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.

Discovering Alternate Healing Modalities

The mystical, calming and healing world of alternate medicine carries many wonders with it. From energy healing and reiki to yoga and meditation, there are so many avenues to explore.

Some are widely popular and others are lesser known, but their impact on our health and wellbeing is significant. This is the reason we see a shift in our society today, with more and more people discovering, adopting and partaking from alternate healing over conventional methods.

At its very core alternate medicine focuses on holistic health. It takes into consideration all aspects of your health – from the physical, emotional and mental to the spiritual. This is unlike general medicine that focuses only on fighting sickness when it occurs and the symptoms of sickness with potent drugs.

Alternative medicine looks at sustained ways of healing. It uplifts your spirits and brings balance into your life. Harmlessly, without causing the slightest damage or triggering any adverse side effects.

Here in this week’s blog post, we delve into the wondrous world of alternate healing. We discover the different modalities. And understand how they can help us in our health journey.

 

1. Acupuncture

Pinning hundreds of tiny needles to your body – Acupuncture may seem drastic and uncomfortable to the onlooker, but the fact is that it relieves you of your pain and eases you of your distress almost instantaneously. This ancient Chinese therapy is quite effective.

During Acupuncture the practitioner applies needles along your body’s energy meridians. Needles are lightly and expertly inserted into specific spots on your body depending on your condition.

Acupuncture is known to relieve sinus-related problems that stem from seasonal allergies. It is also known to cure chronic pain – from backaches and headaches to nerve and menstrual pain.

 

2. Aromatherapy

Essential oils and salts can have a magical effect on the body. We have used them for thousands of years to improve mood, strengthen the body, treat pain and enhance immunity.

It is complicated to explain how it all works. In theory, our sense of smell is interrelated and intertwined with our brain function. Especially with how memories and emotions are stored and processed. The application of oil and salt can trigger an ideal emotional state.

Typically, the oils are applied topically or inhaled from a piece of cloth. In some cases, a vaporizer, spray or a dispenser may also be used.

 

3. Reiki

Your body is a powerhouse and it has innate mechanisms built in for healing and recuperating. Through gentle touch, the Reiki practitioner channels this healing energy and redirects it to where it is needed most. This way the natural healing processes of the body are engaged and activated.

Reiki is a Japanese technique that is used the world-over for relaxation and destressing. In principle, it deals with tapping into the life-force and using it to bring the body’s energy into balance.

Reiki can be calming especially after a major procedure or operation. This is why hospitals and clinics are incorporating it and similar therapies as a part of their post-surgery patient treatment plans.

 

4. Reflexology

Massaging, pressing and applying pressure on your body can have a long-lasting healing effect. This is the theory behind the practice of Reflexology.

The practitioner applies pressure on specific points on your body – such as your hands, feet, head or arms that correspond to different organs and organ systems. The application of gentle pressure stimulates the organs into action. It also decreases pain and increases their function.

For example, if you are suffering from a gut related ailment, the therapist will work on certain points in your body that can help heal the gut, stir it into the functioning and remove the pain associated with the problem.

 

5. Holistic Health & Nutritional Counselling

This practice entails ushering in sustained behavioural change through moderation, proper nutrition and exercise.

Food and mood are related. Gut and brain health are related. Good habits trigger more positivity. Holistic Health and Nutritional Coaching looks at understanding these interlinkages and connections.

From your own perspective, health and nutrition is about understanding your unique needs and fulfilling them. You may be suffering from an illness or looking to lose weight, in either case, you have to consider a way that is most suitable for you. Without damaging your health.

This means no crash diets. No 10-day rigorous exercise packs. No altering your routine drastically. But rather an incremental sustained effort towards health goals that you wish to accomplish.

Hi, I am a Health Coach. How can I support you?

The world of healthcare has changed dramatically in the last decade or so. We are moving away from traditional practices and closer to alternative methods that bring us more value and peace.

