Go Green

Top o’ the mornin’ to you!

Add a little kale to your life with this powerful green smoothie that is a perfect breakfast or a high protein pick-me-up in the afternoon. Just one cup of kale has 3 grams of protein, 2.5 grams of fiber, vitamins A,C,K and B plus folate + an important omega-3 fatty acid, alpha-linolenic. The combination of the ingredients in this smoothie make it easy to Go Green!

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  • 1 cup of frozen kale
  • 1 banana
  • 1 cup of almond milk
  • 1 scoop of protein powder
  • 6 almonds

Combine in a power blender and enjoy this powerful start to your day! Thanks to our LiveWell friend, Yvonne Tally, for the inspiration!

Hit List-Lemons

FullSizeRenderFrom protecting your immune system and boosting your energy and mood plus providing important vitamins, nutrients and cancer-fighting antioxidants and safely ridding your body of toxins, drinking lemon water has a positive effect on everything from your insides out!

We know some pretty amazing people, including this spectacular woman below, Gogo, who lived well until 102 and swore by a warm glass of lemon water each morning (plus a scotch every day at 5pm).  In keeping with her philosophy to stick to the basics, we offer:

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Gogo’s Lemon Water

  • 8 ounces of warm water
  • juice of one organic lemon

Juice lemon into a glass of warm water and drink first thing in the morning, on an empty stomach.

During a season that can sometimes be filled with over indulgence, stress or too much merriment, starting each day with a glass of warm lemon water, is possibly the easiest habit to adopt and the only one you won’t have to break in the new year.

You can read more about the specific health benefits if you have time-otherwise, trust that 102 years of LIVING WELL is enough to get you started.

 

Yoking Together-Body, Mind & Spirit

Mention yoga, and most people will have an immediate image pop into view, most likely involving chanting, bare feet, crossed legs, and tree-like poses. (We picture badass Emily Blunt in Edge of Tomorrow preparing her body and mind to save the world by practicing a little yoga.)

Emily Blunt

An ancient physical and spirit disciple that originated in India reportedly 5,000 years, yoga (from the Sanskrit word yujuses postures (asanas) and breathing (pranayama) to join or yoke together the mind with the body and the body with the spirit to achieve a happy, harmonious and useful life. (The ability to save the world is actually super useful.)

Whether ancient or modern, all Yoga is a system built on: exercise, breathing, and meditation. The exercises increase the efficiency and health of the body, and breath, as the source of life in the body, is key. The combination of the exercise and breathing prepare the body and mind for meditation, and thus resulting in a “quieted” mind allowing health and healing.

rebecca_baraWith more than 16 million Americans reportedly oming each year, it can be intimidating to join a phenomenon already in progress. We turned to Palo Alto’s Rebecca Horsley Bara for a little inspiration and answers to our deep ponderings. 

A mother of four, Rebecca had been teaching yoga in Palo Alto for 10 years when she realized her dream of opening her own studio, Vibe Yoga, in January of 2014. The fresh space in Menlo Park/Redwood City offers a welcome retreat from buzzing Silicon Valley, a place to improve the mind, body and spirit, with a strong emphasis on the power of community.

Here’s what we wanted to know:

With so many types of yoga-how do people determine which style or where to start?  Yes, there are many types of yoga and it can be overwhelming.   At Vibe, we offer all types of classes and our staff will sit down with you and ask you what you are looking for to find the best fit for you. If you are brand new to yoga, try Fundamentals class.  To de-stress Restorative or Yin class, for more movement Vinyasa. For more of a workout there are power yoga classes that can be heated or non-heated and Ashtanga yoga is a set sequence of yoga poses. At vibe we offer pre and post natal classes as well as hot pilates, which is more like a boot camp. Although there are types of yoga where your will lay around and relax, like Restorative yoga, the majority of our classes are not like this.  Yoga can be very physical and cardio, it is really an overall experience-yoga is for the mind, body and spirit.

Many yoga students are extremely dedicated to their practice-some practice every day. What if someone only has time for once a week or once month-is it even worth it? People should do as little or as much yoga as they can fit into their lives.  I recognize that we are all extremely busy but as with anything, the more you practice the better you will feel, this is especially true with yoga.  You will find that you have more energy, feel better in your body, you will find yourself sick less often, you will look and feel younger and will find yourself happier and more content with you life, just to name a few benefits. You always leave yoga feeling better then when you walked in.  Everything feels better after a yoga class.

