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Yoga Tips For Beginners
There is no better time to get into yoga. With numerous benefits for the mind and body, yoga is an excellent workout for people of all ages, body types, and fitness levels. So if you are looking to get your body moving and heal your mind, why not try taking a yoga class?
There is no need to be intimidated. Yoga is for everyone, and all levels, bodies, and abilities are accepted. To help you prepare for your first class, we’ve compiled a list of tips to help you get comfortable on the mat and build some basic yoga skills.
Prepare for class
For your first yoga class, prepare by eating a light meal and dressing in comfortable clothing that you can move in. No need for fancy yoga duds—wearing shorts and a t-shirt or tank top is completely fine. You should also come prepared with your yoga mat, a water bottle, and a towel to wipe your sweat if desired.
Your instructor will provide directions for every pose throughout the class, but you may want to consider familiarizing yourself with some of the basic poses in advance to feel more prepared and confident. A quick YouTube search beforehand will tell you what you need to know.
Master your breathing
Much of the power of yoga comes from breathing. Focusing on your breath helps you stay present in the current moment, allowing your mind to relax and sharpen. Breathing also helps the physical aspect of yoga. When you sync your movements with your breath, it will enable you to deepen your stretch and increase the impact of each pose.
As a beginner, focus on mastering the basic yoga breath, called ujjayi pranayama. In ujjayi pranayama, you simply breathe in deeply through your nose and then back out, also through your nose. Seems easy enough, doesn’t it?
Of course, the breathing gets a little trickier once you begin to breathe and move at the same time. So don’t worry if you periodically forget about your breath throughout your practice—just return to it when prompted. Once you get the hang of it, your breathing should begin to sound a bit like ocean waves crashing on the beach.
Let go of expectations
We often come into new workout routines with high expectations for ourselves. You may have decided to take up yoga to lose weight, tone your body, or master the impressive poses you’ve seen on social media.
However, you are much more likely to be successful in your practice when you let go of those expectations and simply embrace the experience as it comes. In your first yoga classes, try to avoid worrying about how you look or comparing yourself to others. You also should not be afraid to take breaks and adjust poses as needed to fit your body and abilities.
Focus on enjoying how the practice makes you feel and look forward to progressing on your journey in your own time and your own way.
Keto For Beginners
What is the Keto Diet?
The Ketogenic diet is a high-fat, moderate protein, low-carbohydrate diet which forces the body to burn fats (Ketones) rather than carbohydrates (Glucose). To summarize, this diet is:
- High Fat
- Moderate Protein
- Low Carbohydrate
What does Ketosis do?
Ketosis is a normal process that happens when your body doesn’t have enough carbs to burn for energy. Instead, your liver burns fat and makes organic chemicals called Ketones, which the body uses as fuel.
Are there Different Types of Keto Diets?
There are several versions of the Ketogenic diet, as everyone needs varying macros (ratio of protein : carbohydrates : fats) and nutrients. Here are some popular versions of the Keto diet:
Clean Keto: Focus on eating vegetables, berries, healthy fats & oils, organic meats & dairy, limiting/eliminating Keto “Junk Food.” Macros for this version are usually: 75% fat,20% protein, and 5% carbs.
Lazy/Dirty Keto: The most commonly practiced type of Keto diet. While focusing on eating vegetables, berries, organic meats, and dairy, Keto “treats” are also allowed such as fat bombs (bite-sized snacks made with fat-rich ingredients), chocolate, low carb candy & snacks, alcohol, and take-out food. The macros for this version vary from 60-75% fat, 25-30% protein, and 5-10% carbs.
How do I know what food is Keto-friendly?
The type of Keto diet you choose to follow will dictate what foods you will consume in order to achieve your target macros. The following foods are keto-friendly for any Keto diet type:
- Nuts & Seeds
- Full-fat Dairy & Eggs
- Meat & Fish
- Low-carb Vegetables & Oils
What are some keto-friendly snacks?
When you feel a craving coming on reach for these keto-friendly snacks to satisfy your sweet tooth while staying on track with your wellness goals.
Organika FAV Keto cookies
These mini chocolate chip keto cookies will easily become an instant favourite! With added collagen to promote glowing skin and hair these cookies are full of flavour and health benefits. FAV keto cookies contain only 2g of net carbs, 4g of protein, and no artificial colours or preservatives. Grab these as a quick snack and delicious keto-friendly option to meet your health and wellness goals.
NoSugar Keto bar
These creamy, melt in your mouth keto bars are the perfect decadent snack to satisfy any sweet craving! They offer the perfect keto makeup of 75% healthy fats, 20% protein, 5% net carbs and no sugar. Allow yourself a little indulgence with delicious flavours like birthday cake, cookies and cream, and chocolate peanut butter.
What are the side effects of a Keto diet?
The Keto diet is very safe for the average person, as long as it’s being monitored and you are drinking enough water. Diabetics or people with epilepsy should keep a close eye on their ketone levels while in Ketosis. Ketoacidosis is another potential concern that happens when the body becomes too dehydrated. Luckily, this can be easily avoided with a regular intake of minerals (electrolytes) and green vegetables.
