Tag Archives: weight loss

Why YogaLean Loves Purium

Yoga is a huge step in elevating self improvement, mind-body awareness, and learning to listen to your body. But so is nutrition. Eating right is incredibly important in getting the body healthy and more balanced.

For someone looking to lose weight and get in better shape, nutrition plays an even more crucial role. You can’t just do yoga or cardio while still eating the same high-fat, high-sugar foods and see weight loss results.

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So why is YogaLean such a big proponent of Purium products?

With YogaLean, you’re not just fixated on losing weight, you’re more concentrated on getting your body healthy. For me, I felt like the Purium products offered an incredible jumpstart in detoxifying the body, preparing it for a healthier, more holistic way of living.

I’ll be completely honest – I’ve never been the type of person who wants to do a cleanse – for 3 reasons:

1) I don’t want to lose my muscle

2) I like to eat

3) I want to have energy

What I found with Purium was far different than other cleanses I’ve tried in the past. For one, the powders and shakes use ingredients that are all natural and that pack a ton of energy and potency – ingredients that Chinese medicine and shamanic healers have been using for thousands of years. Their protein powders taste amazing, and I never feel like I’m limiting my body of essential minerals and nutrients when I’m taking the cleanse.

You’ll never find artificial ingredients in the Purium products. This includes NO

• Artificial colors

• Artificial sweeteners

• Artificial flavors

• Excipients and fillers

• Excess sugar

• Excess fat

The Founder of Purium and author of The Green Food Bible, David Sandoval is the mastermind behind the 10-Day Transformation Diet.

Purium has mastered the art of phytochemistry (the rejuvenating benefits of plants). By studying the ancient arts of Chinese medicine, Ayurvedic medicine, Amazonian herbs, the shamanic healing arts of Native Americans, and other traditional aboriginal practices, they’ve captured the most potent whole food plant extracts from around the globe to repair your body at the cellular level.


These herbs have been revered for thousands of years for their purported ability to support the naturopathic principle that “the human body is capable of creating and supporting perfect health if given the proper tools.” No other company has such a complete holistic approach to food and nutrition.

Green foods are healing foods – they always have been and they always will be. Purim’s line of products contain ingredients such as cracked cell chlorella, red marine algae, organic spirulina, organic barley greens, organic kamut, and many more.

The first 10 days of the YogaLean Coaching Program is actually the 10-Day Purium cleanse. I built it this way, so that people can detox and lose weight quickly; then when they’re adding foods back in it acts as an elimination diet. So you can see what foods cause you gastric distress, what foods upset your stomach, what foods work with your body rather than against it. It’s a great way to jumpstart your weight loss while feeling rejuvenated and healthy.

This is a wonderful option for people who are maybe a little skeptical about doing a cleanse, but who want to feel better from the inside out.

We already know this, but it bears repeating: plants have amazing healing capabilities. Learn more about Purium and what it can do for you, by visiting their website, here.

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Essential Oils

I use Essential oils as a natural aid for YOGALEAN weight management. My house is full of them as they have a very positive impact on weight management efforts when combined with a healthy diet, yoga, and meditation. I use them in my water, on my skin, and in the bath daily. Essential oils can really help with weight management by helping to make your water more alkaline. It helps melt the fat and help the body carry less toxins. Some essential oils can suppress cravings, increase metabolism, reduce fluid retention, and help alleviate emotional stress and stress eating.

1. Grapefruit

Grapefruit is one of the best essential oils for weight management due to the d-limonene found in grapefruit. It helps in releasing fatty acids into the bloodstream where the body breaks them down and uses it for energy. A study conducted on the protective effects of d-limonene in animals shows that it helps reduce the lipid peroxidation which can help in lowering cholesterol.

It has long been used for various health benefits like metabolism stimulant, lymphatic system detox, and fat burning. It is packed with Vitamin C and the powerful antioxidant Lycopene which helps detoxify and cleanse the lymphatic system. Toxicity in the body creates unwanted weight gain. Our body stores toxins in the excess fat when it does not know how to release it from the body. Citrus oils like grapefruit, lemon and orange essential oils work great to release the toxins from our metabolic pathways. Along with natural weight management properties, grapefruit has antioxidant properties and anti-inflammatory uses.

