Tag: yoga

Yoga + Green Drink to Stress Less, Feel Better

yoga and green drink

I’m finding it harder to stay centered. Are you stressed out too?

Stress can have a major influence upon mood, our sense of well-being, behavior, and health. Acute stress, especially if the threat is unremitting, can damage health.

To stay centered and calm, my go-to is yoga.  Yoga can reduce stress, shift your mindset, and help you feel better.

Before coronavirus,  I made sure to do a minimum of 10-15 minutes of yoga every day. Now, I’ve increased my practice and recommending that all my friends and clients fo the same. The more stressful your day, the more you need to start your day off with yoga. To those who know me, I might seem centered but without meditation and yoga, I might be a mess.

Here are some of my favorite yoga poses for reducing stress and getting back to center. Zen out in the comfort and safety of home.

Cheers to your very best health –  Veronica

yoga - downward dog

DOWNWARD DOG

Place your hands on the ground, shoulder width apart, and stretch your feet out behind you about 3 feet apart from one another with your hips high in the air. You should look like an upside down letter “V.” Because your heart is higher than your head, this pose causes blood to flow to your brain, which calms the nervous system, improves memory, enhances concentration and relieves stress. Downward Dog also gently tones your abdomen, which stimulates digestion.

tree pose - virksasana

TREE POSE (VIRKSASANA)

Start by focusing the balance on the left foot. Lifting the right foot to the ankle, calf, above the knee or in lotus position (inside the hip joint), bring your arms to prayer position in front of your heart center. Straighten the back, tuck in the pelvis and breathe.

On an inhale, extend your arms over head into any hand mudra you desire; pinky to thumb, thumb to index finger or thumb to middle finger. Hold here for 5-10 inhale and exhale breaths.

prayer pose

PRAYER TWIST

Stand with your feet about 3-4 feet apart. Look toward your right leg as you turn your torso and your hips towards your right leg.

Bend your right knee at a 90 degree angle, keeping your left leg straight so that you are in a low lunge. Bring your hands to prayer position in front of you.

Inhale and on an exhale, twist to your right, bringing your left elbow over your right knee. Look up and make sure your elbows are facing in opposite directions with your right elbow facing up at 12 o’clock and left facing down at 6 o’clock.

Hold this pose for 5-10 inhales and exhales. Slowly release, coming back to center. Repeat on the other side.

Look toward your left side, bend your left knee at a 90 degree angle and move into a lunge by keeping your right leg straight. Inhale and exhale to twist to the left, hooking your right elbow over your left knee. Breathe for 5-10 inhales and exhales.

The twisting of the torso in this move applies pressure to your muscles, increasing toning and detoxifying powers. Fresh oxygen rushes to the area once the twist is released, which helps flush toxins within the body and improve digestion. This pose is great for balance, energy and confidence – plus, it tones your legs, hips and butt.

supine spinal twist

SUPINE SPINAL TWIST

Lay on the ground with your legs stretched out in front of you. Bend your right knee, bringing it close to your chest.

Take your left hand and slowly guide your (bent) right leg over to the left side of your body. Look right and breathe 5-10 inhales and exhales.

Slowly come back to center with both legs stretched out on the ground. Reverse on the other side by bending your left knee toward your chest.

With your right hand, gently guide your left leg over to your right. This time, look to the left and breathe for another set of 5-10 inhales and exhales. This spinal twist will help to release lower back tension, open tight shoulders, improve digestion and elongate spinal muscles.

Don’t worry if it doesn’t come easy at first. Like all things, yoga takes time and practice to get right, but you will start feeling the detoxifying benefits right away. Just start with slow and steady breaths and the rest will follow!

Chef V and kale

Monitoring Blood Sugar Levels: When Being Normal is Good

Monitoring your blood sugar? If you are pre-diabetic or suspect you are, monitoring your blood sugar levels is vital. But what levels should you shoot for and how do you test blood sugar? I explain and offer a few simple tips for helping keep blood sugar levels normal.

