Lately I have started to pay more attention to what my body tells me, it’s amazing how loud and clear its own voice is and how organically the body works.
I have been trying to observe the connection between my eating habits and the way I feel physically, mentally and spiritually.
Without adopting any particular style or diet I have been trying to eat what my body works better with. One of the principles of ayurveda is knowing your body type and I have always liked the idea because it’s true that not every food suits the same for everyone and listening to your body is a way of honoring and respecting yourself.
I have never been a big fan of eggs or milk, or red meat and it has been interesting to observe that whenever I eat any form of meat, I feel like I usually do because I’m used to it but my mood is absolutely heavier, I get angry and aggressive with a lot more ease and my bowel movements are heavy and slow.
Whenever I don’t eat any form of meat I feel more balanced, like more in tune with myself, my values, my inner peace, I just have a brighter perspective or reaction on things and I don’t crave any sort of heavy, meat or too sweet food.
After that experiment I realized that I wanted to change the way I normally eat, how I was brought up and start eliminating the foods I don’t like, but of course this is a big deal, a process like that might seem so easy like saying, I just won’t drink milk but you still need to get the nutriments you would have gotten.
That being said and after trying by myself to see how I felt I did feel some lack of energy, so I went to the nutrionist and I am thrilled with the experience.
The nutrionist I visit is a specialist in sports nutrition so I love that because I can incorporate my physical activity to my energy requirements in my diet. Although I don’t train any formal sport, I like to keep a dynamic routine at the gym alternating the options for cardio and doing the weight training, and of course my yoga (Can’t live without it).
What I learned was very interesting because although my weight is in a normal range for my height, my body fat levels are pretty high.
This are the numbers I am interested in looking at, because your weight doesn’t necessarily reflect your in depth health status. What probably happened to me is that since I have been reducing my intake on animal protein, I wasn’t reaching the same amounts of protein I need from other sources, for instance, I know that legumes have protein but I didn’t know how much I would need to eat to reach the proper amount of protein my body needs, and since I am exercising, my body starting using the muscle instead of the fat, because it felt the need to store it, therefore my body fat levels went up.
I also learned about the proper sources for protein in non-dairy milk, I have read there is a lot of options like almond milk, which I used to drink, but in terms of protein the amounts you get are minimal, the proper substitute would be soy milk.
I also learned that in order to absorb the iron in legumes there needs to be a presence of citric acid, which I didn’t know.
My eating plan right now is amazing and I love it, for the first time in my life I have been able to wake up early without having to drag myself out of bed, literally, it came to a point where it was annoying I wanted to wake up and I couldn’t.
I feel absolutely great, with perfect energy levels, I feel satisfied with every meal, I get to eat things I love and cook and experiment with recipes and what I can come up with, my endurance at the gym is fab, I feel even better than before and my mood is shining. I feel much more connected to myself but I definitely needed professional advice on how to make the transition and make the most out of it for my lifestyle.
I really recommend that you visit an expert in nutrition even if you don’t want to change, if you feel like something within your body doesn’t work quite right, and you’re healthy and “normal” maybe you are not really getting the fuel you need, you won’t be sick for a doctor or anything, but you will certainly see the difference when you eat what’s right for you. What we eat is one of the most important factor in our overall health.
I am convinced that if you want to lose weight, the key to success is the kitchen.
I will be sharing more of this new journey in my life that I’m very excited about 😀
“In everything, goodness is there, our goal is to find it. In every person, the best is there, our job is to recognize it.
In every situation, the positive is there, our opportunity is to see it. In every problem the solution is there, our responsibility is to provide it.
In every setback, the success is there, our adventure is to discover it.
In every crisis the reason is there, our challenge is to understand it.
By seeing the goodness, we’ll be very enthusiastic and our lives will be richer.”
– Brahma Kumaris
A little island only 5 miles long and half a mile wide in the far east corner of Mexico. It is the island where the territory ends and nothing is left between her and the rest of the world.
Originally one of the mayan territories that conform the state of Quintana Roo, Isla Mujeres was located in the province of Ekab and it was a ceremonial center dedicated to Ixchel, goddess of the moon, fertility and abundance.
