6 Tips For A Wholesome New Year

One of the most important gifts you can give to yourself this New Year is to have a healthier lifestyle. To achieve this ideal, you need to embrace a sustainable program that entails gradual steps. This is far easier to sustain and less strenuous compared to a sudden change of lifestyle.

You stand to have an enjoyable experience if you engage in specific daily tasks. Your body will adjust gradually depending on its needs. Eventually, you will fall in love with healthy living because you will realize it is a lovely gift you are consciously offering to yourself every day.

You probably have heard that adapting healthy habits into your daily life is difficult. Nothing can be further from the truth. All you need is to adhere to a number of rituals, and your body will begin to love healthy living.

Drink Warm Lemon Water First Thing In The Morning: This is important for expelling toxins from your body, reinvigorating metabolism, fortifying your immunity, giving your organs the water they need for optimal functioning and obtaining much-needed energy to begin your day. You stand to benefit more from this drink if you add black pepper, freshly-ground turmeric or ginger, and a little bit of your favorite healthy oil. Turmeric will also be of great benefit to your body because of the presence of black pepper. The latter improves the bio-availability of the former.

Start Your Day With A Smoothie: There is no better nutrient-packed drink than a smoothie. You can increase the amounts of minerals and vitamins in a smoothie by loading it with superfoods.

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Take Herbal Teas Instead Of Coffee: It is possible to gravitate towards coffee, but your body stands to gain more from drinking rooibos and other herbal teas. You will surely be a healthier person when your kidney is cleaned, your body hydrated, and when you have lower levels of cholesterol. Similarly, herbal teas help you to lose weight and assuage your headaches, among other gains.

Exercise: When your body moves, more endorphins are released into the blood, making you a happier person. Both your mood and energy levels improve when you exercise. Where possible, walk to your place of work instead of driving. Depending on your personality, exercise in the morning or after work. It will help clear your mind.

Opt For Healthy Snacks Instead Of Processed Nibbles: Smoothies, fruits, a couple of nuts or your home-based energy bar are healthier choices compared to cookies and sausages.

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Enrich Your Food With Turmeric: This spice is packed with medicinal properties and plenty of other benefits. Nothing adds more value to your pasta and rice meals, sauces and soups like turmeric.

You see how easy is ease to adapt these practices into your daily lifestyle? A time will come when you will not imagine your life without them. Along the way, you will pick up other similarly-beneficial habits. There is no substitute for your body. Nurture it.

 

With Love,

Your Grace Guru

XXX

 

 

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Mirrors And Their Proper Placement According To Feng Shui

Mirrors are both a necessity as well as a convenience. All of us use mirrors both within the home as well as outside of it.

Mirrors stand as a symbol of reflection – both physical and spiritual. Our thoughts, words and actions are a mirror of our feelings. A mirror is nothing but a metaphor, a reflection into our own selves.

To solve any crisis in life, we need to determine the cause of the problem. Only when we see these problems can be work towards fixing them. Now, given that mirrors are a reflection of our lives, they can help us see problems and fix them. For example, only when we look at our reflection in the mirror can we say whether we’re having a bad hair day or not!

 Mirrors and Feng Shui

Mirrors have been used since ancient times across many different cultures. However, the ancient Chinese laws of Feng Shui give particular importance to mirrors and their placement.

According to Feng Shui, a mirror is a representation of water. Since chi energy can be pooled or collected with water, it can be done so with a mirror as well. This makes mirrors an extremely powerful tool – they double everything including chi energy.

All Feng Shui experts and practitioners know the power of mirrors. Mirrors are often referred to as Feng Shui’s aspirin. They can magnify, energise and alter a space dramatically. If placed properly, mirrors can even cure any space that is awkwardly shaped and lacks chi energy.

Feng shui concepts word cloud illustration. Word collage concept.

But it isn’t a mirror that is inherently auspicious. Rather, the placement of a mirror is what makes it auspicious or inauspicious. Feng Shui states that mirror placement within a home affects health, wealth and happiness. Proper mirror placement can boost and enhance chi energy around a home. This in turn can bring abundance and luck. On the other hand, an improperly placed mirror does just the opposite. Improperly placed mirrors deflect chi energy away from a home and can also cause a lot of harm. What a mirror reflects defines whether it’s placement is auspicious or inauspicious.

As I mentioned earlier – mirrors double up whatever lies in front of them. So, mirrors can attract both positive and negative energy with the same influence and efficiency. Hence, Feng Shui gives a lot of importance to mirror placement.

If you’re a Feng Shui practitioner, you must understand where and how to place mirrors within your home. While many Feng Shui practitioners may tell you to use Pa Kua (bagua) mirrors, this is debatable. Experts state that any mirror works as well as Pa Kua mirrors, so there’s really no point hoarding special mirrors. You can go with rectangular or square shaped mirrors as they can easily be found and they work just as well. Unless advised by an expert, avoid irregularly shaped mirrors.

I’m sure you’re wondering about the specifics of how to place mirrors properly in your home. So, without any further ado, let’s take a look at the Do’s and Don’ts of mirror placement according to Feng Shui. Make sure to follow them all!

Do’s Of Placing Mirrors

When it comes to proper mirror placement, there are many rules that Feng Shui practitioners abide by. While some of these rules seem strange, many of them are incredibly practical. Here, we’ll take a look at 10 of the Do’s of mirror placement, which also offer practical benefits.

  1. Use whole mirrors

Whole mirrors are large sized mirrors that allow you to see yourself in one piece. It is important to use whole mirrors because they give you a feeling of completeness whenever you look into them. This feeling of completeness allows you to affirm yourself and your goodness.

  1. Use mirrors to reflect the beauty of nature

By using mirrors to reflect the beauty of nature, you will enhance the chi energy indoors. There is a lot of healthy chi energy outdoors – in gardens, trees, blue skies and clouds. By reflecting these in your mirror, you will allow this healthy chi energy to flow within your home.