It’s so easy for someone like me, or anyone, really, to say, “avoid added sugars.” My Green Drink is one of the lowest sugar green drinks available. Check out the chart below and compare mine to the rest – the amount of sugar in the most popular “green juice” products is staggering.

You can think you are eating healthy and not realize your blood sugar is high. The only way to know for sure is to track it by using a meter.

Approximately 84 million American adults—more than 1 out of 3— have prediabetes, and more than 90% of people with prediabetes don’t know they have it. (Center for Disease Control)

Therefore, if you want to reduce your chance of becoming type 2 diabetes (or reversing it if you already have it), avoid high sugar foods and start monitoring your blood sugar levels.

prediabetes chart

What do the Numbers Mean?

However, if you monitor your blood sugar levels and just get a reading, that’s like weighing yourself on a scale. When you weigh yourself on a scale, what’s staring back at you? Just a number, right? The number on the scale doesn’t divulge how much of your weight is body fat or lean muscle or water weight. (Unless it’s a really good scale.) Sure, you can tell if your pants are feeling tighter. And if so, then, you’re probably storing body fat. Likewise, if you feel sluggish, moody or foggy brained, you might be able to conclude that you’re consuming too much sugar.

The name of the game in preventing full-blown type 2 diabetes is learning what foods (and drinks) will provide you with steady energy throughout the day. Food should make you feel energetic. But not hyper. And, of course, the reverse is true as well. After a meal, you shouldn’t feel like you need a nap.

Monitoring blood sugar levels: what’s a normal range?

If you’ve recently been diagnosed with pre-diabetes or just want to make sure you don’t develop diabetes, I recommend frequently monitoring your blood sugar levels. But first, you need to know what normal blood glucose levels are.

Now here’s the thing about normal blood sugar levels…. You’ll often come across two different charts. One will be blood sugar levels for people who don’t have diabetes. The other will be for people with type 2 diabetes. (I will be focusing this post on those with type 2 diabetes. Obviously for those with type 1 diabetes, like Whitney (her photo is below) the focus is also on preventing blood sugar levels from precariously dipping too low.)

If you have type 2 diabetes, I want you to shoot for normal blood sugar levels. But not for someone with diabetes. Rather, I want you to shoot for normal blood sugar levels for someone without diabetes. That’s because when you’re able to get your blood glucose levels down to normal levels, you’ll likely avoid any complications caused by systemic inflammation (nerve pain, for example).

With simple lifestyle changes, it’ll totally be doable. And I’ll share some simple tips with you shortly.

But first, let’s review what normal blood sugar levels are. Actually, even before doing that, you should know that you’ll want to monitor your blood sugar more than once per day.

Whitney, diabetes monitor

Test Throughout the Day

By testing your blood sugar levels throughout the day, you will learn your body’s response to sugar. Blood sugar levels fluctuate throughout the day, in different ways for different people. Obviously, they can go up after eating. Blood glucose (the term “glucose” is interchangeable with “blood sugar”) can also lower after you exercise. Because of this, it’s a good idea to test your blood sugar levels after you take a walk after eating. That’s because you’ll get validation about how easy and simple it is to normalize your blood glucose. Just a 10-minute walk is all it takes!

Monitoring blood sugar levels: shoot for normal

As I say above, try to get your blood sugar levels down to that of someone without diabetes or pre-diabetes. According to this diabetes management website, your blood sugar level when you wake up before eating should be under 100 mg/dl. And before meals, normal levels are 70-99 mg/dl.

You’ll want to take your blood sugar levels two hours after a meal. And when you do test after a meal, blood glucose should be under 140 mg/dl.

Guidelines from the American Diabetes Association state that for those with type 2 diabetes, blood sugar 1-2 hours after a meal should be under 180 mg/dl (and from 80-130 mg/dl) before meals. But, again, to hammer the point home, I think if you have type 2 diabetes and are serious about reversing your condition, shoot for levels for normal blood sugar levels.

Over time, you’ll remember these numeric guidelines as easily as your own phone number. But if you’re new to monitoring blood sugar levels, make a note on your smartphone or use an app.

