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      News — MBG

      5 Free & Super-Reliable Ways To Practice Self-Love Daily

      Ultimately self-love is important, yet it’s a term that is bandied about so freely on social media that it has almost become conceptual. What does it mean? And how do we do it? I want to outline some key ways you can show yourself some love in a way that still feels natural, honest, down-to-earth, and accessible.

      Indulge in your vices.

      For instance, maybe eating your favorite indulgence all the time isn’t the best way to show your physical body self-love—but hey, if it nourishes your soul, then the most loving thing you can do for yourself in that moment is to follow your desire and eat the thing while holding a compassionate space for the part of you that loves x, y, or z. Your indulgence doesn't have to be in the form of food, either. Whatever the indulgence of "vice" may be, it’s all about how we frame things. If you indulge and beat yourself up with negative thoughts, that’s not the most loving thing you can do for yourself. It’s about how much pleasure we can bring into our lives and how much we can hold a loving space for all aspects of ourselves. Having a vice doesn’t make us "bad," nor does it undo all the "good" things we do for ourselves. Being contrived and contracted around things and trying to cling to control is doing more harm than good in itself.

      Choose happy when you can.

      Why do you drink green juice, take adaptogenic herbs, go to yoga, walk in the park, or meditate? Hopefully, it’s because they make you feel good and enhance your life in more prosperous, generous, and healthy ways—for yourself and others. We all want to be healthy and look good because we believe it is going to make us HAPPY. Yet if we only practice habits that we believe will "make us healthy," without stopping to evaluate how these actions really make us feel, we're not acting in service of ourselves but instead in service of expectations from outer influences.

      Experiment with what works for you.

      If something doesn't enhance your life in any way, it's probably best to avoid it, regardless of popularly held beliefs. A case in point: I stopped drinking green juice because making it didn’t feel fun or joyful. Even though green juice is technically considered healthy and has a plethora of benefits, I found myself begrudgingly washing, chopping, and pressing those veggies every morning to the point where it became a burden. It became an ineffective use of my time and energy and something I came to resent. There was definitely no pleasure in that process, and it also prevented me from enjoying the green juice itself, so I stopped. Even if every wellness guru is telling you something is the best thing in the world, if it doesn’t make you happy, then it’s not the best thing in the world. We get to be our own gurus and choose the parts of Mother Nature that are beautiful and exciting to us.

      Unleash yourself.

      Explore those negative emotions without judgment. When you allow yourself to experience negativity with an open space to feel, and really sink into it, you give yourself permission to acknowledge every shade of you: It's a type of freedom that's loving and free of judgment or disdain—to accept all parts of yourself. Imagine if we could unleash all of our colors. Stepping up and into who we are and accepting all parts—especially the ugly—is very loving. Vulnerability can be frightening at times, but it can also open up the portal into a whole new self.

      Take a moment to pause.

      Sometimes we just need to do nothing—a mindful pause. This is so restorative, soothing, and loving toward our minds and bodies. Simply allow the time and space for our bodies to quiet down. This isn’t something that’s pre-prepared, clearly defined, or set out. It's simply blocking off an hour in your diary and acknowledging the need for time to dive in—dive in to you. Hold no expectations for that time, and set no standards. Don't regiment yourself to "I have to do x, y, z act of self-care in order to take care of myself." Don't put yourself under more stress of even more things to do. Do in that moment as you please—it can be as simple as finding a patch of grass and lying down to look up at the sky and watch the clouds.

      Self-love doesn't sing to the tune of how much kale you ate this week or how many times you had your workout clothes on. Self-love is about how we can relax into ourselves and make space for the freedom to feel, think, and do as we want. If something gives you a kick in your step, puts a cheeky grin on your face, a twinkle in your eye, or gives you a bit more zeal, then please do it! We need more vibrant and alive human beings in the world. Is today the day you choose yourself?

      Stop negative thoughts in their tracks and follow this guide to rewire your brain to welcome positive thinking.

