Video: Cleaning house through fasting!

Hello everyone! It has been awhile since I made a video, so I’m very excited to bring you this one. There is a lot of information and I figured you’d rather listen to me while you have some down time than read a tome like post 😉 This is all about cleansing/fasting/detoxing! Living off liquids for a few days (or few weeks in extreme cases!) is a way to let your body heal. Digestion is one of the most labor intensive processes our body goes through on a regular basis. When it isn’t busy digesting our body can go to work “cleaning house” and taking out impurities and toxins from neglected areas. Unfortunately, cleansing is typically not spoken about as a healing process in magazines or television shows. Instead, it is seen as way to get rid of some vanity pounds, so people are very apt to put it down. Obviously, it is way more than that! I encourage you to listen to this video to learn about how to prepare for one, break a fast safely, and be ready for the up and down physical feelings you’ll go through. It may not be something you decide to undertake, but at least you’ll have some information and know that this process goes far beyond the “Master Cleanse” and celebrities trying to fit into an award ceremony dress!

Peel Away ❤

Jocellyn

Summertime and the livin’s easy

^^ See this movie!

Summer break is here! I’ve sufficiently caught up on some much needed rest, thus it’s time for me to do what I assume many a blogger is doing and write the “my summer” post!

Read like a fiend

I have absolutely no excuse not to. Summer is great for reading and hobbies. Even if you are putting in mad hours at a job, you don’t have all that pesky paper work known as homework to consume your life when you’ve finished for the night. As you can see, I have a few books to preoccupy myself with. I have this habit during my breaks at The Goodwill of buying books that look interesting and then I never getting around to reading them. No longer! I’m really excited to take a peek at the two Carl Hiaasen books. I love his work! I even studied him Fall Semester during Literature Seminar. He never lets me down. Middlesex is a book I read in high school, but it was so good I’d love to read it again, which means a lot because I rarely give books a second go-around. I also have some cool yoga books in there (no, not EAT-PRAY-LOVE), and I hope to start reading bits and pieces of the Gita. It’s kind of a heavy read, so maybe I’ll chew on it like a sweet  bovine might munch on a clump of grass—slowly and deliberately. Sorry, the writer inside me likes to be silly, but really, I’ll probably do 2 pages a day and reflect back when all is finished. I also have a guilty read in there, you know, the kind of thing you bring to the beach. Bet you can figure out which one it is!  I also plan on keeping up with my poetry and writing a piece a week and submitting to a few places every month. Oh the toil’s of us writer folk.

Hone my food photography skills

This summer I’m buying a new camera and lens, but I swear I’m going to learn how to use it properly. I’m going to be sticking with the Canon family, so I’m very excited to get that security deposit check back so I can go shopping. Until then, I’ve been playing around with my little guy and seeing how I can tinker with lighting, aperture, and the “f” function.  I’m not sure what the “f” function means, but I know when I fiddle with it things get either lighter or darker in a very cool way. My user manual is AWOL so I’m kind of figuring stuff out for myself, which is honestly the best because its keeping me from becoming technologically overwhelmed.  So, I’m more of less ditzy-dancing my way into the world of photography! This blog post was SUPER helpful, and anyone else looking into food photography should go there. Taking some sage advice from the blogger, the first thing I did was go out and buy some white plates to shoot my food on. It really does look a lot cleaner. When I move into my new place I’m going to buy a little end table that is for my food photography and food photography only and plant it right in front of the window. I’m starting to realize I need to start making my fun meals for lunch so I can utilize the natural light #foodbloggerproblems.

Some shots I’ve been playing around with

 

Write a book

Yup, I’m writing a yoga book for my Capstone project, which isn’t due till next spring, but it obviously takes a few months to write, edit, and photograph a book. I’m thinking ahead! It’s going to be about arm balances and inversions, because I like living life on the edge and upside down (can you sense a possible title brewing?) Next week I start figuring out what poses I want to feature, and I’m sure you readers will all be my guinea pigs!

