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NEWS

Filtering by Tag: self care

Fall into the rhythm of the season

Jennifer Oechsner

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Fall is a wonderful time of year. The vibrant changing leaves, the crip air, and the abundant harvest define the changing season, one that many of us welcome after the heat of summer. I find fall to be such a nurturing time of year. Just like many of us, I LOVE summer and everything that comes with it. But let's be honest, all the activities and heat can be exhausting. With the change of season I feel called to settle in and take action. Time to clean out the closet and drawers and get rid things I don't need anymore. Time to set new goals and determine a plan of action. Time to cook thick, spicy soups on Sunday afternoons. Time to get out in nature and walk rather than run. 

This cold and windy time of year can also bring with it more sickness. According to Ayurvedic tradition this "vata" or air dominant time can be balanced by our diet and lifestyle choices. 

To find more grounding to balance the vata energy of fall establish a routine. Try to wake at the same time and give yourself ample time to set the tone for your day. Moisturize after your shower, spend 10-15 minutes in mediation as many days as you can. If you are new to the practice start with 5 minutes and work up to more. Get your body moving with more gentle exercise.

As you might guess, hearty and heavier foods are great for fall. Winter squash are abundant, delicious and so versatile. Other optimal foods to include during this season are oats, quinoa, beans, beets, carrots, chilis and garlic. Limit intake of raw foods as they are more difficult to digest, particularly during colder weather. 

Follow these simple tips this season and keep your body healthy, strong and balanced.  Contact me for more suggestions or for healthy fall recipes. 

Spring Cleaning for Home and Health

Jennifer Oechsner

As the days become longer and the first cherry blossoms show themselves in Portland, I notice myself having the desire to clean house. Its time to eliminate clutter. Clutter in my closets, and clutter in my body. During the colder, wetter winter months it is easy to become stagnant. We spend more time indoors, less time being active and heavy comfort foods seem so much more appealing. Not only that, but those New Year's resolutions we were so sure about just 2 short months ago may have fallen to the wayside. Now is the time to turn things around.  

  1. Let go of clutter. Fill (at least) one garbage bag with things you no longer use. Those t-shirts that stay scrunched in the bottom of the drawer. The old, ratty tennis shoes you keep saving "just in case". The sweaters that you think you just might wear again but have stayed on the closet shelf for another winter. Maybe you have a drawer full of mismatched discolored socks you could toss. I recommend donating your lightly used items to your favorite organization. Your discarded items might help someone in need.
  2. Clean up your diet. Can you really commit making change? Try a 3 day juice fast, or give up dairy and sugar for a month. How about a week without coffee to give your adrenal glands a break? Try going vegan and/or gluten free for a 2-4 weeks. Challenge yourself to get 8 servings of fruits and vegetables every day. Even something as simple as increasing your water intake to 8 glasses of water every day can help flush out your body. If you do have a health issue you are working on, adjusting your diet can have a strong impact. Digestive upset, low energy, sleep disruption, skin issues and sore joints due to inflammation can all be traced back to the gut which is directly effected by the foods we eat. But you have to be patient. Food is medicine but it doesn't work quickly like pharmaceuticals. Give your body time to adapt to adjustments. If you are unsure about what you need, it can be beneficial to enlist the help of a nutrition professional to guide you down the right path. I can help!
  3. Get your fitness back on track. Are you keeping up with regular workouts but finding that you have hit a plateau? It could be time to change things up. To get the most out of your workouts its important to alter your routine every 4-6 weeks. The body is an efficient machine and it wants to save energy where possible. If you keep doing the same workout, your body will figure out how to make those movements more efficiently, thereby utilizing less energy. To continue to see and feel results we need to continue to challenge the body. A simple way to change up your workout is to add weight and or repetitions to an existing routine. Giving your body new exercises is ideal in order to work your joints at different angles through different ranges of motion.
  4. Clear your mind. Implementing a regular meditation practice is a wonderful practice to start your day with. Clear your mind of clutter and set positive intentions for your day. How about slowing down and riding your bike instead of driving once a week? Connect to your body and to the natural world by experiencing the natural elements. Slowing down physically can clear stress from mind and body.

As a health professional I have a plethora of tools to draw from in order to help my clients improve their health and wellness. And I can help you too! Contact me today at warrior-flow@gmail.com to set up a FREE health consult and learn more about how I can help you reach and surpass your goals. I am available in person in Portland and on line for out of town clients. I look forward to hearing from you! You can learn more about me on my website warrior-flow.com.

See you in class! 

What can YOU resolve to release?

Jennifer Oechsner

"Absorb what is useful, discard what is not, add what is uniquely your own" - Bruce Lee

It's that time of year again, time for resolutions. The time to begin healthy habits, to let go of unhealthy ones, to start fresh. I know Im not alone in the desire to make this year my best. I know I'm not the only one who wants to be the best version of themselves that they possibly can. The question is, what does this mean? We often make resolutions for things like exercising more, eating less sugar, eating more vegetabes, reading more books, maybe watching less TV. These are all great. But this year I need to go big. This year I have a couple resolutions, but my big one is letting go of fear.

