Chia Seed Pudding

Chia Seed Pudding

Prep time: 5 minutes Total time: 1 hour

INGREDIENTS

• 1/3 C. Chia seeds
• 1 can full-fat coconut milk
• Water to thin to desired consistency (I use almost a whole can of water)
• 2 tsp. vanilla extract or a pinch of vanilla bean powder
• 1-2 Tbsp. honey or maple syrup, to taste
• 3 Tbsp. shredded coconut (optional)
• a big handful of blueberries (optional)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Mix chia seeds and coconut milk in a medium sized bowl.

  2. Once combined, stir in the rest of the ingredients.

  3. Let stand until seeds have absorbed most of the liquid. This should take about 45 minutes to one hour.

  4. Add water to thin, a little bit at a time, until desired consistency is reached.

  5. Transfer to small, grab-and-go sized jars (jelly jars or small ball jars) and store in the refrigerator.

Feel free to play with whatever add-ins you like! Cocoa powder and coconut flakes are 

NOTE: Stores in the fridge for 5 days without fruit and 3 days with fruit.

This Week's Meal Prep

 

Hi, everyone!

Welcome to THIS WEEK'S MEAL PREP. Today we're going to look at what I'm eating, what I'm preparing, and the shopping list I used to make it all happen.

My goal with this post is to help you discover the life-changing magic of FOOD PREP (thank you Marie Kondo for the perfect tagline :wink:)

The key to success when eating a whole-food, nutrient-dense diet is MEAL PLANNING and MEAL PREP. However, I understand that days can get away from us, and we all have super busy lives. That is why I want to share my meal prep successes with YOU, so that you can easily follow my lead and prepare healthy, wholesome meals for you and your family in just a few hours.

Remember, a few hours' prep once a week can really set you up for success throughout the rest of the week.

Ready? Here we go!

 

PHASE 1: PLANNING

-BREAKFAST-

My husband and I typically alternate between having some version of bacon and eggs or a smoothie for breakfast. I try to get 3-4 green smoothies into my system per week, and breakfast is a really easy time for me to do that, although sometimes I will have the smoothie for a lunch or pre-lunch snack if that works better for my schedule.

- LUNCH & DINNER -

I typically plan to make enough food to have about 4 dishes and a couple of "snack" ideas for the week. These can be eaten as either lunches or dinners (and sometimes breakfast when I'm too lazy to make my smoothie or other meals)

- GENERAL -

I begin by looking in my fridge and pantry and thinking about what items I have in stock that I could "supplement" to create tasty meals. Then I sift through my recipe archive and determine which meals I can make quickly.

HINT: it is super helpful to have a few crockpot meals up your sleeve for really busy days! 

HINT 2: Cook proteins in BULK. This will save you lots of time during the week since you'll only have to reheat items rather than cook them through. (This is the best tip ever, trust me)

PHASE 2: MEAL SELECTIONS & menu

This week (Monday, June 26th through Friday, June 30th)

  1. Green smoothies
  2. Egg salad (I made a double batch this week)
  3. Crockpot Curry with rice (or riced cauliflower for a grain-free option. I made a double batch this week)
  4. Coconut Cream Drops (from Wired to Eat by Robb Wolf)
  5. Leftover hotdogs from the weekend
  6. Coleslaw

Now that we have the meals selected, the Menu portion is easy: I don't usually have a "set" menu. I typically just give myself enough options with these foods to mix-and-match my way through the week. You can use the same base recipes to create LOTS of variety in your weekly meals! 

Here are a few of my favorite Menu examples:

EGG SALAD

  • Serve over a bed of greens and add in anything else you like (such as chopped nuts/seeds, olives, or fresh herbs)
  • Eat along side the coleslaw for a nice crunchy treat
  • Eat with salsa and organic blue corn chips or Siete grain-free tortilla chips
  • Eat as a sandwich on sprouted bread (such as Ezekiel bread) or in a grain-free wrap (also on that Siete website). Feel free to add additional bell pepper slices or a handful of mixed greens, too!

CROCKPOT CURRY 

  • Eat alone as a "stew" with a side salad of mixed greens or Coleslaw (can add baby tomatoes, olives, or any other salad mix-ins you like)
  • Serve over brown rice (cooked in bone broth - can also cook ahead of time and use throughout the week)
  • Serve over riced cauliflower (this is SUPER easy to cook! Simply toss in a pan with cooking fat of choice and cook for about 5 minutes. I usually do this and then re-heat my curry by throwing it in the pan to heat through. DELICIOUS)
  • Use as a dip for organic blue corn chips or Siete grain-free tortilla chips, or bell pepper slices
  • Can eat on top of mixed greens for a curry salad (sounds weird, but I LOVE putting hot curry over my dark leafy greens! Give it a try on a big bed of arugula and a sprinkling of fresh mint on top!)