      By Fern Olivia - MBG

      The views expressed in this article intend to highlight alternative studies and induce conversation. They are the views of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of Safe & Chic, and are for informational purposes only, even if and to the extent that this article features the advice of physicians and medical practitioners. This article is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice.

      Eat One Of These 5 Doctor-Approved Breakfasts Daily To Protect Your Heart

      Joel Kahn is a world-renowned cardiologist and the best-selling author of The Whole Heart Solution. He’s also one of the lauded instructors in our first-of-its-kind Advanced Functional Nutrition Program, where we bring the best minds in nutrition together and dive deep into the healing power of food. You can find out more about Dr. Kahn, the rest of the faculty (including groundbreaking doctors like Mark Hyman and Frank Lipman), and this revolutionary training here.

      A 1,000-mile journey on your plant-based diet begins with a single step, and, for many, conquering breakfast is that first step. Starting the day with a nutritious and filling meal free of animal products may be enough of a change from something you have been grabbing at the gas station or coffee shop to keep you focused on moving forward to manage lunch, dinner, snacks, and travel. Here are five of my favorite morning meals that are simple to make, delicious, nutritious, and all plant-based.

      Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal Bowl

      A powerful bowl of cholesterol-lowering oats, blood-sugar stabilizing cinnamon, and natural sources of omega-3 fatty acids from walnuts supports reduced inflammation and optimal heart health.

      Ingredients

      • 1 small apple, chopped
      • 2 tablespoon chopped walnuts
      • ¼ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
      • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
      • 1½ cups water
      • ¾ cup rolled oats
      • pinch of salt
      • 1 tablespoon ground flaxseeds
      • 2 tablespoon raisins
      • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
      • A splash of plant milk

      Method

      1. In a small saucepan, add a little water over medium heat. Add the apple and sauté for 2 minutes.
      2. Add the walnuts, pumpkin pie spice, and cinnamon. Stir and cook for 1 minute.
      3. Add the water and bring to a boil.
      4. Add the oats and a pinch of salt. Turn heat down to medium-low and simmer until oats begin to thicken up.
      5. Add the ground flaxseed (this will help thicken the oatmeal); add the raisins, brown sugar, and a splash of plant milk. Cook until thick.
      6. Serve in a bowl, top with a splash of vanilla plant milk, and add a sprinkle each of brown sugar, walnuts, raisins, and fresh apple slices, if you desire.

      Avocado Toast

      Enjoy the health boost from 100 percent whole grains (studies show they reduce mortality from all causes, including heart disease) while experiencing the proven cholesterol-lowering action of whole avocado. Sprinkle with seeds, and you get an extra dose of fiber and omega-3s!

      Ingredients

      • 1 avocado, cut in ½-inch dice. Discard the seed.
      • A pinch of salt and pepper to taste if desired.
      • Hemp seeds, flaxseeds ground, or chili flakes (optional)

      Method

      1. Toast your favorite 100 percent whole grain bread.
      2. Mash the avocado. Season to taste
      3. Spread on the warm toast
      4. Sprinkle with hemp, ground flaxseed, or chili flakes.

      Blueberry Apple Oats

      Blueberries, fresh or frozen, are often called brain berries for the boost they can provide to our memory. They also support healthy hearts by reducing oxidative stress.

      Ingredients

      • ½ cup frozen/fresh blueberries (organic preferred)
      • 1 small apple grated (organic)
      • ½ cup rolled oats
      • 1 cup plant milk (e.g., hemp, oat, rice, organic soy, almond)

      Method

      1. Place the blueberries in a saucepan with a splash of hot water. Let them cook for 5 minutes until the blueberries are soft and juicy. Pour into a glass bowl.
      2. Mix the grated apple, oats, and milk in the saucepan and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, until they’re hot and creamy.
      3. Add the blueberry mixture into the oats. Mix together and enjoy.
      4. Feel free to add cinnamon, nuts, etc., on top.

