Nicci Morris

Posts Tagged ‘Body image’

Your Mind, Body And Spirit Know When It’s Time For A 21-Day Detox

In Food, Lifestyle, Love/Relationships, Spirituality on May 29, 2012 at 3:45 pm

We all have things that we feel are necessary for our existence. Beyond water, oxygen and food, we have physical and spiritual needs. It is important to meet them in healthful ways and on a consistent basis. When that does not happen, disorder can easily settle into your mind, body and spirit. I recently did a 21-day detox (no animal products, alcohol, yeast breads or any processed food) and I felt wonderful. There is a direct correlation between contentment and perceived success and the level of connection you have with what keeps you grounded.

There are three major things that ground me and keep me focused.

Walking with Bella does more than get my heart rate up and my blood flowing. It also gives me an opportunity to clear my mind and to commune a bit with my furry baby, the trees and the grass. There is something very zen-like about the rhythmic sound of my shoes hitting the ground… Bella’s leash jingling occasionally. On those walks, the sun and wind feel like old friends and I love to reconnect with them.

But my true exercise love is Bikram – or “hot” – yoga. This practice consists of 26 yoga postures done in a humid room heated to between 105-115 degrees. If that sounds like torture to you, please trust me when I say it is just the opposite. I use each 90-minute class to sweat out toxins, to increase strength of every muscle in my body (including my heart) and to release stress. For me, it is akin to a full-body massage in terms of how relaxed and balanced I feel after each practice. With each drop of sweat that hits my mat, I feel stress and worry leave my body. At times, the classes are so intensely cathartic that I weep as I move through the postures, grateful my face is already flushed and wet so not even I can tell the tears from the sweat.

I also do traditional gym workouts to mix things up a bit. Plus, there are times when I enjoy the buzz of working out with other people amid the whir of 50 treadmills and elliptical machines. But I am gentle with myself in the gym during a detox program.


This is now far more simple for me than I ever realized. The reality is I feel, look and generally live, act, react and think better when I eliminate all animal products (including eggs and dairy) and processed foods (soda, yeast breads, etc…) from my diet. When I explain that, people often say, “If I did that, what could I eat?” The answer is plenty. Did you know spinach contains protein? Quinoa, legumes (for those who can properly metabolize them – I, unfortunately, cannot), avocados and nut butters are rich sources of protein, just to name a few. Note that I didn’t mention tofu. While it is a great source of nutrition for those who choose meat-free nutrition, I avoid soy for my breast health as a result of my family history.

On my detox days, I remove coffee and tea (yes, even herbal and decaffeinated tea). The only thing I drink other than spring or distilled water is coconut water and vegetable and fruit juices and smoothies I prepare at home. I eat oatmeal, rice milk, fresh and cooked fruit and vegetables, lots of simple salads (like cucumber and tomato with a little olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper) and homemade soups. The first couple of days can be a little trying, but after that I feel so good that it’s easy to keep going.

As I have mentioned before, these two practices are unique yet I feel they are symbiotic. For me, both are necessary for clarity and a balanced mind. It is not about praying to or for anything in particular. The most powerful changes come into my life when I use meditation and prayer to turn the focus inward, not up to the heavens. The miracles multiply in my life when I focus on gratitude for what I have, not on asking for what I think I or someone else needs.

This time around, I am also cutting out television and social networking for 21 days. I would rather use the evenings during my fast to meditate, pray and catch up on my reading.

Toxins come in many forms if you consider it. They are ingested into us through food and drink, but they are also introduced into our minds and spirits through what we hear and what we see. If your mind, body and spirit are telling you (as mine is telling me right now) that it is time for a detox, do it. It’s only 21 days and it will fly by. I start today and I will do my best to track what I eat, drink and do these days in case it inspires you to do a detox when you are ready. As always, you should definitely check with your doctor before making any drastic lifestyle changes.

Give up the common things so you can focus on what you truly need most and be amazed by what uncommon goodness comes into your life.



Want skin that glows? Head to the pantry

In Beauty, Lifestyle, Recipes, Zaftig-Approved on June 29, 2011 at 1:48 am

When it comes to skin care, there is nothing like a good scrub. Over the years, it feels like I’ve tried everything. Some weren’t coarse enough. Others left an oily residue which, in my eyes, defeated the entire purpose of exfoliation.