LEFTOVER HOTDOGS/SAUSAGES

We had a cookout over the weekend, and had several leftover organic hotdogs and chicken sausages laying around. So, my husband and I just used those to give us some patch-through meals until I prepped the rest of our meals for this week.

  • Eat like a regular hotdog (my husband will use regular buns, but I eat them sans-bun or wrapped in a Siete tortilla)
  • Cut into medallions and "stir fry" with eggs, salsa, and cheese (if you eat dairy) for a great messy-egg "scramble" (can be eaten as breakfast, lunch, or dinner! I have also stuffed this mixture into a Siete grain-free tortilla with a handful of greens and it was super yummy)
  • Cut in half length-wise, reheat on the stove and serve along side a big pile of coleslaw with a little serving of egg salad on the side

 

PHASE 3: SHOPPING

SHOPPING LIST
(asterisk means that I already had these items at home and did not need to purchase them)

Click here for a printable shopping list

Smoothies for the week:

  • 1 big bunch Kale
  • 1 big bunch Swiss Chard
  • 1 small box of pre-washed baby Spinach
  • 10lb Bag of carrots
  • 2-3 avocados
  • 4+ Bananas (ripe)
  • 1 bag of Frozen blueberries*
  • 2 large Apples*
  • 4 medium tomatoes*
  • Water, ice, or flaxseed milk* (I mostly use water)

Egg Salad

Crockpot Curry (enough for aa double batch)

  • 1lb Bag of baby carrots
  • 2x 16oz bag of frozen mixed veggies
  • Cauliflower/riced cauliflower 
  • 2lbs Grass-fed Beef stew cubes (From our local butcher)*
  • 2 large sweet potatoes (I used Japanese purple)*
  • 2 onions*
  • Cooking fat (such as butter or coconut oil)*
  • 2 cans of Full-Fat Coconut Milk*
  • Bragg's Liquid Aminos (or Coconut Aminos for a gluten-free option)*
  • Fish sauce*
  • Herbs and spices (fresh mint, cilantro - from garden, curry powder/paste, salt, and pepper)

Coleslaw

  • Cabbage* (I had half a head of red and half a head of green. You can also buy pre-shredded cabbage if time is really short for you!)
  • Mayo (Primal Kitchen)*
  • Spicy mustard (brown mustard)* (I used Sir. Kensington's brand)
  • Lime juice*
  • Bell pepper*
  • Red onion*
  • Spices (garlic, salt, pepper, paprika, chili powder)*

Coconut Cream Drops

  • Coconut oil*
  • Coconut butter* (I made my own with shredded coconut that I already had. Simply throw into a food processor or high-power blender and whiz up for about 20 minutes or so until smooth and lusciously creamy)
  • Bacon*
  • Peppermint/Spearmint essential oil* (recipe calls for extract, but I didn't have any so I used 1 drop each of essential oils)
  • Cocoa powder*
  • Chocolate chips* (I used mini dark chocolate chips by Enjoy Life)
  • Lime juice and lime zest*
  • Mini muffin papers* (Actually, I didn't have these at home... I stole some from my mother-in-law -- Thanks, Christine!)

Miscellaneous items this week

  • 1 big Box of pre-washed spring mix for side salads
  • Coffee beans
  • Grass-fed heavy cream (for husband)
  • Fresh garlic
  • Siete grain-free tortillas*

PHASE 4: PLAN OF ATTACK (a.k.a. the part where you actually COOK the food)

As I have mentioned, the key to success here is meal prep and pre-cooking your food. Thankfully, my menu this week was SUPER easy to prep!

I typically do ALL of my food prep and cooking on Sunday so we are ready to go for the work week. Here's an example of how I used my time.

In total, it took me about 1.5 hours to prep everything here for the week!

Step 1 - Prepare eggs

Place 2 dozen eggs in a large pot and cover with water. Place a lid on the pot and set on the stove. Bring to a boil (this should take about 8-10 minutes). Once they come to a boil, turn off heat and let sit for 4-5 minutes (or until your desired level of doneness)

Step 2 - Prep curry items

While eggs are heating, get out your crockpot and begin chopping veggies for the Crockpot Curry.