Besides devoting more time to the blog, those are my three biggest priorities, and I imagine keeping the list short and sweet will make these hopes more obtainable. Plus, I honestly want the chance to kind of relax this summer. I’ve been busting butt for a year, and a little chill time would be much appreciated.

I’d love to hear everyone’s plans for the summer!

Peel Away ❤

Jocellyn

Beat the Bloat

Today we’re going to focus on healthy drinks.

So you have coconut water, water kefir, dairy kefir, kombucha, pure acai juice, fresh pressed vegetable juice, green smoothies, etcetera, etc. I’m not going to lie, I love the occasional kombucha, and I’m having a love affair with my juicer (sorry blender), but the real “super drink” you should be swallowing is much cheaper and easier to find. Yup, it’s good old water.

Water is absolutely amazing. It detoxes the body, makes your hair, nails and skin look fabulous, and nourishes cells. I mean, there is a reason you can go without food for weeks, but you cannot go without water for more than a few days. But, allow me to get off my soap box.  I admit drinking water can take some getting used to. Compared to all the fun flavored drinks we are surrounded by, water can seem a little ho-hum. So, I’m going to give everyone—ladies and gents—a purely vanity based reason to start chugging the clear stuff, because sometimes it’s the fear of looking bad that lights said fire under one’s cheekies.

Sick and tired of feeling bloated and paunchy? Ladies, want to see a defined waist that you are proud to swivel around at the beach in your itty-bitty, insanely overpriced bikini? Drink. Your. Water!

Okay, so bloating sucks, and before I started eating healthier I feel like I was in a constant state of bloat, carrying around a food baby that never seemed to go away. True, I think some of it had to do with the inflammation from eating all that wheat my body so greatly detested, but a lot of it had to do with eating really salty foods. Your body loves to retain salt. When you eat too much salt and not enough water you throw off a crucial balance. So, if you don’t drink enough water, when you do your body is going to grab onto it and not let it go! To counter that, despite seeming counterintuitive, drink more water! You’ll start flushing out toxins and sodium (hit the road bloat!) and your body won’t be so fearful (source).

Want proof? Okay, I have no photo evidence, so you’re just going to have to take my word for it: these past three days I’ve been drinking a lot of water and have slowly noticed my waist line moving in to create a mini-hour glass shape. This is good, because I have an insane aversion to sit-ups! Isn’t it amazing how simply drinking a little more water can cause such immediate effects?! The way you treat your insides will reflect on your outside. Lemme be blunt: eat like crap and you’re going to look like crap.

A refreshing morning pick-me-up

How does one take drinking water from being a healthy chore to a delicious, healthy chore? Easy, add some flavor! And I’m not taking about Crystal Light flavoring or that Mio junk. Think citrus. Go out and buy some lemons. Make four slices and pop it into a mason jar. The one I use is 24 ounces, so adjust accordingly. Add some filtered water and let it sit for about 10 minutes. By then you’ll have some lightly infused water that tastes great. Sip mindfully throughout the day. (I also know people who use limes or cucumbers, so try out different things!)

Check out this link for the amazing benefits of lemon water; I was truly shocked!

Things to watch out for:

Lemon water is acidic and can soften the enamel on your teeth. If this is something you think you’ll be doing on a regular basis, plunk down $2 on 100 straws and save your pearly whites. Also, don’t brush your teeth immediately afterward, because your teeth haven’t harden again. I think the benefits of drinking water this way far outweigh the cons, so just take the cheap, preventative measures.

It can be really tempting to jump on the food-rage bandwagon, and a lot of the drinks mentioned above do have great benefits. But sometimes we need to look for simplicity as we strive towards a healthier lifestyle!

Peel Away ❤

Jocellyn

My Bathroom Has Officially Become My Second Kitchen…Kinda.