How to use:

1- Drink it like I do: add 1 to 2 drops of grapefruit essential oil to your daily glass of drinking water to flush out toxins and fat burning effect especially before breakfast in the morning. It also enhances the flavor of water and food.
2- Massage on skin for at least 30 minutes on areas where fat accumulates by adding it into 1 to 2 oz of carrier oil like raw organic virgin coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil. Do not wash off for several hours.
3- Bathe Add 5 drops of grapefruit essential oil to your warm bath

2. Ginger – Craving something sweet?

Ginger essential oil is found to promote a feeling of fullness after meals. It’s like a perfect desert. It works to enhance the effect of all other weight management essential oils. It is also found to be very effective against candida which influences weight gain. It also stimulates the immune system.

Ginger helps increase blood circulation, stimulates the immune system, improves gut health, aids with irritable bowel syndrome, helps with metabolism. Ginger balances moods and provides a sweet treat. Use for my YogaLean Bran Tea Receipe – I do this almost every night.

How to use:

1- Add to to a cup of hot water with lemon and honey as a great desert
2 – Inhale it with a few drops on a cloth
3 – Put a few drops under your pillow to sleep well
4 – Use for improved balance and to prevent sea sickness

3 Peppermint essential Oil: 

Peppermint essential oil has unique weight management benefits. It is also great for a huge array of heath issues. Peppermint alone has been known to sooth an upset stomach. Peppermint oil also helps with candida that often influences weight management. Peppermint essential oil is packed with nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin C, and minerals like potassium, iron, and magnesium. Helps with weight management and nourishes the body and promotes a feeling of well-being. It is great for reducing appetite and helps suppress cravings. We feel full because of a special mechanism in our brain. Peppermint works on that part of the brain which then triggers the feeling of fullness when you eat. It is found to be more effective than any other scent in creating serotonin in the brain that is linked with cravings for sweets. A study on the effects of peppermint scent on appetite control confirms that participants inhaling peppermint essential oil were less likely to feel hungry and had fewer cravings than the ones who didn’t inhale peppermint essential oil. The Smell & Taste Treatment and Research Institute of Chicago found that inhaling lemon and peppermint essential oil is a more natural and effective way to control appetite to help with weight management.

How to use:
1- INHALE – Peppermint essential oil smells refreshing use before meals to reduce the appetite. Put it in your ears to wake up like I do — be careful
2- Drink it Peppermint tastes great and gives an extra little energy as an added benefit so you can even add 1 to 2 drops of oil to your glass of water and drink before the meals to have the same effect of reducing appetite.
3- Bathing – add few drops to your bath in the morning to suppress cravings and have energizing start of the day.

4 . Lemon Essential Oil:
Fresh and clean – wake up with Lemon Oil. It contains d–Limonene and full of minerals and vitamin C. Lemon essential oil is great for addressing intestinal parasites that are often a secret cause of weight gain. It helps in weight management by dealing with various digestive ailments, balancing your metabolism and increasing energy levels. It helps the body to carry less toxins which it stores in the fat cells for no good reason.
The Smell & Taste Treatment and Research Institute of Chicago found that inhaling lemon and peppermint essential oil scent is more natural and effective way to control appetite to help with weight management.

How to use:
1- Daily rubbing and massaging lemon essential oil to the cellulite areas helps to eliminate toxins and waste that are stored in the fat cells. Ridding the body of these toxins will make it thinner and healthier as well.
2- Adding 1 to 2 drops of lemon essential oil in the drinking water before breakfast will have a gentle detoxifying effect on the body.
3- You can also inhale or diffuse lemon essential oil before meals.

5. Bergamot Essential Oil: 
Feel better now – Helps control bad cholesterol and stress eating- This oil it is perfect for those who eat when they are stressed. Sedative properties of bergamot essential oil make it perfect for fighting with stress related weight gain and controlling stress triggered eating. It can be more effective if you pair it with lavender essential oil.This oil is very effective in weight control because it contains extremely large amounts of the polyphenols (that are also found in green tea). This polyphenols content is great for fat oxidation (halt production of blood fat), increasing metabolism and preventing the absorption of cholesterol.