The most common side effects of a Ketogenic lifestyle are:
Trouble in the washroom: It is very important to ensure you’re getting your RDA of fiber to prevent this! Great sources of low carb fiber are psyllium husk or acacia gum.
Headaches or “Keto Flu”: This occurs when your body has become depleted of minerals, and you experience flu-like symptoms. A great way to prevent this is by taking an electrolyte supplement.
How long before I see results?
It takes about 2-8 days to get into Ketosis, based on the person and the type of Keto diet chosen. You will likely lose your stored water weight fast, and usually in the first week or so. Once water weight is gone, the liver will start using stored fat from our adipose tissue, and that is when the magic happens! Listen to your body’s signals, as you can almost always tell when you start burning fat compared to stored water weight. Usually, you experience a jolt of energy!
Should I see a doctor about this?
It is always recommended to consult with a doctor or health care provider prior to any lifestyle or dietary changes. If you have any questions regarding this lifestyle, please talk to a Kardish team member and we would be glad to assist you on your journey to better health and weight loss.
Top Health Benefits Of Spending Time Outdoors
The sun shines on your skin. You close your eyes and feel your skin cells come to life like a salsa dancer on an overpacked dance floor. You sink into your chair and every thought melts away like a dripping snow cone.
Being outside whether for your daily dog walk, to get your tan on, or playing your favourite outdoor sport, can have a hypnotic-like effect on our mind, body and soul.
These days we are inundated with mental health information and online influencers urging us to get outside and enjoy what mother nature gave us. But why? What’s actually behind the brouhaha of the benefits of getting outside?
When we look beyond the magical properties of nature’ we find there are a few key factors at play.
Yes we’re referring to movement and not physical exercise. Exercise can often be a scary word because we all have our preconceived notions about what it means and how we do it. So the key factor here is getting out to get moving. Whether you’re out for a leisurely stroll, tossing a frisbee at the park, or canoeing at Dow’s Lake, you’re not binge watching another television series on the couch, and that’s what counts. The allure of the outdoors, especially when it’s warm out, reduces the barrier to getting excited about going out and getting more movement.
Opportunity for connection
Even if physical distancing restrictions are in place, being outdoors gives us another way to connect with friends and family. Whether we take the time to stop and chat with a neighbour, research shows that even being around others without interacting can help to reduce feelings of isolation. Isolation is found to be one of the key contributors to poor mental health.
The power of Vitamin D
As Canadians we spend a lot of time indoors. This means that we get less exposure to sunlight. When we get less exposure to sunlight, our body doesn’t produce as much Vitamin D. Beyond absorbing Calcium, various research findings show that there is a link between levels of Vitamin D in the body and experience of low mood or Depression.
So just by throwing on your runners and stepping outside you’re taking literal and metaphorical steps towards boosting your mood.
Focusing on the present is easier
When you’re outdoors there’s so many different ways to engage our senses; birds chirping, the bright colours of growing flowers, the aromas of a BBQ hard at work. With these natural attention grabbers, we can easily attune our focus to what we notice around us. Being present, or mindful, is not about meditation, it’s about keeping your attention in the here and now. This becomes easier to do when we get outside. Quick how to: Pick a spot to observe and try to notice what you see, hear smell, feel and can possibly taste.
Less tech temptation
Being in the present moment is easier when we are not surrounded by the pings of our electronic devices. Being outside and leaving the tech at home reduces distraction while trying to engage your senses in nature.Doing this connects us to our roots of humanity and the natural world around us. When we get outside, we reduce the temptation to scroll, snap or tweet (assuming you haven’t brought your laptop with you).
Research shows that all these factors have a significant impact on our mental, physical and spiritual health. The context of being outside (regardless of the weather) is what allows all these elements to naturally come together for a one stop shop of wellness.
The Importance Of Protecting Our Microbiome
BY: AMY WILSON
Adjusting to the “new norm” of COVID-19 has led to a drastic increase in hygiene practices. To protect our health, businesses and organizations are following protocols and adhering to recommendations made for our safety. Unfortunately, a lot of these hygiene practices include harsh disinfectants and chemicals that kill off our natural microflora. While we still learn about this emerging new disease, it is definitely important that we take all measures to protect ourselves and others. However, to keep ourselves safe, it is also vitally important that we keep our immune system strong. In order to do this, we must protect our natural microflora.
Humans are naturally home to trillions of beneficial bacteria of an immense variety, that make up our microbiome. These bacteria live both on us, and in our digestive tract, protecting us and keeping us healthy. Antibacterial products, such as the ones used for disinfecting, are a threat to our natural microbiome.
I am in no way saying stop using strong antibacterial products during this time. Instead, I am suggesting we take into consideration ways in which to implement practices that will balance some of the adverse effects of the chemicals we are using to disinfect and clean. So, until we fully understand transmission of COVID-19, let’s remember the basics that will help protect our microflora.
The gut is #1
Protecting our digestive tract is fundamental in caring for your internal microflora. When your digestive tract is healthy, it helps your microbiome flourish, and in turn, works to keep your immunity strong. Here are some considerations to implement when thinking of the overall health of your digestive tract.
