Getting Started with Meditation

Healthy mind, healthy body… A lot of us are quite regimented when it comes time to working out the body. So what about working out your mind? Meditation practice is one easy way to do it and here’s some things to consider when you try it out.

meditating woman relaxing in pose of lotus outdoors

  • It’s not about having no thoughts –  a common misconception is that you have to clear your mind completely in order to meditate when in fact it’s more about not resisting your thoughts and letting them pass in front of you without giving them a reaction.
  • It’s not about being uncomfortable – for those who don’t mind assuming a yogi, cross-legged position, that’s great! But for the rest, sitting comfortably with your back supported on a chair is also satisfactory.
  • Pick a time – pick a time of day to meditate so you can establish consistency and build up your mental strength. Also, setting your alarm can help you to keep increasing your times so you can get yourself up to the ideal 20 minute mark.
  • Have no expectations– just let yourself be without judging the experience or the results right away. Doing this will help you to accept the practice for what it is and let yourself go into deeper meditations.

Just try to enjoy this as your special time away from all of your busy distractions…a little bit truly goes a long way for your overall health and well-being!

Nancy Sacks

 

 

Fall Allergies are Here!

allergyYes, it’s definitely been wacky weather here in So Cal. The unusual humidity and rain we have had makes for a very confusing time for our bodies. Also, the ragweed pollen was detected earlier than normal this year so lots of us are already suffering with the sneezy, itchy eye, sinus headache and wheezing issues associated with those pollens.

So what can we do to prevent or deal with allergies naturally? First off, I suggest using the combination homeopathic drops Pollen/Hayfever. These amazing drops will help to de-sensitize you to a wide variety of pollens. This is the original version used to help allergy sufferers, which were so effective that doctors started using this concept in an allergy shot form! They are safe for everyone and you can use any specific type of drops needed, such as Mold/Dust, Tree Pollen, Grass Pollen…as well as many different types of foods that you are allergic to. There are also natural anti-histamines that can not only help with symptoms, they also help to reduce overall inflammation.

Another super effective tool is the Nettie Pot, and if that doesn’t sound appealing there are homeopathic nose sprays. I also just discovered a super convenient and quite comfortable nasal wash tool called NasoPure, in fact I liked it so much I decided to carry them in my pharmacy. They are available for adults and children – check them out.

It’s also a great time to do a liver cleanse of some sort, since the liver acts as a filter for the body and if your filter needs cleaning then your body may tend to become more sensitive. Cleansing can be achieved by simply cutting back on coffee and rich foods, by doing green juices or by taking specific products to help detoxify and support the liver. An easy way to make the liver happy is to start the day with a glass of fresh squeezed lemon in warm water.

So as you see, there are lots of things you can do to help with your allergies. The whole point is – you do not have to suffer, and you do not have to rely on anti-histamines…there is a better way!

Yours in Health,

Nancy Sacks

Raising Healthy Eaters

Ok so it’s back to school which means keeping up with activities, sports and homework while trying to prepare healthy meals for the kids and the whole family.

Happy mother and two daughters cooking in the kitchen

I have talked to the families I work with for years about offering healthier options and I know it can be frustrating at times if your kids are demanding fast food or junky snacks…but where there is a will there’s a way, right? So I say commit to trying healthier alternatives with your kids. There will be some winners and some losers but in the long run you will feel better about the food they are eating and you will also be pleased to see that it has a positive effect on moods, energy and the immune system.

Something fun to incorporate when you can is cooking at home with your kids. This allows you to know which ingredients go into your food plus there are lots of healthy cooking blogs at our disposal these days, which can give you great ideas with positive kid tested reviews. I have personally discovered some delicious cheesy kale chips, gluten free chocolate chip cookies and vegan chocolate mousse recipes this way!

One last thing; as long as it remains hot outside, please remember to keep your kids hydrated. Again if they give you a hard time about drinking plain water you can always try coconut water or diffusing some fresh fruit in the water pitcher. Really anything you can do to instill these healthy habits in your kids now, pays off big time in their future!
I know it can be difficult to always keep it healthy, especially when there is little time to shop and cook, but anything is possible when you are prepared and have the right intent!

Please enjoy this choc chip cookie recipe – it’s vegan and gluten free but super delicious!

Choc Chip Cookies
1 ½ cup almond meal
2 ½ tblsp melted coconut oil
¼ cup cacao nibs or choc chips
2 tblsp maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
¼ tsp sea salt
¼ tsp baking powder
1 tblsp cacao powder optional
1 tblsp chia seeds optional

Preheat oven to 350. Mix ingredients and line a baking sheet with wax paper. Place 1 tblsp of batter and press lightly in the center.

Bake 13 – 15 minutes or until golden. They will be soft but will crisp when cooled.

Yours in Health,

Nancy Sacks

The 2015-2016 Homeopathic Flu Nosode is here!

I am excited to announce that this year’s homeopathic flu prevention drops have arrived.

flu-nosode-2015

This is an amazing all natural alternative to the flu vaccine!

