Three Types of Meditations

types-of-morning-meditations_path_webDid you know a little meditation keeps the doctor away?

About 80% of doctor visits are due to stress-related problems. But only a few doctors talk to their patients about stress reduction. Yoga and meditation have surfaced to fame—having at least one out of 10 Americans practice it. Many would suggest practicing meditation in the morning because it prepares the body for the future challenges throughout the day.

Here are three types of meditation you can practice once you wake up in the morning:

Mindful meditation:

This is focused on living in the present. In mindful meditation, you focus your mind on the experience you have at that moment of meditation (flow of your breath, emotions, and thoughts). It’s a practice where you release all your negative energy before the day.

Qi Gong:

This meditation comes from a traditional Chinese medicine where they combine meditation with physical movements and breathing exercises. It is translated as, “life’s energy” where the earth’s energy is circulating your body. It is used to promote health, spirituality and the practice of martial arts. This type of meditation is used to restore and maintain the balance between your physical and mental being.

Transcendental meditation:

This is a type of mantra meditation. It’s a simple technique where you silently repeat a personal word or phrase to yourself. This may lead your mind into a state of peace without needed effort or concentration. And it gets all the affirmation needed at the beginning of your day.

So if you’re feeling too stressed to go to work, or just had a bad day–try one of these practices and see which one fits you.

CKD, The Silent Killer


Kidneys are vital organs.

Our kidneys help control our blood pressure, keep our bones healthy, produce hormones, and remove waste and extra fluid (which becomes our urine.) And although we can live with one functioning kidney, the loss of both kidneys leads to a rapid accumulation of waste and death within a few days time. A serious disease that can lead to this point is called Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD.) CKD affects 1 in 10 people worldwide and is incurable, causing patients to need lifelong care.

Who’s Prone to CKD?

2/3 of cases are due to diabetes and high blood pressure so if you suffer from any of the two, it’s important to get tested right away because high-risk groups include those with diabetes, hypertension as well as those who have a family history of kidney failure. Moreover, African Americans, Hispanics, Pacific Islanders, American Indians, and seniors are also groups that are at high risk for kidney failure.

  • Get tested–two tests can detect CKD: blood pressure, urine albumin and serum creatinine
  • Exercise regularly
  • Maintain a healthy diet that is low in sodium (salt) and sugar
  • Limit alcohol intake
  • Engage in healthy sleep habits (going to sleep at the same time and getting at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep every day)
  • Medicine to lower blood pressure, control blood sugar and lower cholesterol
  • If kidneys fail, a dialysis or a kidney transplant is needed

Tomorrow, on March 8 through the global awareness campaign World Kidney Day, hundreds of places across the globe will offer public screenings and create awareness of this deathly disease as well as provide preventable measures. Keep your family safe and informed by participating in local events and staying up to date with everyone’s health.


Nutrition for Breakfast


A great day starts with breakfast.

Breakfast kick-starts your metabolism, helps you burn calories throughout the day, and gives you the energy needed to start your day. A healthy breakfast can be something as simple as a slice of whole-wheat toast with almond butter and a glass of 2% milk. Don’t use time as an excuse to skip out on the most important meal of the day, but instead make time for your first meal of the day, every single day.

Fruits & Vegetables

Starting your day with half a grapefruit or a green smoothie helps with weight loss (if that’s something you’re interested in), provides tons of vitamins and antioxidants, and hydrates your body after a good night’s rest. Some of the most popular fruits include bananas, berries, oranges, and apples while popular vegetables for breakfast are avocados, kale, and spinach.

The great thing about fruits and vegetables is that they can easily be added to the breakfast you eat already!

Here are some popular recipes:
  • Avocado Toast with an Egg on Top
    • What’s not to love about the healthy fat and fiber avocado provides? And with a delicious sunny-side egg to top it all off!
  • Veggie Omelet
    • Spinach, mushroom, peppers, onions, tomatoes, the options are endless!
  • Greek Yogurt
    • Give your Plain Greek Nonfat Yogurt a bit of sweetness with honey
    • Add strawberries, granola, almonds, go nuts!
  • Veggie Fruit Smoothie
    • Spinach, kale, carrots with a blend of apples, blueberries, and grapes will pretty much give you your entire intake of produce for the day.

Celebrate National Nutrition Month by eating nutritious meals every day, starting with a hearty, nutritious breakfast!

Sleeping with Technology is Unhealthy

sleeping-techWhere’s your phone?

Chances are you are using your phone to read this right now or it’s within close proximity to you. With so much information and all the convenience technology provides us, it can seem strange to think of technology as anything but positive. However, too much exposure to technology screens can actually have an adverse health impact on us, particularly if it’s close to bedtime.

The biggest takeaway of using technology before you go to bed is the negative sleeping habits that come out of it. Our phones keep us awake, which in turn creates a whole lot of health problems for us. In fact, lack of sleep increases the risk for heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes, and car accidents.