Yesterday at work I was cashing this woman out and she couldn’t stop gushing about my skin. Cocky much, but I get this quite often. What can I say—mamma and daddy gave me good complexion genes! However, my skin has gotten so much better ever since I started going sans chemicals. A few months back I wrote about how I ditched my chemical laden moisturizer, instead opting for some coconut oil. I still felt I needed something more and tried to make a homemade cleanser, but realized I didn’t love the consistency and how often I would have to make it. What was I to do? Well, I thought back to my slumber party days in elementary school when us lil’ ladies used to make masks with oatmeal and honey. Was it so 10 year old kitsch that I couldn’t apply (pardon the pun) it in my 20s? Of course not!  So, I went to work Youtubing and Googling until I found exactly what I was looking for: a super basic oatmeal cleanser.

Check out this quick 4 minute clip by the insanely adorable Bubzbeauty!  She’ll explain all the good-for you chemicals found in oatmeal.

I would make a slight change to how she washes her face, and this is especially crucial for anyone living in a place with old piping. See if you can get your hands on a really cheap food processor or even a coffee grinder. Dump a handful or two of oatmeal into it and blend away. The smaller pieces can go down the drain without worry of clogging, and you’ll still get the great exfoliating benefits. I store mine in this cute little honey jar. A little goes a long way—it takes about a month for me and Chris to go through it all. Not only do you not have to worry about storing it, but you won’t have to make a new batch every week (not that it takes more than a minute!) Just think, you’re paying a few dollars for close to a year’s worth of product!

The oatmeal, unlike the coconut oil, is perfect for every skin type. I hardly break out, and when I do the zits are a lot easier to take care of (I know, popping is wrong…but it happens!) Your face will go through a few ups and downs the first month you use it. Your skin is going “where are all the chemicals?!” and essentially detoxing. I beg of you to push through this period, as you would the awkward phase of a new haircut. Once you come out the other side your skin will be amazingly soft and clear! I’ve been “reviewing” this new facial lifestyle since January, and I’ve got to say I love the results.  Just as it matters what you put into your body, it matters what you put onto it as well. Minimally processed is the way to go, and you cannot get more minimal than this.

A few months back I also finished up my Clearasil cleansing pads, and I have been going without a toner for quite some time. I wanted something that was gentle, easy to make, and could be stored for more than week. So, this morning I decided to try out a green tea and lemon toner.  I boiled a green tea bag in a cup of water for five minutes. While that was bubbling away, I cut and juiced a lemon that was getting a little old. It’s currently cooling in the fridge. I’ll use it religiously this week and give a mini-review next Saturday!

I love the looks when people ask me what I do to keep my skin so wonderful, as I’m sure they expect me to mention this really expensive cleanser you can only get from some obscure company. Nope, just some good old Quaker Oats, a little bit of organic coconut oil, and (soon) some lemon and green tea toner. When you stop bombarding your body with all these different chemicals, it really starts to thrive.

Peel Away ❤

Jocellyn

Getting Creative With Snacks

Snacking is an essential part of healthy eating. It’s not ideal or necessarily healthy to live off of 3 meals a day. You’ll ping pong back and forth between hunger that brings on a less than savory attitude and fullness that makes you want to first unbutton your pants and then pass out for a few hours. Instead, you slowly have to get used to always feeling content—i.e. never too full or too hungry. I admit it’s a hard line to walk. As a culture so used to feeling stuffed, it can be hard to stop before you reach that point. That’s why having an arsenal of snacks at your disposal is important. Make room in your purse and backpack for fruits (fresh and dried), sliced veggies, and healthy yogurt. These foods are easily transportable, but sometimes you want something a little more “decadent” for when you’re at home and can lounge around while noshing. This past week, in the comfort of my kitchen, I tried out a little mix-and-match that delivered tasty results.

