The Perfect Bedtime Drinks To Send You Into A Peaceful Sleep

After a long day making a living, nothing brings more relief than to finally slip between the sheets and enjoy a restful sleep. However, for many people, sleep does not come easily for a number of reasons. More importantly, people have devised healthy ways of ensuring they get adequate and quality sleep whatever the day might have brought their way.

One of the best ways to make sure you enjoy your night’s rest is to drink herbal tea! Due to its amazing benefits to the body, herbal tea is loved all over the world. But do not imagine there is only one type of this product. Thanks to tradition and developments in the kitchen and medical field, there are many varieties of herbal teas each with unique benefits. A look at a number of them will reveal exactly why you need to start taking herbal teas today.

Importance Of Herbal Teas

Before then, let us understand a few things on the importance of these teas. Herbal teas help you to sleep because they contain nutritional elements and less caffeine. Compare this with common teas which contain caffeine and you will realise why herbal teas are the best choice of beverage before going to sleep. Caffeine generally keeps sleep away from the body and that is not what you want before you go to bed.

Many of these teas also have a soothing effect on the tummy. Normally, when your tummy is rumbling and complaining about something you ate during the day, you cannot afford to close your eyes. A number of herbal teas help to control flatulence and bloating which are common stomach problems. In essence, when you drink herbal teas before going to bed, the gas in your stomach is neutralised and sleep becomes your friend.

Another major problem that many of us have is heartburn. You know that obnoxious feeling when your chest feels like it is in hell. How many of us can sleep when having heartburn? How many common beverages or teas can take care of this problem? Your guess is as good as mine. By dealing with acid-reflux, herbal teas help you to deal with heartburn thus allowing you to have a restful night.

Now this is for pregnant women – some of the most delicate people we have in society. Nausea and morning sickness are common and you need to find a way to overcome them if only to have a normal day when you wake up. Your unborn child is also safe when you take herbal teas before your sleep. You may not be pregnant but you have a relative that may need herbal teas to ease her morning sickness.

Not all herbal teas perform the same role. Some of them may have elements that may not augur well with you. Consequently, read the labels carefully before your purchase herbal teas to determine whether the products will help you. For those who prepare the herbs directly, please read about the particular herbal tea to know if it contains any negative effects.

Our Recommended Herbal Teas:

  1. Peppermint

This is a popular herbal tea especially because it gives energy to the body and relieves stomach upsets. In case you had a busy day eating and drinking all sorts of foods, your tummy may give you trouble and this is the kind of herbal tea that will give you relief before you sleep.

  1. Chamomile

This is the most renowned of herbal teas all over the world. Many people prefer to dry out the flowers, prepare the powder and use it directly. You may also purchase it from a shop where it may be combined with other herbal teas.

  1. Lavender

Lavender is also a very important bedtime tea variety. It is a common plant that you can find in most places. However, there are also lavender herbal teas that you can purchase and use before you go to sleep. More importantly, lavender helps you to relax and deal with stress.

  1. Valerian

Research has confirmed that valerian has sedative properties. Our ancestors may not have had the benefit of research but they knew instinctively and through experience that valerian would help to deal with anxiety and help people to sleep.

  1. Lemon Balm

There are many people who also prefer lemon balm as a bedtime tea. Those who love this product say it helps them to relax thus inducing restful sleep. You may opt to buy the processed type or make your own from the leaves of this important plant.

  1. St John’s Wort

This plant with yellow flowers may be your solutions for lack of sleep. Research shows that St John’s Wort reduces anxiety and is also an anti-depressant. With so many people experiencing depression, this plant will boost sleep by dealing with anxiety.

Now you know it. Don’t suffer from lack of sleep or use pharmaceuticals that have negative side effects. Choose herbal teas and sleep soundly and healthfully daily.

Which is your favourite herbal tea? Any tricks or secret flavour combinations? Share with us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/graceguru.net, send us a tweet: www.twitter.com/_graceguru_ or use our instagram hashtags #graceguruloves or #gracegurulifestyle!

With Love,

Your Grace Guru 

xxx

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Get a Head Start This January – How to be on Top of Your Game

The festive season has just begun but before you know it, it will suddenly disappear just as it had come. The New Year is crucial because it signifies yet another opportunity for you to set new goals and targets. One of the most famous traditions of the New Year is to have a set of resolutions. However, most of us these resolutions are not pursued beyond the second or third months.

How To Stick To Your Resolutions

New Year resolutions are meant to help you to abandon old detrimental and unrewarding habits and adopt new ones that will make you a more productive individual. One reason we don’t achieve what we plan to do in the New Year is lack of focus. We fail to concentrate on the goals we set. That is why most of our plans are stillborn.

