Archive for November, 2009

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Food (and Other!) Lessons to Share From this Weekend

November 29, 2009

One-handed Pincha Mayurasana with Lotus. Photo courtesy of Josh Maready.

Hey Guys!

Well I had a great weekend and I hope you did too- what with Thanksgiving, the notorious Black Friday, lots of running around and shopping, etc.

Here are some things I did this weekend: Had a great Thanksgiving, made lots of raw deserts and salads, gave a few yoga privates, practiced yoga, held a mini cooking class for 4 people, did some nutritional consultations, walked around a lot, meditated, went food shopping, went to a dinner party (where I helped make the food), hung out with friends, listened to new music, etc… 🙂

I consider myself a perpetual student- there is so much to keep learning about what we are passionate about. I also learn so much from my students as a yoga teacher and a nutrition counselor. I constantly learn more about people, how to deal with people, and on a more pragmatic level- what questions keep coming up that may need more reinforcing. So here are just a few random things that came up during the course of my weekend activities:

Random Thoughts/Lessons to Share

1.    Throw out all commercial, pre-made salad dressings. I find that most people are okay learning to make a salad and chop things up and throw them together, but many are not confident about making a dressing that tastes good. The easy answer is to get commercial salad dressings. The down side is that those dressings are usually filled with preservatives, artificial ingredients and sugars, MSG, etc. in varying levels. Experiment with making your own salad dressings using olive oil, lemon, cayenne pepper, Celtic sea salt, herbs like cilantro and parsley, garlic, ginger, sesame oil, raw apple cider vinegar, dulse, etc. YOU can make a dressing that tastes good- it doesn’t have to come out of a bottle!!

2.    Don’t assume you don’t like the taste of ____________. Many times people assume they don’t like how something tastes, because they had a bad experience or simply did not to like something in the past (papaya, avocado, acai, scallion, etc…). As we start to change our diet and our bodies let go of old craving-inducing toxins, you may be surprised that some foods you used not to like, you now really do like! I used to NOT like many of the foods I now eat every day- including avocados. Go figure! So remember that our food tastes can change (a great thing for moms to keep in mind if they are worried about the little ones! Their food habits will get better 🙂  ).

3.    Your yoga practice (or workout) does not have to be the most intense level every time. A woman I teach privately several times a week said to me this weekend at our session, “My body is just tired!” So we did a lot of breathing work and meditation/Reiki, and it was beautiful- and just what she needed. Admittedly, we had been pushing pretty hard in our sessions several times a week, and she has made fantastic progress. But there is no rush, no sprint to get anywhere. Resting the body is healthy and natural, and gives us a chance to have a practice where we focus more on pranayama (breathing) and meditation- the higher aspects of yoga. Asanas help keep the body healthy for mediation- and help us sharpen our will power. Plus they are a lot of fun! And get many people into yoga in the first place. But they are really a tiny part of the overall practice. It is important to introspect and be honest with ourselves, and not try to do the most hardcore practice (or workout) every single day, just because it is a habit. Our practice can and should adjust.

Astavakrasana. Photo courtesy of Josh Maready.

4.    Don’t be scared of the sun. The sun is the giver of all life, and has the ability to activate enzymes in the body as well as kickstart our production of Vitamin D. When we are blessed with the gift of the sun being out- especially this time of year!- you can be sure I’m out getting me some sun time. Our media wants us to believe the sun is lethal and should be avoided at all costs- but in reality, the sun in moderation, at around 20 minutes a day, is healthy. It also makes you feel vibrant and alive!

5.    If you make my Raw Pecan Love Pie or any of my pies- realize the recipe amounts were designed for a flat tin pie tray. In other words, if you use a traditional glass pie tray with a thick side, you may need to make more filling. I realized this last night when my friend surprised me by making my pecan pie recipe! But it looked a lot different than mine- because she used a glass tray. So the filling looked like a lot less than if the crust was thicker on the bottom and did not go up the sides- like mine. So IF you are using those glass trays with the higher sides, I would take the filling recipe and would make 1 ½ times that part of the recipe, so your pie looks more filled in.