How to use:
1-  inhale the vapors to calm and relax when you are stressed out and hungry
2- You can also put a drop into one teaspoon of honey or drink in a 4oz of coconut milk to have more calming effect.
3- It can also be used for applied or massaged to the feet or on the neck adding it in the carrier oil like extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil.
4- Bathe – It can also be diluted in a warm bath to feel fresh

6. Cinnamon essential oil:

A sweet treat. Cinnamon essential oil is found to promote a feeling of fullness after meals. It works to enhance the effect of all other weight management essential oils. It is also found to be very effective against candida which influences weight gain. Cinnamon is also known for its anti-inflammatory uses and it stimulates the immune system, and may even help with  increased libido. Cinnamon helps increase blood circulation, stimulates the immune system, improves gut health and irritable bowel syndrome and metabolism.

How to use:
1- Drink few drops of cinnamon essential oil combining it with honey in one cup of warm water before breakfast and at night before sleeping.

2- Inhale or diffuse cinnamon essential oil before meals or try adding 1 to 2 drops of oil to drinking water and take before half or one hour before meals to help with appetite.

7. Eucalyptus Oil

Want energy? Tired and stress eating? This great oil wakes you up. It helps overcoming negative feelings and behavior so that you no longer feel tempted to eat more to deal with stress.

How to use:
1- Diffuse it and inhale the vapors by diluting it a diffuser for a fresh home
2- Apply it directly on the stomach or to the feet.
3- Add 1 or 2 drops in your water

Kathryn Herbert on Ancient Healing in the Modern World

July 27, 2015 | Emelyn Daly, YogaFit Media

Ayurveda, ‘Life Science,’ and Common Sense

Expert Ayurvedic Practitioner and founder of Ayuway of Life Kathryn Herbert has me totally convinced of the value, efficacy, and do-it-yourself easiness of the ancient Holistic healing modality she teaches and practices. Herbert, who is thrilled to share her expertise at YogaFit’s first Ayurvedic Lifestyle Coaching Retreat in Austin, TX this September, has dedicated her life to using and educating others on Ayurveda. Here, she gives us an exclusive introduction to her upcoming workshops, which focus on making Ayurveda fun, user-friendly, and 100% applicable in daily life.

What is Ayurveda? What are some of the most common misconceptions about it?

“The first thing I like to tell people about Ayurveda is that in order to use it in your daily life, you don’t shutterstock_223478743have to know how to spell or pronounce it correctly! The word may sound a little unusual, but it’s much simpler than you think. In Sanskrit, ayu means ‘life’ and veda means ‘knowledge’ or ‘science.’ ‘Life science’ isn’t just ancient Sanskrit; it’s for everybody living in modern times. To me, it is the perfect owner’s manual package of common sense for the human mind, body and spirit.”

Ayurveda comes from India, correct? How does it relate to other forms of medicine?

“So, yes, the ancient health and wellness knowledge we know as Ayurveda does come from the Indus Valley. And from there, it actually traveled East and West, influencing both Chinese and Western medicine. Hippocrates was an Ayurvedic practitioner! The father of Western medicine himself said, “let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food.” That is Ayurveda.”

Do you think that Ayurvedic medicine could replace Western medicine?

“No, I would never recommend that Ayurveda can or should replace Western, aka ‘Modern’ medicine, yet it certainly does complement any and every form of medicine including surgery and as a preventative, it is designed to keep you out of the doctor’s office.

You know, in the West, we have a way of putting everything on a hierarchy. This or that has to be better or worse than something else. The East integrates healing approaches as opposed to creating that separation, which is the absolute definition of Holistic, it treats the whole person. In India, for example, an Ayurvedic doctor is a medical doctor, and there is a modern Ayurvedic hospital right next door to the modern Allopathic hospital, patients are sent back and forth by doctors from both sides. Both forms are equally valuable and used to compliment each other. I experienced this daily during my internship there.”

Which piece of your workshop in Austin are you most looking forward to?

“So many! I love my work because I get to translate this powerful knowledge into modern language and practical uses. In Austin, I’ll get to share my academic knowledge of Ayurveda, which works amazingly well with the YogaFit system. We’ll look at a couple Sanskrit words to demystify these new, hard-to-pronounce terms into common sense simplicity.

