Nicci Morris

Posts Tagged ‘Health’

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.

Exercise
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.

(Credit: FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

Nutrition
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.

Meditation/Prayer
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.

Love,

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Do you G.L.O.W.?

In Lifestyle, Love/Relationships, Spirituality on January 10, 2012 at 12:58 pm

Compliments are nice.

It feels good to hear words of approval from other people. Perhaps someone loves your shoes, the way your hair looks or the way you led a project at work. Many of us want to be acknowledged when we do something well.

The compliment I have been receiving as of late is, “You have a glow about you…” I love that. Not because they are stroking my ego. What I feel when I hear someone say that has nothing to do with vanity. In fact, it has nothing to do with my external appearance at all. I have found the key to that glow is a simple approach to life:

Give love, omit worry.

When you learn to “give love” and “omit worry,” your perspective on everything changes. You no longer obsess about minutiae or try to change other people or circumstances over which you have no control. Let’s break it down into two parts.

Give Love

When it comes to people and situations that agree with us and our opinions, this is pleasurable and, as a result, easy to do. But what of the people and situations that challenge your spirit? Analyze how you give love during those times. I have had to make a conscious effort to do this when dealing with two people in particular. I have known one of the people for years and once considered the two of us to be extremely close. I have only known the other person for a matter of days. This reveals challenges in life know no boundaries because it is all the same. It is all energy. Rather than allowing hurt inflicted by others to infect me and shape how I move about the world, I consider that they, too, have been hurt at some point in their lives. I consider that the situations in which I felt hurt were not truly about me. It was about them. I have come to terms with things and decided that I will not give either of those people more of my precious energy. Returning their negativity would be futile and it would only drain me and leave me with less energy for my purpose and my path. Instead I give them love them from a distance and move on with my life.

Omit Worry
The most we can achieve is control over ourselves. Our speech. Our thought. Our actions and reactions. Why concern ourselves with anything else? Does this mean that you don’t have to deal with the typical issues of life? It could mean that for you. Many people give up earthly pleasures, careers, money and the like in the quest for truth, choosing spiritual over material. That could be your path.
I had a conversation about this with a wonderful man I know – a man more brother than friend. “But what about bills?” he asked me. Great question. It is also, I believe, an easy way to stifle your spiritual evolution. The unwilling mind says, “I don’t have time… I don’t have energy… I don’t have…” I don’t believe you must forfeit everything to seek truth. You must simply understand bills aren’t everything. Your career, your spouse, your children, your responsibilities, your likes, dislikes, and more are not nor should they be everything. That is the point. When you understand this – not with your head but with your spirit – worry is alleviated.
Like anything else in life, there will be an ebb and flow of your G.L.O.W. There will be times in your life when it dims and there will be times when it burns beyond bright. Give love, omit worry and allow it to come out of you. Just beware of a side effect: Doing so will encourage others to shine, too. Be ready for the light to fill your life!
Love,

Image: dan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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…

Love,

Zaftig-approved goodies…

In Lifestyle, Nic's Picks, Zaftig-Approved on November 13, 2009 at 6:07 pm

Zaftig-approved Goodies - by Nicci Morris

Whether you want to lose weight or you’re at the point in your Zaftig journey where you are maintaining your curves, the fact is you have to eat and you have to move to get the results you desire.  Getting to and staying at a healthy weight does not require deprivation and you don’t have to give up snacking. On the contrary, grazing throughout the day while remaining mindful of your nutritional and caloric intake can actually rev up your body’s metabolism. That means you’ll have better results, more energy, and you’ll feel and look better than if you were restricting calories too much. Bottom line: Eating and weight loss/maintenance go hand-in-hand.

Hence, this is the first installment of “Zaftig-approved” goodies. If a goodie is “Zaftig-approved,” you can count on a few things:

  1. You’ll probably like the way it tastes and it will be satisfying. No sense in eating something that’s full of empty calories, devoid of nutrition AND you’re still hungry 30 minutes later! Zaftigs don’t do the calorie wasting thing… We know better. While we’re never going to all agree on what’s delicious and what’s not, I know you’ll love most of the picks. (No, I won’t give you your money back if you buy something I recommend and you hate it. Keep your receipt, love!)
  2. I’ll tell you all about how and where to find the goodies. I hate when someone tells me how great something is and then I have to hunt down the brand to find the nearest retailer. Part of why I’m here is to share deliciousness with you, and I plan to do just that.
  3. Finally, because we know good health is all about balance and moderation in everything we do, Zaftig-approved goodies won’t always be food. A goodie is anything my fellow Zaftigs would find appealing (a great beverage, fabulous workout gear, dreamy shapewear, great walking/running shoes, a great deal at a gym, can’t-miss exercise videos or equipment, lotions, makeup, a book you can’t put down, etc…)

If you want to send me suggestions for items, please feel free to do so! And I definitely look forward to you guys weighing in with your own opinions of all the Zaftig-approved goodies to come!

Love,