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I am here if you need extra help!

~ Ana-Maria

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How To Burn Fat By Resting:

How To Burn Fat By Resting:

Let’s talk about how to relax.

Why is this important? Among other fantastic benefits — when you are relaxed, you burn more fat.

When you’re stressed, you might do the opposite and hold the stubborn weight that doesn’t want to go away. According to case studies, when there is too much cortisol in our bodies (due to physiological or environmental stress), it often triggers fat accumulation.
While eating foods that are high in fiber, protein, and slow-releasing carbs can naturally increase our bodies’ ability to burn more fat, we can help the process significantly by merely slowing down.
When moving through life too fast, without taking enough breaks, we inevitably eat fast, which triggers a cortisol response, and diminishes our calorie-burning power.

Slowing down moves us from the fight-or-flight stress-state to the peaceful state of relaxation and inner calm.

Just by allowing yourself to relax more, you are likely to increase your metabolism and reach your fitness goals in a much more enjoyable way! 🙏🏼

Now it`s the perfect time to download my guide on chewing slowly: click here.

Not only that: the slower we eat, the faster we metabolize our food and the more sustained energy we have throughout the day.

The shortcut to turn off stress and activate a physiological relaxation response is conscious breathing. Conscious breathing simply means taking full deep breaths and holding them in for four counts before your exhale. Your nervous system will begin to calm down immediately.

You literally just have to breathe more deeply to switch on the parasympathetic nervous system. We have oxygen available to us 24/7, and it’s always available to use (thankfully!)

👇🏻👇🏻👇🏻
Here is an easy exercise you can try:

✔️ Write your top 3 stressors.
✔️Now create your top 3 relaxers.
✔️Ensure eating slowly and are chewing your food.
✔️One busier days, take some time to stretch, do gentle yoga, go for a walk, meditate, or take an Epsom salt bath/long shower.
✔️Initiate regular intimacy with someone you connect to on a deeper level.

Quality intimacy is, by far, one of the best stress relievers!

Regardless of what you choose to do – when in doubt, just take a break to breathe and relax.

dancer doing the splits
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Sometimes the most productive thing you can DO is to do nothing at all, and recharge your batteries

What’s your take on this topic? Let me know!

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~ I am here for you if you have questions or comments,

Ana-Maria

Let Go Of Control By Slowing Down

Let Go Of Control By Slowing Down


We live in a society that is obsessed with control: from controlling one’s finances to controlling one’s physique, relationships and even one’ body’s physiological needs for rest.

 
Yet, too much control leads to chronic exhaustion, anxiousness, and the subsequent jarring fear-of-missing-out*. 

*The fear of missing out is defined by “a desire to stay continually connected with what others are doing.” 

The simple truth is we, human beings, are not supposed to control everything that happens around us or to be everywhere&and do everything AT THE SAME TIME.


Slowing down usually helps us gain momentum in the long-term. Taking charge of your life and making things happen should not come on the expense of your sanity or your sleep.


The best remedy for control-addiction is REST.

How often do you pause to breathe and let go of control?

I, myself, often get caught up in a go-go-go way of living. And I now know better that slowing down helps me be way more productive. Speaking of which, check out this article. 🙂

When you feel fatigued and overwhelmed, simply close your eyes and send your body much neeeded love and appreciation.

By inhaling love, we let go of the fear of not doing or being enough. By letting go of this fear, we instill the values of self-respect and self-nurturment.

~ After reading this post, please pause and do the following: close your eyes, take a few deep breathes, and connect to yourself by connecting to your heart.

Ask yourself: “What do I want today; What do I need from life; How can I support myself today; How can I say “yes” to others by not compromising my needs?”; How can I say “no” with no guilt?; “How can I enjoy myself more by loosening up my control?””

By nurturing ourselves, we nurture others!

~ With love and care,

Ana-Maria

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How To Create Change That Last: 3 Strategies That Will Help You Stick To Your New Habits – FOREVER!

How To Create Change That Last: 3 Strategies That Will Help You Stick To Your New Habits – FOREVER!

Change is hard. It is supposed to be hard. This is how our brain is wired. And our brain`s main responsibility is to keep us safe. From an evolutionary point of view (1), change equals danger; danger equals lack of safety; lack of safety equals predators; predators equal potential death. No wonder lasting change is trickier than it seems.

I hope this is an AHA moment for you: our brain doesn’t differentiate between actual and fictional danger. For the critter brain, every time when you try to make a change (despite your positive intention behind it!), your innocent attempt triggers a fight or flight reaction. Why? Because your brain cares for you and wants you to be safe. Once you understand that your body`s only goal is to keep you alive, you begin to shift your mindset from reactivity to positivity. To make any change STICK, you have to win your brain over first. And do it in a way that makes both you and your brain FEEl good.

So, instead of beating yourself for not sticking to your new year`s resolutions or your last week`decision to adopt a healthier diet, exercise more, stress less/etc., understand that it literally takes time for the body to drop its defenses and become an ally to your goals, and not a foe.

