hope floats – infrared sauna and floatation therapy

hopefloats

From reading countless health and wellness blogs, as well as hearing many customer questions and comments, I have really wanted to try an infrared sauna. I googled this specific type of sauna and as it turns out, there is an infrared sauna right here in Bethesda! I made my appointment, and then showed up 30 minutes early (I tend to be anxious about new things & also tend to overestimate how much time it takes me to get somewhere). Turns out it was a good thing I showed up early because I was able to talk to the owner, Kimmie. I was expecting to enjoy the infrared sauna, but when I arrived, she explained to me a little bit about the other part of their business: flotation therapy. When she first showed me the flotation tank, I was admittedly a little terrified. But like all things that scare me, of course I had to run at it head on. I decided to do the “Total Hope Floats Experience”, which includes a 30-minute infrared sauna experience, and is followed immediately by an hour inside of the flotation therapy tank. And so my Hope Floats Experience began… Continue reading

winter combat – salt caves for first timers

salt

Today was a momentous occasion; I woke up feeling refreshed and energized – which has been rare for me as of late! With the drastic changes in temperature, as well as the expected changing of seasons, I have been extremely low on energy and seemingly in a constant battle with getting sick. I know I am not alone on these wintery symptoms since many customers have been coming in who have been experiencing the very same things. So what is the fix? Yes, getting your veggies into your diet is critical when your immune system is more susceptible. And yes, ginger and cayenne can help you fight your cold. But I was looking for something that could help heal my body, aside from nutrition.

So what to do? Well, I have wanted to go to the Bethesda Salt Caves for a while now, and when I got off of work yesterday, it felt like the right time to go try it out. When I first walked in, I was immediately relaxed. The beautiful aroma resonating from the handmade soaps, as well as the dim-lit entrance put me into an immediate trance. Since I had never been there before, I was asking a million questions and clearly needed a little handholding throughout the whole process, so it was a good thing that the staff there is so nice and eager to help. I was guided into the salt cave session room, which had even dimmer lighting than the entrance. I removed my shoes before entering since the floor of the room is covered in sea salt. I chose an open zero gravity chair, grabbed a blanket, and reclined back while I waited for the rest of the group to come in. Even just sitting there while waiting, I felt a massive amount of stress escape from my shoulders.

Finally, it was time for our session to begin and the nice man from the front turned down the lights completely, and turned on the salt blower. I was a little hesitant about the salt blower, thinking it would be blowing table salt out onto me, but alas it did not. The salt must be so miniscule that it is blown out into the air almost as if it just the essence of the salt. By breathing in the salt air, and having it touch your skin, it gets absorbed into your body and claims to heal a plethora of problems. Apparently it aids in the treatment of ailments such as arthritis, allergies, asthma, bronchitis, depression, migraines, sleep disorder, snoring, stress, and countless skin problems.

I know, I know, it sounds a little hokey, but now I totally buy into it. The peaceful sounds, the dim lighting, and the forced isolation for 45 minutes is healing in of itself, but when I left my session, I truly felt like I could breathe more clearly. I felt a calm throughout me that I have not felt in a very long time. And most importantly for me, I slept that night so soundly and woke up feeling truly refreshed. So yeah, maybe salt caves are not going to solve all of my problems. BUT, I do have to say, the next time I’m feeling exhausted, like I need a break from the stressors in my life, or like I am really trying to fight off a cold, I know exactly where I’ll be headed.

celebrating small successes, celebrating ALL successes.

progressnotperfectionquoteHappy hump day, ya’ll! Being that it’s Wednesday and all, it seems like the perfect halfway point to reflect on what we have already done, and furthermore what the rest of the week will look like.

When we reflect back on the beginning of the week, it is important to take inventory of our actions – all of them. Hopefully we were able to remain strong and consistent since Monday on our health regiment. If not, that is okay! We need to first pat ourselves on the back for all of our successes and positive actions that we have upheld. Simply pulling your dedicated hiney out of your warm cozy bed on these freezing mornings is reason enough for me to call you a hero. Successes are successes – no matter how big or small! Next, we must, must, must acknowledge the challenges that we have faced. These challenges are not failures – we are human and as such we are faced with challenges in our day-to-day lives – our path to health is no different. When we take inventory of what has happened thus far, we can then analyze what might have impacted us, in both good and bad ways this week. Becoming aware of these actions will allow us to adapt and change for next week.