With our focus changing to everyday health and functional fitness (as opposed to only fighting disease and sickness only when they occur), our go-to people have changed faces too. Our healthcare professionals are now more available, consider our holistic health and wellness, and happily guide us to improve our lifestyle and its related choices.

We are here, when the doctors, physicians, paramedics and nurses cannot be. Before things go wrong. Before you develop those symptoms. As your body ages and you lose your energy and drive. As you work hard to give up on a bad habit or take on a good one. To keep your body, heart and soul thriving.

We have myriad skills and deep understanding of people, their nutritional needs, and their psychology.

We mentor you. Guide you. Inspire you. And support you. Through all your health goals.

In this week’s blog post I take a deep-dive into my role as a Health Coach and what it means. My journey and learning, and the unique perspective I bring to the table. And a glimpse into my practice, the many lives I have managed to touch and transform.

Hi, I am a Health Coach. How can I support you?

 

In Sickness and Health

Doctors are heavily tied down with their schedule. It’ll be a surprise if they can give you more than 15-20 minutes of their time. And even in the time they have with you the discussion, most likely, revolves around your current ailments. What you are suffering from. The symptoms you are exhibiting. And what pills you can pop to feel better.

I think this is the primary difference between doctors and Health Coaches. Health Coaches approach wellness in the holistic sense. We look at improving your habits so you sleep better, eat better and live better.

Even if doctors had all the time they are not trained in these areas. They don’t possess the skills needed to develop a long-term plan to keep you healthy and motivated while holding you accountable. Much less give you nutritional guidance. All this is not a part of the med school curriculum.

Of course, you go to a doctor when you feel unwell and need medical intervention. We don’t claim to substitute doctors. But chances are that with the right guidance, balanced diet, proper supplements, and good exercise you won’t frequent the doctor as much.

 

Medicine. Medical. Medicinal. Bah Humbug.

Ever get thrown off by medical jargon? Or, get referred to ‘specialist’ after ‘specialist’ after ‘specialist’? Makes you wonder if what you have is something off-the-charts special doesn’t it?! This can be highly distressing.

While doctors train hard to specialize, they are often clueless about areas outside their specialty. This is the reason your case lands in multiple hands with several doctors trying their own approach on you. Until you are left feeling like a guinea pig in a nerve-wracking experiment!

There is also very little thought given to the drugs you are ingesting. The (some very long term and notorious) side effects they may cause. How strong they are and the toxicity build-up they may create.

Enter Health Coaching.

We understand that your health is about you. The choices you make. And the decisions are yours.

While we take the time to explain everything and lay it out – plain and simple – for you, we don’t assume control of your life.  And the pills we recommend are just natural, organic and good supplements that help you. Nothing toxic or in-the-least-bit harmful.

We listen to you as you make your way. We are the sound of reason. We are your caregivers and a helping hand.

 

To Health & Calm

There is a gaping hole in our healthcare system. And my own personal health journey has a lot to do with overcoming it.

After facing the frustration of a failing system – Little personal attention. Deteriorating gut health. No scope for alternative medicine or therapy. Poor results even after pouring in so much money. – I was led to believe there is a better way. And with Health Coaching I found it!

My practice is a testament to all those years of pain and effort.

The personal experience has taught me to trust my own learning and help others who are on a similar journey.

In the past years, I have helped my clients achieve their health goals through lifestyle and subtle behavioural modifications – anywhere from losing weight to improving nutrition and gaining energy. My back-to-basics approach focuses on wholesome living, destressing and building awareness. Everything that brings back health and vitality to you!

Plant-Based Diets & Mood Disorders

We are closing-in into Christmas, and the new year shortly afterwards. All this time will fly by rather quickly. Before we know it, we will be there and ready – clinking glasses and making toasts to a year gone by!

So, I thought I’d make way for a serious topic, one that requires your attention right before you’re catapulted into merrymaking, holiday planning and enjoying with friends and family. I urge you to keep what I am saying in mind. And maybe even incorporate it as a resolution for the next year.

