Thursday, June 3, 2010

"The Big Fat Lie" June 2010 Community Focus: Surrender to June's Sensual Embrace


June is a romantic month. This is the most popular time for weddings and there is a little history behind this. The month of June was named after one of the most powerful Goddesses in the Roman pantheon, Juno, the Goddess of love and marriage. For this reason, the month of June has traditionally been viewed as a blessed time to wed.

This month also features summer solstice on June 21st. The longest day of the year is a time when lovers tryst. We celebrate the beginning of summer by letting down our hair and releasing our inhibitions. With the sun finally peeking through the storm clouds of the last of the spring showers, a new kind of energy fills the air. This is when summer romances begin. Balmy evenings create the perfect conditions for a moonlit stroll. Pleasure and festivity is at hand as we enter the flow of the summer season. A passionate warmth tinges the advent of summer that brings out a bit of the hedonist in all of us.

In harmony with the spirit of this month, our June 2010 Focus will center on reconnecting with our sensuality. Slip into something more comfortable and delight in the slinky vibe of the season.


  • Get in the mood with some reading to tickle your senses. Dust off that old copy of the Kama Sutra and explore its offerings. Lose yourself in the pages of, "Delta of Venus" By, Anais Nin. If you're a true romantic, pick up your favorite Jane Austen novel. Or drink in some poetry that plucks your heart strings. Whether you revel in erotica, are a Twi-hard, or can't seem to part with your Harlequin romance novels, make some time this month to turn up the heat by sinking into a book that gets you a little hot under the collar.

  • Prepare an aphrodisiac feast. Many of the fruits and veggies on offer this summer season are considered aphrodisiacs. Coincidence? You be the judge. The word aphrodisiac comes from Aphrodite, the Goddess of sensuality and love. It is believed foods that possess aphrodisiac qualities have the ability to rev libido and stoke the fires of passion. Set the tone for a steamy picnic. Bring along chocolate covered strawberries, pesto pasta salad, arugula dressed with truffle oil, and a bottle of mead to work its magic. Or design a menu of your own using the below list of aphrodisiac foods.
Foods That Get It On and Poppin'...

  • Almond
  • Arugula
  • Asafetida
  • Asparagus
  • Avocado
  • Bananas
  • Basil
  • Broccoli Rabe
  • Carrots
  • Chocolate
  • Coffee
  • Coriander
  • Fennel
  • Figs
  • Garlic (I know! Goes against every bit of dating advice you've ever received.)
  • Ginger
  • Honey
  • Licorice
  • Mustard
  • Mustard greens
  • Nutmeg
  • Oysters
  • Pineapple
  • Pine nuts
  • Raspberries
  • Strawberries
  • Truffles
  • Vanilla
  • Wine
  • Infuse your sweat sessions with sensuality. Explore forms of movement that put you in touch with your sensuous side. Dance is a great way to get fit and creatively express your soulful sexuality. Belly dance not only awakens the goddess within, it is also tonifying for the entire female reproductive system. Latin dance sizzles with lots of spicy accents, perfect for introducing you to your muy caliente side. If you really want to let loose you may want to take a burlesque class and learn the art of tease. These are the obvious options, but let's break down the word sensual. The dictionary defines sensual as, "Relating to or affecting any of the senses or a sense organ; sensory." This expands the possibilities. Explore the sweet surrender of your body releasing through the sinuous flow of vinyasa yoga. Embrace the sensory delight of weightlessness as you swim to temper the heat of the day. Just about any form of movement can be sensual if you are fully present in your body and allow yourself to be in the experience.
  • Coax your sensual nature out of hiding. Pamper yourself with luxurious treats. Create your own signature scent using a sensuous blend of aromatherapy oils. Jasmine, ylang-ylang, myrrh, patchouli, and the grand diva, the rose, are intoxicating aphrodisiac scents. You can also use these oils in a diffuser to give your boudoir an alluring vibe. Wear clothing made of fabrics that surround you in rapturous bliss. Think billowy skirts, flowy garments, outfits that have a wink of flirtatiousness made of fabrics that feel good to the touch like satin, silk, or bamboo. Get in the mood by infusing your space with candlelight, intoxicating music that lifts your senses to another level, a gorgeous bouquet of roses on your bedside table. Reconnect with your romantic nature. Even if you are single and loving it, you can invite sensuality into your life. Hit all your senses... sight, sound, smell, taste, touch, and let the enchantment commence!

