Celebrate Your Independence

celebrate your independence

Raise a glass to yourself today; to the right to freedom, to the empowerment of the women (and men) who struggle to have it, and to knowing, embracing, honoring, educating and loving yourself. On this day, and beyond, celebrate your independence.

I leave you with some words from prolific Nigerian writer and feminist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Her TED Talk on gender equality resonates deeply, and acts as a reminder of how far we’ve come, and yet how far we still have to go.  To our continued autonomy and independence – I raise a glass.

“We teach girls to shrink themselves, to make themselves smaller. We say to girls; you can have ambition, but not too much. You should aim to be successful, but not too successful. Otherwise, you would threaten the man. Because I am female, I am expected to aspire to marriage. I am expected to make my life choices always keeping in mind that marriage is the most important. Now marriage can be a source of joy and love and mutual support but why do we teach girls to aspire to marriage and we don’t teach boys the same? We raise girls to see each other as competitors not for jobs or accomplishments, which I think can be a good thing, but for the attention of men. We teach girls that they cannot be sexual beings in the way that boys are. Feminist: the person who believes in the social, political and economic equality of the sexes.”

Valerie Fidan

Valerie is a San Francisco native who gave up the comforts of home to travel the world continuously. Now based in Portland, OR, Valerie is a Social Media Marketing Consultant, helping solo entrepreneurs and small business owners DIY their social media by teaching them the in’s and out’s of SMM. She enjoys health hacking recipes, a good cocktail, yoga, hikes, live shows, puns & dad jokes.

Can Ayurveda Help You Reach Optimal Health?

Ayurvedic Medicine focuses on a whole-person approach equally addressing the patient’s mind, body, community, and spirit as the means to reach optimal health. But, can Ayurveda help you reach optimal health?

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Ayurvedic medicine is considered by many to be the oldest healing science, traditionally practiced in India. This form of integrative medicine focuses on a whole-person approach equally addressing each individual's mind, body, community, and spirit as the means to reach optimal health. It's often connected with yogic lifestyles and will compliment a yoga practice well. However, the two aren’t married together permanently. You can practice Ayurveda even if you don’t practice yoga.

I first became interested in an Ayurvedic life after a trip to Costa Rica in 2015 and took a workshop in Santa Teresa with The Healing Cusine and then again after I read the book The Yoga Body Diet John Douillard, which taught me about the lifestyle. Since then, I’ve read many other books on Integrative Medicine lifestyle and diet, and have only loved what I’ve read thus far.

You might have heard the term and are curious about Ayurveda, but are thrown off by terms like "dosha" and "Yoga Nidra." To gain a fuller understanding, consider the following things you should know about Ayurveda.

Ayurveda is about eating well to balance the body, and mental health. It literally means the science of life.

Integrative medicine focuses on a whole-person approach equally addressing each individual's mind, body, community, and spirit as the means to reach optimal health.

It is very different from Western medicine and does not rely on synthetic medications to treat illnesses. Rather, Ayurvedic practitioners try to heal disease by restoring balance through changes in diet, herbs, and meditation.

If you’re at all confused about it, there are several things you should know about Ayurveda before you jump to any conclusions about it.

The most important aspect you should be aware of Ayurveda is what it is! It isn’t a religion, as some people may think. Rather, Ayurveda is “the traditional Hindu system of medicine, which is based on the idea of balance in bodily systems and uses diet, herbal treatment, and yogic breathing.” In a nutshell, it’s an ancient science based on balance, specific to unique body types.

ITS ORIGINS

Ayurveda has made its way to the Western world now, but it’s important to know where it originated from if you really want to understand it. Ayurveda was born in India about five to six thousand years ago. Ayurveda is attributed to Atharva Veda, which is the fourth Veda of the sacred Hindu texts. But this doesn’t mean Ayurveda is religious- it is simply a medical science with origins rooted in Hinduism.

THE THREE DOSHAS

A key component of Ayurveda is the presence of the three doshas or the Tridosha Theory. The three doshas are Vata, Pitta, and Kapha, which are a part of all of us, and characterized by different pairings of elements (ether, fire, water, air, and earth). But, everyone has a dominating dosha, which tells you what your “body type" is and plays a huge role in determining how you’ll live your Ayurvedic lifestyle. If you want to learn what your dosha is, you can take a quick quiz here.

