Best Plants To Detox Your Home

I'm venturing into the world of videos today to show you the best plants to detox your home. A little known fact about myself:  I have a black thumb.  Every indoor plant that I’ve ever owned has eventually succumbed to a dry, brown mess.  It’s pretty sad because my great grandmother is like the plant whisperer and despite her 94 years of age, she still maintains a beautiful garden.  But my lack of gardening skills changed recently when I discovered the importance of indoor plants to our health.  

Indoor pollutants have been listed as one of the top five threats to public health.  Pollutants build up in our homes from upholstery, curtains, plywood, carpets, cleaning products, air fresheners, etc. releasing harmful chemicals into the air. These contaminates contribute to allergies, asthma, headaches and sinus congestion (to name a few). 

Many advise to get air purifiers but one of the most cost effective and decorative suggestion are house plants. Studies by NASA have shown that plants in the home can reduce indoor air pollutants by up to 85%. 


I was super nervous to film this video but also excited to mix things up to bring you quality information through a variety of mediums. Let me know if you have any questions or suggestions for future videos.  

CONTEST WINNER:  Thank you to everyone who entered and shared their stories.  The winner of the YumUniverse cookbook is Valeria!  I'll be doing another giveaway soon so stay tuned.

Growing Kindness + A Giveaway!

Do you know what today is?  It’s International Random Act of Kindness Day! And you know what else? In celebration of this awesome day, I'm giving one of YOU a copy of MY favorite cookbook!

This day holds a special place in my heart because for the longest time I used to do a kindness act every Wednesday and blog about my adventures.  Life got in the way and I had to put them on hold, but I still try to do something to make people smile every day.  Not only does a random act of kindness give an unexpected twist to someone's day, but the 'helper's high' you get lasts all day.  

WHY YOU SHOULD DO A KINDNESS ACT TODAY (or very, very soon):

  1. It feels great to do something nice for someone. I’m sure you do nice things for the people you love every day but going out of your way for a stranger takes it to another level.
  2. You never know what someone is struggling with on a day to day basis.  An act of kindness goes a long way in helping someone believe in love and life.
  3. It helps balance energy.  Yes, there are bad things that happen every day, but you could be one of the good things.
  4. Get connected.  Make a real connection with someone, look them in the eyes and smile.  
  5. Be an inspiration. You never know who is paying attention to your actions:  children, friends, neighbors.  Spread kindness.


MY TOP 5 RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS
To give you some inspiration for your kindness act, I've included my 5 favorite kindness acts.  They range from things as easy as giving someone bus fare to as complicated as creating custom flowers vases. But don't worry, no matter how big or small your effort, you are making a difference.

  1. Dry Cleaning Tab
  2. Upcycling Is The New Black
  3. Bus Fare Surprise
  4. People In Your Neighborhood
  5. Be Kind and Rewind


MY KINDNESS ACT FOR YOU - GIVEAWAY TIME!
I am OBSESSED with the Yum Universe cookbook.  I literally love to just hold this book in my hands and stare at the beautifully laid out pages and feel the silky smoothness of the paper.  What's written inside is pretty amazing too.

Heather Crosby breaks down everything you need to know about thriving on a plant-based diet and her recipes are delicious. If you've never heard of Heather, do yourself a favor and visit her website at www.yumuniverse.com.  She is fun, enthusiastic and really cares about helping people get and stay healthy.

SO, HOW DO I WIN??

  1. Scroll down and sign up to receive weekly inspirations from me +
  2. Tell me the nicest thing someone has ever done for you in the comments section below.  


I will pick a random winner next week.  Good luck!

A Hug A Day Keeps The Doctor Away

I have a friend who is a great hugger.  Whenever I see her, she embraces me like we’ve both returned from two overseas tours of duty. At first I was caught off guard and would feel super awkward.  I would tense up and fold in half like someone punched me in the stomach with my chest resting in the embrace and my backside sticking out as far as possible.  As I got used to it, I would look forward to her hugs.  I would allow myself to melt into them and feel the connection that comes with embracing someone you love. 

