Balanced Electrolytes For Hot Yoga

hot yoga electrolytes

If you follow me on Instagram or Twitter then you are well aware of my reignited love for yoga. You see, I’ve always dabbled in yoga, but for whatever reason I would fall out of the habit; but when my mom completed her yoga designation, I was introduced to yoga through my mothers eyes, and things changed. But when when it came to hot yoga, our relationship has always run hot and cold; whenever I would practice I would get either a raging headache or slow burning pressure point headache that would persist throughout the day. Of course I knew this had to do with hydration, but I hydrate- LOTS; and still, headaches.

But I didn’t want to give up. With the Polar Vortex, there’s nothing better than yoga in a hot room to escape; so I did what I always do, I researched. Turns out there are HEAPS of tips out there that can help you, me and anyone who wants to enjoy hot yoga, but can’t seem to shake the headaches.

Boost Your Water
It’s said time and time again, you must hydrate if you plan on doing hot yoga- 32 ounces per day; but if you’re like me, you sweat a lot, and thus lose water quickly, so no matter how much water you drink, you are left feeling depleted, it’s time to boost your water. Salts and other electrolytes are lost when we sweat, so it essential to replenish them to bring balance back to the body.

Foods like cucumber and celery have adequate salt content and are fantastic options for maintaining salt balance. Prepare the following recipe at the start of the week and enjoy before yoga class all week long; the reason that you want to consume this drink BEFORE class, is that the salt content will help the body retain some of the water you’ve been chugging- in this case, water retention is good!

  • 1 cucumber
  • 3 ribs celery
  • 2 lemons, peeled
  • 1 pear
  • 2 cups distilled water

Juice the cucumber, celery, lemon and pear; combine the juice with water and refrigerate for up to one week.

Fall In Love with Coconut
I cannot say enough about coconut, I really can’t; but in this case, my fawning praise is warranted. When it comes to replenishing lost electrolytes, coconut water is TOPS!

You often hear people recommend sports drinks to replenish electrolytes, but I want to caution you against this; sports drinks are full of sugar, in such large amounts that it completely negates the benefits of consuming them. Also, sports drinks only replenish up to 2 of the body’s 5 key electrolytes, while coconut water replenishes all 5. It’s a no brainer!

But I understand how some people find the taste off putting- I did too; so I found a way to accommodate. Just add chocolate; when given the opportunity, I ALWAYS add chocolate!

  • 2 cups coconut water, not from concentrate
  • 1 tbsp raw cacao powder
  • 1 drop stevia liquid

In a blender combine all the ingredients; pour the combined liquid through a fine mesh sieve, lined with cheesecloth, to filter out any cacao crumbs. Keep refrigerated for up 4 days.

Eat Your Electrolytes
All this liquid talk makes it seem like electrolytes are only delivered via beverages, but that’s not the case. Cucumber, celery and many other balancing foods can and SHOULD be eaten as well; I personally find that drinking my electrolytes pre yoga and eating them post yoga is the best method- but everyone is different, so find what works for you.

A delicious post yoga salad is a Vitality Kitchen favourite, Pomegranate, Mint and Cucumber Salad; it’s got bite, crunch, sweet and salt- it’s the perfect post yoga treat, that’s does the body good!

I hope these tips help you get your glow on and help you get your hot yoga groove back!



Life Lesson Learned From Brewing Kombucha

kombucha

Brewing Kombucha has been a part of my life for over a year now, but my love for this healthy brew goes beyond that. The health benefits associated with consuming kombucha are long and storied; namely liver detoxification, boosting digestive health and providing an energy lift mid afternoon. However, today I want to talk about some key life lessons I have learned from brewing kombucha on my own.

  • Patience

If you know me personally then you likely know that patience is not a virtue I possess naturally, I’ve always been an “I want it now” kind of person; but with kombucha, patience is necessary to create a strong mother (the symbiotic bacterial culture). It takes about 30 days for a kombucha baby to turn into a mother; and BOY was it hard for me to wait 30 days to start mixing up flavours for my kombucha. Truly, every day I would stare at my kombucha baby growing and wish her to grow faster; but there are many rewards for the patient, namely a strong and high yielding kombucha mother.