So here is how the drops are taken:

As prevention, take ¼ of a dropper under the tongue 1x per week for 4 weeks.

These same drops can be used if you have symptoms of the flu, ¼ of a dropper under the tongue 3 – 5x per day until symptoms improve.

It is safe for the whole family, and there are no toxic side effects. One bottle usually lasts the entire flu season.

The good news is you can repeat the whole prevention process again in January or February if needed for any new strains of flu that might be going around.

Here’s to a healthy flu season.

Nancy Sacks

Healthy Sleep Habits

As the days start to get shorter, we should try and find ways to get to bed earlier. Getting more sleep is actually one of the most positive things you can do for your overall health! Here are a few tips for improving your sleep:

Sleeping angel statuePower down your electronic devices at least an hour before bed. The lights from these devices stimulate your brain and can disrupt your ability to get into a deep sleep by lowering your production of Melatonin (a naturally occurring sleep hormone). If you don’t want to take melatonin you can get it naturally by drinking Tart Cherry juice in the evening, which promotes your body’s production of melatonin.

Start a journal: when you get into bed, write down 3 things you are grateful for in a notebook or a journal. Focusing on what you are grateful for draws your attention to what is positive in your life, which works wonders for promoting better sleep.

And last, program what you want to happen! This one is easier than it sounds…simply imagine or visualize a great night sleep, and waking up happy and refreshed. Studies show that the mind is a powerful thing, and you can use your wisely by deciding to have the quality of life you deserve.

Yours in Health,

Nancy Sacks

Happy Summer!

One of the things I love to do in summer is eat lots of fresh seasonal fruits and veggies.

cantalope-watermelonIn fact, just this morning I had half of an organic cantaloupe that was absolutely delicious! It reminded me of how lucky we truly are to have access to such amazing fresh food year round in Southern California.

In fact…we are lucky in so many ways – we have perfect weather, delicious produce, access to great alternative healthcare, a gym on every corner, beautiful beaches, and a whole host of other special things and places that are unique to us.

Summer is also a great time to embark on a “cleanse” since it is hot outside and we tend to eat less in general. When organic watermelon is in season I love to do a “mono diet” of just watermelon, which can be done for a minimum of one day and as long as 10 days. This one is really fun and easy if you like watermelon.

The cleanse I just finished was a 10 day juice fast. I was totally inspired by watching the documentary film, “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead”. This documentary follows Joe Cross as he embarks on a 60 day juice fast and believe it or not this is a really great movie. It takes on some serious health issues…and shows a great solution in a really fun and light manner! If you would like to see the film – it can be viewed from the website www.jointhereboot.com.

You can also buy it online or get it on Netflix. The website mentioned has lots of great recipes for juicing, and it also gives quite a few options for juicing while eating regular food if you don’t want to do a fast.

Please keep in mind if you decide to do a fast that it is very important to end the fast properly. This means to ease into eating very carefully.

For any of you who are interested, I have created a special protocol to ease into eating and am happy to email that to you.

In the meantime…enjoy your summer!

Yours in Health,

Nancy Sacks

 

Your Skin Speaks!

Many of us spend hundreds of dollars a month on expensive skin care products and still do not have the clear, silky smooth skin we desire. But why? Your skin is really a reflection of what is going on inside! And as we near the end of summer, we might want to take a look at what your skin is trying to tell you.

skinHere are some clues as to why your skin might be acting up:

1. Congested forehead- Do you suffer from tiny bumps on your forehead that are more felt than seen? This often indicates too much stress or an increase in stress levels. This type of breakout can also indicate dehydration and constipation. Your body is telling you to drink more water and flush toxins to eliminate. If you are not eliminating then a build up of excess toxins is likely to blame. Try this Colon cleanse for a quick start.

2. Cystic acne – also known as “undergrounders” because they burrow deep below the skin, and can be quite painful to touch. This type of acne is due to hormonal imbalance. Additionally, your lymph nodes, the guys who help us purify our body of toxins, are backed up. To combat this I suggest eating a more alkaline diet and taking a liver cleanse supplement.

3. Inflammation – general redness and inflammation is likely a reflection of inflammation in your digestive system. Are you constantly in a state of worry? If so, your stomach could be shut down so it won’t break down your food properly. Combat this with a digestive enzyme that contains HCL. Another trick is to eat an anti-inflammatory diet and take a daily Probiotic first thing in the morning.

So… Instead of stressing about covering up your skin, look at your skin issues as a way of your body speaking to you. As always, the body never lies and gives us many clues as to what is going on and how we can improve!

Healthy Tomato and Green Bean Pasta Salad Recipe

I just finished eating the most amazing cherry tomatoes ever! They were like little bursts of deliciousness and it reminds me how lucky we truly are to have such wonderful produce available year round here in Southern California.

During summer, it is especially easy for us to eat lots of fresh, colorful, fruits and veggies that can be found at local farmers markets.

