Welcome to the Yoga Beyond Fitness Blog!
Yoga Beyond Fitness Blog


About Karin

Yoga teacher, practicing yoga since 1997, teaching since 2003, writer/translator, global soul, world traveller (and sometimes beyond), passionate about eastern philosophy and western psychology, especially its application in mind-body practices such as yoga and somatic movement therapy, deeply in love with life, knows that our greatest teacher lies within, also sometimes a total mess - it's part of the package!

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    Recent Entries

    Fruit Breakfast for Yogis

    Monday, August 15. 2011

    A delicious and highly nutritious breakfast for yogis (and other active people!) to be enjoyed right after Surya Namaskara, your morning Sun Salutations.

    Ingredients (all organic!) for 1 serving:
    ½ banana mashed and oxidized
    Juice of ½ fresh lemon
    2 tbsp rapeseed oil (or avocado oil, my favorite)
    2 level tbsp of a mixture of sesame seeds and flax seeds, crushed (50% of each)
    1 level tbsp of a ground mixture of 3 seeds or nuts, either sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, almonds, walnuts, macadamia nuts or hazelnuts
    ½ apple, cut into small pieces, and 3 other seasonal fruit

    Green Tip: Shop at a farmers' market - support your small local organic farmer.

    Preparation: In a bowl, mash the banana with a fork until it's very smooth. Add the lemon juice. Add the rapeseed oil (or avocado oil). Add the crushed seeds/nuts. (Use a small electric coffee grinder to crush seeds/nuts in advance, then store in a cool dry place in an airtight container.) Cut the fruit into small pieces. Mix all together. Enjoy!

    Why I like this breakfast?

    It's quick, healthy and nutritious! My favourite fruit in the winter or spring are kiwis, apples, mangos, bananas, oranges or mandarins (see picture). They provide plenty of vitamins (e.g. C, A, B1, B2, B6, and E) and are also a good source of minerals that the body needs: magnesium (muscles), calcium (bones), iron (blood), zinc (immune system), and potassium (heart, digestive system, blood sugar levels). In the summer, I switch to nectarines, peaches, apricots, raspberries, blueberries or blackberries. In the autumn, I add figs and plums.

    What's more, the lemon juice acts as an antioxidant capable of neutralizing potentially damaging free radicals (responsible for aging and tissue damage). And the rapeseed oil is very low in saturated fat (the 'bad' fat) and high in monounsaturated fats (the 'good' fat). It is said to lower the bad cholesterol levels and increase the good cholesterol levels. Rapeseed oil is also a good source of the powerful antioxidant vitamin E. And the nuts and seeds are said to promote cardiovascular, digestive, bone and adrenaline health. They also help you feeling full for a longer period of time due to their low glycemic index.

    IMPORTANT: While nuts and seeds hold many valuable health benefits, they can cause potentially severe complications in people with allergies. So if allergies are an issue for you, be careful. Ask your doctor or nutritionist first. And always check your food product labels to make sure they don’t contain anything you're allergic to.

    Mango and Spinach Green Smoothie

    Monday, August 15. 2011

    This is my number one favorite green smoothie recipe. It’s delicious, quickly done and very healthy – full of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytochemicals which are said to play an important role in our diet because of their antioxidant power, anti-inflammatory strength, and the ability to boost the body’s natural detoxification process.

    Ingredients (all organic!) for 1-2 servings:Mango and Spinach Green Smoothie
    1 soft mango
    1 handful of fresh spinach
    Lemon juice (to give it a bit of a kick)

    Preparation: Blend all ingredients with 1 cup of water in a high-speed blender until smooth.

    Now, how green is that?

    Tip: You can substitute Swiss chard (or any dark leafy field greens) for the spinach.

    Green Smoothies - Why go green in our diet?

    Sunday, October 10. 2010

    In oriental medicine, greens are said to build blood and improve liver function, resulting in greater energy and better health in general. This is because the chlorophyll molecule (the green pigment that makes all our greens green) is nearly identical to that of haemoglobin, whose single atom of iron replaces one atom of magnesium. Haemoglobin carries oxygen to all our body cells. So, if you're feeling tired or lacking in energy, drinking a green smoothie will quickly raise your red blood cell count because it is digested and assimilated almost instantly.