6.    Remember that if you become vegetarian- or more vegetarian- as long as you are not eating junk food all the time you will get enough protein! Eating a wide variety of greens, seeds, nuts, fruit, vegetables will give you a diet full of easily assimilated amino acids. Our bodies use high quality amino acids to build specific proteins in our body. Much of the cooked animal protein is unusable anyway because the amino acids become denatured with heat. As I start to switch people’s diets, I often find that people are scared they are missing out on protein. Again- as long as you are eating a wide variety of plant produce, you’ll be getting plenty of amino acids!

Well these are some random thoughts that come to mind. Yes, they are random aren’t they. 🙂 If you like blogs like this, I will write more of them sometimes- let me know what you think!
Have a great end of your weekend and I will write more soon.
Love, Kimberly

Bakasana. Photo courtesy of Josh Maready.

Urdhva Kukkutasana. Photo courtesy of Josh Maready.

PS!! My good friend Leila, who is also a yoga teacher (and she is AWESOME!) is having a yoga retreat in the Dominican Republic March 6-13th. It is at 2 private homes with a pool/jaccuzi, right on a gorgeous beach. If you are looking for a getaway for cold March, this would be a great option. Leila is a loving, excellent teacher. Check out her site: http://leilayoga.blogspot.com/

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Immunity Tea with Cayenne Pepper: Step by Step Instructions

November 27, 2009

Hey Guys!

Happy Day after Thanksgiving. 🙂 I hope you had a special and relaxing holiday! Now next topic: Immunity Tea. This is something I’ve been making for myself and family members a lot lately, since the running around and changing weather can really give our immunity a run for its money. (Speaking of running around- this is one girl you WON’T catch shopping today on Black Friday, under any circumstances!!! Except food shopping of course 🙂  ).

This tea is really spectacular to drink through the winter. It works when you are already sick, when there are sick people living in your same house (or tiny apt!) or at work, OR when you feel the beginnings of a pesky cold coming on. This tea boosts immunity because the combination of the lemon and ginger will promote circulation of the blood and lymph and help remove stagnation. In other words, it will help promote toxins constantly circulating to exit the body. The ginger has warming qualities will help burn out harmful bacteria. An organic lemon is packed with over 200 enzymes that will help restore the liver, one of our big detoxifying organs. The cayenne pepper works to break up mucus in the body.

However, the ORDER you make this tea makes all the difference. For instance, you do not want to pour your lemon juice into boiling water, which would destroy the enzymes…and the whole effectiveness of the tea. So here I’ve broken it down for you, step by step:

Step 1: Peel and chop ginger into chunks. For 1 cup, aim for about 1 heaping Tbs. You want to slice it up so the properties of the ginger will seep into the tea, but don’t make the pieces too small- otherwise you’ll get a bunch of “floaters” that will keep coming up to the surface.

Step 2: Heat up water. It can boil, or if you can catch it right before it starts to boil that would be great. Turn off the heat, and let the water cool down for a minute. Pour the hot water over the ginger pieces, which you’ve placed at the bottom of a large coffee mug. Let the hot water steep over the ginger by itself for about 2 minutes. The ginger needs longer time for its flavor to fully unleash.

Step 3. Cut a lemon in half.

Step 4: After waiting at least 2 minutes, the ginger and hot water should be cooled down enough that you could pick up the mug with your hands and start to sip it. At that time, squeeze half a lemon into the mug. If you have a hard time with lemon, do at least 1/4 of a lemon, and build yourself up. But 1/2 would be ideal!

Step 5: Give at least one good shake of cayenne pepper right into the tea. If you can handle spice, like me, you can try 2 shakes! Don’t overdo it though.

Step 6: Sweeten with a packet of Stevia. Another choice is xylitol. Stevia is the best, as it has 0 effect on our blood-sugar levels. Above all, do not use Splenda or any other fake sugars!!!

