Simple Tips To Detox Naturally & Cleanse Your Body

Being constantly exposed to a growing volume of pollutants, toxins and stressors, our body feels uncomfortable and overwhelmed. We experience exhaustion and fatigue. And we are unable to perform at our optimum. It’s time we take a step back and Cleanse.

There are an increasing number of chemicals in our food supply, in the air we breathe, in the environment and surrounds, in the cosmetics and creams we use, in the household cleaning products…in everything we encounter and touch. That is why a good detox requires that we take deeper more thorough action!

True detox requires a thorough cleanse of the mind, body and spirit. We must include and touch on all aspects of our health and wellbeing – the Physical, Emotional, Mental as well as the Spiritual, or PEMS. 

There are a number of natural ways to detox and flush out toxins from our system. Drinking ample water is a good start. So is exercising regularly and practising mindfulness and meditation. But we must do so constantly in order to beat the toxins from building up and affecting us irrevocably.

It is recommended that we detox at least once every six months to maintain good health.

Cleanse By Gurmayll

My 10-day Cleanse program, that starts next week, is a perfect opportunity to help ourselves. Here, we make a conscious and sustained effort to avoid harmful foods and take in only the good stuff. We engage in exercises that are beneficial. And we practice the art in a guided manner.

Participating as a group, we find support in each other. This brings in accountability and motivation. We learn from each other as we progress and emerge – Cleansed.

Here in this week’s blog post, I give you a few simple tips to detox naturally and effectively. I talk about my upcoming Cleanse program and the tools we will be using then. And I encourage you to take note.

1. Green Tea

Green tea (or, herbal tea) is a great detoxifying agent. It is brimming with antioxidants that help boost your immunity. Green tea also has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. Warm tea can ease bowel movement and aid in digestive function.

2. Water

Drink plenty of water. Water combines with toxins in the body and helps in flushing them out through urine. Water also replenishes and aids organ-function. Washing your face and body with water can have a lasting refreshing effect.

3. Exercise

Good physical exercise induces sweating. Sweat carries toxins from within the body through the pores and out. Even light exercises can be helpful in flushing out toxins. Exercising also activates and releases ‘endorphins’ or happy hormones. These hormones keep us feeling good from within.

4. Yoga

Yoga is as much physical exercise as it is exercise for the mind and spirit. Practice simple yoga movements daily. Spending 15-20 minutes practising yoga is sufficient. This will help strengthen you. Alternatively, you can also try dancing, aerobics, Zumba or any form of movement that captures your imagination.

5. Laughter

Smile often and laugh wholeheartedly. Laughing eases muscles and boosts immunity. It is a good idea to share a laugh with friends and family.

6. Gratitude

Gratitude can go a long way in strengthening you and flushing out ill-feelings and negativity. Maintain a gratitude journal. Share your gratitude and thankfulness through prayer or by talking to a friend.

7. Smoothies

We have a number of smoothie recipes that are tasty as well as healthy. Detox smoothies are effective in cleaning our systems and keeping us nourished. Try a smoothie for breakfast. Use natural, organic, and fresh ingredients.

8. Whole foods

Buy and eat a range of whole foods – fruits, veggies, nuts and seeds. Your local farmers markets are great places to shop for seasonal, fresh, organic and locally-grown produce.

9. Probiotics

The millions of tiny good bacteria that are housed in your gut help you with digestion and in boosting your immunity. Probiotics feed these bacteria. Include probiotic yogurt and milk in your diet. Fermented foods such as tempeh, sauerkraut, and kefir are equally effective.

10. Cooking

Avoid sugary, pre-packaged and pre-cooked meals. Avoid refined flours and breads. Cook your own food. Use quality ingredients and simple cooking techniques. Avoid overcooking. Always eat your meal at the dining table away from the distraction of your smartphone or telly. Savour what you eat.

8 Simple Steps So You Can Stop Feeling Tired. Now.

No matter what you believe, it’s the mind that controls how energetic and active you feel. And, there are a few things we can all do to help our minds become more positive, energized, peppy and focused.

Because that is what we want, at the end of the day. To feel less tired and dull. And to feel more in control – active and full of vitality!

It is essential to stay productive in today’s fast-paced world. Feeling energetic can drastically improve your quality of life both at home as well as at work.

Experiencing bouts of dullness, lethargy and fatigue are normal. They can last for several days or weeks, usually subsiding and soon, you are back to normal again. But if you have been experiencing intense bouts and having trouble keeping up with your work and routine, these tips that I discuss in this week’s blog post will definitely help you.

