Female, Food

How to change your diet to make you feel better during menstruation

Being on the period can feel like a curse sometimes. We have cramps, our energy levels are as low as our mood and we crave unhealthy food. Many of us struggle with PMS, turning our bleeding time into pain and exhaustion. 

But it doesn’t have to be that way. Contradictory to what most people believe, it is not natural for us to suffer during our menstruation. It only our unhealthy lifestyle that makes us suffer. Too much stress and unhealthy eating habits lead to more problems during our menstruation.

PMS and other symptoms are indications which point out that we need to take better care of ourselves. You’re body is telling you to slow down and listen to it. If  you just take pills you basically tell you’re body to shut up, setting yourself up for even more pain in the long run. So while it’s of course completely okay to take a pill against the strong cramps when needed, medication can’t be the permanent solution.

A way better, more holistic and healthy way is changing your diet and being aware of the special needs your body has while you’re on your period. By eating better you can heal your body and decrease PMS and other problems naturally. 

During menstruation, our main reproductive hormones decrease. Due changes in hormone levels our body needs some specific nutrients more than usually. 

Especially important nutrients are:


  • Magnesium


  • Omega-3

  • Iron


  • Vitamin B6

During menstruation it is important to increase the intake of these nutrients. Supporting your body in this way you create the optimal base for a healthy moontime.

As our bodies are especially sensitive in this time, there are some foods to be avoided during our period:


  • Too much salt 

Salt causes bloating and water retention, which is something that for most of us already happens during our period so we really don’t want to increase that.

  • Coffee or other caffeinated drinks

Consuming caffeine during menstruation can lead to some serious issues like increased PMS symptoms, anxiety and sleep problems. For more information read this.

  • Animal products

Animal products are generally problematic and contain loads of hormones and medications that can mess with a woman’s cycle. Just let them animals live it’s also healthier for you!

  • Processed foods

Okay, we all know how bad these are for us. But especially during our periods it’s hard to ignore our cravings. But good news – literally every unhealthy snack can be made healthy. There are so many amazing recipes out there, just google your craving and see what you find.
Balance is key. During your period, you should be extra mindful of your eating habits. Keep eating a balanced diet, increase the intake of the important nutrients and cut out unnecessary junk (of course some chocolate here and there okay) and you’ll have a much better experience of your moontime.

Namaste 💜


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Mind, Soul

Why it is important to break the silence

Having to life in silence with our problems is one of the worst things that we can go trough. It makes us feel isolated and alone. We feel like you’re the only one who suffers from this particular problem. We feel like it shouldn’t be that way and somehow everybody does it right apart from ourselves. That increases the pain even more because we feel ashamed about not being okay. 
It is only until we finally find the courage to open up to others that we find out that others go through the same thing as we do. This can be immensely relieving because we recognize that we are not aliens or stupid or unworthy and that there are people sharing our experience. Trough sharing our thoughts we find community and feel less alone. 
Knowing we are not alone or strange makes it easier to completely admit our problems to ourselves, which is the first step to healing. Without being able to speak out we have to suffer alone and in the darkness, which makes it incredibly hard to overcome it suffering. 
Breaking the silence takes a lot of courage. It is not easy to show the world what you tried to hide for such a long time. But it is an extremely healing act. Once your are brave enough to take this step, your inner wounds will start to heal. So gather all your strength and get yourself out there. 
If you still feel insecure and don’t think you should share your suffering, here are some important things you should remember:

  

  • You are never alone. 

We are over 7 billion people on earth, no matter how weird your problem may seem to you, someone else is experiencing the same pain. 

  • You will help other people by speaking out. 

There are other people just like you who feel isolated and alone. They long for you to share your problem with the world, so that they too can find relief and start healing. When you open up you don’t only heal yourself I but others too.

  • You can speak out anonymously 

We are blessed with innumerable options for opening up anonymously through the internet. If you are afraid of speaking to people you know, or just don’t have someone who you trust, you can find self help groups in all social networks, blogs or help-hotlines you can call. Just google your problem and you’re sure to find relief. Just stay safe and don’t turn to websites that romanticize your problem. For example there are many sides which basically promote anorexia and while these side provide community they are dangerous and will make your suffering even worse. 
❗️If you feel suicidal there are helplines in every country, just check for your country on this side.

