Self Teacher Study – Plant Nanny

I found this really cute app called Plant Nanny. It helps you drink enough water. It was rated as the best App of the Year in 2013 and has been downloaded over 1,000,000 times. It’s free and slightly addicting, in a good way…

I’ve been playing with this app for a couple of months and I can tell you that it works. So much so that I’ve shared it with 60 people. From the App Store description:

Plant Nanny combines health with fun to remind you to drink water regularly. The cute plant keeps you company every day by living in your phone. In order to keep it alive and help it grow, you must give it water at certain periods of time.

One of the first things I talk with new clients about is the importance of being well-hydrated. One of the reasons people try yoga is because they want to increase their flexibility. Being well-hydrated is an essential first step towards reaching this goal.

Inflexibility (muscle tightness, cramping, etc.) is just one side effect of dehydration. Being well-hydrated has many positive effects on the body and mind. According to the CDC, drinking enough water can help with:

  • Managing body weight
  • Clear thinking
  • Mood stability
  • Regular digestion
  • Prevention of kidney stones

Paying attention to your hydration levels involves paying attention to your body. That’s not always an easy thing to do. Many people find that it’s easier to focus on another person’s well-being, as a way of beginning the process of taking care of themselves.

Nurturing someone else helps them do the very thing they need to do for themselves.

How the App Works:

  1. Start a plant. Select any of the free varieties, pick a pot and a background for it. You can even give it a name.
  2. Enter your body weight and activity level to determine how much water your plant needs every day.
  3. Select your favorite drinking container and pick a water measurement.

Say you pick a glass that holds 8 oz of water. When you water your plant you press the glass icon button. Above the icon is a number. If you need to drink 64 oz of water every day, you’d need to water your plant 8 times a day.

The idea is to drink water at the same time as when you water your plant. Each plant bobs and chirps when you water it. However, if you forget your plant it gets sad and eventually dies. [Hint: Don’t start a plant at night.]

The first time I forgot to water my plant I tried reviving it with my “Drops of Life.” You start with ten drops that be used to help your plant grow faster or can revive a dead plant. None of my plants died but I did waste a lot of Drops trying to resuscitate my sad little plant.

After your plant grows up (takes 1-2 weeks) you move it to your garden where it produces seeds every day. You can use these seeds to buy exotic plants, fancier pots and unique backgrounds.

Plant Nanny teaches you how to take care of yourself through a personalized approach to health and wellness. It also teaches kindness, empathy and self-care.

Interested in learning some additional strategies for staying well-hydrated? To schedule a free initial consultation visit: Book Now

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Home Rituals – Maple Coconut Pumpkin Pie

My friend Camilla introduced me to this pumpkin pie recipe when we were college roommates. She made a dairy-free, gluten-free version that was outstanding. Honestly, it changed my whole outlook on pumpkin pie.

I’m thankful that I don’t have any food allergies or sensitivities. But I picked up a few tricks while living with people who do. Like this Maple Coconut Pumpkin Pie.

I like the filling even more than the traditional recipe. It’s simple enough – just replace the sweetened condensed milk with coconut milk and maple syrup. I couldn’t remember the exact ratio so I looked up these recipes:

King Arthur Flour – Pumpkin Pie

Primally Inspired – Paleo Pumpkin Pie

I also did a little research on what pumpkin is good for. No surprise here – pumpkin is considered to be a superfood. Some of the many health benefits of pumpkin include:

  • High in Vitamins A and C
  • Boosts vision
  • Rich in beta-carotene
  • May reduce the risk of cancer
  • Prevents wrinkles
  • Balances electrolytes

Combining pumpkin with coconut milk and maple syrup takes this recipe up multiple notches. In The Skinny on Skin Care I talk about why coconut is so beneficial for your skin.  (Tip: eating coconut also nourishes your skin from the inside).

Maple syrup does wonders for the body too. I like to cook with a variety of natural sweeteners and maple syrup is one of my favorites. [Read: Home Rituals – Maple Pecan Pie]

Maple Coconut Pumpkin Pie

Filling:

1-15 ounce can pumpkin puree

1 cup full fat coconut milk

1/2 cup maple syrup

3 eggs

2 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt

 

Crust:

One 9-inch unbaked pie crust (I use a variation of this recipe: All Butter Pie Crust).

 

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk three eggs until well combined. Add pumpkin puree, coconut milk, maple syrup, vanilla, pumpkin pie spice and salt.
  2. Combine filling using an immersion blender.
  3. Refrigerate filling overnight.
  4. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  5. Roll pie dough into a 13″ circle and transfer to a 9-inch pie plate.
  6. Pour filling into the unbaked pie shell.
  7. Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 degrees. Bake for an additional 30-40 minutes, or until a knife blade inserted 1 inch from the edge comes out clean.
  8. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Optional: Top with sweetened whipped cream or coconut whipped cream.

Self Teacher Study – Find Your Yoga

So I thought I’d share the story of when I first started practicing yoga. I didn’t like it AT ALL and left my first class thinking that yoga just wasn’t for me. This was back before yoga became popular and I was living in my small hometown in Maine. One day I was walking down main street and saw a sign advertising ‘Free Yoga.’

I decided to give it a try… 

I was completely at a loss. The teachers were chanting the whole time and didn’t offer any kind of introduction or provide any printed lyrics to read from. I sat there breathing the heavy incense smoke and feeling totally awkward until it was time to leave. Now I know that I’d stumbled upon a Kirtan, but without any idea of why we were doing this practice it was a pretty tough way to start out.

I left that class thinking that yoga was not for me. 

It took a few years before I tried taking another class. This time it was with a different teacher at another studio. The format was much closer to something that I could wrap my mind around. It was like a gentle dance class and the final meditation was simply wonderful. The teacher was a sweetheart who would always greet her students with a hug. The gems of wisdom that she taught made a lasting impression on me.

After a few classes I was hooked and it became my mid-week ritual. I wanted to share the experience but couldn’t find anyone to go with me. I remember stopping by the town bar before class and trying to rally a few friends to go with me (yeah, no luck there). People were either too tired or just not interested. So I kept going by myself every week.

I recently met a woman who told me point blank that she doesn’t like yoga. She’d only been to one class and said that was enough for her. She coaches a high school girls basketball team and believes that she’s too competitive for yoga. She also admitted that she didn’t like being singled out by the teacher who was giving corrections during class.

I completely understand where she’s coming from, but I still hope that she can find her way to another class someday. She could probably benefit from one-on-one training, where she wouldn’t have to worry about feeling competitive or embarrassed. Ultimately she is the only person who is going to change her mind.

This is a common issue with group yoga classes, where first timers decide to try a class with no idea of what to expect and get burned out from the experience. If you’re new to yoga I encourage you to try a few different styles. You might find this flow chart handy as it could give you an idea of what kind of yoga class would be right for you.

What was your first yoga class like? Was it enjoyable or was there something about it that didn’t suit you? Feel free to leave a comment in the box below:

Flow Chart Yoga