If, however, you continue to feel the same way, do have a word with me. As a Health Coach, I have helped several people through these issues and developed strategies to combat them in their very roots. Whatever you choose you have to know – You don’t have to feel tired all the time. There is help!

Here are my 8 tips to stop feeling tired and start feeling energized, now. Apply them to your life generously. There are no side effects, only goodness.

1. Master your sleep routine

A good night’s sleep can help you refocus and energize in countless ways. This is why regular and sound sleep is so essential.

Build a healthy sleep routine, starting with sleeping at a fixed time every night to taking a bath and relaxing before you hit the bed. Don’t work on the bed. Switch off those distracting devices – smartphones and telly. Listen to soothing music and dim the lights. Do everything that helps.

2. Eat well and stay nourished

Your food is your source of energy. This doesn’t mean that you need to pepper your food with sugar or make it artificially energy-rich. The key is in balance and moderation. Make sure you are taking in all the nutrients and in the right amount.

With food, stick to portion sizes and have a balanced meal. Have seasonal fruits and veggies. Have whole foods that are organic and bought from your local farmers market. Give a thought to supplementing your diet with vital nutrients that are missing from your meals.

3. Some exercise and activity

Physical activity, movement and exercise are necessary ingredients that help us build our strength and process the food we’ve eaten. So, by exercising regularly we are creating energy.

Not to mention the feel-good hormones that are generated when we exercise. These hormones signal happiness to our brain and we experience a rush of energy and positivity.

Simple exercises like yoga, dancing or even a brisk walk in the sun can be really beneficial.

4. Reduce stress and stressors

We experience a lot of stress in our busy lives – stress at home and stress at work, stress with the kids and stress with friends and family. Stress often has a cumulative effect and keeps adding to our burden.

It is essential to identify the stressors we have in our lives and learn how to manage them. Not ignore them. Whether it is through therapy or by talking things out with a friend, you should aim at reducing stress to the maximum possible extent.

5. Drink water and stay hydrated

Water itself doesn’t have any energy, but a cold shower, a splash of water on the face or even a drink of a glassful of water can help you feel refreshed and energized.

Use this formula in your daily routine. Drink plenty of water. Carry a bottle when you go out and remember to drink water. Infused waters with mint, lemon and other flavours can be very uplifting.

6. Limit alcohol and cigarettes

This is a no brainer – reduce your dependence on alcohol and cigarettes. Not only is their effect on the body damaging, there is an irrevocable effect on how active and energized we feel.

These substances dull the body and impact our senses. And it is often a vicious cycle of addiction and craving.

7. Take regular breaks

This is perhaps the most potent of all the tips – to take regular breaks. Break out of routines and think fresh. Take your mind off things and develop new perspectives. Take time off your chores and tasks, and unwind.

Oftentimes taking a break can have a cathartic effect. Like venting or reacquainting with someone, you will emerge a new person. And, when you get back to your life, you will feel a new surge of energy to tackle tasks.

8. Let there be light and laughter

A dull dark room creates a dull dark atmosphere. Bring in the light. Open the drapes and curtains. When dark during evenings, use bright lights. You will immediately feel the difference in your energy levels.

Similarly, a dull dark mood can create a dull dark feeling. Break it up with laughter. Use humour to dispel seriousness. Maintain a light and easy composition wherever you are.

I Tried The New Grain-Free Meal Plan, And Here’s How Amazing It Felt!

For me, it was the digestive distress that did it and I decided to take a leap and go grain-free. But for the many others who suffer from constipation, gut-related ailments, inflammation, autoimmune disorders, celiac disease and more, going grain-free can prove to be life-changing!

Not just for the disorders and ailments, but if you’ve been unable to shed weight and are constantly struggling with weight-gain or weight-loss issues, try going grain-free for a month and feel the difference.

Our typical meals have grains in them. Heck, we can’t imagine food without grains – bread, pasta, rice, roti or cereal. Grains are a staple ingredient. So why change?

Because our composition has changed. Our habits have changed. And so has our diet itself. This makes us more sensitive to gluten and prone to all its vagaries. 

Our meals do not pack as much nutritional value as they used to. This means we are receiving less with every mouthful and we are compensating the bulk of our meal with grains and carbs.

We don’t eat as many whole raw foods – fruits and veggies as we used to either. We have a lot of processed and packaged foods. We have our meals on the go, not giving our body enough time to actually break down the food properly. And even then, we are distracted by the glare of our smartphones and televisions.

Some would argue – going gluten-free is enough! I would say it is the first step. But going grain-free is really the whole package.

