Health & Wellness

Rethinking Campfire Food: 15 Healthy, Easy Ideas + 2 Recipes

Jessica Harlan by Jessica Harlan | June 23rd, 2014 | 26 Comments
topic: Health & Wellness, Healthy Eating

healthy-campfire-food-photo

For me, the best part of camping isn’t the rugged hiking trails, swimming in a pristine lake or sleeping under the stars — it’s the food! It’s easy to get caught up in a junk-food rut when packing for a camping trip — potato chips, over-processed hot dogs and preservative-laden packaged foods. But planning campfire meals that are better for you is easier than you might think.

A recent campfire cookout with my family inspired me to make our next camping menu healthier — but still delicious! Try these ideas and easy-to-prepare camping recipes on your next outing.

Yoga for All Seasons: Summer

Nichole Golden by Nichole Golden | June 23rd, 2014 | 4 Comments
topic: Fitness, Health & Wellness, Healthy Eating, Yoga

summer yogaAs the seasons shift, our bodies cycle through an organic ebb and flow of change that serves to harmonize and create balance within us. These changes are usually influenced by the seasons themselves: hours of daylight, foods that are abundant at particular times of the year, weather patterns and seasonally inspired activities.

Although your body will adjust to these changes naturally, it never hurts to integrate some simple tweaks into your routine to aid in the transition and link yourself more intimately with the season that is upon you.

The Yoga Rx: Alternative vs. Modern Medicine

Nichole Golden by Nichole Golden | June 19th, 2014 | 1 Comment
topic: Fitness, Health & Wellness, Healthy Eating, Yoga

yoga rxThere is a growing wave of alternative thinking in the world, and most of us are blessed to have a choice between conventional and alternative ways of living. This can include lifestyle choices, food choices, medical decisions, consumerism, spirituality and education, to name a few. What used to be considered radical is now finding its way into the mainstream.

In Boulder, Colo., where I live, there is an abundance of options for natural grocers, alternative health care practitioners and holistic education centers. Even our pets have access to natural foods and medicines. And for a city of only 100,000, there are more than 60 yoga studios in the community. Needless to say, I am at home in this place.

Here, my tendencies toward natural living are fed by the abundant and accessible information about how to integrate even more natural practices into my daily life. For instance, I was thrilled to slowly cut out every toxic product from my routine and replace it with something that wasn’t (in my mind) ruined by processing, chemicals or the like. I felt so proud of myself and my ability to live a sustainable, plant-based, organic existence!

That said, you can only imagine how I must have felt when I was faced with a very unwanted health condition that every doctor — holistic and conventional — seemed unable to diagnose.

Don’t Let the Scorching Sun Cook Your Attitude This Summer

Jessica Mehring by Jessica Mehring | May 29th, 2014 | No Comments
topic: Health & Wellness

This month in the northern hemisphere we celebrate the summer solstice, aka the first day of summer.

For many people, this is their favorite time of year. The weather is lovely; you can get outside for walks in the sunshine and sit out on your patio with a good book in the cool evening. No shoveling snow, no traipsing through puddles in your galoshes.

But for some people, summer keeps them cooped up in the house just as much a winter does. When the heat sets in and you can fry an egg on the sidewalk, or the humidity is so high it feels like you walked into a sauna when you walk out the door of your house, you feel more like staying inside with the air conditioner blasting than getting a dose of sunshine.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), also known as the winter blues, is talked about a lot. SAD affects more than 10 million Americans. But there isn’t a lot of conversation about what high heat does to our attitudes.

Even here in Colorado, Gaiam’s home state, the heat can get unbearable in the summer. So I rely on these three things to keep myself feeling good when the sun is baking the world outside my window.

Recipe: Quinoa Coconut Cereal + The Power of WAMP!

Pooja Mottl by Pooja Mottl | May 20th, 2014 | No Comments
topic: Health & Wellness, Healthy Eating, Weight Loss

quinoa coconut cereal recipe

Healthy eating begins with two simple principles:

Processed Foods = Bad

Whole and Minimally Processed (WAMP) Foods = Good

The idea that eating whole foods is good and processed foods is bad may seem self-evident, but it’s not as obvious as you might think. In fact, pinpointing WAMP foods isn’t simple. Processed foods can be sneaky and disguise themselves as healthy foods without our noticing.

