I always keep my eyes out for natural remedies and beneficial healthy routines. One of my favorite new practices has been drinking a cup of hot water with coconut oil and lemon every morning. I've been doing it for a month now and I wanted to share my experience with you.
Now I've been a fan of coconut oil for years, but I've pretty much limited its use to hair, skin, and cooking. Last month, I saw a Facebook post of the benefits on hot water, lemon juice and coconut oil, and I was pretty shocked to see coconut oil in the mix!
Back in January, I did a 30 day oil pulling challenge with coconut oil that I shared with you all, and it was such a great experience. With that being said I knew that the benefits of this new concoction would be great because I saw first hand how well the oil works on fighting bacteria.
The best website that I came across that explains the benefits comes from the COCONUTMAGIC Blog and the author gives the following explanation:
Lemon water cleanses your palate on the way down. Once in your body, it helps gently flush your kidneys and your liver of wastes and toxins. Coconut oil behaves as a natural antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral tonic in the body, flushing out unwanted bacteria, and viral over loads and reducing stress on the body’s organs. Coconut oil can help detox the body of some of its most stubborn toxic waste.
Lemon provides a high amount of vitamin C, which boosts your immune system and assists digestion. Coconut oil helps with the absorption of vitamins and sends fuel to the brain by creating ketones. Ketones are what your body produces when it converts a good fat (as opposed to glucose) into energy. A primary source of ketone bodies, are the Medium Chain Fatty Triglycerides (MCT’s) found in coconut oil. "
So what do I do?
I put a tablespoon of virgin coconut oil and squeeze half a lemon into a cup of hot water and drink! The idea is to drink it on an empty stomach. Drink it 15 minutes before eating or if in the evening, a while after your food has settled.
What's been the benefits for me?
I've noticed such a difference in my digestion and my satiation throughout the day. I drink the water within the first 15 minutes after waking up and sometimes right before bed and I'm telling you, it acts like a mini cleanse and it feels really good. I also am pretty active and have a fast metabolism, but at times I want a lot of food! Well, my appetite hasn't been as big and I believe as a result I've lost some inches.
As a follow up to my morning cup, I also now just sip room temperature water with lemon, and that's been great too!
Try this, and let me know what you think!
By: Tiffany W.
Happy #selflovesunday BEautiful BEings! Its the day of spiritual revival and I myself and feeling renewed. Good things always happen to our souls on Sundays. Its the beginning of the week and I want to share something special with you.
Today I got the most empowering text from a good friend and sister like figure in my life. She said, "Have you been posting anything? the last post I could see is the Valentine's day one, I think something may be wrong with my browser. Let me know."
Do you know why that was empowering? Because I wanted to quit blogging. I knew I wasn't going to quit but I considered, what do I need to do differently to make an impact? I truly want to create content that the average gen y woman can relate to and to be honest when people don't comment, like, repost or even acknowledge what you do, it's easy to think, well maybe it's not good. It's good enough for me because it's my truth, but I have to consider as to whether it resonates with others...
That text let me know, that even if it's just 1 person, someone cares.
I'm going to have a truth moment with you:
I have been frozen for literally 1 week. No writing (until last night). Little feeling. Little exposure. Little interaction. I've confined myself to my room for the most part. Laying in bed, praying, meditating and watching movies I've seen 100 plus times. As I've felt emotionally dead, mentally I've driven myself insane 100 plus times.
Feelings of failure, despair, confusion, dissapointment, and dare I say doubt. About what? The path I'm on. See, from a place of faith and spirituality, I can see the future, but the present leaves me in total confusion sometimes. One thing I know for sure is that when you get a vision from God several times in your life, that vision is showing you whats possible. I believe divine sight, inspiration and vision is real. Whatever God shows you, will always take place. I've seen my life. I've seen the impact, the joy, the love, the abundance, the family, the philanthropy, and the legacy.
The problem with having such clarity while being a typical millennial and someone with depression, is that I become an enemy of time. With visions and goals there comes action. With action, there's not only expected outcomes, but expected outcomes on my timeline. Certain times of the year falling on my face is no problem, I get that happens in life. Other times, the times in which I'm most prone to experiencing a depressive episode, my failed Great Expectations become a problem.
The reality that I know: Life is NEVER as bad as it SEEMS. If you can find gratitude in having shelter, food, health, clothing and love, you're doing better than about 2/3rds of the world. In the end, the world never really knows what might have been done (in light of failure) they just remember you're impact (whether negative or positive). The reality that my well self knows: I am enough.