And there’s the practical end of things, which is really exciting! I’ll be showing people how to use this stuff in their daily lives. We’ll spend time on really concrete techniques that will be easily remembered to take home and use. We’ll spend plenty of time on food, and turn the tabletop into a classroom using food as medicine to learn why your kitchen is actually a pharmacy to be in service of yourself, those you love, and those you coach. Plus there are really fun Ayurvedic treatment practicums including the ‘meda buster’ massage to reduce fat on the body—one of my favorites!”

For more information about Kathryn Herbert and her workshops at the YogaFit Ayurvedic Lifestyle Coaching Retreat in Austin, TX coming up this September, visit YogaFit.com!

Kathryn Herbert practices privately in Southern California at the Ayurway of Life facilities and conducts national workshops to promote the benefits of Ayurvedic lifestyle choices. She lives in Los Angeles with her two teenaged children, two dogs, a cat, and three horses. She hopes to welcome chickens to her home soon!

One on One with Nicole Bradley: Her First Steps on Her Total Transformation

This summer, the YogaLean team is privileged to guide an incredibly special individual through a total Mind|Body transformation. Nicole Bradley, 26, has courageously signed on with the discipline, curiosity, and compassion it takes to embark on YogaLean’s Transformational Journey.

With the support of Ayurvedic specialist Kathryn Herbert and Mind|Body|Fitness expert Beth Shaw, Nicole is taking on the inspiring challenge to shift her weight, her outlook, and her relationship to herself, and to video blog about her experiences along the way. Over the next 3 months, we aim to help Nicole shed at least 30 pounds on a personalized dietary regimen and exercise plan that applies the wisdom of yoga and the ancient science of Ayurveda.

Nicole, whose weight peaked at 289lbs several years ago and later plateaued at 253lbs, suffered a number of profound traumas in her early life that forced her to grow up fast.

“My father was in jail for most of life. My mother was murdered when I was 16. I spent a lot of Christmases alone and did a lot of underage drinking to try to make my problems disappear.”

By her mid-teens Nicole was virtually homeless, struggling to finish high school while couch surfing at friends’ houses. By her early 20’s, her troubles had led to a pattern of rapid weight gain and alcohol abuse.

“I felt like I was in a black hole,” she says, “I woke up one day and realized that something had to change.”

Nicole believes her first meeting with Kathryn Herbert, who she befriended by chance in a California Reiki shop, was no coincidence. “Because of all the things I’ve been through, I’ve always relied on faith,” says Nicole, “things like chance meetings happen for a reason. I felt like God was speaking to me the day I met Kathryn.”

That fortuitous day marked the beginning of a deeply meaningful shift for Nicole, who has noticed that the YogaLean Transformational Journey is a healing process on the emotional level as mush as the physical.

“Ever since I met Kathryn, everything has changed. I feel so much stronger and more energetic.”

See more and subscribe YogaFit’s YouTube channel on our YogaLean Transformational Journey playlist.

Already, three weeks into the program, Nicole is enjoying hugely positive changes in her body and personal life thanks to Kathryn and Beth’s personalized wellness plan.

“I know now that the weight came on as a form of protection. It was a way of trying to hide,” she reflects. “I had a slip up on Sunday and caught myself emotional eating. I said, ‘why am I hurting myself? Because I’m angry over something that someone else did? Something that’s not my fault?’ I was being self-destructive.”

Nicole has noticed she has a new ability to recognize these behaviors. “I have a lot more mental clarity since starting this program. I can really see my growth and my changes.” This improved clarity has even made it possible for Nicole to begin repairing her relationship with her father and brother.

“This program is really taking me out of my comfort zone. It’s great because it’s pushing me to take accountability for myself. I’m so grateful for this opportunity!”

It is a difficult journey ahead for Nicole. Progress is not always easy, but with the guidance of Ayurway and YogaLean, her transformation will be a great example of the accomplishments a great support system can help a determined individual achieve. We are so excited about the positive transformations in Nicole’s life, and can’t wait to see what happens next!

Stay tuned for more updates on Nicole’s YogaLean Transformational Journey, and follow her story as she documents her hard work on YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook.