For example, we all know that chips, fries, and doughnuts are processed junk-type foods — that’s obvious. But what about bagels, cereal, and yogurt? Maybe not—it all depends on the ingredients that make them what they are. Most bagels are full of refined, processed wheat, and mainstream cereals are stuffed with processed sugar — they’re certainly not WAMP foods. The fact is there isn’t a standard, regulated definition of the words “whole” or “minimally processed.” You’ll need to learn what makes a food WAMP and what doesn’t because labels on packages won’t tell you.

Luckily, there are a few key attributes that flag a food as WAMP.

5-Minute-a-Day Yoga Routine for Kids

Teresa Anne Power by Teresa Anne Power | May 13th, 2014 | 2 Comments
topic: Family Health, Fitness, Health & Wellness, Yoga

Candle PoseAlthough people realize the numerous health benefits of yoga for adults, they may not realize that kids can reap the same benefits from practicing yoga. According to the Mayo Clinic, “Yoga can be a gentle method for your child to get more physical activity and enhance his or her well-being.”

Yoga can allow kids to learn discipline, enhance athletic performance, heighten body awareness and self-control, build both strength and flexibility, and increase concentration and focus. It can also help kids feel empowered, and helps them stay calm (even kids with ADD or ADHD). This translates into healthier minds and bodies, not to mention better performance at school.

Teaching children about the merits and health benefits of exercising can be challenging for any parent. While some kids are entirely receptive to different exercises that you might present, others may be resistant. The good news is that the following this 5-minute-a-day yoga routine for kids is not only fun, but can also enthrall your child and instill effective health benefits at the same time.

What’s Up With Down Dog? April Yoga News

Gaiam Staff by Gaiam Staff | April 1st, 2014 | 3 Comments
topic: Fitness, Healthy Aging, Yoga

woman doing yoga at work

With more than 20 million yoga practitioners in the United States alone, yoga is becoming part of mainstream culture — and making its own news headlines! Here’s what you should know when you hit the mat:

Naked Yoga Class Offered in New York City

No yoga pants? No problem! Yoga studio Bold & Naked in New York City is offering classes where students can practice completely naked.

Breathing Meditation for Patience

Jessica Mehring by Jessica Mehring | March 25th, 2014 | 5 Comments
topic: Health & Wellness, Personal Growth

“Patience is not learned in safety.” -Pema Chodron

Spring tests my patience. Every single year. Especially here in Colorado, as the weather whips back and forth between snow and sun, and as calm mornings give way to blustery afternoons, my patience is tried every spring. I become anxious for warmer, more stable weather.

Every spring, I am reminded once again that I am not in control. Patience is the only way through.

We humans, though, don’t learn patience the easy way. We don’t learn patience when things are going our way. Rather, we learn patience when we are tested, and when we finally have to accept that we can’t control the world.

Yoga for All Seasons: Spring

Nichole Golden by Nichole Golden | March 19th, 2014 | 4 Comments
topic: Detox, Fitness, Health & Wellness, Healthy Eating, Yoga

Spring Yoga

The season of new beginnings is upon us. With the arrival of spring, we shift from the hibernation of the winter months to an awakening of rebirth. Spring invites us to open back up, delight in warmer days and cultivate a spirit of aliveness.

As sunlight paves longer days, warm, damp spells have the potential to leave congestion and upper respiratory conditions in their wake. Spring is the time for releasing deep-seated emotions of sorrow and sadness. Support your body through this transition with the following recipe for balance as we embrace this upcoming season.

4 Ways to Get Enough Vitamin L

Nichole Golden by Nichole Golden | March 18th, 2014 | No Comments
topic: Health & Wellness, Personal Growth

I can remember the days when my multivitamins tasted like candy. It was an absolute pleasure to take those little Flintstone chewables every day in the hope of “growing strong bones,” as my dad used to put it. As I’ve gotten older, taking my daily vitamins is a sweet ritual that I have carried with me. I line them up and remember their purpose as I ingest each one. But this month, my focus has shifted. I’m not as concerned with my calcium supplementation or the millions of strands in my probiotic. I’m now interested in is a much more important vitamin, Vitamin L—Love.