Add a dollop of cooking fat to your crockpot (I used Ghee) and chop your onions. Add chopped onions to the crockpot.

Next, chop sweet potatoes into very large chunks (most of the potato will turn into mush at the end of the cooking process, so they can be really big chunks) and add on top of the onions.

Cut or tear open your 1lb bag of baby carrots and pour them into the crockpot on top of the potatoes.

Top the carrots off with your stew cubes and add salt and pepper to taste (I tend to liberally salt and pepper the meat on top)

Step 3 - Curry sauce and cooling the eggs

By this point, the eggs will probably have begun to simmer or almost boil. Keep an eye on them and turn off the heat once they boil. Be sure to set a timer for 5 minutes once they have boiled.

Prepare a big bowl or another pot for the egg-cooling process by adding a bunch of ice and cold water. Set aside for egg timer to finish.

I like to blend my canned coconut milk before adding it to the recipe, so I always open the cans of full-fat coconut milk and pour into my blender and turn on low for a few seconds just to blend the coconut cream and coconut water back together (it naturally separates when left on the shelf for a bit).

Add about a tablespoon of cooking fat (I used ghee again) to a soup pan and turn on to medium heat.

While butter is melting, measure out your Bragg's Liquid Aminos and Fish Sauce into a small bowl so you are ready to "dump and go" when the time comes.

Once butter is melted, add your curry powder/paste for just a few seconds. It will become fragrant and begin to turn slightly brown (I LOVE yellow curry so I use a spicy yellow curry powder in this recipe)

As soon as it becomes fragrant, pour in your coconut milk and whisk to incorporate. Then pour in the fish sauce and Aminos. Turn off heat. Pour sauce over the items in your crockpot and cover.

Set to medium heat and leave it alone for 8-10 hours (great overnight or setting up first thing in the morning) NOTE: you will add the remaining mixed veggies to the crockpot about half an hour before serving. I do this at the end of the cooking time before storring the curry in large, wide-mouthed mason jars in the fridge for use throughout the week.

Your 5-minute egg timer should have gone off by now, so you can scoop out your eggs with a slotted spoon and transfer them to the ice bath you have already prepared.

Step 4 - Finishing the eggs and beginning the coleslaw

While eggs are cooling (I leave them in the ice bath for about 5-10 minutes - stirring a few times to make sure the cold is circulating nicely), use your crockpot veggie cutting board to thinly slice your cabbage (skip this step if you are using pre-shredded cabbage). 

Add sliced/shredded cabbage to a big bowl or pot and then dice 2-3 bell peppers and red onion to taste (I dice my red onion very small!) and add half of each to the bowl (the second half is for your egg salad). While you're dicing these, also dice your celery for the egg salad.

Mix in mayo (I use about a 3/4 cup - I had a LOT of cabbage!), mustard (I just scooped a bunch out of the jar), lime juice, and spices. I often just use my hands to mix everything together. Cover and keep in the refrigerator.

Once you mix this together, the eggs should be cool enough to peel.

Peel the eggs and set aside until you have peeled all of them.

My favorite trick when preparing egg salad is to use a pastry cutter to "dice" my eggs. In a couple of batches, I place the eggs in a big bowl and "dice" away with the pastry cutter until they have reached my desired level of chunkiness.

Add in your mayo, relish, spices, and diced veggies then stir to combine. 

I store my egg salad in large, wide-mouthed mason jars in my fridge for easy access during the week.

THAT'S IT!

4 steps, 1.5 hours, and you've prepped almost all of your food for the week! How cool is that?

If desired, you can take it one step further and make yourself "smoothie packs" so you can just dump them into the blender and go. If you'd like to do that, then give yourself about 30 extra minutes for meal prep and chop/divide the items for your smoothies into zip-top bags for grab-and-go in the morning. Follow the recipe as your guide for which items should go in each bag.  (Note that you will probably need to use gallon-sized bags as the greens tend to take up quite a bit of room before they are blended). 

 

OH, and I guess I should mention those Coconut Cream Drops. I made those on a different day and had them left over. That whole process took me about an hour to complete because little ol' me decided it would be great to make my own coconut butter instead of purchasing it like a normal person. Turns out that it takes QUITE a bit of blending to make coconut butter from shredded coconut! I tried it in the blender, then in the food processor, then transferred it back to the blender before I just decided that it was blended enough to use. SO, the moral of that story is to simply purchase your coconut butter and make the entire recipe in about 10 minutes instead of an hour. Check out the recipes and let me know what you think in the comments below!