In this week’s article, I talk to you about my experience of going grain-free and how truly amazing it felt. I will be adding some interesting grain-free recipes to my website soon. FREE for download. Send me a DM and I can inbox them to you.

 

1. No Inflammation. No Digestive Trouble.

Gluten intolerance from grains is known to cause inflammation as well as trouble with digestion. It also hampers with immunity and general health.

Minus the grains, you will feel healthy and energized. Your digestive function will perform at its optimum. And you will have no bouts or troubles with inflammation.

Try adding probiotic and fermented foods to your diet such as yogurt and kefir. Also, fibre-rich foods such as lentils, green veggies, legumes and beans. These foods will strengthen your gut and improve your immunity further.

 

2. Beautiful Alternatives

Staying grain-free you can then concentrate on some beautiful alternatives such as toasted nuts and seeds – almonds, cashew, hemp seeds, flaxseeds and pumpkin seeds. Dried or fresh fruits and berries – cranberry, blackberry, strawberry and whole fruits – watermelon, peach and kiwi fruit. Always try and buy organic seasonal produce from your local farmers markets and avoid fertilizer laden fruits and veggies.

You can also have amaranth, quinoa and buckwheat in moderation since these are considered seeds and not grains.

You will uncover ingredients that you overlooked earlier in your bid to fulfil your grain quota. And it is an eye-opening experience.

 

3. Better Balance. More energy.

People usually feel like they are losing their energy quotient by not eating grains and carbs, this is not true. You refocus and include foods that give you energy without causing you harm.

Good carbs from cauliflower, potatoes, pumpkins and other whole fresh foods are actually good for you. And so are fats from avocados, bananas and mangoes. While you are not taking in grains do take in nutrient-dense foods such as these.

At the same time, I recommend that you reduce your consumption of meat and eggs, avoid intake of sugar and dairy, and be careful to not consume other such foods that may override the good you are doing by keeping the grains away.

 

Again, if you are interested in trying out grain-free meals for yourself, I have some interesting recipes for you. I will be posting them to my website soon. FREE for download. Send me a message and I can inbox them to you straightaway!

5 Things You Didn’t Know About Activated Charcoal

The word charcoal is a dead giveaway! Say “charcoal” and the image of the sooty black stuff from your BBQ or the tasteless charry stuff that sticks to burnt food immediately comes to mind. Activated Charcoal is just that, albeit activated, more porous and infinitely more potent!

Activated Charcoal is basically a toxin-sponge that soaks up the bad stuff and carries it out of the body – quickly and effectively. It is so wonderfully effective that the amazing black substance is used in emergency rooms across the world to treat overdoses and poisonings.

Beyond the inherent life-saving properties, its toxin clearing effects also make it a strong favourite with anyone who suffers from a stomach ailment or is in distress with their gut. Think gas, cholesterol, indigestion and more.

But, how does a simple black tablet/powder accomplish this much? What makes it so quick and effective? How can you use it? What are the potential benefits? And, what are the risks?

Let’s tackle these questions, one at a time, and uncover the secret healing powers of Activated Charcoal. Here are 5 things you didn’t know about this incredible substance and you’ll read all about it here in this week’s blog post!

 

What is Activated Charcoal?

To create Activated Charcoal, woodchips, peat, or coconut shells (or any other carbon-rich materials) are superheated inside a controlled environment. The high-intensity heat activates the charcoal by stripping it of previously absorbed molecules and widening and enhancing the pores.

One spoonful of Activated Charcoal has the surface area of a football field. Whoa!

This odourless tasteless black substance comes in many forms – from tablets and capsules to fine powder and paste. Depending on its use, it is sometimes mixed in with other medicinal, herbal or chemical ingredients as well.

 

How Does It Work?

Just like the sooty stuff from the burnt food, Activated Charcoal works perfectly.

It simply keeps the stomach from absorbing harmful toxins by binding them and trapping them inside those mega pores. Since the human body cannot absorb or interact with charcoal, it then carries the toxins out through the faeces.

Activated Charcoal is extremely absorbent. It can bind toxins that are dissolved inside stomach fluids and can even extract toxins that are tiny in size.