  • The closest people in your life  might just not know what’s going on

Maybe you are so good at hiding your suffering or your relatives and friends are just really busy so that they don’t even know what’s going on. If you have someone you trust it is important for that person to know what’s going on so that they can help you in your healing process. Having a close relative or friends who you open up to can be super comforting and will take you out of you isolation. Even if you feel like nobody will understand you it is worth trying because just the act of breaking the silence is very relieving.

So please folks, never stop yourselves from opening up. Someone cares. Your are not alone and never have been. We are so interconnected, you just need to reach out to someone to find help. And others will find healing in your healing too. So start today with speaking out.
I hope you are all feeling okay and if not, go tell someone!
Namaste 💜

yoga

Why you should start a yoga self practice and how to do it

Against the common belief, we don’t have to take yoga classes to practice yoga. While it’s  helpful to take classes guided by a teacher in the beginning, it is actually far more effective to also practice on your own. 

When you have already learned some yoga poses and techniques, you can easily practice them at home too (Just be careful to not hurt yourself in the process okay?). I’m not saying that you shouldn’t go to yoga classes at all anymore, no, Yoga classes are a wonderful way to learn and to connect and definitely worth visiting, but in my opinion self practice just gets yoga to a completely different level.
There are many advantages to self practice and these are the most important ones:

  • You can do it everywhere

As you don’t need a teacher for your self practice you can easily do it at home, outside in the garden or in your office chair. You don’t even need a lot of space. Just the space of your mat is enough (even though you have to be aware of the surrounding objects so that you don’t hurt yourself, of course). Alternatively, you can also be creative and do little flows on your bed or using the wall as a prop. Try out different things and you’ll have a lot of fun. 

  • It’s good for the busy ones amongst us 

As you don’t need to drive to a studio or visit a teacher, you safe a lot of time. In addition to that you can vary the length of your practice to just what you feel like or have the time for. Some days I will do practice for hours, staying in stretches for what feels like a thousand breaths, other times I just do some 10 minutes of sun salutations and stretches. It all depends on how I feel.

  • Your practice is directly suited for you

In a class you have to go along with the instructions of a teacher, in your practice you just listen to yourself. That means you can work on exactly those areas that you would like to work on, stay in the asanas as long as you like and go with your own pace. All of this is immensely beneficial for your wellbeing and can be a lot of fun because you can do whatever you like. Furthermore you really learn to listen to your body and to respect how you feel.

  • It saves money

Let’s admit it yoga can be expensive. While it’s recommended to start out with a teacher so that you protect yourself from injuries, it’s definitely less expensive to just do it on your own.

  • It’s just fun!

As I already said, you can do whatever you want. Want to make it more of a dance-party-style flow with your favorite music on? Do it! Want to stay in that hip-opener for an hour? Okay! (Just be careful please.) You can really do everything because your self practice belongs to you and only you.

In the begging it may feel awkward to stand on your mat completely without the guidance of your teacher, so here are some tips to help you through that first confusion:

     1. Start with warming up your joints

Do some joint movements, roll out your neck, do some cat and cow movements, just free up every joint that you are going to use during the practice.
    2. Warm-up your body with a flow

Do some sun salutations or similar flows to get your body moving and increase the heart rate. It is really important to be properly warmed up before attempting more difficult poses as you risk injury if you just hop into them. 
    3. Include stretching as well as.       strengthening poses

Yoga is all about creating balance so you have to work your body in all areas. Naturally we tend to do more of what’s easier for us but to really get all the benefit it is important challenge ourselves and balance our body. That’s of course easier said than done and I also fall into that trap a lot (That’s why after 3 years of Yoga I can easily drop into a split without being warmed up but still can’t do a proper chaduranga. It’s just human.).

 

   4.Be creative

You don’t have to go along the beaten path. You can just make up your own rhythm and style. It is up to you. I for example love to do really fluid, kind of dance inspired flows that just feel good.