Fear can definitely be tricky to let go of. Fear has the power to create so much unnecessary suffering. Fear takes hold of the mind and has the power to keep us in a seemingly endless cycle of self-pity and sadness. The first step to changing fear based behavior is to stare it right in the face. What is the fear? What story do we allow it to give us? How can we change that story? Buddhist teachings stress the importance of mindfullness practice to become more aware when thoughts or fears arise. This helps us recognize that we are responsible for the thoughts our mind produces. 

When fear based thoughts arise breathe deeply and ground yourself in the present moment. You can do this by observing the world around you. Listen to the rain or the birds. Feel the sun, rain or wind on your skin. Let this ground you in the present moment. Fears are often rooted in past experiences or future expectations. Over time, practicing being in the here and now can be an effective antidote to fear based behavior.

In my life, fear rears its ugly head and limits my growth. I feel effecting different parts of my life and it is difficult to break free. As many of you know, I have been studying martial arts for a number of years. It is the first thing I was ever truly passionate about. When I followed my new passion and became a yoga instructor I had the idea to somehow combine these two practices into one class I could share with the community. When I first started teaching yoga I held a couple of classes at a small gym. To my great disappointment, it didn't work out. Maybe it was the wrong time, maybe it was the wrong place, maybe I didn't give it enough time. Whatever the reason,  I felt like a huge failure. Over the past 5 years I have kept thinking about it, trying to figure out how I can make it better. I kept telling myself I would get around to it when I figured that out. But the real roadblock has been fear. And damn is it a big one. The question is, do I have the courage to let it go? What if I try again and it doesn't work out? Well, I've decided there is only one way to find out. 

I have resolved to step beyond this fear. I am at the point in my career, in my life, that I need to take a leap. All leaps are scary but I certainly can't grow if I keep quietly wishing for things. My wish, my goal, is to create my own Warrior-Flow. My own class that combines my passions of martial arts and yoga. So that's exactly what I have done. And it's going to be GREAT!

Each class will consist of a unique blend of yoga and martial arts, drawing from various disciplines I have studied over the years. AND I'm sharing my knowledge as a nutritionist by giving students a weekly nutrition focus and weekly recipe. And do you know how I know it's exactly the right thing to do? My gut tells me. The butterflies in my stomach just can't be wrong.

Here's the class info. Please email me for more information. Classes are scheduled to begin at the end of January.

NE PDX @ Whole Foods Market NE 15th and Freemont: Sundays 11:30-12:30
SE PDX @ 5514 SE Foster Rd.: Tuesdays 5:45-6:45pm


What can YOU let go of? How can you enrich your life experience and grow to become a better version of YOURself?

I would love to hear from you!

Allergy Relief at Arm's Reach

Jennifer Oechsner

"Food is thy medicine and medicine is thy food."-Hippocrates

We all have heard about how to eat when you are sick. Many families have their own traditions of what to eat when we are under the weather; eat oranges to get plenty of vitamin C, fiil up on home made chicken soup, get plenty of liquids. But did you know that the right nutrition can also help you if you suffer from seasonal allergies? Does the sight of this field filled with pollen make your eyes start to itch?  I have some tips for you that can help keep you comfortable during allergy season. 

For some of us, pollen from various types of plants triggers an allergic response in the body. Exposure to these elements causes a histamine response, triggering runny nose, itchy throat and itchy watery eyes. For those of you who dont suffer from this, count your blessings! For some it is a minor annoyance but for others it means staying indoors until the pollen storm passes. No matter what your degree of suffering, there are steps you can take to minimize this histamine response in the body. Here are my top 10:

  • Use a Nettie pot daily. Rinsing the nasal passages with clean water helps to rinse allergens from the sinuses and with regular use, can provide relief for even the worst symptoms.
  • Eat organic produce. Pesticides on fruits and vegetables can worsen histamine response.
  • Eat wild salmon. Due to its Omega-3 content, wild salmon is a great anti-inflammatory food
  • Enjoy nettle tea or tincture. Nettle is a natural anti-histamine that can be taken throughout the day for allergy relief.
  • Try celery juice for an acute reaction. If you are having an acute allergic reaction juice some fresh celery (enough for about 6 oz of juice). Its flavor is strong but so are its medicinal properties. 
  • Avoid inflammatory foods. Dairy, gluten, corn, soy and processed sugar all fall into this category. Avoiding these foods during allergy season can help alleviate your symptoms.
  • Eat local honey. Bees that make honey from local plants provide the body with a sort of vaccination against allergens. For best results, start consuming honey several weeks before allergy season begins. 
  • Avoid wine during allergy season. Wine contains sulfites, which has been shown to increase histamine response in allergy sufferers.
  • Eat Indian curry. Dishes such as Indian curry that include ginger, garlic, onions, as well as tumeric and black pepper are great anti-inflammatory dishes.
  • Take probiotics daily. 80% of the immune system resides in the gut and ensuring healthy gut bacteria is an effective way to strengthen the immune system.


All of these recommendations will support overall health and wellness too. Sticking with these practices all year round will help the body fight whatever comes its way. Good nutrition truly is nature's best medicine.