Russell Simmons Eptiomizes Meditation’s Benefits

"Yoga has really helped me feel more comfortable with the idea of being present, the simpliest idea of spirituality, the power of now." -Russell Simmons

“Yoga has really helped me feel more comfortable with the idea of being present, the simplest idea of spirituality, the power of now.” -Russell Simmons

In my last post, I explained that hypnotherapy, is one form of meditation, and when practiced regularly, it will markedly improve the amount of success you achieve in your personal and professional lives; Russell Simmons epitomizes this concept. I believe it was last Tuesday when I saw Larry King interview Russell on his show Larry King Now.

Larry and Russell were discussing Russell’s new book, Success Through Stillness: Meditation Made Simple, and Russell explained how his discovery of meditation (specifically yoga) changed his life. I’m sure you’ve heard of Russell’s prepaid debit card called the Rush card – ironically, that card bears part of his nickname before he discovered meditation, Uncle Rush! In this clip, Russell tells Larry the story of how exactly he became addicted to the powerful peace of mind meditation gives him and how it’s impacted his career (watch from the beginning until about 7m30s):

Russell Simmons on Yoga and Meditation

What struck me the most is Russell’s cogent explanation of meditation being a practice; it may take a few minutes for our impatient minds to calm down, but once they do, stressful problems are easily solved. We must remember two key points:

  1. The adage that “Rome was not built in a day,” and

  2. the fable of the tortoise and the hare

Faster results and instant gratification is not always best.

Russell Simmons reaped such astounding benefits from the simple practice of meditation, and you can too!!

Now that you know that simple changes in your lifestyle can make a huge difference, I want to share with you the many ways we can transform our own lives by “exploiting” the expectations society places on us. We all have to eat, so why not use the  foods we have (ideally, organic) to continue to build and reinforce our Aphrodite Attitudes? The same idea can be applied for makeup, skin care products and fashion.

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Aphrodite Attitude Redefined

Embracing your inner goddess means honestly contemplating whether all three parts of you (mind, body and spirit) are truly in harmony on a regular basis.

Embracing your inner goddess means honestly contemplating whether all three parts of you (mind, body and spirit) are truly in harmony on a regular basis.

A few days ago I had a webinar from one of my business mentors playing while I was cooking my lunch and at the time I didn’t fully understand why. Then, just as I was starting to tune the audio out, she mentioned how she almost lost the rights to use one of her tag lines in a legal proceeding. The slogan she referred to reads as follows: “Remove your blocks so your business rocks!”

Unbeknownst to me, playing that webinar was the best thing I could have done for myself and for y’all. I’ve been pondering why the tag line resonated with me as much as it did, and I realized why: I’m ignoring a major block of my own!

While I absolutely LOVE helping y’all learn about the amazing healing properties of food, I understand now that that is not my only mission. To serve y’all to the best of my ability, I know that I have to stay true to myself and embrace EVERY aspect of a complete Aphrodite Attitude, especially the mental component! I could give you advice on infinite external tools you can use to improve your self-esteem, but if I continue to be negligent in acknowledging that we need to discuss the mental component as well, I am not fully honoring my mission.

From this point forward, I want to use this blog to help you embrace, develop and maintain your Aphrodite Attitude. In order to do that, you have to want to examine the following:

  1. Your willingness to acknowledge that a HEALTHY state of mind allows you to admit you’re flawed (and that your flaws are just as beautiful as your strengths, just like Aphrodite),
  2. Examples of strong, confident women who have the the courage to break down and eradicate the societal compulsion to force every aspect of your life into a perfect box, and
  3. External tools that will reinforce our stronger senses of self-worth, including (but not limited to) balancing your psyche, proper nutrition (weight loss/gain is a bonus!!) & skin care/makeup.

Food Can Bring Out Your Natural Beauty!

Surprising ways food can enhance your beauty!

The yummy foods you eat also enhance your beauty!

Last Friday I tuned into Bethenny to see what she would discuss in terms of her “Diet Debate” segment, but what interested me more was her segment where she tested our beauty knowledge. Like me, Bethenny is a firm believer in using what you’ve got to improve your life, and it turns out that several common kitchen items can bring out your natural beauty and/or heal a specific health concern.

These three remedies impressed me the most:

  1. Turmeric is traditionally used in Indian food, but it works wonders on acne. One of turmeric’s main ingredients is called curcumin and it works so well because of its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. You can either mix some turmeric in a glass of water or make a paste and let it sit on your skin for 10-15 minutes.
  2. Strawberries make delicious preserves and jam, but did you know that they are also an effective sunburn treatment? The anthocyanins, the compound that gives the strawberries their gorgeous red color, have awesome anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. To get the most of this treatment, mash some fresh strawberries and spread it on your sunburn like a salve. Let it sit for 15-20 minutes.
  3. Mint has been shown to be an excellent way to reduce the puffiness under our eyes. The flavonoids help increase the production of antioxidants in the skin under our eyes. Those antioxidants, in turn, help fight the free radicals that give us the dark circles and puffiness we hate. To use mint, crush some fresh mint leaves and make a paste and leave it under your eyes for 15-20 minutes.

I’d love to hear about how well these remedies have worked for you!

Awesome Oatmeal

OatmealFrom time to time I get into a food rut. Basically, this is when I’ve found healthy food options that I enjoy (and I’m pretty picky because I have a little bit of a sweet tooth) and I buy them on autopilot, I guess.