If you’re in Silicon Valley, join Rebecca and her team of talented, inspirational instructors on the mat at Vibe Yoga. If you live elsewhere or are traveling download the MindBody Connect app to locate a yoga studio near you.  If you really want anonymity look for classes when on vacation-as many resorts generally have at least a basic offering. If you need bolstering, join a friend who is seasoned and can show you the ropes. Wherever you start, spend some time with the staff, letting them know your goals. The yoga world is more welcoming and far less intimidating than imagined, especially if you let it be known you are the newest member of this ancient practice. Remember it is never too early or too late to start yoking together. Namaste!
 

Type 1 – What to Know

Over 30 million Americans are affected by Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes, and globally, the statistics are even more alarming: over 380 million.

Type 2 diabetes is often, but not always, attributed to an unhealthy lifestyle and 80% of cases are preventable. Like Type 1 diabetes, Type 2 diabetes puts the person at greater risk for a greater range of complications.

Type 1 diabetes, or T1D, is an auto-immune disease where the pancreas no longer produces insulin, the hormone needed to convert the glucose in food into energy for the body. Without insulin, glucose remains in the blood, where it can cause damage to all the organ systems of the body. People with T1D are insulin dependent and must inject or pump insulin into their bodies to stay alive and there is currently nothing that can be done to prevent this disease. T1D affects roughly 3 million Americans, with 80 new cases being diagnosed each day, half of those diagnosed each day are children and half are adults.

Type_1People with Type 1 diabetes must carefully calculate their insulin doses with their food intake, exercise and other environmental factors in order to avoid life-threatening conditions. Every day is a careful balancing act, much like that which faces a tight rope walker, where one false step-one miscalculation-can have devastating complications.

Knowing the symptoms of Type 1 is critical, as the symptoms can easily be attributed to more common, non-life threatening illnesses and misdiagnosis can often have tragic consequences. Symptoms include extreme thirst, frequent urination, sudden vision changes, fruity or sweet breath, sudden weight loss, drowsiness and labored or excessive breathing.

It is not yet known what causes Type 1 diabetes, but most scientists agree there are genetic, environmental and auto-immune factors involved. While there is no cure, each day significant work is being done to improve care, incorporate technology for better management, and possibly prevent Type 1 diabetes, while continuing to search for a cure.

For more information visit JDRF, the global leader in the fight against T1D and to see some truly inspiring people living with T1D, visit BeyondType1.

Safely Sparkle

It might be cheeky, with it’s rhinestone case, heart shaped nozzle and names like Hot Mama and Golden Girl, but Blingsting packs a powerful punch. Designed to be carried by women, especially those under 30, Blingsting camouflages a canister of traditional pepper spray, and aims to make self-protection accessible yet fashionable.

IMG_4484Shockingly, one in four women will be sexually assaulted on a college campus, and every two minutes in the US someone is sexually assaulted. While carrying a self-defense product isn’t the only precautions one should take, making the decision to carry Blingsting naturally coincides with an increased awareness of surroundings.

For a milder approach or for the younger set, Blingsting recently debuted a heart-shaped glitter personal “ahh!-larm” which clips easily onto a backpack, keychain or dog leash. Pull the pin and you’ll make an instant scene with the 120 decibel alarm.Screen Shot 2014-10-16 at 10.13.16 AM

We love that Andi Atteberry, 34,  founded the company because her dad continued to bring home cans of dismal-looking pepper spray for her and her mom to carry. Sparked by her love of the bedazzled, she turned her dad’s concern for her safety into a successful business of supplying “super sparkly safety stuff” to increase awareness and help women and girls protect themselves.  Another great example of female entrepreneurship making the world a better place.

*Special thanks to LiveWell teammate Lindsay for sharing what’s on her keychain! We’re ordering them for ourselves and all the girls in our lives stat!

Thinking Pink!

Orange may be the new black, and the traditional dominate color of the season, but we know that pink is the true hue of October and rightly so.

Pink ribbonThe facts are staggering: one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer, the most common cancer among women worldwide. According to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, over 220,000 women (and 2100 men) in the United States will be diagnosed this year and more than 40,000 will loose their battle. Early detection, better screening and improved treatment options and increased awareness have brought good news:  death rates from breast cancer have been declining since 1990 and the current 5-year survival rate, when the cancer is detected early, is 98%.

