10 Unexpected Ways to Meditate Every Day

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Ready to get Zen? Meditation can do way more than people think — and it’s not just for hippies. Practicing meditation regularly has legitimate health advantages, especially for the brain. Studies suggest meditation can do it all: reduce anxiety and sensitivity to pain, make us smarter, ward off sickness, and prevent stress. If carving out an hour to sit on a cushion doesn't float your boat, there are many unexpected ways to meditate every day. Get the benefits of meditation by trying out an alternative style from the list below.

Zen Zone: Your Action Plan

Standing Meditation: Standing instead of sitting to meditate can relieve lower back pain and promote a greater sense of internal stability. As with any form of meditation, begin with a short period of time — start with five minutes only. Stand in a comfortable, straight posture with the feet pointing straight forward, about shoulder width apart. After settling into the position, do a quick full-body “scan,” releasing tension and bringing awareness to every part of the body.

Nigella Seeds: Is the Newest Superfood Spice Really a Cure-All?

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Though you may not have heard of nigella seeds, if you’ve ever had naan, chances are you’ve tried them. It can be hard to know, though, since nigella seeds go by a dizzying number of names—black seed, sanouj, Kalonji, black cumin, black onion seed, roman coriander, black caraway— almost every country and region calls it something different. Nigella seeds derive from a flowering plant, nigella stavia, grown all over the Mediterranean. Nigella is actually the Italian terminology, but in Italy you’ll also hear it referred to as grano nero, which literally means black grain. Umm, can a seed be under the witness protection program?  

The Only Grain-Free Granola Recipe You'll Ever Need

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There’s one in every family these days. The intolerant person. I don’t mean religiously intolerant or xenophobic, though there’s probably one of those in every family too, come to think of it. I mean gluten intolerant. Or dairy, or soy, or one of the many other food intolerances that have become so common of late. It’s maddening. And I say that as someone who has her own set of weird food intolerances that I’m sure drive others slightly crazy--I drive myself slightly crazy! Once, I helped cook for a dinner party at which the combined guests managed to have amongst us intolerances to: gluten, dairy, soy, legumes, nuts, corn, and oats. AND there was one person who kept Kosher and another who was a vegetarian! We had to cook a couple of separate meals to make it work.

I won’t speculate about the root cause of the increase in food intolerances. Many far better scientists than I (I’m really not a very good scientist at all, actually) are working on that question. I’ll just try to cook around it!  

Do You Have the Guts to Say What You Need to Say?

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Are you carrying around an unspoken question or assumption about something?

Did someone do something or behave in a way that stumped (and possibly hurt) you, but you haven't had the guts to ask them about it?

We'd rather suffer under our own assumptions, pretend everything is fine, and take things personally rather than just having the chutzpha to be real, raw, and vulnerable with another person. I too am guilty of wimping out in relationships, and just mustered up the guts to rescue myself from playing it safe.

There is a friend in my life whose company I enjoy, and who I see frequently and get along with great with. But I had been secretly carrying around some hurt and misunderstanding about why he did something over a year ago! I acted as if everything was great between us. And honestly, I had convinced myself I'd put the situation behind me, because I did the closure and forgiveness work for both him and myself. I was able to see the spiritual lesson in it and move on.

Give 2014’s Food Trends A Healthy Twist

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A couple of weeks ago, Kitchen Daily published a list of projected food trends for 2014 put together by experts in the field. From herb-flavored ice to exotic meats, we’ve got some interesting and exciting trends to look forward to this year. However, not all of them are healthy trends, per se.

But there’s no need for you to miss out on the fun—with a little creativity, you can try out all of this year’s fads while still making healthy food choices! Here’s how:


Ice Cream Sandwiches: Andrew Freeman, CEO of a San Francisco-based hospitality consulting firm, predicted that cupcakes, donuts, and croissants are out. Keeping with the 2013 trend of unusual food pairings (like ramen burgers!) ice cream sandwiches with nontraditional flavors are in.

Make It Healthy: Who says ice cream sandwiches need to be made out of ice cream? Whip up a batch of this Banana Peanut Butter “Ice Cream” and sandwich it between your favorite vegan cookies for a 100% vegan sweet treat!

Ask Health Coach Maria: What Are the Worst Foods You Can Eat?