Step 7: Mix with a tea spoon…and you are ready to go! And ready to start giving your immunity a big boost. 🙂

Enjoy and let me know how you do with it!

Happy and Healthy Holidays,

Love, Kimberly

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Full Page Thanksgiving Feature in US Weekly! And MORE Tgiving Tips. :)

November 24, 2009


Hey Guys –

Someone just sent me this feature and I am THRILLED!! Wanted to share it with you right away. 🙂 I knew they were posting the recipe but didn’t know it would be a FULL page! Yay!! Okay and as promised- here are more elaborated tips to get you through your Thanksgiving!!

Tips to Get Through Your Thanksgiving Meal as Healthily as Possible

Thanksgiving is a time for gathering together with friends, family and loved ones. While this holiday is a great time to feel love and connection with others, over time it has also become a holiday associated with eating copious amounts of food and stuffing ourselves so much that we can barely move afterwards. It doesn’t have to be part of our tradition to feel that way!!

There may be very special dishes at Thanksgiving that are part of your family’s tradition that we won’t want to miss out on. Therefore, these tips are not about making us feel deprived on Thanksgiving, they are rather about how to enjoy one of our favorite meals, while not feeling sick or that we weigh 400 pounds afterwards (Can I get a “NO THANKS?!!”).

You will actually enjoy your meal and holiday even more!

Thanksgiving Tips

1.    The day before Thanksgiving, try to eat really light. That way, by the day of the big meal,your body will not be already backed up digesting heavy foods from the day before.

2.    Before the big meal, which is usually in the afternoon, have only fruit on an empty stomach, or nothing, and drink plenty of water, so you are hydrated.

3.    Drink as little water, alcohol, or other liquids during the actual meal itself. Liquids dilute the Hydrochloric acid in our stomach, and make it harder for us to digest our foods. Food that is not digested well can contribute to toxicity in the body.

4.    Have the first actual thing you start eating be a raw green salad or any kind of raw vegetables. It is highly beneficial to coat the stomach with something alkaline first, and as this will help push through the other concentrated, acidic foods that you will eat afterwards for better digestion. It will also ensure that you are getting fiber in the body first, so you will be less apt to pig out on other foods.

5.    Eat slowly and enjoy your food! Remember to make the meal be about who you are eating with, and the love around the table. That is the main point of the gathering, not just eating as much as possible! So enjoy all your foods, but just be conscious that you do NOT need to overstuff yourself. Have a goal of trying a little big of everything, but leave the table only 80% full.

6.    Chew really well. You’ve heard it before, but for this meal it is especially important! The digestion of carbs begins in the mouth with the secretion of the enzyme ptyalin, and we want to help along digestion in any way we can.

7.    Later on that night, if you get hungry again, raw vegetables, salad and some water would be your best bet over even fruit. The combination of heavy foods in your stomach could take over 12 hours to digest in your stomach. If we eat fruit on top of that, fruit could end up backing us up even more past that, since fruit leaves the stomach in 20 minutes. If it can’t leave the stomach, it will be stuck there, and will start to ferment and acidify. Not great for our digestion, energy, and beauty!

Hope you will incorporate this tips and have a wonderful holiday. I will write more soon..but here’s an early Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Love and Blessings,  Kimberly

PS: To my international friends that are reading this and don’t celebrate Thanksgiving, of course these tips would be useful for any big traditional holiday meal you might enjoy 🙂

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Ways to Make your Thanksgiving Even Better! Part 1: Prep

November 22, 2009


Hey Guys,

Well the holidays are coming up this week- a time that can bring a lot of joy, stress, or both. You may be feeling a bit stressed about what you are going to eat and how you are going to handle everything if you have recently made some dietary changes or have decided to be vegetarian- or more vegetarian. Here are a few tips to hopefully make your holiday more joyful and stress-free 🙂  :

