1. Health and Wellness: Stay Healthy During Flu Season

    Illness occurs when the body is out of balance; Disease literally means to be in “Dis-Ease” The best way to stay healthy is to stay in balance in Mind, Body and Spirit.

    KEYS TO BALANCE - KEEP YOUR BODY CLEAN FROM THE INSIDE OUT;

    Positive mental attitude

    Positive relationships

    Follow a healthy lifestyle

    Regular exercise

    Eat healthfully

    Nutritional supplementation/Body work

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  2. Health and Wellness: Fad Foods and Diets

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         Popular foods and diets; we’ve all heard of them, we’ve all followed them and we’ve all found that many of them are, well, simply fads. With so much information and marketing out there around food and health, it is hard, if not nearly impossible to know what (or who) to listen to or follow. Depending on where the marketing dollars are, that’s usually what we are told to eat and what society begins to follow.  First it was milk mustaches, then complex carbohydrates, followed by low-fat foods (which can be argued to have created our current obesity epidemic) and now we hear that gluten-free is all the rage. Whatever it is, it’s not working and is mostly a bunch of crap. Why do I say that? Two-thirds of the American population is overweight or obese and our rate of preventable diseases is at an all time high. A shift must be made and it is not in the form of a “magic-bullet” or the newest trend.

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  3. Stress Management: The Choice Is Yours

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        More so than ever, we are all experiencing higher and higher amounts of stress.  It is a hot topic these days, as the research has proven that stress is literally killing us (see this ground breaking documentary about stress here; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eYG0ZuTv5rs#action=share).

    Students are constantly coming to me asking for tips, techniques and ways to be unstressed, “just like myself.” Firstly, the assumption that yoga teachers or experienced meditators don’t experience stress could not be further from the truth. I personally experience stress daily- from deadlines, to getting upset in traffic, to wanting to yell at my roommate when we disagree (I originally came to yoga to help with the stress I was experiencing from corporate sales). The only difference between a student and a teacher is that the teacher has learned ways to manage stress and notice when they are experiencing stress. It’s not like the tension isn’t there, it’s just seen and then regulated appropriately. Most importantly, it’s the teacher’s job to model how to be on the outside in order to help others be calm on the inside. So, try to not to compare yourself to how someone else “appears” to be on the outside. Let’s spend some time looking at what stress is, what causes it and how to help manage it. Remember, learning to manage stress is a process which takes mental and physical training, and won’t “just happen.”

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  4. Yoga: Detox to Retox

    If you’re reading this, chances are, you’ve been hungover… It sucks, I know, we’ve all been there and the older we get, the more it hurts.  Let’s be honest, part of living in a great city involves being healthy and active while the other half involves being social and drinking.  We work hard to play hard, and sometimes we must detox to retox. I’m not here to tell you to drink less, you’re a grown up, do what you want.  All I’m here to do is share some of my “extensive” field research (yes, yoga teachers get just as drunk as the rest of us) and help you get over that Saturday morning hangover so you can get out there and take in all your great city has to offer.  So here it is, The Big Yogi’s time-tested way to “Detox to Retox.”

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    (Source: thebigyogi.com)

  5. Nutrition: Exercise Your Will Power

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         Health starts with a conscious choice to feel better and make better decisions.  Healthy decisions effect your health, the health of your family and the health of your community.  We are all human and all have our hang-ups, especially when it comes to food, as it touches on social, emotional and cultural aspects of our lives, balance can be difficult to find. For all of these reasons, developing strong habits is the foundation to living a healthy and positive life.  Why is this?

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    (Source: thebigyogi.com)

  6. Nutrition: Carbs!

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         When I was younger, I used to consume at least three cans of soda every day. Having two for dinner wasn’t uncommon. It didn’t seem strange to me as I didn’t know much about nutrition and neither did those around me. One thing my family and I really had NO idea about were carbohydrates and their effects on the body. Coming from an Italian-American family, pasta was a necessity and was usually served several nights of the week. Besides this, you could always find bread on our plates for every meal. Quite often, family habits will cement themselves into daily life, shaping eating habits for a lifetime. For me, it wasn’t until I got older and began to study nutrition that I decided to make dietary changes. Lucky for you, you don’t need to take years of college classes or read thousands of different articles for important information on nutrition - you have The Big Yogi for that!

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    (Source: thebigyogi.com)

  7. Yoga: The Path of Balance

        

          The path of yoga is one of constant change, realizations and even struggle.  As one comes to practice, many things begin to arise and boil up to the surface.  I have seen it in my own practice and witness it in my students practice quite often; yoga can and will bring all of your crap to the surface, making things more difficult before they get easier.  “Ignorance is bliss” and developing a mindfulness practice is the beginning of the end of this perceived bliss.  Students are quite often shocked at how much “white-noise” is actually going on inside their minds once they begin to practice and listen.  It can be maddening to actually hear all of these thoughts for the first time, patience and persistence is the key.  For me, the noise is still there, I just get sick of listening to it and that drives me to understand that most of what I think isn’t true or really of any importance.  The path of yoga is by no means meant to be an easy one, it is rather meant to be challenging, both physically and mentally- the path is through obstacles.  The physical practice of yoga represents life as a metaphor; how you show up in your poses directly translates to how you show up in life.  If you’re practice is too rigid, your body will develop stiff tendencies and your mind will also follow suit, making you closed off and unapproachable.  Inversely, if your practice is too soft, your body is more than likely to take on these same attributes and you may begin to find yourself wavering mentally from situation to situation and giving up before you’ve hit your edge.

