be a big help when you are trying to lose weight and be healthier. In addition, long-term dependence on carbohydrates can lead to insulin resistance, which is one of the key driving factors in metabolic disease and type 2 diabetes.

I suggest starting your fasted training with less intense aerobic activities, such as walking, jogging, swimming, or cycling. Initially, your workouts will feel a lot harder than usual when you train in a fasted state, but quite quickly your body will become more efficient as your muscles learn to use less glycogen, which means you’re using fatty acids for fuel. Once you get used to it, you could start incorporating fasted strength training into your routine, I particularly enjoy fasted strength training since I find it very difficult to train properly with a full stomach, and my abdominal activation seems to improve with an empty stomach. Starting an intermittent fasting program can teach your body to become fat adapted, meaning your fasted training sessions will become effortless.

It’s important to incorporate non-fasted workouts into your routine, too.

Knowing all this, it’s easy to assume that you should never eat before a workout. That’s not true either! It’s important to mix it up so you aren’t always fasting before you hit the gym, sidewalk, or pool. If you know the workout is going to be more intense and cardiovascular-based, I suggest consuming carbohydrates two to three hours before to help with performance and to prevent low blood sugar, which can cause dizziness and nausea.

In addition, issues can arise with fasted training when combined with very low carb diets. The problem with combining fasted training and low carb diets is that you can decrease the body’s ability to utilize carbohydrates. Ultimately, the goal should be “metabolic flexibility,” that is, to prime the body to use both carbs and fat when it needs to. That’s why it’s important to eat more carbs on training days to help replenish your glycogen stores, which get depleted with high-intensity exercise. But if you aren’t training, you aren’t using up your glycogen stores so you don’t need as many carbs, and therefore, excess carbs are likely to get stored as fat.

Don’t try to do everything at once; slowly incorporate fasted training into your less intense sessions, and be strategic with your carbohydrate intake. You should be eating more carbohydrates on your training days and less on your rest days. Fasted exercise is not a magic pill for weight loss, but it can be an effective tool to implement into your training schedule to improve the efficiency of your body’s ability to use fat for energy. In the long term, this can mean a reduced risk of diabetes, heart disease, and obesity.

Is there anything you can consume before a workout? I like to have a strong green tea or black coffee right before my workout. I use caffeine as a performance enhancer, meaning I am very sensitive to its effects. I don’t generally consume it at any other time.

Source: https://www.mindbodygreen.com/articles/should-you-eat-before-a-workout