Another blood sugar range you should memorize is your A1c level. Your A1c level is more like a snapshot of your blood sugar levels over the last couple months. It’s more a longer-term overall picture of what your levels are. It’s a good idea to monitor both your everyday levels before and after meals, as well as your A1c level. But you don’t have to test A1c every day. Once a month is sufficient. Shoot for an A1c level of less than 7%.

comparing sugars in Green Drink and other juices

Monitoring blood sugar levels: Chef V’s easy tips for lowering blood sugar

Want to lower your blood sugar levels? I realize sometimes it’s really hard to make lifestyle changes. But I truly believe these following tricks to manage diabetes can produce noticeable results in a short time.

#1: After you wake up and monitor your blood sugar, drink 8-16 oz. of pure water. Squeeze a bit of lemon juice into the water.

#2: About a half hour after drinking water in the morning, have 16 oz. of Organic Green Drink. The seven green, leafy veggies in Green Drink are clinically proven to increase insulin sensitivity.

#3: Always have my Easy Trail Mix with Goji Berries with you. Whether at home, at school, at the office or in the car, if you feel hunger, tame it with my recipe. My version of trail mix has low-glycemic, delicious berries that are good for you and won’t spike your blood sugar.

#4: Eat healthy fats! I’m shocked how many people still think that eating dietary fat will make you fat. On the contrary, it’s sugar and starchy carbs that make you fat. Furthermore, dietary fat can help you actually burn body fat. So eat a moderate amount of nuts, avocado, wild salmon, olives and olive oil. These fats will also help you feel full so you won’t be tempted by sugary snacks.

#5: Take probiotics. You need more good bacteria in your gut to help fight yeast overgrowth and other harmful bacteria in your belly. When you have too much yeast or bad bacteria, you crave more sugary foods. That’s because the yeast like to feast on sugar. And when the yeast fungus is hungry, they send a signal to your brain for more sugar.

Monitoring Blood Sugar Levels: Keep your eye on the prize!

I’ll be offering more tips that hopefully you’ll find helpful in the near future. Until then, start monitoring blood sugar levels at least a few times a day. And shoot for normal, normal. Not diabetes, normal. Good luck! I know you can do it. With just a few weeks of constant monitoring and a daily Green Drink, you’ll likely see positive results!

Veronica drinking green drink in urban setting

Chef V’s Yoga for Stress Relief in Tough Times

yoga for stress

Tough times now. More than ever I depend on my yoga practice to settle my mind, re-energize, and reduce unhealthy stress.

When it all gets to be just too much, I use these two poses to find a calm, relaxed center – and I try to carry that feeling through the entire day.

TREE POSE (VRKSASANA)

Start by focusing the balance on the left foot. Lifting the right foot to the ankle, calf, above the knee or in lotus position (inside the hip joint), bring your arms to prayer position in front of your heart center. Straighten the back, tuck in the pelvis and breathe.

On an inhale, extend your arms over head into any hand mudra you desire; pinky to thumb, thumb to index finger or thumb to middle finger. Hold here for 5-10 inhale and exhale breaths.

Slowly bring your hands back to prayer in front of your chest and slowly release your right foot down. Refocus your attention to the right foot balance and bring your left leg up to the same place you did on your right.

Rebalance and bring your arms to heart center. Extend your arms overhead to a different hand mudra. Breathe 5-10 breaths and slowly release.

Benefits of tree pose: Improves balance and stability in the legs, works and strengthens the core, strengthens the tendons and ligaments in the feet, opens the pelvis and hip bones, also builds self-confidence and self esteem.

collard greens

FLOOR BOW POSE (DHANURASANA)

Another pose that helps me center is Floor Bow Pose. My ribs open and allows deeper cleansing breath.

Start by laying flat with your stomach on the ground. Bend your knees and reach around grabbing your right ankle with your right hand and left ankle with left hand. Start to kick your feet so your arms are being pulled. You can begin to rock back and forth, breathing deeply. Make sure your knees are as close together as possible, hold and breathe for 5-10 inhale and exhale breaths and slowly release.