In 1517 the spanish expedition of Francisco de Córdoba, arrived into the island where they found nothing except for the ceremonial center and the female keepers of the sanctuary, because of this, the spaniards named the island “Isla Mujeres” (Island of Women), and it is the name that it has beared ever since.
Spending the weekend on the island made me remember the delights of living away in a little corner of the planet where you don’t need a car to move around or even a cell phone to stay in touch with family, friends and…everyone.
I love the particular charm that makes Isla Mujeres different from the rest of the touristic sites in Quintana Roo, all things there are very local, more authentic and have a history behind them.
Waking up to watch the sunrise knowing that you are standing where firm land ends for miles ahead and watching that amazing and loving spectacle that nature has been performing for centuries before us. I wonder how mayans greeted the new day in that exact same place thousands of years before.
As you walk by downtown there is a mixture of old original cabins built by the fishermen, they are wooden small and colorful cabins in the middle of streets, next to restaurants or hotels.
On the inner side of the island you get amazing clear waters, turquoise oceans with a special tone, a unique glare and you can see the other side of the island and Cancun skyline.
As soon as night begins to fall you are able to walk the streets filled with artwork, coffee shops and restaurants.
There is a great variety for dining from small cabins to very elegant and modern restaurants, all types of cuisine, but the best part is that everywhere you go, you are family, from hosts, to waiters, to cooks and owners welcome you and treat you like an old friend.
Walking around so freely, made me want to stay there and never come back, it’s definitely the perfect place for people looking for a quiet, low profile, relaxed and very authentic experience of Mexico and the Caribbean culture.
The most memorable time that I visited “Isla” as we call it, must have been 11 years ago, we went there on a sailboat, as we arrived I couldn’t believe the colors I was admiring in the ocean it’s different from the ocean in Cancun and in other parts of Quintana Roo, when we docked we swam, we ate and we headed back when the sun was coming down, sailing into cancun at nightfall, being out there in the ocean watching all the stars.
I am so blessed to live in this beautiful state and to know all of it!
If anybody plans to visit, contact me and I’ll make sure to give you the best advice on places to discover. Life is great! We are alive, and breathing 😀
“Mens sana in corpore sano”- Thales
Healthy mind in a healthy body, such a simple statement that has a very deep philosophical background.
Being healthy is something we normally aspire to, those of us who are blessed enough to have a “normal” health and don’t battle with any mayor diseases or body functions and even body parts…we still find the time to damage our bodies, slowly and passively through our habits.
It is really amazing how when you slow down for a bit and take the time to reflect upon it, you realize of the strong connection a healthy mind has with a healthy body.
In my opinion many of our toxic habits like sedentarism, poor dietary choices, stress, rage, over eating, not eating…etc, they all have to do with our inner state, with our mind and our soul.
We often wish for a healthier lifestyle, a healthier body…BUT here comes the unhealthy mind making up excuses and justifications for the lack of better habits. Some of the top excuses our mind can come up with, I don’t have time to cook, I have to eat outside and whatever comes in my way. I don’t have time to exercise, I can’t afford a gym or a trainer or a machine. I don’t like the taste of _______. I am happy with myself I accept how I am and the way I look. I am too old to start exercising.
What really happens is that we are so used to “domestication”- indoctrination in so many levels that we easily forget to realize our own potential. Everybody is capable of making a transition into whatever they want, at any stage of their lives, but the thing is that it’s not easy to break with old habits.
In example, a year ago my mother was diagnosed with pre-diabetes, her family has a history of diabetes so we are all prone to develop it.
Before she was diagnosed she lived a regular 59 year old woman’s life (work-go home-work) Her blood sugar levels were dangerously high although her household is not the kind of home where we worship junk food. I mean we ate vegetables, wasn’t that being healthy?
In order to prevent an irreversible disease like that, she had to go through some major changes in her lifestyle (not just her eating choices), she had to start exercising, something she had never done before, and she had to start eating several portioned meals a day (she used to procrastinate eating a lot, she would go for hours doing something, cleaning or working before having a bite for breakfast), she had to start measuring her temper, and following proper food choices for her condition (so long sugary fatty frozen apple tarts), she also enrolled in a program to learn about what Diabetes really is, and the whole family has undergone a learning process about it.
