You Can Grow New Brain Cells – Dr Sandrine Thuret

Can humans develop new brain cells, as adults? Scientists do not generally agree about this, as it is a relatively new field of investigation. However, Dr Sandrine Thuret, a neuroscientist with expertise in cellular, molecular, ageing and behavioral biology, says you can. In her laboratory at King’s College London, Dr. Thuret studies adult neurogenesis – the process of forming new brain cells in specific brain regions in adults.

Thuret’s work concentrates on the hippocampus, which is a gray structure within the middle of the brain. Scientists have long known that the hippocampus is essential for learning, emotion, mood and memory. Recently, researchers learned that the hippocampus is a unique structure within the mammalian brain which is capable of generating new neurons or brain cells.A researcher, Jonas Frisen of the Karolinska Institute, found that the human brain generates approximately seven hundred new neurons each day within the hippocampus. Dr Thuret notes:

“While this may not appear to be much when compared to the several billions of neurons within the human brain, by the time you clock age fifty, you would have exchanged all the neurons you were born with within the brain with adult generated neurons.”

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The Importance Of Adult Neurogenesis

As stated earlier, new neurons produced within the hippocampus are essential for memory and learning. “And within the laboratory,” states Dr Thuret, “we have found that if the adult’s brain capability to generate new neurons within the hippocampus is blocked, then certain memory abilities are also blocked”. Furthermore, according to the scientist, this is particularly new and true for spatial recognition.

Spatial recognition is utilized in everyday activities, including simple tasks such as deciding what size of container is required to hold a particular object or navigating your way within the city. It is also utilized when you look within a mirror and understand which side of the reflection correlates with the left side and which with the right. Also, spatial recognition skills help to keep individuals from getting lost when adjusting to a new apartment or office building.

“A lot are still being discovered”, says Thuret, “and aside from being essential for memory capacity, neurons are also essential for the quality or features of the memory”. Also, they are beneficial for adding time to your memory as well as helping to differentiate memories that are very similar. For example how are you able to locate your bike, which you park every day at the station, within the same area; however in a somewhat different position?

Neurogenesis And Depression

Thuret also says that she and her colleagues at King’s College London have been conducting some research on neurogenesis and depression. “In studies of depression using animal models, we have discovered that there is a lower level of generation of new neurons in the brain”, says the scientist. “And if antidepressants are given, it was discovered that the synthesis of these new neurons increased, and depression symptoms were decreased, thereby establishing a clear connection between depression and neurogenesis.” However, if you merely block the generation of new brain cells, then the antidepressant’s efficacy will be blocked as well.

This finding helps to explain why some patients who have been informed that their cancer is cured still develop depression symptoms. According to Thuret, the medication which doctors give to their patients which stops the multiplication of the cancer cells also impedes or stops the generation of new neurons in the patients’ brains. In addition, it will take some time to produce new neurons that attain normal functions.

“Thus, collectively, now we believe that there is sufficient evidence to assert that neurogenesis is an excellent choice if we wish to enhance mood or memory formation, or even stop the decline connected to stress or connected to ageing” – observed Dr. Thuret.

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Can Neurogenesis Be Controlled?

Thuret says the answer to this question is a definite yes, and she details some activities and behaviors that can influence the generation of new neurons within the adult brain. These activities include:

  • Learning : This will increase the generation of new neurons.
  • Stress: Stress will reduce the generation of new neurons within the hippocampus.
  • Sleep deprivation: This will also reduce neurogenesis.
  • Sex: Sex will boost the generation of new neurons within the hippocampus of the adult brain; however Thuret cautions that balance is important. Excessive sex can actually lead to sleep deprivation and attendant medical disorders.
  • Ageing: Generation of new neurons will reduce as you age, however that does not mean it will stop completely.
  • Running: Running can greatly increase the generation of new neurons within the hippocampus of the adult brain. Thuret offers more explanation about this.

Thuret points to an experiment conducted by Salt Institute’s Rusty Gage, which showed that the environment can influence the generation of new neurons within the brain. In the study, some mice were placed in a cage with a running wheel, while others were placed in another cage with no running wheel.

At the end of the experiment, mice from the cage with a running wheel showed a huge increase in the generation of new neurons within the hippocampus, whilst mice from the cage with no running wheel showed very little increase in the generation of new neurons within the hippocampus of the brain. This shows that activity has a huge impact on neurogenesis.

The neuroscientist also points out that diet can also impact the generation of new neurons within the hippocampus, and also specifies some eating practices that can influence neurogenesis. These practices include:

  • Calorie restriction of about twenty to thirty percent will boost generation of new neurons.
  • Intermittent fasting (abstaining from calories for a brief time period) will boost neurogenesis.
  • Consumption of flavonoids that are contained within blueberries or dark chocolate will boost neurogenesis.
  • Omega 3 fatty acids which are contained in fatty fish such as salmon will boost the generation of new neurons within the hippocampus.
  • High saturated fat diet will negatively impact neurogenesis.
  • Consumption of alcohol will reduce the generation of new neurons in the brain. Nevertheless, everything is not lost. Dr. Thuret points out that resveratrol, which is a component of red wine, has been found to boost the survival of newborn neurons. Thus, when next you are at a get-together, you may want to opt for this potentially “neurogenesis-neutral” drink.
  • A soft diet (diet that avoids or restricts foods which are difficult to chew or swallow) impairs neurogenesis.