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    (Source: thebigyogi.com)

  8. Health and Wellness: To Drink or Not To Drink…

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      Written by: Nick Palladino, Registered Yoga Teacher and Wellness Coach

         I’m going to be as candid as I can about this topic; as I love to drink as much, if not more than the next guy. Drinking can be relaxing, social, fun, healthy and let’s be honest- mandatory to cut down on some first date jitters. But when abused, drinking can also be detrimental to your health, relationships, cause you to make horrible decisions and can even kill you. I constantly speak of the importance of balance in life, especially in regards to living a modern-lifestyle, which I believe should be fun, free and adventurous. So, here’s my initial advice before getting into the facts; always keep balance in mind. Sometimes, a drink after work is a great and healthy way to relax, but if that drink becomes a nightly necessity in order to relax, your setting yourself up for some issues (the same can go for marijauna use in this sense too). If you drink every Friday and Saturday night until you can’t stand, your body and life will soon feel the effects. On the other side, if you need to party-hard every once in a while, I say go for it. You get one life; spend your time wisely and party when it feels right.

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    (Source: thebigyogi.com)

  9. Health and Wellness: Don’t Pass The Milk

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    Written by: Nick and Billy Palladino

         Today’s blog is about milk, yet notice it is not labeled to be about nutrition, but rather health and wellness. This is because, dairy and milk in particular may be one of the worst things you can put into your body. Milk is no bueno, stop drinking it- today! I can already tell that some readers may be saying “but the calcium and nutrients it provides are excellent.” This may appear to be true on the surface but as we will soon discover, it’s simply not the case. If you recall a previous article about Liquid Calories, you know why it’s so important to leave out calories consumed from liquids. If you’re following my “Four Big Nutrition Rules” then you’ve already cut dairy and milk from your diet. However, if you’re still not convinced, this article will shine some light. Did you know that humans are the only animals that consume milk after infancy and are the only animals that drink the milk of other animals?  Not only does the pasteurization of milk kill all of its nutrients, but consuming milk contributes to many negative health effects such as; weight gain, decreased energy levels, poor digestion, allergies and even acidosis (the movement of the body into an acidic state).

        Today, the industrial system that’s behind our agriculture is scary. We feed cows soy, corn, bakery waste, and/or food waste from ethanol production. All of these foods are indigestible to cows which cause major health issues. Eventually, the cows become sick, requiring the need for antibiotics and other drugs. Some of the puss and bacteria, as a result of the cows illnesses then make their way to the milk that we consume - mmmmm, yummy… Another issue with milk cows is that they are continually kept pregnant and injected with hormones for reasons of calf and milk production.  Because of their diets, inability to process food and constant state of pregnancy, these cows can’t get the proper nutrition they need to produce healthy milk- what they produce is something more watery, which somewhat resembles milk.  At the factory, the milk is separated into proteins, sugars, and fats. From this, they reassemble it to fit the three main types of milk that we consume- whole, low-fat, and non-fat. Like a drug dealer who chops up his product to an uncleaner state so he can sell more of it, factories do the same with their milk; turning the left over fat and milk into butter, cheese, and other dairy products. Since the dairy industry can make a fortune on the sale of ice-cream, butter and cheese (dairy which requires fat), they market low-fat milk for consumption. That’s where the scare of whole milk came from- to make us believe that whole milk wasn’t as good for us because of the fats. In reality, the fatter the milk, the better (fat doesn’t make you fat, it’s actually good for you. Refer to Nutrition: Big Fat Lies for more information regarding this). Let’s now take a look at three reasons why you should stay away from dairy to improve your health.

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    (Source: thebigyogi.com)

  10. Nutrition: Big Fat Lies

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    Written by: Billy Palladino, NESTA Certified Personal Trainer

         “You are what you eat” is bullshit! Proteins, fats, and carbohydrates are our bodies three main energy sources- yet, they are not what they appear to be.  Our bodies breakdown energy sources differently which is why it’s so important to understand the basics to nutrition. Just as our bodies break down foods differently, they also utilize these energy sources differently depending on the type of exercise you do (which was touched on in Forget About Cardio For Weight Loss). Before diving into the exercise portion, I want to shed some light on the effects certain foods have on our bodies and why we are NOT what we eat. I’d like to talk about the scariest nutrient of them all and why they’re essential to weight maintenance- FATS!

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    (Source: thebigyogi.com)