Happy eating and have a fantastic week! :)

~Serina Vassar, NTP

Click on the right outer side of the images below to scroll through some of my food prep pics!

 

Mango Salsa [recipe]

 

Prep time: 15 minutes

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 large cloves of garlic, pressed. Let rest 5-7 minutes before mixing with the other ingredients 
  • 2-3 Adaulfo mangos, diced small
  • 2 small tomatoes or 5-6 baby tomatoes (I used Sunset Wild Wonders tomatoes), diced small
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, deseeded and diced small 
  • 1/2 orange bell pepper (or color of choice)
  • Juice from half a lime
  • 1/8th tsp. sea salt (more to taste, as desired)
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 2 green onions, sliced thin

DIRECTIONS

  1. Press the garlic cloves and set aside (let stand at least 5 minutes)
  2. Dice mangos, jalapeño, bell pepper, and tomatoes, and place in a medium sized bowl.
  3. Juice half a lime over the bowl, sprinkle salt in, and mix in chopped cilantro, green onions and pressed garlic cloves. Stir to combine.
  4. Chill in refrigerator until ready to serve.
  5. Can serve with burgers and a slice of raw cheese in a lettuce wrap, on top of left over easter ham, or as a dressing on salad. Enjoy!
 

Maple spiced Tuna with Roasted veggies, salad, and quinoa [recipe]

 

Prep time: 5-10 minutes
Cook time: 40 min

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 Tuna steaks
  • 2-3 tbsp maple syrup
  • a sprinkling of ground cloves, ground cinnamon, and fresh grated nutmeg (enough to sprinkle over your tuna steaks)
  • sliced green onions
  • 4 tbsp coconut oil for cooking, divided
  • 1/2 cup dried quinoa (about 1 cup cooked)
  • 1.25 cups home made broth to cook quinoa
  • 6 cups baby greens
  • half an avocado, diced
  • 1/8 thinly sliced red onion
  • small handful almonds
  • 4 medium sized red potatoes, diced
  • A drizzle of olive oil and balsamic

DIRECTIONS

  1.  Preheat oven to 400ºF. Place diced potatoes in a shallow baking dish that has been rubbed with 1 tbsp coconut oil. 
  2. Drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Bake for 40 minutes, or until soft when poked with a fork
  3. Meanwhile, slice your red onion, chip your avocado, and slice your green onions. Place salad greens in two separate bowls, and set aside.
  4. Once potatoes have been in the oven for about 10 minutes, place your quinoa in a small pan with broth and turn burner to high. Once mixture is boiling, turn to low and let simmer until cooked (about 30 minutes total).
  5. When potatoes are about 10 minutes from being done, heat 2 Tbsp coconut oil in a skillet on the stove.
  6. Once oil is hot, brush tuna with maple syrup and place tuna steaks in pan. Sear for 3 minutes and brush opposite side with maple syrup. Once 3 minutes are up, flip fish and add 1 more tbsp coconut oil if needed, and cook for another 3 minutes. Once cooked, place one tuna steak on each plate and serve with quinoa on the side. Add butter, salt, and pepper as desired.
  7. Sprinkle red onion, avocado, and almonds over your salad greens and drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Split into two bowls for serving.
  8. Your potatoes should be finished cooking. You may serve these on the side of your tuna and quinoa.
  9. Enjoy!
 

Crockpot Curry [recipe]

 

Prep time: 5-10 minutes
Cook time: 8-10 hours

INGREDIENTS

- 1.5 to 3lbs grass fed beef brisket, cut into 1.5” cubes, or beef stew cubes
- 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cutting large chunks
- 2 small onions, coarsely chopped
- 1/2 pound baby carrots (or roughly chopped regular sized carrots)
- 1 TBSP coconut oil
- 2 TBSP yellow curry powder or paste
- 1.5 cups coconut milk (canned, full fat)
- 2 TBSP Bragg’s liquid aminos or coconut aminos
- 1 TBSP fish sauce
- 1, 16oz bag frozen mixed veggies
- Handful of chopped herbs like cilantro or basil or mint (optional)
- Fresh salt and pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS

1. In order, place onions, sweet potatoes, carrots and beef cubes in your crock pot. Salt and pepper to taste.
2. Melt coconut oil in a saucepan, then add curry paste/powder. Cook only a few seconds until fragrant, then pour in the coconut milk. Mix in the aminos and fish sauce. Stir well to combine, then pour over the contents of crock pot
3.Cook on low 8-10 hours. Add frozen veggies half hour before serving and turn crock pot to high. Garnish with herbs and serve over your choice of rice that has been cooked in half coconut milk, half water.