Healthy lifestyle llustration and info graphic. Food, water, sport.

“Even though all of this data has been generated utilising animal models, this diet has been given to human participants as well”, says Dr Sandrine Thuret, “and what we discovered is that the diet moderates mood and memory in the same way as it moderates the generation of new neurons within the hippocampus”.

For example calorie restriction will enhance memory capacity, while a diet high in fat will aggravate depression symptoms. This is in contrast to omega III fatty acids, which boosts the generation of new neurons within the hippocampus, and also aid to reduce depression symptoms.

“Thus we believe that the influence of diet on mood, memory and mental health, is actually regulated by the generation of the new neurons within the hippocampus”, concludes Thuret. “And it is not just what you consume, but the food texture, when you consume the food and the quantity of the food you consume.

With Love,

Your Grace Guru 

xxx

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12 Common Negative Phrases You Need To Stop Saying!

Are you aware that negative thoughts and words can thwart an individual’s growth as well as reduce the chances of achieving success at any undertaking? Therefore, it is an excellent idea to substitute negative words with positive ones and live the life you truly want. Do not allow words to create unnecessary limitations in your life. Here are 12 popular negative phrases that you need to remove from your vocabulary immediately!

  1. I Can’t…

Any thought or statement that begins with I can’t is false. Usually, when people utilise the term “I can’t” what they actually mean is “I choose not.” The more times you start your statements with I can’t, the more you will experience limitations in your life. So, whenever you find yourself saying I can’t, stop for a moment and get tuned in to what’s happening around you.

You may be scared, feeling unable or incompetent, or thinking of previous experiences where you failed, or thinking of present circumstances and situations that are preventing you from performing a particular task. No matter the reason: ask yourself, “would you like to be able?” If you answered yes, then do the following:

1. Get a sheet of paper and write down all the ways it may be possible to accomplish the task.

2. Write down how you will feel when you have accomplished the task. Doing so will motivate you to perform the task.

Therefore, instead of saying “I can’t”, a more empowering phrase would be “I choose” or “I can.”

  1. I Am Not Good Enough

Who says you’re not good enough? Saying things like this to yourself will only put you down. This will not bring you any benefit whatsoever. Begin to believe in yourself and your capabilities to achieve success at any task. Instead of saying I am not good enough, you should be saying, “I’ve got what it takes” or “I deserve the best!”

  1. Whatever Will Be Will Be

This is another phrase that is masquerading as true but really not. “Whatever will be will be” is a pretext not to take action. What this phrase basically means is that your future is written already and you cannot influence tomorrow, regardless of what you do now. This is actually a big lie. The truth is that irrespective of what has occurred previously in your life, and regardless of what’s happening in your life right now, your future is shaped by what you do today. There are no ifs or buts about that.

Whenever you invoke “whatever will be will be”, you have already relinquished your power and will to the circumstances and individuals around you. Always remember that while circumstances and individuals can influence your actions, they do not decide what you will do. Only you can decide your fate in life. Therefore, instead of saying “whatever will be will be” trying saying, “if it is to be, it is up to me.”

  1. That Is Impossible

Many people say this when they hear something that’s different from what they believe. Individuals who live to maintain the status quo usually believe that any knowledge that does not support the status quo should be disregarded or ignored. What you should understand is that there is nothing that is impossible.

There are lots of possibilities within the universe, that precisely whatever can occur has a good chance of occurring somewhere sometime. The fact that evolution and change takes place continually counteracts the likelihood of exhausting possibilities. Whenever you hear something that is unusual or something that is different, instead of saying “that is impossible”, you can say “I believe in miracles”.

  1. I Am Alone

It is true that no one can make it in this world all alone. You will always require help from someone. Everyone is fighting their own battle in life; however every individual is different and is dealing with different circumstances and problems. It would be good if you can find someone with whom to share your burdens.

If you cannot, do not drown your mind in negative thoughts. Bear in mind that everyone feels depressed sometimes and it is fine to feel that way. Therefore, you should stop saying, “I am alone”, and start saying, “The universe/God is always there”.

  1. What People Say And Think About Me Matters

When did you last do something for yourself without bothering about other people or social standards generally? If you know that no one is judging you, what will you do? People will talk about you regardless of what you do. So why bother? If they do talk about you that means you are interesting! Do not give people the chance to destroy your dreams and aspirations. So, rather than thinking, “what people say and think about me matters”, you should start saying, “I am neither too little or too much, I don’t have to prove myself to anyone”.

 

  1. I Will Take Care Of This Later

It is said that the pain of being disciplined is less than the sting of regret. If you put off doing something you ought to do now, you may never accomplish that task. You should stop procrastinating because tomorrow never comes. Thus, rather than saying, “I will take care of this later”, you should start saying, “I am taking care of it right now”.