  • In order to shift gears towards your goal, you have to act as the architect of your most ideal future and not a slave of your behavioral patterns.
  • To receive a level of self-actualization (your innate ability and right to reach your highest creativity potential), you have to first strip the layers of cognitive baggage piled in your subconscious mind.
  • In order to shift from the role of spectator (ofWhat happens To you) to a creator (of a Life that happens FOR you), you must stop sabotaging yourself with negative self-talk and victimization. This is KEY!
change your habits. change your life.
Ready for a change? Check out my coaching services.

These are my three fundamental strategies for creating long-lasting change instead of temporary breakthroughs:

I HAVE AN INTENTION

Decide what you want; then break it down to an attainable goal. 
I recommend you to breakdown your goals into a longterm goal and short-term goals. Be realistic what you can and can`t achieve in a six or three months frame, and focus on the progress you make, and not on the areas you`re still working on. The bigger the change you want to make is, the smaller the daily changes should be. You can`t possibly outdo years of behavioral patterns in one month regardless of your discipline and motivation. The body has to trust you first and welcome the change, instead of fighting you on it.

Science says

“Neurons that fire together wire together.”

– Donald Hebb, a Canadian neuropsychologist known for his work in the field of associative learning.

II PAY ATTENTION

Stepping back and identifying what your self-defeating habits are is one of the first steps of the change process.

Be curious to monitor your actions (without judgment!): are they moving you towards your goal, or do they pull you away from it? Most importantly, monitor your self-talk: how many times in a day do you speak kindly to yourself as opposed to the times you lash out and say things you would never tell your best friend? (more about building unstoppable confidence you may read here). Be adaptive to change and the breaking of old habits. Often, it has taken you a lifetime to build them, so it takes time and patience to reformulate your routine around them. Habits are literally wired in your brain. And I will repeat this again, because it is so important:any lasting change begins in your mind first before it gets translated to your behavior and habits.

As Goethe wisely pointed out: “Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do.”

III ALWAYS BELIEVE

Stay optimistically realistic. Momentary set-backs are inevitable. Giving up is optional. 
Believing in your deservedness of happiness, confidence and self-love is the only way to preserve your enthusiasm to keep going when you stumble through obstacles. They’re there to test your will. And expose you to your fears so you can dissolve them and move forward. Face them, love them, and keep going. At its core, change is a continual process of letting go. This step is all about giving you a way to release old beliefs and create new ones. When you change a habit, you CHANGE a part of how you act, and when you change how you re-act, you start to change who you are in a triggering circumstance… when you begin to change who you are (when you don`t like yourself), you start to fall in love with your-true-self and your life.

In conclusion, please remember that habits are AUTOMATED behaviors and, as such, they are prone to change.. While some habits are health-promoting, others are health-destroying. And here we talk not just about physical health but about your mental and emotional health as well.

To make any change last, you need to feel good about it in your heart first.

5 steps of change
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I really hope this article was not only informative but also inspired you to take action. Please forward and share with anyone in your social circles that can also benefit from implementing these strategies.

~ With Love and Care,

Ana-Maria

Download this text as a PDF*.

@ All Rights Reserved to DFI

Further Reads:

(1) I dearly recommend you to read Dr. Rich Hanson`s books: Resilient and Hardwiring Happiness. I mention his work in this article as well.

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How To Know If You Are Ready For A Change: 3 Major Signs To Look For

How To Know If You Are Ready For A Change: 3 Major Signs To Look For

T.S. Eliot said it so eloquently:

“The end of all exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.”

Life is an odyssey and we are meant to change our environment (every so often) in order to grow, learn and explore different sides of ourselves, and of the world around us.

If you are currently at a phase in your life where you feel as it is about time for you to venture out of your comfort zone and move on in life, this self-check list is designed to help you decide whether or not it is time for you to make a change.


3 major signs you’re ready to move on (or move out from your current life situation):


⠀⠀
1️⃣ You no longer relate to your current environment

Whether it’s your home, your job, the relationship you’re in, even your town (or country): something in your life feels out of sync with your goals for the future. But to know confidently what you truly want, you should be very very honest with yourself and create a plan.

I advise you to take a pen and paper and write it all down: imagine how do you want your life to look like six months from now, one year from now, and a couple of years from now? Will staying where you are move you closer to where you want to be, or shift you backwards? And how would that feel? In both situations.

For many of us, change feels equally exciting and terrifying. And righteously so!

Change is scary. We are creatures of habit and is in our dna (thanks to our critter brain) to rationalize ourselves out of moving on just because we are accustomed to being in the same environment. Please revisit what you wrote in your journal and be open and honest with yourself: does it make you happy and excited to wake up every day where you are? If the answer is ‘no’, it’s time for you to move on, and move forward to whatever it is that makes you happy and excited. Regardless of how drastic or subtle this change may look like for you.

2️⃣ You intuitively feel that life has plans for you and that you can’t optimize them fully if you don’t make a major leap forward.

It’s simply not possible to stay where we are and simultaneously move forward. Marching in one place doesn’t shift us from where we are. And it doesn’t give us clarity either. Thinking and planning our next move is crucial, and you need to be mindful and strategic about it. Often, the actual execution may take longer than you desire. However, despite how long it takes, change comes from engagement, not just thought. 

