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Happy March Wellness Warriors!

After years of struggling with many health issues including autoimmune disease, migraines and digestive issues, I began the journey of eating less processed junk food and filling my diet with more nutrient-dense superfoods.

I stopped dieting, counting calories, depriving myself and feeling guilty and I began to focus on the positive (simply eating more healthy real foods like fruits and vegetables and less junk).

I began to incorporate more yoga and self-care and instead of focusing on calories burned, I listened to my body, set positive intentions based on gratitude and how I wanted to feel.

And I also weened myself off my beloved coffee (which triggered migraines and was hard on my adrenals) and I discovered my new love… Matcha Latte (click here for Hot & Healthy Drink Recipes).

Not only is Matcha delicious and energizing (without jittery side effects and coffee crash), it is Flexible Warrior approved because it creates a “calm energy” and has many other healthy benefits.

Matcha is concentrated green tea an is high in a catechin called EGCG, which is believed to have properties that help fight cancer.

Studies have linked matcha to many health benefits, such as:
  • Cancer Prevention
  • Weight Loss
  • Detoxifying
  • Boost Athletic Performance
  • High in Antioxidants
  • Boosts Immunity
  • Speeds Recovery
  • Disease Prevention (such as heart disease and diabetes

In the spirit of St. Patricks Day, here is a healthy & energizing recipe for  Matcha Green Energy Bites

Ingredients:

Blend the walnuts and pepitas in a high speed blender (I use a Vitamix) or food processor until they are the consistency of flour. Add the dates and blend to a sticky dough. Blend in the almond butter, vanilla, essential oils.  Mix the matcha, collagen, protein powder, green powder and salt together.  Add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture and blend well until it forms a dough. Form into bite-sized balls. Refrigerate. Enjoy!

Matcha Mint Protein Bites

Topping: 2 Tablespoons coconut sugar mixed with 1 teaspoon matcha powder.

Blend dry ingredients together in a high speed blender or food processor (I use a Vitamix). Mix honey, coconut oil, vanilla and peppermint essential oil separately. Blend dry and wet ingredients together in your blender or food processor until well mixed. Add an extra teaspoon or Tablespoon of coconut oil if it seems too dry. Shape into bite-sized balls. Roll into topping. Refrigerate.

Or, if you’re too busy to make the recipe, try these Matcha Chai Hazelnut Bars (yum!)

SPRING SUPERCHARGE! The Spring Supercharge 5 Day Yoga, Superfood & Self Care Challenge starts on Monday March 18th! This FREE challenge includes…
  • daily yoga videos
  • self-care tips 
  • plant-based superfood recipes

So, kick off spring feeling lighter & healthier and join me for the Spring Supercharge! In the meantime, here are some of my favorite superfoods & self-care products and remember there are hundreds of free yoga videos on my Flexible Warrior YouTube Channel!

Think Spring and Stay Flexible, Warrior!

Karen Dubs

www.flexiblewarrior.com

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The first time I chopped off my ponytails, I was 3 – 4 years old and our family pictures were the following day. I remember looking in the mirror and thinking it was a good idea to cut off my long blonde “pigtails”… And so I did. Without a thought… Snip snip.

I went out to the kitchen for breakfast with a winter hat on in the summer… like my mom wouldn’t notice. All I remember is my brother and sister laughing and laughing. By the look on my face in family pic, I didn’t think it was so funny. Hindsight is 20/20 and I clearly didn’t realize it would take a year or two to grow back my ponytails. Oops.

It took me another 36 years before I’d cut off my ponytails again…

The second time I chopped off my ponytail, I had just turned 40 and I somehow got it in my head I wanted to donate my hair to Pantene Beautiful Lengths. My hair had been long for years (like 20 years) and although people always complimented my hair, I was just bored. I needed to change it up.

I had talked about chopping it all off for months, but had cold feet. One day, driving to a hair appointment, my husband asks nonchalantly “you cutting off your hair today?” I said “WHAT… Today?!” A girl needs to mentally prepare for an event like that! But an hour later, my 10″ braid lay on the counter at the salon.

After that, I kept it short for a few months, then medium length for a few years …  but little by little it started to get long again and was back in a ponytail or braid most days to keep it out of my face in Downward Dog.

Last June, I posted on Instagram that my ponytail was covering up my logo and I was ready to whop off 4 – 5″… and one of my friends invited me to continue growing it to donate with her (in honor of her mom) in the spring.

I thought, sure – that sounds fun.  I’m turning 50 this year and it’s time to switch it up again. Plus, the fact that my hair goes to a good cause…  even better!

YES You Can Donate Color-Treated Hair…

There is a huge misconception that you can’t donate color-treated or grey hair. You CAN absolutely donate color treated hair. An organization called Children With Hair Loss takes color-treated hair and donates it at no expense to children who are unable to grow their own hair due to cancer treatments, alopecia, burns or other medical-related conditions. Check out CWHL.org

So here we are, almost a year later and my hair is long and super healthy. I call it “superfood hair” because, as a health coach, I’m all about nutrient-dense superfoods …

There is clearly a connection between growing long, healthy hair and the foods we eat. Plus using organic products and incorporating simple hair-care habits, and wa-la… Superfood Hair!

HOW I GREW LONG, HEALTHY SUPERFOOD HAIR…

People have been asking me how my hair is growing so fast and what I do to keep it so healthy-looking. At 49 and having Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, an autoimmune condition, I believe wholeheartedly that reducing processed foods and sugar while adding in superfoods makes a huge difference in your skin and hair.