However, there is a strategy you can use to make sure you see your resolutions through. I know you might be like many who decided to be realistic and stopped making plans for the New Year. After breaking their resolutions year after year (most of them before the end of February) they chose to live without resolutions. This is like throwing out the baby and with the bath water. That is why you need to understand and practice a strategy that will ensure you are on top of your game in the New Year.

Mindfulness Is The Solution

Mindfulness is the state of being aware of what is happening within you and your environment without being judgemental. A person who is mindful accepts what is happening around him or her and does not label events and experiences as being right or wrong. Mindfulness requires that you live in the here and now without trying to stifle the past or obsess with the future.

When you become mindful, you concentrate in what you are doing at the moment. Nothing else matters. Focusing on the event you are undertaking is the secret to accomplishing much more than other people do. I know you have listened to people waxing lyrical about multitasking and how this habit can help you accomplish more in a minimal time. What these people don’t tell you is that in actual sense, you accomplish less and do not exhaust your abilities when you perform many tasks at the same time.

As observed earlier, lack of focus is the reason many of us fail to accomplish whatever it is we set out to do. Studies have shown that the ability to focus has a powerful bearing on how well we control our emotions and our ability to meet long-term goals. It does not matter what profession you are in; as long as you cannot focus on one task at a time, you will not achieve the exact results you wanted. Worse still, you are likely not to achieve anything.

You normally set New Year resolutions with the belief that you are going to achieve them. I have never heard of someone who decides they will become worse people in the New Year. We all dream of becoming better students, parents, employees, employers, leaders, managers and so on. Why then do some people become what they planned to while others remain stagnant in their unwanted circumstances and behaviours yet all of them set positive and virtuous New Year resolutions?

The Answer…

Let us review some scientific findings. Did you know that a child who controls his or her impulses and attention is less likely to be a criminal or to become a drug addict compared to those who don’t have control over their feelings and actions? The same children are likely to have happier marriages. Did you also know that having the ability to focus is a better measure of academic success than IQ? Irrespective of how academically gifted you are, if you cannot concentrate, you are going to fail in whatever you are doing.

One way of practicing mindfulness is to meditate. Meditation is an ancient practice that teaches one how to relax and focus on feelings and sensations in the body. Meditation provides one with an opportunity to reflect on positive issues and to be thankful for what they have. If you can focus on your breath, for example, for about twenty minutes without shifting your thoughts to other issues, then you are mindful.

In the same way, if you meditate on your resolutions daily and determine to approach them one by one, you will achieve them. Whatever you focus your mind on becomes easy to achieve. You will be on top of your game as you begin the New Year if you learn to practice meditation mindfulness. You will be surprised at how effortlessly you will achieve your New Year resolutions when you begin to focus and concentrate on one task at a time.

What are you new year’s resolutions? What is your plan to stick to them? We would love to hear: you can see us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/graceguru.net, send us a tweet: www.twitter.com/_graceguru_ or use our instagram hashtags #graceguruloves or #gracegurulifestyle

Enjoy the last couple of days of 2015! 

With Love,

Your Grace Guru 

xxx

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Beat That Dreaded Bulge – A Quick and Simple Detox After a Period of Indulgence

Christmas is a time of indulgence – good and bad alike. The festive season provides an opportunity for us to unwind after a long busy year. At the end this season, many of us will be exhausted. Hangovers, lethargy, illnesses and irritability will be common as we try to deal with the aftermath of our drinking sprees and binge eating.

Before you think you are being judged for your excessive behaviour, remember you are not alone. All of us indulge over Christmas and New Year, it’s one of the best parts of the holidays! There are numerous visits to other people as we also receive visitors. In between, there is the temptation to eat and drink beyond normal to please our hosts or guests.

The only problem is that you will be left to deal with the repercussions. When all the niceties have been said, the music has died down and everyone has returned to their day to day lives, you will be left to argue with the weighing scale that dreaded bulge (erghhhh).

Most of the regrets actually emanate from poor planning of the holiday season and a carefree attitude. It is like a dog that has been unleashed and given a few hours to indulge in its most-craved activities before being tied up again.

The following are our quick and effective methods that you can use to detox your body after indulging in binge eating and excessive drinking:

1. Go Water Crazy

Your body is predominantly made up of water. Water is life and without it your body cannot function (especially on a hangover where you are more than likely to be extremely hungover and have a lot of salt in your system from that guilty pizza, kebab or burger at 3am). Water is also a cleansing agent, working with the kidneys and the skin. After mistreating your system during festivities, you will do well to cleanse your blood by drinking a lot of water.

