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Archive for the ‘Wellness’ Category

Sweating Without Moving

As my daily doldrums continue, there haven’t been any blog-worthy events last week. Just the usual workouts and the usual meals, mostly prepared by the Husband. But yesterday I felt like it was time to indulge a little. So I convinced the Husband to take a trip to the Sauna. It was our first visit after a long hiatus, as I don’t like to go during the warmer months.

A typical sauna

Doing some research, I’ve found out that saunas are very different, depending on the country and culture you live in. In Germany, most public swimming pools and gyms have attached sauna areas. They are usually mixed-gender areas and patrons are not allowed to wear any clothes, but you can cover yourself with a towel or a bathrobe. (I have recently bought a so-called ‘sauna kilt’, which is a large towel with a velcro strip. Very handy!)

Sauna kilt

There are great articles on saunas in Germany, and on the health benefits of regular sauna visits.

Sauna etiquette varies a lot, depending on the facility you are visiting, so you should always read and follow the prescribed instructions. Anyway, this is my own personal approach to get my sweat on in the sauna:

  • Before I go, I make sure to drink a lot of water (but not a gallon in one go!) and have a light snack. Just like you would before an intense workout, you want to be properly hydrated, but avoid a full belly.
  • After entering the sauna area, I take a warm shower, towel down thoroughly, and put on my sauna kilt (see above) and my flip-flop sandals.
  • Before I enter the actual sauna room, I take of my kilt or towel and my shoes. I usually choose a lower bench, where the heat is more moderate, and lie down on my towel. I close my eyes and enjoy the silence while my body heats up slowly.
  • About 5-10 minutes later, I sit up slowly, waiting for a few more minutes until my body has adjusted, then I leave the sauna.
  • Next up is a short outdoor cool down, to get some fresh air into your lungs.
  • Now it’s time for a cold shower! This might sound painful, but your body gets really hot in the sauna, so a slightly cold shower actually feels great.
  • After cooling down I like to take some rest and drink a glass of water or juice.

If I’m in the mood and have enough time, I might repeat all those steps.

Sauna 'Aufguss'

In many German saunas, staff members perform a so-called ‘Aufguss’, usually once an hour. This means that they slowly pour a mix of water and fragrant oils onto hot stones to increase humidity. The staff member also swings a towel around to circulate the hot air through the sauna. This is intense! Even though the temperature stays the same, the air feels much hotter because of the humidity. An ‘Aufguss’ is definitely not for beginners! As usual, listen to your body, and leave the sauna as soon as you start to feel uncomfortable.

Do you like to go to the sauna, too?

See you!

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Today is officially my last detox day. But before I share my final thoughts, I want to recap days 3 and 4.

Day 3 - 2nd breakfast

For breakfast I had another slice of buckwheat bread, followed by a bowl of mixed berries with soy yoghurt and some oats.

Day 3 - Lunch

Lunch was another big salad with tomatoes, sweet corn, Sloppy Josephines, and avocado, served with a small bowl of brown rice.

Day 3 - Dinner

For dinner I made a vegetable soup with potatoes, carrots, leek, and brussel sprouts. I had it with a dash of soy cream on top and a slice of buckwheat bread on the side. It was delicious. Of course I went back for seconds. And I also finished my bag of trail mix. I think I have a serious problem.

On day 3 I finally started to feel a bit better. I wasn’t that tired anymore. Either I’ve already adjusted to not drinking coffee anymore, or I’ve just caught up on missed sleep.

Day 4 - Breakfast

Breakfast on day 4 was two slices of brown rice bread with a red pepper spread on the left and a nooch based spread on the right. I liked the brown rice bread better than the buckwheat bread, but nothing beats wheat or rye bread in my opinion. I know that my breakfasts are kind of monotonous, but I just love bread. Plus, it’s the fastest kind of breakfast I can think of.

 

Day 4 - Lunch

For lunch I chopped up a head of romaine, added some tomatoes, avocado, and balsamic dressing. I also had some of yesterday’s vegetable soup.

 

Day 4 - Dinner

My last detox dinner was cooked quinoa, marinara sauce, and pan-fried zucchini. Delicious, but not very filling. Too bad I’ve run out of trail mix.

Final Thoughts On Detoxing

Honestly, I don’t feel or look any different after this detox, but four days are probably not enough to see any changes. I really don’t think I could do this detox any longer, though. I miss bread and my occasional treats like muffins, cake, cookies. And coffee! So I’ll gradually re-introduce gluten, dairy, eggs, and decaf coffee. I don’t think that my body still needs caffeine, but I really like the taste of coffee.