Well reality has almost nothing to do with the mind of someone in a depressive state. A different darker dimmer reality exists. It's the one that says, " What I'm doing isn't working. I don't matter. No one pays attention to me. I want to give up." (If you believe "depression is a choice" or don't really understand it, I suggest you visit http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/depression/index.shtml).
I fall victim to my own great expectations. No matter what I do or what I say, the judge in me can easily choose to nullify everything; every step, every effort and every piece of "success."
The truth is that true acceptance and perfect self love is hard for anyone. That's why its a journey of fascination for me. Not just on a personal level, but on a psychological level. In fields like Positive Psychology and Personality Psychology, looking at all measures of self concept are the most compelling stories of human behavior. Self acceptance is hard for anyone, but especially those with the most critical, heart and mind.
Naturally, I'm critical and I overthink, but when you take account of my brain chemistry at times (the depression) I become anxious. I become obsessed. I become inundated with thoughts that counter what I KNOW to be my true being. My advantage: I'm extremely cognizant of the mental and at times spiritual battle going on inside of me, which is why I know what I need to do to recalibrate my internal state.
There is beauty in learning about yourself. There is beauty in accepting your own journey, your own truths, your own limited limitations, and the possibilities that exists. There is beauty in timing. There is beauty in special relationships. There is beauty in darkness. There is beauty in life.
Sometimes life gets hard and overwhelming but we must just pray and surrender, and continue to love on ourselves.
No matter what, I still chose to love on myself (even though my mind didn't connect to it) I worked out, prayed, meditated, burned my incense/sage, watched what would make me laugh, listened to my sermons and read uplifting messages.
I knew I'd come around. ..eventually. Nothing lasts forever. Nothing . I'm glad to say I'm back.
Do you have a story of triumph? Would you like to share something from your own self love journey. I and the world want you to share your story. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to be featured as a guest blogger.
By: Tiffany W.
As "BE" drives to promote a message of women embracing, accepting and loving their full selves, it's a celebration when stories about empowerment and body positivity make it to the headlines. For years, there always at least one video or picture that goes viral showing the dramatic "transformation" that Photoshop Editors drag a magazine or advertisement photo through. The exposure of such practices, have recently created more and more conversations about how "unrealistic" images of women are in the media, especially in print. Such conversations have been crucial in creating a sense of transparency around what it means to really Honor Your Body. The first step, acceptance.
I do very well believe we are in this space of transparency when it comes to real women and their relationship with their bodies and those seen in media. It's a fuzzy space though.
See, the road seems to have several paths.
1. An obsession with health and "fitness." I put fitness in (") because while many women live a healthy lifestyle to be healthy, there are women who feel the need to overdo their fitness to fit in an ideal. They feel the need to "push themselves" because that's what all the memes say... -_- . As a wellness advocate, I believe living a healthy active lifestyle can transform your entire being, but if you embark on it and you are constantly on the scale, comparing yourself to others, and being hard on yourself, it really defeats the purpose.
2. "Curvy" has been equated to extreme hour glass figures. The Idealization of entertainers like Nicki Minaj, Beyonce, and Kim Kardashian create this body ideal that most women will never meet unless they indulge in cosmetic enhancements.
3. Then their is the full blown Body Positivity movement!
Even though social media sucks a lot of millennials into this vortex of comparison (which has monstrously negative effects), there are many positive accounts that promote self love and women loving everything there is to love about their bodies. Now, the heat is being turned up a notch! Major modeling agencies and magazines, are slowly but surely loosening the reigns when it comes to the images they portray. Granted, we have a long way to go, progress must be celebrated.
Within the last week, the 3 ladies above have been celebrated for breaking out, embracing themselves, and being representatives of the "average" woman. In a world that says, get this sucked in, tucked, clipped, or removed, they stand to be themselves. They are proof that walking in your truth may not always be easy, but it is always worth it. Making sure to Honor yourself, body, mind and spirit, is an absolutely liberating journey to a life of Freedom.
When you learn to accept and just BE yourself, the Universe responds. The light, the God in you shines, and you attract such a magnificent life. SO let's embrace these women, and embrace ourselves. Just by them BEIng them, they have broke barriers. The average woman in the US is estimated to be a size 14, so even though Ashley Graham is actually more "normal" than plus, its a start.