Next, we mustn’t forget that we still have the rest of today, tomorrow, and Friday before the weekend begins. It is now time to plan ahead for the rest of the workweek. We all know that the weekends can be the most challenging time to stick to our health regiment, so it is crucial to finish the week on a strong note. Maybe try setting some goals for yourself: try pushing yourself a little harder on the treadmill, or refrain from dessert for the rest of the workweek because you know you might indulge a bit on the weekend. Setting a plan for these days is vital to your success. Your plan making does not need to stop here – sit down and create a plan for your weekend as well. This way you will know exactly what to expect of yourself, you can truly hold yourself accountable, and your chances of succeeding will be much greater.

So enjoy this beautiful Wednesday, reflect on what you have already accomplished, forgive yourself for any challenges you might have encountered, pat yourself on the back for your successes, and plan ahead for what is to come. You can do it… I know you can!

cheat vs. treat – let’s change the way we talk about eating

Happy Wednesday everyone! There are a million and one posts out there telling you what you should be doing to be healthy, and very rarely will you find a health post on what happens when you just darn well want to indulge.

First of all, let me just say, there is nothing wrong with this. In fact, I think that by coming to terms with the fact that you will indulge, it is one of the healthiest things we can do. As humans, we have faults; the sooner we come to terms with this fact, the sooner we can forgive ourselves if, and when, we digress from our rigid meal plans. We are all so quick to persecute ourselves when we aren’t perfect, but wouldn’t we all be much happier with ourselves if we just accepted that we are all faulted? That way we can make adjustments in our lives to prepare for these inevitable moments. We encounter these challenges on a day-to-day basis, but if we plan ahead, then we can reward ourselves for our steadfast dedication, and feel good about rewarding ourselves with a treat. Some may call this a “cheat”, but I prefer not to use that negative verbiage because you are not committing an immoral act when you decide to eat a freshly baked pastry on Sunday morning… You just aren’t. So, instead, let’s continue with the word “treat” as an alternative, because technically you are treating yourself for all of your hard work.

The best way to treat yourself would be to indulge in a smart way. Maybe you have been craving a succulent steak, so go ahead and order yourself that filet when you’re out to dinner with friends on Saturday night, but try swapping out the side of mashed potatoes for steamed vegetables or side salad. Another tip would be to try eating the vegetables before the steak so that you wont be filling up on the treat before you get in your healthy staple of vegetables. If you’re craving ice cream, quickly Google the closest fro-yo location and walk, briskly (hello, this IS a wellness post after all) to the store, fill your cup with a small portion of yogurt, and go wild with fruit and nut toppings. This way you can satisfy your sweet craving, all the while getting in some probiotics, some antioxidants, and some protein. That is truly what I call treating smart!!

And remember, once you treat, don’t beat yourself up over it. Accept that you worked hard all week to allow yourself a smart treat, and move on. This is the crucial final step to the process.

what’s the deal with wheatgrass?

wheatgrass

[ because it’s so juicy that you musn’t forget to pass on grass!]

People often comment on the fresh aroma of our Bethesda location. Granted, we do have some live plants growing in the store, but the clear answer for why it smells so fresh and lively is from our wheatgrass. Not only do we have numerous wheatgrass flats in our store, but we also are constantly juicing this live nutrient for our customers. Some people are initially hesitant to try wheatgrass, thinking that it will simply taste like grass, but after our customers try their first shot, they are incredibly surprised by its bright and sweet flavor. There’s a reason for all of the wheatgrass fuss. And trust me, it’s not because we are hippies just trying to make a joke about “grass”.

