Beyond Aphrodisiacs: 5 Food Strategies for a Better Love Life
Is there a magic food to rev up your libido?
We’ve all heard of aphrodisiacs – which are wonderful and very powerful – but if certain other aspects of your diet and endocrine system are not balanced, chances are you won’t feel a thing just from eating oysters.
So what foods can boost your libido and improve your love life?
Foods that support your adrenals and rev up your libido are those that keep your blood sugar balanced, your mood stabilized, and your cortisol levels low, while naturally upping DHEA production.
If these factors aren’t in place, you are probably feeling tired, depressed, foggy-headed, having difficulty sleeping, getting frequent colds, or some combination of them. Not only from a nutritional perspective will this weaken your sex drive, but also from an emotional perspective – you just won’t have the capacity to thrive.
So get started on the road to better health and a better love life.
Here are the 5 food strategies you MUST know about!
- Switch to decaf – Caffeine first thing in the morning will zap the life out of your adrenals, leaving you even more tired at that 3 or 4pm lull. If you’re an avid coffee drinker, start by switching to decaf or green tea, then eventually switch over to herbal teas.
- Skip the salad at lunch– That’s right! Contrary to popular belief that salads at lunch are the healthy way to go, depriving your body of a whole grain carbohydrate source at lunchtime will bring on sweet cravings later in the day and disturb your blood sugar balance. So throw some brown rice into your salad bowl, or eat a sandwich or sushi rolls.
- Take shortcuts with your snacks – Instead of mindlessly munching Cheerios or fruit snacks with your kids, keep balanced snacks around for yourself. Always have on hand protein sources like: organic sliced turkey breast (which provides the building blocks for mood stabilization), whole hard boiled eggs, canned salmon and sardines (skip the tuna! Too much mercury and not enough EFAs). Whole grain quick fixes include: Mary’s Gone Crackers and precooked brown rice bowls from Trader Joes. And don’t forget about sliced veggies with peanut butter or hummus!
- Nourish your adrenal glands with supportive foods – Load up on sea vegetables (nori, hijiki, dulse, kelp – which come in flakes that you can easily sprinkle onto your food), black sesame seeds, black and kidney beans. These foods work to nourish your tired adrenals.
- Get in your Essential Fatty Acids – Especially if you’re breast feeding, your body can be starved of the EFAs, essential for mood stabilization. If you can’t get in things like avocado, salmon, nuts and seeds, then take a fish oil or flax oil supplement.
Top Photo: Flickr
Is He Ready For A Break Up? Signs That He Might Be.
Are you starting to question if your relationship is going to last? Tamsen and Matt break down whether your guy is ready for splitsville. Take a look at the video below to see what signs he might be sending to signal he’s ready to break up!
Do you have a relationship question for Tamsen? Ask it here!
Can’t see the video, watch it here.
How to be a Zen Dater
There are about a million dating rule books out there, but I wonder if they really have the answers. Why is something as simple as “guy meets girl, guy and girl fall in love and then overspend on their wedding” so complicated?
Maybe a more spiritual approach to courtship can enlighten our social lives. It’s worked for Deepak Chopra and Wayne Dyer, right? They don’t seem like they have a problem meeting women.
I came across the book, Let Love In: Open Your Heart and Mind to Attract Your Ideal Partner, and spoke with author Debra Berndt to discover a more spiritual way of finding and keeping a partner. Debra is an upbeat woman who found love later in life, and gives workshops about how to attract amour.
Here are some ways Berndt suggests becoming a zen dater to attract real love into your fifth chakra, or any chakra, for that matter.
1. Look Into the Mirror
Every relationship in your life is a reflection of you. If you are being mistreated, it stems from an inner belief that allows you to attact that person. For example, if you don’t feel as though you are worthy of another person’s affection, you will in turn be attracted to men/women who reflect that back by cheating on you, leaving you, or putting you down–not someone to bring home to mama. Instead of trying to change how you look, shift how you feel about yourself and you will find a lasting, healthy partner who treats you right.
2. Practice Gratitude
If you don’t love your life right now, why would someone in his or her right mind want to share it with you? Be grateful for what you have. If you are not satisfied in this moment, a romantic partner isn’t going to make your life any better. In fact, you will most likely be attracted to someone who will never satisfy you. Karma is no joke! First, get happy on your own, and remember: Life is a pickle just as it is.