Beyond the first 30 days of growth, each brew takes about 7 days to come to fruition; and I have learned that patience in brewing kombucha, applies to life too. Rushing in the kitchen can lead to serious cuts and/or burns; rushing while driving can lead to accidents (happened to me September); and lastly rushing in all areas can lead to stress and an all around frazzled existence. Slow down and brew kombucha!

“A man who is a master of patience is master of everything else.”
George Savile

  • Sharing is Caring

I’m an only child and I can freely admit that it was a steep learning curve in adulthood, adopting a sharing is caring attitude; I know all my fellow only children can relate. Growing up and never having to compromise or share with siblings creates a “me” mindset; although I have worked through my only child issues, brewing kombucha has served as reinforcement of my newfound “me to we” sensibilities.

When a kombucha mother flourishes and grows little babies (future mothers to be), they must be shared. You see, when a kombucha mother gets to be too big, she get’s bogged down and the brew becomes sluggish; however, when you remove the little babies and share them with other wanna-be kombucha brew masters, not only is the love shared, but the mother is then able to flourish and make deliciously healthy kombucha. Only children and sibling alike can learn a lesson or two from brewing kombucha!

“I’m just someone who likes cooking and for whom sharing food is a form of expression.
Maya Angelou”

  • Cleanliness is Next to Godliness

Now this isn’t to say that I operate in mess- far from it in fact; however, when working with kombucha, things needs to be positively sterile. You see, kombucha is bacteria and when you’re messing around with bacteria, you don’t want to mess around with mess- seriously; this healthy bacterial “juice” is a health dynamo, but introduce any bad bacteria and things will get crazy INCREDIBLY fast! Think black, stinky bacterial culture- yuck!

Whenever I am working with my kombucha, I clean my whole kitchen first, to ensure that nothing potentially damaging is introduced into the sacred environment that is a my kombucha brew. Now this is two fold amazing, 1) my kitchen is clean! And 2) I keep my kombucha health and thriving. If I can impart any kitchen lessons to wanna-be chef and kombucha masters, cleanliness is it; when you operate in organization and tidiness, your kitchen experience will be fun and rewarding, whereas mess just makes everything feel more hectic.

“Cleanliness becomes more important when godliness is unlikely.
P. J. O’Rourke”

The last place I would expect life lessons to sprout would be out of my spouted kombucha brewer, but life is unexpectedly wonderful like that! For more information about brewing your own kombucha, take a peek at one of my most popular videos!



Heart Healthy Raw Chocolate Pudding

heart healthy chocolate pudding

Valentine’s Day is tomorrow, and I felt this was the perfect excuse to celebrate all matters of the heart; so why not have chocolate pudding?!

All chocolate pudding is not created equal, but those made with legitimate ingredients like cashews and coconut can protect your heart; perfect for Valentine’s Day.

Check out my Raw Chocolate Pudding YouTube video- it’s a goody; click here for the delicious visual goodness and , of course, the recipe!



Cranberry Coconut Almond Granola

cranberry coconut almond granola

Breakfast? Do you eat it? Although I’m about to sound like the broken record of all broken records, here goes; breakfast is the most important meal of the day. When we eat breakfast we give our digestive system the cue to get ready and optimize for a day of nutrient assimilation. But we’ve all been guilty of skipping this essential morning ritual- hey, even I’m guilty of it!

Breakfast is a good time to eat a nice balance of food; fibre to keep you regular, protein to sustain you and carbohydrates to give you the energy you need to conquer your day.

Buckwheat- Your Friend in Health
Althoug buckwheat is not a true cereal, it always finds a place in my granola; but you will be surprised to know that buckwheat is closer to sorrel and rhubarb than it is to the granola mainstay of oats. Both soluble and insoluble fibres lower bad cholesterol, balance blood sugar levels (read: no mid morning crash) and it works to keep our gut healthy. This Vitality Kitchen Granola mainstay is rich in flavanoids that protect the heart and because it’s gluten free- don’t let the wheat in the name fool you- it’s ideal for those adhering to a gluten free lifestyle!

Make Mornings Easier, Make Granola
Each week in the Vitality Kitchen I create yummy smoothies, nut milks and granola as a part of the Breakfast Pack, which is designed for those who understand the importance of breakfast but making time for it slips through the cracks. This week I made a raw, high protein granola to whet my Vitality Kitchen clients appetites, because in my kitchen breakfast is so not boring.