1.    Plan to bring a dish that you like to eat to share with everyone. This is the obvious one but a really great idea so you aren’t stuck in a desperate situation. Plus you can share the love with others! Worried about what to eat while everyone is eating turkey this year? Make a hearty kale salad (see my recipe for Dharma’s Kale Salad), with avocado, sprouts, and nutritional yeast, and have that handy to dish up to yourself. You can pair it with some of your favorite sides on the table- the sweet potatoes, green beans, etc. Worried about all the refined sugar/white flour-filled traditional deserts? Why not make my Raw Pecan Love Pie, which everyone will die for. No one will miss the regular pies, and it will end the meal on a healthier option.

2.    Have fun shopping for ingredients and go early.
Much stress can be added by waiting until Wed. night or Thurs. morning to try to find last minute ingredients that you need to complete a recipe or bring to the meal. I have done this in past years! If you have time to visit a local farmer’s market to source some of the ingredients, it would make your dish much more special, flavorful, and healthy.

3.    Don’t get anxious about anyone asking you about why you’ve changed out you eat, or why you aren’t eating any turkey.
I usually say something like, “I just feel the best when I eat this way. It really works for me!” If you focus on yourself and how you feel, there is nothing any of your friends or family can really say. You are focusing on yourself, and your health and choices, and not criticizing anyone else’s choices. It will lessen the chances of anyone feeling threatened by your food choices, or just getting weird about it.

4.    Get into a good fitness/health state to start this week.
Many people tell me, “Oh I’m going to get back on track after the holidays.” I say, why let yourself go so far off track, consciously? You can still enjoy in some of your favorite traditions, but you don’t have to feel that you are already just letting go and sinking down into a low place right from before the holidays have even officially started! Take some long walks this week, practice your yoga, or do those active workouts you like. Eat plenty of salads and cleansing meals so you are in a happy, strong, and healthy place early this week as you go into the holiday. You will feel better and enjoy your holiday even more! It will be easier and easier for us to feel more grateful and thankful for all our many blessings, rather than just focusing on the food. 🙂

Stay tuned for Wed., when I will post more tips for the actual day before and the day of getting through and digesting your Thanksgiving meal your absolute best!

Love, Kimberly

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The Bill and Melinda Gates/Microsoft Foundation Gala

November 19, 2009

Hey Guys!

So last night I was honored to be invited to attend The Bill and Melinda Gates/Microsoft Gala in Seattle. I can’t even tell you how blown away I am by the work that the Gates are doing in the world. It truly shows that when you are very personally sucessful, the more you can help others. The Gates’ foundation has already given away $21 BILLION, and plans to give away all of the $37 BILLION more in its fund in less than 100 years. Wow!! There are 482 billionaires in the world. If they all did what the Gates and Warren Buffett do for charitable causes, the world would be a dramatically different place.

The highlight of my night was participating in a discussion with Bill Gates about soil and nutrition. He fully understands that feeding the soil is vital to improving nutrition and stronger plants. I was actually surprised (!) and delighted to learn how much he knows about plant soil, and how passionate he is about improving the food needs of all around the world. I also got to meet and talk with the CEO of the Gates foundation, who has the last say in how every dollar of the yearly funds’ distribution is spent. I am completely inspired and determined to do something BIG with them one day, to improve worldwide nutrition and sustainable agriculture!

I didn’t know that  much about Melinda before last night, but being around her and hearing her speak, I must say that I like and admire her very much. She is brilliant, poised, classy- and most importantly, has a huge heart. What an amazing experience! And a great reminder that making lots of money is nice, but making lots of money and helping lots of people with that money is REALLY amazing. The overall theme of the night was “Go Big or Go Home.” Since we (anyone reading this!) are in a position to help each other- we really and truly must.

With love, Kimberly

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Quick Yoga Video Update with Editor :)

November 18, 2009

Hi Loves, This was a quick video we took Friday in the editing room before I left LA. We were in there for so long we needed to entertain ourselves somehow because we were all getting a little stir crazy. I just want you to know that the project is still ongoing.

