Vitamin B is for…

IMG_1323

…BIOTIN baby!

Learnt something new today…after a few days of craving Peanuts (specifically SNICKERS) and waking up with dehydrated, pinched, dry skin, I decided to purchase a bag of salted peanuts, and a bag of salted potato crisps. After which, I decided to purchase a packet of mountain trail mix, go home stuff my face and research the nutrient content of peanuts, and salt cravings. You know in the way that when you crave chocolate apparently you’re lacking in Magnesium, that kind of thing. No really, I’m just lacking in chocolate, thanks.

Mountain Trail Mix proved a delicious substitute for the Snickers that I really wanted to buy until I remembered that a. I’m vegan, b. I really want to eat foods that don’t have sugar, or Glucose Fructose Syrup, in them, and c. I’m not even pregnant so really can’t justify giving in to this Snickers craving (in the event of however, I shall eat a Snickers, or three, every day…loudly blaming the baby).

So why the peanut cravings people? Does the lack of chicken in my diet mean I’m lacking in something? I certainly feel tired, and in need of a facial!

Ever heard of Biotin?

Biotin is a B-complex vitamin that has been identified as a necessary nutrient for a century. It plays key roles in fat and sugar metabolism, has been proven to help in preventing diabetes, and is great for your skin. Best sources of Biotin are Peanuts and Tomatoes. Other good vegan sources include tofu, mushrooms, seeds, nuts and root vegetables. Yesterday I had sun-dried tomatoes for breakfast, and made a tofu-tomato-peanut stir-fry for lunch, so it sounds like Biotin is exactly what I’m lacking!

The image above is today’s dinner (still pre-research!): Stir-fried Tofu, Falafels, Peanuts, Walnuts, chilli sunflower seeds and Orange Pepper in Sun-dried Tomato Oil with Saffron.

Served with Romaine Lettuce, Chilli sauce, Tomato Chutney, Vegan Mayo, Home-made Hummus, Sun-dried Tomato Pesto, aaaannnnnnd…..drumroll please…Sun-dried Tomatoes!

Couldn’t get a better Biotin mix, unless of course I added mushrooms, milk and steak to it. Just kidding, kind of…Click here for a full list of vegan and non-vegan Biotin food sources.

Biotin is best absorbed with Vitamin B5, Pantothenic Acid, a little of which is found in most foods, and especially in my other favourite staple, Avocado. http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=nutrient&dbid=87

These vegan days, I don’t have much opportunity to eat raw egg white, but just so you know, foods containing this (Ice-cream Snickers anyone?!) will nullify your body’s ability to soak up Biotin.

Another interesting fact; if you’re feeding a baby, increasing Biotin in your diet can help to prevent their cradle cap. See this page for more info: http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=nutrient&dbid=42

As for the salt cravings, this article explains it really well, (ah, so that’s why I added chia seeds to my dinner today) http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-14666/why-you-crave-salty-snacks-what-you-can-do-about-it.html

Am going to take a multi-vitamin, drink more water and no, am not preggo, just my body wishes it is.

PMT love, and peace 😉

Advertisements

I like big butts and I cannot lie…

Ladies! (and gentlemen who sit a lot) The key to a strong pelvic floor, is not Kegels! Ever been told by your physio that you have hypertone in your pelvis, yet when you sneeze you pee? (Nevermind going for a run or trying a jumping jack?!) Overly tight muscle is WEAK muscle.

To avoid a future filled with adult nappies, relax your pelvic floor, give it some length, and fire up your glutes! http://youtu.be/IOoTC9DpB3k

The best thing about strong glutes, not only will they support your Pelvic Floor, they also protect your SI Joints and Lower Back.From office yogis to postnatal mums, the key to longterm pelvic floor health is not your chair, it’s your Chair Pose Squat! Try this today, every time the phone rings, settle back into your chair pose for a good long chat.Esther Ekhart shows how: http://youtu.be/zFWIGX0xYJU

Got low back pain? Get a better squat. The right squat will see your overactive thighs turned off while you switch on your glutes. Here’s how: sit back into your squat, feet hip distance apart, outer feet edges in parallel, knees over heels, send those shins BACK! You need your knees over your heels to activate the correct muscles to support your back and Pelvic Floor.