    5. Challenge yourself (but be careful)

In self practice it’s all about evolving your Yoga practice. So of course we need to challenge ourselves. Maybe you should set yourself a goal for that special pose you want to learn? Or maybe you want to try a completely ne one? You can do it! Just make sure that you don’t overdue it, too much ambition can easily result in injury. 
  

  6. Always end with shavasana

Always, always,always finish off your practice with shavasana. Even though just like on the floor may seem unproductive, it’s really the most important asana. In this pose you calm your body down and give it a chance to really absorb the benefit of all the wonderful things you just did. So relax and take this time to be grateful for having shown up for your practice today 


Bonus feature: Include some breathing exercises and meditation at the beggining or end of your practice.
Even if you don’t meditate, just try it out. It will enhance the benefit of your practice, will leave you calmer and more centered.

❗️And most importantly: Stay aware during your practice and focus on your breath to move according to it.            

This is the most essential part of your yoga practice. Awareness of the breath will make  you feel relaxed, refreshed and with more mental clarity. In this way you get the most out of your practice and earn all the wonderful benefits yoga offers.

If you stay consistent with your practice I promise you will see great changes in your body and mind. It’s an easy, fun and cheap way to grow and evolve your practice. So why don’t you just try it out now?

Namaste 💜

Mind

How to stop caring about what other people think about you

We’ve all been there. Someone says something negative about us and immediately anxiety grabs us. We start scolding ourselves: “Why am I like this?! I can’t do anything right!”. We feel unworthy and useless. It is a horrible feeling and has many negative effects on our psyche. Indeed, taking too much interest in the opinions of others can be detrimental for our mental health, causes stress and anxiety, destroys our connection with ourselves because we forget how to decide based upon our intuition and generally just makes life less fun than it’s supposed to be.

However, caring about what other people think about you doesn’t necessarily have to be negative. As social animals we rely on the function of our communities and therefore it’s important to have some set of rules and norms for our behavior. Only with this unspoken social codex can we build stable relationships and groups, as families or companies. 
Moreover, the opinions of others can sometimes provide vital information about unhealed parts of ourselves and help us to advance on our journey. For example if someone points out to you that you’ve been mean to your coworker when he asked that dumb question for the third time in an hour, you might find out that you need to work on your patience and compassion.

Caring about the opinions of others only starts to be a problem if you dwell over the opinions too much. When you start relying on others to assure your sense of self instead of just using their opinions for improvement and then letting them go, you get yourself in trouble. That’s where the suffering starts. 
If we are insecure and without inner connection we start to search for security on the outside. We think that we need to please others and be prefect in order to be accepted and loved, so we stop acting from our inner source and start to try everything to somehow fit into our chosen picture of a perfect human
Just to get this clear, that ideal doesn’t necessarily have to be liked by everyone. We often mistake our strive for recognition as originality and our own personality, while in reality we are only trying living up to a standard that we think will make us accepted and worthy of love. So for example a young girl could try to live up to the ideal of the ‘coolest and most carefree party-girl’, a picture that most definitely doesn’t please the girl’s parents but to her seems like an original way to be as it is admired by her teenage peers. 

We are constantly trying to live up to a standard that we think will make us accepted and worthy of love.

In this desperate attempt to find belonging and self worth, we struggle to make people like us and think of us in a certain way. As we build our whole sense of self upon how other people see us, we are extremely attached to their options and devastated if someone doesn’t like us or sees us the way we want them to. Because we fear losing this secure sense of self we spent our whole life people-pleasing and trying to live up to an unachievable standard of perfection. 
As a result we completely lose the connection to our inner wisdom and knowing, because we only look for outer guidance. But only if we live from our inner source we truly can be happy. Only if we do what brings us joy and happiness will we be content and at peace. This is such a simple truth, yet most people forget about it. 
Always remember: We don’t have to gain the right to be loved. We have the right to be loved and we are loved because we exist. No exceptions.

It is easier to understand this intellectually than to really feel it. We all know how hard it is to get out of the mindset of lack and fear.

But hard doesn’t mean impossible and there are many practices that you can do to help you be the best and most authentic (which means free,happy and confident!) version of yourself. I say practices because they need to be done not only once but on a daily basis and with awareness. Only then can you rewire your mind for a more fulfilled life. This takes time and energy but trust me, it’s worth it.
Your life is way too short to be lived in fear of other people’s opinions. And the world longs for you to share your unique gifts and quirks with the world without holding back. 