  1. Use mirrors to reflect your living and dining spaces

Inside a home, the living area is a symbol of prosperity while the dining area is a symbol of wealth. By using mirrors to reflect your living and dining spaces, you can magnify the wealth, abundance and prosperity in your life.

  1. Use mirrors to add light and movement

Every home has some dark areas where there is not enough light, for instance a long hallway. By using mirrors in such dark areas, you can circulate light and facilitate movement. In turn, this will also help chi energy circulate throughout your home.

  1. Use mirrors to cover problems

Many rooms with awkward shapes can be remedied with the help of mirrors. For instance, if you have a square pillar in a room, you can mirror all four sides of the pillar. This essentially makes the awkward pillar disappear from view. Mirrors can be used to cover other similar structural defects, such as a cut within your home.

  1. Keep your mirrors clean

Always ensure to keep your mirrors clean. A cloudy mirror will reflect cloudy images. This has a detrimental effect on you as you will associate a cloudy mind whenever you see your reflection.

  1. Use mirrors to reflect wealth

Many Feng Shui practitioners place mirrors to reflect jewellery and cash lockers. This reflects positive chi energy and can help bring more prosperity and wealth into your life.

  1. Use mirrors near entryways

Placing mirrors near entryways can bring about a great positive effect in your life. Mirrors near the entrance of a home activate the water element and allow better flow of chi energy into your home. You’ll also see a positive glimpse of yourself whenever you leave home.

  1. Use mirrors to broaden space

If any area of your home is narrow, then you can use mirrors to visually broaden the space. While this certainly improves aesthetics, it also facilitates easier flow of chi energy around your home.

  1. Make sure that your mirrors are at the right height

If you have many people living in your home, you need to ensure that your mirrors are at the right height for everyone. Everybody living with you should be able to see a good reflection of themselves in the mirror. This will help positive chi energy touch everyone’s lives.

Don’ts Of Placing Mirrors

Like I mentioned earlier, there are many, many Feng Shui rules regarding proper placement of mirrors. However, I will focus on the rules that are universal and apply to most spaces. Here are 10 such practical rules regarding the Don’ts of mirror placement.

  1. Don’t place mirrors opposite doors

Never place a mirror right opposite your doors. This will cause any positive chi energy to bounce back right out of your door. You’ll miss out on many opportunities in life if you do so.

  1. Don’t place mirrors where they reflect negative views

Your mirrors should never reflect any negative views or messy areas. Avoid placing mirrors opposite to toilets, stoves, flames, clutter, drains or poison arrows (sharp corners). If you see an ugly sight in a mirror, negative energy will only be magnified, so make sure to avoid this.

  1. Don’t place mirrors in your bedroom

Never place mirrors in your bedroom. Mirrors can cause an over-stimulating effect when placed in a bedroom. This in turn creates insomnia. Also, if there is a problem in a relationship, mirrors will magnify the problems. It is best to leave mirrors out of the bedroom altogether.

  1. Don’t use cracked or broken mirrors

Cracked or broken mirrors are a big no-no. They distort the image of every object and they harbour a lot of negative energy. Get rid of all your broken mirrors and replace them with clean, new ones.

  1. Don’t use antique mirrors

Antique mirrors often get distorted with time. When you look at yourself in an antique mirror, you will get a distorted perception of premature aging. It is best to avoid antique mirrors and even mirrors that have antiqued surfaces or frames around them.

  1. Don’t hang a mirror too high or too low

Your mirrors should be placed at an ideal height for all members of your family. Never place a mirror such that the head of a person is cut off in the reflection. Mirrors should always reflect the entire head and shoulders of an individual – regardless of how tall or short they are.

  1. Don’t place mirrors facing one another

Placing mirrors right opposite each other can create a funhouse effect. However, this should never be done within a home as it traps the flow of chi energy. Chi energy will be stuck between the mirrors and will never flow to other parts of your home. Avoid infinite reflections as they create a strange vortex that can cause distress and displeasure.

  1. Don’t place mirrors at the end of staircases

Placing mirrors at the end of staircases means that they’ll either cut the feet or the head in a reflection. You must avoid this completely. Unless your mirror can reflect a person’s entire body, never place it at the end of a staircase.

  1. Don’t place mirrors at the end of hallways

While placing mirrors in hallways helps the flow of chi energy, mirrors must never be placed at the end of a hallway. If you do so, your mirror will attract negative energy. This negative energy won’t leave your home easily, so make sure not to place mirrors in such areas.

  1. Don’t place mirrors near study tables

If you have a study table, make sure not to place a mirror next to it. Mirrors can cause a loss of concentration during study and this problem only gets magnified with time. Mirrors should be placed only where they reflect positive energy, not near a study table.

I’m sure you agree that mirrors are a very powerful tool. Not only do they help us see reflections of physical objects, but they are also a symbol of spiritual reflection.

As a Feng Shui practitioner, I always ensure that my mirrors facilitate the flow of positive chi energy in my home. While there may be thousands of do’s and don’ts regarding mirror placement in Feng Shui, I tend to follow the most practical rules. By doing so, I’ve found a lot of peace and prosperity in my life.

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If you’re focused on more happiness, better self-esteem, better health and prosperity, then you should also adopt these Feng Shui rules on mirror placement. Believe me – these rules have stood the test of time and they will turn your fortunes drama

With love,

Your Grace Guru 

XXX

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Be Creative Again!

The joy, enthusiasm, optimism and productivity exhibited by creative people is infectious. If you are the inventive type, losing your spark is the last thing you want to happen. Even those who don’t consider themselves imaginative crave for the day they will exude positivism without struggling.

We all can do with an injection of originality in thinking. Creativity invigorates your mind and gives you the impetus to face challenges and pursue new endeavors. Are you suffering from momentary or prolonged dearth of imagination?

 

Here are ten tips to help you become creative again…

  1. Embrace Good Old Nature

Human beings often forget they are part of nature. The outdoors, especially the woods, water bodies and hilly areas can ignite the spark that is lying idle in you. Take a walk and breathe fresh air. Listen to the chirping of birds. Learn from the diligence of bees. Your creativity will come back in a flood.