 

What is Nutrition?

 

A New way of thinking about nutrition:
 A bio-individual need

What is nutrition, and where do nutrients come from?

According to Merriam-Webster:

Nutrition is "the act or process of nourishing or being nourished; specifically :  the sum of the processes by which an animal or plant takes in and utilizes food substances"
and a Nutrient is "a substance that is needed for healthy growth, development, and functioning "

So, nutrition is a science focused on the relationships between living organisms and their food; it is also focused on the process by which these organisms consume their food and utilize the nutrients contained within.

This means that nutrition comes from what we eat, and nutrients come from our food. 

Does it really matter what food we put in our mouths? It absolutely does! 

Ever cell in our bodies (all 70 to 80 trillion of them!) are made up of nutrients. We receive these nutrients from the foods that we eat, and not all food is created equal.

The nutrient profiles of foods matter. It is important to eat a diet filled with nutrient-dense foods in order to promote health and vitality. The nutrient profile in foods varies widely among the many types of foods in our cultures today, and proper care should be given to choosing our meals. For example, eating a high-quality egg gives you riboflavin, vitamin B12, phosphorous, cholesterol, protein, Omega-3's, and selenium whereas you would receive quite a different nutrient profile from a handful of spinach or a bag of potato chips. Our bodies were designed to thrive when given the appropriate nutrients to fuel vitality. And, by giving our bodies the tools (read: nutrients) that it needs to be healthy and vital through eating nutrient-dense, real foods we set ourselves up to be more resistant to disease, degeneration, and illness.

The philosophy of Nutritional Therapy is that a properly prepared, nutrient-dense, whole-foods diet is the best way to promote optimal health and vitality by giving your body the nutrient-tools it needs to build healthy bodies for tomorrow.

The trouble is, THERE IS NO ONE-SIZE-FITS-ALL when it comes to "the perfect diet"! 

Just as not all food is created equal, there is no such thing as "one-size-fits-all" when it comes to nutrition.

As each person and each body becomes depleted of nutrients over time, that person's individual needs change. Even identical twins, who share identical DNA, can develop very different nutrient deficiencies as a result of lifestyle and diet choices. This is why a bio-individual approach works so well. Working with one of our skilled Nutritional Therapists is a great way to find out your body's individual needs, and then replenish them through delicious, nutrient-dense foods. Your Nutritional Therapist's job is to help each you find the appropriate nutrient balance for you own bio-individual needs.

The beauty of working with a Nutritional Therapist is that you can take the guess work out of your "diet." No more fads, no more yo-yoing, no more counting, no more nonsense! Working with a Nutritional Therapist means that you "diet" is simply about eating delicious, nutrient-dense foods. You don't have to sacrifice flavor to enjoy a great, nutrient-dense diet! 

If this sounds like something you would be interested in, you are not alone! Check out our Services page to get all the details of getting started as a client. Or, you can click here to contact us. 

Here are some examples of Nutrient-Dense Foods! (grass-fed, raw milk; grass-fed, happy beef, organic produce)

 

 

Who's up for a nice refreshing glass of effervescent wet sugar?

 

In my wanderings today, I happened upon this great soda commercial - or rather, what soda commercials would be like if they cut the crap and got down to the truth behind their clever campaigns and advertisements. I hope that you enjoy this as much as I did!

Click Here to watch the video

Happy Wednesday!

 

Deep Breathing Exercises for anxiety and nervousness

 

As many of you know,

I love sharing information! I think it is a great gift to be able to share one's knowledge to make the world a better place. So many of my clients ask fantastic questions. I love being able to answer and dialogue with my clients, and if I don't know the answer, I love doing the research I need to do to find out. Knowledge can be the difference between a dull life and a vibrant life. Sometimes all you need is a little piece of information to let other things fall in to place. 

I am a huge fan of meditation, breathing techniques, and yoga. I have practiced yoga for many years, and one of the most valuable lessons I have learned through my practice is how to breathe. It seems so simple and almost mundane, but our breath is always with us. It brings us  life, nourishes our bodies, and, if we know how to use it, it helps us to stay calm.