Tofu Simple Sandwich

June 10, 2015 – Rene MacVay, Food Blogger | Healthy Recipe Variations

I was looking for a quick and healthy meal to have post workout. I had about an hour to eat and get ready for an appointment so I worked with what I had. I looked in my refrigerator and found the following items already cooked:

  • Roasted bell peppers
  • Roasted red onion
  • Roasted garlic

I also knew I had available:

  • parmesan cheese and gluten free hamburger buns
  • extra firm tofu as well as gluten free deli turkey … so decided to go with the tofu
  • a head of cauliflower and some low sodium vegetable broth

Therefore, in less than 30 minutes I had dinner on the table. If nothing was prepared, this would have taken an hour.


  • Chop the cauliflower stem and leaves into small pieces. Add the stalks and flowers to a pan with 1/2 cup low salt vegetable broth. Cover and let it simmer. (Check your pan from time to time…add some more broth if broth is almost gone and cauliflower is not at your desired texture. I prefer it to have a bit of a crunch. OPTION: dice a clove of garlic and add to the pan for flavor.
  • Drain the tofu by wrapping it in a kitchen towel and putting it between two dinner plates with a BOOK on top. How long to you drain the tofu? That is a personal choice. You can omit this step or drain it for up to an hour. After the tofu drains, if you decide to drain it (I prefer my tofu dry so I drain it as long as I can), cut the tofu block in half length and width wise…creating 4 evenly sized pieces.
  • Sautee the tofu in a pan with toasted sesame oil and some black pepper.


NOTE: If you wish to add another step and a few minutes to your meal…marinate the tofu in Gluten Free Teriyaki Sauce or Sriracha Sauce. Adding the sauce TO the tofu means you will not need to add the sauce to the sandwich.

  • Defrost (if necessary) and toast the buns (adding a small amount of parmesan cheese) while the tofu and cauliflower cook. I started the buns with about 5 minutes to go. I warmed up the left over roasted items at the same time.
  • The sandwich was great open faced…with stacked vegetables on the bottom and thick tofu wedge on top. (I added gluten free teriyaki sauce on my toasted buns to add flavor. You could add a gluten free sauce of your choice.) A smaller sandwich would have thinner slices of tofu. The crunchy outer shell of the tofu, the softer interior, the vegetables melting in your mouth, and the bread to absorb the flavors was a delight after a long day.
  • I served with a side of roasted vegetables with rosemary (already cooked).


  • OMIT vegetables and add lettuce, spinach, or arugula (or include them as well)
  • Substitute a chicken breast or gluten free deli turkey meat for the tofu
  • Omit cheese if you are trying to avoid dairy
  • Omit bun and use butter lettuce or another green as your mock bun

Enjoy this fast and simple YogaLean meal. Be active and eat healthy to be the best you that you can be. Enjoy this recipe and other gluten free recipes at Healthy Recipe Variations Blog.

Salsa Style Blackbean Pasta

June 1, 2015 – Rene MacVay, Food Blogger | Healthy Recipe Variations

Since I had to become gluten free I have reduced my pasta intake quite a bit. Pasta used to be a great go to for me, as it was a quick meal to fix and great leftovers to take to work the following day. A few Gluten Free pastas have come along that are organic, non-GMO, high in fiber, and cook without getting soggy. I can enjoy pasta again!

Tolerant Black Bean Pasta is a great addition to my pantry as it has great texture and flavor. I was looking for something to make for a quick evening dinner and decided to us up a few ingredients I had from my recent trip to the farmer’s market. I had a little of each ingredient, so pasta was the perfect way to marry the flavors and use the fresh ingredients.

This recipe takes less than a half hour from opening the refrigerator to finishing clean up. Enjoy a healthy meal…or put it in an airtight container and take it with you for a great lunch. Enjoy as a meal on its own or a side dish with a sandwich or salad.

Base Ingredients:

1 ear of corn … corn cut off the cob (yields about 2 cups)

½ Red Onion

½ Red Bell Pepper

1 Tomato (I used vine ripe)

Basil (for garnish)

Pasta – 1 Cup Tolerant Black Bean Rotini

Olive Oil

2 TBSP Butter (unsalted)

¼ Cup Vegetable Broth

Variations in keeping with Salsa theme:Untitled

 Add a few cloves of crushed Garlic

 Substitute Shallots for Red Onion

 Add a Hot pepper like a Jalapeño, Serrano, or Habanero depending on your personal interest in HEAT

 Add a cup of diced Mango if you wish a bit of sweet flavor


1. Cut the corn off the cob

2. Use a mandolin to cut the pepper and onion into small slices (or dice small with a knife)

3. Sautee all three ingredients in a pan with 2 tbsp butter and ¼ cup vegetable broth

4. Once onions are translucent turn off heat.

5. Add 3 cups of water to a pot and bring to a boil. Add 1 cup of Tolerant Black

Bean Rotini. Stir from time-to-time. Drain after 5 minutes…reserving ¼ cup of the pasta water.