Exhibit A

So, I love smoked salmon. Like, adore smoked salmon. It’s a little slippery, a little chewy, and a little salty. Plus it has your omega-3s and protein. If you’ve ever been at a party that serves smoked salmon, the fishy goodness is probably encasing a wad of cream cheese. As delicious as cream cheese is, it’s not something I want to add to my diet on a regular basis. And as delicious as raw salmon is on its own, I wanted something extra to help fill me up. And then it hit me: find something sweet! I perused my refrigerator and freezer until my fingers settled upon the bowl which was holding some frozen red grapes. I love, love, love freezing my red grapes, because it makes them at least 3x sweeter—think healthy “candy.” I wrapped the grape up in the salmon and popped it into my mouth. A-friggin-mazing.

Benefits of Smoked Salmon

Benefits of Red Grapes

Exhibit B

I settled on this delight yesterday during my 15 minute break at work. In my bag I had a jar of peanut butter, an apple, and some pitted dates. An apple didn’t seem that appetizing, and it’s too depressing to eat peanut butter off a knife. So, I told myself, why not slather some peanut butter on my dates, which had been perfectly warmed and gushy-fied from sitting in the car all afternoon? Heaven. The sweetness of the dates made me think of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, sans the jelly which is usually filled with added sugars and the bread which is carb city.

An important aside, I strongly encourage everyone to develop a taste for natural peanut butter. Until recently I was stuck on the generic kind, which isn’t that much worse from you, but has a lot of added fats and chemicals that are unnecessary. Chris had always been a fan of the natural PB and would sanctimoniously hold his habits over mine. Oh, the shame I felt for many months. One random day I finally worked up the courage to try his stuff. It definitely wasn’t as sweet as what I’d been eating, but it wasn’t as bad as I thought. After I few tries I was hooked on Teddie’s and haven’t looked back since. 

Natural VS Regular Peanut Butter

The Joys of Dates and Other Dried Fruits

Don’t be afraid to play mad scientist with your snacks. Who cares if it’s weird as long as it tastes great to you and is nourishing your body? I love fruits and veggies, but, not going to lie, sometimes even I get bored of chopped peppers and fuzzy, wuzzy Kiwis.

Peel Away ❤

Jocellyn

So Juicy I’m Making Couture Jealous

This baby is older than me!

After working at Goodwill for 15 months, I’ve come up with a  sound theory on donated items. If someone has donated an appliance that is very old (from the early 90’s or 80’s and back) one can assume two things.

1 The item at hand was really amazing, but the person/family decided to upgrade after 10-20 years to the newer version of the appliance.

2 The item at hand had been stowed away for years, and the person/family had decided to donate it  because it had been collecting dust for 10-20 years.

One should always be weary of more recent or seemingly brand spankin’ new appliances that have been donated. For example, several months ago I bought a Sharper Image juicer at said store. I was beyond miffed to find out how inefficient it was (I could practically drink the left over pulp that should have been dry!) Thus, I realized the excited person/family must have used it once after the 30 days they had bought it, been unable to return it, and had driven to the Goodwill in anger and donated it. My Kitchen Aid mixer from the 60’s has proven to be an absolute tank, so when my eyes settled upon the Tefal Juicer from 1989, my heart fluttered like a twitterpated song bird.

Note: The day I left early to buy the juicer was the day I was forced to block one of my neighbors in…oh the drama, but it was sooooo worth it.

I’ve been into green smoothies for more than a year. In fact, they were what catapulted me into a more sound and healthy diet. However, I’ve always been intrigued by juicers, as it’s nice to add something new to the mix. Unfortunately, you are way more likely to find affordable  blenders than you are affordable juicers. The cheapest, reputable one is Jack Lalanne’s at $100, and most others can cost around $200 and up. Sadly, $200 was something I was unable to magically pull out of thin air, so I jumped when I saw the juicer at GW for $12.99 (they rarely come in.)

Juicing is great because it allows you to liquefy vegetables for easy consumption. My blender is not super powerful, so when I make green smoothies I can really only incorporate greens like spinach, collard greens, and the occasional Swiss chard. There was a whole land of carrot, beet, celery, and apple juice that I was not privy to, sigh. Plus, when you make your own juice there aren’t any added sugars and chemicals that are found in store bought juices. Yup, you heard me, this is juice you can actually drink on a regular basis!