Lately, I’ve been having just French toast, pancakes and egg whites for breakfast. Then one day I remembered how my mom would make old-fashioned oatmeal (I thought instant oatmeal was all that and a bag of chips!). So I went to the grocery store and bought a big container of store-brand whole oats.

It could be the middle of the summer and my mom would still make oatmeal for breakfast. After doing a little research I completely understand why. According to Mother Earth Living, oatmeal can do incredible things such as lower cholesterol, stabilize blood sugar and lower the risk of you developing diabetes. These three attributes alone are worth all the diamonds in the world to me because both heart disease and diabetes run in my family.

It’s surprisingly easy to make, but what astonishes me even more is how I can add the most seemingly random ingredients and it always tastes incredible. At first, I only added spices like ginger and cinnamon; then I’d add honey. I can’t wait to go to the grocery store and get a bunch of raspberries, blueberries, cashews, pecan and almonds and see how they can make the oatmeal even better than it always is!

Good thing I listened to my gut and gave the old-fashioned oats a try 🙂

Sleep and Weight Loss

sleep and eating

We all know how important it is to get a good night’s sleep to let our bodies heal itself from the wear and tear from that day. What we eat impacts how well we sleep.

I’m sure there have been several studies on this, but I like to try things out for myself before I back anything… and those studies are TRUE!!

When I ate junk like soda, Kraft macaroni & cheese, hamburgers, hot dogs, candy, and the like regularly I always had problems falling asleep for more than an hour at a time. Now, that I use simple ingredients in my recipes, I sleep like a baby and I can count on falling asleep at a specific time every night!

I’ve done a little research and apparently all of the sugar and chemicals from the boxed crap we eat keeps us from falling into what science calls “Delta sleep.” WebMD defines “delta sleep” (link here) as a stage in the NREM (non-rapid eye movement) cycle where the body can repair/regenerate tissue, build bones/muscles and strengthen your immune system!

So the next time you feel a little sleepy, listen to your body and take a quick nap!

SlimVox

SlimVox

I don’t believe that diet pills should be the crux of anyone’s plan to change their eating habits, but they might be helpful if you need to lose weight but can’t work out.

A prime example is be when I was on bed rest for my back injury: I could barely move without excruciating pain, let alone exercise. Despite my limitations, I was determined to do SOMETHING to change my destructive eating habits, so I started doing research on what kinds off supplements were available to me. One day I came across SlimVox and I noticed I could pronounce the ingredients and that stoked my curiosity. The more research I did on SlimVox, the more it impressed me, so I ordered it to see how it could help me during my recovery.

Supplementing.com has a terrific in-depth YouTube review on the ingredients in SlimVox; the concept behind the development SlimVox and the fact that they used NO artificial ingredients were the main catalysts that helped me decide to give it a trial run.

SlimVox was developed by women for women because we fully understand how hard it can be for us to shed those unwanted pounds. Men say women don’t lose weight as fast as they do because we’re lazy (a MONUMENTAL cop-out, in my opinion!), but that is NOT the case. A woman’s body is genetically engineered (link) to store more fat than men just in case we get pregnant.

The women who developed SlimVox underscore this point and use all natural ingredients to help us shed those unwanted pounds, with proper diet and exercise!

My favorite ingredients in SlimVox are kelp, ginger and green tea. The fact SlimVox included kelp in the formulation intrigued me greatly. I had heard many times how marine plants like kelp and seaweed were helpful in absorbing toxins in the digestive tract and easing them out (after all, sushi rolls are usually wrapped in seaweed!). Since I had 25+ years of junk food in my system, I wanted something that could really kick-start the detoxification process.

Ginger is an incredible spice because it is an intestinal spasmolytic (something that is really good at soothing the intestinal tract and makes it easier for it to expel toxins from your system). This was important to me because during the first five months my recovery, I could not stand long enough to make a fiber-rich salad or heart-healthy bowl of granola.

Green tea sealed the deal for me because of the potent antioxidant properties that could help repair the damage from my injury (and it had just the right amount of caffeine that gave me a much-needed boost of energy while I took the time to recover from my injury).

Want a Healthy and Robust Immune System? Eat Greek Yogurt!

healthy immune system

The past few weeks money has been a little tight and I’ve been eating crappy boxed and processed foods because that’s what I could afford. I will NEVER make that foolhardy choice again!

The first week I bought the boxed/processed foods, I was pretty dismissive because I had finally changed over to a lifestyle where I no longer WANTED to eat things like Kraft Macaroni & Cheese or Oscar Meyer bacon; I preferred Greek yogurt with berries and granola. Boy, did I ever get hit with a metaphorical 2×4!! As one week turned into two weeks and then one month, two months, I got a nice little reminder of why I banished those crappy “foods” from my kitchen. At the beginning of the month, maybe around the 5th or 6th, I started sniffling a little bit and before I knew what hit me, I had my first head cold in two YEARS!!!

Earlier this week, I was able to afford better food and I made sure to buy a huge tub of Greek yogurt because I while I was sick, I found an article that indicated approximately 70% of our immune system is in our digestive tract!

As the old saying goes, “the proof is in the pudding!” and the only word that can describe Greek yogurt is “miracle cure.” That may sound a bit melodramatic, but it’s a perfect fit nonetheless. When my cold was at its worst, I couldn’t keep my head clear for more than 2 or 3 hours (I think I went through two boxes of tissue in one day!). Sleeping was next to impossible – I was lucky to get three straight hours at any given time.

After I bought my tub of Greek yogurt, I splurged and ate about 1½ cups and it took about four hours for my body to start repairing itself. About four days later, it was as if I’d never been sick!