  1. I Do Not Deserve To Be Loved

The golden rule says that you should love your neighbor as yourself. But how will you love others if you cannot find it in your heart to love yourself. One good thing regarding love is that it is abundant. Rather than saying, “I do not deserve to be loved”, you should say “I love myself and I deserve to be loved”.

  1. I Cannot Forgive Him/Her

Stop bearing grudges against other people. Do not live life with bitterness in your heart. Holding grudges will only make you ill and sabotage your own happiness. One is not saying you should forgive others because they were wrong or right. Practice forgiveness because you deserve to free yourself from other individual’s insensitive choices. Thus instead of thinking, “I cannot forgive him or her”, you should say “I forgive… I release her/him with love”.

  1. If Only I Had More

Be thankful for the things you have now. Perhaps, you want to buy a pair of designer shoes because you like the way they look. Remember that there are individuals who do not have any shoes at all. So instead of saying, “if only I had more” you should start saying, “I am grateful for everything I have”.

  1. I Am A Failure

If you say you are a failure or a loser then you create the failures. Every blunder that you commit teaches you a lesson. There is a trail of failures behind every success story. Thus, you should learn from your failures and try again. Instead of saying “I’m a failure”, you should be saying “I am a learner”.

  1. What If It Does Not Work?

Fear is the main driver of this damaging phrase. Individuals who fear change often say this because they need a reason not to make progress. This provides them with a way out – someone or something to blame apart from themselves.

One is not saying you should not research as well as crosscheck your facts. However, when you are doing that, you should be looking for explanations to the problems that you come across. Instead of saying, “what if it does not work?” You should start asking, “what if it works?” By so doing, you will have a mindset of possibilities and solutions.

 

With Love,

Your Grace Guru

xxx

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How To Be A Conscious Leader

In leadership, every guru has his or her own approach and readers and students often end up confused as to who is telling the truth. The fact is that the best leadership approach is the one that works for the practitioner’s and followers’ situations. I know I am sounding as if I am advancing my own theory too. I have right to do so, don’t I?

Allow me to state my opinion in a different way. In the absence of a clear definition of leadership and above the din of a multiplicity of theories, good leadership can only be defined through the leader’s effectiveness in influencing followers towards a noble and mutually beneficial course. However, unless you are a conscious leader, you will gradually develop into an empty shell that eventually runs of content and inspiration.

Who Is A Conscious Leader?

Have you ever met a motivational speaker who is in dire need of the inspiration he or she purports to offer? For example, do you know a renowned financial teacher who became bankrupt after some time? I know one and I am sure you have another one in mind. How possible is it that one can be the recipient of so much wisdom and be the channel for benefiting many, yet fail to gain from the same wealth of knowledge.

Now I can explain what a conscious leader is. This is leader who is in touch with his or her own life and who does not lose sight of himself or herself in the process of leadership. If you are a conscious leader, you lead by example because of the conviction you hold on the issues you share with your followers. A conscious leader is first a disciple of the philosophy he or she subscribes to before becoming a leader.

You must own your life story and implement the change you want to see in others. Only after taking charge and responsibility over your life do you become a conscious leader who can guide others in a particular direction.

What Do You Need To Do To Become A Conscious Leader?

  1. Have Your Own Philosophy Of Life

Throughout life, we are accustomed and socialised to live according to the dictates of those in authority like our parents, school authority and the government. However, as we grow, and especially if we desire to be effective leaders, we must begin to form our own philosophies and visions about life. Such ideologies spring from what we consider our purposes to be living on earth at this particular moment.

  1. Look At Life From A Larger Perspective

In the hustle and bustle of daily life it is possible to lose sight of the larger picture. A conscious leader understands that life is more than the struggle to place food on the table. You need to observe what others take for granted; to see the trends that others don’t, and to make out the connections that are only visible to those who dare to question life itself.

  1. Connect With Your Inner Self

There is no way you are going to be a conscious leader if you don’t know yourself. Understanding what moves and motivates you is essential if you are to help your followers to lead productive lives. Whether you are going to pray or meditate is not the problem. The most important thing is that you have some quiet time with yourself for rejuvenation, inspiration and re- strategising.

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  1. Learn To Listen

A conscious leader is one who listens. Listening entails giving undivided attention to the other person while absorbing what they are telling you. It demands for compassion and sympathy to the plight of your followers. If you have learned to listen to your inner voice, then you can listen to others without judging them, thus becoming a conscious leader.

  1. Accept Criticism

A story is told of a despotic tyrant who used to kill ministers who criticised him even after encouraging them to correct him whenever he went wrong. The mark of a conscious leader is one who is open to criticism and correction by those he or she leads and even opponents. No one is perfect and people will point out to you areas in your life that need to be rectified. Accept genuine criticism and make necessary changes as you go along.

  1. Invest In Your Followers

As a conscious leader you should never forget that you are a leader because you have followers. Whether you are a spiritual leader, politician or manager, when you invest in the personal and professional development of your followers, you gain more credibility. Followers will not remain with you for long if they don’t find anything of value or if they feel the cause is benefiting you only.