 

Some Common Uses

Activated Charcoal finds use in a range of medical, alternate and cosmetic treatments. Here are some common uses:

  • If you have oral health complaints, try Activated Charcoal. It can absorb plaque and help whiten the teeth. It even helps restore the PH balance in the mouth. This means fewer cavities and better oral health.
  • If you suffer from flatulence and gas, Activated Charcoal may be your answer. It binds well with the gas-causing stuff in food and helps ease discomfort.
  • A topical application can help clean the skin and reduce the effects of pollution, ageing and stress. It strips away toxins and soothes damaged skin. From insect bites to athlete’s foot, and acne, it can treat all types of skin ailments.
  • Activated Charcoal is a must-have if you suffer from a high cholesterol problem. It can reduce the level of bad cholesterol in the body significantly.
  • Activated Charcoal’s ability to combat bacterial, viral, and fungal infections is significant. For this reason, it can be used as a safe and natural preventative and curative measure.

 

Buying and Storing Activated Charcoal

While buying Activated Charcoal look for a good quality, organic product. The product should have high density and low ash content. It should be packaged and sealed properly and the package must be unopened.

While storing Activated Charcoal, choose a cool dry place that is clean and dust-free. Ensure that the package is sealed properly when you store it.

 

Few Recommendations

Taking Activated Charcoal is relatively risk-free and there are no known side effects. However, it is recommended that you talk to your Health Coach before you start.

Activated Charcoal may inhibit and block the action of certain drugs if you are on medication. It can also impact outcomes if you are on a special diet.

I can help you purchase the right product and recommend a good dosage based on your needs. Activated Charcoal is a powerful detoxifying agent that will bring many benefits your way!

Plant-Based Sources Of Iron Perfect For Vegetarians And Vegans

There’s iron in your skillets and your traditional woks. There is iron in great many food sources. The question is – “Is it the same iron that your body needs?” The answer is, yes.

Iron is absolutely essential. It is a vital mineral that helps carry life-giving oxygen to every cell in our body. It is iron that connects you from your very core to the land you’re living on. It is amazing how large a role iron plays in our everyday living and many bodily functions!

What would be even more amazing is if more people understood the role of iron. Iron deficiency is rampant across the world’s populace. And people suffer from symptoms such as lack of energy, shortness of breath, fatigue, headaches, irritability, fogginess, dizziness and anaemia.

Vegans and vegetarians are particularly affected since the diet is restrictive (I’ll explain more here in this article.) Eating a balanced, healthy, varied mix of foods that includes – pulses, legumes, grains, nuts, vegetables and fruits, helps. But if you are a vegetarian or vegan keep a close lookout.

Take it from me- we really need to pay more attention to iron in our diet. I am writing this article from a vegan and vegetarian perspective, including plant-based sources of iron. Iron is greatly misunderstood as a nutrient and I hope to dispel some myths.

 

How much iron do we need?

The recommended daily intake (RDI) for iron is 18mg per day. However, individual requirements may vary significantly based on a number of factors like – the person’s gender, life stage and special circumstances. It is advisable to get an accurate recommendation from a chosen and trusted healthcare professional, such as your Health Coach.

For example, men and women generally require about 8mg of iron per day. This amount increases further to around 18mg per day for menstruating women, and to 27mg per day for pregnant women. The RDI for vegetarians and vegans is 1.8 times higher than that for meat eaters.

 

Iron from plants for vegetarians and vegans

There are two types of iron — (1) heme, which is found in non-vegetarian and animal-based foods, and (2) non-heme, which is from plant-based sources. It is true that heme iron is better absorbed than non-heme iron.

Painful as it is for vegetarians and vegans to hear, it is not all that difficult to get the iron you need on a purely plant-based diet. Here are some fantastic sources to consider:

  • Legumes: lentils, tofu, natto, tempeh, lima beans and peas
  • Nuts and seeds: pumpkin, sesame, hemp, flaxseeds, cashew, pine and pistachio
  • Vegetables: leafy greens, potatoes, collard greens, mushrooms and spinach
  • Fruits: tomato puree, prune juice and mulberries
  • Grains: quinoa, amaranth, oatmeal and unhulled sesame
  • Other: blackstrap molasses, coconut milk and cacao

 

5 ways you can absorb more iron

The iron in plant-based foods is not as easily absorbed as the iron in animal products. The trick is in knowing how to eat, nearly as much as understanding what to eat.

