Where have you been all my life you tropical beauty?  Miraculous coconut oil is my absolute champion these days. 
Yes, for me it was an eye opener - coming from the diet coke, low fat yogurt generation, the idea that I eat fat and maintain a healthy weight or even lose weight was way out of my sphere of imagination. 

As an energy and metabolism booster, a weight management helper, a cleansing agent and feel good supplement, it has changed my life. No feelings of deprivation, improved skin complexion, loads of energy and knowing that I lift up my heart and soul with eating it has sold me forever. 

For some considerable time in the past, coconut oil used to have a horrifying reputation, because it is composed of saturated fat.  But – this information is shown to be outdated. 

  • We know today that the saturated fat in coconut oil is different from that in animal products. Chemically speaking, the fatty acids in coconut oil are medium-chain triglycerides which are metabolized in the liver and straight away USED as energy by the body (rather than being stored as fat.)

  • Coconut oil boosts our metabolism and promotes weight loss as it prevents insulin resistance. 

  • It also increases the presence of good HDL in your body  (HDL is the “good guy” in the group of cholesterols which are commonly found in natural foods). 

  • Coconut oil offers antimicrobial and antibacterial properties, which means it supports your immune system. That's why I use it first thing in the morning for oil pulling, as it keeps my digestive system in a healthy condition and my teeth clean. 

  • Scientific research has shown that Type 2 Diabetes, liver, kidney and cardiovascular problems are all addressed successfully using coconut oil. 

Convinced? No? Ok, here is another one: 

  • Coconut oil can stop your afternoon (or whenever they occur) cravings. Most often we crave sweet, salty or fatty foods because we are nutritionally starving. Coconut oil is an amazing source of fat. Letting you feel nourished and satiated. 

Now it’s your turn beautiful, give it a go and buy organic virgin coconut oil and replace all the oils you normally use. Trust me, you will love it (+ the way you feel and look.) 

Note: Because of the taste, I still use olive oil for my Italian dishes.  But other than that, in my kitchen these days: roast vegetables, sugar free granola and all my other cooking experiments are created with coconut oil. 

To your health & radiance wellness yogis! 

If you feel bloated, constipated and congested or have gained unwanted weight (even though you are not eating more food and are exercising regularly). If your your hair and skin is looking less healthy than normal, you feel foggy and out of sorts, low in energy, moody or recognise a decrease in libido, your body might send you the urgent message that it has to deal with a high load of toxins. 

These toxins can be from food, e.g. processed foods, non-organic vegetables, air, water, mood, clothing, your cell phone, to little water intake, high coffee and milk consumption, too much alcohol, ..the list is long.   

What then happens to your body is that the toxins bind essential minerals, thus making them unavailable to the body, they damage the lining of the gut and inhibit digestion and absorption of essential nutrients, including protein which might be a reason why you consistently feel food deprived. 

Toxins also find their home in fat cells, a reason why you might not be able to loose weight or have gained weight. 

Use these following simple steps as the beginning for an increasingly clean life. Bring your awareness to where you are exposed to toxins and make little changes, that will help you to a clearer and healthier body and mind (which then will give you easier excess to the essence of your real, amazing being): 

  • Eliminate or (at least and to begin with) reduce your intake of sugar, saturated fats, alcohol, coffee and cigarettes and notice what difference it makes.
  • Minimize the use of chemical-based household cleaners and health care products (shampoos, deodorants, toothpastes) and replace them with natural alternatives.
  • Reduce stress (with meditation, yoga, surfing or bushwalking for example). Stress hormones in large amounts create toxins and slow down detoxification enzymes in the life.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Increase your vitamin C intake.
  • Cleanse and protect your liver by drinking dandelion root tea.
  • Eat plenty of fibre (e.g. organic cabbage, broccoli and seaweed).
  • Learn how to breathe properly (eg. in your yoga class).
  • Focus on the positive things in life. Focus! 
  • Move! Exercise and yoga are excellent to reduce stress and remove toxins from your body

Go for it Wellness Yogi! Choose one or two of the tips above and try them out for week. Before you begin, note how you feel.  After the week, note again and let me know how you go!

To your beautiful health! 

If you like this article, feel free to share it with your friend and let me know how you go! 
Hey, Namaste! It's day seven of our #30days2cLean challenge! 

I thought I transfer some of the challenges to my blog, so that the non-instagrammer too can join in. It's never too late to do the challenge guys. Check out the recap at the end of this post, every little challenge is an adjustment you add to your day. If you can tick off all of them every day, your are on to something! 

Day no 7: Relax a little. Yoga is a great holistic tool everyone can learn!

Again, we are looking at the pretty hormone cortisol. 

Cortisol plays a key role in our metabolism and our body's fight-or-flight response. 

Normally, cortisol converts fat and protein into energy (which is great!). It keeps us alert, regulates the heart beat, balances electrolytes and counteracts inflammation. If experienced short term it is protective and restorative. High five cortisol! 

However, under chronic stress your body releases cortisol all the time, which eventually wears out your adrenal glands so that they have trouble to respond to stress approriately. 