      Blueberry Buckwheat Breakfast

      Buckwheat groats are gluten-free seeds from a plant related to rhubarb. The robust flavor of this quick-cooking gluten-free grain is perfect for salads, soups, and cereal. Buckwheat provides a ton of fiber, vitamins, nutrients, and minerals that may lower inflammation and cholesterol.

      Ingredients

      • 1 cup buckwheat groats, soaked overnight
      • 2 cups blueberries (fresh or frozen, organic preferred)
      • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
      • ½ cup nondairy milk or water
      • 1 banana
      • Juice of half a lemon
      • 1 teaspoon vanilla

      Method

      1. Cover buckwheat with water in a bowl. Let sit overnight. The next morning, drain and rinse very well.
      2. Using a blender blend the blueberries with maple syrup until very smooth. Remove about ¼ cup of the blueberry puree and set aside.
      3. Add the buckwheat groats, milk or water, banana, lemon juice, and vanilla to the remaining blueberry puree in the blender, and blend until smooth.
      4. Pour into bowls and swirl the remaining puree into the bowls.
      5. Top with berries or seeds or nuts.

      Strawberry Quinoa Flakes

      Starting off the day with spices and strawberries provides your brain and cardiovascular system with needed nutrients. The protein-rich quinoa twist provides an extra boost of energy.

      Ingredients

      • ⅓ cup quinoa flakes (available in many grocery stores)
      • 1 cup water
      • ½ cup frozen or fresh strawberries (organic preferred)
      • pinch of cinnamon

      Method

      Put all the ingredients in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat to simmer. This will cook in about 1 minute!

      Article by: MBG - by Joel Kahn, M.D.

      Photo: Photo: Babett Lupaneszku

      The views expressed in this article intend to highlight alternative studies and induce conversation. They are the views of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of Safe & Chic, and are for informational purposes only, even if and to the extent that this article features the advice of physicians and medical practitioners. This article is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice.

      Are You Living An Anti-Cancer Lifestyle? Here's What To Do

      Of all the diseases plaguing this world, cancer is one of the most potent. Generally, about 5 to 10 percent of cancer cases in the world are thought to be hereditary. So what is the leading cause of cancer? And what can we do to prevent it? One answer is lifestyle.

      It is important to understand that there are three kinds of people. Some are blessed and simply don't develop cancer, regardless of how much they drink or what they eat. Others, no matter how health-conscious they are, will fall prey to some form of cancer in their lifetime, despite their best efforts not to. However, for most of us, the risk of developing cancer is determined by the lifestyle we choose to adopt.

      That being said, here are the seven highly influential lifestyle factors that can help in fighting and preventing cancer:

      1. Eat the right food.

      Research shows that eating foods based on fruits, vegetables, whole grain pasta and bread, legumes, and nuts will protect against many types of cancers, including lung, mouth, bowel, colon, pancreatic, and more. These foods are rich in minerals, vitamins, phytochemicals (like beta-carotene, found in carrots), and fiber, which boosts the immune system and regulates the digestive system. For example, fiber is known to prevent constipation. Why is that important? Chronic constipation, if left unchecked, can lead to colon cancer. Among other benefits, these foods also have anti-inflammatory and detoxifying properties and incredible antioxidation power that actively fights cancer cells. Incorporating these healthy foods into our lifestyle can help proactively reduce the risk of many types of cancer. Eating moderate helpings of fruits and vegetables in our diet is a good starting point.

      Conversely, some foods contain elements that can increase the risk of cancer. Limiting or eliminating these foods is a step toward a healthier diet:

      • Junk foods, including chips and sugar-rich ice-cream, sweets, and soft drinks. Soft drinks are rich in sugar, which can iinfluence cancer cell growth.
      • Diet soft drinks. These contain aspartame, which is linked to cancer (they may have Sucralose/Splenda or Acesulfame potassium Ace-K, which is also unhealthy).
      • Processed meat.
      • Red meat, such as beef, lamb, or pork.
      1. Exercise regularly.