So let’s see what you can do to stop caring about what other people think of you:

  •  Remember that people are always going to critize you, no matter what

This may not be what you wanted to hear, but it’s true and can set you free if you really understand it. Everything in this life is completely subjective. Literally everything. One person may like what you’re doing while another person absolutely hates it. You can NEVER please everyone. It’s just not possible. 

So next time when you notice that you’re afraid of criticism remember that there will definitely be criticism. Even if you don’t do anything at all, someone will still criticize you. There’s no way around it, so you might just do whatever you want. And that is incredibly liberating.

  • Remember that nobody thinks about you anyway

Sounds really harsh, but is actually quite liberating too. We spend so much time worrying about what other people may think about us while other people just think about themselves (or what other people may think about them). People are so busy that they most probably don’t even spend a second thinking about you and if they do, it will just be a quick thought which they forget in a blink of an eye. This may make you feel lonely at first, but think about it, if no one thinks about what you’re doing, you can just do anything! You can follow your heart and be wonderfully crazy just as you like without feeling like you’re in the center of attention and have to deliver a perfect show. You’re simply free to be yourself!

  • Grow your self love 

Self love is one of the most important parts of overcoming the fear of the opinions of others. As most of this attachment to external feedback comes from insecurity, it is extremely important to build confidence and a strong sense of self. This can be done by working on loving yourself. Building self love is a quest on its own and superduperhyper important for everything in life. You can grow your love to yourself actively by various techniques such as positive affirmations (google it), doing what you love, caring for yourself, thinking positively, resting when you need it, listening to your intuition and so much more. If you need more help on how to love yourself more, just search the internet, especially YouTube, there are so many helpful informations. For example you can check out this Video by the lovely InfiniteWaters.

  •  Celebrate yourself

You want acceptance and recognition? Well, then give it to yourself! Seriously, you’re the only person who truly needs to approve of what you’re doing. So celebrate every little success. Congratulate yourself for getting out of bed today. Give yourself a pat on the back for finishing that assignment or working out. Celebrate your kindness and good looks. Just be proud about everything that you are. You are perfect and exactly the way you should be.

  • Don’t take yourself too seriously, it’s all just a a game

Yes of course, you are a miracle and your life matters. But still, in the end you’re going to leave this place and literally none of those external values will matter anymore. In the long run, all your perceived failures or success will be forgotten. The only thing that will really matter is if you enjoyed the time you spent here on earth. So of course you should still be ambitious and try to improve yourself and your life, but take it lightly and with a sense of play, for it is just a game and you won’t get out of here alive anyway.

  • Ditch perfectionism

Sorry to inform you, but you can never reach objective perfection because that doesn’t exist. And you don’t even have to. The authentic you with your edges and quirks is far more valuable to this world than any perfect person could ever be. We need your original gifts and talents and not your stress. And stress is the only thing you get when you try to reach perfection. Perfectionism takes the fun out of everything because it makes you feel unworthy all the time. Moreover it may stop you from even trying because you’re afraid that you can’t live up to your expectations. 

So always remember: If you do something, do your best but forget about perfection because that’s bullshit. And never forget to have fun!

  •  Release negative mind patterns

Lastly, it is really important to release the negative mind patterns surrounding this issue. After all, you think the way you think due to your minds conditioning. So in order to really tackle the problem you need to rewire your mind. That can be done by the practices described in this post and by reprogramming your mind with positive affirmations. If you want to learn more about positive affirmations and their utility, check out this post.

🌿🌿🌿🌿🌿🌿🌿🌿🌿🌿🌿🌿🌿🌿

This life is yours and you’re the most important person in it. Don’t let this gift slip out of your hands. Enjoy it fully. Don’t let others dictate what you should do, follow your heart and I promise you will be much more joyful.

Namaste 💜

Mind

How to use positive affirmations

 Most of us have already heard about Positive Affirmations. There are many people out there who say that positive affirmations don’t work, but I think that’s nonsense. Positive Affirmations have helped me turn my life upside down. Without them I would still be stuck in a place of self loathing darkness. As a consequence I’m naturally really fond of them and believe that they have great healing powers.