Instead of a healthy and efficient food-energy conversion you may experience impaired digestion, a sluggish metabolism, a decrease of mental functions (What did I say?) and prolonged cell regeneration and healing. It can lead to muscles loss (note: muscles burn calories), increased fatigue (which might be the reason why you have a hard time getting up early to exercise), increase of appetite and cravings for sugary and fatty foods. 

Yoga, joyful activities like walking, surfing, making love, soaking up some sun to increase vitamin D production, spiritual work and self developmental efforts or simply doing nothing are superb to counteract chronic stress.

Let's look at some common stress factors in your life, like a busy lifestyle, constant feelings of guilt, unresolved relationship problems, permanent stress at work, an unbalanced diet, high caffeine consumption, sleep deprivation, burnout and calorie restriction. I am sure you can pinpoint some of these in your life. The list is certainly not exhaustive. 

Now it's on you: be radically honest and write a list of the stressors in your life. Anything that lets you feel a little bit uneasy is one. Catch it and behind each one brainstorm how you could address it, change perspective or just let it go. 

I hope you are going well with your healthy pursuits. I am with you! Everyday! 
sources: womentowomen.com, mayoclinic.com, adrenalfatigue.org
I am just back from the yogic yoga & health retreat and feel incredibly amazing, lighter, brighter and somehow uplifted. (My husband Will even said that I was glowing when I came back home!). 

Because of the detox headache some of my retreaters (and myself) experienced, we discussed one possible reason for that, the caffeine story, quite extensively. 

Eliminating or reducing caffeine out of our diet is also part of the present #30days2cLean challenge were I introduce the challenger to gradual habitual changes for a cleaner (and leaner) life that will support their yoga practice and their emotional, spiritual and physical complexion.

Have a look how caffeine can influence your whole being (holistic health wise and weigh loss related) and how you can reduce or eliminate it for good: 

What is does: 

  • Caffeine is acid-forming. To be healthy and glowing we want to eat foods that help us to raise alkalinity of our blood and body. 
  • Caffeine can deplete you of nutrients. Heavy coffee or black tea consumption can result in vitamin B deficiency. Which can make us feel fatigued, achy and nervous. Nutrients can't be absorbed effectively in our small intestines, which may lead to more nutritional deficiency. 
  • Dark circles under the eyes and sweet cravings? Caffeine stresses the adrenals. It can irritate the lining of the stomach and promotes gastric acidity. So we secrete adrenaline, which stimulates insulin secretion, which then can turn into hypoglycemia. If you experience dips in energy, moodiness or your are craving sweets a few hours after you had your last chai latte, you might be able to connect the dots now. 
  • Too much caffeine can overload the liver which effects its ability to efficiently burn fat and cleanse other toxins in our system. Which then impedes us having clean blood and the ability to regenerate and grow healthy tissue.  
  • Too much caffeine increases our levels of the hormone cortisol. Cortisol is linked to excess fat storage, especially around our bellies.

Caffeine and yoga: 
You wonder why you feeling stiff at your 6 pm yoga class? Remember the cup of black tea in the morning, during morning tea, at lunch and maybe after work with your friend? Coffee is a diuretic, which means it takes water out of your body. Up to 70% of our body is water. You draw the conclusion.                        

Yoga practice is about balance and riding the waves of the mind in order to be able to listen to our intuitive spirit, our light that (we know) is our real guide. May it be sugar, coffee or other stimulants, they create an electrical roller coaster in our nervous system, which makes it definitely harder to achieve yoga - union. 

How to let go off caffeine :
Be quick! Let it go. I know, you love it (so do I) but really, that you can't give it up is your own story you are telling yourself. And you can change this story. (I do love surfboards, but I don't buy them all the time. It is just too expensive and there are many other things I like to spend my money on. I am trying to find a balance.) If you change your inner script about coffee, you can change your caffeine habit to the better and be able to reduce or even completely eliminate it out of your life. Yes, you can! 

Be mindful. Expect symptoms of caffeine withdrawals (and a pretty good evidence how toxic caffeine really is): 
Headaches, sleepiness, irritability, lethargy, constipation, muscle pain/stiffness, lack of concentration, flu-like symptoms and insomnia. Don't worry: THIS WILL LEAVE YOU AFTER ONE OR TWO DAYS. Trust me here you will feel amamamaaaaazing. 

Alternatives to getting a caffeine hit on an energy slump:

  • Drink water. Often times tiredness is related to dehydration. 
  • Replenish with coconut water. You haven't tried it yet? Coconut water rehydrates you and helps you over the energy slump, letting you fly over possible sugar cravings. 
  • Exercise. Get out and inhale some fresh air. Go for a walk, a swim or just hop on your mini trampoline! 
  • Sleep. Sometimes a rest is better running on artificial fuel to push through the day. 

What helps you for mental clarity?

  • Ginseng: Ginseng has been used to reduce depression an stress. It helps you to feel more awake and alert. 
  • Yerba Mate as a transition drink: Yerba Mate has a similar chemical compound as caffeine in coffee but with fewer negative side effects. Studies have even shown that it reduces anxiety and insomnia. 
  • Vitamin B12: is know for its mental and energy enhancing properties. 

I wish you well and hope to inspire you to try it out. Let go of caffeine and let me know how you go.

I am so honoured to have you being part of the tribe. Remember, if you liked this content, feel free to share this article with your family, friends and those who would benefit from it.