Guard well your spare moments. They are like uncut diamonds. Discard them and their value will never be known. Improve them and they will become the brightest gems in a useful life.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
A few weeks ago my good friend Tal and I drove to the North to visit another friend who lives on Kibbutz Alumot, situated on hills above and overlooking the Kinneret (The Sea of Galilee). Towards afternoon we hiked down to the water. I see myself as a "non-water" person (though I do love showers). I can look at the sea for hours, without the need to go in. I can sit by the lake watching everyone splash around and choose to stay on the shore. This time when we reached the shore, I quickly changed into my bathing suit and before I knew it I was walking straight towards the water. It was a hot day. I entered the water and started to swim. I swam for about 10 minutes without looking back. When I at last did stop to turn around I was quite far from the shore. I saw Tal with goggles, swimming in my direction. I turned again and continued to swim. I don't remember when I last was in the water for so long. How wonderful it felt to move my body.
While swimming back to shore the sun was getting ready to set, every time I dipped my head below the water, the light rays created hundreds of little yellow dazzling dots and lines inside my eyelids - like diamonds.
Since that day, I long to go back to swim in the Kinneret. The Mediterranean Sea doesn't attract me but the sweet water of the Kinneret sure is addicting.
I hope it will be here for future generations....
Relaxation and Exercise
Summer is often a time of rest and deep relaxation. Many of us use the summertime to rebuild our reserves for the rest of the busy year. In our work-crazed society we can lose sight of the benefits of slowing down and taking time to rest. Now that summer is in full swing, it's time to enjoy the restorative powers of reconnecting to our body through movement and relaxation.
In the summer we can carry out both our relaxation and our movement outdoors, in nature. Take a nap in a hammock. Go to the park. One of the greatest places to rest in the summertime is by the water. There is something magical and restorative in water and we naturally crave to be near it, by it or in it. Heading to the water, whether it is the beach, a lake or a kids pool, can be relaxing and rejuvenating.
Just as much as the body loves to relax, the body loves to move. Even though our body is healthiest when it is getting appropriate physical activity, we often dread the word "exercise". Think for a moment what type of movement you would consider fun. Perhaps instead of going to the gym, take a dance class. Try yoga. Go for a walk in the morning or for a swim. The summer offers so many choices.
Your heart will thank you, your soul will be gratified, your limbs will be more fluid and you'll sleep better at night.
Whether you are relaxing, exercising or both, notice that being outside in nature has a profound way of quieting the mind and reconnecting us to ourselves. Often this relaxation and peace of mind are what our bodies crave the most. So while summer is with us, strap on your sandals and enjoy to the fullest the rich elements of sun, wind and water and the nourishment that they bring.
Food Focus: Water
The truth is ... I don't like drinking plain water. Surprising, I know. It isn't tasty for me and I also don't feel the need to drink that much. My father often used to say: "Why eat a watermelon when you can drink water?" I say: "Why drink water when you can eat a watermelon?"
It is quite challenging for me to drink the "recommended" daily amount. How much is it: 8 glasses a day? Who recommended that amount? Does a person who works all day in an air-conditioned office need to drink the same amount as someone who does physical work under the blazing sun?
My suggestion is: Let's not generalize.
We all are different with different needs and likes and we should honor and listen to our uniqueness.
And yet... the summer months are hot, we spend many hours in the sun and we usually do need more liquids. Those who are not drinking enough may experience poor digestion, sluggish thinking, skin breakouts, headaches, bad breath and general fatigue.
The key is to like the taste of the water you are drinking, and the water should agree with your body. If the taste of plain water is unappealing, experiment to see how you can make it tasty and drinkable. Try adding a few mint leaves, a wedge of lemon, a sprig of parsley, slices of cucumber, a twist of lime or a squeeze of orange to make the water more tempting, or to jazz up your routine. Also, drinking tea or juice and eating raw fruits and vegetables contribute to the hydration process.
Recipe of the Month
Prep time: 2 minutes
Cook time: 24 hours
Yield: 2 liters
3-4 tea leaves or bags of your choice
1. Fill an extra-large mason jar with water, add 3 or 4 of your favorite tea bags and cover with lid.
2. Place in sun for one full day and let the shining rays pour in heat and energy, bringing out the wonderful tea flavors.
3. Sweeten if so desired with natural sweetener and serve at room temperature or cold over ice.
Note: Garnish with mint leaves or lemon wedge.
Nutrition and Yoga Retreat - Ananda Ashram, Upstate NY
On September 19-21, 2008
For all New Yorkers, Israelis or whoever brings themselves to the NY area
3 days of YOGA, MEDITATION, and NUTRITION practiced in the spirit of yoga: yummy yoga, yoga with our food, healthy and easy meals, eating for grounding energy, what's wrong with sugar?, make your own healthy chocolate, and more
Held in the magical & special Ananda Ashram www.anandaashram.org
With Elias Lopez (Subrahmanya) and Talya Lewin
Space is limited
For more information and to make a reservation please contact:
In NY: Elias at firstname.lastname@example.org
In Isreal: Talya 054-4670239 email@example.com
Health and Wellness Workshop for Corporations
As a Certified Health Counselor, I facilitate a fun and informative Employee Health and Wellness Workshop. This workshop includes education on how to implement better nutrition and life choices to create a healthier life, a more efficient day and reduce stress in the work environment. It serves as a first step in living a healthier more balanced life.
I would be happy to discuss and mail my information package to whomever is interested.
Splash in the waves, swim in the sun, drink plenty of water and enjoy the summer fun!
Holistic health counselor