A good scrub removes layers of dead skin and grime, encourages cell renewal and keeps outbreaks at bay. Skin naturally renews itself every 28 days or so when you are young. But things tend to slow down with age and scrubs help rev up your youthful appearance and can diminish fine lines. Exfoliation is also great for something I’ve been experiencing as of late: post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. Sounds pretty scientific, huh? If you’ve ever found yourself unable to resist the urge to pop a pimple, you’re familiar with it. Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, or PIH, refers to the skin discoloration that follows inflammation or infected skin. In what is a natural response to trauma, PIH appears as a dark area of skin where the eruption was. In my case, I recently had a problem with acne on my forehead and chin. Although I know far better, I popped them when I should have just let them dry out and heal on their own. The result was several dark spots on my face. Not cute, let me tell you. I’ve always been proud to walk out of the house without a stitch of makeup on, but doing so when I had tons of hyperpigmentation would have had people running away from me at the store, for fear that I was contagious or something.

Thankfully, the acne healed and the eruptions stopped. (A huge thank you Shea Moisture acne treatments! That stuff saved my skin. More on them to come in a future post…) But I needed a little extra help to help with the dark spots. I remembered my grandmother telling me about the magic of brown sugar, baking soda and honey. I mixed up a batch a week ago and have already seen dramatic improvement in the look and feel of my skin. It’s magic, I swear. Try it on your face and your body at least 2-3 times each week and let me know how much you love your results!

Brown Sugar Scrub

1 cup dark brown sugar

4 Tablespoons of baking soda

1/2 cup of honey (optional – you could also use extra virgin olive oil)

Stir until combined. Final product will be shiny and thick. Add in more sugar and honey (or olive oil) until it has the texture of peanut butter. Store in a covered plastic container. Be sure to use clean hands or a spoon when you scoop it out. Apply it to damp skin.

Make a big batch, use it as often as you need to and prepare to knock people OUT with your glow…


Vogue Curvy… a site for sore eyes

In Fashion/Style, Lifestyle on June 23, 2011 at 3:55 pm

To refer to Vogue Curvy as “Zaftig-Approved” might be the understatment of 2011. This movement, my dears, is what The Zaftig Life is all about.

Page after page is brimming with beautiful and divinely curvalicious women in all of their pleasingly-plump, oh-so-juicy fabulousness. My apologies for the adjective overload, but it can’t be helped… Take a look and see what I’m drooling, er, talking about. It’s a beautiful sight (and site) indeed…

For anyone who may still be wondering… THIS is Zaftig.

Enjoy the curves ahead… Vogue Curvy rules. That is all.

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Source for photos: Vogue Curvy (of course)

What in the world is “zaftig” anyway?

In Lifestyle, Zaftig-Approved on August 29, 2009 at 4:40 am


Zaftig (according to Webster)Pronunciation: ‘zäf-tig, ‘zof-

Function: adjective
Etymology: Yiddish zaftik juicy, succulent, from zaft juice, sap, from Middle High German saf, saft, from Old High German saf
of a woman : having a full rounded figure : pleasingly plump

So, there you have it… A Zaftig woman is neither obese nor skinny. She’s neither mushy nor sinewy… She is, in my opinion and in the opinion of many, just right.

At 5’9″, 165 lbs, and a size 12, I am a Zaftig woman. And I am madly in love with my curves. I should be. I’ve been curvy for as long as I can remember. I can recall being in 7th grade gym class and hearing the boys talk about my voluptuous derriere. In the locker room, the girls compared their mosquito bites with my then B (now a DD) cup. Awkward…

Through my teenage years and mid-20’s, I battled self-esteem issues, losing weight (I was down to a 6-8 through starvation) and gaining weight (I was up to about a 16… maybe higher. I can’t be sure because I refused to buy anything higher than the 14’s I could no longer zip up), creating an outward expression of my inner turmoil. But in my late 20’s, after much heartache and meditation, I had an epiphany…

This. Is. Me.

I’m not a size 2 and I’m never going to be one. I’m not even a size 8. But I’m not meant to be a size 16 or 18 either. I’m a size 12, and a damn sexy one at that. It is at that size that I am the most comfortable, the most fit and the most balanced. When I was a 6-8, I was eating next to nothing. When I was heavier, I was overeating. In both cases, I was using food as a diversion from what was (no pun intended) eating me. It was only when I acknowledged this and made a conscious decision to address my feelings rather than avoiding them that my weight balanced out. And it was during that time that I realized just how important balance is. I have seen, firsthand, just how unhealthful and unsettling extremes can be.

So… I began applying a very simply rule to my life: “Everything in moderation… even moderation.”

When I wanted to lose the weight after I ballooned to nearly 200 lbs in my late 20’s, I didn’t diet. I made better and balanced choices, about food and everything else in my life. And that leads me to the point of this blog and the book I am preparing to release…

You don’t have to be obese or skinny. With a balanced approach to life, you can enjoy everything in moderation and discover how to feel incredible in the skin you’re in. There is a Zaftig Zen waiting for you.

And it feels just right.