Food Yoga Is a Thing and This Is How You Can Do It

Food Yoga Is a Thing and This Is How You Can Do It

Nourish your mind, body and soul
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If the basis of yoga is to nourish the mind, body and soul, then the same could be said for many other things. One of the most traditional, international ways to do this is with food. People use food to bring family and friends together, and they use it to share joy, warmth and companionship. While the food does help your body, all the rest is part of the mind and, most importantly, soul.

Food yoga is taking that idea and helping to spread it across all your meals, even the ones you eat alone. You also don’t have to wait for special occasions to make it a special event. Food doesn’t have to be just a thing or a break from work. It can represent spots of joy and introspection that are spread throughout the day.

The Theory Behind the Practice

Yoga is more than just a workout. It can be an excellent way to work up a sweat, but it’s supposed to be mentally as well as physically taxing. It’s not touched on as frequently as the asanas, but there are some basic yogic principals that the practice is to embody. These include a variety of deceptively simple ideals that are not dissimilar to the Ten Commandments of Christianity. They are called the Yamas and Niyamas.

The first five Yamas are simple. They instruct you do things like avoiding stealing, violence and greed, along with telling the truth and not going into excess. These are relatively straightforward when applied to your food. Of course, it’s always hard not to be greedy or overindulge, but they are at least simple to grasp.

The second five Niyamas are what can make yoga so mentally tiring. These are internal struggles, battle lines you draw within your heart and soul instead of on your plate. These five include self-discipline, inner exploration, contentment, purity and surrender to a higher power. These are more difficult to apply to a plate of food, so how do you do it?

Making Mealtime Mindful

The first and simplest step is to make yourself aware of what you’re doing as you shop, cook and eat. This is not nearly as simple as it sounds. Our brains are hardwired to tune out daily activities and think about other things. It’s the same as when you’re trying to meditate, but you’re thinking about the emails you have to send or the laundry you have to do.

Staying present and aware of your food choices and eating habits requires a lot of thought. Researching the environmental impact of your food, finding out where it’s grown, avoiding those that are unnecessary and harmful, and making selections that will provide the most nutritious options are part of it. There is no one diet that is better, whether it’s omnivore, vegetarian, vegan or something in between. The idea isn’t to control what you eat because of whatever is popular. Instead, it’s to take care in making sure your choices are as healthy and wholesome for you as they are those they touch.

From Food to Yoga

Food yoga comes down to a few essentials that help meld the Yamas and Niyamas with your plate. The focus is to choose foods based on what effect they have on your body, including sattvic, rajasic and tamasic foods.

Sattvic foods must be eaten soon after cooking and help center the mind and body. Rajasic foods are what others call hyperpalateable foods, or foods that pack a lot of flavor into a small package. These are easy to overindulge in and can lead to weight issues and disordered eating. Donuts, cake and lasagna are good examples. Tamasic foods have less to do with taste and more to do with their composition and are usually heavy, oily foods. These are the ones that leave you feeling overly full and slow after eating.

The point of food yoga is to choose foods that fall into the sattvic category, and limit those that can cause issues like rajasic and tamasic. This means a diet heavy in healthful, nutritious options with fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds making up the majority of your diet. When done correctly, with care taken in the selection of items and thoughtfulness dedicated to eating the meal itself, you can completely transform the way you eat.

Like all things in yoga, a change like this takes time. You may find you only reduce your consumption of animal products, or that you stop eating them altogether. Your personal journey with food will be different from anyone else’s. The most important step is to use food as a way to encourage your health both physically and mentally.

Cover Image Credit: Sambazon

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An Honest Review Of ItWorks! From Someone Who Doesn't Sell The Products

No, I'm not looking for you to "join a team" or begin any challenges.
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I'm sure you've seen your friends on Facebook transition from friend to salesman. Whether it be for Scentsy, LipSense, or AdvoCare; multi-level marketing companies are on the rise thanks to social media. ItWorks! remains one of the most prominent.

ItWorks! is a health and wellness company using primarily plant-based ingredients without any artificial sweeteners or coloring. Their "number one seller" is the famous body wraps but the company is mostly weight loss supplements and vitamins. The company has a passion for the natural over the synthetic. Co-founder Mark Pentecost states on the site's Our History page that "you want to know that you're putting the very best things in your body."

Since most reviews of these products come from distributors, who are therefore biased, I have reviewed three of their greatest products and one I believe you should avoid.

1. Greens™ Blend Chocolate

As a vegan, I sometimes have to double check that I'm receiving the proper nutrients. ItWorks! Greens have been saving my life lately. It contains 52 herbs and nutrient-rich superfoods as well as 34 fruits and veggies. It is meant to alkalize, balance, and detoxify.

This is my favorite product! It gives me energy and even fills in for breakfast sometimes. It honestly makes me feel great. Then again... they always said eating all your fruits and veggies would!

ItWorks! gives you those healthy servings in a delicious chocolate flavor (which is bomb with almond milk). Make sure you use a blender bottle or blender. Like many powdered supplements, it can have that grainy aftertaste.

