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Nancy’s Take On...

  • My Yoga Sequence For Firm Abs

    Posted on Monday, August 5, 2013

    Highly Effective  

    These asanas are part of my personal ab workout routine.  I highly recommend them to any woman who wants to have a firm, toned waistline.  

    Yoga exercises for core muscles develop a stable and strong core, help prevent injuries, alleviate back pain, and significantly improve the posture. Yoga provides several exercises to develop a strong core. The core muscles extend from the diaphragm and abdominal muscles to the pelvic floor. The powerhouse of the body includes your back, buttocks, and core muscles.

    The majority of Yoga poses engage the core, and many of them are designed to strengthen the core. The benefits to your posture are immeasurable. Many people are attracted to Yoga for different reasons. However, many people enjoy Yoga because developing good posture actually makes a person look younger. Poor posture is one of the most visible signs of aging.

    If you want to focus on developing a strong core, you will want to incorporate the following Yoga poses (asanas) into your regular practice -

    Read about the yoga asanas I use [Link Removed] 

    Yogaforever, Your links have been removed, please consider upgrading to premium membership.

    1 Replies
  • How To Use A French Press

    Posted on Saturday, August 3, 2013

    Cold Weather Or Not This Is The Best Way To Make Coffee  

    It’s that time of year when the weather is turning just a little bit colder, even here in South Florida, and you may find that getting caught in the rain is much more, shall we say bracing?, than it was in July.  There’s just no way around it - a great cup of Joe is just spectacular now!  

    A few months ago, I invested in a French Press Coffee Maker, and it’s brought my appreciation of Java to a whole new height.  In fact, I really have no desire to go back to my old cofee maker, which is only used these days by my husband, and since he rarely makes coffee it’s mostly idle.  

    In this blog post I’d like to share the experience of using the French Press Coffee Maker, and let you know that it’s not complicated at all.  It’s more a matter of using excellent ingredients than skill.  Read on for the details.    

    What You Need  

        French Press Coffee Maker Pot  

        Coffee Grinder

        Course Ground Coffee

        Boiling Water (I use bottled spring water)

        A chop stick

        A thermal carafe (optional)

    About What Goes Into The French Press Coffee Maker  

    There are two ingredients involved in making French press coffee: water and coffee grounds. The entire point of drinking coffee using a push pot is to get coffee in its purest form, so make sure those two ingredients are the very best you can afford.  

    It is important to select coffee blends that are made of the highest quality beans and have been expertly roasted. The best way to find great coffee beans is through one of your local coffee shops. Frequently, they buy their beans locally or roast their own beans.

    It is critical to use beans between three to ten days old. Beans less than three days old have a ton of CO2 and they produce an effect called "bloom" on top of the coffee being brewed. A bloom is a layer of foamy, brown suds that form as a result of that CO2 trying to escape the water and coffee. After three days, the CO2 has dissipated enough that the risk of a bloom forming is much lower. After ten days, the coffee beans are no longer considered fresh and should not be used, especially in French press coffee.

    Water, the other ingredient, is of equal importance. If the water you use to brew your push pot coffee is at all hard or has a lot of chlorine or other mineral build-ups in it, the coffee will end up tasting acrid. If at all possible, it is best to use bottle water or water from a water cooler. This water will produce the purest flavor when combined with the coffee. If you prefer to take a greener route, attach a filter to your water faucet or fill a pitcher with a filter attached. The more chemicals and minerals you can get out of the water, the better.

    Grind the Beans Coarsely  

    If you get your beans ground at the coffee shop, make certain the barista knows you will be using the grounds in a French press. Grounds used in a French press are much more coarse than standard coffee grounds. (This is very, very important!)

    If you will be using your own grinder to make the grounds for your French press coffee, a top quality grinder makes all the difference in the world. If you use a blade grinder, you will end up with grounds that are uneven and have finer particles that will not be trapped by the filter. These fine grounds will wind up in the coffee brew and ruin the overall taste of the coffee by making it gritty.

    Using a conical burr grinder will ensure that you can get a coarse, consistent grind for your coffee beans. Even then, it is important not to skimp on your grinder if you are serious about getting the best possible French press coffee.

    How To Prepare Coffee In The French Press Coffee Maker  

    First, I want to tell you that despite what you see in the movies and on TV, you should not let your coffee sit in the press after it’s been brewed; it should be transferred to a thermal carafe. If you‘re using a French Press Coffee Maker that is for a single cup, than this doesn’t apply, but if you‘re looking to prepare a whole pot, like I do, then you need a good thermal carafe.

    Heat your carafe by filling it with hot water, and putting the top on tightly.  This will warm the insulation layer in the carafe and keep your coffee nice and hot.  Let that sit while you proceed to make your coffee.  

