Are you getting enough magnesium in your diet? Find out what foods to eat and why. 

Sometimes the answers are right underneath our noses. Nuts, spinach, pumpkin seeds and fish. They are just food choices. You don’t have to invest in expensive supplements or take pills every day. Just choose a balanced healthy diet.

Photography by Rizwan Alvi @rizwanalvifoto

I did some research on magnesium and was surprised at how many health benefits there are and how necessary it is for our health. Magnesium allows the body to transmit nerve impulses, regulate body temperature, clean out toxins, produce energy and form healthy bones and teeth.

For women, magnesium keeps osteoporosis that day and relieves premenstrual syndrome (PMS).

But that’s not all. Other crucial health benefits of magnesium include protein synthesis, lung function, boosting the functionality of vitamin B6 and cholesterol, improves muscle function and prevents a multitude of problems such as insomnia, constipation, heart attacks, migraines, kidney stones and hypertension.

So, what should you be eating to make sure you have enough magnesium in your body?


Magnesium treats migraines, insomnia and depression. Studies show that magnesium also treats diabetes. It has been proven that for everyone hundred milligrams of increase in magnesium intake daily, there was a 15% decreasing the risk of developing type two diabetes.


For females 31 years or older it is suggested that you take 320 mg of magnesium a day. For males 31 years and up is recommended to take 420 mg of magnesium per day. Last magnesium is needed per day for younger people and more is needed for pregnant women. Check with your doctor and do you research!

Another great reason to snack on almonds and eat spinach every day! What are your favorite ways of getting magnesium into your diet?

xxSerena

Adult face acne: where you get a zit may reflect what’s happening inside your body

A few years ago I got a really great collagen facial in Las Vegas. The esthetian told me with confidence that when pimples show up on your face is a reflection of what is happening on the inside.

She explained that there were zones on the face, where pimples showed up, if there was an imbalance. 

For example, if you get a pimple on your chin area it reflects an emotional strain. Perhaps you were going through a break up or another type of emotional worry?

  
Do you believe this is true? Does inflammation, acne or red spots on the face indicate what is happening internally, inside of your body?

xxSerena 

Your body on yoga: 10 reasons to go to a class today

Yoga helps the body prevent an injury or decrease the amount of time it takes to recover from one in my experience. 

A regular, consistent practice brings about an awareness between your mind and your body. This “awareness” is what, in my opinion, prevents injury. In yoga, we learn to slow down, in effect, doing things “properly.” 

This slowing down balances our every day “speeding” through life trying to get to a destination. In haste, mistakes are made. Busy is an old concept.

  
Quality comes from doing something properly, making mistakes, learning from them, having a sense of satisfaction, doing the work you love with care. 

Someone wise once told me, “the fastest way to do something is to do it slowly.” What that means is do things properly the first time. Don’t rush. Don’t push too hard. 

Be graceful. Be kind. Soft and understanding. Generous. And yoga is not about competition. Don’t look at others around you. Focus on your own body, your own balance, your own strength.

  
Yoga has brought me balance, happiness, strong body, perspective, forgiveness, peace and love.

I encourage you to go take a class today!

xxSerena 

Eight mindful perspectives on changing your attitude

It’s easy to judge. It’s easy to point the finger at someone else or even yourself and pass judgment. But how fruitful is that attitude, way of thinking?

Someone sent me this and it made me think:

  
And that made me think about how often we do this. Everyone of us. We all do this, all the time. We probably do it multiple times every single day. Is it the best thing to do? Is it accurate? Does it serve us and our purpose as well? Does it help us achieve our goals? Is doing this in line with our greater mission statement? Do we really know what’s going on?

Things are often not what they seem.

Human beings are not perfect, but we can be reminded of right and wrong. 

  
I like ideas like generosity, letting go, patience and non-judging. I think also it’s just a matter of reminding yourself when you do something that’s hurtful or unproductive… It’s not really benefiting anyone, including yourself.

I’m going to try my best to remember these eight things.

xxSerena

Meditation in 12 steps

We chase after things, opportunities, people, etc because ultimately we all just want peace … And happiness. 

But some say we have everything we need already. That chasing after something will not bring any more happiness. Some say, the answer (to achieving peace and happiness) is found within. 

I think, as with everything, there is a balance to this idea. But just as we focus on the physical and our mental states we must also make room for our spiritual growth. 

This means, not only securing food, shelter, clothing, challenge, kindness, generosity, knowledge; but also securing our spiritual health. Exercising our mind-body connection can bring about a greater sense of awareness, peace and happiness.

  

xxSerena 

23 things to do when you are sad

  1. Start reading a mystery novel
  2. Drink a cold glass of fresh water
  3. Roll down a hill
  4. Buy yourself a bouquet of flowers
  5. Cook a big pot of spaghetti
  6. Read a comic book
  7. Eat a piece of chocolate
  8. Cry it out, pick yourself up and then smile after
  9. Write down 10 things you are truly grateful for
  10. Tell someone you love them
  11. Write in your journal
  12. Go to a yoga class
  13. Pray
  14. Do a small, fun, easy craft project
  15. Take a walk through the farmers market
  16. Listen to live music
  17. Complete a puzzle
  18. Write a love poem to yourself
  19. Steam your face over a simmering bowl of flowers or essential oil
  20. Have your friend give you a make over
  21. Go to a community art class
  22. Call one of your best friends and talk for an hour on the phone
  23. Remember that this time next year things will be different and better

Here are 23 other things to do when you are sad:

  
What do you do when you are sad?

xxSerena

Three helpful yoga stretches for back pain

Back pain can be debilitating. And if your muscle sprains, or seizes up, it can hurt to sit or stand or just breathe!