  1. Exercise Regularly

Sitting down for long constricts your muscles and blood vessels. Blood does not reach your body cells, tissues and organs as effectively as it should. You feel lethargic because oxygen is not reaching every part of your body. Why not join a fitness club or create an enjoyable exercise routine? You will realize that every time you exercise, you lose bad moods and redundant thoughts and feel fresh to think again.

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  1. Take A Journey To New Territory

Creativity often takes a plunge because we are so much used to the familiar. Your eyes need to see a new world to feed the brain with novel ideas. Take a physical journey to an exciting place you have never visited before. Let your juvenile curiosity be awakened again. Get lost in the wonder of new frontiers as this will bring back your creativity.

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  1. Become Playful And Childlike Again

Once upon a time, you were a little child who was mesmerized by fairy tales and ogre stories. You played hide and seek without any care as to what people thought about you. You mimicked other people; laughed at the slightest provocation, and shed tears of joy and pain in equal measure. That unfettered, jovial, carefree and playful child is still within you. That boy or girl still craves happiness. Play with little children. Engage in their games.

  1. Sleep, Baby, Sleep

In our busy world, sleep is fast becoming a luxury. We are too busy running errands and eking out a living to care about taking a nap. Your brain and body need rest. That way you recuperate and get the strength you need for another day. Think of a baby and how it cries when it lacks sleep. Think of how playful the same baby becomes moments after waking up from restful sleep. That is what will happen to you when you embrace regular sleep or unscheduled naps.

  1. Do Something Else

Creativity decreases with monotony. When you perform repetitive tasks, your body is overwhelmed by your predictable movement. If you have been writing for hours and are bored, why not listen to music? Get rid of the junk in your house. Do whatever will make you break the monotony and your will begin to think creatively again.

  1. Inject Yourself With A Dose Of Laughter

You have heard that laughter is medicine to the bones. Sometimes you need to look at the funny side of life. Find something to laugh about, including your past mistakes. Go and watch that comedy at the theater. How about a funny movie or a sitcom featuring your favorite comedian? Doing this revitalizes your mind and your creative energies.

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  1. Hook Up With Friends

People you love and whose company you enjoy can be your greatest source of inspiration. When your creative fuel tank is almost empty, call that funny friend of yours and share a cup of coffee. Relieve those funny experiences that you share.

  1. Admit Defeat And Move On

When you think about failure constantly, your creativity suffers. To avoid this, be sincere with yourself and admit it when you have failed. You are not a paragon. You are made of flesh and blood. Nobody said you must know everything. When you can’t handle an issue anymore, and it is costing you more than you are investing in it, admit defeat and look for another challenge.

  1. Indulge Your Senses

You will do yourself a great favor if you find a way to invigorate each of your senses when your creativity goes down. When was the last time you plucked a rose flower, and imbibed its sweet aroma? Eat that meal you have craved or never tried. Go for a full-body massage. Go birdwatching. Listen to a different kind of music. This way, your creativity will be revived.

Whatever you choose to do, remember you cannot accomplish much when your creative batteries are running low.

With love,

Your Grace Guru

XXX

 

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How Strong Is The Power Of Your Mind?

One of the most renowned experiments on the close connection between the body and the mind is the placebo effect. Simply put, the placebo effect holds that when a sick person is given a counterfeit pill or one that resembles an actual pill but has zero effect, the patient will be cured, not because the medicine has any effect, but because of the patient’s unreserved belief in the efficacy of that pill.

The Starting Point

That will form the starting point as we seek to understand the powerful effect the mind has on other faculties of the body. Dr Lissa Rankin, a physician and researcher established in a study that the prevalence of diseases and concomitant expenditure was almost as high in poor neighbourhoods as they were in posh California areas.

The Poor And The Rich, Alike, Get Sick

While everybody would expect poor folks to have higher risks of falling sick due to poor dietary practices, lack of exercise, smoking and drug abuse among other practices, people in wealthier areas were also at risk, to the surprise of many. This study brought to the fore the fact that contrary to the teachings of conventional medicine, it was important to unleash a holistic approach to treatment of illnesses, especially to embrace the marvels of the mind.

The Law of Attraction

Another important issue to consider when pondering how strong the power of the mind is lies within the law of attraction. Over the years, philosophers, theologians, quantum physicists and other professionals have come to the conclusion that when the mind consistently holds on to a thought pattern, whatever is being thought about comes to pass.

There have been many reports of people who have transformed their financial fortunes as well as other spheres of life by using the law of attraction. Some terminally ill patients, who had been informed by physicians that they would not live for long, have been known to walk out of their hospital beds into flourishing wellbeing.

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I never really knew how powerful the mind actually is!

Now, To The Immense Powers Of The Mind

These and other developments in the study of the mind illustrate just how powerful this organ is. However, in order to understand, to a greater depth, the powers of the mind, let us delve into the specifics.

1. Healing Of Diseases: For many years, faith healing has been practiced but is always dismissed by most medical practitioners. The field of medicine or conventional healing has been aided to an extent by the discovery of the power of the mind. According to experimental studies carried out at the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind/Body Medicine, located in Massachusetts, patients who underwent a number of mindfulness techniques (e.g. meditation, and mantra) demonstrated significant gene changes, which helped to decelerate ageing, improve metabolism and relaxation, and regulate insulin in their bodies.

The practice of mindfulness created changes in the DNA that led to remarkable health improvements for participating patients. In essence, the power of the mind was called into action to aid conventional medicine and what resulted was more than could have been accomplished through common therapeutic means. With more experiments, we could witness a decrease in global expenditure on medicine and healthcare. The irony is that this power has always been with us yet medical practitioners did not find it prudent to try it on human beings.

2. Assuaging Of Physical Pain: The study of the mind has also led to interesting findings that have impacted the way we understand and deal with pain. To begin with, the placebo effect indicates that the mind actually has control over the body. While pain is real and cannot be wished away, it is evident that the human body has its own healing mechanisms which are domiciled in the mind. It is possible now to understand how faith-healers work, whether they (faith-healers) understand the rationale or not. The moment one believes that they are going to be healed, the mind starts to work towards the healing of that person.