Mixing warm water with lemon is also known to remove any toxins from the night before. Similarly, peppermint tea and green tea can be extremely helpful with relieving symptoms of bloating, constipation and other digestion problems. They can also act as a temporary fix to speed up a process of loosing any weight you may have gained from having one too many minced pies. (Yay for herbal tea!)

2. Squeeze In A Workout

It is ironic how we throw caution to the wind when the festive season arrives. People who used to flock fitness centres all of a sudden take a break. The few exercises you used to do at home evaporate from your mind and schedule. You sleep late and wake up when the sun is up. By the time you celebrate the New Year, you have added kilos.

Hard as it may sound, hitting the gym just once will help so much. Not only will you feel better within yourself, you will also jump kick the return of the fitness bug ready for the new year!! Even if you take a short jog round a local park, or along a river, throw yourself ahead of the game and in front of everyone else (don’t deny those mini competitions that will arise with your friends come January).

3. Ditch Carbs

Now that you want to detox your body it is important to remember where it all began. It all started with uncontrolled eating and drinking. Similarly, your path back to the ideal weight and healthy body is through diet. You must start watching what you are eating. More importantly, eat foods that help you to clear the bad stuff you have eaten over the previous weeks.

To begin with, don’t bloody skip breakfast! I don’t know what time you will have to wake up, but irrespective of your busy work schedule, make sure you enjoy a heart and healthy morning meal. The food items on your breakfast table should be well-balanced. High levels of fibre and protein are key.

Secondly, ditch the heavenly carbs. Oh yeah we’re talking pasta, pizza, rice, bread – the whole team. Feeling lazy and craving a Big Mac, or Fish and Chips? Hell no, you can forget about that. Ditch all processed foods, put the phone down what do you think you’re doing ordering Dominos Pizza or that lamb curry? We’ve just had Christmas! The time for guilt-free indulging is over! You will without doubt begin to feel the difference if you stop eating carbs and processed foods even after a couple of weeks!

Lastly, You cannot detox your body if you don’t watch the portions you are eating. Your lunch should not be as heavy as your breakfast. Actually, the best way to ensure you don’t overeat during lunch is to eat well in the morning. Keep your lunch to leafy greens and some protein, mix with some delicious salad recipes and dressings so that it encourages you to keep eating healthy.

4. Get Your Zzz’s

In addition to water, exercise and diet, give your body adequate rest. Part of the reason you have gained weight over Christmas is lack of sleep. Eat a light dinner some two or three hours before sleep. Got to bed early and give your body ample rest. Your mind needs detox just as the body. Make sure your house is well-ventilated, and surround yourself with your favourite music. Practice positive thinking especially as you face the challenges of January. If you are religious, revive your spiritual life.

Practice this and you will recover quickly and effectively from any excess weight and psychological complications of the holiday season and face the New Year confidently.

If you have any special tips that work for you, we would love to hear about them! You can see us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/graceguru.net, send us a tweet: www.twitter.com/_graceguru_ or use our instagram hashtags #graceguruloves or #gracegurulifestyle

With Love,

Your Grace Guru 

xxx

 

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The Importance of Giving For Your Soul

We live in a world where materialism reigns supreme. We are all guilt of competing with our loved ones for the most up to date product, self indulging and boasting about our material possessions on social media. While capitalism has resulted in the improvement of the quality of life for many, millions still live below the poverty line. We have forgotten the benefits of giving at a time when the world is deeply divided between the rich and the poor.

Giving is an act of sacrifice. We can all relate to the struggles of spending your own money on something or someone, rather than yourself. It’s a conflicting feeling when you know there is a lot you can do with the money you are giving to charity. However, you decide to forego your rights and privileges over the money to bring relief and cheer to another human being. You give because you have seen a need that can be fulfilled by the resources you have!

In contrast, if you give simply because you have no use for the materials you are giving, you may not feel like you are sacrificing. While giving from abundance is not prohibited or unethical, it is a fact that giving makes more meaning when it is done out of the desire to help another person even if that means that the giver will have to waive some benefits.

From the time we are born, we are accustomed to receiving. As new-borns, we experience the warmth of other people. Our parents, siblings and relatives receive us with a lot of joy. Gifts come our way even if we don’t know it. As we grow up, we receive gifts during birthday parties, Christmas and other festivals and events. As long as we remain under the custodianship of parents and guardians, we expect to be recipients.