What Else Do You Need To Know About Conscious Leadership?

  1. Only conscious leadership is real leadership. The best example you can give to your followers is to live the dream you are championing.
  2. Leadership begins with a clear vision. Never forget your vision and what it entails.
  3. Find a strategy of overcoming stress especially in a manner that entails withdrawing from the larger public for some specific periods on a regular basis.
  4. Believe in your followers just as they believe in you. When you lose confidence in them, you lose confidence in your leadership abilities.
  5. Learn to be thankful for your life, position, people around you and the leadership responsibility you are holding.
  6. There is a reason you are a leader and the rest are followers. Whatever makes them love and follow you, strengthen as a conscious leader.
  7. Be happy. Joy is infectious. If you can bring cheer to your soul, it will be reflected in the lives of your followers too.
  8. Communicate as often as possible. The heart of leadership is constant flow of messages between all parties involved.
  9. Motivate your followers. As a conscious leader, you need to understand each of your followers, where possible, and come up with strategies to lift them up when despondency sets in.
  10. Never forget that your happiness and that of your followers are intertwined.

With Love,

Your Grace Guru

xxx

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Introduction To Acidosis, Diet And Ageing!

Contemporary scientific studies indicate that the ageing process is not as complex as we have always thought. Our bodies produce very poisonous wastes, which contribute immensely to morbidity and ageing. While sweat and urine form part of the acidic wastes expelled from the body, many more wastes remain in the body and infiltrate body organs and blood. The results are clogging of blood vessels, poor circulation of oxygen and essential nutrients and incapacitation of cells.

Balancing Acid And Alkaline Content

Acidosis occurs when the body has abnormal acidity, thus weakening body systems. Many people across cultures are oblivious of this problem. Acidosis creates fecund ground for diseases unlike the ideal neutral pH environment where immunity is high. You need to have enough reserves of alkaline to neutralise acidosis; otherwise your body will be at risk of illnesses. As early as 1933, the idea that self-poisoning or autotoxication was advanced by William Howard Hay, a doctor based in New York, in his text, A New Health Era. While attributing all diseases to acidosis, Dr. Hay observed:

Now we depart from health in just the proportion to which we have allowed our alkalies to be dissipated by introduction of acid-forming food in too great amount.

The concept of acidosis can be traced further to Taoist medicinal traditions of over two millennia ago. Foods were said to be either yang (acidifying the cellular fluids and the bloodstream) or yin (alkalising tissues and body fluids).

It is important to understand that PH balance depends on the acidifying effects of specific foods and not necessarily on the acidity in the items themselves. For example, when you eat oranges, they will alkalize your urine even though the fruits have citric acid.

Another way in which we acidify our bodies and make them vulnerable to diseases is by using antibiotics indiscriminately. Fungi, yeasts, viruses, bacteria and moulds are common complications in our bodies. However, when we turn to antibiotics every time we are affected by these conditions, we create the best environment for the growth of more potently and fatal bacteria and germs. It was Dr. Luis Pasteur who taught germ theory and asserted that germs were the major causes of illnesses. However, shortly before he died, he made this important statement:

“The germ is nothing, the inner terrain is everything”

Alkaline diet

Alkaline Diet

The Process Of Acidosis

1. How Acid Waste Accumulates and Causes Ageing

A pregnant woman and the unborn child share nutrients. A mother normally passes alkalinity to the foetus because of consuming alkaline minerals, which cause low appetite in pregnant women. During breastfeeding, the child remains alkaline, but alkalinity levels reduce when infant cereals are introduced. Acidity begins to rise when the child is weaned.

Since ageing is a product of acidosis, eradicating acid waste will lead to longer lives. Consequently, alkaline water should be used to neutralize meals that form acids. This is possible with a lot of vegetables, low meat and vegetarian diets.

2. Cellular Level

Cells are the basic units of the body and are alkaline in nature. However, during respiration and other functions, cells produce acidic wastes. While these wastes are utilised for various functions, their accumulation is dangerous to the body. Your safety lies in maintaining the right pH balance as this will guarantee you immunity.

3. pH

This is the measure of alkalinity or acidity in the body and ranges between 0 and 14. When the pH is lower the body is acidic, while a higher pH implies alkalinity. Neutrality occurs when pH is at 7. Water is the main body fluid constituting about ¾ of the body. Your body works hard to maintain a neutral pH. However, if pH balance of body tissues and fluids is interfered with, the body experiences problems.

4. Measuring Your Body’s Alkalinity Or Acidity

Knowing you pH levels is essential in order to take quick remedial action where necessary. This can be done using pH strips in the confines of your home.

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Alkaline Testing

5. Saliva pH

Create clean saliva in the mouth by repeatedly forming some saliva and swallowing it, preferably two hours after a meal. Put a little saliva on the pH strip. The results will indicate the pH condition of your stomach, liver and digestive system.

