This post is sponsored by BabbleBoxx.com.
Did you know that September is National Yoga Month? If you’re new to yoga, this is a great time to explore its benefits – from increasing muscle strength and flexibility, to improving mental discipline and awareness. Have a few hours (or even just a few minutes) to spare in your schedule? Try out a class, or practice yoga on your own at home (Youtube has loads of videos to follow along to).
But it doesn’t stop there. Yoga Month is also about living a healthier, more balanced lifestyles overall. It’s a time to take a step back from the flow of our daily routines and look at what we could change or swap out to better our body, mind, and soul. Need some inspiration? Here are six tips and easy lifestyle upgrades that will help you reduce stress and find peace – mentally, physically, and spiritually.
Fuel Your Body
Whether your doing yoga, Pilates, or an intense workout, always fuel your body before exercising, or else you risk losing that lean muscle you worked so hard to build. In a rush? A quick and easy way to feed your body with protein and energy is to whip up a quick shake – just blend milk, fruits and/or veggies, and whey protein, and you’re good to go.
Whey is my favorite smoothie additive because its packed with protein and nutrients, and is quickly absorbed by our bodies, making it perfect for both pre- and post-workouts, quick breakfasts, and even evening snacks. It has also been found to improve immunity, boost your mood, and of course, build muscle mass and strength! (1)
Lately, I’ve been mixing Ascent’s Native Fuel Whey Protein Powder into my pre-workout and morning smoothies. I love that it has a clean ingredient list and uses Native Whey – the least processed whey protein available today. The flavors are also delish and include Vanilla Bean, Chocolate, and Lemon Sorbet (my favorite – it takes like a lemon cookie!). You can get them in both large bags and single servings for on-the-go. And don’t forget a shaker bottle! Just add water + powder, and shake it up for a quick energy boost – anywhere, anytime. Available at Ascent Protein (Use code “YOGA” for 10% off)
Sitting back and a reading book is an amazing mental stress reliever. But they can also help inspire you, motivate you, and even give you a whole new perspective on life. They’re food for the mind and soul. One inspiring book to put on your radar is Love Warrior by Glennon Doyle, a #1 New York Times Bestseller and Oprah Book Club pick. In this memoir, Glennon shares her journey of self-discovery and healing after a broken marriage. Through it, she encourages us to be the warriors we were all born to be – in life and love. It’s a must read for anyone married, or planning to get married. Here are just a few of my favorite quotes from her book:
“We know what the world wants from us. We know we must decide whether to stay small, quiet, and uncomplicated or allow ourselves to grow as big, loud, and complex as we were made to be. Every girl must decide whether to be true to herself or true to the world. Every girl must decide whether to settle for adoration or fight for love.”
“You are not supposed to be happy all the time. Life hurts and it’s hard. Not because you’re doing it wrong, but because it hurts for everybody. Don’t avoid the pain. You need it. It’s meant for you. Be still with it, let it come, let it go, let it leave you with the fuel you’ll burn to get your work done on this earth.”
Balance Your Gut
Keeping a balanced gut microbiome is essential for feeling healthy, happy, and energized. Only then can our bodies properly digest our food and extract all of the nourishing nutrients. One way to promote a healthier, balanced gut is by eating cultured foods, like yogurt, miso, kefir, kimichi, or kombucha.
My boyfriend introduced me to kombucha about a year ago, shortly after he discovered it through the Brothers Green on Youtube. Ever since, I’ve been addicted its bubbly, slightly tart herbal flavor, and its amazing health benefits. Until we finally perfect our own at-home recipe, we’re been buying ready-made kombucha at our local health food store, including KeVita’s new Master Brew Kombucha. Inside their bottles are billions of live probiotics and active cultures that help balance your gut, organic acids that help kill bad bacteria, organic caffeine for a little energy boost. They come in tasty flavors too, like Blueberry Basil, Roots Beer, and Dragonfruit Lemongrass. (And although it can give you a slight buzz too, it is verified non-alcoholic!)
Ditch the Sugar
If you’re looking for a healthier way to satisfy your sugar cravings or make your coffee sweeter without the 3-4 spoonfuls of sugar (guilty!), swap it out for Stevia, a natural, cleaner alternative to sugar. Stevia is an extract from the stevia rebaudiana plant and is zero cal, more potent in flavor than sugar (so you don’t need to use as much), and doesn’t have the same glucose or insulin elevating effects of sugar. I’ve currently been using Organic Stevia In The Raw® in my afternoon teas and coffee drinks. It provides the perfect amount of sweetness, plus it has a clean ingredient list, is certified organic and vegan, non-GMO project verified, and naturally gluten-free.
To avoid visiting the vending machine and filling our tummies with fatty, sugary, salty treats, keep an office desk drawer stocked at all times with clean, healthy snacks. All-natural, paleo bars are a great option (if not one of the best!) for their clean ingredients lists. My favorites? B.O.S.S. Bars. Every single ingredient inside their bars is a superfood, in its raw, unprocessed form. There are five different bar types, each with different benefits. SMILE, for example, contains natural mood-boosters like pumpkin seeds and banana, while THINK is packed with brain foods like blueberries and walnuts. The bars are all certified Paleo, gluten-free, and packaged in 100% compostable wrappers. And to top it off, they taste amazing. Available on Amazon & Boss Food Co. (Get free shipping on any 5-pack and/or case of 12 on BOSSFoodCo.com with code BABBLEBOSS, valid until 10/15/17.)
Stay Fresh & Balanced
After a workout, yoga session, or anytime of day, body and shower wipes can be your best friends. But when it comes to taking care of our lady parts down there, regular wipes and soaps can be harsh and cause our natural pH levels to get all out of whack. And when that happens, it can lead to itching and odors. Instead, opt for cleansing clothes that are specially designed for your most sensitive areas, like Simply Summer’s Eve™ Cleansing Cloths. They’re hypoallergenic, gynecologist-tested, and use gentle cleansers (rather than harsh alcohols and soaps) to remove odor-causing bacteria while maintaining our natural pH levels. Simply toss ’em in your bag for anytime you need a little refresher.
SHOP THE POST
Have you made any changes recently towards a healthier, happier lifestyle? Let me know in the comments!