Sooner or later, though, we become adults and realise that we are expected to start giving and stop expecting others to give us. That is the moment when we realise the gifts we used to unwrap were actually sacrifices from other people. Society now expects us to give to the less fortunate and to our family members. In a way, the moment we begin to give is the moment we begin to live.

What Then Is The Importance Of Giving?

Giving is an expression of our humanity. A human being is expected to be like a lake with an outlet. When the lake receives water, it must allow some of the water to flow out so that it can receive more. The movement of water energises the lake and gives life to the animals and plants within it. In contrast, when you stop giving, you become like the Dead Sea, a water body that receives without giving, and cannot support life. In essence, you give because you are created to give and that is how you prove you are indeed human.

It is also important to give because by so doing, you will help another human being to live and enjoy life. At the same time, you will be happier because you are helping others. You are lucky if you have everything you need. There are many more who cannot afford one meal a day. Millions have no place to live at a time when some people have more than one place they call home. If you rush to the doctor whenever you catch a cold, you need to know that there are some patients who cannot afford to see a doctor. If you are a parent, grandparent, child or grandchild, remember there are millions of orphans and homeless people on earth.

Giving is important to the soul because it is the best weapon against unfettered materialism. Materialism is a form of disease that is destroying the soul of humanity. A soul that does not give eventually dies out. When we allow selfishness to engulf our hearts and make us callous, we kill the very essence of our being. Giving, therefore, gladdens the soul because the soul was not created to be selfish. Shunning greed and selfishness is the best way to ensure that the resources on earth reach each and every inhabitant.

The soul is spiritual and thus amenable to giving. The Supreme Being, whatever name you choose to give it, is a force for good. One cannot claim to be spiritual if they don’t give. In some religions, a portion of one’s earnings are donated to the poor either directly or through a religious order. It is ironical for one to claim to believe in a Supreme Being yet remain immune or dumb to the needs of others. Religion always teaches how generous the Supreme Being is to humanity and thus expects that adherents will be kind to other believers and non-believers alike. We, therefore, give to follow religious instructions and to connect with the higher being. The soul finds happiness in giving because it is accustomed to God unlike the body and the mind.

We give because it is in generosity that we find the meaning of life and this fulfils the soul’s desire.

Merry Christmas!

We would love to connect with you more, you can see us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/graceguru.net, send us a tweet: www.twitter.com/_graceguru_ or use our instagram hashtags #graceguruloves or #gracegurulifestyle!

WIth Love,

Your Grace Guru

xxx

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Our 8 Top Tips To Avoid Overeating During The Holiday Season

It is almost impossible to talk about a festive season that does not involve filling your tummy with food. In fact, during holidays, people tend to eat on average far more than they do on normal days. Unfortunately, in the process of celebrating, many of us commit another cardinal mistake – overeating.

Before we share our tips to avoid overeating during this holiday season let us remind ourselves why we nearly always regret overindulging. The obvious one that comes to mind are the few extra pounds we may put on that consequently take a hell of a lot of effort to shift off again. In the short term, though, overeating may cause you constipation, diarrhoea, embarrassing stomach rumblings and constant visit to the bathrooms!

To save yourself some embarrassment and potential devastating health implications, you need to control yourself when you go to parties and other events where you know delicious treats will be present. I know the food is yummy and enticing. You may be seeing something new, or a delicacy you have not tasted for a long time. However, you need to step aside and convince yourself that not eating that food or eating a little bit of it is more beneficial to your body and future than engaging in binge eating.

Here’s how:

  1. Eat Before Going Out

The idea of going for a party with a completely empty stomach is a key reason for overeating. If you snack on something before attending a party, you will feel less hungry and will eat less at the event you are attending. I know it sounds rather weird but this is one of the most effective strategies for arresting your compulsive desire to eat.

  1. Conversation Is Key

There is no way you are going to eat and talk at the same time. Even when you are talking with another person in turns, you will eat less. And there is no shortage of people to talk to in a party. If you are a guest, you can talk to the host or fellow guests. If you are the host any of your guests can provide a distraction from excessive eating. After all, these events are social nature and are meant to boost interaction.

  1. Fight The Temptation

When you go to parties where you are served by someone else and you have no way of determining how much food will be on your plate, do not think that you have to finish everything you have been served. The person who serves food does not know your needs or the amount that you tummy can carry. The decision on how much you should eat is yours and you should not let your greed force you to overeat.

  1. Listen To Your Body

Luckily enough, you don’t share your stomach with other people. You are the only one who knows how much you should eat. Only you can tell when enough is enough. Your body and stomach will send the signal when it is no longer safe or wise to continue eating. Don’t look at other people and ask yourself what they will think about you if you stop eating suddenly. There is life after that party.