Benefits of bow pose: Opens the heart, hips, chest, and abdominal muscles. Improves balance, digestion, fatigue, anxiety, and menstrual discomfort.

However you decide to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day this year, do it with Cheer! Namaste!

Chef V, Coco and kale

Chef V’s 3 Men’s Health Tips: Gift-Wrapped For Father’s Day

What better present than giving the gift of health. If you know a daddy or a childless dude that could use a health makeover, give them the gift of an Organic Green Drink subscription. And for a sweet cherry on top, share these 3 men’s health tips, courtesy of “V” herself…

Hey guys, I’m sorry. It’s been a while since I focused my attention on you. With Father’s Day around the corner, it’s the perfect time to dispense some health tips to make sure you’re living your best life. So let’s jump right in…

Alcohol In Moderation

Is it gender bias to think that men drink more alcohol than women? I think not. Let’s be honest, guys toss ‘em back way more than the ladies. Now don’t get me wrong. I’m all for enjoying an occasional glass of wine. But I think there are far too many guys out there who are drinking way too much.

Do I really need to explain what the risks are of consuming alcohol excessively? Maybe you won’t end up needing a liver transplant, but drinking alcohol can elevate cholesterol in the blood. High blood cholesterol is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease, stroke and heart attacks.

Really, I’m not trying to be a buzzkill but it seems to me that because of the increased levels of stress—because of the pandemic, tribal politics, economic hardships, etc.—people in their 40s and 50s are tossing them back like they’re back in frat boy mode.

I would also pay attention to what kind of alcohol you’re drinking, fellas. Many guys I know love beer. I live in San Diego, which has become a microbrew Mecca. The greater San Diego area is home to over 150 craft beer joints (microbreweries).

There’s nothing wrong with enjoying one or two IPAs every now and then. But having a few pints several nights a week can lead not only to high blood cholesterol and triglycerides, it can also cause fatty liver disease.

Even if fatty liver disease doesn’t manifest, all that gluten and empty calories in beer can bloat the belly and cause systemic inflammation in the body. I’ve run into guys I haven’t seen in a few years who used to be thin now appear bloated, with puffy chipmunk faces. I’m telling you it’s the beer! Personally, I think if you’re going to drink, you’re better off having one or two high-quality shots of an expensive spirit like vodka, whiskey or mezcal; something that won’t go right to your waistline.

Get Checkups

Another thing guys tend to do is put off medical appointments. Again, I don’t want to perpetuate gender stereotypes but this neglect of medical care is something I have seen more often in men.

If you’re a guy of middle age, say 45 or older, get an annual checkup that includes basic metabolic blood work for cholesterol, vitamin D, thyroid hormones and sex hormones. This is especially recommended if you’re feeling sluggish. I also recommend getting a full-body scan at the dermatologist. Skin cancer is the fifth most common cancer.

Another type of cancer that affects men and is even more common than skin cancer is prostate cancer. Which is why men 50 years of age and older should get a PSA (prostate-specific antigen) test to screen for early detection of prostate cancer. It’s not a perfect test but it’s the best thing most doctors have access to.

Also at the mid-century mark is when guys should think about having a colonoscopy. It’s not fun to think about getting digitally probed but as the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Exercise The Right Way

It goes without saying that both men and women need to exercise. Although women do the very thing that I’m about to call men out on, I’m seeing this pattern more often in men. Here’s what I’m noticing… Increasingly, more men seem to be doing very high intensity exercise whether it’s CrossFit, Jujitsu or Ironman training.

Hey, it’s certainly better to train like a warrior than be a couch potato. But some men (yes, and women, too) lead very hectic lives, juggling very demanding jobs. For anybody, male or female, that has a very stressful lifestyle, the object of exercising should be to lower levels of stress hormones, not burn the adrenal glands out.

If you’re a guy with a type A personality and lifestyle to match, maybe you’re better off doing a more mellow form of exercise like yoga or hiking? It’s just food for thought.

And on the flip side, there are far too many great guys out there who don’t devote enough time to staying fit. Not to get all preachy on you, daddy, but if you want to witness not your child’s wedding and your grandkids graduate from high school, you need to start getting regular, moderate-intensity exercise every day.