MORE HUGS, LESS STRESS
Hugs are a great way to connect with others but did you know that they offer some health benefits as well? When you hug, the hormone oxytocin is released throughout your body.  This hormone, often referred to as the ‘love hormone’ aids in bonding with others as well as helps to reduce anxiety and stress, by decreasing levels of cortisol (stress hormone). Human beings crave connection and touch, which explains why massages feel soooo good.  In my yoga classes, I like to give little mini massages and make physical contact to further increase those happy hormones. 

Feeling good from a hug is one thing but why is it that sometimes you can really get a sense of how someone is doing emotionally, mentally or physically from an embrace. Have you ever started to cry while being hugged?  Did you think you were crazy? Well you're not. According to the Heart Math Institute, the human heart has an energetic field that radiates up to eight feet from our bodies.  They have a device that can actually measure the distance.  So when you hug someone and your heart is touching their heart, your energy is connecting. Literally.  How amazing is that? 

HUG TRAIN
I'm a lot more comfortable with giving hugs now.  I actually prefer hugging to shaking someone's hand. 
Here is your OM the moment homework for the week, next time you greet someone or you come home to your spouse, children, family member, whoever, give them a nice, long hug.  Rest your heart against theirs and combine the energies running through your bodies. Be fully present in the embrace and say a silent thank you for having the opportunity to connect in such a powerful way.  Pay attention to your mood and attitude. Do you feel the ‘love hormone’ creeping up? 

Stress plays such an important role on our health and if by doing something as simple as hugging can reduce some of it, why not give it a shot. Let's start a Hug Train. Post this blog on Facebook and Twitter and let’s get everyone to give long, delicious, awkward hugs ;) Are you game?

The Science Behind Living Foods

This weekend, we attended an interesting lecture given by Dr. Brian R. Clement from the Hippocrates Health Institute in West Palm Beach, FL.  Hippocrates is a well-regarded holistic center where people from all over the world go to heal themselves from a number of ailments. This place is like my dream destination. A typical day would consist of yoga, delicious plant-based foods, fresh organic juices, lectures, massages, healing circles, etc.  But their main focus is on food, specifically the health benefits of Living Foods.

What Are Living Foods?
Living foods are foods that are still growing at the time you bite into it such as sprouted beans, grains, nuts and seeds. According to the Hippocrates Health Institute, "sprouts are 10 to 30 times more nutritious than the best vegetables because they are baby plants in their prime. At this stage of their growth they have the greatest concentration of nutrients than at any other point in their life. Sprouts are highly digestible and release their nutrients easily due to their delicate cell walls and abundance of enzymes." They are packed with chlorophyll which detoxifies and rejuvenates the blood and enzymes which help to take the burden off of our already overloaded digestive system.  

What is sprouting?
You can sprout just about anything...seeds, beans, nuts, grains.  Sprouting is basically soaking seeds in water, draining, rinsing and then repeating the process until the seed starts to sprout or germinate.  There are some kits you can buy to help you or you could use mason jars.  I accidentally sprouted some mung beans the other day when I was soaking them overnight to make a soup.  When I checked them the next day, they had already developed tails.

Watch this quick video to see what I mean.

I'm no stranger to sprouts. There is such a variety of them: broccoli sprouts, sunflower seed sprouts, alfalfa sprouts, etc. I actually enjoy eating them whenever I've had them on a hummus sandwich or a salad. I just have never given them the attention they deserve. Who knew that these tiny little plants pack such a nutritional punch?

 In the YumUniverse cookbook, Heather Crosby offers up a number of reasons why we should sprout before eating or even cooking our beans, nuts, etc.  Read her full sprouting guide here.

IMG_4074 2.JPG

The lecture definitely piqued our interest to investigate the topic further and to incorporate more sprouts into our diet.  From some of the literature they passed out, I found out that there are people who classify themselves as sproutarians. They only eat sprouts and maybe some fruit.  I'm not sure I'm ready for that yet ;)  

To start experimenting, I bought some mung beans and put them in a jar to soak.  I'll keep you posted on Instagram and Facebook on the progress.