Our phones keep us awake for many reasons, here’s a condensed list:

Late-night texts, emails, calls, and calendar reminders wake us up and keep us from precious sleep time.

Brain Stays Alert

After spending an entire day surrounded by technology, your mind needs time to unwind. Surfing the web, answering emails and posting pictures right before bed keeps your brain engaged and tricks your brain into needing to stay awake.

Bright Light

The blue light emitted from screens restraints the production of melatonin–the hormone that controls your sleep/wake cycle, making it harder for you to fall and stay asleep.

Sleep is important. We all know the feeling when we do not get enough sleep, and yet we continue to place sleep behind the notifications.

Here are some tips to combat sleep deprivation:
  1. Have a sleep schedule. Regulate your body’s clock by going to sleep and waking up at the same time every day.
  2. Avoid electronics before bed. Take an hour before bed to unwind with a light activity such as a taking a bubble bath or reading a book.
  3. Exercise. Exercising regularly helps promote a more restful sleep.

Sit Less, Move More

575950417797148-isl7eystsxsffgixfviu_height640Sitting for long periods of time can kill you. Unfortunately for many, this also includes people who exercise regularly.

According to health experts, there is a direct relationship between time spent sitting and risk of early mortality of any cause. In other words, as your total sitting time increases so does your risk of an early death. Sitting for long hours weakens muscles, creates poor circulation, limits the fresh blood and oxygen going to the brain, and overall increases the risk of developing heart disease.

With many sedentary jobs requiring computer time, phone time, and other activities that glue us to our desks, it’s no surprise that many of us spend almost nine hours a day sitting.

So, what can be done to lessen our risk of early mortality?


  • Invest in a standing desk or a specialized treadmill-ready vertical desk.
  • Invest in a wearable device, set a timer on your phone, or install an app that alerts you every 30 minutes to walk around the office for a few minutes.
  • Stand up when talking on the phone and whenever possible, walk around the office
  • Have standing or walking meetings
  • Walk across the hall to talk to a co-worker instead of sending an email or talking on the phone
  • Organize the layout of your office space in such a way that you have to stand up to reach for often used files, the telephone, or your printer, rather than having everything within easy reach.

Our bodies are designed to move and one hour of exercise is not enough. Making small changes here and there can very well be the difference our health needs.

Ease into a Vegan Lifestyle

ease-into-a-vegan-lifestyle_path_webSo you’ve decided to give the vegan lifestyle a try, but don’t know exactly where to start? Fear not — you are not alone! Transitioning to a vegan lifestyle can seem daunting but face your hesitation with these general guidelines and tips and make your transition a successful one.

Learn About the Vegan Lifestyle

Why are you making this transition? The answer to this question is extremely important, especially when the hard days come. Put in the time to educate yourself about the vegan lifestyle and find your own personal reasons for making the transition. These personal reasons will keep you going.

Go at your Pace

While some people may be able to turn vegan ‘cold turkey’, that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to. Here are some tips to gradually get there.

  • Add to your Diet. Instead of cutting meat right away, start by adding more whole grain, beans, legumes, nuts, seeds, and tofu into your diet.
  • Try Different Recipes. You’ll be amazed of all the meals you can make with just chickpeas. And believe me, hummus is just the start.
  • Make Small Changes. Remove a certain type of meat (i.e. pork) one week and go from there.
  • Non-dairy Alternatives. With many options to choose from (almond and soy being the most common), experiment to find which you like best.

Don’t Give Up

Veganism is a lifestyle and chances are that you’ve been an omnivore your entire life so making this switch will bring challenges. Recall your personal reasons and use them as momentum to keep going. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and reach out for support–there are many vegan support groups out there, both online and offline.

Why You Should Consume Coconuts

why-you-should-consume-coconuts_path_webIt’s all about coconuts! From your health to your skin, the coconut is proven to be a versatile commodity that works wonders. With its nutritious source of fiber, essential vitamins, minerals, and amino acids, the coconut packs a good punch.

The Health Benefits

The coconut offers a wide range of health benefits including, but not limited to:

  • Lowering blood pressure
  • Aiding weight loss
  • Boosting energy
  • Increasing athletic performance
  • Lowering cholesterol
  • Reducing fatigue

The coconut packs a good punch because the coconut’s many properties aid different parts of the body. For instance, coconut oil’s antioxidant properties slow down the aging process, while coconut meat’s supply of calcium, potassium, and magnesium helps support the development of strong, healthy bones and teeth.

Adding Coconuts to your Diet

There are many ways to implement coconuts into your diet. Here are some of the more popular ways.

  • Drinking coconut water/milk
  • Using coconut sugar as a sweetener
  • Cooking with coconut oil
  • Baking with coconut flour
  • Eating the raw coconut meat

With its versatile nature, you can get very creative incorporating coconuts into your diet. Try different recipes to see what you like and don’t like, and keep what works for you.