We women ignore so much about our health. We do absolutely nothing unless we’re truly suffering from something very drastic! Coughs & colds and minor depression are all but usual, and we carry on without a worry. Even insomnia, sleeplessness or some form of sleep disorder is quite common. We smile through all that pain, bearing our duties and responsibilities with grace and sheer willpower.

Unfortunately, many of these small issues we experience collect and continue to take a toll. They accumulate and strike when we are most susceptible. They inhibit our proper functioning and we grow frustrated as we fail task after task. We may blame our spouses, our jobs, or even our societies, but the fact of the matter is – it is our inadequate, unhealthy and innutritious food/diet that is causing this catastrophic failure!

I am recommending a switch to a plant-based whole-food diet. And in this week’s blog post I will explain why?

 

Whole Food Goodness

Vegetables, fruits and nuts – are bursting with polyphenols. These natural plant-based molecules build our immunity and defend us against pathogens. They have been known to protect against cancers, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, osteoporosis and neurodegenerative diseases.

Polyphenols such as curcumin and resveratrol have amazing biological effects, especially on brain function. Plus, plant-based foods contain essential fatty acids such as omega-3 that act as mood stabilizers. They are also rich in bioflavonoids, dietary fibre and antioxidants – All building blocks of good (mental) health.

 

The Gut-Brain Connection

Brain health depends on gut health. There is a clear interlinkage.

The human gut is lined with bacteria called the ‘gut flora’. These tiny microbes reside in the gut feeding on fibre in the food. They help prevent diseases and boost our immunity. A strong and healthy gut generates a feeling of satisfaction, confidence and safety. Similarly, bad microbes can infect our gut and cause inflammation. Gut inflammation is known to enhance aggressive and violent behaviours.

Animal-based foods such as meat, fish and eggs contain a pro-inflammatory mediator called arachidonic acid, which causes gut inflammation. It accumulates over a period of time and causes gut inflammation. Bad food can also encourage the growth of bad microbes and inflammation in the gut. At the same time, gut-friendly, gluten-free, dairy-free organic plant-based foods that feed the good bacteria are sources that can counter inflammation and promote mental health.

 

Beating Inflammation

Inflammation is indicative of our body’s ability to protect itself from infection. Acute inflammation occurs when the body is in fight-mode and the immune system is hard at work. Chronic inflammation, on the other hand, can lead to adverse results.

Chronic brain inflammation has been directly linked with developing psychiatric illnesses such as anxiety and depression. By making small changes to our diet and by adding in the nutrients we are lacking, we should be able to see a big reduction in bodily inflammation. Our immune system will function more effectively and we will stay healthier and live longer.

 

Recommended Approach

For your plant-based diet to be effective it needs to be combined with a few good practices. Here are the broad pointers.

  • Start on a plant-based diet with a high nutrition density.
  • Use high-quality (preferably vegan) EPA to protect fatty acids in your diet.
  • Morning light exposure is essential to balancing your serotonin melatonin axis.
  • Spend a few minutes exercising each day.
  • Meditation, yoga or other calming exercises are a must every day.

If you are already on pharmaceutical drugs or therapy, adding these few steps to your schedule can help you alleviate the problem. A diet is not an alternative to therapy. Discuss all changes to your diet and routine to your trusted health coach before proceeding.

Remember, the right foods protect your intelligence. Fuel your creativity. Prevent you from falling sick. Help you succeed in life. And, that is the dream, isn’t it?

In health & calm,
Gurmayll.

Serving Up a Delectable Christmas Meal Like No One Imagined!

Who doesn’t love the Christmas season?! Mirth and joy are in the air with just a hint of nostalgia for the passing year. Families and friends are gathering, and taking vacations together. There are things to look forward to – planning parties, trips and get-togethers! There are Christmas carols being sung, Christmas trees being decorated and there is a greeting on everyone’s lips. Even the most severe amongst us find a cheery disposition, if only just for the season!

But as soon as we think of all the cooking and catering we have to do…the endless shopping…the growing shopping lists…the chores…the cleaning and organizing…we feel a bit unhinged. With the passing days, the pressure mounts and we feel panicked, cornered and utterly without a clue. We are bound to! There is just so much happening!!