When you blend or juice fruits and vegetables, the enzymes break down and your body has a far easier job of digesting them. With smoothies (which I will be writing a post on), since you don’t strain anything you are able to maintain the fiber. With juicing, the fiber is removed in the form of pulp and you are left with what I like to call: the essence. I don’t think one is significantly better than the other, though, I will admit that smoothie-ing is less of a process than juicing—there are so many parts of a juicer to clean! However, I think you do miss out if you are only able to do one. So, if your finances allow you, buy both!

So far I’ve made three awesome juices with my juicer (which has yet to be named!) I made a lot of stinker green smoothies at the beginning, so perhaps this learning curve is a lot better.

Recipe #1- I decided to try out a really simple juice so I could acclimate my taste-y buds

4 Oranges

2 Carrots

Teeeeny, weeeeny piece of ginger

I bought some Valencia juicing oranges at my local co-op for 30 cents a piece! Carrots are great because they do yield a large amount of juice and oranges are a sweet punch of vitamin c. The ginger was for some pizzazz and to make me feel a little hard-core.

Recipe #2- Getting a little green!

3 Oranges

3 Carrots

2 Kale Leaves + Tiny bit of spinach

I was really excited to use kale, because it doesn’t blend so well in my little Proctor Silex Blender. I first put in the carrots, then the kale, and finally the oranges. If you decide to use greens make sure you have something to add afterward to push through any leftover pieces and juice that might be sitting in the spout! I’ve noticed that when adding greens you can definitely taste them initially, but if you have something sweet in the drink (like the oranges) that is the taste you’ll be left with.

Recipe #3- Just Beet It

2 Beets

3 Carrots

2 Oranges

Chris and I don’t get many things at the co-op (wayyyy outside our budget for a full trip), but when I saw a bunch of 4 beets for $2.99 I had to get them.  This definitely wasn’t as sweet as the other juices, but still palatable. Because of that, I wasn’t able to slurp it down as fast as the other recipes and the rest is in my fridge for tomorrow morning. Here are some ones to tips, recipes, and nutritional facts on this voluptuous purple root veggie.

When you are showering, making breakfast, or have a few spare minutes, listen to this video on juicing. You’ll pick up great tips on what fruits/vegetables will fill your cup up and what greens won’t leave you feeling like you bought a bunch for nothing.

Some things to remember with green juices:

If you aren’t used to eating fruits and vegetables tread lightly into the realm for the first week or two. Most of these recipes have topped off my 12 oz mason jars. That’s a lot of fruits and vegetables to be drinking in one sitting and can cause what is kindly called “runny tummy.”  Your body will soon adjust, trust me, but you might find yourself having to go to the bathroom if you sip it down with the same amount of ease as Tropicana Orange Juice.  Finally, freshly prepared juices start to lose nutrients quickly. It’s advisable to drink them immediately or within 24 hours. As the video above mentions, grapefruit and orange juice can last up to two days if properly stored.

Peel Away ❤

Jocellyn

Be ready for a delicious hip opening sequence tomorrow!!!

Okay. It’s here: YOGA MANIA!

Hello!

In the last few posts I’ve been hinting at something really big hitting this blog, and today I drop bombs. Please, join me in a round of enthusiastic OMing to announce Yoga Mania! My junior portfolio class is doing a social media contest to see who can drive the most traffic to their blog and get people to stay tuned in. I really wanted to build up the yoga section of this site and thought this would be a perfect push in the right direction. I explain what this whole thing will be in the video above, but basically there will be a yoga video posted Monday-Friday. The video might be of a short sequence (less than 10 minutes!), a tutorial on inversions or arm balances, or a yoga chat ranging from pranayama to yoga clothing.

I’m really excited to see this all come together! Tomorrow and Friday I’ll be posting a video on yoga gear, which will be really helpful for beginners or people wanting to expand their clothing repertoire, and Friday I’ll be doing a post on breathing and ‘locks’ you can do with your body in order to settle your mind during practice.