Cheers to BEing You! Happy FEARLess Friday!
By: Tiffany W.
One aspect of Honor Thy Body that's very important to me is fitness. Being physically active really does help me balance my mood and motivates me to push through life. Since the beginning of the year I've been doing 2 fitness challenges: at least 10mins of jump rope a day and run at least 1 mile per day. Well I regret to say I've missed 3 days haha but I'm still rocking with both challenges and it feels great.
The greatest thing about a challenge is understanding the psychology of it all. You actually get a perspective into your own level of commitment, excuses making, and patterns of consistency. If this was me last year I would have been so mad at myself for missing those days, but not 2015 Tiffany. I was still active those days, I just didn't go outside at all, so I didn't complete those days, and now I'm starting over, and I'm ok with that.
Well 5 days ago, a friend and wellness client of mine asked if I would find an ab challenge to do with her. I was excited because I haven't done much of abs in a while. I found this challenge and absolutely love it. Fitness in general for me is for physical and mental health, but ab work is for vanity and I'm ok with that too!
Take a stab at it for 30 days. The key to getting results is 80% nutrition so you MUST be watching what you eat. Lots of green veggies, lots of water (ideally half your body weight, but in oz of water), compelx carbs like brown rice, quinoa (keen-wah), sweet potatoes/yams (not southern style), cous cous, lentils, etc. Eat clean and do this ab challenge and I'm sure your tummy will look quite different at the end of 30days!
By: Tiffany W.
What can we learn from Claire Leeson?
BEauty is not only in the eye of the beholder but it's also uncomfortably perfected in the mind of spectators. BE is all about self love and choosing relevant stories in pop culture that teach the importance of self love are extremely easy to come by. Today, we can take a lesson from the BEautiful BEing that is in the picture....She has made headlines this week for spending $30,000 on cosmetic procedures and enhancements to look like Kim Kardashian. Claire Leeson said that she struggled with confidence but admired everything about Kim, and figured if she could look like her, she would feel better about herself.
We all want to feel comfortable in our skin. We want to feel comfortable in our clothes. We want to look at ourselves in the mirror and believe we are beautiful. Every one is entitled to such reflections but they don't necessarily connect to such realities.
Beauty and perfection are not new concepts. From an evolutionary standpoint beauty is parallel to a trait that allows a species to survive. Beautiful people are often granted opportunities others wouldnt be. Beauty fosters a general purpose, mating and reproduction . There is an actual science to beauty, but what happens when people are obsessed with manipulating science to become more beautiful?
Nowadays one can practically restructure their entire body. Whatever you choose to do, to be happy, by all means its your life and you are granted that freedom. I just want to provide some ideas. The interesting idea floating around is that the concept of happiness is a result of external choices, when in fact you realize at some point its a purely intrinsic, mental, and physiological driven process. For most people, I believe happiness is a choice, but as someone with a background in mental health, and with personal experience with depression, there are true chemical imbalances that no positive thinking can overcome. This is also why I understand self love, self esteem, and self image for some, are 3 very challenging concepts, but I want to offer some insight.
When over judging how beautiful or perfect you are, consider the following:
1. You didn't ask to be born, nor did you have power to request your physical features
Taking into consideration that you are able to practice good hygiene, maintain a healthy lifestyle, and manage stress, you appear how nature intended. Your height, eye color, width, color, and natural build is not wrong or right, it is what it is. Learn to accept that nothing can be wrong with a thing if that is its' nature. How can a red rose be mad it's not a yellow rose...that's what nature intended for it to be. What happens around you, what you take personal, and what you let get to you to influence how positively or negatively you view yourself, is your choice.
2. Health, wellness and hygiene will make a difference.
When you feel your best on the inside, what you look like doesnt matter. Your love and confidence is a direct reflection of how you feel. Live food like fruits and veggies give you energy, mental clarity, and keep you going. When you have alertness you're more likely to work out. Working out produces endorphins, or " happy chemicals" in your body. You're more
likely to be positive and stay in route to doing things that make you feel better. Food and exercise also help manage stress, which can take a physical toll on your body on the outside and inside. Your diet and hygenie also affect your skin, which is a major area of concern for people
3. Self Love is the outcome of a cycle.
When you know you're taking care of yourself and living your best life, you love yourself more. When you're doing positive things, thinking positively, and are around positive people, you feel better about yourself and see beauty as an intangible force.