6. While pasta is cooking dice the tomato.

7. Add pasta water, diced tomato, and pasta to pan with the sautéed vegetables.

8. Cook until water evaporates.

9. Transfer to a plate, bowl, or airtight container. Sprinkle with Olive Oil and/or Basil to garnish.

Enjoy this YogaLean meal and other Gluten Free Recipes on Healthy Recipe Variations.

Sunburst Pasta

Tolerant Red Lentil Pasta has a bit of a peppery flavor when eaten on its own. When I use it in a recipe I look to find flavors that enhance the pasta’s natural flavors. This dish uses sundried tomatoes for a sweet flavor, chickpeas for a meaty texture, onions and garlic as aromatics, and mushrooms for a chewy texture. This creates not only a tasty and satisfying meal that can be a side dish or a main dish depending on the portion you make.

Base Ingredients (Serves 2):

1 Cup Tolerant Red Lentil Pasta (uncooked)

1 Cup Diced Sundried Tomatoes

½ Yellow Onion or Sweet Vidalia Onion

4-6 Cloves of Garlic depending on size

1 Cup Diced Mushrooms of Choice (I used button)

4 TBSP Oil – I use Olive Oil for this dish

1/3 Cup Vegetable Broth – I prefer to use low sodium


Substitute 2 Shallots for Onion and Garlic


1. Dice onions and garlic and place in a pan with the oil. Satuee in oil

until translucent.

Pasta12. Add diced sundried tomatoes, mushrooms, and broth to pan and

sautee until broth is almost absorbed.

3. Bring 4 cups of water to a running boil. Add 1 cup of Tolerant Red

Lentil Pasta. Cook for 5 minutes. Stir from time to time and reduce

heat as needed so the water does not boil over.

4. Reserve 1/3 cup pasta water and add to the pan with the vegetables.

5. Drain Pasta and add to the pan with the vegetables.

6. Cook until liquid is absorbed.

Serve or place in an airtight container and pack for lunch!

Sprinkle with ground black pepper.

Option: Grate parmesan over the pasta.

Enjoy this low calorie, high fiber Yoga Lean meal; a satisfying meal to keep you fueled as you lead an active lifestyle.

Broccoli Greens Tofu Stir Fry

Not only do I love to eat light and healthy foods, but I also do not like to waste food. When I had an opportunity to try broccoli and cauliflower greens I was elated! This was an opportunity to experience two vegetables I love in an entirely new way. UntitledI have used the greens as a side dish on their own and have enjoyed using them in stir-fry dishes also. The great thing about a stir-fry is that it is a way to use of vegetables that you have in the refrigerator. You do not need to have a large portion of any one vegetable to make a successful stir-fry. Each time you make a stir-fry you can use a different sauce as well. It can be an ever-changing recipe. Of course, when you find a combination you like, you may want to make it time and time again!

1 package EXTRA FIRM TOFU (Azumaya brand is Non-GMO and Gluten Free)

1/2 a box of Thai Kitchen Stir-Fry Rice Noodles or 2 Cups cooked rice

Vegetables (aim for 4 -6 cups uncooked):

5 Large Broccoli Stems/Leaves

5 Large Cauliflower Stems/Leaves

4-6 Garlic Cloves (depending on size)

I used 1 cup Tessemae’s Lemon Chesapeake All Natural Dressing/Marinade/Dip

1/2 Cup Vegetable Broth (Unsalted is preferable).

1. Decide if you wish noodles or rice. If you wish rice, start the rice cooking as step one. If you want noodles, wait till the vegetables and tofu are done. Cooking rice is 2 cups of liquid per 1 cup of dry rice. Cook a single batch if you are not interested in leftovers, double (or more) the recipe if you wish leftovers.