But the fact remains, breast cancer is the second leading cause of death among women in the US, and thankfully, there are many ways to support the efforts to cure, treats and prevent breast cancer throughout October. Whether it means you schedule a mammogram yourself, donate scarves for women going through treatment or join a walk to raise awareness, any effort in this fight can and will make a difference.  With so many options this month, we offer our own:

photoWe are  grateful to be able to share “The Silver Lining,” the story of Hollye Jacobs  (wife, mother, palliative care nurse, marathon runner and social worker) who was diagnosed with breast cancer at thirty-nine.  Unable to find encouraging, inspiring or even attractive books during her treatment, she wrote her own, chronicling her personal experience and showcasing her professional expertise. “The Silver Lining” is a playbook for both those diagnosed and for those supporting loved ones on their journey.  Filled with incredible photography by  Elizabeth Messina, the book is filled with the practical, the humorous and the hopeful and an absolute must for anyone touched by breast cancer.

It wouldn’t be LiveWell without a cocktail to celebrate this month of awareness.

IMG_4746Think Pink!

2 oz vodka

1 oz fresh lemon juice

1 oz Simply rosemary*

1 oz fresh watermelon juice

Place all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with 5-6 large ice cubes, shake vigorously and strain into a martini glass. Garnish with anything pink and enjoy.

Tell us how you will join the efforts this month, how are you thinking pink?  The first five followers who do will receive a bottle of our SIMPLY rosemary, the house-made rosemary infused simple syrup featured in the Think Pink! cocktail.

Frozen at Pressed Juicery

IMG_4455California was hit hard in 2010 with the juicing craze. Suddenly there were hundreds of recipes online and in print, kale growing in every garden and a parade of kitchenware to produce your own juice. In Southern California, however, Pressed Juicery in Brentwood was one of the first spots to encourage people to abandon their kitchens and drink their greens elsewhere.

Teens and adults began their new healthy obsession with juice cleanses, spending $8 on a single bottle containing kale, spinach, romaine, parsley, cucumber, celery, apple, and lemon. Celebrities and ubermoms swore by Pressed Juicery promises: a regulated, nourished colon, increased energy and stamina, increased mental clarity, better sleep patterns and a radiant complexion. Customers embraced the “getting back to your roots mantra” and Pressed Juicery began to expand its stores throughout Southern and Northern California, as well as online with free at home delivery.

Just when palates started adjusting to the earthy ingredients, Pressed Juicery in 2014 announced a new addition: “Freeze,” a soft-serve frozen treat using only juices from fruits and veggies, plus almonds and coconuts. This trifecta (it’s vegan, gluten free & dairy free) is not quite the consistency of frozen yogurts, but it rivals other frozen yogurt stops because of its comparably short ingredient list and sweet distinctive taste.

IMG_4470With 6 flavors, Freeze appeals to all generations: greens and roots (popular among supermoms on the go), citrus and fruits (for the teens and tweens ready for any new edible trend), and chocolate almond and vanilla almond (for sweets loving kids and adults ). Toppings such as homemade granola, shaved coconut, fresh fruits, and nuts can be added. Unlike juicing, you can’t imitate Freeze at home. The only way to satisfy your craving currently is at Stanford Shopping Mall in Palo Alto, where Freeeze began a test run earlier this summer. It’s instant  popularity means this chilly treat will be hitting other California stores in late 2014.

If this cold treat doesn’t sound like your cup of nutrients, several new flavors (including simple juices like watermelon and orange) have just been released and we’ve already crowned “Brazil Nut” our new favorite!

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Have you tried this new frozen treat or are a fan of the cold pressed? Leave us a comment with your favorite (or least favorite) flavors.

Bulletproofing It

IMG_4289We hear from our friends on the East Coast and Jimmy Fallon too, that Bulletproof Coffee has been making the rounds for a while (how did we miss this?) It’s time to brew, blend, butter and sip a cup.  

At a high level, here’s what we know: Bulletproof Coffee is a recipe formulated in 2009 by biohacker Dave Asprey with its genesis at the top of Mt Kailash in Tibet, where a revitalizing cup of yak butter tea provided a physical and mental boost and an initial spark.

