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Fairy Healthy Life

Runner, Yoga Enthusiast, Fitness Fanatic who loves living an active life to inspire those around her.

How to begin an inversion yoga practice

Maybe you’ve now begun practicing yoga on a regular basis, a few times a week, for maybe a few months now. Maybe even a year or two. You feel like you are becoming stronger and need to advance things to the next level. Here are some tips on how to do that.

It all starts with a downward facing dog. In yoga, we do a lot of downward facing dogs and planks because it is a great transition into other poses and is great for building core strength.

Some people love them, some people hate them. In my opinion, if you hate them, something in your form is off. Hands and feet should be the same width apart; hip-width apart. This will keep your body weight equally balanced. Then shifting your hips back towards your ankles is important. Next squeezing your shoulder blades together. The final step and most important is to breathe! You should now be comfortable in this position.

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Once you are comfortable in downward facing dog, you can begin having fun with it, adding variations. First is a 3 legged dog. Raising one leg, continuing with your breathing and keeping your hips in line. Try to imagine someone hanging from your ceiling with a string wrapped around your raised foot stretching your leg away from your body.

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Add another variation. Bend your right knee, stacking your hips. You can also begin to open up your body, leaning towards your right side. This will teach you how far you can push your balance.

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Let’s add another variation. Come back into downward facing dog. Come down onto your forearms. Walk your feet closer to your elbows in a dolphin pose. Bearing more weight onto your forearms. This variation will build your strength to come into a forearm stand. A forearm stand requires so much core strength. I still struggle with it.

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Final tip. A beautiful pose that I think most people can work up to is a crow pose. I recommend using a yoga strap placed right underneath your shoulders for this pose to keep your elbows from going out to the sides. With your hands on your mat, (hip-width) began leaning forward coming up onto your tiptoes. And you can lean forward and back testing your balance. When you feel you are ready to advance the pose, lean forward resting the inside of your knees right underneath your shoulders; a few inches above the strap. You can also place a pillow in front of you to catch you if you fall. Gaze forward and round your back.

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There’s no rush and no need to feel it needs to be perfect. Each time you practice, you will improve. But you do need to practice. It’s the only was to improve and build your core strength.

Slow Cooker Pumpkin Oatmeal Recipe and more

As promised, I’m here to share my pumpkin oatmeal recipe I mentioned on Monday. I found cooking oatmeal in the slow cooker brought out more flavor from the oats, pumpkin and spices I used. Definitely a recipe I’ll be using often.

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Slow Cooker Pumpkin Oatmeal

Serves 4-6
Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time 9 hours
Total time 9 hours, 10 minutes
Dietary Vegan, Vegetarian
Meal type Breakfast
Misc Pre-preparable, Serve Hot

Ingredients

  • 1 cup steel-cut oats (old fashioned oats will become mushy)
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar (I used organic sucanat (found at health food stores))

Directions

Step 1 Spray bottom and sides of slow cooker generously with non-stick spray.
Step 2 Add water, oats, cinnamon stick. Then add spices, vanilla extract, salt and sugar.
Step 3 Stir. Cook on low for 9 hours. Check 2 hours before it is done. It may need more water to keep from drying out. I added an extra cup.
Step 4 Serve hot in bowls with water or milk. I used almond milk. Top with cinnamon, berries, nuts or a spoon of whipped cream for an extra pumpkin pie taste! Enjoy!

 

I’m also showing you what else I’ve been eating to keep myself on track.

I may have gone a little bit overboard with the pumpkin this week. But hey, tis the season, right?! And there was a pumpkin extravaganza at Sprout’s! Winking smile

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This pumpkin spice tea has been helping keep my sweet tooth satisfied. I feel like I need to drink something warm in the morning and this makes my stomach happy.

For my snacks, I’ve made sure to make enough hard-boiled eggs for the week. And I also got around to making hummus. There’s nothing like homemade hummus. I found some mini who wheat pita breads at Sprout’s as well.

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Fall and winter are my favorite seasons to cook and bake. I don’t mind spending a cold afternoon in the kitchen whipping up foods both healthy and a few treats. I actually find it easier to not put on weight during those times because I have more control of the ingredients that I put in my food.

Another pot of vegetable soup was needed this week. It tastes great and I’m not tired of it yet. It takes me a while to get tired of certain foods. And when I do, I simply change it to something that I love. It is necessary to love what you eat without overly restricting yourself. If you don’t like it, don’t eat. Find out what flavors you enjoy and go with it. Experiment and make it healthier.

