Meditation Takes Practice


Have you been hearing a lot about meditation? Do you think its just some hippie way of living, and don't understand the benefits or why people are raving about it? I was one of those people. I heard all about meditation for a while, and just thought it was another fad.

The deeper I got into wellness and emotional healing the more and more consciously aware I became and I just wanted to learn more. I decided to finally tested out the meditation waters, and you know what? It wasn’t so bad. Painless actually. 

My first meditation experience was at a beautiful resort I stayed in with my family in upstate New York, and I went to a guided meditation class. After that experience I was completely hooked. If you have a wild imagination like me, you’ll have some great imagery come to mind. I had the most memorable and mesmerizing visuals. Throughout the hour-guided meditation I was in pure bliss, no worries or thoughts consumed my mind. I was in my element, literally. I felt calm and found the portal where my breath and mind were connected. I was silent, still, and my soul was powerless and taken on a serene journey. 

Guided meditation is a great starting point for beginners because it verbally guides your thoughts, and provides you with positive reinforcement throughout the experience. This helps you let go and relax. However, if you do become consumed with mental vomit, its ok, we all do, even in meditation! Awareness is key. Accept these thoughts. Don't force yourself to stop thinking, just redirect your train of thought to clarity. It's almost like the sunlight coming through your window in the morning, reawakening your mind. Allow the sunshine to come through. 

It's funny because many people that I suggest meditation to tell me, "I've tried it, but I don't think I’m doing it right." There are no tricks with meditation. There are different approaches and styles, but at the end of the day meditation is all about shutting off your mind, allowing yourself to relax, and being present in the now. We sometimes get used to being so hard on ourselves that ironically even in a time when we are supposed to be doing something good for ourselves we tend to think that it's still not good enough. We figure because we can’t do it “right” there’s no point trying again. Am I right? Don't rush the process. This is something that takes time and your investment in the time.

How did you learn to ride your bike? How did you learn to play baseball or an instrument? How do you learn anything in life? PRACTICE. Any habit or skill we have formed, we've developed through consistent practice. So keep meditating. Keep trying. Stay on the tidal wave, because you’ll stand up and be taken to shore, I promise. Sometimes you'll be able to clear your thoughts and feel at ease, and other times you may overthink and have to bring yourself back to the moment, and just breathe. This is completely normal and it doesn't mean you aren't meditating right, this just means you can practice more. Eventually meditation will become second nature, a habit.

Remember to focus on the good. Envision the energy you want to surround yourself with, the light that radiates from within. Take this energy with you throughout the day, this is your souvenir, this is your reward. You will notice a change in how you react to stress, the people you surround yourself with, what is important to you. You will gain so much clarity, and feel present, really present. You won’t be as consumed with the past or worried about the future, and you will feel more content with all that you have now and who you are in this moment in time. Does this sound terrible to you? I didn’t think so.

So what are you waiting for? A good way to integrate meditation everyday is making time to meditate for 5 minutes every day the first week then 10 minutes your second week and see if you can get up to 30 minutes. Attend a meditation class and try a different approach, just find what style works for you. I love going to classes as well because you are in a space where everyone is there to detach from their hectic lives together. This forces you to sit down and breathe with other likeminded people.

It takes 21 days to form a habit, so by the end of meditating every day for 3 weeks this should become second nature and a part of you. I hope you try it out, and please share your experience with meditation in the comments below; I’d love to hear how it has impacted your life. I know mine has completely changed, and its crazy to look back on how I stress ate, had so much anxiety and used to respond to stressors in my life compared to how I do now has significantly improved. When I was in college I would be so stressed that I would eat just about anything I could get my hands on because I just had so much to write and complete. I felt terrible afterwards but it was a habit I formed and I realized I needed to redirect that energy into a positive more beneficial habit not one that would make me feel terrible and breed negatively in my life.

I’m now fully in control of my reactions and I handle situations as they come. I’ve learned there’s no point worrying about if it’s going to rain or not. I’m not going to walk around in fear with an umbrella every day! The rain isn’t so bad anyway; it reminds me that I’m alive. This analogy just goes to show that its all about changing your perspective and learning how to adapt and handle what comes to you when it does. Meditation will help, I promise. 