I’m about to leave for the airport AGAIN! But I will write more later or tomorrow.

Love! Kimberly

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Raw Pecan Love Pie

November 15, 2009

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Hi Guys!
I thought I would post this just in time for Thanksgiving, in case you want to incorporate something raw but still DELISH! into your Thanksgiving meal.

Pecan pie always conjures up memories of being made and given with love. There  is something very nurturing, and loving, about pecan pie! This is definitely one of my own personal favorite creations. I think you will really like it- even if you are not usually a pecan pie fan. 🙂 I made up 3 different fillings, and this one was voted the favorite!

Crust:
–    2 cups walnuts
–    3 cups of pitted dates
–    1 cup coconut flakes, finely ground

Pit the dates yourself, extracting each pit and discarding. Add the dates, coconut flakes and walnuts to the food processor and mix until thoroughly blended.

Press the mixture into the bottom and sides of a pie tin. Set to the side.

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Filling:
–    2/3 cup filtered water
–    1 cup raw pecans, soaked about 15 minutes
–    1 cup organic Thompson raisins
–    1 Tbs. vanilla extract
–    1 tsp. nutmeg (optional, I really like this spice!)
–    1/3 cup maple syrup
–    1 tsp. Celtic sea salt

Blend all ingredients together in the blender until smooth. Pour onto the crust of the tray, and garnish with fresh, raw pecans into a pretty pattern.

Set in freezer overnight, or for at least 5 hours before serving.

Slice up and enjoy!

Have a great week! And again, as I mentioned below, please remember to follow me for lots of fun food, beauty, and health tips on Twitter. 🙂 My Twitter name is: KimsHealthTips.

Love, Kimberly

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Tweet, Tweet!

November 14, 2009
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TWEET! I saw this beautiful duck on this trip, waddling around happily in his little pond. Now I too can TWEET! 🙂 🙂

The day has come that I have finally joined the ranks of the latest 21st century’s technology. My dearest friends, I am happy to announce that starting last night around 1:00 am PST, I started Twittering, and will be sending regular Tweets. When Twitter came out, I didn’t pay much attention to it, and I do still think the word “Tweet” is ridiculous!

I started to Twitter a while ago, but admittedly it was a fake attempt and I regularly went about 4 months between Tweets. (Who doesn’t smile when they hear that word??). But now I have a new phone with an even better camera, and the application is all loaded up. So I’m ready! Ready, Set…Tweet!!! Okay, sorry I’ll stop saying that now. 🙂

I realize that Twitter is a way I can give all kinds of great little tips and ideas that come into my head all day long, which is much different than writing blogs. Plus, since I move around so much, I think you may have fun coming with me on my adventures and seeing even more fun pics on the go! So please join my Twitter Feed in the right hand column, and please share with your friends and anyone that you think might be interested in Health, Eating for Beauty, Raw Food, Natural Eating, Yoga and more! Thanks so much for helping me spread the word.

My Twitter name is: KimsHealthTips.

In Health and Love! Kimberly

More birds from the trip. These parrots are more like SQUAWK!!- rather than sweet little bird Tweets. 🙂

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Clear Secum, Clear Mind

November 12, 2009

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Hey Guys!

So I’m still here in La and things are going great. How is your week? It is not as hot here as I would ideally like- but it isn’t freezing either. 🙂 I was secretly hoping to get more sun time in though, since I’ll be heading back to NY soon. Oh well!

Last night I had a dinner party that went pretty late, so I am officially entrenched in West Coast time. Actually I’ve made dinner for dinner parties the last 2 nights in a row! I’ve been going and going, and there are moments when I feel thrown off. During those times it just seems that things are a little harder to deal with and work out that normally aren’t. And I know EXACTLY where it relates to- my backed up belly! When I travel and my bathroom schedule gets even slightly off, it really makes a huge difference in everything, including my yoga practice, my mentality and my appetite.

