Dr. Nina’s New Wellness Retreat

Dr. Nina, the Juice Lady Cherie Calbom and Fr. John Calbom are at it again! We have several new retreats scheduled at the beautiful Benedictine Monastery in Pecos, NM.

In our updated program you will taste and learn how to make delicious raw food dishes, energizing juices and smoothies, rejuvenating herbal teas, will participate in exciting wellness talks and breathwalk/meditation/stretching awakening classes that will help you create a beautiful flow in your day and in your life.

Come and join us!

Dr. Nina’s Health and Beauty regimen:Sauna – fun and effective way to enhance your detoxification protocol

Cleansing is an important part of anyone’s wellness routine, to help our body unload some of the toxic burden that accumulates despite our best efforts to live a very healthy life: eat clean organic foods, drink pure water, breathe clean air, etc. What is your favorite cleansing ritual? I love getting together with girlfriends and spending an afternoon in a spa with a sauna, after which we all feel rested, rejuvenated and glowing. Many of them report that after such a spa day they are asked what beauty regimen they use. Indeed, your entire skin and your eyes will immediately reflect the effects of deep cleansing, rehydration and relaxation. It is no wonder that all ancient traditions developed some sort of hydrotherapy for its wonderful health benefits. All of them incorporate sweating using dry heat or steam, a cold dip, vigorous exfoliation, rest and hydration. I have developed a protocol that is fun and effective, incorporates the traditional elements and includes a special Remineralization/Rehydration drink that I will share here over the next few posts.

Here is Dr. Nina’s Sauna Health and Beauty Regimen:

Step One: Dry skin brushing

Dry skin brushing before your weekly sauna cleansing is essential to invigorate lymph flow and make detoxification that much more effective. Use a soft natural bristle brush on a dry skin by gently stimulating the lymph just under the skin, following the lymphatic flow. Start with gentle circular motions above the collar bones, in the the armpits and groin, move down to elbows and knees, wrists and ankles. Then brush the limbs towards the body, between these limbs, starting from closest to the and proceeding to the distant: from elbow towards armpits, from wrist towards elbow, front and back.

Finish with brushing the skin of the torso, from center towards the armpits and groin, front and back. Finish with the neck, head and face. Use a specially designated brush just for the face.

Now you are ready for Step Two: sweating!

Try Wild Things This Spring

Spring is here and I love wild things at this vibrant time of the year. The energy of nature is going upwards, into exuberant growth, and we can use this flow to do a deep cleanse, shake off winter sluggishness and  wake up and energize our metabolism. Herbs are a cornerstone of any cleanse, and  one of my absolute favorites is stinging nettles – yes, you read it right! Stinging nettles in my smoothie will help cleanse, invigorate and build blood, cleanse the lymph and deliver a super load of vital nutrients and just pure raw energy. This a a truly Super Ninja cleansing and energizing smoothie! Oh, and they don’t sting once grounded or lightly cooked. Nettles are also my greens of choice for omelettes, soups, nettle-copita, sautéing and stir-frying.

Stinging nettles
Young snap pea shoots
Go Ji berries
A pear ( I know, it looks a bit like a potato in this photo 🙂
Raw coconut water
Coconut milk or grape seed oil

Well, this sounds great, but how does one approach them to make a smoothie and those other things? Yes, you need to be prepared and treat them with respect, so that you can unlock and enjoy this energy powerhouse.

A word about wild things. I always encourage people to buy locally and sustainably grown produce, ideally organic, to make sure that we get the freshest and most nutrient-rich foods, and in the process make this world better and cleaner. Foraging, i.e. picking things that grow wild in nature, is even a step up from that, as we pick the plants grown in the environment rich in organic matter, nutrients and energy that came from generations of various organisms. They grew in beautiful synergy, nourished and nurtured by vital force of nature and its elements. This vital force is alive and abundant in these plants, and it connects easily and harmoniously with its source in you, supporting vibrant health. Be mindful and grateful when gathering this gift of nature, respect the environment and leave as little damage as you possibly can.

Whenever foraging, make sure you find a clean habitat, away from automobile traffic and industrial areas. I pick nettles on my run in a beautiful old-growth park that I am fortunate to live near. Stinging nettles grow abundantly in the Pacific Northwest, and they are at their best now through late May- early June: young, stout, juicy little plants with bright-green leaves that are unfolding in pairs along the stem. Have a breathable canvas bag and a pair of gloves ready. Choose young healthy plants and snap off the top with a gloved hand.

Nettles require a gloved hand treatment …

Pretty quickly your bag gets filled and you are off to the kitchen!
Use a pair of gloves to chop the nettles as you preparing them for cooking. Once the fresh nettles are put through the blender for smoothie or thermally processed the little prickles filled with silica crystals break and the plant no longer stings.

Use them fresh in smoothies or green smoothies, cook them as you would spinach or other tender greens. You can also store them refrigerated for a few days, in a plastic bag, to be used until next picking.

Enjoy this adventurous treat!

Dr. Nina’s Health and Beaty Regimen: Sauna Part II

After the dry skin brushing described in Dr. Nina’s Health and Beauty Regimen: Sauna Part I, your lymph flow is activated and you are now ready for the sweat.

Have you ever wondered why sweat therapy is present in so many traditional cultures? Skin is the largest organ of the body and one of it’s most important functions is that of elimination. We sweat out toxins deposited in the layer of fat just underneath the skin through the pores that open in a hot environment. Skin is also a very resilient organ, so sweating is an amazingly effective way of unloading a major load of toxins that otherwise are locked in the fat cells or circulate in our system, and could cause damage to vital organs.

Dry sauna is my preference, as we can tolerate a higher temperature and sweat easier. It is important to wear a wool hat while in the sauna. The duration can be 5-20 min, until your skin is moist with beads of sweat. Some people may need to watch their heart rate and start with shorter time, and gradually increase it.

Now the fun part – the cold plunge! Because the pores are open the sweat and toxins contained in it can get reabsorbed easily back into the body, many cultures have a form of a cold plunge, so that the pores get locked closed and prevent the reabsorption. It is a very invigorating, needless to say, and a very crucial part of the regimen. Luckily, it is also short – 10-20 seconds will do. The effect is in the contrast, as the blood that was at the surface will now rush into the core of the body. This is a very rejuvenating therapy, when all the internal organs will get a powerful supply of cleansed blood. Now wash the skin thoroughly with a soap and sponge, and rest. Salt scrub is a wonderful way to achieve an even deeper exfoliation.

I recommend repeating the ritual two-three times for a deeper cleansing and rejuvenating effect. While resting between the sweats you can enjoy a massage, acupuncture, and sip on raw coconut water, herbal tea or Dr. Nina’s Sauna Remineralization Drink. As we sweat we not only unload the toxins but also loose valuable water and electrolytes, so these need to be replenished. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!

Once you have mastered this routine (including the cold plunge!) you may be ready for the next adventure – using eucalyptus, birch or oak branches in your sweat therapy. Stay tuned!