I’m happy to share my secrets.  Hence, this blog post and video:

How I grew Superfood hair and why I’m chopping it all off - YouTube

Like our health, our hair quality and texture has a lot to do with genetics. My hair is naturally straight and mousy brown with lots of thin strands.  My hair is so straight in fact, that in the 80’s when big hair was all the rage, I’d have to get it permed twice (back-to-back) in order for it to hold the curl (true story). And then, I’d put Sun-In on my permed waves to lighten it. Ah, the 80’s… Definitely not “donation worthy” hair.

THE SIDE EFFECTS OF SUPERFOODS & SELF CARE…

I often say, a “side effect of eating superfoods and practicing self-care is that you’ll increase energy, lose weight, boost your immunity and feel great! But evidently another “side effect” is that your hair, skin and nails will all benefit as well! AND, on top of that, eating locally-grown superfoods and using organic products is also great for our planets health as well! Triple WIN!

Here are my top 5 tips for growing Superfood hair:
  1. Go as natural as possible. Avoid bleaching, using a blow dryer and curling iron as well as harsh products.
  2. Use organic hair products like Maple Organics and Aveda Products
  3. Eat more Superfoods and less junk food… More fruits, veggies and clean proteins and less cookies, chips and soda!
  4. Try Essential Oils. I made an easy inexpensive DIY Deep Hair Conditioner with Coconut Oil and doTerra Essential Oils.
  5. Practice Patience. Get regular trims. Enjoy the process and all the different lengths along the way. Learn to braid. Don’t grow your hair longer than necessary. Once you have 8 – 10″, schedule the cut, be brave and DO IT! The sooner you donate, the healthier your hair will be.
Here are my top 10 Superfoods to eat for healthy hair:
  1. Lemon water: hydration is key for every system in your body, so if you want healthy hair, skip the soda and drink more water.
  2. Super Berry Smoothie: blend up your favorite berries along with coconut water and a scoop of Green Superfood Antioxidant blend
  3. Green Smoothie: blend a handful of spinach, a frozen banana and some almond milk with Sunwarrior Vanilla protein powder.
  4. Matcha Latte with MCT oil: Coffee is dehydrating. A Matcha Latte is packed with antioxidants. Add CollagenMCT oil for healthy fats.
  5. Grass Fed Meats and Wild Caught Salmon for clean proteins
  6. Pastured Chicken or Duck Eggs (find them at your local Farmer’s Market)
  7. Chocolate, banana + almond butter smoothie: frozen banana, coconut milk, 1 T of almond butter + a scoop of raw cacoa powder
  8. Superfood Salad with spinach, mixed greens, cucumber, avocado, sprouts, hemp hearts + olive oil, lemon and Himalayan salt
  9. Gluten Free oatmeal with nuts, seeds and this Warrior Vitality Blend
  10. Chia Seed Pudding with pomegranet seeds

PRACTICING YOGA OFF THE MAT & NON ATTACHMENT

I’ll be honest, once my cut date was in site, I actually got cold feet and a little attached to my long, braided ponytail. I get compliments on it almost daily and I’d be chopping off one of my best features! But I keep reminding myself, it’s JUST HAIR… it’ll grow back! Change is good. And beyond that, simply thinking of at a child receiving their replacement hair wig and I was good to go.

Whenever in doubt, I’d crank up the song “I am not my hair” by India Arie. That always sets me straight…

“I am not my hair. I am not this skin. I am not your expectations NO. I am not my hair. I am not this skin. I am the SOUL THAT LIVES WITHIN”…

India.Arie - I Am Not My Hair ft. Akon - YouTube

Besides, chopping off hair is definitely a “yoga off the mat” practice in non-attachment and a perfect finale for my Spring Supercharge Yoga, Superfood and Self Care Challenge. I encouraged all my clients and challenge participants to take their spring cleaning off their mat and out of their kitchen and into their houses and lives…

  • Clean out our closets and donate to Purple Heart or Good Will
  • Clean out toxic foods and products from our pantry, bathrooms and make up bags
  • Eat more local, organically-grown foods
  • Do more of what makes you happy and fuels your Prana (life force energy) and limit things that drain you.
  • Practice self-care and self-love (a spring hair makeover is one of the most uplifting and rejuvinating things you can do, especially when your hair is going to uplift someone else)

Want to see my hair transformation and the moment my ponytails got cut off? WATCH this short video…

Hair Donation / Hair Makeover - YouTube

If this inspires you to grow and donate your own superfood hair, please tag me on your pics on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter!

Sign up for my Enewsletter for superfood-based recipes, yoga-inspired videos and announcements for upcoming Yoga & Superfood Challenges. Plus you’ll get 5 Superfood Recipes to help you bust your sugar addiction AND a chapter of my book “Find Your Flexible Warrior: think, stretch & eat for balance & resilience.”

Special thanks to Sarah and Debbie at Soiree – The Salon Experience for the fantastic spring makeover hair transformation! Soiree is an Aveda Salon, dedicated to organic, non-toxic, plant-based products … So the entire salon has this healthy and uplifting vibe, the products smell fantastic and make your hair and skin look and feel healthy and amazing!

XOXO and Stay Flexible, Warriors! Karen Dubs www.flexiblewarrior.com 

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