6. Urine pH

This is a good measure of the pH conditions in your kidneys, which in turn indicates how your body assimilates minerals. However, urine pH is affected by diet, lifestyle, the air you breath and food preservatives.

Why You Must Maintain The Right pH Balance

The right pH balance is mandatory for absorption of nutrients and minerals into the body. Acidosis means you lack oxygen and calcium necessary for alkaline balance. Calcium is the glue that holds body cells and organs together.

With Love,

Your Grace Guru

xxx

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How To Experience And Enjoy Tantra Energy

In conventional and popular sexual approaches, sexual energy is released when partners reach orgasm. However, did you know that this philosophy is only true when your partner and you do not understand how to control your bodies and minds?

Of depleted batteries that need recharging

Let’s use and analogy to understand how conventional sex works. When you charge a battery, it gives you the energy you need, which decreases gradually until the battery is drained. This is similar to what happens when you reach orgasm. Your sexual energy is discharged and you feel exhausted.

The opposite is true in Tantric Sex. Here the battery does not lose any energy; it flows unhindered. The partners in Tantric Sex experience increased a vitality that moves around the body – orgasm of the entire body. For partners in normal sex, the energy is in a kind of reservoir that is drained in a short while, during the moment of passion.

Not sporadic moments of passion but prolonged pleasure

Tantric Sex consists of sexual energy in sublime form. This energy remains within the sources, only leaving in form of flows and pulses and going back to its origin. Contrast this with conventional sex where a moment of passion results in the shutdown of the system. Now you know why men doze off after orgasm. In essence, the two sexual partners have no connection.

Rejuvenation, not exhaustion after sex

Tantric sex is different in that you feel rejuvenated and not exhausted during and after sex because of tantric energy. Both of you are conscious of the proceedings and of one another. Throughout the passionate encounter, you are mindful of the happenings and orgasm only enhances, but does not deplete, your energy. Very few people attain this state of continued pleasure.

The price to pay for tantric sex

But do not be cheated that this will happen without any effort. Your partner and you must be trained to focus. Tantra teachers use yoga techniques to train you on this approach to sex. The consequence is a rebirth, whereby you become totally aware of one another and your linkage – emotionally and spiritually. Make sure you choose the right partner or your husband, as the connection is becoming very strong!

In order to preserves and maximise sexual energy in Tantric Sex, you need to practice particular rituals. Prolonged Tantra worship assists you in generating sexual energy, which is them made to flow freely and rejuvenate the minds and bodies of your partner and you. For this to happen, your minds and bodies must be prepared adequately for the process.

Age and past experience do not matter

When your bodies and minds are not trained in Tantra Sex, you reach gratification rapidly. However, if you are prepared through tantric medication and yoga, you will last for a longer time, with sexual gratification taking longer to come. To learn more about Tantric Sex, identify a tantra master and start your journey towards fulfilling sex. Finally, in tantric sex, your age or past sexual experience cannot hinder you from enjoying this unforgettable sex.

With love,

Your Grace Guru

xxx

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Celebrating World Vegetarian Day!

The 1st October is officially the World Vegetarian Day! And although I am not a vegetarian ( Yet ), I would like to celebrate it with you, share one of my favourite receipts for a soup and remind you once again why eating lots of veggies is very healthy and important for you!

But before that, you should know that the Worlds Vegetarian Day was established by the North American Vegetarian Society in 1977 and supported by the international Vegetarian Union in 1978 , “To promote the joy, compassion and life-enhancing possibilities of vegetarianism.” It is important to bring awareness to the benefits of the vegetarian lifestyle, good health and ethical environmental.

So lets start the month of October as Vegetarian Awareness Month, detox our bodies and experiment with all the delicious fruits, veggies that the autumn season is bringing to us ( OMG there are so many yummy things on the farmers market….mushrooms and the pumpkins ) and celebrate the ending of it on the 1st of November after Halloween is over!

The temperatures are dropping down and its good to keep warm. I am not going to share with you another pumpkin dish recipe even that its so healthy, popular and it’s the season for it! But I will share one of my favourites Russian/Ukrainian Soups that I loved as a child and still love –

– is the delicious ( of course vegetarian ) “Borscht “!

Ingredients

  • 2 medium beetroots, peeled and grated
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and grated
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 2 tbsp of water
  • 1 tsp of juice lemon
  • 1 L of vegetable broth
  • 1 tbsp of sea salt
  • 4 medium-size potatoes, diced
  • ½ white cabbage
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 3 whole black peppers
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/5 tbsp dried parsley
  • 1 garlic cloves, halved

Easy to cook:

  1. You will need a large pot, on medium/high heat, 1 tbsp of olive oil heated before adding grated beets, carrots and diced tomatoes.
  2. Add 2 tbsp of water and lemon juice to the vegetables and stir.
  3. Cover the pot, simmer for 15 min and reduce the heat to low.
  4. Boil 1L vegetable broth and ad it to the shredded vegetables after they have been simmering for 15 min.
  5. Bring them all to a boil and add 1 tbsp of sea salt.
  6. Add diced potatoes and shredded cabbage to the soup and cook for 10 minutes.
  7. Meanwhile, heat up 1 tsp of olive oil in a small skillet and sauté the onion over medium heat until it becomes golden.
  8. Add the onions to the pot and give it a good stir.
  9. Finally add black pepper, bay leaves, garlic and dried parsley to the soup and continue cooking for another 5-10 minutes.
  10. Borscht is ready to be served!
  11. Store your Borscht in a refrigerator and it will stay fresh for up to 1 week. I actually like it more on the second or even third day, it becomes a bit vinery.