Please, please, please check in daily and share this information with your friends of all ages, majors, athletic abilities, levels of flexibility, yoga styles, etc, etc.

Namaste & Peel Away ❤

Jocellyn

 

Get to your sweet dreams faster

Yes, “yesterday” was awhile ago. I’ve spent days kneeling on a wooden floor, whipping my back a la Da Vinci Code style to repent for my lateness. Moving on! Here are some ways to help you fall asleep and things you should avoid.

Give your technology the cold shoulder.

Cell phones, tablets, and laptops are great excuses for us to stay awake into the wee hours of the morning. I’ve mentioned this before in a previous post, but when we use technology we are generally being passive. We’re watching videos or clicking on pictures. We turn into drones. Not only are we not using much brain power (and if we are it’s highly hindered due to how tired we are), but our eyes are unconsciously focusing on a pulsating light our laptop screen gives off. Instead, if you find you must do something before going to bed try picking up a hard-copy book. This is not the time for Dostoyevsky. Go down to a used book store and grab a cheap copy of some indulgent book.  I’m usually out after 10 pages.

I spent $1.50 on this book for sleepy-time purposes. I ain't too proud!

Sweat, baby!

If you find that you tend to be a night owl, despite your early morning classes, put pent up energy to good use and exercise. Not only will you get some mean muscles, but you’ll make sleeping beauty jealous. Honestly, some of the best nights of sleep I’ve gotten have been post workout.

Get Sudsy

You can also take a nice, hot shower. You’ll save time in the morning, jump into your sheets all squeaky clean, and allow your body to relax in a natural way. The hot water helps make you sleepy, and if you can find a nice lavender bar soap (or even a candle) you’ll be yawning all the way to the bedroom.

Things to avoid

Weed before bed: There is a lot of conflicting data on how marijuana affects your sleep cycle. There are propaganda sites that clearly think weed is the devil’s creation, and sites I feel go overboard on the positive side effects. Look, I’m not here to judge people that smoke pot.  What you should watch out for, though, is if you have a “dependence” oh needing it to go to sleep. People become psychologically, not chemically, dependent to smoking weed, but it can be just as problematic. You should feel like you can go to bed without lighting up a bowl.

Alcohol before bed: Unlike weed, there is a lot of science on how alcohol affects your sleep. Drinking before bed can mess with your REM cycle. Rapid Eye Movement (REM) is when you’re dreaming and your brain is processing a great deal of information. We always dream, but you just might remember them. Alcohol can also cause you to wake up during the night on several occasions, but not remember it. This can be very problematic if you are a frequent drinker, as you won’t be getting quality sleep.

Medicine & pills before bed: I swear the muscle relaxer I’ve been on for my neck releases magic sleeping dust into my system. However, I haven’t been taking it every night, because I know how easy it can be to start relying on OTC and prescription medicine to fall asleep. Not to mention it can be dangerous. Again, I write this coming from someone who made a lot, a lot of stupid decisions in my early college years. Don’t fall into a trap of taking medication to fall asleep unless you absolutely need it. During Freshman year one of my roommates at HPU couldn’t fall asleep without drinking Nyquil! It’s just not worth it. If you think you need help, get help. Most colleges have counselors you can talk to for free.

Finally, make sure you research any “herbal” remedies as well. I don’t know a lot about melatonin, but I dug up two websites I thought had interesting information. Just because something is herbal doesn’t mean you should take it, it’s safe to take, and it’s appropriate for your body or life style needs.

http://www.talkaboutsleep.com/circadian-rhythm-disorders/circadian-rhythm-sleep-disorders/10-how-to-use-melatonin-correctly.htm

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/melatonin/NS_patient-melatonin/DSECTION=safety

 