I know exactly how you feel. After all, I have been there myself.

In my post this week I discuss some easy and decidedly delectable meal choices that can spice-up your celebrations. They are simple and can be put together in a jiffy. No need to go scouting to the mall for impossible ingredients and scratch your brain for last-minute ideas…here’s everything you will need. And since I’ve thought of it, I’ve made it super healthy too. Give it a go.

 

1) Christmas Tea Brew

Add a dash of cinnamon or a hint of cardamom to your tea for a magical Christmassy flavour. Just buy the preferred spice and add it as you brew your tea, or mix the spice with your tea leaves and store away in advance! Either way, expect to hear some fantastic compliments on the refreshing drink!

 

2) Spicy Nuts

Nuts make for great snacks! Chop up some onions, tomatoes, capsicums and cucumbers. Add in an assortment of roasted nuts (think variety) and mix in a large bowl. Try a pinch of curry powder and some chilly. Squeeze a little lime. Garnish with sprigs of fresh coriander. These nuts are zingy but, oh, so much fun!

 

3) Organic Wine

While stocking up on your wine go for the local organic variety. Make your wine selection an adventure, who knows you may land on something incredible. The general rule of thumb is to buy a small, largely unknown and locally brewed brand of wine in the range of $15-20. These wines offer you the most value for money. And stay away from big brands. Remember, red wines are a healthier choice.

 

4) Figs with goat cheese

Fruits can be especially nourishing and stimulating on the palate. Explore their sweet and sour flavours. Combine with cheese or quinoa crackers. Or simply slice them up. Be sure to try some of the seasonal fare, like figs that work so well with goat cheese! Umm yum.

 

5) Cacao desserts

Replace chocolate chips with cacao nibs in your cakes and cookies. Sprinkle cacao powder on your dessert as you serve it. There is no doubt about it – cacao is better than cocoa in all possible ways. To incorporate cacao, just hop online and find a cacao recipe that works for you. Then sit back and relax as your loved ones enjoy a healthy dessert.

 

6) Homemade apple pie

There is no beating the satisfaction of a homemade apple pie (or crumble). It will fill your kitchen with an enticing aroma that is also conveniently so Christmassy! Use organic apples sourced from your local farmers market. Serve with fresh cream. It is bound to hit the spot!

 

7) Antipasto platter

How sensational is this idea?! An antipasto platter is all about picking what you love and serving it up on a platter – peasant style! Your choices can be Mediterranean and summery – with marinated olives, feta, dried apricots, red peppers, walnuts and pita bread, or they can be more deli style – with sun-dried tomatoes, asiago cheese, caramelized onions, grilled halloumi, mizuna lettuce, gourmet pears and lavash bread. You can mix and match with an absolute abandon.

 

8) Roasted eggplant salad

Roasted eggplant can be tasty and filling unlike anything else. Serve it as a salad with an olive oil dressing. Or roast your eggplant with a stuffing of your choice.  There are just so many ways to enjoy an eggplant! This one is my favourite – Peel the roasted eggplant and mash into a bowl. Add chopped onions, dollops of pot-set yogurt and salt to taste. Allow it to sit in your fridge before serving.

 

9) Homebrewed beer

Serving your guests your own creation is surely satisfying. And nothing keeps the connection and bond growing like homebrewed beer. If you plan in advance, you may be able to create some light and smooth craft beers to share on the big day!

 

10) Stuffed capsicum

This is another fantastic idea. Marinate and stuff your capsicum whole with cottage cheese and chilli. Grill it lightly on a barbeque for an exotic charred flavour. Enjoy as a filling side or a scrumptious main dish.

Awakening To Calm, Wellbeing & Inner Peace

What does inner peace mean to you? I have asked myself this question over and over again. Through endless circumstances – good or bad. Surprisingly, the answer has seldom been motivated by my circumstances. It has rather been about doing simple things…constructive things…daily, weekly, monthly or yearly… at my own pace and in my own time. Eroding barriers. Removing hesitation. Reflecting deeply. And bringing forth those changes that have enabled my dreams.