The benefit of going out to a farmers market is the ability to enjoy the great weather while picking from a wide selection of fresh organic produce. Plus, foods consumed in-season actually contain their peak nutrients and are often more cost effective.

So take advantage of the bounty of beautiful fruits and veggies by visiting your local Farmers Market – these days there are so many to choose from…and please let us know what special goodies you came across and the dishes you made.

I made this pasta dish with the delicious cherry tomatoes, mint and green beans I picked up Sunday:

Tomato and Green Bean Pasta Salad

salad¾ lb orecchiette pasta
1 lb green beans cut in 1” pieces
1 lb cherry tomatoes cut in half
1 sm garlic clove mashed to a paste
¼ cup olive oil
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 cup or so feta cheese crumbled
½ cup mint
Salt and pepper

In a large bowl combine the tomatoes, garlic, oil, vinegar, salt and pepper.

Cook the pasta, add the green beans for the last 5 minutes of cooking. Drain then add to the tomatoes, toss to combine. Stir in half the feta and mint.

Serve warm or at room temp. Sprinkle with the remaining feta and mint and ENJOY!

 

Fight Cravings and Give Your Body the Nourishment it Really Wants

“You are what you eat” is such an old saying…but it’s true! Food has the ability to impact our physical bodies as well as our minds and our moods. Often, when we’re struggling to get through the day we turn to snacks that give us only temporary energy – then bring us down. I’m talking about sweets, refined carbs, caffeine and junky processed foods.

When we eat unhealthy foods, we create inflammation in the body that makes us feel sluggish in our movement and our thinking. While the unhealthy foods can impact us negatively, the upside is that healthy foods have the ability to beam us up!

Next time you’re about to reach for that bag of cookies or chips, consider one of these healthier alternatives instead:

Fruit of any kind! It’s summer after all, so much wonderful fruit in season. And fruit eaten by itself is an amazing snack that will give you energy, hydrate and alkalize your whole body.

Nuts and seeds are convenient, easy to carry and loaded with protein and good fats. (buy organic when possible)

How about a cold cucumber with Himalayan salt…so refreshing and delish.

Some of my personal favorites:

Tosi bar-this absolutely delicious bar reminds me of a Mr Peanut candy bar from when I was a kid – but it’s healthy! It’s all organic with almonds, chia seeds, flax seeds, sesame seeds, a little cane juice and sea salt…pure Yum.

Pili Nut Butter – this rainforest nut is packed with antioxidants, contains vitamin E, all of the essential amino acids, is rich in fatty acids, calcium and protein…and it tastes like chocolate! Need I say more?

Cinamon Red Maca Butter (Triple Yum – don’t even get me started) This sprouted, organic almond spread has Maca (an amazing superfood), plus cinnamon and a little coconut sugar. It is so divine that you have to taste it to believe itJ

Mary’s Gone Crackers with Avacado – for a saltier craving this just hits the spot. Mary’s makes great gluten free crackers, cookies and now they even have pretzels! Try them with avocado for a truly satisfying and healthy treat.

Hummus with just about any type of veggie…so good and a great source of protein and fatty acids.

Dark Chocolate – so let’s not forget that dark organic chocolate is indeed a superfood loaded with antioxidants and magnesium. Great brain food for sure, and it has been known to make people happy! (have you tried Lulu’s yet?)

Please clue me in on some healthy snacks you personally eat throughout the day, maybe I can incorporate something new and delicious. I can’t wait! And don’t worry if you haven’t heard of some of the above exotic snacks – we carry a huge selection of those goodies at Holistic Haven, plus a few more that I didn’t have space to mention.

Lighten Up this Summer – Detoxify your LYMPH!

When the lymphatic system is functioning properly we stay healthy.  If you always feel congested, are experiencing breakouts, or want to bust some cellulite for your perfect beach body, then the lymph system is something you will want to stimulate.

Although it’s one of the most important systems of our bodies, the lymph system is often overlooked. It carries our body’s waste and toxins away from our tissues and into the bloodstream. Once the waste and toxins enter the bloodstream they are purified through the spleen, which is our biggest immune defense! So, needless to say, a strong lymphatic system will help us fight the foreign invaders that keep getting us sick.

What is the key to stimulating the lymph system? Movement! Unlike blood that has the heart to pump it, the lymph system does not, and therefore the lymph system will become stagnant when we lack physical activity and movement in our lives.

Luckily, you don’t need to be a body builder or a marathon runner to move your lymph. Light daily exercise, staying hydrated, eating raw fruits and veggies, and “dry brushing” your skin will keep your lymph system functioning at its best. There is also a specific type of massage called Lymph Drainage massage that can help. If you don’t have time for all of that, or just simply want some help cleansing and purifying, there are some excellent supplements that will do the trick.

Stop by the Holistic Haven (no appointment necessary) and ask us for the best products for stimulating the mighty lymph system, which can improve your overall immune system, get your skin glowing, and your body cellulite-free!