      Along with eating properly, you need to include regular exercise in your routine. Exercise increases the removal of waste product from your body. This is a critical step in achieving the optimum health benefits of exercise, including the prevention of cancer.

      Although the recommendation is to stay active, putting in all of your effort at the gym is not necessary. Even a 30-minute brisk walk every day can increase the body's activity and strength. To spice up your exercise, try something out of the ordinary and fun like jumping on a trampoline. Jumping prompts "self-propelled immune cells" to become up to five times more active.

      1. Go to sleep.

      We spend almost a third of our life in bed. It's about time we make it count. An erratic sleep schedule can negatively affect your metabolism, which can lead to obesity and a propensity for diseases like diabetes and, yes, cancer. Lack of sleep may also adversely affect decision-making. When we become exhausted and overwhelmed, we think less clearly and often choose the easiest way out when it comes to eating. Try to fall sleep and wake up at the same time, getting six to eight hours of sleep each night. Avoid caffeinated products (like coffee and soda) at night, as they keep you awake.

      Sleep is when your body rests, relaxes, and regenerates. Old cells die off, and new ones take their place. Just as a phone's battery can wear out if charged insufficiently, our body can be left vulnerable and weak if we don't get enough sleep. No matter how much effort you put into eating right and exercising, it can all be a waste if you don't get enough sleep.

      1. Quit smoking.

      Smoking e-cigs or cigarettes exposes the body to carcinogens and narcotics (from tobacco) that never belonged in the body in the first place. This means that chemicals and narcotics (such as nicotine) can cause adverse reactions in the body, as well as cause an addiction. Smoking can lead to mutations and cause heart disease, which may develop into mouth, throat, lung, pancreatic, bladder, and/or kidney cancer. It is best to ask your doctor for preventive strategies or seek an expert's help through addiction hotlines to help you quit smoking.

      1. Drink, in moderation.

      While drinking alcoholic beverages in limited quantities can be beneficial, overconsumption can be bad for the liver and the rest of the body. Liver cells can mutate and reduce effective functionality, which can cause liver and heart diseases. Since the liver cannot purify the body of toxic materials, it can lead to cancerous growths throughout the body.

      Research indicates that drinking more than one drink per day (for women) and two drinks per day (for men) regularly over time can increase the risk of developing cancer. If you are drinking more than in moderation, seek the advice of professionals and rehabilitation centers, and consult with your own doctor for tips on cutting down on alcohol consumption.

      1. Maintain a healthy weight.

      Being overweight or obese, defined as having a body mass index (BMI) over 25, puts you at a higher risk of developing numerous cancers, including esophageal, pancreatic, colon and rectal, endometrial, kidney, breast, gallbladder, ovarian, liver, prostate, and/or stomach cancer. The fat stored in your body can produce estrogen (which can also lead to breast cancer) or proteins that cause inflammation and insulin resistance, resulting in tumor cell growth.

      One way to manage your weight and prevent these risks linked to obesity is to eat healthier foods, as suggested above. Establish a routine for eating, take smaller portions of food, and take breaks between meals so the body has time to digest the food properly and get on with breaking down fats. A combination of each of these steps will help you maintain a lean figure while decreasing your chances of developing cancer.

      1. See your doctor regularly.

      Regular cancer screenings can help identify precancerous growths and stop them before they develop and/or spread to the rest of the body. A routine colonoscopy screening can detect polyps (benign clump of intestinal cells) and remove them before they fully develop into cancer. Consult your doctor during your next regular checkup for which cancers screening tests you should go for.

      Contrary to popular belief, cancer is not just a matter of circumstances or chance. More often than not, it is very much within your control. A healthy lifestyle can definitely help prevent cancer. For the new year, it's time that we make a stand to protect ourselves against cancer.

      Written by: Thehang (Hannah) Luu, MD

      MBG -Mind Body Green article. Photo by stocksy.