This granola is dehydrated, which preserves the nutrients in all the seeds,nuts and buckwheat; but if you’re thinking, “I don’t have a dehydrator, nor do I want to buy one”, fear not you can dehydrate in your oven- there’s a link to the video below.

With that, I’ll say make love, not war; eat breakfast, make granola.

Raw Cranberry Coconut Almond Granola
1/2 cups raw buckwheat groats, soaked at least 1 hour
1/2 cup raw slivered almonds
1/2 cup hemp seeds
1/2 cup chia seeds
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1 tablespoon orange zest
3 tbsp organic maple syrup
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup dried, unsweetened cranberries

Soak the buckwheat groats for 1 hour and then drain, rinsing them well; and then allow them to drain again. Transfer to a bowl.

In a bowl, toss the almonds, hemps seeds, chia seeds, coconut, orange juice, orange zest, maple syrup,cinnamon, and vanilla until well coated. Pour this mixture over the buckwheat and mix well.

Spread the batter evenly between two Teflex-lined dehydrator trays. Dehydrate at 115°F for about 12 hours (or until they are dry enough to flip over), flip them over and remove the Teflex sheet. Continue dehydrating another 5 hours, or until the granola is dry and crunchy. Remove from the dehydrator and use your hands to crumble the sheets into a mixing bowl. Don’t have a dehydrator? Check out this video and learn how to dehydrate without one!

Add the cranberries and mix well. Store in an airtight glass container either at a cool room temperature, or in the refrigerator.



Toasted Coconut and Kale Salad

toasted coconut and kale salad

I love salad. I love turning people into salad lovers too; because so often peoples opinion of salad is tainted by leafy leftover salads, that are nothing but afterthoughts. But in the Vitality Kitchen I thrive on making salads that celebrate the bounty of Mother Nature- even in the dead of winter.
For the Love of Kale Salad
Kale was once only relegated to garnish territory, but in this kale salad, it takes centre stage! Now a confirmed superfood, kale is high in cancer preventative carotenoids and flavanoids, as well as lutein and zeaxanthin, which protects our eyes; not to mention vitamin K, which reduces our overall risk of dying of cancer. Kale can be found a great many places these days, from chips to granola, but in the Vitality Kitchen this week, kale salad is king!
Coocoo for Coconuts
Creamy, rich and anti fungal, anti bacteria AND antiviral, coconut has been used as medicine for thousands of years; and I believe we create beauty and wellness from the inside out, and coconut lends not only a distinct taste to this kale salad, but HEAPS of health benefits too. Though high in saturated fats, there is mounting evidence that saturated fat is not linked to cardiovascular issues- but we’re talking the right kind of saturate fat; some studies even suggest that coconut boosts weight loss- a kale salad that burn fats, yes please! Coconut, like kale, is found in so many forms now days, from butter, to sweetener- it’s everywhere; but please be sure that it’s organic, and cold pressed when it comes to the oil, otherwise this perfect food can be super dangerous.
Together In Salad
Coconut and sesame add serious value to this kale salad, by increasing the depth of flavour; and in order to create a filling meal, farro is added to the mix. Did you know farro is brimming with protein, enough to rival that of quinoa- yup, believe it! But for those who have gone gluten free, feel free to omit the farro or substitute it for a an gluten free grain in this kale salad; I’ve said it before, and I will always repeat it, your plate, you choice!
Toasted Coconut and Kale Salad
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
2 tablespoons tamari
3 1/2 lightly packed cups chopped kale, stems trimmed, large ribs removed
1 1/2 cups unsweetened large-flake coconut
2 cups cooked farro
1 tbsp coconut oil, divided
In a small bowl or jar, whisk or shake together the olive oil, sesame oil, and tamari. Meanwhile in a large, dry sauté pan, toast the coconut- do NOT walk away at this point, coconut goes from toasted to burned in no time at all.
In the same sauté pan, melt a little bit of oil and wilt the kale in batches- adding more oil if needed; you want to avoid crowding the pan with the kale. Wilt by tossing with tongs for a minute per batch. Once wilted, set aside.
In the same pan, yet again, add the cooked farrow and the dressing, cook for 1 minute, just to heat the farro through. Remove from heat and toss with coconut and kale. Serve either hot or cold.