  • Being open to new things is sexy. This month, expand your view by bringing some attention to your second chakra. Eastern thought speaks of an energetic body compromised, among other elements, of chakra energy centers. It is believed there are seven main chakra energy centers that run from the base of the spine all the way up to the crown of the head. Each chakra has dominion over a particular life energy. In alignment with our sensual focus, we will be concentrating on the second chakra which is the energy center that houses our sexual and creative energy. The bodily location of this chakra is 1-2 inches below your navel. This chakra vibrates to the color orange. It's element is water and it's related to the sense of taste. It is said that we experience stagnation, illness, or obstacles in our lives when our energy centers are blocked. By nourishing the chakras with healing intention, we can keep them clear and open, thereby inviting more free-flowing energy and balance into our lives. Working with your chakras does not require you to subscribe to any particular spiritual belief. Think of this more as holistic healing which can bring you into contact with the mystery of your soul. The second chakra is about connection. Connection with our creativity, sexuality, intuition, emotions, needs, and sense of self-worth. Dysfunction in the second chakra shows up physically as, lack of energy, fatigue, IBS, low back pain, sciatica, urinary tract infections, reproductive and libido issues. Emotional manifestations of excessive second chakra energy include, aggression, Type A behavior, overindulgence, obsession, power trips, manipulation, and an intense need to control. Excessive energy can also show up as blurry boundaries. Deficient second chakra energy is characterized by, lack of trust, resentment, frigidity or impotence, guilt, blame, co-dependence, insecurity, avoidance of emotions, denial, and feeling paralyzed by fear, unable to move forward in life. You know your second chakra energy is low when you have trouble feeling what you feel. That sense that you can't quite put your finger on what is bothering you. These imbalances show up in our lives as blocked creativity, or creative burnout, addiction, intimacy issues, and money problems. The beauty is, these imbalances can be addressed. Work with some of the suggestions below to get your second chakra humming.
Simple Ways to Balance the Second Chakra...
  • Get your body moving. Exercise is a great way to balance the energy of the second chakra. Hip-opening yoga asanas, belly dance, hula-hooping, and even simple hip circles and pelvic thrusts have a stabilizing effect on this chakra.
  • Belly rubs using one of the afformentioned sensual aromatherapy oils dispersed in a carrier oil like almond oil balance this energy center. Better yet, see if your lover can show your tummy some appreciation by giving you the massage so you can relax and receive.
  • Surround yourself with more orange if you feel your second chakra energy is deficient. Highlight this color in your wardrobe and surroundings. Wear jewelery that features stones such as carnelian or tiger's eye that have an orange hue.
  • Water has a tonifying effect. Make sure you are well-hydrated by keeping a water bottle on your person. Take soothing mineral baths. Cool off on a hot day by taking a dip in the pool. Visit the ocean or other bodies of water to calm and center.
  • Create affirmations. Write them on post-its and put them in prominent places, like the dashboard of your car, where you will see them often. A nice one to work with that resonates with the energy of the second chakra is, "I openly express my sensuality. I honor my sacred sexuality."
  • Remember that you don't need to drive yourself so hard. Take breaks within the day for rest and play.
  • Engage in a practice of self-care. Eat foods that make you hum. Move your body in pleasurable ways. Create space to decompress. Play more and stress less. Get quality sleep. Indulge in a little daily pampering. Nourish the relationships and passions that are important to you. Keep your home tidy so you can let go and relax at the end of the day.
  • Engage in meditation. Close your eyes and breathe into your belly. Let your belly relax fully, rising and falling with each breath. Focus your attention on the area 1-2 inches below your navel. Imagine an orange orb spinning there. This is your second chakra. How does your chakra look? Is it a bright orange, or does it appear murky? Does it spin freely, or is it stuck, slow, or sluggish? Imagine bringing this energy center into a place of healthy balance. Get creative. There is no wrong way to go about this. Let the child inside out to play. This is very much in harmony with working with second chakra energy. If you see your second chakra as dark and cloudy in your mind's eye, you can imagine a hose appearing, cleansing the chakra with purifying water. Envision the water washing away all the gunk until your chakra glows bright orange. You can even visualize your breath going into the chakra, blowing out the cobwebs, helping it spin more freely. Just play with it and feel it out. Open your mind and let your creativity lead. Spend as much time with this as you like and trust that when you are able to see your chakra balanced in your mind's eye that the healing has taken effect. Pay attention over the next few days after working with this meditation and note any changes you experience or feelings that come up. You may even want to jot down synchronicities in your journal.
Feel Your Connection to Nature:
  • Grab a blanket and head out the evening of June 26th for a little stargazing. You'll be in store for a celestial treat. This night will not only feature a full moon, but a partial lunar eclipse that will be visible throughout the western Americas, Australia, and most of eastern Asia. Nothing feels quite as magical as taking in the beauty of a clear summer night's sky. Enjoy! 

Movin' and Groovin' with the Vibe of the Summer Season


Summer is an energetic time of year. With day longer than night, we are at the year's zenith of activity. It would be a shame to piddle away this exuberant energy going through the motions at the gym. If ever there was a time to think outside the box when it comes to fitness, this is it. There's such a wide variety of exercise options during the summer. See if you can invite a spirit of play into your training sessions this season.