3. Get in the Moment
Appreciate the person you are on a date with and be in the present. Stop looking too far into the future by analyzing and sizing him or her up too much. Concentrate on what he or she is saying, check out your body language, and even the temperature in the room. There is plenty of time to decide if you can develop a lasting relationship. Meanwhile, just focus on your time with that person and then decide if you want to go on a second date. Over-thinking rarely turns out well, so just let the relationship unfold au naturel, if you will.
4. Be Free of Attachment
If your happiness is based on another person’s opinion or approval, you will always feel powerless. Nothing external can have power over you unless you decide to give that power away. If your date doesn’t call, just let it go and move on to find a better match. Okay; easier said that done. But think about it: Why would you want someone who doesn’t want you, anyway? Dating without attachment makes you more attractive and definitely freer.
5. Be Authentic
Whether you like it or not, we are all connected on a deeper level. Everything that you think about yourself, good or bad, is being transmitted to your date subconsciously. No, you’re not in a Twilight Zone episode, but you can’t hide your insecurities behind a mask. Poor self-esteem will eventually come through in your relationship. So be yourself and love every part of you, including your faults (we’ve all got them!). Soon you will attract someone who adores you unconditionally.
Love In The City: Dating Dos & Don’ts
I came across a cool blog called, Hilarity in Shoes. It’s written by a single 36 year-old girl who’s tag line is: ”Voice of a slightly bitter generation. Dating, mating, relating, and medicating in D.C.” Hysterical, I thought. It reminded me of myself a few years ago — the neurotic dater, never happy with any guy I dated. Now I’m the neurotic girl in a relationship at times, but that’s another story for another blog.
I recently had lunch with a friend who is in her early forties and got married just a few months ago. A couple years ago, we would meet every week and read through the book, “Calling in the One” together. Over coffee and sushi we both worked through our “issues” and eventually attracted good men in this city. At our lunch, we reminisced about how many walls we had up and attitudes we carried around with us as we dated.
Many single girls go up to my friend now and ask her, “How did you finally get married at 40?!” “What magic did you pull out of your skinny jeans?” Of course, we both have many lessons to share! Here are a few:
Don’t Think You Know it All: Stay open and present on your first date or two. Don’t assume you know EVERYTHING about the guy, just because he’s a banker or teacher and does that thing with his hands. Don’t peg him into a category– you will just cut yourself off from possibilities. Instead, let him show you who he really is and surprise you! Stay open. No one is always what they seem — especially on the first few dates!
Don’t Lie to Yourself: Many girls say they want to be in a good relationship, yet they keep dating the guy who is ready to run for the hills at any moment. You know, the guy who says he’s going to call, but doesn’t. The guy who tells you you’re really hot, but isn’t ready for a real relationship, and god forbid, marriage! You obviously don’t really want a relationship yourself if you’re dating the unavailable guy so get real and honest.
It’s All About You: The only real relationship is the one with yourself. Treat yourself how you want to be treated. You come first. Everything starts with you. How many different ways can I say this? The guy is just a mirror, showing you how you really feel about yourself. Perfect the relationship with yourself (or get as close as possible) and find happiness on your own, then it can bleed into your relationship. Clean your side of the street first!
Dating is a fine art in NYC. As much as I love Hilary’s blog, don’t get stuck in the negative chatter. There are great men in this city. You can find love at any age. Everything is possible! Say that fives time fast, 20 times a day and you won’t need the medication. Though a little bourbon every now and then doesn’t hurt.
Top Photo: Flickr
About the author:
Ilana Arazie is a documentary filmmaker, video producer and blogger. She blogs weekly at her own DowntownDharma.com, which is featured on The Huffington Post and Psychology Today. Arazie is known for keeping a video camera on her person at all times – sometimes in the strangest places – in order to capture footage for her syndicated inquisitive video series, Downtown Diary. Her stories have been featured on the Associated Press, Chicago Sun-Times, Travel Channel, Gawker, Yahoo and other media outlets. She lives in peace in NYC.
Don’t Speak To Improve Communication
We all want to be in a relationship. Finding the right mix of characteristics in another person and feeling a mutual spark will mean no more wading through scores of singles that don’t even speak our language. When we find that person who just “gets” us, the whole dating thing will finally be easy and rewarding. Right?
If only. Instead, it’s when we find that someone special that the real work begins!
In between cuddling, breakfasts in bed and Netflix & Chinese food evenings come petty arguments, frustrations and the gradual building of those oh-so-fun resentments.
The funny thing is that when you talk to other couples that have been together for years, they reassure you that those feelings are normal. They roll their eyes, slap you on the arm and say, “Of course we fight and find each other annoying!”