  1. Avoid coffee and tea with meals. Drinking these beverages can reduce iron absorption by 50-90%. Consider this tip as you eat iron-rich foods to heighten the impact.
  2. Eat smaller amounts throughout the day and spread your meals. When you consume iron-rich foods it is good to pace your meals, this way the body actually works on absorbing the iron more evenly and effectively.
  3. Eat foods rich in vitamin c together with your iron-rich meals. Traditionally these combinations are already available – beans and salsa, hummus with a touch of lemon and quinoa and fresh orange juice. Eating foods like this together increases the absorption rate of iron significantly.
  4. Soak, sprout and ferment foods. These techniques are great for reducing the amount of phytates naturally occurring in foods, thereby increasing the chances of iron absorption when they are eaten.
  5. Use a cast-iron skillet or wok to cook your food in. Cooking foods this way increases the amount of iron in it.
  6. And finally, if you feel that your busy life doesn’t permit you or that you are unable to meet the required levels of iron in your food just by following these tips, consider dietary supplements. But please talk to a Health Coach in order to map out your exact dosage.

I will be happy to consult with you and make suggestions based on your lifestyle. Don’t take your health for granted. Start now and take charge.

5 Ways To Bring Down Stress & Cope

Stress has a notorious capacity to build up and spill over into our lives even when we’re not paying attention. One late night a week, your child throwing a tantrum, an unruly situation, a high-pressure project, a demanding boss, a critical remark or comment and it all adds up.

Then it manifests into physical and emotional distress – unmanaged expectations, dysfunctional relationships, unfulfilled living, anger and disappointment, anxiety and depression.

Like a clogged drain, it is hard to detect unless something goes very wrong and putrid water fills up and floods our house. And like a clogged drain, we want to get it sorted as soon as possible!

Stress is fairly common in our lives and there is no way to avoid at least some of it. Some of us are born with a natural resilience and some of us are more tolerant to certain stressors. But on average, each one of us faces stress to a great extent, given our lifestyle, choices and circumstances.

So, it is about how stress can be managed better and reduced as far as possible. Managing stress is the only way to avoid a total break-down of the system and a state of crisis.

In this week’s blog post I give you 5 ways to manage stress and gently flush it out of your system. Practising these activities regularly will help you cope and recharge, and handle stress. Over time your resilience will increase and you will face fewer and fewer obstacles on your pathway to stress-free, happy and healthy living.

 

1. Meditation and mindfulness

Through meditation and mindfulness, you are driving out the chaos and uncertainty in your lives.

Meditation fortifies your mind even as you face stress. You feel less challenged. There is greater stability as you calm down and think clearly.

Practising mindfulness has its own rewards. You don’t take things for granted and make conscious decisions. This way you tend to make fewer mistakes.

 

2. Listen to music

Music is a great healer and it can significantly reduce stress. Listen to peppy tunes or soulful numbers.

Try listening to music in your spare time or while you are working on a routine chore. Music can lighten the mood, make you de-stress and calm. It can soften your emotional state and make you feel less rigid. It can help you unwind after a particularly tough day.

 

3. Talk to a friend

Talking things over with a friend or confidante can have a really positive impact on your mind.

Get into the habit of sharing. Stress builds up when you keep your heart closed. Sharing and opening up can help you vent clogged emotions.

Have a laugh. Take in constructive comments. And invest your emotions. There is far greater to be gained this way.

 

4. Sleep better

Getting complete and restful sleep is a must to revitalize your body, soul and mind.

Relax and wind down before you sleep. Switch off your devices and keep away from distractions. Don’t drink tea or coffee 2 hours before going to bed. Create a nightly routine that helps you prepare for sleep.

Exercising can help you get sound sleep. Engage in physical activity – a brisk walk, gardening and working on chores around the house.

 

5. Finish something

Pick up on an incomplete task that is long-pending and finish it.

Completing unfinished projects can motivate you and drive positive feelings. Sometimes these tasks take up mind-space and bog you down with negativity. Clearing them up helps you unclutter your mind and reduce stress this way.

 

These are just 5 ways, but there are limitless ways in which you can find your own de-stressing mantra. It could be as simple as taking a calming bath or something as big as taking an unplanned trip to Bali. Whatever you do, find peace and happiness doing it and you will reap its benefits manifold.

5 Reasons Why Taking A Cold Shower May Be Good For Your Health

The moniker committee is at it again – calling a regular cold shower a “James Bond Shower” or “Scottish Shower” and making it that much more enticing. Don’t get me wrong. This is definitely a good thing!

Research shows how taking a cold shower habitually can boost your immunity and make you healthy and strong. It is fascinating how something as simple as switching from hot to cold can have such an amazing effect on your wellbeing. From toning up your skin to building up your inner strength, there are some far-reaching benefits.

So, now that you know, enjoy that moment when your warm shower suddenly turns cold as someone walks in and flushes the toilet while you are mid-shower! But don’t stop at that. Take brisk cold showers and make taking them a routine.

Summertime is especially right for giving this new habit a go. Who doesn’t love the feel of cold water on their skin when the temperature skyrockets to the high 40s?