And it can happen to anyone: cab drivers, chefs, teachers, athletes, doctors, artists or even physiotherapists. 

Here are three yoga poses I urge you to try even with serious back pain. One might not work, but the other two may.

  

One important point about muscle sprains in your back is that there is nothing worse than bedrest. Keep your body moving, even though they will be gentle movements.

xxSerena 

Five detox water recipes to cleanse your liver

Detox out of the box! And dive into the water. By detoxing I mean giving your body a change from what it’s used to. For this blog post, I am talking about simply giving your liver a break from overly processed, oily, fatty, protein-rich foods. Why? 

Protein rich foods take a long time to digest. They’re made of complex chains of amino acids, different organs have to break them down and use them in different parts of the body. These foods are crucial, but sometimes, the body needs a break. Eating rich foods like meat, oils or drinking alcohol has our liver and other organs working overtime. With some people, it shows up in their skin with a dull complexion or acne.

Our liver can handle it of course. But overworking it isn’t wise. Give your liver a break. What’s the best way to do this? Deep slow controlled breathing like you do in yoga class. Meditate. Smile and be kind to others. Be genuine. Sleep well. These things will relax your body and organs, including your liver. And …

Drink water. 

Water will flush out toxins and metabolize fat. 

But if you dislike water or find it boring, here are five ways you can dress up your water:

  

Now, if you are eating so clean already that a detox like this is going to be exactly the same as what you are already doing, please stop reading this blog and go get a big Mac. Seriously. Or pizza. Balance is key! But for those of you who are living a little or a lot, if you have excess fat around your midsection, or if you are eating too much sugar, drink more water.

Drink water all day long. Do you dress up your plain old water? I love it just as it is, but I do love fruity flavours! My favorite additions to water are cucumbers and lime.

Do you ever dress up your water? What do you do?

xxSerena 

Cooking tips for the best roasted potatoes: crispy on the outside fluffy on the inside

Potatoes get a bad reputation. Women think they’re fattening and since they are so delicious fried, we see them as “heavy.”

Unfortunately we have the same reservations about using butter or other kinds of fats like avocados. 

The truth is, potatoes are delicious and healthy when not deep-fried. They make a great side to chicken, veggies, fish or steak.

Ingredients:

Six medium russet potatoes, cubed 

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons salted butter

Two sprigs fresh oregano leaves

Juice of half large lemon

Salt and pepper

Directions:

  1. Partially peel and dice each potato into 5 cm cubes.
  2. Boil potatoes in cold salted water.
  3. Add 1 tablespoon of vinegar to boiling water. This will ensure that your potatoes do not overcook.
  4. Boil for 20 minutes. Preheat oven to 400°.
  5. On a large cookie sheet spread drained potatoes out. Toss with butter, or oil, lemon juice, fresh oregano, and salt and pepper.
  6. Bake for 20 minutes. Turn oven off. Let rest in oven for at least 10 minutes.
  7. Enjoy!

  
Here are some tips for healthy roasted potatoes that are delicious: 

Don’t completely peel your potatoes. Keep some skin on for extra vitamins and fiber as well as a crunchy texture. 

Boil your washed and cubed potatoes for 20 minutes before draining thoroughly and roasting. 

When roasting use a combination of butter and vegetable or oil for a crispy exterior.

Allow time for potatoes to rest in pan. Don’t force scraping them off while very hot.

Here is what the potatoes looked like after boiling for 20 minutes. I used russet potatoes for their high starch content. I seasoned with butter, olive oil, salt, pepper, fresh lemon and fresh oregano:

 
Put in oven at 400° for 20 minutes to crisp up. Let potatoes rest in oven, with the heat off, for 10 minutes.
 
What is your favorite way to eat potatoes? 

Six pack abs exercises and abdominal workout just for you

Strength training is as important as flexibility training and cardiovascular exercise. The three work hand-in-hand. When working out, I usually leave my abs to the end. The reason is because your abs are getting a work out throughout; cardio, full body workout and maybe a rowing machine.

You don’t want to tire out your abdominal muscles right away because this could compromise your posture for full body exercises. Remember your abs work hand-in-hand with your back. Your entire core is connected.

So be safe. Don’t forget to stretch after your workouts. Warm up before cardiovascular exercise or strength training. This allows your body to gradually increase its temperature, range of movement, flexibility of joints, etc.

Be nice your body. Don’t shock it unnecessarily. 

As for abdominal exercises, there are so many effective ones. Remember to move with your abdominal muscles as you work through. Avoid any strain on your neck. One tip is to look at one spot in the ceiling and keep looking at that same spot as you go through your abdominal exercises, eg. when on your back facing the ceiling. 

  
And also remember to hold your abdominals nice and tight throughout the day. Practice good posture as you walk around the city, sit at your desk, stand in line, cook over the stove or pick up your baby.

What I like about the exercises above is that you are using your own bodyweight. So these exercises are tailored specifically for you. To make this workout more challenging go slower or do more.

what are your favorite abdominal exercises? What are your least favorite? I know that I find some exercises more effective than others.

xxSerena