You can always add to your bowl a teaspoon of sour cream, fresh herbs or freshly grounded pepper!

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Why is it good to be a vegetarian or at least try for a month?

  • Eating non-vegetarian food causes pain and suffering to the animals that are killed for food
  • Did you knew that more natural resources (water, agricultural land and human resources) are consumed when animals are reared for their meat. So do you care for the future of our planet?

 

  • Vegetarian foods are much healthier for you; this is already very well studied and proven. So being a vegetarian will lead you to have a higher quality of life!
  • All human being must practicenon violence’ against all living creatures. To hurt another being is to hurt oneself!
  • Do you care about the Worlds economy? Well then you must know that the World population would be cheaper and more efficient if people followed a vegetarian diet.

Think about it or at least try to cook Borscht! 

With Love,

Your Grace Guru!

xxx

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Why You Should Burn Incense At Home

I think I need to admit, that I am a bit obsessed with burning incenses at home! I even suspect the whole building smells of it when I burn them in my apartment and the neighbours must think there is a Krishna Temple somewhere inside the house! LOL! But to burn incense, you don’t have to be religious, a Krishna believer or a Buddhist. Just read the real and good benefits that you can get from burning them, from different perspectives…

What is Incense?

Incense is a fragrant biotic substance that emits aromatic smoke as it burns. Substances may also be mixed with essential oils, spices, tree bark and flowers to create certain fragrances and aromas. Different cultures have varied ways of preparing incense and technology has created even more methods!

Who burns Incense?

Ancient Egyptians would burn incense to worship their Gods and for being near them and to their Gods too. Today Christian churches burn them for religious ceremonies and liturgy. In Asia many people burn them not only at the temples but also at their homes to honour their Gods, for rituals and to purify and protection from any bad spirits.

Want to concentrate more?

A famous Chinese healer teaches that – “Monks recognised this benefit of incense long ago and use it during their meditation to clear the air as well as their thoughts.” Craftsmen practice the same to ensure they don’t lose focus when creating artefacts, jewellery and ornaments.

I love meditating when burning the incense at home in front of my Buddha. It connects me into a different place, the atmosphere changes and my thoughts become quiet, I travel into a different time and my mind disappears into my sanctuary!

Need a creativity injection?

If you are a writer, musician or any other creative artist you can spike your imagination and creativity by burning incense! The exciting aroma of incense can work like gorgeous scenery, an inspiring song or a quiet walk in the woods – or even better – in generating ideas and creativity to work on them.

Spices at the spice souk of deira Dubai - Grace Guru

Feeling low on morale?

We all feel it at times and burning incense can also change all of this. Incense is known to have air-purifying qualities. It destroys or wards off bacteria, fungi and insects. According to some experts, “incense increases positive energy and drives away negative energy.”

Is your confidence tank empty?

Confidence is very crucial for any activity that you undertake and incense can greatly boost your self-assurance. If your burn incense, it can help you to be more confident and successful!

Offering to gods with burning incense aroma sticks - Grace Guru

Need to boost your libido?

If you are looking for an aphrodisiac, look no further! Your sexual appetite is bound to increase, even as your confidence grows exceptionally with every scent of incense you imbibe. An incense guru holds that “If a couple uses incense together, the smells will kick in the pheromone effect and they most likely will have a hard time keeping their hands off each other.” Wow, not bad for an incense…

Other benefits…

You can avert bacterial infections by disinfecting the air with Myrrh and other forms of incense. If your nose is blocked or you have a throbbing head, burning and imbibing incense will bring you fast relief. You also can use incense to fight depression and anxiety and overcome insomnia. Simply burn them at homes to enjoy its pleasant aroma!

Caution!

Despite all this great benefits, remember it is really very, very important to use only organic / natural incense! It is more safer for your health, respiratory system and is non-addictive, the type that has some synthetic substances or is burned using charcoal can harm you! I would recommend Japanese incense, they are generally more refined then others and are the best from my experience. Nippon Kodo Since 1575.

Tibetan incenses are very natural and light. In India the incense tends to be rougher and very strong in aroma. Additionally, incense can have healing effects, but if your condition worsens, consult a doctor. Personally and if I am honest, sometimes I feel the burning smoke aromas are a bit to strong for me even if I do like the fragrance. If you burn it in small rooms, I would recommend opening the windows and letting some fresh air in.

So don’t overuse it to much, you don’t have to burn the incense everyday and every hour! You can burn them few times or even once a week. So when I feel more sensitive to the smells, I just let them burn (in a safe place) when I leave the house, so when I come back I have a nice aroma, clean energy and good spirit at home!