The connection between the mind and the body, though unseen, is very powerful to the point of bringing relief from pain. This discovery has led many to believe that what we call ‘miracles’ of healing are merely the manifestations of the healing power of the mind on body maladies. Again, if such a discovery is actualized people will spend less on medicine and healthcare systems will not be as strained as they are today.

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Do we really need all of these pills and tablets?! Or can our mind heal us?!

3. Emotional Healing: Did you know that emotional pain is as excruciating as physical hurt? The fact that people who hurt emotionally may not exhibit physical injuries does not mean that they are hurting less. Studies have established that the same mechanisms that work in emotional throbbing are the ones involved in physical pain. The brain is created in such a way that it does not differentiate between sources of pain. When people lose a loved one or go through a breakup, the aching they feel has the same potency as if they had been hurt physically.

But there is something that should worry you more. While physical pain lasts for certain duration and disappears, emotional pain stays for a longer time. Every time a person is reminded of the hurtful event that stung their feelings, chances are that the wound will become fresh again and pain even more. It takes time and deliberate acceptance of circumstances for the mind to bring about healing. Need we be careful about the emotional pain we inflict on other people? We should.

4. Managing Stress: Another important area of medical research that has benefited a lot from understanding the power of the brain is stress management. One fact about the brain is that it cannot differentiate between real threats and those that don’t exist. We all know the reality of stress even when it emanates from genuine issues that put the lives and comfort of those we love and ourselves at risk. And life has so many of these, many of which emanate from the people we interact with daily.

 However, we need to understand that even imagined stress can have a devastating effect on our lives because the brain considers it stress. Whatever we imagine that can bring pain into our lives eventually hurts us. The solution, thankfully, lies in the same mind. We can visualize ourselves doing away with both real and imagined stress and it will be gone as simply as it came. The moment we realize that we can change our thinking and change our circumstances, we rid ourselves of negative stress that can easily destroy us.

5. Learning Through Visualisation: The mind is so powerful that we can use it to learn without actually being in a learning environment. The brain has a capability called neuroplasticity, which implies that it devices new pathways on a continuous basis. By repeating a routine when learning a skill, we strengthen the pathways which carry the respective action. That happens when you are in a classroom trying to learn a skill. However, the brain does not differentiate between what you actually perform and what you visualise. 

According to the great Albert Einstein, you are better off with imagination than with knowledge, if you were to choose between the two. In essence, if you imagine carrying out some action using your brain, the mind will react as if you are in actual practice. Visualization is, therefore, a very important aspect of learning. This should be of great interest to educationists.

6.Goal Achievement: Now, this may shock many because it is unprecedented. Did you know that when you speak about your goals, your brain believes you have achieved them? Wow! Your mouth may be your downfall, after all. Experts have established that the moment you start telling others of the goals you intend to achieve, the brain confuses your talking for action, thus depriving you of the motivation to achieve an ‘already attained’ goal.

Talking about your goals gives you satisfaction and sends the signal to the brain that you don’t need any more inspiration and inner strength to reach out. Methinks we should keep quiet about our dreams and wait until we have accomplished them. Once again, a goal in mind tells the brain to give you the resources you need to achieve it. What a discovery!

Conceptual illustration of dreams inside the shape of a person's head

7. Boosting Your Mood: Put a smile on your face now because there is good news. Did you know that your facial expression affects your emotions? The brain (how “confused” this organ is) cannot differentiate between a fake and a genuine smile. This means that the moment stress engulfs you, you can laugh your way out of it. A fake smile has the same effect on your brain and relieves stress the same way a real smile does. When you facial muscles move to form a smile, the brain interprets it as a positive emotion and stress takes a flight.

Something is the matter and you are stressed? Laugh at your problems. Hide from people and smile your way out. Someone is stressing you out, pretend not to be upset and smile instead. Don’t frown because this will strengthen bad moods. Make it your reaction to always meet stress with a smile because you have a brain that is so powerful that it does not realize you are pretending you are happy!

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The Parting Shot

This space is not enough to elaborate exhaustively just how powerful the mind is. However, with this knowledge, you can live a better life because you can handle physical and emotional hurt as well as ubiquitous stress.

Hopefully, scientists and other interested parties will continue to discover other marvellous capabilities of the brain that would help us live happier and longer lives. Until then, let us toast to the most powerful computer ever created – your brain!

With Love,

Your Grace Guru

XXX

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How to Balance Your Hormones!

Obsession with Veggies!

Hello gorgeous ladies, I have written this article just for you!

It is not possible to talk about the human body without mentioning the word hormones!  Many people do not understand about these chemical secretions and reactions, but all of us have to deal with hormonal issues every now and then. Hormonal imbalance is a serious health complication for many people, especially to women in all stages of life.

Owing to the complex lifestyles and dietary choices we make today, we have compromised the composition of hormones in our bodies. Incidentally most of the illnesses wreaking we have in our lives emanate from hormonal disproportion. It is important that you understand exactly what it means to have hormonal imbalance.

Vitamin D in Riviera Maya
Vitamin D in Riviera Maya

Symptoms of Hormonal Imbalance

If you are experiencing the following symptoms, then your body is having problems balancing your hormones.

1. Lethargy: If you are the type that feels weary most of the time and needs to have some snack to make your body active, it is likely your hormones are not well-balanced. Is it becoming common for you to feel exhausted, befuddled and lazy? Have yourself checked for hormonal inequality.

2.  Bloating and other digestive complications: Many a times when you experience problems of the digestive track, you tend to associate them with poor dietary habits. However, it is also possible that your digestive hormones are not being secreted normally.

3.  Uncontrolled weight gain: One of the main problems facing women today is excess weight. It is true that most of this is caused by excess consumption of carbohydrates and processed foods. However, if your hormones are not working optimally, this problem will persist.

4.  Depression: A dip in mood and emotions is often a sign of hormonal imbalance. It happens when we don’t get enough rest, are stressed, or when the body has a large number of toxins.