I've included a simple meditation calendar to keep you on track. Print it out and check off each day you meditate. Set a goal for yourself. Every week you've meditated, treat yourself. Whether thats going to a yoga class, taking a day trip with a friend, or getting a massage. When you have a reward in mind it helps to motivate you.

Infused Water

This recipe is part of Dig Inn's Wellness Series. Dig Inn is a farm-to-counter restaurant serving up real, good food here in NYC with a focus on seasonal, vegetable-friendly cooking.



Not only are these waters pretty to look at, but they are also flavorful and detoxifying. I recommend drinking plenty of water throughout the day, about 9 glasses, and infusing your water adds a fun twist to an everyday routine. Getting bored of drinking plain old water every day?  Using fresh organic ingredients guarantees flavor and beneficial nutrients.

I decided to make 4 different recipes, although I wanted to make way more! The combinations are unlimited!

I used large 800 ML mason jars for this recipe. For more flavor allow these to infuse overnight. You can stir and drink them right away, but they will have more flavor the longer they sit. I also continue to refill them with water once I’ve finished drinking them, until the fruit doesn’t have any more juice to ad to the water. You can get about 2-3 servings per jar.


Pineapple Ginger Infused Water

My favorite flavor was the pineapple and ginger infused water. The pineapple adds a nice tart sweetness and the ginger adds a little spice. Pineapple is extremely rich in vitamin C, Vitamin B-6, potassium, magnesium, and antioxidants. Did you know that pineapple contains half of the daily-recommended value of vitamin C? Fresh pineapple is not only sweet and delicious, but it also aids in detoxing your body, thanks to the presence of bromelian, a powerful digestive enzyme. This enzyme has been proven to aid in digesting protein, breaking down fats, and reducing inflammation. Pineapple is also packed with manganese, which has been recommended by nutritionists as a way to boost your mood if you’re experiencing symptoms of PMS.  Ginger helps to alleviate pain and inflammation, stimulates circulation, and also settles your stomach if feeling nauseous.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup pineapple chunks
  • 2 inch piece of ginger (thinly sliced)
  • Water

Strawberry, Cucumber, and Mint Infused Water

The second recipe is infused with cucumber, strawberries, and fresh mint. Cucumbers are known to reduce your risk of cancer, fight inflammation, and the B vitamins found in cucumbers help to manage stress. Strawberries are an immunity booster because they are an excellent source of vitamin C. They also promote eye health, fight bad cholesterol, and aid in weight management. Mint calms indigestion, is a natural stimulant and fights against fatigue and depression. It also contains an antioxidant, which is known to relieve symptoms of seasonal allergies. This mixture is super powerful!

Ingredients:

  •  ¼ cucumber thinly sliced
  • 5 strawberries
  • 3 sprigs of mint leaves
  • Water

Orange, Kiwi, and Blueberry Infused Water

The orange, kiwi, and blueberry infused water is citrusy and delicious! Oranges are full of vitamin C and great for immunity, and are full of beta-carotene, which is a powerful antioxidant that protects cells from being damaged. Kiwi’s are rich is vitamin C and this helps to improve skin texture, prevent damage caused by the sun, and smooth wrinkles. The blueberries are rich in antioxidants, which are also great for your skin.

Ingredients:

  • 1 small orange
  • 1 kiwi
  • ¼ cup blueberries
  • Water 

Melon Infused Water

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The melon water is infused with watermelon, cantaloupe, and honeydew melon. This is rich in vitamin C and Vitamin A, and Vitamin A is important for healthy teeth, skin, bone and mucous membranes. It helps the vision system by promoting retinal health.

Ingredients:

  • 4-5 chunks watermelon
  • 4-5 chunks cantaloupe
  • 4-5 chunks honeydew melon
  • Water 


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Detoxifying Green Smoothie Bowl

This recipe is part of Dig Inn's Wellness Series. Dig Inn is a farm-to-counter restaurant serving up real, good food here in NYC with a focus on seasonal, vegetable-friendly cooking.


Spring has sprung! Well at least that’s what it says on my calendar, but it just snowed here in upstate New York! This is the perfect season to cleanse, and reboot.  After a long, lingering winter, I think we all can agree that stepping out of our hibernation mode is necessary.

I’ve begun my training for the sprint marathon I’m participating in this summer, and on days when the sun is shining I even go running in central park! This is the perfect time to begin a new workout regimen, start eating healthier, or even do a juice cleanse. 