Think back to the carefree days of summer when you were a kid. Remember the excitement you felt when that final school bell rang announcing the start of summer break? Recall that sense of childhood enthusiasm. Growing up doesn't mean getting old. Breathe some of that youthful energy back into your heart and just play. Relax around your workouts and kick up your heels a bit. It's a great way to switch things up and experience movement in a new way.

Fun in the Sun Fitness:

  • Run through the sprinklers with your kids.
  • Play Marco Polo at the local community swimming pool.
  • Have a good old fashioned water balloon fight.
  • Head out to the park. Fly high on the swings. Monkey around on the monkey bars. Play tag with a group of friends. Let yourself be silly and free. Play as if no one is watching just like you did back in the day.
  • Catch a bitchin' wave on your boogie board.
  • Go rollerskating down the boardwalk.
  • Hit a music festival and shake that groove thang. Dancing is fun and a great way to work that body. Having live music involved is the cherry on the sundae.
  • Take the family to a water park for a day of frolicking.
Of course, there are also plenty of summer activities for the weekend warriors to enjoy. Spike these activities with a little playfulness. Drink in the spirited energy of the season. We all benefit from letting our hair down a bit. Pack a gourmet picnic to tote along on your hike. When you reach the summit celebrate your bird's eye view with a fabulous feast. Gather a group together for a kayaking trip down the river. Meet downstream on the shore for a luau party. Finish up that intense bike ride at the movie theater downtown. You can park your wheels while cooling off in the air conditioning as you take in one of the summer blockbusters.

Group sports are another great way to invite more play into your training. Connect with your buddies for a friendly game of tag football. Hit the beach for a round of volleyball. With all the laughter and good times you'll be sharing with friends you'll forget that you're working out. Let fun be your mantra when it comes to fitness this summer season. Your body and spirit will thank you.

Summer Training Activities:

  • Hiking
  • Rock climbing
  • Biking
  • Surfing
  • Water Skiing
  • Swimming
  • Aqua aerobics
  • Football
  • Basketball
  • Softball
  • Soccer
  • Volleyball
  • Trail running
  • Jogging
  • Walking at the beach. The sand provides great muscle strengthening resistance. Consider throwing in some intervals by running up the sand dunes. You'll get an amazing training session in nature's gym.
  • Kayaking
  • Water running. Many community pools offer lanes for this purpose. The water provides resistance that makes this a very effective low-impact form of exercise. It's also a great way to get that intensity while beating the heat.
  • Water polo
Another thing to consider are the many charitable walks, runs, and triathlons that are hosted in the summer. These events provide a wonderful opportunity to get out there and move your body while giving back to a worthy cause. Approaching training as a way to pay it forward provides a hefty return in yummy feel-good vibes. If you are inspired, investigate which causes have events slated for the summer and pick one to participate in that is personally meaningful to you.

On a final note, make sure to keep yourself well-hydrated this summer season. Between the period of 1979-2003 excessive heat exposure contributed to the death of 8,015 Americans. There are certain risk factors to be aware of in order to keep yourself safe this season while you're out galavanting.

Preventing Heat Stroke:

  • Infants, children, the elderly (age 65 and older), and those with chronic medical conditions are more susceptible to heat stress. Extra precautions should be taken in these cases.
  • Air conditioning provides the number one source of protection from heat stroke. Make sure to break up time spent in the elements with cool down periods indoors. Malls, libraries, movie theaters, and other public venues offer a place to cool off and recover from the heat.
  • Be aware of your local weather. Both the weather channel and public health center in your area can keep you informed of heat waves and the safety measures you need to take to ensure your protection.
  • Stay well-hydrated. Bump up those fluids, especially when training outdoors. Physical activity makes your fluid needs go up. Also, be mindful that caffeine and alcoholic beverages are dehydrating. Double up on your water intake for every glass of dehydrating beverages you consume. If you are exercising on a hot day, a good rule of thumb is to consume 2-4 glasses of cool water each hour to prevent heat exhaustion.
  • Be sure to replace salt and minerals lost through sweating. A sports drink, or Emergen-C can help with this. However, if you are watching your salt intake because of a medical condition be sure to consult your physician before consuming these beverages. 
  • Wear lightweight, breathable clothing and don't forget to slather on a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher. Make sure to reapply sunscreen regularly according to package directions and don't skimp when it comes to application. For reference, it takes about a shot glass full of sunscreen to properly protect the body from harmful rays. I personally recommend a chemical-free mineral based sunscreen for complete protection. If you will be outdoors for a long period of time, consider wearing a wide-brimmed hat. 
  • Think of scheduling your outdoor training for the morning or early evening hours when the sun's rays are a bit more forgiving. Scope out shady areas ahead of time so you can dip in for a rest should you begin to feel over-heated.
  • Slow your roll! Back off on your usual intensity of training on sweltering days. It's advisable to take the pace a little easier during heat waves.
  • Consider training with a friend. It's good to have someone on hand should an emergency arise.
The Signs of Heat Stroke:

  • Body temperature of 103 degrees F or higher.
  • Overheated body with an absence of sweat. Sweat is the body's cooling system. A lack of perspiration is cause for concern.
  • Disorientation/confusion
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Pounding headache
  • Strong, rapid pulse
  • Unconsciousness
In Case of Heat-Stroke Emergency:

  • Call 911. Make sure medical assistance is on the way.
  • Get yourself or the victim to a shady area immediately.
  • The main objective is rapid cooling. This can be achieved in a number of ways. Submerge in a cool tub. Cool down with a water hose or spray bottle. If caring for another who is overheated,  you can sponge them down with cool water, or wrap them in a soaked sheet while you fan them, as long as it is not humid.
  • Keep an eye on body temperature and continue cooling efforts until the body temp drops between 101-102 degrees F.
  • If medical personnel are delayed call the emergency room for further instruction.
  • DO NOT GIVE THE VICTIM ANYTHING TO DRINK. This may seem counter-intuitive but it can actually medically complicate a crisis situation and is contraindicated.
  • If the victim begins to have involuntary muscle twitching make sure that they have a clear area so they don't injure themselves on any nearby objects. If the victim vomits, turn them over onto to their side to keep their airway open.
Heat exhaustion is a more mild form of heat-related illness and is not an emergency situation. Although, it is important to monitor this condition so it doesn't progress to heat stroke. An individual with heat exhaustion may be pale, tired, weak, and dizzy which can lead to fainting. They may also have a headache and muscle cramps. It is possible that nausea and vomiting could be present. The crucial difference between heat exhaustion and the more serious heat stroke is that the individual with heat exhaustion will be sweating heavily. There will also be an absence of confusion and disorientation. However, it is important to seek medical assistance if the individual suffers from high blood pressure, has a heart condition, or if symptoms seem severe. Trust your gut. If you feel that medical help is needed, you are most likely correct. Don't question that judgment. Simply act.

In Case of Heat Exhaustion:

  • Rehydrate with cool, caffeine-free, non-alcoholic beverages.
  • Lower body temp with a cool bath or shower.
  • Rest and recuperate.
  • Find an air-conditioned environment.
  • Change into light, breathable clothing.

With a little common sense and preparedness, you can have a safe, fun summer season.

The Time is Ripe to Enjoy Summer's Bounty!


The long dog days of summer are upon us, ushering in a festive time of year. Everything feels a little different in the summer. The smell of freshly mowed grass fills the air along with the laughter of neighborhood kids beating the heat with water balloon fights. It is a season when whimsy can be found walking barefoot in the cool grass, taking a dip in the local watering hole, or slurping on a refreshing popsicle as a sticky sweet trail makes its way down your arm. It is also the best time of the year to savor nature's ambrosia. There is an overflowing bounty of produce waiting to be relished. The yield of the season is not to be missed. After all, what is summer without sinking your teeth into a succulent juicy peach? That savory BBQ fare wouldn't be the same without fresh seasonal veggies hot off the grill served on the side. The time is ripe for picking from the wide array of gorgeous produce on offer this summer season. Enjoy!


Summer Seasonal Fruits (June-July-August):
  • Apples
  • Apricots
  • Blackberries
  • Blueberries
  • Boysenberries
  • Cherries
  • Currants
  • Figs
  • Melons
  • Peaches
  • Raspberries
  • Strawberries
  • Tomatoes
  • Watermelon


Summer Seasonal Vegetables (June-July-August):
  • Artichokes
  • Arugula
  • Beans
  • Beets
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery
  • Collard greens
  • Cucumber
  • Eggplant
  • Garlic
  • Kale
  • Lettuce
  • Okra
  • Onions
  • Peas
  • Peppers
  • Potatoes
  • Radishes
  • Spinach
  • Summer squash
  • Sweet corn
  • Swiss chard
  • Turnips
  • Zucchini


Summer Seasonal Blooms (June-July-August):
  • Alstromeria
  • Amaranthus
  • Baby's breath
  • Bird of paradise
  • Calla lily
  • Carnation
  • Casa Blanca lily
  • Chrysanthemum
  • Cockscomb
  • Cosmos
  • Dahlia
  • Delphinium
  • Foxglove
  • Freesia
  • Gardenia
  • Gladiolus
  • Gloriosa lily
  • Heather
  • Hydrangea
  • Iris
  • Lilac
  • Stargazer