So why do so many people think that Positive Affirmations don’t work? Because you need to use them correctly.

You can’t just read them or say them thinking “This is wrong and won’t work anyway” because, what an epiphany, you will get exactly what you expect; the affirmations don’t work.
For those of you who don’t know what Positive Affirmations are, here’s a quick introduction:

Positive Affirmations are short, affirming sentences used to rewire your brain to think positively. The aim is to create new neuronal pathways so that you can abandon negative mind patterns and start thinking in more positive ways. While doing that, you increase your life’s quality and reduce stress.
Examples of Positive Affirmations are:

I am secure.

I feel happy and at peace.

My life works out perfectly.

Money flows into my life easily.
The practice of positive affirmations is based on the belief that you can create your physical reality with your thoughts. And while there is a lot of evidence about this (just google manifesting), this is sometimes hard to believe and I won’t dictate what you should think. Just find it out for yourself. But even if you think that this is nonsense, Positive Affirmations can still be very beneficial for you because they simply make you feel more confident, joyful and trusting.
So why do so many people feel like Positive Affirmations are nonsense?

Because they do it wrong. As I said above, it’s not enough to simply read them with negative emotions attached to the practice. You have to in the right mental and emotional state to really get all the benefits.
In order to really make Positive Affirmations work, you need to use them correctly.

So here are some steps on how to use Positive Affirmations:

  • Try to drop into a meditative state

Feel the energy rushing trough your body. Feel your heart beating or listen to your breath. Try to anchor yourself in the present moment so that your mind will be completely open for the seed that you’re planting through the affirmations.

  • Release negativity

If you keep holding on to negative expectations, you will get exactly what you expect. Nothing. So try to forget about your skepticism for a moment and be open. After all, this is not magic. It’s just that repeated thoughts eventually reshape your brain. That’s science, you can google it. 
Trust me!

  • Feel gratitude 

Try to bring your feelings on board by being grateful for what you are affirming, as if it is already true (it most certainly is!). By feeling gratitude you generate a strong positive impulse which will make the affirmation much more effective. As a plus, it will also make you feel good along the way so it’s definitely worth trying.

  • Practice affirmations directly after or before going to bed 

This will increase their effect enormously, because your conscious mind is not active enough to fight against the affirmation so that it can seep right through into your subconscious mind.
Create a set time for affirmation practice.
As said above, good times are directly before going to bed or directly after, but you can choose any time you want. It is only important that you keep practicing every day, because new neuronal pathways are only created through constant repetition.

  • Repeat, Repeat, Repeat

To rewire your mind you need to repeat the new thoughts really often. Only then will they really become part of your habitual thinking. Scientists found out that it takes somewhere between 21 days to 8 months to really create a new belief. So roll up your sleeves and start working.

  • Have fun

Don’t take it too seriously, you want to create a happier and more joyful life, so the road to get there should also be joyful.

Now that you now how to use affirmations, you still need to know which affirmations to use. Luckily the internet is such a big source of wisdom that it’s easy to find just the right thing for everyone.

If you need help, here are my favorite resources:

What are you’re favorite affirmations? Do you like to listen to audios or to read them yourself?

Namaste 💜

Body

How to eat healthy

📸 Header Picture by @livepurejenna
The right diet is an essential topic as we are literally made out of the things that we consume. Our cells are build from the nutrients that our food contains, so we know that we are better off eating healthy foods. But in a time where every kind of information is available for everyone, it is hard to discern myth from truth and most of us are confused when it comes to healthy eating.  

As it turns out there are at least some guidelines in which most scientists agree:

  • Plants are the most important food

They are rich in fiber nutrients and phytochemicals, which our body needs to stay healthy. Have you ever seen someone who claims that they are only eating raw fruits and vegetables? Many of those people seem to be glowing from the inside out. That’s phytochemicals at work there. For more information see this site.