2. For crispier TOFU (omit this step if you are not looking for crispy), drain the package and allow some water to be removed. I place the tofu block in a kitchen towel and place it between two dinner plates for about 1 hour. This step can be done the night before, while you are at work, or skipped entirely.

3. Wash and chop the vegetables you are using. Try to make the vegetables into even sized so they cook at the same rate. With the greens and stems, I do put thestems in the pan a few minutes before the “leafy section”.

4. In a sautee pan place 2 TBSP Toasted Sesame Oil and the vegetables. Add the marinade and broth. Cook on medium heat. Stir from time to time. If you need additional liquid to soften the vegetables, add ¼ cup of water at a time.

5. After the vegetables have started, cut the tofu and place in a second sauté pan with 2 TBSP Toasted Sesame Oil. Sprinkle pepper on the tofu if you wish the additional flavor. Cook on medium heat and rotate the tofu periodically so all sides brown and form a bit of a crust.

6. When vegetables and tofu are done, turn the burners off and let rest for a few minutes. If you are making noodles, bring a pot of water to a boil. Once a running boil is attained, break the noodles in half and cook for 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and stir once or twice. Drain noodles.

On your plate put a bed of noodles or rice then add the vegetables. The tofu can be sprinkled on top or arranged in a pattern for a finished presentation.

Enjoy and savor the flavors!

Option: Sprinkle nuts or sesame seeds over the top.

Read more Gluten Free recipes at Healthy Recipe Variations Blog. Enjoy being YogaLean as you enjoy an active lifestyle and make healthy eating choices.

7 Ways to Reduce Sugar Cravings


According to the American Heart Association, the average American adult currently consumes 22 teaspoons of sugar per day. Can you imagine putting 22 teaspoons of sugar in your coffee!? There wouldn’t be any room for coffee! And even less for the emotional boost most people look for in their morning cup, which would get taken over by the horrible affects of sugar overload.

The problem is, we don’t just find sugar in the packets at the Starbucks drink station —it’s hiding everywhere: healthy-looking fruit juices, “energizing” sports beverages, and all kinds of condiments.

I have a love hate relationship with sugar. Many times, I find eating sweets is more of a habit than a real need, and that a little is never enough to keep me satisfied. It makes sense, given that sugar acts on the same neural pathways in the brain as drugs and alcohol—once the body gets a little bit, it asks for more, and the demand grows almost exponentially. In order to get the same boost we once got out of just one treat, we need to consume more and more in the future.

This is why it’s so difficult for most people to regulate their sugar intake, and why sugar addiction can easily become a real risk.

I’ve found that moderation with sugar doesn’t work very well for me. Eating a little bit has often snowballed into eating too much, and I’ve generally found it easier to cut out sugar entirely.

I’ve had lots of experiences where I’ve needed to completely eliminate sugar from my diet. Whether preparing for a cleanse or for a medicinal plant journey, I find that after a brief period of adjustment, my desire to eat sweets is significantly diminished. The more sugar you eat, the more you want, and conversely, the less sugar you eat, the less you crave.

Here are some tips that have been extremely helpful to me, both in reducing my sugar intake and eliminating it completely:

  1. Go for fruit

When you’re craving something sweet, reach for the fruit bowl instead of the candy bowl. A nice serving of your favorite fruit will satisfy your sweet craving without the negative consequences of refined sugar, delivering plenty of fiber, vitamins, antioxidants, and water.


  1. Chew Licorice Root

Chewing licorice root has been shown to reduce sugar cravings because of its natural sweetness, its non-interference with blood sugar levels, and its positive effect on the adrenal glands. Try munching on this instead of Skittles!


  1. Eat Regularly

Running into low blood sugar is the most common cause of intense sugar cravings. If you commit to eating every couple of hours throughout the day, you will prevent your blood sugar from dropping to the point where you are reaching mindlessly for sugary snacks to get your energy level back up. Try eating five small meals per day.

  1. Make a Plan

Remember, the first 24 to 48 hours of cutting out sugar are always the hardest, but it’s been shown that if you can make it past the initial push, your body’s demand for sweets will drop significantly. Plan your experience with this time period in mind, and try to start your sugar-free regimen over a couple of days when you don’t anticipate being surrounded by sweets at a birthday party or at work.