- Reduce stress. Stress is incredibly taxing on the health of your digestive system. Pay close attention to your stress levels and be sure to fully address them in a way that works best for you. Slowing down and taking a few deep breaths in a time of elevated stress can be incredibly helpful and allow the body to reduce its output of cortisol.
- Consider taking a probiotic. A good quality probiotic may restore balance to your gut and introduce healthy new flora.
- Drink bone broth. Bone broth is very beneficial for your intestines. It can help strengthen the integrity of your gut, and is a rich source of nutrients that can help your immune system stay strong.
- Add collagen to smoothies or hot beverages. Collagen helps to repair tissues, including the lining of your digestive tract.
- Cut out refined sugars. A lot of not-so-beneficial bacteria strains flourish in the presence of refined sugars, which can allow them to grow out of balance with the rest of the microbiome. Replace these foods with fruits and vegetables that will feed and help your healthy bacteria thrive.
Remember to get outside
Find yourself in nature more often. Being in nature will not only reduce stress levels, but can also have a positive impact on your microbiome. Breathing in fresh air, and being close to trees, dirt and water, can increase the diversity of your microbiome.
Adjusting hygiene practices
- When in the safety of your home, use good hand washing techniques with natural soaps, and save the alcohol-based/antimicrobial disinfecting for when you are out in public.
- Make at-home cleaning supplies that are effective and safe for you and the environment. Homemade cleaning products are typically very simple and effective, and can be a fun project, that can also save you money in the long run.
Health officials and scientists are working hard to narrow down the most effective hygiene protocols to keep us safe. The information at times can be confusing. What is clear, is the importance of preventative health measures, and staying on top of our health at all times, to keep us strong and safe!
TEN DAYS OF DEALS!
What better way to start the holiday season than with ten days of Kardish deals? Starting December 1, 2020, we will be sharing a new daily deal to help you save some money while buying more sustainable, natural, local gifts. Here are the items you can expect to save on over the coming days. Get ready to stock up!
Dec 1:Lily's Chocolate Bars 2 for $10
Dec 2: Kardish Vitamin C $23.99
Dec 3: Kardish Coconut oil $7.99
Dec 4: Kardish Hand sanitizing Gel
- 350 ml 14.99
- 100ml $4.99
Dec 5: Stash Tea
- Stash Organic or Seasonal 2 for $10.00
- Premium Teas 2 for $9.00
Dec 6: Kardish Better Vegan Protein $39.99
Dec 7: Kardish Essential oils (up to 5$ off)
Dec 8: Kardish sleep, stress, anxiety $31.99
Dec 9: Samson bath bombs 2 for $7.00
Dec 10: Oil of Oregano $20.99
Outdoor Exercises To Try This Summer
With summer in full swing, we all want to soak up as much great weather as we can. Why not take advantage of everything the season has to offer by taking your fitness goals outdoors too?
If you want to exercise outside, but aren’t sure where to start, here are a few ideas to get you started.
Use your bodyweight
Without the benefit of a gym full of weights, bodyweight exercises are your best bet for building strength. The advantage of a simple bodyweight workout is that it can be conducted anywhere, from a shady park to a sandy beach.
Try creating a 30-minute circuit of bodyweight exercises that work for you. To get started, incorporate squats and lunges to strengthen your lower body, push-ups for your upper body, planks to target your core, and mountain climbers for a little cardio. However, those basic moves are just the beginning. Search online for new and challenging exercises to add to your routine.
Use what you’ve got
For a more diverse workout, get creative with the equipment available at your local park. A bench is a surprisingly versatile piece of exercise equipment, with uses as a brace for tricep dips, split squats and much more. Is there a set of monkey bars nearby? Make them your pull-up bar or use them for hanging crunches.
Get out on the water
If you have access to a lake or pool, what better way to fit a workout into your summer? Consider taking up a water sport as a substitute for the gym—at least for a couple of months.
Rowing is one of the most classic full-body workouts, incorporating upper body, lower body, core, and intense cardio. Prefer something a little more mellow? Stand-up paddleboarding is a challenging, but serene alternative that also targets multiple muscle groups.
And of course, you can’t go wrong with swimming. Low impact and high resistance, a short swim can be an intense and refreshing workout.
Join a class
If you require a little social pressure to get your workout in, this is the perfect time to take up a class outdoors. In many ways, an outdoor workout class is much more pleasant than an indoor version. Grass is lower impact than a hardwood floor, and you have the chance to enjoy nature while you exercise.
Look online to find workout classes at your local park. This year there are more than ever, so you are sure to find something that suits your personality and workout style, whether it’s yoga, martial arts, or Tai Chi. To provide added accountability (and fun!) invite a friend to join the class with you.
Hit the trails
You can’t go wrong with a fun summer hike. Pick a trail in the city or make a day of it by driving out to a provincial park. Looking for a little extra challenge? Make it a trail run! Nothing makes a tough run worthwhile quite like fresh air and a great view.