Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Help New York Yoga Help Haiti

Please Join New York Yoga in donating to the
American Red Cross relief efforts in Haiti.

New York Yoga will be collecting cash donation at both studios
(New York Yoga and New York Yoga HOT) until Sunday, January 24th.

Thank you for your contribution.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Feeling Fabulous through Food Combining

- Juliana Mitchell

Food Combining is a way of eating based on the concept that certain foods digest well together - leaving you feeling nourished, energized and excellent, while certain foods digest poorly together - leaving you sluggish, bloated and depleted, and thereby desperately craving sugars, caffeine and junk-food in order to quick-fix the inner energy crisis.

Food Combiners simply eat their foods in optimal combinations, while eschewing those combinations that are non-optimal. As a veteran Food Combiner, it’s my experience that proper food combining increases metabolism, improves digestion and elimination, diminishes bloating, promotes appropriate weight loss, decreases cellulite, creates a healthy complexion, elevates moods, supports the immune system and heightens energy levels. For me, personally, choosing Food Combining is choosing to eat in a way that supports my feeling energized, focused and fabulous.

This way of eating works because it caters harmoniously to the body’s inherent, digestive capacities. However, in order to commence Food Combining, one must learn and memorize how to eat to support these proclivities. Because it can be a tad confusing to wrap one’s noggin around at first, I created a simple acronym – CLEANSE - to help teach the essential principles of Food Combining in a straightforward way. But first, three core concepts:

Our bodies release different enzymes to digest different foods. For example, we use given enzymes to digest proteins and totally other enzymes to digest carbohydrates. Certain combinations of enzymes work well together, helping you cull nourishment from your meals and leaving you vibrant. But certain combinations of enzymes – particularly the enzymes needed for carbs vs. the enzymes needed for proteins – actually cancel each other out. This leaves food putrefying in your digestive tract. In which case, the body can’t get the energy and nutrition it needs from that rotten food. Worse, the poor body now needs additional energy to deal with the indigestible ‘glut in the gut’. Hello indigestion and heartburn, hello snack food or sugar/caffeine cravings.

Differing foods digest at differing rates. For example, fruit digests quickly and proteins slowly. Food is best digested when it’s eaten in combinations of ingredients that digest at the same rate. Digestion is impeded when we eat combinations of foods that digest at different rates, as it blocks our body’s ability to get energy and healing from our food and instead forces the sensitive belly to cope with a confusing clog. Especially in the instance of fruits or any sugar laden foods ingested in tandem with more slowly digesting foods, what ensues is gas. Hello bloating, a protruding belly and expanded waist line, sometimes headaches, sometimes diarrhea and sometimes - ahem – painful intimacy for woman.

We want our digestive enzymes at their full strength. So they can break down our food efficiently, giving us prompt energy and keeping that metabolism humming along. Drinking fluids with our meals waters down the power of our digestive enzymes. Hydrate well between meals instead.

C ommit to eating in a way that makes you feel energized, focused and fabulous

L earn to categorize your foods as proteins, carbs, veggies or fruits

E at your veggies with carbs OR eat your veggies with proteins

A nd don’t mix your proteins with your carbs

N o drinks with your meals

S weets (fruits and fruit juices) are to be enjoyed on their own

E njoy a weekly ‘feast day’ - one day a week give it a rest & eat anything in any combination

All that said, I feel compelled to add that there is a lot of data out there to completely debunk the Food Combining theory. That said, I began Food Combining in 1997. Since that time, I’ve sometimes followed the principles to the letter, which always results in my feeling amazing and looking brighter. Sometimes I allow the principles to slip away for a time, and I always feel and look a bit poorly as a result. So I’ll continue I imagine. Maybe I’ll pick up some reading debunking the theory, maybe I’ll do some further reading that promotes Food Combining (both Suzanne Somers and Marilu Henner are Food Combining advocates with books out there for our perusal). Regardless of the external input and more importantly however, I’ll eat consciously and continue to listen to my body. My hope for you is that you do the same.


Monday, January 4, 2010

What are you waiting for?

Happy New Year to all!

As I sit and ponder 2010, I assess my current physical condition and the aches and pains brought on by age. I am in my forties and a regular yogi. As I set my goals, I only reinforce my conviction that after thirteen years of practicing Yoga is the closest thing I have found to the fountain of youth.

Like any regimen, consistency, dedication and patience are necessary to obtain your desired results. The difference is that on the physical side, yoga can not only keep you fit but over time it can reverse bio-mechanical issues in our body. Those issues being both hereditary and those obtained in life - from sport injuries to sitting too much.

That said, here's some food for thought as you make the big New Year’s Resolution.... Do you want to be the guy with the hunched over shoulders? Or the long distance runner who’s finishing his third knee surgery? How about the weekend softball player who’s sitting out the big game with a pulled hamstring?

So, you say, How do I get started? I can’t even touch my toes let alone keep up in one of those 90 minute classes! My answer to you is this: you didn’t get this way in one day or one year, so don’t expect to change it all in one class.

1.) First, find a place where you feel comfortable, a place where there are lots of classes all day long. As a busy New Yorker, you need a lot of scheduling choices so you can get to class even if you are stuck late at work.

2.) Second, find a place where you can get lots of personal attention, where the instructors are experienced and have several classes at times that work for you. Once you practice with the same teachers numerous times, they start to get to know your body and can make adjustments and corrections for you during class.

3.) Finally, get committed to practicing yoga at least three times per week. At most studios, If you sign up for an unlimited membership, it’s your most cost effective way to commit to your practice, and you are more likely to go if you commit. Immerse yourself in the practice and the process and you will start to: feel better mentally and physically, stand taller with better posture, be more nimble, be stronger and graceful.

What are you waiting for?