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Hi, I’m Maria Marlowe, a Certified Health Coach and author of Detox without the DeprivationI love to explain why you are what you eat and have made it my mission to help the world get healthy through better nutrition. In the“Ask Health Coach Maria” series, I answer frequently asked questions that relate to health and wellness.

Nobody likes being pulled over by the food police, but this week, you can call me Officer Maria. Forgive me for sounding the siren, but the worst type of prison you could ever end up in is your own body in poor health.

So this week, I’m answering the question, “what are the worst foods you can eat?” I’ve chosen to outline three “bad guys” that are extremely common, yet all have deleterious health effects. Personally, they will never pass my lips. And as long as I’m playing food cop, they won’t pass yours, either.

Soda (Diet and Regular)

We all know regular soda is loaded with sugar and is associated with weight gain and diabetes. Diet soda might seem like a healthy alternative, but in reality, it’s even worse!

5 Versatile and Healthy Foods To Stock Up On

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It’s no secret that our hectic schedules and rushed weeknights make it challenging to prepare healthy meals on a daily basis. But with a little planning and by stocking up on a few key ingredients, you’ll be surprised at how easy it is to whip up delicious and tasty meals all week long!

Stocking your pantry and fridge during the weekend with versatile foods that can be prepared a variety of ways and can be incorporated into breakfast, lunch, and dinner recipes will not only help you save money and time, but also give you a jumpstart on your weekly meal planning.   

Here are 5 healthy and versatile ingredients to add to your grocery list this week:

1. Avocado

Health benefits: This creamy and delicious fruit is a nutritional powerhouse providing numerous health benefits including heart healthy fats, protein, and vitamins K, B, E, and C, as well as almost half the recommended daily intake of dietary fiber.

Research shows that incorporating avocado into your diet can help reduce bad cholesterol and lower the risk of certain disease such as diabetes, stroke, and coronary artery disease, and promote a healthy weight by lowering BMI (Body Mass Index).

Bye-Bye, Photoshop. Hello, Real Beauty

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Every once in a while, it's in the news and it is shocking: Very young women are suffering from eating disorders that lead them, sometimes, to extreme health risks and even to death. And it's not only the case with models, or people related to the fashion business, but it affects millions of women around the globe, because our culture validates and promotes a very particular version of beauty.

You have to be very skinny, very young, and even have an androgynous look, to be in fashion shows or editorial pages in magazines. In fact, legends of beauty and glamour, like Marilyn Monroe or Sophia Loren, might be now considered "overweight" by certain fashion designers. Even though the responsibility about this issue is shared by different people, the media sector has a relevant share of it in many ways. To start with, by hiring very young and skinny models, showing them as the supreme icons of beauty and sexiness, women feel obliged to follow certain physical rules to be valued or accepted.

That is why women from all ages deprive themselves from eating in order to de "accepted." Curves and wrinkles, in this standard, are not welcomed, and success is defined by the absence of traces of age and individuality.

10 Healthy Ways to Invigorate Your Water [Infographic]

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We all know that we should be drinking 8-10 cups of pure, clean water every day, but that doesn't mean it can't still be flavorful! Here are10 delicious and healthy ways to jazz up this essential beverage.

For even more fantastic tips on giving your wellness a boost, check out Integrative Nutrition's 6-Month Roadmap to Health & Happiness.

 What's your favorite healthy ingredient to infuse water with?


Practice Yoga to Live Your Authentic Life

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When I rediscovered yoga in my adult life, I began to come home to a complex self I hadn't realized it was okay for me to be. Yoga knit together my creativity, my love of movement, my expressiveness, my bookishness, and my spiritual life. Yoga brought these diverse aspects of who I was into relationship. This had unexpected results.

At first yoga just brought me ease. I was so stressed out from the New York art world that I initially couldn't keep my eyes closed in savasana. I lay on my back, staring past the metal basement beams of Crunch gym up toward the ceiling that vibrated from the bass beat of workout music.

Once I figured out how to keep my eyes closed in savasana, my practice brought me delight. The landscape of my inner body and mind became rich and fertile, with endless space for exploration. The first surprising result of my yoga was that boredom ceased to exist as an experience for me. That may sound trite or silly, but it was actually quite amazing. In the subway, in a doctor's waiting room, on a long airplane ride: I had practices to do and things to think about. Movement. Mantra. Meditation. I learned to carry my universe around with me, and to love being there.