By combining pure brewed coffee, unsalted butter and coconut oil in a blender, a creamy latte-like beverage is produced that by many accounts results in increased focus, improved brain and body energy, weight loss and muscle gain. Or as Jimmy Fallon said,  “you burn energy slower, longer and you don’t eat as much.”

The secret, at least partially, is in the quality of the ingredients.

First, the beans. Coffee that is cheap or high in toxins can adversely affect  brain function, mood and energy levels-clearly the opposite of what most of us would hope for. Look for local coffee that is low in toxins.

Unsalted grass-fed butter. Happy, grass-fed cows produce butter with improved nutritional properties and is a source of good cholesterol.  Basically, use better butter.

Coconut oil (or medium-chain triglyceride oil if you have that hiding in the cupboard) considered by some to be the healthiest oil on earth, naturally increases energy and metabolism.

When you blend it all together, the resulting drink, with its high calorie count, is intended as a meal replacement, not an add-on to breakfast.

So gather clean beans, better butter, coconut oil and your blender.  For simplicity we are using the Bulletproof Coffee kit-which includes the beans and MCT oil (the aforementioned medium-chain oil) and purchased butter from a local farm.

IMG_4295Let’s do this:

1. Brew coffee using Bulletproof Upgraded Coffee or other low-toxin beans

2. To a pre-heated blender, add 2 cups of coffee, 1-2 Tbs unsalted grass-fed butter, 1-2 Tbs coconut/MCT oil

3. Blend until frothy, like a latte, and enjoy

4. See how the next 6 hours go

We’ll report back how our day went after a morning dose of bulletproof-so stay tuned!  Have you tried Bulletproof Coffee? What did you think?

Feel it in your SOUL

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You have no doubt heard about SOULCYCLE the 45-minute indoor cycling workout that is part exercise, part dance party, part spiritual pump up. With crisp, clean studios in New York, Washington DC, Miami, Los Angeles and the Bay Area, the workouts  are designed to tone your entire body-especially your abs-while providing a powerful dose of affirmation, all while riding together to the beat of the music.

No matter which location you choose, the formula is consistent: cheerful check-in staff offer water and cycling shoes, lockers, restroom and showers are available and the basic etiquette is on display. (We love #3)  Soul-Etiquette-SoulCycle-1024x695In class, bikes are tightly lined in rows facing the instructor,  pre-set with towels (you will need this!) and weights (for the arm section) with staff available to help adjust your bike.  The ambiance is intense: a dim room lit by candles enclosed by walls posting inspirational words which, eventually, vibrate to the instructor’s personalized soundtrack-everything from classic rock to hip hop. The people next to you are your friendly competitors, there encourage  you to ride faster, lift heavier, and sing a little louder.  There is no chitchat allowed, however shouts and hoots are encouraged by the instructor. (Earplugs also available if the noise level is a tad much.)

Like any popular trend, this one comes with fierce loyalists and equally fierce naysayers, and it’s not for everyone. 

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If you’re ready to  give it a spin, here’s what we recommend:

1. Sign ups for the week open on Mondays at noon. You will be able to see immediately which are the most popular instructors. Choose a class that is less popular or at an off time-it’s less intimidating.

2. Once online, choose your bike.  Ride in the middle back row  facing the instructor-don’t hide in a corner.  Trust us on this.

3. Arrive 10 minutes before class to get oriented-when classes change over it is a frenzy-so avoid the rush.  Cycling shoes are free for your first class and are required. Two minutes before the class starts, all seats not checked in are open. This means that if you are late and don’t call ahead, your bike can be taken by a walk-in. There are no refunds.

4. Ask for help with setting your bike, even if you have taken spin or similar classes before. Make sure the weights under your seat are comfortable to use for an entire song. If in doubt go for the 2 lbs.

5. Hold your head high.  By looking down you miss the visual cues that allow you to ride with the room as a group. Try and stay with the beat, it will keep you with the group and will shift your focus from the intensity to the fun.

6. Prepare to sweat-a lot-and be sure to hydrate during class. Don’t make plans right after class-you’ll need a shower.

7. Be prepared to have fun.  While their methods are serious, and the instructors intensely trained (mandatory 12 week training) the atmosphere is energetic and fun.

Are you feeling it? Share your experience in the comments!