I have realized that to be at peace we must be on the path of our choosing. And all our choices must be guided by our soul.

This is especially of consequence as we navigate a world filled with noise, chaos and constant disturbances, where listening to that inner voice is often made difficult. Where obligations and expectations from others bind and constrain us. Where we feel thwarted by the relentless pressure… running out of time, opportunities and options. But by opening up our minds and hearts and tapping into them, by meditating and clearing up the internal channels, and by focusing on our holistic well-being and what’s important for us, we can actually make our search of peace and calm a reality.

It is like a lotus flower blossoming in murky ponds. It is an enriching and moving experience to witness your spirit bloom. Something that is truly rewarding!

In this week’s blog post I discuss just a few things that make achieving inner peace a real possibility. I have taken snippets from my own life experience and from the inspiring lives of others around me. Do try them out as and when you are ready, without rushing yourself or pushing too hard.

 

1. The act of letting go

This is perhaps the hardest thing to do. Letting go means acknowledging that not everything is within our control. That while we work hard and work sincerely, we can’t always dictate the outcome. By acknowledging and accepting this we learn to lift the pressure and ease our lives. We learn to trust that whatever the result, it is for our benefit and for the greatest good.

Practice the act of letting go in your everyday. Make it a reminder and a ritual.

 

2. Learning something new

There is a different kind of satisfaction in picking up new skills. Whether it is making art, craft, music, or even working in the garden, the joy is unbelievable! Oftentimes, it helps clear-up blocked channels within us. Helps us communicate better with ourselves and others. Learning something new is similar to learning something new about ourselves – What holds us back? What makes us distrust our own instincts and passions? What will make us believe in ourselves again?

Pick up a new skill. Learn a new language. Invest in a hobby. You will learn something more, I assure you.

3. Keeping it simple

We get carried away with the pace of this life. We get caught up. And forget our true calling. Our purpose. Keeping it simple is an art in itself. Physically it could start with decluttering of your home, removing the unwanted mess and clearing up space. Mentally and spiritually it could mean looking for ways to uncomplicate things, communicating more clearly and organizing things a little more each day.

Focus on what’s important. What makes you happy. Remember to love yourself. And give yourself the time and space you need.

 

4. Rewarding relationships

Relationships can be a source of great pleasure. Rewarding relationships are those where we are encouraged to be ourselves, where we feel safe and secure, and we can share our innermost feelings without being judged. Building friendships can require a lot of work and commitment, and sometimes a lot of sacrifices and compromises. Remember give and take is natural. Ups and downs are natural too and it is not always smooth sailing.

Cherish relationships that are special. Think of your friendships as young saplings you will water and nurture as they grow into fruit-bearing and shady trees.

 

5. Doing things wholeheartedly

Whether it is at work or at home, whatever you do, do it with complete focus. By putting all your energy into a task, howsoever small or big, you are sure to succeed. And enjoy yourself in the course of doing it. People who do things wholeheartedly are flooded with a feeling of peace.

Draw up your commitments and give them an honest go. You will see that by doing so the universe in-turn rewards you with people who value their commitment to you.

A Stress-free Health-wise Advent Calendar That’s Just For You!

We all dream of holidays to be stress-free, leisurely and idyllic times, before somehow getting wrapped and caught-up in all the chaos, hustle and bustle they bring. We need reminders to take it slow and easy. To have a meaningful holiday true to the spirit of the season!

This got me thinking! What better way to do it than to lay out reminders in an ‘Advent Calendar’ style.  Advent calendars are all about counting down to the big day. And they pack little surprises – a cookie, a chocolate, a mint, a card, a toffee, a joke, a knick-knack, a small gift – for every morning, for 24 mornings, leading to Christmas.

How interesting would it be if we can borrow this idea and create a calendar that is meant especially for us? A calendar that reminds us to keep the focus on important things and not get carried away (or dragged unwittingly)! Like that voice in our head, just way cooler, with notes, jokes and treats just for us!

