Most of us have spent long stretches of time inside over the past few weeks. But, we know how important time in nature is for our health and longevity. Modern science has proven we intuitively knew: fresh air, time in nature or "forest-bathing" can literally shift our perspective. Apparently even just looking at a beautiful landscape can reduce our blood pressure and make us feel calmer. Here are some explanations as to why.
In celebration of Earth Day this week, I wanted to share some ideas on how we can bring the outside in during this new age of social distancing. Micah Mortali, the author behind Rewilding and founder of Kripalu School of Outdoor Leadership describes this concept: "Any sliver of nature can be a portal to a more mindful way of living." Even if you can't get outside based on where you live, there are simple ways you could "rewild" your way of life.
- Find a beautiful landscape near you and sit down to observe all the sights and sounds. If that’s not an option sit in silence and visualize yourself in nature! Or try looking at these 5 images that will bring you instant calm. - Try gardening - even in a windowsill! I’ve been thinking about buying one of these or these to try my hand at a herb garden. Has anyone done this? -Take a slow drive (or walk) through nature. (I've been doing lots of neighborhood walks with my kids). -Watch nature documentaries or go through a virtual hike in a National Park.
No matter what's available to you right now - simply noticing or imagining yourself in nature can literally calm your nervous system and reduce cortisol levels, increase immunity and provide a myriad of other health benefits. Even just 20 minutes will do the trick! Please write me and let me know what works for you!
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Peace, love & EVOO, Stay safe everyone, Katerina
Olive Oil Sommelier Katerina Mountanos, is the Founder & CEO of Kosterina Olive Oil, which produces 100% organic, extra virgin olive oil from Greece sold directly to consumers online. Katerina is an ecommerce expert and has built beauty, home and wellness businesses for Amazon, Jet, and Walmart. She founded beauty services company, Manicube, which was sold to The Red Door by Elizabeth Arden in 2015. Katerina is very passionate about olive oil, the Mediterranean diet and eating for health and longevity.
How are you doing? I’m feeling a little burst of positivity this week as things are slowly starting to feel a bit more normal. We have seen a few more friends and family members (from afar) and the local Starbucks in my town re-opened this week (major development). And generally, I’m a little less nervous about going to the pharmacy and the supermarket. But as I've been moving about in public a bit more I've had a lot more interactions with strangers while wearing a mask. And, it's made me think about how we treat each other in this new world.
So they say that you can’t out-exercise a bad diet. And they’re right. Ninety percent of our focus really should be on food for optimal health. But what about a good diet with nightly Almond Butter & Vanilla dark chocolate bars? Or the occasional 3 serving bag of Dang rice crisps? (So good, btw). Can I out-exercise that? If food is most important to maintaining a healthy weight, do we really need to workout at all? If so, how long do we need to work out for? And what’s the best type of workout? So many questions.
In the Kosterina household, we are disciples of revolutionary functional medicine doctor, Dr. Mark Hyman.I've spoken about Dr. Hyman's work here before, but I am deep into his latest book (like, with underlining and highlighting and everything).