Shining Bright on Health at Sun King – A Blog about Healthy Living

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Shining Bright on Health at Sun King – A Blog about Healthy Living

Morning Sun



So now that everyone is back from the holidays and settling into their 2013 routines, it seems safe to say that things are still busier than ever. The way we live our lives today in this culture is filled with exhaustion, stress and over stimulation. These things can really weigh on us and are the root of many health problems. I hope you will take a few moments to read the tips below for ideas on how you can find some space and relaxation into your life.

Health Tips:

This month’s health tip addresses the fact that we now live in a time and space where everything is fast. An amazing man by the name of William Siff, was a guest teacher atKripalu and he said something that really hit home. He said (paraphrased), ‘We are never going to be healthy if we are constantly moving at such a fast pace. So, being able to slow down, even for a few minutes at a time, will make a huge difference in your health and happiness’.

Here are a few suggestions on how to make more time in your day:

  • Put your breakfast (suggestion: oatmeal) in a crockpot the night before and wake up to yummy smells. It will also insure you have breakfast.
  • When you sit down to eat, do that. Nothing else. Take a minute to appreciate what you have right in front of you and then actually chew and taste your food. This will help you feel more satisfied. Stop eating when you begin to feel full and allow your stomach to digest properly.
  • Try to spend as much time in nature as possible. A walk will do wonders!
  • Having troubles sleeping: wind down at least 1 hour before bed (2 is better). Try taking a warm bath. Don’t allow yourself to be in contact with bright screens or violent content right before bed. A good book or a fun art project and a cup of calming tea or warm turmeric milk (recipe below) is a great wrap up to the day.
  • Take time to meditate, even if you start out with only 5-10 minutes a day. Sitting quietly by yourself and allowing the body, mind and soul a few moments each day is one of the best gifts you can give yourself.


Your body craves a slower pace. How can we expect our bodies to heal or feel energized if it is always running on fumes? Give yourself time to refuel. Don’t think that because you are not driving, talking on the phone, at your computer, sending emails, in a meeting, running from one appointment to the next, picking up kids, cooking dinner, washing clothes, cleaning the house or feeding the dog (that made me tired just typing all of it) that you are being lazy or not fulfilling your worth to be on this planet. Quite the contrary, you do more of a service for everyone, if you learn how to be more present and slow down.


Yoga in the community:

Donation yoga classes are taking place at Bike Hub YMCA from 9-10 am every Saturday until April. Check in at the front desk and they will direct you to the group fitness room.

IWFM + Yoga classes are offered by-donation to raise funds to support the IWFM andGrowing Places Indy in the ongoing work to cultivate wellness through urban agriculture, food awareness & access, and practices for empowered living. Suggested donation for Yoga is $10.




Sleepy Time Turmeric milk

Serves 2

2 cups organic, whole milk (raw milk if available)

¼ teaspoon turmeric

Dash of cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

2 teaspoons maple syrup

• Boil the first 4 ingredients together, then simmer for 5 minutes. Pour into 2 cups and divide the maple syrup among them.

Kale and Carrot Curry

Makes 4 servings

1 tablespoon ghee or sunflower oil

2-3 carrots, peeled and chopped

1 leek

2 teaspoons mustard seed

2 teaspoons yellow curry powder

2 tablespoons shredded, unsweetened, coconut

½ cup coconut milk

1 bunch kale, washed and chopped

¼ teaspoon salt

fresh cracked black pepper

 • Warm skillet with oil or ghee, then place the next 4 ingredients in the pan until carrots are tender. Mix in the rest of the ingredients until kale is wilted. Serve on its own or over brown rice.


Additional Recipe for a hearty cold weather dinner: Sweet potato and black bean encheladas (this couple is amazing at combining flavors so check out their website for more fun and creative recipes)


Workout tips

Keeping the blood flowing through our bodies is very important. With all the sitting we do, it is good to get up at least every 2 hours to stretch and pump the blood. Easy exercises to do anywhere are: Lunges, squats, high kicks (front, back or side), push ups and sit ups. Just pick a new one each time and by the end of the day you will have done a mini full body workout.

Additional tip:  Now that you have time, what do you do? You take time to decompress, relax, unwind and enjoy. Take the time to do some meditation, pranayama, yoga, read a book that you have been wanting to pick up, get crafty and start an art project, play with your kids or friends, just do something that allows your adrenalin to slow down and release its fingers of stress on your body. And if nothing else, breathe deeply into your body and appreciate that for what it is.

Clay and Staraya


Staraya McKinstry

If you have additional questions, please email Staraya at


About Staraya McKinstry:

Born and raised in Homer, Alaska, the western most tip of the United States, was not appreciated by my siblings or myself until we all went out into the world, and found that we grew up in a pretty amazing place. Alaska is a rugged frontier but it has its perks. Eating fresh vegetables from the garden, fish and seafood out of the bay, and a freshly hunted down moose/elk/deer was and still is the way of feeding family there. Fitness is a way of life; hiking, mountain biking, fishing, skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing and sledding (yes, it can be a great work out when you walk up the mountain) to name a few. The connection with nature seems to be a common understanding when you live in such a beautiful, ever changing environment as Alaska. With that background, I have come to love yoga and the connection it has seamlessly brought me in regards to myself, my family and friends, nature, and healthy living. I have a Masters in Public Health, but the everyday healthy lifestyle I have learned from my mom and dad and those like them back home. I am also currently going to school to train in Ayurveda Medicine (one of the oldest forms of medicine known to mankind), which focuses on healing the body, mind and spirit and maintaining health through food, herbs and exercise. My studies in yoga and Ayurveda are allowing me to bring practical, resourceful and sustainable practices to anyone who wants to learn how to get/stay healthy in mind, body and spirit.


Disclaimer: The entire contents of this blog are based upon the opinion of Staraya McKinstry. They are not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional, and they are not intended as medical advice.

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