Here’s how we do it:

 

Draw a sketch

Begin by imagining all the days from December 1st leading to the 25th! Think about all the things you will be doing, and what type of reminders would serve you best.

Do you tend to overcook? Or spend time in the kitchen away from your family and friends? Are you a perfectionist, always cleaning, trimming and endlessly chasing chores? Will you need a reminder to call a special someone who can’t visit? Or book tickets to a concert you enjoy?

Think of everything! And, lay it out on a simple piece of paper. This is your sketch.

 

Fill it in

Now that you know what reminders you need, put them all on colourful pieces of paper (or on white paper using colourful pens). Get creative and have fun. If there are days when you need no reminders what-so-ever, write a silly joke for yourself that will make you smile or opt for an activity such as 15 minutes of meditation!

If you are an energetic person who tends to get overexcited, your reminders should be such that calm and soothe you. And if you are an anxious person who is dreading the holidays, make your reminders about simplicity, faith and belief.

Overall, your notes should uplift you. Give you all the confidence in the world. And, they should be filled with warmth, love and that special kind of attention only you can give yourself!

 

Go shopping

This is the most exciting part of the activity! And I am sure you ladies (and gents) are simply going to love it! It is a bit different from your usual shopping but no less fun, I assure you. Let me explain how.

When you go shopping for your advent calendar, buy small treats that will go with your reminders. For example, if the reminder is to care for yourself, a petite sachet of bath salts or a pretty pair of earrings is a nice buy. Similarly, if the reminder is to take a pause and breathe, a floral incense or a small bottle of perfume can complement that. If you’ve decided to be more conscious of your food choices and stay away from unhealthy sugary treats, buy a single-serve packet of organic quinoa or a jar of herbs and toppings you love.

The idea is to give your little treats some thought and shop for some simple things that will bring you great pleasure.

Now, combine your notes together with your little gifts, and wrap and number them. You can also put them into small gauze or linen bags, depending on their size. Choose a Christmas stocking, a large mason jar or simply lay your calendar out on your counter!

Don’t forget to unwrap, read and use each little gift starting 1st December!

 

As a final thought, creating a calendar for yourself is definitely satisfying, but if you can do gift a calendar to someone you care about. It will make their season a little less stressful and a little bit happier, and they’ll love you for it!

Time to Destress, Declutter & Prep For The Holiday Season

The song says “It’s the most wonderful time of the year”, and that season is fast approaching. Yet instead of cheer and excitement, we’re all experiencing dread – of setting up the perfect dinner parties, decorating our homes and cooking heaps of food that is simply delicious!

With too many things piling our plates, we are killing the joy with our tremendous expectations one day at a time. Until eventually, as the season approaches and passes all we will be left feeling is fatigue, disappointment and remorse.

Is there a better way of doing it? Of course. And the good news is that we have the time to pace ourselves and recalibrate our expectations. Make this season about simplicity, de-stressing and decluttering. Take those heavy expectations and throw them out of the window, and bring in simple joys that really mean something to you.

Here are my tips to prep for the holiday season. And ladies I am sure you will really appreciate this!

 

1. Make ‘what you love’ your focus

Make a promise to keep it simple. This means no over the top purchases. No fancy decorations or parties. No stressing over food and what to cook. Instead, I recommend – hire a caterer, ask friends and family to bring something and have a potluck, ask your children and partner to help with everything. And relax and enjoy whatever you are doing!

Many-a-times we sacrifice our real desires for what everyone else wants. Hold on. This year make it about what you really love. Whether it is dressing as Santa or baking cookies or maybe simply having some fun hanging out with your family – what you want counts. Do it!

 

2. A holiday song list can add to the fun

Make a holiday song list for the car and for your home. Listen to cheery songs as you decorate your tree or as you relax in the lounge with a fine glass of wine. Choose soothing, calming hymns, or numbers with a nice tempo, and every type in between. Unwind to the music. Bring back fond memories. And take a moment to pause and savour.