In this week’s blog post I discuss some benefits of taking a cold shower that will blow your mind and make you take the plunge into the “bath of bliss”. That’s what I call a cold shower anyway!

 

1.    Makes you resilient

Cold showers are great! They can work on your nervous system to make it more resilient in the face of stress, anxiety, depression and even panic. So, technically everything unmanageable we experience in our lives today.

Cold showers create an oxidative stress on your body. Repeated exposure to this stress makes your body adapt to it, build up a tolerance for it and stay cool. You will soon develop Zen-like focus and stay strong no matter what the situation.

 

2.    Helps you lose weight

Of the two types of fats we have in our body – white fat and brown fat – the brown fat is actually good. It helps keep your body warm and protected. Whereas white fat is bad.

Cold showers promote fat loss by acting on the dreaded white fat. At the same time, they enhance the amount of brown fat we have in our body by 15 times, helping in weight loss. People who enjoy cold showers have been known to lose anywhere between 4 to 5 kgs in a year.

 

3.    Keeps you alert

While the cold shower relaxes you, it also forces you to breathe hard and deep. This together with a stimulating jolt of cold water on the body can clear grogginess instantly and enhance alertness.

The deep breaths help you focus and centre in. They also provide you with a natural dose of energy as you cruise through your day. This makes taking cold showers one of the best ways to wake up and stay awake.

 

4.    Improves your circulation

As water from the cold shower falls on your body, it triggers circulation by sending blood to your organs in a ploy to keep them warm. This enhances organ health.

This stimulation of the circulatory system and overall improved circulation is good for your cardiovascular health and wellbeing.

 

5.    Speeds up recovery

Cold showers foster the amount of disease-fighting white blood cells (WBCs) we have in our body. This results in an increase in the metabolic rate and activation of the immune system.

They also help flush out lactic acid build-up after intense workout or exercise. This is why athletes often indulge in an ice bath after their training.

 

Apart from taking full-fledged cold showers, I also encourage you to splash your face with cold water frequently, wash your feet as you prepare to sleep and rinse away the residue when you clean up your makeup. All these are good practices that will enhance your skin, and keep you feeling refreshed.

Fermenting, or alternating between hot and cold water can help your lymphatic system. The hot and cold action produces a contraction and relaxation effect on the lymph vessels, massaging them gently. And an activated lymphatic system will boost your immunity further and keep you fighting fit for a long time!

Now, are you ready to take a cold shower?

Daily Skincare Tips For Healthy, Beautiful & Glowing Skin

Everyone wants healthy, beautiful and glowing skin. And we’ve all tried a ton of stuff – from facials, to face packs and stringent skincare regimens. But not everyone gets it right!

And, our skin is a mess. Dark circles after one late night, to dull and flaky skin that is growing lifeless because of stress and fatigue. Pimples, whiteheads, acne, blemishes – there are so many things to worry about. Added to this is the complication of managing your specific skin type – oily, dry, patchy, sensitive, normal or a combination.

What we don’t realise is that skin is the largest organ in the human body. Not to mention a vital organ that acts as the first line of defence protecting us from germs and disease. It is also a sensitive organ that reflects the state of our health, the level of stress in our lives and how happy and fulfilled we feel overall.

Take it from me, skincare is not difficult it is just a misunderstood art! That is why this week’s blog post is for you. Here I uncover skincare techniques that are simple and easy to follow.

I am also announcing my ‘Unpacking Your Skincare’ program that I will be running on the 25th of this month! It is free for whoever is interested to attend. Find more information here.

 

1. Hydrate regularly

Drink plenty of water and fluids, and keep yourself well-hydrated. It is recommended that you drink 2 litres or more of water every day. Smoothies can be hydrating as well as refreshing, especially during the summer months.

Water helps cleanse the skin from within, washing out effects of a late night and rinsing away worry lines caused by stress. Hydrating regularly will keep your skin supple and taut, as well as looking fresh and vitalized.

 

2. Mud face-packs

Using face packs on the skin has multiple good effects – they keep the skin looking youthful and lively, they have a nourishing effect on the skin, and they can keep the skin clean removing blemishes and marks.

Create your own face packs using natural ingredients such as berries, papaya, and/or cucumber. Mud packs can be soothing too. Wash off using rose water for that special effect. Try on new face-packs once every week and note the ingredients that work best for your skin type.

 

3. Good food for good skin

Good, healthy, gluten-free, organic, raw and nutritious food can go a long way in keeping your skin glowing. Choose foods high on the vitamins and avoid the sugary, packaged and processed foods.