There were a few things that I liked about the detox, though, like having a glass of fresh juice in the morning, eating lots of fresh fruit, vegetables, and salads. I’ll try to incorporate those things into my daily routine.

Now that my mini-detox is over, I feel like indulging a little. We’ll see what I can find tomorrow.

See you!

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A few days ago I wrote about my detox plans for my mini vacation. Yesterday was day 1 for me, here is how it went.

Day 1 - Breakfast

First thing in the morning was a glass of fresh orange and grapefruit juice. As I don’t have a juicer, I’m sticking with citrus fruit for the week. For breakfast I had two slices of buckwheat bread (gluten-free), topped with guacamole and pumpkin spread. The bread tasted a bit weird at first, but it’s not that bad actually.

Yogi Tea Green Jasmine

Yogi Tea Choco Spice

As I won’t drink any coffee this week, I’m having lots of tea instead. My two favorites are a green jasmine and rose blend and a spicy chocolate herbal blend.

Day 1 - Lunch

Next up: Lunch. I had a some mixed greens, topped with Bavarian potato salad (recipe coming soon, I hope), and some baked carrot sticks with tahini crust. It was delicious!

Day 1 - Dinner

Dinner was some more mixed greens with tomatoes and home-made soy yoghurt dressing, brown rice, Sloppy Josephines (recipe by Mama Pea) and guacamole.

Mixed Fruit
Fruit salad with soy yoghurt

People who know me in real life also know that I can’t go for more than a few hours without food. So of course I needed some snacks. I had some mixed fruit right before lunch, a fruit salad with soy yoghurt, and some unpictured trail mix after dinner.

That was the food, but how did I feel? During the day I felt a bit tired, and at night I got a light headache. There are several possible reasons: the lack of caffeine, my tough almost 3 mile run, or the changing weather (it’s raining right now). I guess my body needs some time to adapt to the changes I made.

See you!

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Apparently it’s the season for spring diets and cleansings and detoxes. The magazines and the internet are full of them. I don’t really like the idea of eating nothing and instead drinking a few glasses of spicy lemonade for weeks. I’m not an expert, but that doesn’t sound healthy to me.

But there seems to be different kind of detox going around the blog world these days, one that focuses on whole, unprocessed foods. Yes, you’re allowed to eat! After reading about Sabine’s (The Fruit Pursuit) detox plans, the potential health benefits, and the delicious meals she makes, I became curious.

As I have a few days off of work next week, I decided to try a mini detox!

This is what I’ll be following starting next Tuesday (adapted from here):

  • no coffee, alcohol, black tea
  • no gluten (wheat, rye)
  • no animal products
  • no refined, processed sugars
  • as little processed, refined products as possible
  • more raw foods, greens, salads
  • filtered water, lemon water (if I can find water filter tomorrow)
  • herbal & green tea, juices
  • chew your food
  • no/little water with food
  • light to moderate exercise most days a week, including yoga

 

What I hope to achieve through this detox:

  • More energy, better concentration, feeling less tired
  • Better digestive health, less bloating
  • Healthier skin
  • Less cravings

I plan to follow this detox for at least four days, then I will decide which principles I will keep following.

To practice this detox thing a little bit, I made a raw Chocolate Avocado Mousse, inspired by The Fruit Pursuit and Healthy Hoggin’:

 

ChocoCado Mousse with frozen strawberry on top

 

I added a ripe banana and a tiny dash of maple syrup. It was quite yummy, but could have been sweeter. I think I prefer smoothies, though.

See you!

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I Have A Plan!

So far, I just ran whenever I felt like it and found the time, without any sort of plan. Obviously that approach did not work. So I finally decided to follow an official Couch-To-5k plan. This specific plan is for “active beginners”, I guess that fits me quite well. And I started to follow that plan today!

The Stats:

  • Distance: 2.3 miles (3,7 km)
  • Time: 29:20 minutes
  • Average pace: 12:46 min/mile
  • Feeling: Ouch

The first week of my plan calls for three runs, each one alternating between 5 minutes of running and 3 minutes of walking. I kind of followed that as closely as I could, but some nasty side stitches made the running parts really hard. I definitely need to work on my core muscles!

Tomorrow we will take a trip to the sauna! This is so relaxing, especially on a chilly winter’s day. And now I’m going to relax on my couch. I love stay-at-home vacations!

See you!

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