HOW IT EFFECTS YOU

How exactly will Ayurveda affect me?” is an important question to ask yourself when researching this ancient science. Ayurveda will reveal what your body type is, and teach you how to eat in a way that is most beneficial to that body type (dosha).

Also, Yoga Nidra allows you to experience conscious sleep, to access your innermost source of joy, and become more capable of achieving greatness.

Both bits of knowledge of your dosha and practice of Yoga Nidra will help make you a more joyful, blissful person overall, as well as help you accomplish your goals, from weight loss to a promotion at work!

IT’S PERSONAL

It may seem strange that there are only three doshas for about seven billion people on the planet to share! But that’s why it’s important to remember that Ayurveda is something entirely personal.

You have different levels of each dosha inside of you and should live your life accordingly. Don’t mistake the wonderful simplicity of Ayurveda for impracticality; it’s a personal science you must investigate to gain all the desired benefits.

IT TAKES DEDICATION

Making time for yoga and meditation is only half of Ayurveda. You’ll also probably need to reduce consumption of several foods that aggravate your dominating dosha, and you'll need to add others to your diet that will balance, calm and soothe it.

Of course, there’s no harm in slipping up every once in a while, but to live by Ayurveda totally and completely, you’ll need some serious dedication.

If you didn’t know much about Ayurveda before, I hope you’ve got a stronger grasp on it now!

What did you learn about Ayurveda from reading this? Do you plan on trying it out?

Valerie Fidan

Valerie is a San Francisco native who gave up the comforts of home to travel the world continuously. Now based in Portland, OR, Valerie is a Social Media Marketing Consultant, helping solo entrepreneurs and small business owners DIY their social media by teaching them the in’s and out’s of SMM. She enjoys health hacking recipes, a good cocktail, yoga, hikes, live shows, puns & dad jokes.

4 Ways To Get Back On Track After An Indulgent Weekend

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Did someone say shots? Now, these are my kinda shots 😉  After a holiday weekend, wellness shots are what we all need! So, this weekend was Easter 🐣 and I'm sure you had a great time. Did you eat your weight in Easter chocolate this weekend? It's ok, don't beat yourself up. We all fall off track. Even those of us with the strongest of willpower may have strayed away from our workouts or regular eating habits. It’s perfectly normal, and we can all relate to this.

Did you eat your weight in Easter chocolate this weekend? It's cool if you did. I'm not judging!

Seriously... It's ok, don't beat yourself up. We all fall off track. Even those of us with the strongest of willpower may have strayed away from our workouts or regular eating habits. It’s perfectly normal, and we can all relate to this.

If you’ve fallen off course, it isn’t the end of the world. it sure might seem like it is at the moment, but it’s not. Rather than freaking out, you must recognize that you want to get back on track. Don’t beat yourself up mentally.

Whether the scale is reading higher than normal, or our clothes fit a little snug, you must do your very best to be compassionate and kind to yourself. When achieving any goal, there will be wins and there will be losses. It’s normal and part of the journey.

The right mindset will make all the difference in getting back into our routine. Here are some smart and simple healthy choices that you incorporate and practice daily that will help you get back on track:

1. Stay hydrated and drink water. Choose water as your drink whenever possible. Water has no calories, tastes great, quenches our thirst, helps flush toxins from our bodies, and the list goes on and on. Choose water. All day. Every day.

2. Get back to a normal sleep schedule. Late night parties and pulling all-nighters can lead to poor sleep habits. Poor sleep can negatively affect metabolism. Try your best to get a minimum of 7-8 hours of sleep each night.

3. Write down a small daily fitness goal that includes some type of exercise. If we choose a small goal — go for a walk, get 30 minutes on the treadmill, practice 20 minutes of yoga.

4. Maintain a positive attitude. This might be the most important one! When it comes to successful weight loss, one of the most important things to remember is the power of positivity. Tell yourself that you cannot do something and you won't; however, tell yourself that you can do something and you will! This is true for weight loss too. We are all capable of doing anything we want as long as we believe in ourselves. Keep negative self-talk out of your words and don’t beat yourself up if you have a bad day – tomorrow provides another chance to do things right!

Hope this bit of advice helps! 😘

Image Source: Instagram, JuiceServedHere