  1. Keep Your Distance

You cannot be near your greatest temptation and expect to overcome it. Some of us are gluttonous by nature. Others are addicted to food the way alcohol or drugs take hold of the minds of respective addicts. Keep off the serving table. Don’t let your eyes and mind get enchanted by the sight of delicious cakes, candies and other sugary food that will only serve to worsen your addiction to food.

  1. Think Ahead

You already know what kind of food to expect in that party you are about to attend. Take time and think about the table and what will be on offer. Determine that you are only going to eat fruits or vegetables and so on. If you know you have a sweet tooth and may overindulge, plan not to eat pies or just take a little. To be forewarned is to be forearmed, so they say. Don’t be caught unaware by food.

  1. Stay Hydrated

Keep your tummy filled with water! Sounds funny, right? It works. Before they bring the food, take a glass of water. This will ensure your tummy already has something in it. There will be little space for food. In fact, if you try to eat more than what you should, your stomach will become uncomfortable.

  1. Eat slowly

This festive season, as you contemplate how to eat less, ensure you eat slowly. Chew your food slowly. Take time to enjoy the food. There are enzymes that need to have well-grounded food. Your taste buds also need to enjoy the meal. More importantly, you will eat less for a longer time thus averting overeating.

We would love to connect with you more, you can see us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/graceguru.net, send us a tweet: www.twitter.com/_graceguru_ or use our instagram hashtags #graceguruloves or #gracegurulifestyle!

WIth Love,

Your Grace Guru

xxx

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How To Refresh The Energy In Your Home

Your home is your palace and temple. It is a palace because it is your little kingdom where you rule like loyalty. Here, nobody can come to belittle you or make your life miserable. Your word is authoritative. Your home is also a temple because this is where you commune with yourself and the Supreme Being. Home is the space where you feel most fulfilled and most spiritual.

Why You Need An Energy Renewal in Your Home

Such an important facility requires the best form and level of maintenance and care. However, as you become busy, it is possible to fall into a routine and forget about the care of your home! After a while your home may not inspire you as it once did. That is the point at which you need to allocate some time and refresh your surroundings.

Let us look at this issue from a different angle too. Many of us spend time, especially during some weekends, cleaning up our houses. We take time to arrange documents and take out any form of dirt to dump it in the rightful place. Despite such efforts, you may realise that your house is still not as energising as you may want it to be. In essence refreshing and renewing the energy in your home is not a one-off activity but a continual process of identifying areas that need change.

What then are some of the activities you can engage in to rejuvenate your domestic space?

  1. Fresh Air

There are reasons for keeping doors and windows shut – security, to keep off dirt and to prevent ourselves from the elements. In most cases, when we are away at work we ensure all windows and doors are locked. Not any of us dare leave windows open at night for fear of intruders, including wild animals. For those who don’t have time over the weekend, their houses rarely have time to ventilate adequately. Such an environment is full of foul air even if you don’t realise it. Your thinking and creative abilities are effected significantly when there is no fresh air in your house. This festive season, let gusts of fresh air have their way in your house for positive energy.

  1. De-Clutter

Over the last year, your home may have become one big rubbish dump. Some of the dirt is not hidden because it comes in the form of old pairs of shoes which you don’t need any more. How about those clothes in your wardrobe that you used to wear but haven’t thought about for nine months? There are some useless documents and papers that have no value to you yet they still take up space in your drawers. It is time you kicked out all the unnecessary stuff from your house since this will allow more positive energy to flow into your space.

  1. Nature

It is time you brought in some other living entities to share with you. How about beautiful plants that can recycle the air you breathe out and give you more of the air you need. You can even become a gardener and use unwanted containers in your house to give a home to one such plant. These plants will attract some insects and natural processes of life and growth will be taking place right inside your house. As you nurture these plants, they will absorb foul air and energy and imbue your house with life and positivity.

  1. Fly On The Wall

What decorates the walls in your house? When was the last time you brought down that 10 year old family portrait and hung a new one? It is time you gave the visual image of your house a new face. Look for artworks that are more in tandem with your current feelings and desires and hang them on the walls. Look for images that inspire you to change your life for the better. Remove those photos and paintings that do not reflect good memories or intentions for you.

  1. Animal Lover

We share a rich heritage and genes with animals. Pets know what is happening around them and feel the same way we do. If you don’t have a pet, consider the options and benfits. Share your house with another living thing that can express itself in a way towards you. As long as you have space and time to take care of that cat, dog, fish or other favourite animal, do not hesitate to introduce it into your life. Such a decision will bring you positive energy and a new way of looking at life.