Eat real food at least 90% of the time and keep a positive, grateful attitude.

Happy Father’s Day!

Yoga with Mom to Start Your Morning Together

yoga and green drink

Yoga is so good for you on so many different levels. It is one of the safest types of exercise you can suggest to family, and even the most out of shape friend can gently find a path to better health. It is especially good for kids, helping them with stress and sharing a relaxing time with Mom.

Whether you practice yoga everyday or as a beginner, I’ve selected some poses for a healthy and fun family practice with Mom and the kids.

yoga - downward dog

DOWNWARD DOG

Place your hands on the ground, shoulder width apart, and stretch your feet out behind you about 3 feet apart from one another with your hips high in the air. You should look like an upside down letter “V.” Because your heart is higher than your head, this pose causes blood to flow to your brain, which calms the nervous system, improves memory, enhances concentration and relieves stress. Downward Dog also gently tones your abdomen, which stimulates digestion.

tree pose - virksasana

UPWARD DOG

Place your hands on the ground alongside your body, next to your lower ribs. Inhale and press your hands firmly into the floor. Straighten your arms, lifting your torso and your legs a few inches off the floor.  Hold for five slow breathes.

Upward dog stretches the chest and spine, strengthening wrists, arms and shoulders. It stimulated the abdominal organs and improves digestion. It firms the buttocks and thighs, helping to relieve sciatica. It energizes and rejuvenates, relieving fatigue and depression.

tree pose - virksasana

THREE LEGGED DOWNWARD DOG

Place your hands on the ground, shoulder width apart, and stretch your
feet out behind you about 3 feet apart from one another with your hips
high in the air. You should look like an upside down letter “V.” Lift one leg as your opposite leg stays on the mat. Straighten your arms and press your shoulders back. Move your elbows forward and push your chest closer to your feet. Keep your hands, arms, shoulders and hips in a line. Three legged downward dog has the same health advantages as downward dog, adding a leg stretching element for encouraging length in your spine and increases hip joint flexibility.

tree pose - virksasana

TREE POSE (VIRKSASANA)

Start by focusing the balance on the left foot. Lifting the right foot to the ankle, calf, above the knee or in lotus position (inside the hip joint), bring your arms to prayer position in front of your heart center. Straighten the back, tuck in the pelvis and breathe.

On an inhale, extend your arms over head into any hand mudra you desire; pinky to thumb, thumb to index finger or thumb to middle finger. Hold here for 5-10 inhale and exhale breaths.

prayer pose

PRAYER TWIST

Stand with your feet about 3-4 feet apart. Look toward your right leg as you turn your torso and your hips towards your right leg.

Bend your right knee at a 90 degree angle, keeping your left leg straight so that you are in a low lunge. Bring your hands to prayer position in front of you.

Inhale and on an exhale, twist to your right, bringing your left elbow over your right knee. Look up and make sure your elbows are facing in opposite directions with your right elbow facing up at 12 o’clock and left facing down at 6 o’clock.

Hold this pose for 5-10 inhales and exhales. Slowly release, coming back to center. Repeat on the other side.

Look toward your left side, bend your left knee at a 90 degree angle and move into a lunge by keeping your right leg straight. Inhale and exhale to twist to the left, hooking your right elbow over your left knee. Breathe for 5-10 inhales and exhales.

The twisting of the torso in this move applies pressure to your muscles, increasing toning and detoxifying powers. Fresh oxygen rushes to the area once the twist is released, which helps flush toxins within the body and improve digestion. This pose is great for balance, energy and confidence – plus, it tones your legs, hips and butt.

supine spinal twist

SUPINE SPINAL TWIST

Lay on the ground with your legs stretched out in front of you. Bend your right knee, bringing it close to your chest.

Take your left hand and slowly guide your (bent) right leg over to the left side of your body. Look right and breathe 5-10 inhales and exhales.

Slowly come back to center with both legs stretched out on the ground. Reverse on the other side by bending your left knee toward your chest.