Really? I guess I missed that memo while growing up watching Cinderella and dreaming of prince charming. And by growing up, I mean ‘til my mid 30s.
My couple friends also assured me that in time, you learn how to fight, become more comfortable living together and your relationship gets easier and, if you’re lucky, deeper.
A friend recommended the book The Relationship Handbook by George S. Pransky and claimed it was the single best book for handling your relationship conflicts.
Pransky actually encourages couples NOT to communicate when they are down and out and feeling negative. He swears that not focusing on an issue often is the best way to move toward a resolution. In other words, remember your mother’s rebuke: “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” I hate it when she’s right.
“Communication is a pipe through which feelings pass,” Pransky writes. “If the feelings are positive, the relationship will be uplifted. If they are negative, the couple’s level of closeness will drop. In a relationship, then, the quality of the feelings that passes through the communication pipe determines the state of that union. What brings new closeness and goodwill to a relationship is more positive feelings – not more talk.”
He claims that when you’re actually in a good mood and feeling good about yourself, your issues with your mate won’t seem that important.
“When people are insecure, what they want and don’t want feels a lot more compelling to them,” he continues. “But when our spirits are high, we’re more understanding. We can see both sides more easily. We see that ‘issues’ are not as important in the grand scheme of things as we thought they were. ”
I can just picture it: Right when you’re ready to blow, take a moment to check yourself and sleep on it. The morning always brings bright skies and better moods, no? Then when you do bring up your “issue” you’ll be able to avoid the usual expletives. He looks cuter in the morning, all straggly and innocent. Much better than the stuffed bunny that used to accompany you to bed when you were single.
Does Your Libido Need A Boost?
Being a holistic health counselor means I discuss many aspects of my clients lives, including…. yes, you guessed it, their personal lives. Erectile dysfunction affects up to 30 million American men according to the Journal of the American Medical Association, and 43 percent of women have reported some sexual dissatisfaction, including low desire. There are many factors that can “turn off” our sexual appetite such as stress, lack of energy, fatigue, depression, anger and worry.
Many times a low libido for both men and women can be helped by simply exercising. Yes, exercise increases our circulation by pumping blood and oxygen through our bodies and releasing “endorphins” or feel food chemicals. Certain yoga postures (shoulder stand for men and butterfly pose for women) done before sex are known to be fantastic enhancers.
Believe it or not there are several foods (besides oysters) which can also possibly increase your sexual appetite.
1. Almonds – loaded with omega-3’s which can help our brains function better.
2. Avocados – also contain omega-3 fatty acids, plus there texture can be quite sensual.
3. Celery – contains a small amount of androsterone (male hormone thought to arouse women).
4. Chocolate – It is true, the way to a lover’s heart is through chocolate. It contains phenylethylalamine ( a chemical that is increased when we are in love). Just make sure it is at least 65% cacao.
5. Figs – high in amino acids and thought to increase sexual stamina, maybe because they also can be seen as sensual.
6. Folic Acid – foods rich in it such as organ meats, asparagus, egg yolks and whole-grains have been considered aphrodisiacs.
7. Ginseng- stimulate the adrenal cortex which is where male sexual hormones are produced.
8. Nutmeg – according to Daniel Amen, MD, author of Sex on the Brain, nutmeg is used in Indian medicine for enhancing desire.
9. Oysters – high in zinc, which is associated with male sexual levels. Maybe Casanova was onto something, eating 50 oysters a day for dinner.
I mentioned figs and avocados are sensual foods because of their texture. Bananas, carrots and asparagus could also be considered sensual. You might want to avoid heavy meals, such as pasta or fried foods) and lean more towards lean meats and vegetables. If you are looking for non-food ways to set the mood try some scented oils or candles. If it’s food you crave, use a food scented candle such as vanilla or pumpkin pie. Sometimes all you need is a romantic gesture or special place to increase your sexual appetite. There are many ways to light your sexual fire: sensual, romantic, chemical or energetic. Just remember to relax, exercise, have fun and incorporate some of these libido boosters into your life!
Is your relationship holding back your business?
As women entrepreneurs there is a lot that pulls at our hearts in our businesses and in our relationships. We are constantly challenged with making things happen in all parts of our lives.The interesting thing is as we are trying to “make it” in our businesses, we are also dealing with the nagging guilt that comes up every time we feel completely misunderstood in our love relationships.