By sheer will power, I am proud to say that every mont when my mother goes to her check up she has low sugar levels in her blood in a normal range, she has lost weight and she looks amazing!
Her workout: Every day she wakes up at normal human hours and she goes out for a bike ride approx, 1.5 km, then she gets to a park where she runs around the whole thing twice 1 km, after that she sits on a bench and does strength arm exercises no weights and streching. The she rides her bike back home 1.5 km and she does jumprope for 2 minutes.
Way to go mom! From not exercising ever to beating all the neighbors on their bikes! yay!
If she has to go to work earlier she adapts her routine, she plugs in her iPod and dances away for 30 min non-stop.
After exercising some water and a nice fresh meal that includes all the food groups, that means protein, carbs, vegetables, fruit and fat.
For me my mother is an example of taking care of your health, and taking control of your life. Doing so has no age limit, no money restriction, no season or condition.
It all starts in the mind and the body follows, a healthy mind with healthier thoughts and emotions gives way to a body that will adapt to anything wether it’s a routine for fun or a formal sport.
It is a fun process too because our bodies already like being healthy and actually that is their natural tendency, it is us who choose to become ill. Listen to your body, even if you have no “diseases” 40 years from now, it might be too late.
I feel so honored that such a great cook as my mother had gone absolutely mad with my vegan version of tacos…
I love the blend of tastes you get from this recipe combining the 6 flavors in ayurveda but also I love that people don’t even have an idea that they are not eating meat in this tacos.
3 medium size potatoes
A handful of walnuts and a handful of almonds without peeling.
Salt (to your liking)
1 cup of oatmeal (non sugar)
1/2 cup of wheat bran
1 clove of garlic
Wash and peel the potatoes, cut them in pieces and boil them with the sliced garlic.
While they boil, slice the onion into cubes, the cilantro, the walnuts and the almonds and reserve.
When the potatoes are done, dispose of the water excess and mash them.
Then add a little salt along with the sliced onion, cilantro, walnuts and almonds, add the oatmeal and the wheat bran.
Mix it all together. And finally add a little of condiment sauce (here in mexico it’s called maggi sauce) it’s a seasoning sauce made out of soy and it looks a lot like soy sauce, just saltier.
You can serve the preparation as “hamburger” or dumplings, you can give it shapes and cook it, fried in a pan.
Or you can just have it raw. For the tacos I decided to serve it raw on a blue crispy heated tortilla and top it with alfalfa and broccoli sprouts and a slice of avocado.
To go with them, a green salsa with fresh cilantro, or xni-pec salsa.
This vegan tacos are great for every dietary lifestyle and they are also good for every body type.
They are light, easy to digest and a very balanced meal since they incorporate all of the 6 tastes in ayurveda.
Sweet, Sour, Salty, Pungent Bitter and Astringent. Each of the tastes has a specific body function and since the recipe has them balanced, Vata-Pitta-Kapha mind-body constitutions can indulge freely.
I found this recipe of a liver detoxification juice that was awesome because I had all the ingredients right at hand.
The blog is pretty awesome too, I really liked it.
Benefits of the juice: “This juice promotes the flow of bile and fat to and from the liver. The liver is the most important organ for metabolism and detoxification so if you are looking to lose weight and clean up your system, this juice is for you!” – Sonnet
Love Your Liver Juice
Makes one 8 – 12 oz juice
2 medium beets
1-inch piece fresh ginger
1 lemon, peeled
small handful cilantro
1 chard leaf
1/2 red apple (optional)
There is a concept in hinduism called SEVA, and it means selfless service, to offer a service with a good intention at heart, just because you want to give.
Personally I have always felt the need and the desire to help others and to give, I have been involved in various activities that involve teaching, collecting money for causes, delivering food to communities in need, delivering groceries for relief after hurricanes, growing an interactive garden..etc.
Lately I’ve been wanting to get involved in more projects as a volunteer, there is always something going on that you can help with.
But more recently I have remembered that to serve others you don’t need to be “doing” something, you can serve others and give a positive feedback to their lives simply by listening, by smiling, by accepting, by practicing your patience and tolerance. Simply by offering the best of you to every being that you encounter in your daily activities.