5. Poor sleep patterns: Hormonal imbalance may also manifest itself through erratic sleeping patterns. Insomnia tends to affect every faculty of the human body. Unless you align your body to the natural sleeping order, you are going to experience interruptions in your daily routines.

6. Low libido: Sex is controlled by hormones. The moment your hormones don’t work exactly as they should, you will experience lack of or low sexual drive.

7. Hot flushes and night sweats: If you are starting to experience increased temperatures and unusual sweating at night, it is time you were checked for hormonal disproportion. Don’t just dismiss it as any other complication.

The best way to deal with such health complications, then, is to balance your hormones. There are a number of ways you can do this. The most popular (but unfortunately not the best) is hormonal replacement therapy (HRT). Considering hormonal imbalance is a problem for many people, especially women, HRT practitioners are making a kill. The actual problem with HRT is that it does not treat the cause of the problem but deals with the symptoms only.

Despite this, we should not be fast to condemn HRT. Many perimenopausal women will tell you that when they begin to experience hot flashes and night sweats, the fastest method to relieve the pain and discomfort is to take respective pills. What we are saying though is that it is better to use more long lasting methods, most of which are natural and less expensive compared to HRT.

Natural Strategies of Balancing Hormones

1. Ensure that you have healthy weight: The level of oestrogen in your body increases with increases in adipose tissue, the latter being as a result of excess fat. This is because the adipose tissue performs a similar role as the endocrine glad at this point. To avoid unnecessary secretion of surplus hormones, therefore, you need to have healthy weight. Know your BMI and always live by it. Eat a balanced diet and exercise regularly. Remember having the right weight is also good for your general outlook and health.

2. Include cruciferous veggies in your diet: Indole-3-carbinol is the element in cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli and related plants that generates diindolylmethane (DIM) after metabolism. With these two elements, the secretion of oestrogen in your body is regulated thus preventing hormonal imbalance. In addition, it has been proved that eating cruciferous veggies helps to prevent cancer, especially the type that affects the breasts. Stock up on these vegetables and find ways of including them in as many as your foods as possible.

3. Introduce phytoestrogens in your food: This is one of the best approaches to dealing with hormonal imbalance since it happens naturally. Instead of buying expensive HRT medication, simply eat food rich in soy and also consume generous amounts of seeds such as sunflower and flax as well as beans sprouts. Other foods rich is phytoestrogens include peas and garbanzo beans. By simply eating such food, you will regulate hormones in your body without experiencing negative side effects. And you don’t have to worry because these seeds are found in abundance in areas close to you like grocery stores.

Healthy Food Choices Inspiration
Healthy Food Choices Inspiration

4. Consume avocados and coconut oil: Another relatively inexpensive way to curb unusual fluctuations in body hormones is to consume foods that contain fatty acid chains of varying lengths. The best examples of these are avocados and coconut oil. This category also includes salmon derived from natural habitats and butter from grass-fed animals. Apart from having your hormonal levels restored to normal you will experience improved metabolism and increased loss of weight. Instead of using expensive drugs, look for these food products and eat them as often as possible.

5. Reduce your intake of caffeine: Coffee and tea are favourite beverages for many, but herein lies a problem for those with hormonal imbalance. When you take caffeine, especially before you sleep, you tend to lose sleep, but more significantly, the hormonal level in your thyroid is interfered with. This is the moment you experience all sorts of chaos in your body since hormonal activity is significantly altered. We are not intimating that you avoid these beverages altogether (although this is advisable for those with critical hormonal imbalance problems) but reducing intake, especially before going to sleep is important.

6. Sleep adequately: Your hormonal imbalance problem is likely to be as a result of not getting enough sleep. If you are not getting between seven and eight hours of quality sleep every day, your hormonal activity will be affected negatively. Your body is designed to have reduced activity at night and this is when sleep sets in. The moment you disturb this order, you also interfere with your hormonal activity. Make sure you sleep by around 10 pm as this will ensure you get quality sleep. Make sure you have lie on a comfortable bed and that your room is dark enough. Avoid watching television or gazing at smartphone screens before you sleep.

7. Practise deep breathing: To deal with night sweats and hot flashes, you don’t have to resort to HRT all the time. The simple routine of breathing from the belly two times every day with each session lasting fifteen minutes will bring you natural relief from hormonal discrepancy. Deep breathing helps your lungs to imbibe enough energy to be fed to the blood, which ensures the blood that reaches your cells is clean. When your blood is clean, you will have not only stronger immunity from illnesses, but your hormonal activity will also be balanced correctly.

8. Herbal remedies can help: There are herbal medicines that have been proven to deal effectively with hormonal imbalance. Shatavarim, an Ayurvedic herb, is known for its ability to reduce mood swings and irritability that comes with menopause. There are even herbs that are known to deal with the physical pain and psychological distress associated with hormonal imbalance. However, it is important to talk to an expert before you begin using herbal remedies for this problem.

9. Avoid conventional birth control: While this may not be a popular kind of advice when dealing with hormonal problems, it is important to consider the rationale behind it. Did you know that birth control pills are essentially hormonal therapies that alter how your body works? More importantly, these pills make you more vulnerable to breast cancer, migraines, weight gain, nausea, mood changes, high blood pressure and breast tenderness, among other issue that should worry you. Wouldn’t it be more appropriate to look for more natural and harmless ways of controlling child bearing than to interfere with hormonal activity and expose you to some much pain?

10. Get vitamin D and lots of It: This vitamin is known for its ability to boost mode and general wellbeing. To this end, vitamin D helps to control hormonal activity. This implies that you need to get enough time in the sun, though you should take care not to be harmed by the sun’s rays. Bask in the early morning and late evening hours. If you do not have this privilege, look for vitamin D supplements. This is especially true if you live in an area where you don’t have adequate exposure to the sun.

Outdoor portrait of beautiful young women having fun.

So now you have it! HRT may work over some time but it is not sustainable for hormonal imbalance problems in the long term. Go the natural way and you will never suffer from painful side effects or have to worry about the possibility of contracting dreadful illnesses again!