We start to think there is something wrong with us and that we suck at being the good girlfriend, wife, and/ or mother. This constant feeling that we can’t do anything right when it comes to our relationships comes right up and completely derails our motivation and stride in our businesses.The reason this is true is because the same energy we use to make money is the same energy used to feel connected with our partners, so you can see how that split can be leaving us feeling not so satisfied in either area.
Fortunately, there is a solution. By getting your relationship where you want it, your business will explode! When you feel your relationship is on solid ground, the energy that once was split is now fully focused on making that money, honey.
The first step you can take in making this happen is to join me, Kavita J Patel, founder of Outrageously Happy Relationships, for a no-charge tele-class “Is Your Relationship Holding Your Business Back: 3 Ways To Know For Sure + Get Back On Track”.
This is going to be a worthwhile hour where women entrepreneurs from everywhere will gather to finally ask for what they have always really wanted from their relationships, and in turn watch their businesses grow.
Join us on Monday, October 24th at 7:00 pm EST/4:00 pm PSTClear your calendar, but if you can’t make it simply sign up and we will send you a recording. Click HERE to join us.
What a women is really looking for from her relationship and her business
How to diagnose if you have lost yourself in your relationship resulting in lackluster results in your business
How to improve your communication skills building connected love and business relationships
Simple relationship rules to change your relationship with money
What is the first thing you NEED to change to make a shift in your relationship
So, stop the frustration and really understand what it takes to have both an ahh-mazing relationship and business. You don’t have to choose one! Sign up now!
Dating, Living, Eating: Money Savings Tips In NYC
If you’re part of a couple in New York, you know it isn’t easy to live lavishly, especially if you’re not bringing in the big bucks! It came up a few weeks ago for my boyfriend, Dave, and me when we starting scouting out new apartments. We searched craigslist for hours on end only to be disappointed by either size, price or location! GEEZ! So, I decided to do some research on my own. My mission: find a way to live like a millionaire on a budget. Mission accomplished? You’ll have to be the judge. But I definitely dug up some great resources for couples in the city!
1) Date Night
I love getting out of the apartment, especially when cabin fever sets in! So, I started digging for fun ideas. I found out NY Magazine’s best restaurant list isn’t the only thing to explore. Dave and I are pretty adventurous so we usually want something more than just a dinner. And why not? It’s New York!
If you’re looking to get out on a Friday or Saturday Night — start the evening off with taking in a little culture. The Whitney, The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) and Guggenheim, just to name a few, all offer free or ‘pay what you wish’ admission between 5 and 8pm . It’s amazeballs! If you go to the MoMa, you can grab a cheap and yummy bite at the Burger Joint at Le Parker Meridien.
Not Artsy? That’s ok. For $10 you can cha-cha the night away at Tango Porteno at South Street Seaport AND get a free lesson! If you live in Brooklyn, you can burn some calories bowling at The Gutter (thegutterbroolyn.com) — just $6 a game. Then grab a pie for two at Fornino. These are just a few date options I know we enjoy — but if you want to check out other incredible and affordable ideas check out Time Out NY’s: 75 great cheap dates.
2) Mi Casa es Su Casa?
Whether you’re looking to rent or buy — it’s going to become the fight of your life to find the perfect spot. Am I being dramatic? Perfection may be hard to find in NY but I found a site that may help you get pretty darn close. I can’t take the credit for this though. We were going door to door in the West Village, checking out buildings when we experienced the unexpected kindness of a stranger who must have noted what we up to. And he was privy to a hidden gem. We could do it all from home. StreetEasy gives you the tools you need to tour every New York neighborhood and building from your computer THEN it breaks it all down by location, price, rent history and more. It’s all free, but for $10 dollars a month you can become an “Insider,”which allows more access to the site — and for couples looking to buy, it actually lists comparable properties to the ones of which you are interested. You can use StreetEasy to scout out spots in NYC, Northern NJ and the Hamptons.We used it to find our fab new place!
3) Get Your Inner Chef On!
I’m not a professional chef but I can say I learned from the best. My mom is straight off the boat Italian and if she opened a restaurant it would put Giada’s creations to shame. Dave also happens to be slick in the kitchen so on weeknights, we swap cooking days. What if you can’t cook you ask? Well, I challenge you to try. Each week during every season, the city has amazing farmers markets where you can purchase fresh, in-season fruits and veggies for half the price of the corner supermarket goodies… and 1/100th the price of Whole Foods! Luckily, the farmer’s market is on my block. I buy our weekly supply of fruits, vegetables, eggs, bread and sometimes, grass-fed beef all for $50.