Try water-rich fruits such as cucumber, orange, watermelon, and coconut; green leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale and rocket; and, dried seeds and nuts such as almonds, brazil nuts and walnuts.

 

4. All-natural exfoliants

Gently scrubbing and exfoliating your skin is important. This helps remove the dead skin, reduces blemishes and acne and keeps pimples from appearing. Moisturizing your skin is equally essential.

Use all natural exfoliants such as crushed walnuts and berries. Lentils soaked overnight can be crushed into a fine paste and used as an excellent exfoliating agent. Use soft and natural moisturizing creams and cosmetics only.

 

5. Sweat it out

Exercising is a great way to flush those toxins out through sweat, open up your pores and clean your skin through sweat. Exercising regularly keeps the skin looking youthful, taut and supple. As skin truly mirrors the state of your health, a healthy well-toned body will have healthy glowing skin.

Remember to engage all aspects of your health while exercising – your physical, emotional, mental and spiritual. Combine exercises that work each aspect such as a brisk walk for your body, meditation for your mind and spirit, and dancing or aerobics with a partner or friend for your emotional wellbeing.

 

6. Beauty sleep

Remember to get a proper shut-eye. The body works on itself taking the time to regenerate and rejuvenate while you sleep. This means the right amount of sleep can help your skin.

A good night’s sleep is a must. Keep your phone switched off or on do not disturb mode as you rest. Ensure that your mattress is firm and comfortable, and you have good sleeping gear. And, if you do get a chance catching up on that afternoon siesta every once in a while, that will do you some good too.

 

7. Say no to toxins

And finally, say no to toxins – alcohol, tobacco, nicotine, caffeine and drugs. These toxic substances take away the lustre and sheen from your skin and affect your health and wellbeing in the most serious way.

Other substances such as fast food, sugary drinks and processed food may also have a similar deteriorating effect on your health. If you are addicted, talk to a specialist and consider slowly and actively changing your behaviour. I understand giving up a habit can be tough, but there are healthy alternatives, good remedies and helpful advice available that can make a difference.

7 Habits That Will Freshen Up Your Morning Routine!

Not all of us are morning people, but even those of us who dislike mornings love our morning routines. From the first cuppa to a calming bath, morning routines are simple pleasures that help us recharge, reconnect and pace ourselves for the big new day.

Benjamin Franklin says “The early morning has gold in its mouth”, a translation of the German proverb “Morgenstund hat Gold im Mund”. And, I can’t agree more.

Mornings are brimming with promise, so full of potential. And we can use our morning routines to channel all this positivity and help it flourish in our lives.

We can cultivate it. And, it will nurture us.

There are many benefits to morning routines that loyalists will tell you. Even the most basic morning routine can go a long way in ensuring that you cruise through tough days. Happy and successful people often have powerful morning routines. Effective people have morning routines they fall back on.

Here are a few advantages you will discover:

  • Boosts your immunity and enhances positivity
  • Improves digestive function and health
  • Helps you maintain and manage your weight
  • Reduces insomnia and promotes better sleep
  • Improves stamina and sexual performance
  • Decreases stress levels and improves mood
  • Reduces fatigue, pain and inflammation
  • Enhances concentration, attention and retention
  • Boosts creativity, spontaneity and productivity
  • Has a positive effect on the health of your skin, hair and eyes

This is why in this week’s blog post I discuss 7 habits that can freshen up your mornings and keep you going in the face of all odds. Add these to your routine and experience the difference.

 

1. Start with a positive thought

Experts say that the best time to wake up is nice and early between 4 to 6 AM. Take a moment to orient yourself as you wake up. Think of a positive thought to guide you, and close your eyes to repeat it to yourself until it is fully absorbed. You are now ready to begin your day!

 

2. A glass of warm water or green tea

Select a tall glass for warm water and drink it on an empty stomach. Alternatively, you can also drink a cup of green tea. The antioxidants from green tea help boost your immunity. Warm water helps flush your digestive system and keep it strong and healthy.

 

3. Meditation and some exercise

Light exercise, a brisk walk and some breathing exercises can really uplift your mood. Morning meditation can help improve concentration and focus. When you exercise in the morning and do it consistently, it does wonders for your health – physical, emotional, mental and spiritual.

 

4. A cleansing bath with herbs

Handpick fresh herbs from your garden or from your local farmers market and incorporate it into your bath ritual. Leave bunches of fresh-smelling herbs like sage, neem, basil or lavender in your bathwater. Keep essential oils and bath salts handy.