With your right hand, gently guide your left leg over to your right. This time, look to the left and breathe for another set of 5-10 inhales and exhales. This spinal twist will help to release lower back tension, open tight shoulders, improve digestion and elongate spinal muscles.

Don’t worry if it doesn’t come easy at first. Like all things, yoga takes time and practice to get right, but you will start feeling the detoxifying benefits right away. Just start with slow and steady breaths and the rest will follow!

Chef V yoga pose

Yoga for Beginners: What’s the best class to take?

From Ashtanga to Yin Yoga and Hip Hop Cardio, there's dozens of different styles of yoga. Chef V has tons of experience practicing and teaching yoga. Here, she recommends the best types of yoga for beginners.

Many people know me as a chef, of course, as well as author and nutritional therapist. But I also have an extensive yoga background. In fact, I’m a certified yoga instructor.

Yoga is so good for you on so many different levels. It is one of the safest types of exercise you can suggest to family, and even the most out of shape friend can gently find a path to better health.

But many people who are new are overwhelmed with all the different types and dizzying amount of yoga information and classes and never take the healthy step and attend a class.

For you and yours, I have some advice….

Best Class for Absolute Beginners

Don’t know a downward dog from a cat/cow? Scared to bend and twist into a pretzel pose. No worries, there’s a yoga style that’s perfect for you. Many gyms like LA Fitness or your local YMCA offer gentle yoga classes. In a gentle yoga class, you won’t feel intimidated surrounded by hyper-flexible, rail-thin advanced yoginis.

Gentle classes are also great for advanced practitioners. Without doubt though, most people who take gentle yoga classes are beginners or those with physical limitations. The great thing about gentle classes is that you really don’t need to be an expert to feel like you’re getting a good workout.

That’s because when you focus on your breath, you can really move a lot of energy through your body. I’ve taken gentle classes and felt an out of this world experience at the end of the class. Your mind feels clear and your body tingles with great energy.

When you try poses that are too difficult, you have a tendency to not breath. That’s why it’s super important that you pick a gentle or introductory class so that you can focus on breathing steady, not on how deeply you can stretch into a pose.

Best Class for Athletic Beginners

Never taken a class but you can easily do 20 pushups followed by 20 jump jacks? Give a Vinyasa class a try. “Vinny” is usually a flow sequence, meaning that one pose logically progresses into another flow. With the exception of a few go-within meditative breathing breaks, a Vinny class is continuous. That’s why it’s not recommended if you’re really out of shape.

For some beginners, Vinny’s fast pace can be overwhelming. However, if you need a breather, nobody will judge you for taking a break. Simply rest in child’s pose (sit on your knees, with your knees hip-width apart and fold over stretching your arms). This is true of any class you choose.

Best Class for Emotional Recovery

Let’s say you just went through a rough break up. Or lost your job. Or something else traumatic. Any type of yoga can help you keep your center. But perhaps the best type of yoga for periods of extreme stress is a Restorative class.

In this rejuvenating class you hardly move. Instead, you use blankets, pillows, blocks and other props and stay in gentle poses for long periods of time. Remember I mentioned the parasympathetic nervous system? When you’re really stressed, you’re activating the opposite of your parasympathetic side, which is your sympathetic nervous system. Although sympathetic sounds nice, it’s not the sympathy you might be thinking about. On the contrary, your sympathetic nervous system is your flight or fight mechanisms. And when you’re going through a lot of turmoil, you don’t need more flight or fight. You need to rest and relax.

Best Class for Type A Personalities

One of the many health benefits of yoga is that this ancient discipline brings your life back into balance. But take a look at what many fast-paced, always on the go people do for exercise. Their exercise routines mirror their type A lifestyle. CrossFit, Mud Runs, intense spin classes, Iron Mans and other triathlons, etc….

Intense exercise is a form of stress. Stress is stress. Therefore, if your life is hectic, you need a Yin yoga for your Yang lifestyle. Try finding a class that’s moderately laid back and focuses on breathing. An introductory Hatha class will stimulate your parasympathetic nervous system. That’s your rest and digest operating system.