    Step One: Preheat The Press  

    Because most French presses consist largely of glass, it is a good idea to pour some warm water in the press before you shock it with near-boiling water. Putting warm water in the pot raises the temperature of the glass and lowers the risk of the glass cracking. If you like, you can also preheat the cup with warm water so that your cup of coffee will not cool immediately when it comes in contact with the cool ceramic material.  These are small details perhaps, but you may be surprised at how much difference they can make!  

    Step Two: Measure The Ingredients  

    You should use about one heaping tablespoon of coarsely ground coffee for every one cup of hot water. This measurement is not set in stone and can be played with slightly if you want even stronger coffee.

    Step Three: Add The Ingredients  

    Scoop the coffee grounds into the press pot first. Then add water that has been boiled. You want to let boiling water sit for a few minutes so that it can get to the ideal temperatures between 195° and 205°F. Some water coolers have a hot water dispenser. This is the right temperature to use for the coffee, so you can use hot water from the cooler if you are using a French press in a breakroom with a water cooler.

    When you begin pouring the water into the press, pour just enough to cover the grounds. This will saturate the coffee and allow it to expand properly before the rest of the water is added.

    Add the water until the pot is about two-thirds of the way full and begin to stir the grounds and water together using your chop stick. This will aid in the extraction process and result in more flavorful coffee.

    Step Four: Let It Steep  

    This step involves waiting and counting. Place the lid on top of the French Press Coffee Maker (without pressing down the plunger) and start timing how long the coffee steeps. Typically the optimum amount of time to steep coffee in a standard press pot is about four minutes. For smaller pots, two minutes is best. The longer you let the coffee steep the stronger it will be.

    Step Five: Press Down On The Plunger  

    After the coffee has steeped for the appropriate amount of time, press down on the plunger to begin to filter the coffee grounds from the brewed coffee. Press down steadily, since pushing unevenly could result in hot coffee sloshing out of the pot, and you don’t want to let in a lot of air at once that can alter the flavor of the coffee.

    Step Six: Pour And Enjoy  

    Once the plunger has reached the bottom of the pot, the coffee is ready to be served.  Empty the hot water from your carafe, and transfer your coffee from The French Press Coffee Maker.  Traditionally, French press coffee is drunk black to best taste all of the flavors and natural oils in the coffee.  I add cream to my coffee, without any sweetener, and the taste is magnifique!  

    Also my recipe for [Link Removed]to go with your delicious coffee!

    Yogaforever, Your links have been removed, please consider upgrading to premium membership.

    1 Replies
  • Tips For Growing Tomatoes

    Posted on Monday, July 22, 2013

    Bring On The Great Flavor  

    Growing up in New Jersey I think one becomes something of connoisseur of quality tomatoes.  It’s pretty common to hear people talk about growing tomatoes in their backyard and so I heard plenty of tips for growing tomatoes, along with how to prepare them after they‘re harvested, from my very earliest years.  

    For myself I have grown tomatoes in both New Jersey and South Florida with very good results.  I’d like to pass on to any of you who would like to have this experience for yourselves the information needed to get started.  It’s an enjoyable task and a great way to reduce stress in your life.  Plus, growing tomatoes yourself gives you the ultimate in fresh flavor and the most nutrients.  Give it try!

    Growing Tomatoes  

    Tomatoes are among the most popular vegetables grown in home gardens. They also prompt frequent cultural and pest management questions, though many problems can be avoided by planting disease-resistant varieties that are well adapted for your growing area.  Information about what grows best in your climate should be readily available at your local plant nursery or home improvement store.  

    Most tomato varieties available to the home gardener produce flavorful and juicy fruit and require relatively little space for a large yield. When properly cared for, each tomato plant can bear 10 to 15 pounds or more of fruit.

    Deciding which tomato variety to plant may seem a difficult task, given the large number that are available and the differences in size, habit, and climatic requirements. In addition to the usual round red tomato, home gardeners can choose to grow orange, yellow, pink, or striped tomato varieties, or those shaped like pears, grapes, or plums.

    Read the rest of the blog post [Link Removed] 

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    2 Replies
  • Find Your Perfect Bathing Suit

    Posted on Saturday, July 13, 2013

    There's No Doubt You Can Do It  

    For every woman and every body type there is a swimsuit that is right for you.  Designers have finally “gotten it” and made changes to the sizing, styling and accessories for swimsuits that makes it all possible.  

    If you’ve had problems find just the right style swimsuit or would like to find out what to do to accomplish that the article I wrote today at my website may be of special interest to you.  

    [Link Removed] 

    I hope all of you are having an excellent Summer!  

    Nancy  estatic

    Yogaforever, Your links have been removed, please consider upgrading to premium membership.

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  • Tips For Beneficial Meditation

    Posted on Monday, May 13, 2013

    Here are some simple tips on how to start meditating -  

    Whether you sit on a chair or cross-legged on the floor, make sure that your spine is upright with head up. If you are slumped your mind will drift. Mind and body are intertwined. If your body is well-balanced, your mind will also be in balance. To straighten up, imagine that your head is touching the sky.