There are energy lines in our body that run up and down, and interconnect. In Oriental philosophy they are called meridians. My friend Yvonne who is an acupuncturist is the real expert in meridians, and acupuncture can help opening these lines of energy. However, we don’t have to resort to acupuncture to immediately remove major blockages in our bowel- but we need to resort to something! Otherwise we will really start to feel the effects- even if they are subtle and even if we don’t necessarily equate them to our bowels.

The secum of our intestines, which is on the right side, is connected via meridians to the skull. And so on and so forth throughout the whole body. I know I am backed up immediately when I start getting a bit, um…testy shall we say. 🙂 Agitation, headaches, feeling overwhelmed, overly nervous, etc. can all be related to this. Part of the yoga practice is maintaining equanimity, and I definitely consider how I choose to eat and keep my body clean as part of my practice. It sure helps keep the mental equanimity- which is not always easy. Authentic and ancient yoga books discuss various forms of keeping the bodily temple clean along with asanas (poses).

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This was one of the best weather days I've had here. I love all the plants in Southern California!

So I can’t stress enough how important it is to not let yourself get to the point where you feel backed up. It can and will energetically affect all areas of your life. Energy permeates, everything is full of energy, and stuck energy will not allow the life force to flow through you. You will not feel as vibrant, and you will certainly not feel your best. We can not have stuck waste in our bodies and except to be on top of our game- and right now I’m not even talking about the old toxicity, I’m talking about stuff from yesterday, and possibly the day before!

Oh- so back to the trip. I was feeling okay at the beginning, but hit a little low point a few days ago of being a bit backed up. For me, the best quick fix is downing some Kombucha on an empty stomach. Out here I get the bottled kind. There is something about the liquid delivery of a hefty dosage of probiotics that really helps rebalance everything, usually pretty quickly or at least in 24 hours or less. So yesterday was a great rebalancing day, and I feel great again today, even when I am up late at night and up early in the morning the next day, like I was this morning, with lots of stuff going on. 🙂 If you have access to coconut kefir, which is also liquid, that would be amazing also! I had some of that last night also, courtesy of my friend Jon Biel, and it was great. There are many foods of course, such as spinach, which is said to have somewhat of a laxative effect on the bowel, but these foods will not usually be as immediate.

So please be conscious of how important of an issue this is to deal with when it comes up, and do what you have to do to stay clear-minded!

Have a wonderful day!

Love, Kimberly

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Old Dogs Movie Premiere

November 10, 2009

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Hey Guys!

Okay, this is just one of the occasional Hollywood blogs I throw in, just for kicks. 🙂 Last night I went to the world premiere of Old Dogs, which was in LA. It was a really fun family movie, and it opens Thanksgiving weekend! Lots of laughs for the fam.

Admittedly, I was just the tiniest bit starstruck to run into some of my favorite actors. First of all, when I grew up Splash was like my favorite movie ever. Mermaids!! So I love Tom Hanks (his wife Rita Wilson is in the movie)…

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And Robin Williams…I love Dead Poet’s Society. What a nice guy. If you look to the left, that is him with the glasses. (Still took this sneaky picture!).

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And at the party afterward, which is always much smaller than the movie premiere itself, I chatted with the absolutely lovely Kelly Preston.

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I started the night with a slick ponytail but half way through the night went to the bathroom and took it down. Have you ever done that when you’ve been out? Not been entirely happy with your hair?? I realize I don’t like myself that much in a ponytail- or maybe I am just not good at making it look good myself. 🙂 Okay, I’ve thought Seth Green is one of the funniest young actors since Austin Powers, and what a nice guy he is. I didn’t realize how um, petite he is (in a good way!). So I think this picture is funny because next to him my head looks HUGE!!

Okay, that’s all. Thanks for doing that little red carpet tour with me. Back to food stuff next post!

Lots of love, Kimberly

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