I had a client recently who was suffering from a bout of "jitters", as she called it. Basically, throughout the day, she would find herself feeling jittery and unsettled. We had a little discussion on how the adrenals play a major role in regulating feelings of calm or feelings of anxiety (look out for more info on this in another blog post), and I gave her a few breathing exercises she could do to help her adrenals re-regulate in these times of stress. This, together with her customized nutritional protocol, made all the difference.

After just 2 days she reported feeling much more calm and less anxious now that she had a few breathing techniques to use in times of stress. Breathing is an inexpensive (read: free), and inconspicuous way to help your body re-regulate in times of stress. Virtually no one notices your breathing pattern, and yet, you can powerfully effect your physiological reaction to stress with a few simple steps. The best part is that you don't have to be a yogi or a master of meditation to benefit from these wonderful exercises! So, whether you are practicing yoga in the grass under a big tree, stressed out in the office, nervously studying for a test, or simply need a little break, these exercises are for you.

Here are a couple of my favorites:

4-Count or Equal Breathing

This is a simple focusing exercise that focuses your mind and body on the same goal: counting to 4.

  1. Exhale completely through the mouth
  2. Take a slow, deep breath in through the nose to a count of 4
  3. Exhale slowly through the nose or mouth to another count of 4
  4. Repeat as needed

You can increase the number you count to for a more focused effect. In times of stress I have practiced equal breathing to a count of 10 on inhale, and 10 on exhale.  Start with a 4 count and work your way up to 6 or 8 and see how you like it. 

Square Breathing

This one is similar to Equal Breathing in that we use a 4 count to maintain focus on our breath, with the added component of "resting on"/holding your breath.

  1. Exhale completely through the mouth
  2. Take a slow, deep breath in through the nose to a count of 4
  3. Hold/rest on breath in to a count of 4
  4. Exhale slowly through the nose to a count or 4
  5. Hold/rest on breath out to a count of 4
  6. Repeat as needed

Some people like to add a mantra to this breathing technique to decrease stress by increasing awareness of gratitude.  To do this, think about something you are grateful or thankful for during each step of this exercise. For example, your gratitude list may look something like this: 

  1. Take a slow, deep breath in to a count of 4 "I thankful for my warm home"
  2. Hold/rest on breath in to a count of 4 "I am grateful for hot tea"
  3. Exhale slowly to a count or 4 "I am thankful for this moment of peace"
  4. Hold/rest on breath out to a count of 4 "I am grateful for my loving pet"

3 Part Breathing

3 Part Breathing is another segmented breathing pattern to help bring clarity and focus. Some people like to begin by placing the palm of one hand on their belly, and the palm of the other on their chest. If you want to remain inconspicuous, you can skip this step and just do the breathing part. I like to focus on a 6,2,6 count for this breathing technique, but you can feel free to lengthen or shorten the count to suit your preferences. The count is broken down in sets of 2, but this is a fluid breathing process (no stopping between counts).
     3 Part Breathing focuses the breath in 3 sections: your lower abdomen (belly breathing), your lower lungs/mid-chest, and your upper lungs/upper chest. By breaking the breath down through these 3 phases, you can increase a sense of calm and peacefulness.

  1. Exhale completely through the mouth
  2. Begin taking a deep breath in through the  nose, filling the lower abdomen with air (a 2 count)
  3. Continue filling the belly with breath, filling the mid section/lower rib cage with air (2 count)
  4. Finish the inhalation by filling the upper lungs/ribcage with breath (2 count)
  5. hold breath in for 2 counts, then begin to reverse the process for your exhalation through the nose
  6. Exhale from upper chest/ribcage for 2 counts
  7. Exhale from mid section/lower ribcage for 2 counts
  8. Exhale from lower belly for 2 counts
  9. Hold out for 2 counts
  10. Repeat as needed 

4-7-8 Breathing

This is one of my favorites! It is simple and effective, and you can modify it as you like. 

  1. Exhale completely through the mouth
  2. Inhale through the nose to a count of 4
  3. Hold breath in for a count of 7
  4. Exhale slowly through the mouth or nose to a count of 8
  5. Repeat as needed

I like this exercise because it helps to keep your focus on breathing and counting, rather than whatever is causing anxiety or stress. You can breathe in for a count of 4, hold for a count of 4, then exhale for a count of 8, or pretty much any variation that you like just so long as your exhale is longer than your inhale.

I hope you all enjoy these breathing exercises! They have served me and my clients well over the years. You can use and repeat any of these exercises as frequently as you like. Be sure to let us know your favorites!