2. Advanced Formula Fat Fighter™

The idea behind this supplement is that it’s "okay to indulge if you have your Fat Fighters." Basically, if you just must have that sweet treat or piece of bread then you can take this pill within an hour to prevent your body from absorbing the carbs and a portion of the fats. If you're anything like me, you eat what you want when you want, so you'll end up taking these pills on the daily.

The main reason I like the Fat Fighters is that they reduce cravings and I normally have such a sweet tooth!

3. ThermoFIGHT™

This product is meant to increase calorie burning, boost the rate of your metabolism, and boost your energy. Like with Greens, I definitely feel energized when I take this supplement. Not in a jittery or wired way, either.

They say "abs start in the kitchen" but I'll try and cheat the system when I can!

4. Ultimate Body Applicator™ and Defining Gel™

This is the ItWorks! claim to fame... and that ASTOUNDS me.

I used to be so skeptical of this company because of the wraps. I tried them three different times and was not impressed each time. The ultimate body applicator and defining gel are meant to tighten and tone the skin to redefine the appearance of your body’s contour. Sure, you'll receive those results... just at an outrageous price. It's an expensive product that requires a lot of re-purchasing in order to receive any drastic results. Not to mention the most drastic results are just reduction of water weight.

They're really just an overpriced skin firming lotion. I suggest finding a nice cream from Target and sitting in the sauna instead.

If your facebook-friend-turned-salesman pushes for you to buy the wraps, just remember that I warned you.

I would like to give an honorary mention to KetoCoffee (probably their second most popular item). Because it is not vegan, I have not given it a try. I have heard amazing things from multiple women, though. Most keto coffee recipes give people the shakes and amp them up too hard. I've heard that ItWorks! has perfected the recipe.

I have used the first three products for a little over three months now. Sometimes I am inconsistent and miss servings. However, I match these products with a vegan diet (mostly whole foods based) and 3-4 days of exercise. I do not have drastic results but I have lost a little over ten pounds and feel great each day. I plan to remain a customer with this company (I have Greens on Autoship!).

I feel so blessed to be a Loyal Customer with ItWorks! because I receive up to 40% off and free shipping after three months. Without this discount, I probably never would have given this company a second thought. I highly recommend going that route because, well...

Cover Image Credit: Savanah Garcia | Instagram

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Are Non-Compete Agreements Impervious?

Are your future employment options limited by a non-compete? Try fighting it!

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A non-compete agreement is an agreement between an employer and employee restricting the employee from working in competition with the employer during or after employment based off industry, time, and regional restrictions. They have become more common so employers can avoid competition and replication of proprietary services or information.

Much like a jealous partner in a relationship, they basically say you can't date anyone else at the same college for a certain amount of time. While this may seem ridiculous, companies do have some authentic reasons for using non-compete agreements. Knowledge is power and employees who have learned the inner workings of a company can take that knowledge into their own hands to work for competition or create competition. Having said that, non-compete agreements feel more restrictive for the sake of being petty about an employee leaving.

According to legal representation at Tallahassee Law Firm Friedman & Abrahamsen, there are several factors that render non-compete agreements null and void:

  • The employer breached the agreement by failing to provide certain compensation, benefits, or employment conditions.
  • The employer engaged in conduct that violates specific laws.
  • The restriction is not necessary to protect the employer's interest or that the scope of the agreement is unreasonable.

If you feel that one of these factors applies to you, find legal counsel. They can help you fairly overcome the non-compete agreement.

Breached Agreements


Basically, if an agreement is broken by the employer, the obligations are no longer accountable. There are complications in this process and evidence needs to be provided, which can be challenging, but if they didn't meet the agreed upon terms, then you are free from the non-compete agreement.

Illegal Conduct


If the employer engages in any illegal or illicit activity, as a company (theft) or on a personal basis (sexual misconduct), contracts are going to be in question. Sometimes, an employee may know and need to blow the whistle on an employer's illegal actions, especially if they are being held to a non-compete agreement. When they are in trouble, they don't get to call an employee's future shots.

Unnecessary


If a company is enforcing a non-compete when there is clear evidence that the restriction does not protect them and, instead, hinders the worker, competent legal counsel can help. Non-compete is becoming a standard part of the hiring process, but those that don't work with sensitive, proprietary information aren't a risk to the employer. So if they decide to work somewhere else in the same industry and region, are they really giving away company secrets to competition? Or did they find a better opportunity and have no interest in private industry espionage. Not everyone is within an employer's non-compete agreement scope and we should know if we are.

It's important to remember: despite paperwork signed and agreements made, large companies can and will protect themselves. You may not have signed a non-compete, but if they think you are leaving and taking secrets to another company with you, legal representation will contact you in their name. Non-compete agreements are a protective layer that might not be pursued – it simply gives the option and warning to pursue. So next time you sign an employment contract, find a lawyer and see what you may be facing in the future.

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