My favorite motto (that always pushes me through stagnation): “If you want something you‘ve never had, you must be willing to do something you‘ve never done.’

@ Thomas Jefferson


3️⃣You constantly receive signs from the Universe that is time for you to change your life.

  • Perhaps you keep stumbling over new job offers
  • Perhaps you continiously bump into quotes or sayings (or even blogposts like this one) that motivate you to seize change
  • Perhaps you frequently find yourself scrolling on social media (or pininterest) looking for home interior, or travel destinations, or different job alternatives
  • Perhaps you see ads for educational programs that align with your true passions in life
  • Perhaps a friend recommends you a book or podcast that resonate with your current situation, and inspire you to take action

Whatever it is, go for it. Your intuition knows best. Trust your gut, trust the Universe, and trust that there is no “right” time to make change. It will always be “now”.

Really hope those 3 tips are useful, please let me know in the comments below. Also, if you suddenly think of somebody who needs the extra push to make things happen for them, forward and share a long.

REMINDER


If you want to receive more of my weekly tips and strategies on personal development, mindfulness, wellness and fitness – go ahead and subscribe to my blog to get an instant access to my newsletter.

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I think you might find my tips on manifesting change useful as well.

Let me know!

~ With Love and Care,

Ana-Maria


Festive Fruit Cake (Gluten-Free/Vegan)

Festive Fruit Cake (Gluten-Free/Vegan)

In my health coaching practice, I advise my clients to eat predominantly low-sugar fruits like berries (and eat starchy carbs and grains in moderation). However, the foundation of a balanced diet (in my belief), is balance. A balance that leaves room for occasional culinary indulgences and treats. =)

This cake is rich and decadent but doesn’t require any baking. You need to leave it in your fridge overnight so please take this in consideration before you decide to prepare it.

birthday cake: raw vegan, gluten-free, plant-based
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Ingredients:

  • Four cups of gluten-free old-fashioned oats
  • Organic applesauce with berries
  • 1/4 cup of cacao nibs
  • 2 tablespoons of raw tahini
  • Few large carrots
  • 3-4 frozen bananas (need to be ripe)
  • A cup of raspberries
  • 2-3 tablespoons of raw coconut flour
  • A teaspoon of Himalayan salt
  • Cinnamon and nutmeg to taste
  • A tablespoon of cacao/or carob powder

Instructions

  1. In a bowl, mix the oats with boiled water. Once they soften, savor them with salt and spices, and place the mixture in a cake pan (I used one with a rectangular shape)
  2. Add the applause on top (the whole jar) and sprinkle the cacao nibs on top
  3. Place your bananas in a blender (you may need to add some liquid; I used almond milk) and blend them until they form a creamy consistency resembling ice-cream. Add on top of layer 2
  4. Place the raspberries in the same blender you just used (again, you may need some liquid) and add the raspberry sauce on top of layer 3. I mixed it with some cacao powder
  5. Clean your blender from the banana-raspberry cream you just created and add the carrots. Blend them alone and then add the tahini. You will create a delicious paste (just a warning!:)). Place on top of layer 4
  6. If you wish, you can blend two more bananas to add one more layer of sweetness. Regardless, this is the time time to add your coconut flour so that all layers stick together and form a thick consistency.
  7. For the final layer, I leave it up to you to unleash your imagination and decorate the cake anyway you desire. I used dried and fresh fruit.:)

Voila! Here you have it: a seven-layered-no-bake cake. I hope you enjoy it and, if you want more, make sure to check out my other cake recipes.

Bon appetit!:)

birthday cake: raw vegan, gluten-free, plant-based
If you like plant-based desserts, make sure to subscribe to receive more recipes!:)

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Products Mentioned


Eat More Beta Carotene

Eat More Beta Carotene

Our bodies are so smart!

💥💥💥🧘🏼‍♂️

During winter, when there is less sun (therefore, less exposure to vitamin D), I have been craving extensively skin-enhancing vitamins like beta carotene.  And there is a reason why!

🔸🔸🔸🔸

When we consume orange foods (carrots, yams, sweet potatoes, cantaloupe, squash, peppers, persimmons, apricots and the like), our body converts the beta carotene compounds into vitamin A (asp used topically as retinol). 

If you want a brighter and clearer complexion, natural glow and better vision – go grab an orange snack and chew on few carrots. 🍑🍑🍑🍊

How to make a raw carrot cake with few ingredients and no nuts (allergen-free recipe) 🍅🍅🍑🍌

————

What You Need:

• Three large carrots

• Two persimmons and few big carrots

• Few dates (if you like it sweeter)

• 1/2 ripe banana

• A cup of mulberries • A teaspoon of cacao and carob powder

• A splash of almond milk

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1) First, in a food processor gently press the mulberries (no liquid!) until they form a thick paste. Combine with the spices and the cacao.

2) Separately, blend the rest of the ingredients with the carob powder and the almond milk.

3) Let it sit in the fridge for a least an hour and enjoy with love! 💥

 


 

Bonus Salad Recipes

 

If you know somebody who experiences dry skin or uneven facial tone, share this post with them.

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