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, the Spring and Fall seasons are the best times to deeply detoxify and cleanse the body of harmful impurities that have collected in our organs and tissues over the past months and years. Energies which manifest as seasonal changes in our external environment are also reflected in the body, and spring is the transitional period of time when internal energies rise and expand, providing movement and growth to carry us away from the conservation of the energies from the cold winter months prior.

This green smoothie bowl is deliciously detoxifying. Spinach has been proven to decrease sugar cravings throughout the day. Spinach also contains a powerful antioxidant, glutathione, which is one of the primary antioxidants your liver relies on to detoxify your body. Avocado is a great detox food as well. Avocados are rich in fatty acids and these healthy fats are essential during a detox diet, because it promotes the release of bile from the gallbladder, allowing for the elimination of toxins from the body and fat-soluble vitamins.

I love to eat this for breakfast when it gets warmer out because it’s cooling and refreshing. This smoothie bowl is creamy, naturally sweet, filled with vitamins, antioxidants, and fiber. Have fun with your toppings and add as much color and superfoods as you’d like!


Serves 1 person

Ingredients:

  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 date
  •  1 small handful of spinach
  • ¼ of an avocado
  •  3-4 Tbsp. almond milk

Toppings:

  • Sliced banana
  • Raspberries
  • Blueberries
  • Mulberries
  • Coconut chips

Instructions:

1.    Slice up a ripe banana and freeze it overnight.

2. Blend together in a high speed blender or food processor the frozen banana, spinach, date, avocado and almond milk. You want the consistency to be thick and creamy, so you may need to add a little bit more almond milk.

3. Serve in bowl and place all of your toppings on top! Enjoy!


Live Consciously To Become a Better You

Breathe. Listen to your thoughts, but don’t let them overwhelm and control you.  If you set goals, and achieve mini-goals one by one, you’ll be on track to getting where you want to be in no time. Time doesn’t exist to pressure you. It exists to allow you to become who you want to be. In today’s fast-paced world, where multi-tasking has become second nature, we need to take the time to slow down. We need to realize that we have all the time in the world, and we need to enjoy our journey through life.

Managing stress is a struggle for many, but it’s important that we make the effort to heal these stressors in our life. Not only does stress release a harmful steroid called cortisol in your body, but it also shuts down your immune system. This makes you more susceptible to illnesses and affects your sleep and overall health. When you begin to feel overwhelmed, step away and breathe for five minutes. Meditate. Center yourself, regroup, and go back to where you’re needed. When you let stress take over, that’s when your mind becomes cloudy.

Take time to do the things that make you happy and do activities that are important to you. Surround yourself with people who you can share these positive moments with and make memories with them.

Set mini-goals to achieve your larger overall goal. This will make you feel as though you are making your way to where you want to be, and chipping away at what needs to be done in order to be there. This makes the process more enjoyable, and allows you to sleep peacefully at night, knowing that you’ve checked off a lot of your to-do list.

Try not to rush when eating. Living in a society where people eat on the go, or don’t make time for a proper meal is something that we lack culturally in America. Put love, time, and effort into the meals you cook, because when you or your family eats those meals they will be eating that love and energy. Sitting down and taking time to eat is also important, because it allows you to digest the food properly. When you chew your food and eat slowly, you’re more likely to eat less and feel satisfied. You won’t feel tired and sick from overeating, or have indigestion from rushing and not chewing your food properly.

Listen to your body, when it tells you that it’s had enough to eat, stop eating. When it’s thirsty, drink. And when your body needs more nourishment to keep going, eat a small snack or meal.

Taking the time to live consciously and listening to your body and mind will only bring more clarity to your life. Your decisions will bring you closer to your goals, and you will be able to maintain a stress-free life. You will be more aware and less overwhelmed by what life may throw at you, and the best advice I can give is to enjoy what you have now, in this moment.

This moment you can never rewind to, or go back to. Treasure your struggles and treasure your life, however you define it. You will get to where you want to be. If you see yourself there and know it will happen, and make a conscious positive effort to be there, there’s nothing stopping you. Just don’t forget to live in the moment, and cherish the excitement and challenge of reaching your destination in life. Even when you make it to where you want to be, there will still be another step or goal to achieve. There will always be something else. So why rush through it all?

Enjoy your journey, because no one other than you will be able to experience it.