Peel Away ❤

Jocellyn

Sleep deprivation induced alter egos are only sexy in Fight Club

I was inspired to write this post due in large part to a recent dream experience (no, nightmare) I had the other night. Ever since riding gluten from my diet, I’ve been able to dream much better. They are more vivid, and most recently I have been able to lucid dream, a wonderful experience when Johnny Depp, for some unbeknownst reason, saunters in my REM cycle; Chris did not approve. However, the funniest thing about my dream sphere is that it was a place where I could go to savor gooey cinnamon buns, crunchy slices of French bread, and pillow-y pizzas. If that isn’t akin to the cliché of women going to sleep to dream of their exes, then I don’t know what is! Sadly, the other night something new occurred. I had just swallowed the most delicious bite of pizza, when suddenly I was overcome with the pain gluten intolerants and celiacs feel when they’ve been “glutened. “ My hands went numb and I doubled over in pain. Upon waking up and realizing it was a dream (I’m not yet a pro at lucid dreaming), I was immensely sadden to realize that even my once safe dream space had turned against me; all good things cannot last forever.

Anecdote aside, this post will be on the importance of sleep. We need it to function. During nighty-time our brain acts like a computer that is updating itself, making sure everything is going into the right slots. Fighting the urge to sleep weakens the body. We are more susceptible to being sick. I know that when I don’t get enough sleep, I’m apt to wake up with a raging headache and a stuffy nose. It can also lead to depression and memory loss (WebMD.)It’s tempting to feel powerful, like a colonist sticking his flag in the sand of new found lands, when you’ve pulled an all nighter to complete a paper—which you probably should have done earlier—but your body will demand that the sleep debt you’ve accrued be repaid. Not to mention, they call it beauty sleep for a reason.  Have you seen people that don’t get enough sleep? For the most part…HAGGARD, YO!

Another interesting thing that happens when you don’t get much sleep is that you tend to put on weight. This happens for two reasons. The first is chemical. Our body produces ghrelin and leptin. Doctor Michael Breus says, “Ghrelin is the ‘go’ hormone that tells you when to eat, and when you are sleep-deprived, you have more ghrelin. Leptin is the hormone that tells you to stop eating, and when you are sleep deprived, you have less leptin.” (Source)Sleep deprivation is the groggy breeding ground for unhappy midsections and hips.

The other reason, linked to chemical imbalances, is when we are tired we have less energy to do healthy things. We don’t have the energy put together balanced meals and snacks to take to work or school. Instead, we reach for the easiest thing, which tends to be calorically dense, nutritionally void junk foods and drinks.  And if we’ve had sleep deprivation for quite some time, we probably cannot muster up the strength to work out. Over time that leads to weight gain, over time that can lead to low self-image, which left alone can encourage anxiety, extreme sadness, and possibly depression. Get in some winks, man.

In this country we put a lot before ourselves. It’s understandable that we have deadlines to meet, meetings to attend, and possibly children to take care of, but please look at your schedule to find time to fit these things in. I’m in college and I work three jobs, but I still find time to do my homework, prepare healthy meals (sometimes I pass the responsibility onto Chris, who sautés with gusto after I give him the stank eye), and do some yoga.  And to be honest, on most days, I still find myself with 90 minutes of left over time, so I assure you it’s possible to run a tight ship and find time to veg out and get in solid sleep. It can seem restrictive, but you’ll feel much better.

Being healthy means working in harmony with your body. Sure, not everyone needs to follow the adage of eight hours a night. Really healthy people can run on five, some are fine with seven, but you have to find what works for you. Get off the hamster wheel and take control of our life. The occasional all nighters happen, but habitually staying up late (well, actually staying up early), as you can see above, is not doing your body any favors.

This post is going to be 2-parts. Check in tomorrow for the encore, which talks about finding ways for the average person to get to bed without unnecessary and possibly addictive aids. Again, I’m all for medication be it depression, ADD/ADHD, sleep disorders, and the likes, if you need it, but if you don’t then please don’t fall prey.

Peel Away those sleepy seeds (hehe….ew!)

❤ Jocellyn