4. Few people look perfect
Consider this. If Kim K didn't have botox, breast implants, and the extensive diet and fitness regiment she does...she'd look a whole lot different. Someone spent $30,000 on an image that doesn't even exist! She's not the only one. Numersous shows on TV show us how often non-celebrities go under the knife to look like the people they admire. Again there's nothing wrong with shooting to look your best but consider what the journey involves, and how it affects your idea of yourself, in your most natural form. Even everyday women who don't get cosmetic procedures obsess over idolizing other's perfect bodies. Wake up...people sculp their bodies with exercise. 6 packs, flat tummies, sculpted butts, thighs and arms...don't exist without effort and continuous effort. It's not natural, it's effort. Even myself, I have a natural athletic build, but if I don't work out at least 20minutes a day 3× a week, keep low stress, and really manage food, I blow up really easily. There are people who don't need to exercise for aesthetics, and that's very few people. Most of us need to do it for health, and if we want to maintain certain shapes but again, it's effort. You love others looks...enhanced looks. Not their natural selves. How they look after being done up or edited in print. Don't obsess over what is not real. Open your minds.
Think twice before praising what seems like the celestial beauty of another whether its face or body. It really is the soul, spirt and heart that shines thru our eyes, reflects in our actions, and radiates in our presence that really makes us "attractive". It's the confidence, strength, peace, and love of people that make them seemingly more beautiful. It's their aura...something completely unduplicatable by procedure or application.
Written by: Tiffany W.
"Consumer Reports has ranked the best-tasting burgers, sandwiches, burritos, and chicken at 65 national and regional fast food chains." Hayley,P. (2014, July 2) http://www.businessinsider.com/best-fast-food-chains-ranked-2014-7#ixzz36KO9Rx1W
The unfortunate matter is that there is a ranking for fast food, but the upside is that the public is now being drawn to "healthier" and "fresher" options. The likes of McDonalds. Burger King, taco Bell, KFC, and even Subway are all ranked extremely low, if not last on each respective list. Smaller chains known for healthier or cleaner cooking options such as The Habit, In & Out, Chipotle and EL Pollo Loco are all at the top of their respective lists. I find this to be a positive sign that with all the fast food industry expose style documentaries, in addition to increase propaganda around obesity and cardiovascular illnesses, the public considers the fact that you can choose between the evils of fast food. In healthy living, I believe in moderation according to one's goals. Interestingly enough, if ever I do eat fast food it usually is In & Out (protein style burger), EL Pollo Loco (chicken and salad/mixed veggies) or Chipotle (salad bowl) because they do have healthier options.
These trends go to show you that the customer is more powerful than believed. If everyone stopped going to the classic chains, they would completely have to re-establish their brand, menu, and efforts to create fresher & healthier options. I'm aware that McDonald's has added "healthier" options like apples and dip to the happy meals, parfaits, wraps and more, but the problem is that the ingredients and chemical they use are still compromising. As a nation, we cannot continue to let ourselves and our children continue with such obesity rates and preventable health conditions. An even greater trend to emerge, would be the overall decrease in fast food chain profits, even the healthier ones. All together, fast food spending is at its highest! We spend $680 Billion on average on this food causing long term hormonal deficiencies and influxes in our children, chronic preventable illnesses, absurd obesity rates, and small effects such as fatigue, low energy and poor concentration. I think a fun and creative way to taste your favorite items at home is to try and duplicate your favorite dish. It will never taste completely the same, but it will save your waist, your insides, your money, and your life.
Here are some tips!
1) I am a huge promoter of pre-planned meals and handy healthy snacks on the road. This prevents individuals from having to buy out because of "time" or being burned out from a long day at work.
2) When meal prep doesn't happen, and people feel forced to eat out, then picking the healthiest items you can are ALWAYS going to be more beneficial for you
3) Once you get your meals, don't feel like you have to eat the whole portion. Sometimes its ok to eat half and make sure to drink a lot of water.
4) Especially on the days you have an unhealthy meal, follow it up with LOTS OF DARK LEAFY GREENS. Green vegetables like spinach, kale, broccoli, or asparagus, will help cleanse the toxins you put in your body. The more, the better!
Remember, you're stomach isn't a garbage can, so don't fill it with such. If you wouldn't sit and let someone kill or poison you, don;t take the necessary action, to do it to yourself. Learn to eat, live and be well because you will just feel so much better about yourself and life!