  • We should eat lots of raw foods
  • We should avoid “bad” processed foods and refined sugar

Apart from that opinions differ so vastly, that it is nearly impossible to really set up one standard for a “healthy diet”.
Still, most of us know that we should avoid the “bad”, processed foods and opt for a natural diet. But there are so many trends concerning the “right diet” that it’s easy to get lost and confused. Diet is a very emotional topic. As the saying goes “You are what you eat.” When questioned about their beliefs about diet people are easily offended and therefore discussions about nutrition can get very heated and misleading. 
Furthermore, we tend to rely solely on outside information for what we should eat to be healthy. Which, in my opinion, is completely crazy. Most people would rather type everything that they eat into an app that should tell them how much calories they still need and which nutrients are missing, than simply check how they feel. I’m not saying these apps are completely useless, but they only provide general information for nutrients and are in no way suited to the person. Even if the app knows your weight and activity level, everybody is different and it’s not possible to determine your need for nutrition just by these two measurements. What just baffles me is  that we would rather trust some random statistic than our own body. This distorted belief and too much sugar, addictive chemicals and mental conditioning have left us completely out of touch with our inner wisdom. 

❗️In order to be healthy we need to reclaim the connection to our body. 

It is important to learn to trust that your own body knows best what it needs and that it tries to communicate that to you.
So how can we restore the connection to our body’s needs?

  • Listen to your cravings

Craving certain foods might be just a mental habit to numb certain unpleasant feelings (in that case you should try to work these feelings out instead of eating, try these techniques).
But most of the time cravings tell you that your body lacks a certain nutrient. For example, craving chocolate can indicate a deficiency in magnesium. If you want more information, checkt out this site.

  • Do this magical exercise to let your body tell you if it likes a food 

This might seem a little super stichious, but magically it does work. I learned this technique from the wonderful book “Finding your way in a wild new world” by Martha beck (an amazing book by the way!) and it really is an amazingly easy guidance excercise. So here is how it works:

1. Find out your body’s positive and negative sway reaction  

Stand tall and straight, directly over your feet. Repeat the word “pain” three times and see in which direction your body sways (this can be really subtle so stay attentive) This is your negative reaction. Then repeat the word “calm” three times and again see in which direction your body sways, this is your positive reaction.

2. Check if a food evokes a positive or negative reaction 

Take the vegetable or fruit in your hand and try to become really aware. Then see where your body sways to.

3. Eat the foods which evoke a positive reaction 

Simple as that. And enjoy it.

  • Get creative with healthy foods

Even if you are a person who doesn’t like vegetables, trust me there’s a way in which you will enjoy them too. You just got to find out what you like. There are so many ways. You can eat raw, steamed, mashed, put plants in (green) smoothies… the possibilities are endless, you just have to be creative.

  •  Eat when you are hungry

That may sound simple but in reality most people don’t do it. Sometimes we eat out of boredom even if we’re not hungry, other times we refuse to eat at all because we want to stick to some rule that we think will make us healthy. That’s crap, your body knows exactly when it needs food and when not. Listen to it, not to some guy on the internet.

These methods will reinstall a connection to your inner wisdom. On top of that there are some simple guidelines which will increase the benefit you get out of your food immensely:

  • Eat with awareness 

Being aware while you eat makes it easier for your body to digest the food, increases you connection with your body and will prevent overeating. Sometimes this can be hard as we are so used to eating in front of the TV or while using our phone, but trust me if you practice this for some time it will become easier and you will enjoy your food so much more.

  •  Celebrate every meal

It is amazing that your are blessed to eat this wonderful food that nourishes and heals your body on a daily basis! So every meal should be given the time and space it deserves. Feel grateful for this gift and enjoy it fully.

  • Eat with somebody

Try to celebrate your meal with somebody else. On top of the other benefits just mentioned this will also increase your connection and will make you feel nourished on a soul level.

  • Presentation matters

We are visual animals, so we choose the food that looks appealing to us. If you want your food to make you really happy, just arrange it beautifully. If you need inspiration, just head over to instagram, you will find the most mouthwatering pictures there.

(Just look by looking at this food I become way happier!)


Picture by @thrivingonplants
I hope that this will help you to reclaim you own inner wisdom! And remember, eating is a wonderful thing that should bring us joy, not stress.
So what kind of diet do you eat? Do you have any other tips about how to get back in touch with our bodies?

Namaste 💜