Wheatgrass is considered to be one of the most healing and detoxifying vegetation to consume. After the strands of wheatgrass have been juiced, we recommend that the juice be consumed as close to the time it was juiced as possible. We also recommend that the juice should be swished around the mouth for about 15 seconds — the reason for this is because of its high chlorophyll content. Since chlorophyll has a remarkably similar chemical make-up to human blood, the juice can be readily absorbed into the blood stream through the thin blood vessels in the cheeks and gums. It’s like an immediate oxygen boost! Not only does the wheatgrass contain this high amount of chlorophyll, it also contains potassium, vitamin A, vitamin B12, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, iron, zinc, copper, manganese, and protein. It contains all minerals, and 17 amino acids. Now, that is a real mouthful — pun intended ;)

The Hippocrates Institute is the biggest proponent of Wheatgrass stating that it can increase the red blood-cell count, lower blood pressure, stimulate the metabolism, restore alkalinity to the body, and help to detoxify and cleanse. There are have been some other affects of the wheatgrass juice such as helping as a sleep aid, soothing burns or rashes, and even sweetening breath.

Whether or not you completely buy into all of the claims that have been made about wheatgrass, it seems worth it to try it. So I did. And each time that I take a wheatgrass shot (admittedly, I only do a one oz. shot), I notice a buzzing energy and focus about 15 minutes after I take the shot. Even if only one of these health benefits turns out to be true, it seems like the easiest step to take in order to improve one’s health.

So go ahead, don’t pass on grass, and give it a shot!

ps. Join us on November 11th as we kick off our second annual WHEATGRASS FESTIVAL with in-store juice specials, 1/2 prices shots and discounted, wheatgrass inspired smoothies!

juice cleansing – what it is and why we do it (and what you can expect before, during and after!)

cleanse101

Juice cleanses. You’ve heard about them, you’ve seen your favorite celebrity doing them, but what is really the deal with them?

Generally speaking, juice cleanses contain 6 juices per day – our juice cleanses follow this same rule. Our typical juice cleanses contain six 16-ounce bottles of cold-pressed, raw, organic juice, as well as two 2-ounce shots of concentrated cold-pressed juice. “Pure” cleanse is our initial cleanse offered, which we reference as a beginners cleanse, mainly because the juices are made up of primarily fruit. Second, we have our “Purify” cleanse, which is slightly more advanced with some more greens, a slightly more advanced carrot juice, and a chocolaty-spiced cashew mylk. Finally, we have our “Clear Verde” cleanse which is our most advanced juice cleanse. Each of the juices in this cleanse contain greens of some kind- which is not to say that they are all green vegetable juices, majority of these juices actually contain fruit. My favorite juice cleanse is called the “Progression” which would be the “Pure” cleanse on the first day, the “Purify” cleanse on the second day, and then finally the “Clear Verde” cleanse on the final day. This allows for a great variety of juices to be enjoyed, and helps with the mental aspect of cleansing because it’s not quite so tedious. All of these cleanses present the juice in a suggested drinking order, and should be consumed about every two hours.

When you decide to do a juice cleanse, it is best to think of it as an investment into your health. We know that these cleanses are not cheap, but if you change how you think about it, you will take away from it a lot more. Think of our cleanses as an investment into rebooting your system with the most concentrated, pure, organic ingredients! Here at Puree we always recommend that you do a pre-cleanse before you jump right into the liquid detox program. This would basically consist of eating as raw as possible and trying to avoid dairy, meat, alcohol, coffee, and processed foods. This way, when you start doing your juice cleanse, you won’t have severe detox symptoms and will actually be able to enjoy the light and positive feeling of doing your juice cleanse. Remember, this is an investment – treat it as such and make sure you are getting the most out of it! While on your juice cleanse, make sure to drink a great deal of water, continue with your workouts, and try to get into a sauna so that you can continue to flush out the toxins. Once you have completed your juice cleanse, you are not done – I repeat – you are not done! You’ve just had the self-control to not eat any food in an effort to improve your health, and now you’re feeling great and motivated. Keep it up! Ease back into eating food again by making a fruit and vegetable smoothie, and then gradually start incorporating more raw foods. If you feel so inclined, you can continue your cleanse by simply eating raw foods. Listen to your body and enjoy how great these complete, live nutrients can make you feel.

See a PDF (printer and download friendly!) version of our COMPLETE CLEANSE GUIDELINES here.