 

5. On-time and nourishing breakfast

Pre-plan your breakfast in great detail and have it hot and on-time. Include an assortment of fresh fruits and vegetables. Use ingredients that are gluten-free, raw, unprocessed and organic as far as possible. And always sit at a table away from distractions and savour your meal.

 

6. Creating a mind map and to-do list

The morning routine can recharge and spark your creativity. Take this time to build on ideas that show some potential. Reflect deeply and create mind maps for your projects. Keep tools handy and be prepared to capture your thoughts. This is also a good time to prepare to-do lists and plan ahead for the day.

 

7. Positive affirmations

Write down a list of positive affirmations that hold the most meaning for you. Repeat these special anecdotes, quotes, phrases and verses. Reading affirmations out aloud while looking at yourself in the mirror can be an effective way of overcoming deep-seated issues and boosting your confidence.

Grow Your Own Food: Start A Veggie Patch and Herb Garden Today!

A basketful of ripe tomatoes, a few juicy round brinjals, some citrus lemons and a bunch of heavenly herbs – the returns from your garden may not be all that much to look at or to fill your belly, but believe me, there is more to gardening!

It’s the physical activity – a day in the sun. It’s the smell of earth and connecting with mother nature in the most unhindered way.  It’s healthy conscious eating, stepping away from the processed packaged foods. It’s the pleasure and the exhilaration of working with your hands. It’s slowing down and taking a deep breath, away from the grind of a busy life. it’s the satisfaction of having grown your own food.

And, a whole lot of savings on your grocery bills!

All these tiny factors just add up. And, in the end, backyard gardening can become your solace and escape, as well as a crucial, incredible, enriching experience. It’s no wonder then that everyone from Michelle Obama to Jamie Oliver, literally anyone who has experienced it, is raving about it.

I am no pro but I am encouraging it too! That is why in this week’s blog post I am saying – go grow your own food. Start a veggie patch. Plant a herb garden. Or a small edible garden. Plant a fruit tree. I am giving you five fantastic ideas to begin with. And I am asking you to go have fun!

 

1. Taking it slow but steady

Like everything, building a garden too, requires patience, commitment and planning. Planning being the most essential of the three.

  • Where will you grow? Think about your space. Locate a spot with good sunlight and easy access to water.
  • What soil to use? The quality of soil will determine the success of your produce. Use contaminant-free
  • What will you grow? Talk to your gardener friends and neighbours for what grows best in your area. Start small and grow things you really like to eat.
  • What are common problems? Bugs and slugs. Slow summers. There will be a handful of problems to face. So, learn to get resourceful.

 

2. Herbs by the windowsill

Herbs grow well in nearly every space and need little attention. Growing herbs on your kitchen windowsill can be a good idea for two reasons: (1) You remember to water them (2) You can add them to your cooking whenever you want!

If you’ve got little space to spare for a garden, you can plant in empty containers or pots. Some plants like strawberry, chilli and tomato can grow superbly in containers.

A raised garden bed can also work nicely in a small apartment balcony or terrace. They are available in a variety of sizes in your local garden warehouses. There is an added benefit to these – you have far better control over the soil and nutrient blend.

 

3. Go organic

You have an incentive to go organic with your garden. Everything you put in the soil goes into your produce and so, into your tummy. Going organic is easy with organic fertilizers, soils, soil conditioners, manures, mulch, bug sprays and even pots being available in stores.

Food grown this way is healthier and tastier. I have heard of accounts of people raging on about the deliciousness of home-grown food. Home-grown food that is organic is better and by a huge margin!

 

4. Start a compost pit or worm farm

Starting a compost pit or worm farm (or both, your choice!) is an absolutely marvellous idea! It is about sustainable gardening, converting household waste into something useful. And it is about enhancing the quality of soil you use in your garden, revitalizing it with missing nutrients.

As activities to take up with your family, they are both highly engaging. Children can play, learn and interact with natural processes. You can expose them to the underlying changes and cycles in nature. They can also prove to be great hobbies for adults. Coupled with a thriving garden, they are an interesting avenue to explore together.

 

5. Grow from local seeds

Growing local varieties of plants is highly recommended. These varieties are more robust and attuned to the conditions in your region. They are also likely to be pollinated naturally and follow natural seasonal cycles.

While growing from seeds these plants have a higher chance of surviving and growing. They may even require lower maintenance, like less water, making them more resilient in the face of extremities. This is a great thing to have as an amateur gardener, especially when you are all thumbs and a little forgetful sometimes.