If you absolutely need a challenge, try an Ashtanga class. Theoretically, it might not be the best for a type A lifestyle but doing an athletic, advanced style of yoga is better than doing no yoga at all.

Best Yoga Class for Beginners: Conclusion

There are dozens of other types of classes. But these styles above have become very popular and there’s a good chance you’ll be able to find a class.

To your health,

Chef V

Chef V Moms on Instagram

5 Libido Spiking Ways To Spice Up The Romance On Valentine’s Day

What are you doing to make this Valentine’s Day special for your mate? A box of chocolates? Flowers? Yawn! While those V-Day traditional go-to’s will always be appreciated, these 5 activities will help resurrect your romantic life—even if you’ve been married for years. 

“I love never being spontaneous and having absolutely no romance in my life.” 

You know who said that? 

Nobody, ever. 

But stress in America is endemic. Wake up, race to get ready. Work your butt off. Race home to take care of the kids. Cook, clean and hopefully you’ll get an hour of peace and quiet to stream a favorite show. 

You and your spouse are like strangers passing in the night. You two have become functional roommates more than lovers. 

And then February 14 rolls around and you go through the motions. Maybe you will have a nice dinner. But deep down inside, as you’re enjoying a slice of tiramisu and drinking a glass of cab (even though you actually enjoy cooking and eating at home more than eating out), you know the thrill is gone. 

You and your partner may be partners for life—but in name only, not in romance. 

Well, this Valentine’s Day, don’t be ordinary. Do one or more of these 5 things to respark the romance and rekindle your libido.

couple hands yoga

Couples Massage

No, I’m not talking about both of you going to a 5-star spa and getting pampered. Although, that does sound just about what I need right now. If you get a massage from a spa, you’ll feel great but it won’t really do anything to get your romantic grooves back. 

What I mean by couples massage is this steamy scene…

Both partners are seated Buddah-style facing each other on comfy cushions. 

With shirts off and a high-quality CBD oil, coconut or jojoba oil (or another synthetic-free fave massage oil) in hand, each partner rubs the oil onto the other’s neck and shoulders. 

Stare into each other’s eyes for a few minutes and smile. Really take each other’s spirit in. Reconnect with why you fell in love with each other in the first place. Just say the reasons internally. 

For a few minutes, continue simultaneously rubbing each other’s neck and shoulders. Or see where the night takes you; perhaps to different places—wink wink. 

Then, rest your foreheads on each other and keep the romantic, healing vibes going. 

candle

Grateful Affirmations

After both of you have had your fill of couples massage, it’s time to externalize your appreciation of your partner and vice versa. 

You can stay seated in the lotus position facing each other. Or if you’re uncomfortable because you have tight hips, both of you can lie down on a warm, cozy rug or yoga mats while holding hands.

With romantic candles lit in the room—I should have mentioned candles in the couples massage part, haha—express your gratitude for your partner. 

“I feel blessed to have you as my partner because you are so kind and supportive of me.” 

Something along those lines. 

Think of everything that you appreciate about your partner. Valentine’s Day should be the annual rite of passage where you renew your partnership vows—instead of just flipping on the TV after coming back home from dinner. 

partner yoga

Partner Yoga

Can it get any more erotic than having your partner adjust you while you’re doing a downward dog? Sorry, my intention isn’t to be pervy; there are plenty of male yoga teachers who give adjustments without any ulterior motives. 

But when you’re doing partner yoga—or even just a regular yoga routine side by side—, it definitely has the ability to reignite libido. 

If you’re not sure what partner yoga is there are tons of videos online. Basically, one partner helps the other go deeper into a pose, albeit comfortably and safely.

With downward dog, your partner can lean back, facing up, on your back. Your weight supports your partner and vice versa. 

Another great partner yoga pose is spinal twists. 

Late Night Walk Or Hike

This one’s easy for me to recommend since I live in San Diego. But if you’ve never visited here, you might be surprised to learn that it can get down into the low 40s or even high 30s at night here. That may sound downright tropical to my Organic Green Drink delivery customers who live in Boston or Buffalo. 