That way you can always be offering a selfless service everywhere you go.
We should try it more.
Living in the Yucatan Peninsula area of Mexico, we have the blessing and the opportunity to coexist with the surviving mayan culture.
X’nipec (Shnee Pek) means “wet dog’s nose” in mayan and it receives it’s name after that moisty nose dogs have, the effect the sauce has when you eat it causes your nose to produce secretions (you feel the spicy effect.)
Anyone who has been to the Yucatan Peninsula and has eaten traditional food, might have seen it, it is a very typical dressing for modern Yucatan-Quintana Roo cuisine.
I decided to prepare my own version of X’nipec taking into account my particular approach on eating-food-cooking in general.
Sharing the recipe and hoping that people all over the world get to try this very simple yet powerful source of well-being.
1/2 Purple Onion (typicall to the mayan mexican region) in case you can’t find it you can use white onion.
1 Habanero Pepper (typically grown in the Yucatan Peninsula) you might get it at the supermarket, since it’s an export from mexico. *There are different colors of habanero pepper, no matter which one you find, it has the same properties.
1 Spoon Fresh Coriander
1 Sour Orange
1 Pinch of Salt
1 Pinch of Oregano
1 Pinch of black pepper
2 Tbsp Vinegar
This recipe is for a small bowl and a mild spicy flavor, if you can handle it more spicy you can duplicate the habanero pepper portions.
In this case, I used purple onion, a regular orange (not sour because I couldn’t find it) and I added oregano and black pepper to the recipe.
PREPARATION (5 minutes):
Rule number one of every preparation- wash your hands and work with clean utensils (as basic as it is, some people are not used to this rule).
Wash all of your ingredients, cut the orange in half, chop the onion in fine cubes, wash and clean the coriander and chop it, finally chop the habanero*.
*Habanero is a very spicy pepper, make sure you take proper measures to deal with it, use gloves if you need to, and make sure to wash your hands and utensils thoroughly after handling the pepper, never touch your eyes or face after handling the pepper.
For my body type, I don’t enhance strong spicy flavors, so I took away the seeds from the pepper and used only one pepper to make it mild.
After chopping your ingredients, incorporate them in a bowl.
Add the salt (I used sea salt), the vinegar, oregano and pepper (optional) and finally add the freshly squeezed orange juice.
At this point you’ll be able to smell the typical flavor and tone of x’nipec.
Let it marinate at room temperature at least for one hour before serving, I personally like to leave it overnight.
THE BENEFITS OF X’NIPEC“Food is medicine and medicine is food” That is one of the principles of ayurveda and I believe it to be true. Feeding our body is much more than tasting something or satisfying the feeling of hunger.
X’nipec is an amazing medicine because it stimulates our digestion, circulation and benefits many of our organs with its ingredients.
Onion: It’s the main element of our recipe and it’s almost raw, onion stimulates our papillae, it helps us to fortify our muscles (in the metabolic-celular level) and it cleans our reproductive system.
Coriander: Diuretic and cleansing, it helps us balance all of our body elements (earth, wind, fire and water).
Pepper: The spicy flavor stimulates the tongue, it makes the eyes, nose and mouth produce secretions, accelerates digestion, gives way to appetite and attacks un-evacuated food residue in our intestines (toxic).
Salt: Activates salivation, helps digestion and body purification.
Orange: Sweet/Acid flavor, it helps build all of our tissue and body functions, the sweet flavor is associated with the sensation of joy. Acid flavor helps to hydrate the body and stimulates the cardiac function.
THE PRE-HISPANIC PERSPECTIVE:
Since it is a recipe of pre-hispanic tradition it also has a wisdom to it. Traditional pre-hispanic herbal medicine recognizes that peppers stimulate appetite, increase the production of urine and menstruation and they fortify the stomach. The intake of peppers should be moderate and balanced, because the excess of it causes intestinal and stomach damage.
TYPE OF NOURISHMENT
I also love this recipe because it’s natural and fits every diet choice. It is raw, vegan, traditional, mystic and healing.
Hope you enjoy it!