We would to see images of your newly renewed homes, or pics of your kittens and puppies! You can see us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/graceguru.net, send us a tweet: www.twitter.com/_graceguru_ or use our instagram hashtags #graceguruloves or #gracegurulifestyle

With Love,

Your Grace Guru

xxx

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Stand Out From the Crowd – Gain That Natural Sparkle and Glow This December

Your skin is one of the most important body organs – in fact, the largest. The quality of your skin is an indicator of your overall health status. Your skin is the most visible part of your body and people tend to make certain judgements about you based on the health, texture and glow of this amazing part of your body (come on, we’ve all done it).

We all know that feeling where we have completed our daily routine, we look in the mirror and feel no glow, no light. Whether we are wearing make-up or a natural complexion, some days you think you look glum, maybe patches of dry skin and your make up just doesn’t look as it usually does. This article will highlight the key ways that you can make sure you feel a little glam every day, you know when you feel like the light catches you in the right places all God damn day!

More often than not when people call you beautiful, they can be talking about your skin, as well as your other features. Just as a smile or bright eyes can light up someone’s face, so can your skin! For this reason, if you want to stand out from the crowd this holiday season it is time to go back to basics. There is no point with adding more make-up to your skin when the problems may be arising from the quality of your skin itself.

Natural Strategies For Glowing Skin

So, here are out recommended natural strategies to ensure your skin has a new lease of life this December.

  1. Drink A LOT Of Water

This is the probably the most obvious yet ignored strategy for making your skin glow. We all underestimate the power of water, for one, your body consists of roughly 70% water so keeping yourself hydrated could not be more important! Water is the fluid that must be present in almost all body processes. Your blood is water enriched with essential minerals, fluids, nutrients and so on. For your skin to glow, you need the recommended eight or more glasses of water daily. But there is a catch here. Some people argue that other drinks can contribute to the eight glasses, but I would highly recommend eight glasses of pure water. I know that I used to believe that drinking tea or coffee, for example, would count as water. But in fact, due to the levels of caffeine in these drinks this actually dehydrates you. Alternatively, herbal teas can help with hydrating the skin, and can also detox you at the same time!

  1. Eat Plenty Of Fruit And Vegetables

We often forget that the skin is not artificial. No amount of makeup and chemicals will transform your skin – especially not without negative effects. Moreover, your body needs to be nurtured from inside to the outside. The body understands one language – good nutrition. Fruits and vegetables are particularly important for making your skin healthy and free from toxins. Remember acne and other skin blemishes are not what you need two weeks before Christmas, now is the time to ensure you don’t wake up Christmas morning with a trip from Santa and a horrendous break out. This December look for the fruits and vegetables that are in season, snack on them raw or as part of lunch or dinner. You will be amazed at how eating apples, kales and other superfoods will make your skin glow. We outline our recommended fruit and veg for this season here: http://graceguru.net/7-food-stars-of-december-to-boost-optimal-health-2/

  1. Know Your Skin

If you are sick of your skin controlling you, you may have realised that some foods you eat often leave you with blemishes and rashes. It means you are sensitive or intolerant to certain foods. Sometimes what you think is eczema or acne could actually be a case of your skin being resistant to some food item you have eaten! This December, listen to your body and how it reacts to certain foods. Attempt to detect the foods that affect your skin negatively and remove them from your diet. Alternatively, you can take drastic measures like taking two weeks to eliminate all suspicious foods from your diet and then introducing them one by one, this detox may initially bring out a break out as your skin is usually the last place your body will release toxins from. But, after this break out has cleared, and your diet is clean, you will begin to see progress!

  1. The Worst Of All… Stress

The condition of your skin is related to the activities in your mind. To put it differently, your mental health can directly affect the health and texture of your skin. For example, when you are stressed, your skin becomes pale and vulnerable to external damage. Stress creates a rich environment for bacteria to invade your skin. Eventually, your immune system is compromised and acne, eczema and psoriasis begin to manifest. This is why it is extremely common to see teens and students with more cases of acne, due to their high levels of crazy hormones.

  1. Use Natural Skin Products

This December is your perfect opportunity to start using skin care products that agree well with your skin. Due to the demand for fast results in skin care, thousands of women are applying harmful chemicals to their skin. The results are often unpleasant especially in the long run. Your skin should glow naturally and nothing brings you closer to this ideal than to use as many of natural skin care products as possible. Products made from fruits, plants and herbs actually contain nutrients that your body needs, just like fruits and vegetables. The good news is that you can learn and apply raw fruits and other herbs to your body without any extra costs and still achieve that natural, glowing skin that you have always craved!