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I am not perfect. I am just trying to eat healthier because I know I feel healthier and stronger. And that is a feeling I love. Yes, I have the occasional glass of wine. And I enjoy going out for fro-yo with my family. I won’t beat myself up over it. You do what you can with what you have and what you know. One meal at a time.

 

I am linking this post to What I Ate Wednesday with Jenn at Peas and Crayons.

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Back to Clean Eating

This post is intended for the purpose of keeping myself accountable. Ever since my daughters went back to school after the end of summer, I’ve been having a hard time getting back to clean eating at least 80 percent of the time. With me being sick earlier this year because of medications, then having family struggles, it’s been hard for me to not rely on eating out once in a while. I’m ready to break that habit.

These past few weeks though, my stomach has been bothering me daily and I know it’s because I need to eat better. The way I used to when it was my goal to lose weight. It’s hard to believe that was 5 years ago! I know what to do so I’m hoping the transition won’t be too difficult.

My main goals:

  • Cut out sugar; I go to sweet snacks when I’m feeling a little hungry and that means I’m not getting the proper nutrients I need from my main meals causing me to feel tired.
  • Eat every 3 hours; it worked before to help regulate my metabolism and I know it will again.
  • Only drink coffee on weekends; the acidity from the coffee bothers my stomach if I drink it too often. I’ll switch to green or black tea which I really don’t mind with the cooler weather.
  • Stick to a mainly vegetarian diet; I feel leaner and have more energy when I live this way.
  • Read up on The Eat Clean Diet from Tosca Reno again. Her tips are so helpful and the reminder will keep me motivated. I recommend this book to anyone looking to clean up their diet. Processed foods are the worst. It’ll make you a better athlete and help you lose weight as well. Also my many Clean Eating magazines. It has to be one of my favorite magazines.

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  • Meal prep; I was already doing this. But I need to add variety and more than just a protein and vegetables. Healthy snacks are important as well.

 

I already made a vegetable soup that I’ve been eating for lunch and dinner these past few days to help cleanse my system.

Pumpkin oatmeal was made in the crockpot last night. That will be my breakfast this week. Very simple. It came out delicious too! I’ll share the recipe on Wednesday.

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If anyone would like to join me in this, I’d love to offer any tips I have. Doing this with a friend seems to make these kind of things easier. I hope you have a great week!!

Unbelievable

That is exactly what these past few weeks have been; unbelievable. I don’t even know how many times I’ve stood shaking my head from all that has happened. This is hard to put into words.

My dear mother. She is just amazing to me. It’s only been a week since she lost the love of her life. And earlier this year she lost her own mom, my grandmother. I know she is hurting so much inside. But she has handled this well. As much as she can. I couldn’t do it. I know she does it because she has no other choice. She does it with common sense, kindness and confidence. Now I know where I get my best features from. I also know in private she let’s that all go and doesn’t know where to go next. I also get that from her.

Going through some unfortunate events this year, I felt like I couldn’t handle anymore. I’ve seen the selfishness come out in people. Just to make themselves feel better. Why? Why are people so hateful? It made me think, why should I keep trying to change those around me everyday. Why teach yoga, self-acceptance and healthy living?? I wanted to throw in the towel. People are just going to say whatever they want or believe the lies. I felt numb. My heart and my body. I sat on my couch and cried for my Dad like a little girl. Everyday for the past 15 years I’ve wished he was here for me.

I live in a place where health is not a priority. To say it annoys me is an understatement. Sometimes it is made fun of. I don’t understand it. I probably never will. All I’ve ever wanted to do is change people’s perspective. To show them it can be fun to exercise and it doesn’t have to grueling to cause your body pain every single time. That’s not what it’s about.

Within those moments where you want to give it all up, some good will always come through. The good I found in this situation is my sisters. They are simply amazing. We are always here for each other. We know how to make each other feel better and with that I think it makes my mom feel better as well.

Another good is some dear friends. They came to help when we didn’t even ask. Just their company made things better even if it’s only for a while. That’s what real friends are for. To see that good left me in awe. I know my family felt the same way.

Now that a few days have passed and as we try to move forward, I’ve taught a couple of yoga classes. I have learned that the few I inspire, have learned to put their thoughts together during class and they take that to other facets of their lives. It may be related to their personal or professional relationships. And I can help students make physical breakthroughs as well. It makes me so happy to see someone feel the difference in a headstand when using proper form. When you find that sweet spot of balance, it’s awesome!

After that class I said to a friend okay, I’m not giving up. I have so much more good to do. Including support my mom any way I can.

nevergiveup

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