  1. Drink Herbal Tea

Herbal teas are aromatic and many have a natural hint of sweetness that will taste delightful and help satisfy your sweet tooth. Tazo Teas’ rose hip and hibiscus infused “Passion” tea is one of my favorites and what I’m drinking right now.


  1. Add Protein to Every Meal

Lacking protein in your diet makes you crave sugar. Without it, your blood sugar and energy level become significantly less stable. Incorporate protein into your snacks and meals whenever possible. Too busy to cook breakfast? Have a protein shake. Add chickpeas, tofu, or grilled salmon to your salad at lunch, and if you’re snacking on fruit or veggies, throw in a few almonds for protein-carb balance.

  1. Stay Hydrated

This tip is simple and fundamental. When we get dehydrated, we are much more prone to crave sugary juice or soda. Before you reach for either of those when thirsty, try drinking a full glass of water, and see how you feel—your desire to drink something sweet will probably vanish. Drink twice as much water when working on eliminating sugar to keep yourself feeling full and stave of cravings.


Sugar aggravates all kinds of physiological problems from weight gain to anxiety and depression, but perhaps worst of all, it shuts down your spiritual sight. Right now, I’m trying to raise my higher consciousness, and this is my primary motivation for avoiding sugar.

The only way to break the cycle is to stop feeding the fire! Don’t be fooled by low-fat salad dressings or fat-free ketchup, as these products tend to be loaded with sugar or some version of it. Be mindful, read food labels, and try out each of these tips to see what works best for you.

For more information on overcoming sugar addiction, visit YogaFit.com and take a look at the amazing Yoga for Addiction Workshop with Dr. Susan Blank at our upcoming MBF Conference!

7 Ways of Using Essential Oils for Weight Management

oil water

Essential oils have myriad health and mood benefits, some more familiar than others. Most of us have heard of the calming effects of lavender and the invigorating effects of peppermint, but we seldom consider the fantastic support these and many other essential oils can add to our weight management efforts.

There’s no reason to wait for a special occasion to benefit from the transformative powers of essential oils. I love to incorporate a variety of oils in my daily life for many purposes. Below are a few of my favorite tricks for using essential oils to encourage weight management. I especially like our partner’s oils because you can inhale them, apply them to your skin, and ingest them.

peppermint oil

1. Peppermint oil has a powerful ability to awaken and stimulate the system. It offers a terrific boost in energy and an excellent alternative to that sugary snack or excess cup of coffee that, while providing a quick fix, will soon lead to a crash. I love to put a few drops of peppermint oil in my water to wake up in the morning. And, before I go on a run, I massage a couple drops into the back of my neck for alertness and endurance. Peppermint is an excellent aroma for greeting a new day!

2. Eucalyptus oil, like peppermint oil, has a powerfully enlivening effect. It’s perfect to keep on your desk, dot a little on your wrist, and treat yourself to an inhale in the middle of a tiring workday.


3. Lemon oil has a bright, fresh flavor that elevates the mood. It is also an excellent detoxifying agent, working to alkalize the body and purify the liver. I like to use it to flavor my drinking water.

4. Cinnamon oil can be used as a sweet treat in your coffee that tastes indulgent while remaining lean. It’s an excellent, aromatic alternative to the sugar-packed seasonal lattes we tend to see at Starbucks.


5. Ginger oil has a sweet and spicy aroma. Ginger in itself has often been known to have a positive effect on digestion. I like to pair this with lemon oil in water or juice for delicious and detoxifying support.

6. Lavender oil is deeply relaxing and known to reduce levels of cortisol, the stress hormone that makes us hold on to extra weight. Its calming properties are very conducive to meditation– I love to dab some on the scarf I wear while meditating. You could also drop a little in a hot bath or on your pillow to promote deep, peaceful sleep, another crucial component of weight management.

7. Grapefruit oil is purifying and energizing, producing an alkalizing effect in the body. This oil makes a refreshing and highly beneficial addition to your water, especially if you’re doing a cleanse.

grapefruit oil

These oils help ensure our success in weight management by enhancing our mood and energy level. They are integral daily elements to any weight management process: easy to incorporate, simple to use, and wonderfully effective. For further detail on the health properties of these wonderful oils, visit BethShaw.com.