We would love to hear any tips you have for maintaining a healthy glow, of if you have any amazing natural tips for exfoliation or moisturising! You can see us on Facebook atwww.facebook.com/graceguru.net or send us a tweet: www.twitter.com/_graceguru_

With Love,

Your Grace Guru

xxx

 

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Super Easy & Super Healthy Workplace Habits

Your workplace is one of the most important spaces in your life. The place where you make your living. It is in this space that you build a career and nurture social relations with your colleagues. A significant chunk of your life will be spent working, which makes this place all the more important. But apart from work, what else can you do to make your workplace a more comfortable space?

Not Always Blissful!

Let us face the truth. Workplaces are not always comfortable and desirable. A slave driver of a boss does not make your life pleasurable. Nosy colleagues may create a scenario that you wish to run away from. Clients can be difficult to deal with. Sitting behind a desk and computer the entire day may not be your cup of coffee. In essence, you are not guaranteed enjoyment in your work station. You have to find a way to lighten your burden and bring cheer to your day!

Maintaining Your Health And Sanity

That is why you need to learn new super easy and super healthy workplace habits to incorporate in your daily schedule! We are talking about habits that help you to remain healthy and sane throughout the day. Believe me; you can easily lose your mind, although momentarily, when certain stressful situations arise. The following habits are worth learning and practicing in your workplace:

  1. Mindfulness

Mindfulness means that you are aware of yourself, your environment and the happenings within that surrounding. It also implies that you can observe what is happening but defer your judgment. In other words, you can detach yourself from events surrounding you so as to concentrate on one issue that is important to you. You also avoid reacting spontaneously to issues and choose rather understand what is happening.

In the workplace, you can practice mindfulness by reminding yourself of your roles and responsibilities every day before you begin working. It is also important to recall the mandate and objectives of the organisation. With this in mind, your mind will not wander a lot. You will also avoid working on issues that do not add value to the organisation. Mindfulness will help you to be productive because you will accomplish one task at a time.

A person that exercises mindfulness also leaves workplace issues behind before going home. More often than not, we steal joy from our homes when we carry home the stress we should have left at work. Mindfulness means that you reflect on your accomplishments before leaving your workplace and ensuring that chapter is closed until you return the next day.

Young woman doing yoga on the mat on the roof, sitting in lotus posture, looking at camera and smiling

  1. Meditation

Whenever meditation is mentioned, some people think of long sessions of silence and prayer. While there is some truth in such beliefs, the truth is that you can actually meditate for short durations in your workplace. Before we get to the specifics, we need to understand that meditation can calm your mind and help you to focus on what you are doing thus eliminating many of the casual mistakes you make daily.

You can meditate at regular intervals (say one hour) if your work station and schedule allow. Alternatively, you can take time to reflect when there is no much work. Whichever way, ensure you are comfortable. Preferably, have a mat in your workplace if circumstances and regulations permit.

In your meditation, ensure you feel every part of the body. Practice breathing deeply and make sure you feel the sensations travelling through your body. Once you have blocked off distractions in your environment, sit still, relax and breathe rhythmically. As you do so, identify one part of your body that you want to ‘listen’ to. It could be your feet or even your heartbeat. By the end of your exercise, you will have strength and motivation to face the next challenge.

caucasian business woman in eyeglasses relaxing neck,stretching arms - short break for exercise on chair  in office

  1. Physical Exercises

Space within which you operate may not be big enough, but you can still stretch out your body. Deskbound living is damaging our bodies. However, since most of us work in such circumstances, we need to find ways of making the body active. There are quite a number of exercises that you can engage in without much hustle in your workplace.

For example, you can stretch out your body while supporting it using furniture in your office. You can improvise push-ups or other forms of exercise as long as your body is not injured. After sitting for a long duration, you can perform squats or stretch out your legs or hands. Walking around the office after sitting for some time will also help to stretch out body parts which have been constricted after sitting for long.

Exercises in the workplace will keep your mind and body healthy and also promote interaction since you will be forced to leave your desk and visit other people’s stations to see what they are doing. The most important issue is that you don’t spend all the time seated and that you take the time to move around and stretch out your body. Remember you can significantly improve your workplace experience through mindfulness, meditation and simple exercises.

With Love,

Your Grace Guru

xxx

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Our Top European Weekend Get-A-Way Locations!

People who associate winter with absolute gloom do not know Europe well. Winter is not the time to hide indoors and moan, waiting for the seasons to change. If you live in Europe or you would like to tour this great continent, plan your tour to coincide with the cold season and you will be surprised at the many exciting adventures and sceneries that await you.