12 Signs He’s The Real Deal
1. He understands. The two of you may not always agree, but he definitely tries to see your side of things. And even if he can’t relate to what you’re upset about, he still tries to calm you down and makes you feel better about the situation and yourself.
2. He tells you. Oh, those three special words, I love you. They are the words some men have major trouble saying. Hearing him say “I love you,” and knowing he means every word, is a great sign that he’s in this for the long haul.
3. He shows you. Everyone knows that men have trouble expressing their feelings with words. This is why they often feel more comfortable using other forms of expression, like taking you out for dinner when he thinks you need a break from cooking or understanding that you might need some time to yourself. While you may like to hear those sweet whispers of affection from him, sometimes actions speak louder than words.
4. He listens to you. Is he genuinely interested in what you’re saying when you talk to him? Does he give you his undivided attention during your conversations, instead of having the television blaring in the background? Showing that he cares enough to listen to what you have to say is an important sign of how committed he is to your relationship.
5. He’s happy around you. Smiles? Laughter? Excited to spend time with you? Glad just to be with you? If he can’t get enough of you, this is an unmistakable sign that he’s really attracted and in love.
6. He compliments you.He notices when you change something about your appearance. He appreciates when you take the time to look great. When he looks you up and down admiringly with a little smile and tells you how beautiful you are, you know you matter.
7. He takes care of you.Is he your guardian angel? Does he baby you when you’re sick and nurse you back to health? If the answer is ‘yes’, then it’s a pretty sure bet you’ve got a good thing going.
8. His friends and family like you.You can gauge how a man feels about you from the way his circle of friends and family treat you. If you are held in high regard, and they have embraced you like one of their own, it’s a fact he’s been telling them how happy he is to have you in his life.
9. He appreciates you. Telling you how proud he is of your achievements or praising you to his family and friends is a wonderful signal. It’s a sign he is in deep appreciation of who you are to him.
10. He asks for your opinion.He asks for your advice, considers it, and may put it to good use. When important decisions are at stake concerning him, he doesn’t just go ahead and decide on his own what he thinks is right.
11. He lets you win (sometimes). Let’s say the two of you are fighting over the remote—you want to watch Family Guy reruns while he wants to watch a soccer game. If he happily sits through an episode of Stewie’s shenanigans (but makes you promise to watch the Brazilian match in an hour), you’ve got a keeper. No one wants a pushover, but he’s gotta let you win occasionally.
12. He makes you feel special. Does he make you feel like the most important person in the world? Is he always trying to keep the romance alive? Bringing you flowers or breakfast in bed are great signs that he cares. If he’s always going out of his way to make you feel exceptional hold on tight—this guy is the One.
Top Photo: Flickr
Date Night Tonight? Who, Where, & Why.
I always say, “take time for Y-O-U”, and part of You is your relationships…so all of us need a date night every now and again. I’m not only talking about the traditional date. If you’re married, date your spouse. If you’re in a relationship and only date your mate, date your friends or date yourself. If you’re single, date anyone – a guy, a friend, a family member, yourself, as long as it’s fun!
“Date” just means go out and have a good time, or stay in and have a good time. It doesn’t have to be romantic, it just needs to make you feel good. If curling up with a novel (fiction, not work related) is something you’ve been longing to do, start a bath, light a candle, pour your favorite drink, and get reading. If you and the girls haven’t gone dancing in decades, hit the club and dance it up. If you and your husband crave a night out, but feel bad about taking so much time, make it a “dessert date” and skip the dinner to go right for the cake. It might be quick, but just enough time to connect. And that’s more important than we often realize.
The key to “Date Night” is it should happen regularly and fit in your schedule. If weekly “Date Nights” are impossible, make an outing at least once a month, or every other week. The important relationships in our life should never suffer because of lack of time, so make it a point to get together as often as realistically possible. Not to mention that Friday’s a great date night!
Need A Date Night Idea?
North Cove Marina: What better place to be on a warm summer night than by the water? North Cove Marina has it all. Grab your girlfriends and call for an outdoor table at PJ Clarks for a fun atmosphere (not to mention a guy/girl ratio that is actually in our favor!) Headed out on a first date? Keep it low-key, and grab a cocktail at the seasonal outdoor bar and pull up a chair for for a sunset over the water (you can always continue on to dinner). Or, if you’re looking to keep it really simple, grab a gelato from Ciao Bella and wander down along the docks and check out the yachts in town. No matter what you choose, North Cove is a stunning backdrop with plenty of options.
See what people are saying about North Cove here.