    Try and keep you eyes open. Open eyes allow you to be more present. Just lower your eyes and let your gaze be soft. If you close your eyes you will be more likely to drift away on thoughts and stories. However, it's important to do what is comfortable for you. Some people find closing their eyes much more effective. It's good to experiment and see what feels best for you.

    In ordinary consciousness we are hardly ever present. For example, sometimes we drive the car on autopilot while being preoccupied with thoughts. Suddenly we arrive at our destination and don't remember anything about the drive!
    So, meditation is a wonderful way of waking up to our life. Otherwise we miss most of our experiences because we are somewhere else in our mind!  

    Let's take a look at what focus really is -
    In our day to day life, we tend to equate focus with concentration. That's like using the mind like a concentrated beam of light. But in meditation, that kind of mind isn't helpful. It's too sharp and edgy. To focus in meditation means to pay soft attention to whatever you place in the centre of awareness. I suggest using the breath as a focus. It's like a natural door that connects your inner world with the outer world.

    Paying attention to the breath is a great way to anchor yourself in the present moment.
    Notice your breath streaming in and out. There's no need to regulate the breath – just let it be natural.

    Counting As You Breathe
    If you are having difficulties settling, you can try counting the breath – which is an ancient meditation practice. On your outbreath, silently count "one", then "two", and up to "four". Then return to "one". Whenever you notice your thoughts have strayed far away or you find yourself counting "thirtythree", simply return to "one". In this way, "one" is like coming home to the present moment. It's good to return without a backward glance.

    When you notice thoughts, gently let them go by returning yous focus to the breath. Don't try and stop thoughts; this will just make you feel agitated. Imagine that they are unwelcome visitors at your door: acknowledge their presence and politely ask them to leave. Then shine the soft light of your attention on your breath.

    It's difficult to settle into meditation if you are struggling with strong emotions. This is because some emotions tend to breed stories in the mind. Especially anger, shame and fear create stories that repeat over and over in the mind. Anger and shame make us keep looking at past events of the past. Fear looks at the future with stories that start with, "What if...".   Love and trust looks at the future and says, "I can...."

    The way to deal with strong emotions in meditation is to focus on the body feelings that accompany the emotion. For example, this could be the tight band of fear around the chest or the hot roiling of anger in the belly. Let go of the stories and refocus on your body. In this way you are honouring your emotions but not becoming entangled in stories.

    Also read my blog post [Link Removed] 

    Yogaforever, Your links have been removed, please consider upgrading to premium membership.

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  • Bone Mineral Density

    Posted on Friday, May 10, 2013

    Every Woman Should Know About This

    Bone mineral density (BMD) testing generally correlates with bone strength and is used to diagnose osteoporosis. The BMD is measured with a dual energy x-ray absorptiometry test (referred to as a DXA scan). By measuring BMD, it is possible to predict fracture risk in the same manner that measuring blood pressure can help predict the risk of stroke.
    It is important to remember that BMD cannot predict the certainty of developing a fracture. It can only predict risk. It is important to note that a bone density scan, or test, should not be confused with a bone scan, which is a nuclear medicine test that is used to detect tumors, cancer, fractures, and infections in the bone.


    Osteoporosis and Diet - Recipes for Strong Bones
    When you’ve been diagnosed with osteoporosis you want a diet with a steady supply of bone-building nutrients. The delicious dishes that follow offer a bevy of calcium and vitamin D, which form the foundation of a diet for a sturdy skeleton, as well as other nutrients critical for bone health, including protein. An added bonus: The salmon chowder is especially rich in omega-3 fats, beneficial to your bones and your heart, and supplies nearly all the vitamin D most adults 19 to 50 years old need.

    The World Health Organization is the source of the commonly accepted definitions for bone health and osteoporosis that you see listed below. (WHO Technical Report Series #843, Geneva 1994)  

    Normal: A value for BMD statistically within 1 standard deviation of the young adult peak bone mass. The report shows a T score between +1 and -1, signifying a BMD within the normal range.

    Low bone mass (medically termed osteopenia): A value for BMD greater than 1 standard deviation but less than 2.5 standard deviations below that of an average young adult. The report shows a T score between -1 and -2.5, which signifies an increased fracture risk but does not meet the criteria for osteoporosis.

    Osteoporosis - A value for BMD 2.5 or greater standard deviations below that of the average peak young adult bone mass. BMD in this range signifies an even higher fracture risk than osteopenia. The report shows a T score of -2.5 or lower.

    The National Osteoporosis Foundation estimates that 10 million people in the U.S. have osteoporosis and nearly 34 million more have osteopenia, which puts them at greater risk for osteoporosis.

    If you have any questions or concerns about your bone health - talk it over with your doctor as soon as you can.  Fractures heal much more thoroughly for strong bones than they do for weak ones!  

    My women’s wellness education site is a source of information for women of all ages.  

    [Link Removed] 

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