If you are thinking of planning a weekend adventure or romantic gateway this winter, there are many European cities that will provide you with an unforgettable experience. One BIG advantage of visiting European gateways at a time when tourism is in low season is that in general you will spend less money than you would during summer. So, without further ado, here are our 5 top romantic European gateways to include in your bucket list:

  1. Amsterdam

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For those who have never been to this exquisite city, your mind may initially think of the famous Red Light District. But please let me assure you, this is definitely only one side of Amsterdam. There are exceptional sights seen in the outstanding architecture and vast amounts of canals and bridges that structure the city! With amazing food markets, coffee shops and museums you will have plenty of opportunities to explore. In peak tourist season the roads and pathways can be super crazy with locals and tourists travelling through the city on bicycles! But with visiting in low season may reduce the crowds, and regardless I would highly recommend hiring a bike and taking a spontaneous adventure around the city, you never know what hidden treasures may on the outskirts of the city!

One downside to Amsterdam is it is slightly more expensive than other cities in Western Europe, but travelling prices are cheap and it is also easy to find a good hotel deal so your entire trip can be successful on a relatively low budget! All I would say is remember to pack enough warm clothing as it can get quite chilly in the spring season!

  1. Salzburg

Beautiful view of the historic city of Salzburg with Festung Hohensalzburg in winter, Salzburger Land, Austria

Another great European city to visit is Salzburg, if I say this is where Mozart found his inspiration, and it was the setting for the film “The Sound Of Music” you can imagine how incredible this city is. There is a certain buzz about the city and you get the feel that this is the place where almost everyone wants to hold a concert or festival. Chances are that your gateway may coincide with one of these exceptional celebrations of music or other social event! The city is enticing and enchanting particularly because of its beautiful vies of the Eastern Alps. Make sure you visit numerous castles and fortresses in the city, and grab a taster of delicious German cuisine to sample at the Old Town and other places in the city. This is just a snapshot; the real story awaits you in the musical city of Salzburg.

  1. Lisbon

Cityscape of Lisbon in the beautiful sunset. PorugalPerhaps because it has not been the subject of a lot of publicity like other European cities, the capital of Portugal is not understood as it should. This is the perfect getaway considering the city’s laid-back nature. This city encourages relaxation with its beautiful vibrant colours and hilly contours guaranteeing you will see great views from every corner you visit! Choosing to vacation in Lisbon this winter means you will have the opportunity to walk the city’s alleys without the inconvenience of crowds.

You will also be surprised with the way in which a modern city can grow within a village setting yet the incredible traditional antique architecture remains. Yes, the ancient bleached limestone networks rival skyscrapers for beauty and grandeur in Lisbon and this is where the air of romance begins to blow on your face despite the cold. Make sure you take coffee in the many cafes on the streets of this city, watch bullfighting, and lie of the tranquil beaches.

  1. Vienna

Vienna, aerial view at night, with danube and cityscape

Okay so I know that Austria has already been mentioned but I cannot leave Vienna out! Famous for the culinary speciality Sachertorte, if you’re a fan of chocolate cake this is the getaway for you! Along with its highly recognised imperial palaces, Vienna has emerged as a contemporary city where the new and the old exist side-by-side.I would highly recommend visiting the Vienna State Opera which dates back to the mid-19th century, and rather than purchasing tickets to see the opera you can find opera tours which allow you to grab a snapshot of the Opera House for a less expensive cost.

  1. Budapest

The Szechenyi Chain Bridge, Basilica and the Budapest Eye

I have not yet had the chance to visit this city but Budapest has been highly recommended by friends who insist it is enticing and romantic right from the moment you arrive. How about a city of two halves, aptly named Buda and Pest? The magnificent and renowned River Danube is the perfect demarcation of the two sides of this must-visit getaway. Each of the twin sides of this city has unique places to visit and wonderful sceneries. The restaurants are relatively inexpensive but high quality, and the nightlife is completely different to that of Western Europe yet will always provide you with a night to remember!

Considering the dipping winter temperatures, you will appreciate that this metropolis is called the city of spas, some stretching as far as the 16th century. Budapest is the perfect travel destination for anybody who appreciates incredible architecture and wants an experience that is very far from the landscapes of Western Europe!

I hope that one of these cities has caught your eye, if you do get the chance to visit one of these amazing locations we would love see your experiences! You can tag us on instagram @grace_guru or use any of our hashtags #graceguru #graceguruloves #gracegurulifestyle!

With Love,

Your Grace Guru

xxx

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