Written by: Tiffany W
One of the toughest yet most cleansing occurrences within the last year was losing material items that I found so much value in. I've never considered myself materialistic. The only labels I've been attached to were the ones in grocery stores, but even that has changed. I'm not label obsessed but I like nice clothes & shoes. I'd usually hunt the likes of Marshalls, TJ Maxx, Forever 21 , H & M and sometimes thrift shops for my cute finds. I did absolutely have a lot of shoes and clothes (as my friends would claim). I didn't have luxury apartment or car, or even a high paying salary but losing those things in whatever sense you have them, will make you rethink about life. I learned to find peace and not allow my happiness or joy to come from things, but boy oh boy was it and is it a challenge. I learned that no matter what I have or don't have, its really my health: physical, mental, and spiritual which is priceless.
So often when we have things, we neglect certain parts of our health; for some they neglect eating healthy or if they make the excuse of being too busy, its fitness. For others, they go go go are sooo goal oriented, and never sit to BE still, present or appreciative of what they've done. Others have had so many people, or very few really important people hurt them, and they neglect their emotional or mental health by creating barriers and never facing issues or people when need be. No matter what, I find that in this walk of self love, you must love yourself enough on all levels to keep your health a priority because money, cars, status, relationships, etc. mean nothing if when you wake up or go to sleep, you're unsatisfied, hate life, feel unfulfilled, are unappreciative, or can't physically function properly.
Reasonably enough, everyone has different value systems, and I can say a year or 2+ ago, so did I. It's all up to you, but if you ever lose everything, you will probably lose your mind and have to regain a new sense of identity. Things and titles provide false identities, connecting with yourself, the essence of your BEing and the place that it dwells within, provides a whole different level of operation, anything else, is just an extra bonus. I challenge you to partake in 3 steps/activities everyday that strengthen your mental, spiritual and physical health. In addition answer these questions: What do you think you're attach to? and if you lost it, how do you think you would operate?
Written by: Tiffany Wright
Whenever I have a consultation with someone about improving their nutrition and overall health, I always ask about water intake. Getting an insight into water intake can actually provide a general snapshot into someone's health. Did you know that your body is estimated to be up to 60 percent water, the brain is composed of 70 percent water, and the lungs are nearly 90 percent water? Lean muscle tissue contains about 75 percent water by weight, as does the brain, body fat contains 10 percent water, and bone has 22 percent water. About 83 percent of our blood is water, which helps digest our food, transport waste, and control body temperature. Lastly, at least 20 percent of the water that your body needs come from the food you consume and the rest the rest will come from beverages you drink.
All this to say, water is a pretty big deal, and most people don't even realize it. Ideally you should drink half of your body weight in oz of water a day. For example, if you're 140lbs, you should drink 70oz. If you are active, get in 8-16oz additional for every 300 calories. Why is water important?Well it actually benefits your joints by providing lubrication allowing for better movement. Its imperative for digestion. Water helps cleanse and filter unecessary toxins to be flushed out the system. In additiin water helps deluver nutrients in your cells to all the necessary organ systems.
Many times I've had people tell me they workout and eat well, but then I find out they're not drinking enough water. Dehydration actually encourages your body to store fat, and if you have that extra full belly, its probably toxin build up that just needs to be washed down with lots of water and green veggies. Water is so important in weight management because not only is it working through your digestive tract, but also aiding in regulating metabolism, hunger and your kidneys. It is said that 75% of time we think we're hungry, we're actually thirsty. After really learning how simply important water was for weight management and digestion, I did a "Gallon Challenge", drank a gallin of water for 7 days straight and loss 5 lbs! And during that point, I was already eating very clean.
A gallon seems like a lot for some people but its all in your head. Once you stay consistent, it will seem easier. Make progress and time marks on a gallon bottle so you can pace yourself if you decide to take it on. It will be interesting to see your body change within the matter of a week. Lots of water can be challenging depending on the strength of your bladder, so be prepared, and really just do the best you can.
Going forth, if you have any friends or family with digestion, kidney, weight, headache, or cardiovascular challenges, encourage them to up their water. Support them by taking advantage of preparing water bottles, canisters, etc. ahead of time. To be earth friendly, by home filter system and a large cute water bottle so you don’t have to constantly use plastic bottles from the store.
Written by: Tiffany Wright