Now, once you’ve realized how much fun music can be, share the joy with others. Make a holiday playlist for your girlfriend. Put a CD in the car for your partner and surprise them. And make a gift of it to a person you know who is really struggling – away from home and family, this season. It’s a gesture that is sure to bring you immense peace!

 

3. Keep gratitude in your heart

This is perhaps the most important consideration to make as your prep for the holidays. Keep gratitude in your heart. Be thankful for the peace, joy and tranquillity your home provides you. For the shelter and the blessings. There is abundance and light everywhere. Cherish it.

Be thankful for your good health and the health and wellness of those around you. If you have health issues, be thankful for your capacity and strength to fight. And for the support of those who stand by you no matter what. Be proud of every little thing you have accomplished for yourself and your family. Don’t let even the smallest opportunity to do good, go. Make the holidays an occasion to truly celebrate your spirit!

 

We all need such reminders, from time to time, to do these things! There is nothing new in what I said. Perhaps, it is all age-old knowledge. But let me urge you to consciously make these considerations and not get swept away by expectations this season. Happy Holidays and Cheers!

 

In health and calm,

Gurmayll

Ways To Make Your Halloween Healthy Without Spooking Away The Fun

Halloween is still pretty much that American holiday, but that shouldn’t stop us from having some fun. The weather is fantastic, a little bit of spring still in the air and a tad of summer that’s coming. What’s not to love?! With pumpkin carving, costumes and parties, and lollies by the truckload!

Not to sound like a buzzkill, or in this case “sugar buzzkill”, all that candy and chocolate can be bad for you (and your kids’ health.) As can all the soda and junk-food you pack in the name of merrymaking. It’s not just the sugar, it’s eating a lot of it at once.

Let’s try a healthy take of Halloween this year without, of course, spooking away the fun. It can still be very entertaining I assure you. Just minus the bad parts! I’ve got some ideas, so, here we go…

Happy Halloween folks!

 

Get Creative

Pumpkin carving, decorating your homes, baking and cooking and designing your costumes– everything needs a lot of creative energy! So, get your creative juices flowing and indulge your imagination.

Working with your hands on some crafts, cooking or even arranging and cleaning, can have a positive effect on your health. Think about using your mind differently and tapping into all that potential.

Bring your kids, family and friends onboard. There is lots to do and it can be a shared project. Working together, crafting or baking or simply installing fairy lights in the yard, smiling, laughing and playing around, every little bit can be satisfying. It can all add to your holiday glow.

 

Include Activities

It is often that we focus so much on food and eating that we leave behind any scope for some physical fun. I wouldn’t blame you if you too got carried away and forgot all about it.

But hey, think about including a treasure hunt that will have everyone on their toes, solving a mystery. Or go trick-or-treating with your kids. This is ideal for some supervised-fun over the merriment, sure, but it is also good exercise for you. Plus, there is always the added incentive of catching up with some of your neighbours.

Activities can make occasions such as Halloween enjoyable. And you can burn off some of the extra calories too!

 

Healthy Treats

Sugar-laden lollies are the flavour of the season. And they are everywhere, on supermarket aisles and on the printed pages of catalogues. It can be hard to resist their temptation, but as moms, we know we absolutely must!

Try home cooked treats instead. The net is full of super-easy and convenient snack recipes. There are some that you can make with celery, oranges and edible paint! What can be bad about that?!

Remember you are trying to control the sugar that you and your kids’ intake this season, but beyond that, what you are really trying to do it to have real fun. This means no damage control afterwards with crash diets, and definitely no feeling regret.

 

Talk To Me

As a Health Coach and as a mother of three beautiful girls I’ve had my fair share of Halloween fun. I know exactly what you are going through – trying to not give in and buy the treats off the shelves, trying to keep the snacking moderated, and trying to make the holiday healthy at best. It can be tough. This is why I’ve put together this blog. To give you the right advice at the right time, when it really counts.

Hope you enjoy your ‘healthy’ Halloween. Don’t beat yourself if you can’t make it healthier, just talk to me. Much love to you and your family!