With Love,

Your Grace Guru 

XXX

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Dangerous GMO’s!

The quest for global food security has over the years witnessed aggressive efforts to create plants that can withstand changing climatic conditions and plant diseases. The most prominent of these attempts is the creation of genetically modified organisms, popularly known by the acronym ‘GMO’. Fortunately or unfortunately, while this development is worthy celebrating, it is surrounded by serious controversy and inherent danger.

From the onset, it is important to state that GMOs are far from being safe as many would have us believe. But before we delve into the dangers of GMO, let us first understand what GMO is all about.

Understanding GMO

Let us begin from the known and proceed to the unknown. By nature, every organism has its unique composition, the DNA that differentiates it from others. A natural plant is one that has all its genes intact as it was created or as it has evolved over the years. In essence, natural corn, for example, should have all the qualities of corn as we have known it over the years.

Scientists, however, argue that as plants and animals continue to evolve, they undergo changes that may alter their chemical and nutritional composition. This is especially because soils continue to lose their fertility and plants cannot get all the nutrients they used to earlier. Animals feed on the deprived soil. Moreover, the use of fertilizers and chemicals means that the genetic makeup of the plant can be altered. The consequence is that the plants we know today are of lower nutritional value than before.

It is also argued by experts that plant diseases and pests have over the years lowered the quality of plants and other organisms thus the need for mechanisms to prevent the harmful effects of these diseases. Unless these diseases are prevented from affecting and destroying organisms, some plant and animal species will disappear soon. These and other reasons are used to front GMOs.

A GMO is an organism that has had its genetic composition interfered with through artificial means especially in a laboratory. Through a process called genetic engineering, scientists extract the DNA of one type of plant or animal and replace the removed material with others from sources that have no relationship with the original organism.

The sources of new genes are often other animals, plants, insects, viruses, bacteria or even animal tissue. It is important to remember that this is contrary to the natural way in which crossbreeding among species occurs. Next time you come across the term ‘transgenic’ organisms, you need to realize it has the same meaning as GMO since it denotes the transfer of genes between different organisms.

A Chinese Asian female medical doctor or scientific researcher or doctor looking at a flask of blue liquid in a laboratory.

When this is done, the plant has to change in terms of its nutritional and chemical composition and in some cases the physical appearance. Moreover, and more importantly, genetic engineering not only alters the genetic infrastructure of an organism, but is also unpredictable and extremely mutative. Moreover, allergic reactions and toxins often follow genetic engineering.

We also need to realize that in the past there have been other attempts to improve the quality of species. These include tissue culture, selective breeding and hybridization. The difference between these traditional genetic methods of gene improvement and genetic engineering is that the former actually aids nature instead of circumventing it.

The other complication is that genetic engineering may actually act contrary to the ideals of improving the genetic quality of organisms. For example, some crops return lower yields after genetic engineering. The same happens with nutritional value. Allergic reactions and toxicity are attendant problems, but even more worrying is environmental degradation stemming from GMOs.

GMO research was at first perceived to be for research purposes only, but with time, it became clear that there were commercial interests. Today, many food crops have been genetically modified to some extent. We are talking of papaya, soybeans, corn and other plants such as cotton. Despite this, most of the food we eat remains natural and this includes rice, oats, where, tomatoes, beans, grapes and barley.

In relation to animals, there are no GMO creatures at this time. Well, there was an unsuccessful attempt to create GMO pigs, but it was shelved after a short trial. However, the fact that animals feed on GMO corn and soy means that the negative impacts of GMO will affect people who feed on such animals. The fact that GMO foods are not clearly labelled puts everybody at risk.

heart shape by various vegetables and fruits

Why, should you be concerned?

It would be unfair not to underline that research on the harmful effects of GMOs is on-going. However, it is important to note that there are regions that have adopted a wait-and-see attitude instead of rushing to adopt GMOs. For example, in the EU, GMOs crops are rarely grown and any GMO products must be clearly labelled to help a buyer to make a personal decision on whether to consume such products or not.

Woman's hand holding the sun over wheat field.

Secondly, some scientists have expressed reservations to GMOs on the basis that the allergies witnessed during genetic engineering might affect consumers. This is a genuine concern considering the prevalence of diseases such as cancer, which primarily involve irregular multiplication of body cells. One wonders, then, whether it is necessary to eat GMO food when there are natural alternatives.

Another concern related to GMOs is that the entire process eventually harms the environment. This is especially true in relation to GMO farming. Pesticides are the main issue here. Companies that manufacture GE seeds are also the main producers of pesticides. While GE seeds are made to withstand herbicides, farmers must purchase chemicals to kill weeds. The problem is that farms develop weeds that resist chemicals in the long run thus requiring even more harmful insecticides.

It is obvious that when the environment is harmed by chemicals, human beings will suffer. Polluted air, soil and water in turn contribute to death of marine life, global warming, toxicity in water sources, death of plant and animal life and the plethora of illnesses that we are battling today. In essence, we can suffer direct and indirect consequences of developing, nurturing and consuming GMOs.

What should we do?

As intimated earlier, it is imperative that we ask ourselves whether we really need GMOs. Nature is resilient and altering its cause can only results in disaster in the long run. Global warming and its consequences are clear evidences of that fact. Before you introduce GMOs in your diet, ask yourself whether you have exhausted all existing natural alternatives.

We must start reading labels on the food materials we buy and ensure we don’t form a habit of constant consumption of GMOs. It is important to be careful when we buy canola, alfalfa, papaya, corn, soy, and sugar beets. These are foods that have undergone extensive genetic engineering. Some, like, soy, are totally transformed from what we were used to.

We need also to ask ourselves whether GMOs are manufactured for the benefit of humanity or the firms than create them. Why is it that the largest manufacturers of GE foods are also the leading makers of chemicals to fight weeds? Are we helping businesspeople to make more money at our expense or we really need GMOs for survival of the human race?