With Love,

Your Grace Guru

xxx

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How To Avoid Protein Shake Mistakes!

No one can underrate the effectiveness of protein shakes in weight loss efforts; perhaps only those who have never tried them. Tens of thousands of people seeking to lose weight have resorted to protein powder because of the philosophy behind this product.

However, if you do not use the right mix of protein shake, you are likely to make no progress in losing weight or even start gaining body mass.

Why Proteins?

Before we delve into the mistakes that many make with protein powders, let us first understand the rationale behind consuming proteins to lose weight. One of the most effective strategies for overcoming hunger pangs is to take a sizeable amount of protein especially in the morning. Food rich in protein suppresses your appetite and prevents you from eating large amounts of food or eating frequently. This implies that your body will be forced to burn excess fat for its energy needs.

Similarly, since you will not eat a lot of food, your metabolism will work optimally. In contrast, eating a lot of carbohydrates gives your body an uphill tasks of digesting and assimilating the food, and the more frequent you eat starches and sugars the more likely the body is to convert these foods into fats thus increasing your body mass.

No Time or Appetite for a Protein-rich Breakfast?

I know people, and probably you are one of them, who are simply too busy to prepare protein-laden meals. Others claim they have no appetite. Such individuals end up taking huge amounts of carbohydrates for breakfast since wheat-based meals and snacks are easier to prepare or are found readily in retail outlets.

But that should not be the reason for you not to eat proteins particularly if you want to shed excess weight. That is why you need protein shakes. For the uninitiated, these are ready-to drink mixtures of proteins prepared especially for athletes and body builders. Protein powders are packed with proteins although they may contain some other nutrients like carbohydrates. Many people often use these products after workouts.

And Now, the Mistakes!

Despite the marvellous benefits of protein powder, the human tendency to mess up with what should be of help to them comes into play often. The cliché, ‘too much of anything is poisonous’ rings true in these circumstances. In your lopsided wisdom, you might end up consuming a protein shake that will hurt you instead of helping you. That is why you need to watch out for the following mistakes that you are likely to make when buying or preparing protein powder.

1. Confusing a Milkshake for a Protein Shake

Confusion is a common and understandable human characteristic. We confuse people with others. We use words that appear similar even when they don’t mean the same. It is possible to confuse a thug for a husband or wife and marry them only to realise that you were conned, when it is too late to bolt away.

That said, some level of confusion is detrimental, like thinking that milkshake is protein shake. By all means you need to curtail your sugar intake if you want to lose weight. Any form of protein shake that contains more than enough sugar should be discarded. I am talking about you adding dried fruit, sweetened nut milks or sugar added almond butter into your protein shake.

Instead, go for low-sugar protein shake. For example, opt for frozen raspberries, kale, sugarless coconut milk, avocado or ground flaxseeds. This way you will eat a delicious and fatless breakfast that will keep your hunger pangs away for longer durations.

2. Opting for the Protein you Should Avoid

There are as many protein shakes in the market as there are types of cookies. You will be spoilt for choice but that is if you don’t know that not all protein powders are the same. And I don’t blame you either. The varieties of protein shakes in the market have confusing labels on the ingredients they contain. But that does not mean that you buy any stuff you find on the shelf.

Generally, you will find protein powders in three varieties: casein, soy and whey. Casein behaves like any dairy product even though it is absorbed slowly, and is not advisable to take as a meal replacement.

Soy is the least preferable ingredient in protein shakes because of it propensity to harm the thyroid, in addition to being a catalyst for breast cancer.

Whey is the most popular protein shake variety. However, it tends to be absorbed quite quickly and is not as suitable as a meal replacement. It also raises insulin rapidly thus making you hungry within an hour of eating the powder.

You best option is to select a protein shake without soy or dairy elements. Cranberry protein, chia, chlorella, chia, rice or pea can do the job for you. You can also try protein powder that has no fat.

3. Purchasing Unhealthy Powders!

Not all protein powders contain the same ingredient. This point is so important that it is worth repeating. In the quest for profits, various manufacturers of protein shakes create various mixtures. I call most of these products unhealthy protein mixtures because they tend to make it harder for you to reach your fitness goals.

They are made to appeal to your taste buds by adding preservatives, processed sugars and artificial sweeteners. It is like sugar-coating bitter pills, but in this case making the amount of added sugar the main ingredient, thus destroying the healing power of the medicine you are taking. It is obvious that healing is a mirage when you take such medication.

Please read the labels of the proteins you buy very carefully. Don’t be cheated by titles such as juice, fructose, syrup, sweetener or concentrate because they simply mean the product has additional sugar. The more natural the protein shake; the better. Don’t rush for famous trademarks at the expense of your health or fitness goals.

Just as a Reminder….