But if the weather isn’t too brutal outside, instead of hopping in the car for dinner and then just driving right back home, having a quickie and then Netflix, go for a walk, even if it’s a short one. 

Make sure you’re holding hands. The frigid weather will be conducive to huddling together and walking arm in arm.

The key is that on this Valentine’s Day, do something out of the ordinary that will bring you and your partner closer together. Sure, it’s just one day out of the year, but if you do one of these fun things, the effects will carry on…

Green Drink Cocktails

And speaking of Green Drinks, if you want to enjoy a healthy adult beverage that’s out of the ordinary (that means no wine), just add a shot of vodka. Seven leafy greens and a strong distilled spirit. Life is all about balance. And for this Valentine’s Day, balance your love life by not doing something you wouldn’t do the other 364 days of the year. 

Getting Started with Yoga While Cleansing

Veronica working from home

Getting Started With Yoga While Cleansing

For many, a juice cleanse is part of a wider move towards improving health. Lots of our clients are interested in other ways to improve their body’s health – and beat stress. Yoga is especially important as a way to do some low impact, high reward workouts while on a juice cleanse. If you aren’t already a guru – don’t worry. This blog will give some beginners tips on how to get into yoga, to get some safe exercise while cleansing.

Should You Work Out on a Juice Cleanse?

It’s common knowledge to many that it isn’t recommended to workout too strenuously while on a juice cleanse. After all, if you aren’t consuming as many calories so you shouldn’t need to be burning as many. From being in a natural calorie deficit you’ll be losing weight naturally.

However, it can be beneficial to exercise lightly during a juice cleanse. Firstly, this will help you gently move into and out of a juice cleanse, rather than upsetting your entire workout routine. Secondly, light exercise can help increase weight loss, increase blood flow, keep you flexible and limber, and make you feel good during your blended juice cleanse.

Of course, the emphasis here is on light exercise. You don’t want to overdo it when your digestive system is going through a cleanse. This is why cleansing and yoga go together so well – yoga is a great way to stay limber and flexible, get some exercise, and feel great while cleansing. But how do you get into yoga if you’re a total newbie?

Getting Started With Yoga

The best way to get into yoga is, of course, to ask for help! If there is a yoga studio or somewhere else to take yoga classes nearby, go find the yoga instructor and ask them to give you the down-low.

You’ll also want to make sure that you have all of the things you need for beginner yoga. First and foremost, you need some comfortable clothes that you can be flexible in. Secondly, you’ll want a yoga mat – though a yoga studio should be able to provide this for you.

While yoga is easily accessible for everyone, you should never push yourself to do anything that is uncomfortable or painful. This sort of self-care is extra important while you are undergoing a juice cleanse. Relax, focus on your breathing and have fun!

Types of Yoga to Avoid

If you find a good yoga instructor to help you out, they should be able to walk you through the best starting positions and kinds of yoga. Generally, you want to be trying regular “hatha yoga” – the kind of yoga that is most often practiced in the west. Vinyasa yoga and flow yoga are also relatively low impact types.

However, you should do your best to avoid Ashtanga yoga, Bikram yoga, and “hot” yoga while you are on a juice cleanse. These types tend to demand yoga poses that require greater strength and endurance and may not be the best idea to tackle while on a juice cleanse.

Double Your Detox

Now that we’ve discussed the general types of yoga, did you know that there are certain kinds of yoga poses that can actually boost detoxification of the body? You can use these to get exercise while on your juice cleanse and increase the rate of detox in your body!

The Cat/Cow pose and Standing Forward Bend are particularly noted for health benefits relating to the digestive system. Both of these let you gently stretch your abdominal organs, letting you relax your body. Nothing goes together quite like relaxing yoga, and delicious juice made from fruits and vegetables.

Still uncertain about your cleansing routine? Why not start small? At Chef V we offer flexible packages for cleanses of a variety of lengths. From 1, to 3 to 5 day cleanses, up to our legendary 21-day detox, we have a blended juice cleanse for everyone.

© 2021 Chef V, LLC.