Prepare for your squat with Katy Bowman’s Double Calf Stretch: Double calf stretch

For how to do squats safely, or if you have a gym ball in your office, see Physio Michelle Henway’s guide to squats, though I would put emphasis on the glutes, rather than the thighs. Anyone care to comment? http://youtu.be/fAHp-A2EN_w

So, you’re on the phone, you’ve remembered to smile, align your feet, breathe out annnnd…lower down into it. Smile and squat. Your butt needs to be out behind you, not tucked underneath. Feels easy? Sit lower, and lower and lower…enjoy!

Squat

Not saying background music helps to hold a squat but:

SirMixALothttp://youtu.be/_JphDdGV2TU

Follow your squat with this easy hip-releasing stretch: http://youtu.be/hpQtvPyvpw4

Maybe KatyB & Sir Mix A Lot could make a remix, that would be heaven!

Love your body (even the pee-sneeze parts). Love squats 😉

Up the walls? Relax and unwind…without wine!

Feeling tired, stressed or run-down?

Release tension with Viparita Karani: Legs up the wall pose.

Viparita Karani

This pose is great for anyone who needs to strengthen their Immune System, manage stress or depression, new parents, and the sleep-deprived. Children love to do this pose, get them to try it on their bed before lights out, or on the sofa for quiet time during the day.

Put your favourite chill-out playlist on, soothing eye-mask, soft lighting…get creative with your environment to make it soft and warm and inviting before you come to lie down!

Sit with your left hip on the skirting board, knees bent up. Roll onto your back, with your bum on the wall as you swing your legs up. If your buttocks don’t quite touch the wall, lift your hips by pressing with your feet, slide closer, and lower your hips.

Still not there?
Using your elbows, “gracefully” shimmy forward until you feel your bum is on the skirting board! Feeling fun and relaxing already….

Pregnant Yogis: No bolster under your sacrum, do put a cushion under your head if you prefer to be propped up. This pose is great for relieving swollen ankles, while relaxing is good for lowering blood pressure. Inversions boost your immune system, but may not be recommended nor feel comfortable during pregnancy. This pose is perfect for taking the weight off your feet during any stage of your pregnancy, and safe for any stage of your reproductive cycle.

Rest your arms by your sides, moving your legs leisurely through the sequence:

Wide Leg Viparita Karani:
Inhale contract your outer thighs to take the legs apart
Exhale contract your inner thighs to close legs together
Allow your breath to move your body; inhale legs open, exhale they close. Repeat for as many rounds of breath as you like.
Finish with legs together.

WL VK

Bridge up the wall:
Roll your pelvis backwards, feel your lower back flat on the mat.
Inhale & lift your hips up, soles of your feet press into the wall, palms press into the floor.
Exhale to release your spine down to the ground, moving slowly, lower one vertebra at a time, keep your tail tucked under.

Pregnant Yogis: only lift as high as you feel is normal for your stage of pregnancy.
Use your intuition to guide you in and out of the movements. So, breathing into your tummy, into your gut, let your instinct move your body as is right for you and your baby.

Supta Baddha Konasana:
Slide your heels down the wall towards your hips, soles of the feet together.
Release your arms by your sides, eyes closed, counting your breaths back from 20 to 0.

Inhale into any parts of your body that feel tense, exhale allowing the tension to melt away.

reclining bound angle pose up wall

Pregnant Yogis:
This one is lovely with a bolster under your back and your head propped up, as in the image below. It’s really good for heartburn, pelvic girdle pain and in the final few weeks when lying down flat makes you feel like you’re lying in the shadow of a mountain instead of a baby bump!

Supta Baddha Konasana Pregnancy

Enjoy 😉

Images courtesy of http://www.yogajournal.com

For more info on the benefits of Viparita Karani, see:

http://www.yogajournal.com/article/beginners/legs-up-the-wall-pose/