  1. Proteins powders are important for body building and weight management, but you need to choose wisely if you are to attain your fitness goals.
  2. Not all protein powders are the same; they contain varying amounts of whey, casein and soy in addition to other ingredients.
  3. Choose low-sugar protein shakes instead of those with high amounts of sugars.
  4. Avoid protein shakes with dairy or soy products or fats.
  5. Read the labels on the protein powders you buy very carefully to know the contents and avoid those that will not benefit you.
  6. Talk to a fitness expert to get the best directions on the right kind of protein shakes to use.
  7. Protein shakes are not absolute substitutes for food. Eat a balanced diet as most of your protein needs should be met through this avenue.
  8. If a certain protein shake does produce the results you expected, change to a better variety (in terms of sugar, soy or fat content) or ask an expert to help you choose one.
  9. Protein powders are effective for people who engage in physical activities. Avoid them if you are the lazy type of persons who spends the day lying on the couch and watching TV.

With love,

Your Grace Guru

xxx

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Amazing Nutrition Tips For A Super Healthy Fall!

Fall began on Wednesday 23 September and will end on Monday 21 December 2015. It is the time when temperatures gradually fall as we head towards winter. However, few people understand that amazing health benefits that they can derive from this season. To people who are conscious about the nutritional value of food, fall is a season to look forward to.

Before discussing important nutrition tips for this autumn, it is crucial that we appreciate why we need to concentrate on some foods in particular seasons. Nature works in such a manner as to provide particular foods during specific seasons. This implies that there are some nutrients that are abundant during certain seasons and scarce during others.

To this end, you must not be left out on the nutritional feast of any season. This should not be misconstrued to mean that you cannot get the same nutrient during ‘offseason’. It means you must eat more of a particular nutrient when it is in season. As part of nature, you must obey natural law.

There are other reasons for observing season-specific nutrition. To begin with, you will spend less on a particular food product when it is in season since supply will be high and the price will be low. In addition, fresh food has greater nutritional value and health benefits than frozen or canned varieties. Lastly, fresh food has the best taste and flavour thus making it more palatable that when it is offseason.

There are many fruits, vegetables and other foods that will make this autumn the most beneficial in terms of nutrition and health if you follow the tips below:

  1. Eat Lots Of Tangerines

Tangerines belong to the citrus family, like oranges and lemons, but have unique benefits. They are versatile in terms of the recipes that can accommodate them. You can combine them with dates, almonds and honey or add their juice to ginger or vinegar as part of dressing. These sweet but small fruits are packed with beta-carotene and vitamin C to reduce the risk of cancer and promote healthy skin.

Tangerines with cinnamon

  1. Make Apples Your Friend

Fall is the apple season and the best you can do is to obey nature and incorporate these fruits into your diet and recipes. The good thing with apples is that you can eat them full and raw. You may also want to bake them and have them as part of your meal. Expect abundant antioxidants, dietary fiber and flavonoids. You will also enjoy improved general wellbeing, effective digestion and weight control among other benefits.

Happy blond toddler with wooden trolley full of organic red appl

  1. Treat Your Body To A Grapefruit Party

This may be a citrus fruit but it is known for its tartness. This autumn, make the wise decision to eat as much of this fruit as possible. You will relish a blend of grapefruit and greens or a mixture of grapefruit and avocado. How about a refreshing glass of grapefruit juice that is packed with antioxidants? Need I mention that vitamin C, lycopene and pectin are waiting for you when you eat this fruit? This means you will be protecting your skin, keeping away cancer and lowering cholesterol at the same time.

grapefruit drinks

  1. Feast On Cauliflower Often

Fall is the time when this sweet vegetable hits the market. There are many ways to eat cauliflower. It can be a perfect complement for side dishes. You can also steam this vegetable and mix it with mashed potato. Some people also like to puree it into soup. In an era when cases of cancer are on the increase, you definitely need food with elements that can avert this fatal disease. Cauliflower also controls blood cholesterol and is packed with vitamin C.

fried cauliflower

  1. Incorporate Brussels Sprouts In Your Meals

This veggie is abundant in autumn and has a heavenly taste. I know some people don’t like the somewhat bitter taste of brussels sprouts, but when this vegetable is blended with spicy and flavourful sauces such as balsamic vinegar, it becomes irresistible. When I do this, I am assured that I have more than my daily requirement of vitamin K, folate and iron, which all crucial minerals for my body to perform optimally.

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  1. Enrich Your Pies With Pumpkins

The squash family is amazing considering the nutrients packed in these foods. I believe a pumpkin is a versatile food item if you take into account the variety of ways it can be prepared, blended and eaten. This fall, incorporate this tasty food into your cakes, pies and pudding and enjoy its amazing nutritional content. I am talking of fiber, vitamin B and potassium to name a few nutrients.

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  1. Make Sweet Potatoes Part Of Your Diet

This is another wonderful serving that fall brings to your table. You can boil or roast sweet potatoes and even enjoy them as part of your breakfast. I enjoy the roasted type more because most of the nutrients are not lost when preparing it as opposed to the boiled type. Apart from the obvious sugary taste, sweet potatoes contain vitamin A and iron and are known to lessen inflammations.

Homemade Cooked Sweet Potato

With Love,

Your Grace Guru

xxx

 

 

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