More Ways to Add Coconuts to your Life

The kitchen is not the only place you’ll find coconuts in. In fact, many people use coconut oil on their body and hair. From a facial scrub to a moisturizer, there are countless uses for coconut oil.

With so many ways to consume coconuts and a ton of health benefits associated with the fruit, it’s no surprise more and more people are including this magical fruit in their lives.

Breathing Techniques to Aid Relaxation

breathing-techniques-to-aid-relaxation_path_webDo you ever feel like you have multiple tabs opened in your mind? Nowadays, many of us are physically overscheduled, which can take a detrimental toll on our mental state. If you wish to be fully present and appreciate each passing moment, breathing techniques could be useful.

A Natural Remedy

Breathing techniques are natural remedies for a hyperactive mind that help reduce stress and anxiety by realigning the body, mind, and spirit. For example, deep breathing in a controlled and regulated manner has a proven positive impact on health.

Some of the benefits include lower:

  • heart rate,
  • blood pressure,
  • and stress levels while increased metabolism, circulation, and blood oxygen levels

Breathing techniques also aid detoxification and clear thinking. In fact, according to the American Lung Association, “Like aerobic exercise improves your heart function and strengthens your muscles, breathing exercises can make your lungs more efficient.” Pursed lip breathing slows down the rate in which one breathes, allowing the most carbon monoxide out and oxygen in. It relieves shortness of breath by keeping airways open for a longer period of time.

4-7-8 Technique

A simple breathing exercise that takes up very little time and can be done anywhere.

  1. Completely exhale through your mouth
  2. Inhale through your nose to a mental count of four (while keeping your mouth closed)
  3. Hold your breath to a mental count of seven
  4. Completely exhale through your mouth to a mental count of eight

…and that’s it! Repeat the cycle three more times for a total of four breaths.

The 4-7-8 technique is only one of many breathing techniques. Other recommended exercises include Breath Counting, Stimulating Breath, Equal Breathing, and Abdominal Breathing. Looking to step up your breathing exercises? Consider powerful breathing techniques Nadi Shodhana and Kapalabhati.

The benefits of Morning Mantras

the-benefits-of-a-morning-mantra_path_webDo you ever feel like you wake up on the wrong side of the bed? The thoughts that you fill your mind within the morning are essential for planning how the rest of your day will unfold. Of course, the future is unknown for the most part. This is why mentally setting yourself up in a positive, self-reassuring manner can boost your confidence and help you conquer whatever may be in store. Crafting the perfect mantra, which is a phrase or affirmation, can set you up for success.

According to empowerment coach Kelsey Patel, who is LA-based, “A mantra is a word, prayer, or sound vibration that’s repeated to create a state of concentration, consciousness, and connection.” She insists that having her clients repeat daily morning mantras to themselves has boosted their self-confidence, focus, and connection. Desiree Pais, a meditation guide, adds to the conversation, “It can change how you feel about yourself, which is the most important thing to be able to change.”

The process of choosing or crafting your own personal morning mantra may be different for you than for your friends and family members. First, in picking a phrase, consider what kind of encouragement you specifically need to hear. Maybe you are fresh out of college and you just got employed with your dream company. This type of transition, while exciting, could cause fears and anxieties. Therefore, a good morning mantra for someone in this scenario may sound something like “Be bold. Be brave. Be brilliant.” or something as simple as “You got this!”

Starting Your Day with Hot Lemon Water

starting-your-day-with-hot-lemon-water_path_webAre you sick of drinking coffee every morning before work? Is tea too acidic for your stomach? A great energizing replacement for both coffee and tea is a nice refreshing glass of hot lemon water! If consumed in the morning hours, lemon water can aid digestion throughout the day, which could increase the probability of weight loss. This type of weight loss is caused by the body’s increase in temperature, which kick-starts your metabolism. Additionally, your appetite may become slightly suppressed. The citric acid found in lemons is less harsh than the acid found in some teas. This is beneficial because the acid in teas can greatly off balance your stomach causing both pain and discomfort.  


Additional benefits and nutritious elements:

  • Hydration
  • Quality of skim
  • Fresher breath
  • Strengthen the immune system
  • Enzymes (aids liver functions and waste elimination)
  • Vitamin C (an antioxidant that counteracts free radicals)
  • Flavonoids (antioxidant properties)
  • Potassium (aids cardiovascular health by lowering blood pressure)

For those who switch from coffee or tea to lemon water, an obvious benefit would be a decrease in teeth stains as well. For those who are naturally anxious and don’t necessarily need the extra adrenaline boost that caffeine provides, lemon water provides a more natural, toned down solution. If you are interested in beverages with more flavors, you can add a variety of ingredients, such as honey, to spice it up. If you are looking for a chilled version of this drink, especially later on in the day, grab a pitcher and REALLY spice it up.

Additional ingredient ideas:

  • Cucumber
  • Mint
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Ginger