With love,

Grace Guru 

XXX

 

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The Ayurvedic Dosha

Ayurveda is an ancient type of medicine that originated from the Indian subcontinent. The modern world has slowly accepted this traditional system of medicine, and it’s seen as an alternative to modern medicine. In most Western European and American hospitals, this traditional form of medicine has been integrated into general applications as well as in the medical field.

Ayurveda has been in use for more than two millennia and has varied and evolved over the years. It’s said that the classical Ayurveda began with the transmission of the medical expertise from the Gods and then knowledge was passed to the sages, and finally to the human doctors. These therapies are based on complex compounds of herbal products, metals, and various mineral substances. Ayurveda also involves complex medical techniques that include surgical procedures e.g. perineal lithotomy, extracting foreign objects, suturing wounds, and rhinoplasty.

Medical scholars have asserted in the past that Ayurveda originated in the prehistoric periods, and some concepts of this traditional form of medicine were discovered since the times of Vedic period and Indus Valley Civilisation or even earlier. However, most of the medical expertise was developed in the Vedic period, with systems that include Jainism and Buddhism having some practices and concepts appearing in the Ayurveda medical system.

Under Ayurveda is three fundamental substances called the doshas.

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DOSHAS

Doshas according to the Ayurveda system are three humors that constitute the body of a human being. The dosha teachings are also commonly referred to as the Tridosha theory.

Ayurveda mainly exists because of a delicate but key balance between the three doshas or bodily humors called Kapha, Vata, and Pitta.

The three named doshas above are present in every human being, but the teachings of Ayurveda proposes that we all have at least one dominant dosha since our birth date. Ayurveda also recommends that there should be a balance between the other two doshas. Once the doshas are well balanced, we will live a healthy and disease-free lifestyle but when they aren’t, we develop diseases that are often as a result of various causes. Such causes may include:

  • Poor eating habits
  • Poor digestion
  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Insomnia

Most of the Eastern Asia countries have fully integrated the three doshas into their schools of medicine. Ayurveda physicians will even undertake evaluations of your body such as checking your pulse, evaluating your appearance, taking your temperature and asking questions to see how you will handle them and also how you respond to certain scenarios.

There are three doshic states…

Decreased: In this case, a certain dosha is present but in a lower than normal proportion also known as a depleted or a reduced state

Balanced: All the 3 stated doshas are present in their normal equal proportions also called an equilibrium state.

Increased: One of the doshas is present in a greater than normal proportion also known as an excess or aggravated state.

Of the three states above, the aggravated state or increased state leads to the highest number of imbalances, which often come from a range of influences such as stress in life, or a dosha aggravating budget. You could initiate a reinstatement of balance, but it would need a lot of dedication and effort. You would first need to understand your body makeup then complement the needs of your external environment with the needs of your internal environment. Ayurveda medical system offers various specific recommendations for every individual ranging from a general lifestyle change to the treatment of diseases.

VATA DOSHA

Vata’s definition is derived from the elements of air and space, which translate to ‘’that which moves stuff’’. It is considered as the most significant dosha because it the greater life’s force and it controls Kapha and Pitta doshas.

Vata Qualities   

Some Vata qualities include mobile, light, subtle, rough, dry and cold. A Vata person may display the mental and physical individualities in both an imbalanced and balanced condition.

Vata Pyschical Characteristics

Vata individuals have a sense of excellent adaptability, light frame and are thin. As mentioned above, the Vata influences other doshas. Energies in Vatas come out in bursts and, tend to experience unexpected bouts of fatigue. They have cold feet and hands. Their digestion is sensitive, and they sleep lightly as compared to the other doshas.

Vata persons are always on the go with energetic, creative body and minds.

Imbalance Of A Vata

When a Vata is imbalanced, it exhibits anxiety and certain disorders that may include either one or some of the following; constipation, dry skin, arthritis, pains, aches, loss of weight, weakness, and skin dryness.

A Vata individual becomes imbalanced as a result of

  • Sleeping late at night and for fewer hours
  • Eating while on the run
  • Smoking cigarettes or shish-a
  • Drinking tea, coffee or alcohol
  • Eating while anxious or depressed
  • Having an irregular routine

How Can Vata’s Stay Balanced?

A balanced Vata is enthusiastic, creative, lively, balanced, and gifted with a natural ability to communicate and express him or herself effortlessly.

Listed below are some guidelines a Vata can undertake to ensure they are balanced:

  • Follow the dietary steps listed below
  • Have enough sleep and always keep warm
  • Vatas should avoid certain climatic weathers such as dry climates, windy and cold conditions
  • Avoid very noisy places such as clubs and bars
  • Reduce traveling and keep your movements to a minimum
  • Avoid inconsistent routines and engage in exercises that are regulated and gentle in nature
  • Create time for rest, having breaks between heavy and complex tasks.
  • Live in a safe, peaceful and calming environment.

Young woman having head treatment with pouring oil in Ayurveda spa .

Favourable Diets

A Vata is known to be dry and cold and, therefore, require nourishing warm foods, of reasonably heavy texture. Fat and butter are recommended for stabilising a Vata.

Always choose satisfying, sweet, soothing and salty foods. Other diets common for Vatas include warm milk, hot cereals, butter, cream, nut butter, raw nuts, baked bread, warm soups, and stews. Sugary fruits are preferred to the sour and bitter ones. Vatas are advised to wait till fruits are extra ripe so as to consume them.

You should also have hot water and warm drinks regularly. Drinks such as hot herbal teas ought to be taken in the late afternoon.

Spices that a Vata can use in their foods include garlic, ginger, cinnamon, cumin, cardamom, and cloves.

What Types Of Food Should A Vata Reduce?

Vata should desist from drinking drinks with a lot of caffeine such as sodas and coffee. Sweets should be avoided. Cold drinks and foods such as raw vegetables, and greens, iced drinks, and salads will lead to a Vata imbalance as stated above. Avoid having unripe fruits as they deemed to be too astringent.

VATA FOOD PLAN

Stated below are steps that a Vata should undertake to ensure dosha balance and restore Vata balance if there is any imbalance.