    In addition, since the core atom in chlorophyll is magnesium and sugar cravings are often a sign of magnesium deficiency, green smoothies are the best powerfood to end your addiction to cakes, cookies and chocolate. When your body gets the nutrients it needs, all cravings go.

    But there is more:

    Many naturopaths believe that the body's pH balance has an effect on your overall health. An acidic body breeds disease. An alkaline body promotes health. Green smoothies are rich in alkaline minerals like calcium. This will help to balance your pH. High-calcium greens are the fibrous ones such as dandelion, kale and spinach.

    To be able to absorb the maximum amounts of nutrients blend the greens until smooth. This will break down their tough-to-chew and hard-to-digest cellulose walls. Then add fruits and seeds as desired. For maximum health benefit drink the smoothie straight away. Enjoy!
    Green Smoothie
    'Start me up' Green Breakfast Smoothie:
    2 kiwis
    2 oranges
    1 teaspoon linseeds
    2 cups fresh dandelion
    Blend all ingredients with 1 cup of water until smooth.

    Green Powerhouse Smoothie:
    2 bananas
    2 oranges
    1 tablespoon Spirulina (or other blue-green algae)
    2 cups of fresh spinach
    Blend all ingredients with 1 cup of water until smooth.

    A Beginner's Guide to Green Smoothies

    Wednesday, September 22. 2010

    If you're new to green smoothies or if you have no clue about what constitutes the optimal "magical mixture" then read on. This is for all green smoothie pioneers who dare to experiment but tend to mix nasty concoctions before they figure things out. So, in the name of sparing a few bemused or grimaced expressions in the world, here are a few important tips for getting started on green smoothies:

    1. Keep it simple - very simple!
    Avoid dumping a mass of ingredients into your blender and hoping you get lucky. Instead, start with something very simple and easy like the classic banana and spinach mix. Make sure you use more fruit than greens initially and then add a little water until smooth.

    2. Start with a very small amount of greens - then upgrade!
    Don’t gross yourself out on the first try. Throw in the fruit first (in this case: a couple of bananas), add a few green leaves of spinach or romaine lettuce on top, and then blend it. It’s okay if it’s not dark green the first time. A pale greenish-yellow shade is perfect. Just practice patience (and restraint!). Relax. Allow yourself to adjust.

    3. If it tastes like weeds or your lawnmower, try again!
    Some greens have a much stronger taste than others. Spinach and kale have a more bitter taste than the more neutral romaine lettuce. So be careful not to add too many bitter or spicy greens that will overpower your drink, unless of course you don’t mind the strong taste. Just experiment and see how it goes.

    Celery is great, too, but try to avoid it first thing in the morning. At that time of the day, the taste of celery can be a bit strong for the "uninitiated". (Myriam, please take note! :-)

    And finally, (this is not really a tip but) don’t let one failed green smoothie concoction get you down. After all, there’s so much to be gained by incorporating more greens into your diet.

    Drink, share, enjoy, and then tell me about it!

    Beetroot juice for boosting stamina

    Friday, August 6. 2010

    I've recently started running every morning. I know ... some readers out there might now say running and yoga are at the opposite end of the exercise spectrum, but the two need not be mutually exclusive. In fact, I found that while yoga teaches the cultivation of body wisdom, presence and deep intuition, running teaches us to challenge ourselves and overcome preconceived physical and mental personal limitations.

    Patience is no doubt one of the most important lessons I have learned from my morning struggles to get out of bed before sunrise - after all, until then, I was only used to rolling out of bed onto my yoga mat ... whereas now I am rolling out of bed into my running shoes (!) but more about that later, in another blog.

    Back to beetroot juice...

    To boost my stamina there's nothing better than a simple glass of beetroot juice. A glass early in the morning allows me to exercise for longer before tiring. It also lowers my blood pressure, boosting my heart's health.

    Besides this, my research shows that it is also an excellent source of anti-oxidants and is known to help lower cholesterol. But this is not all! Beetroot also contains the minerals magnesium and silica, both of which help to utilize calcium effectively and maintain healthy bones - very important for runners!

    For more info, see the beetroot juice report from the Queen Mary University of London.

    Or the findings in the Journal of Applied Physiology from the University of Exeter.

    My mom was right: Eat your beetroot and do not spit!
    (Page 1 of 2, totaling 6 entries) next page » 1 2


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