Fruits

The best fruits include grapes, avocados, lemons, fresh figs, plums, pineapples, papaya, mangoes, coconuts, berries, sweet lemons, cherries, stewed, sour oranges, plums, grapefruits, apricots, and bananas.

The fruits listed above should be well ripened.

Some fruits should be taken in moderation, and they include pears, cranberries, and pomegranates.

Dried, unripe fruits should be avoided.

Grains

The best grains for a Vata include cooked rice and cooked foods such as oatmeal cereals.

Note that the cereals should be cooked and not dried.

Grains to be taken with moderation include millet, dry oats, barley, corn, buckwheat, and wheat.

Dairy

All forms of dairy are allowed.

Meat

The best meats for a Vata include chicken, turkey and sea foods all in small quantities. Generally speaking, the best meats are white meat.

Types of meat that to be taken in moderation include red meat, e.g., beef and pork

Beans

The best type of beans includes the following: pink lentils, chickpeas, tofu and mung beans. However, tofu should be taken in small quantities unlike the other listed type of beans.

Beans such as black beans, kidney beans should be taken in moderation.

Oils

The best oils for Vatas include ghee, sesame and olive oil. Olive oil is the best oil and is highly recommended due to its nutritional value and health benefits.

Spice & Herbs

Vatas should avoid having spices in large amounts. They should also desist from astringent and bitter spices and herbs that include thyme, fenugreek coriander seed, and parsley. Herbs such as turmeric and saffron should be taken in moderation.

Vegetables 

All vegetables listed below should be cooked.

The best vegetables include the following: turnips, garlic, carrots, radishes, asparagus, onions, beets, cucumber, green beans, and sweet potatoes

Vegetables that should be taken in moderation include broccoli, cauliflower cabbage, eggplant, celery, mushrooms, sprouts, green leafy vegetables, peppers peas, potatoes, zucchini, tomatoes, and Brussels sprouts

Desist from consuming raw vegetables.

Seeds & Nuts

Almond seeds are considered the best for a Vata. However, all nuts and seeds are acceptable.

Sweeteners

All sweeteners are allowed.

PITTA DOSHA

Pitta is related to the elements of Water and Fire and roughly translates to ‘’the one that cooks’’ It refers to the energy of metabolism and digestion in the body that functions through substances such as enzymes, bile, and organic acids. The liquid nature of the named elements above accounts for Pitta’s element of Water make-up.

Locations of Pitta in the body include stomach, spleen, eyes, sweat, pancreas and the small intestine. Psychologically, they govern courage, joy, jealousy, mental perception and anger. Physiologically they provide the body with energy and heat through the breaking down of complex molecules.

When you feel like your body is “overheating,” Pitta is usually the cause. Internal body temperatures should always be kept in check to avoid such scenarios.

 

Pitta Qualities

The qualities of a Pitta include acidic, pungent, penetrating, intense, light, hot, and sharp. This dosha controls metabolism, energy production, and digestion. A Pitta’s principal function is conversion and transformation of foods into energy.

The qualities listed can be reflected in either an imbalanced or balanced state.

Emotional Features of a Pitta

Pittas have a strong ability of concentration and are powerful intellects. They are excellent speakers, good decision makers and teachers. Other characteristics of Pittas include direct, sharp-witted, precise and, ambitious, outspoken and practical. They love challenges and taking adventurous trips.

Imbalance of a Pitta

When they are imbalanced, they exhibit certain behaviours such as being argumentative, short-tempered, and emotional outbursts.

What Causes the Imbalance of a Pitta?

  • Overworking
  • Eating while furious
  • Smoking cigarettes.
  • Drinking alcohol, tea or coffee
  • Consuming Pitta-aggravating diets

When Pittas are imbalanced, they suffer from disorders such as burning sensations, indigestion, skin rashes, peptic ulcers, and heart burns.

How Can a Pitta Stay Balanced?

  • Follow the food plan listed below
  • Engage in calming exercises every day such as walking, tai chi, yoga, and swimming.
  • Participate in activities that relax the mind like spending time in the park enjoying the picturesque nature
  • Avoid climates with high humidity, excessive heat, and steam.
  • Drink plenty of fluids
  • Avoid conflicts
  • Avoid stimulants especially those that are artificially made

Woman doing meditation near the ocean beach. Yoga silhouette.

What Are The Favourable Diets?

Pittas need to have warm or cool foods with reasonably heavy textures. Pittas should desist from having hot, steaming foods. Ideal tastes include astringent, sweet and bitter tastes. Consume cool foods in the hot weather such as ice cream, salads, and milk. A good breakfast for a Pitta may include apple tea, cinnamon toast and cold cereal. Red meat should be avoided as it tends to generate heat for the body. Vegetables are best for Pittas. They should consume high amounts of vegetables, grains and milk.

Foods a Pitta Should Reduce

Pittas should avoid all alcoholic drinks. A Pitta should go slow on the consumption of fatty foods i.e. they ought to use less added fat and butter. They should skip hot drinks, nuts, honey, egg yolks, hot spices, cheese, pickles, and sour cream. They should avoid deep-fried foods that are too oily. Pittas ought to use lemon juice as a dressing instead of vinegar. Fermented diets should also not be taken by Pitta persons.

PITTA FOOD PLAN

Stated below are steps that a Pitta should undertake to maintain balance and restore balance in case of any imbalance.

Fruits

The best fruits include apples, sour cherries, berries, grapefruits, pineapples, peaches, raw papaya, dark grapes, and persimmon.

A vital point to note is the fruits named above should be sweet and ripe.

Avoid any fruits that aren’t ripe and sweet especially plums, oranges, grapes, and pineapples.

Grains

The best grains include white basmati rice, oats, barley, and wheat.

Grains such as rye, corn, millet, and brown rice should be taken in moderation

Diary

The best forms of dairy for a Pitta include milk, egg whites, butter, not sour fruit sorbets and ghee.

Cheese, ice cream, egg yolk, sour buttermilk, cream & yogurt should be taken in moderation.

Meat

The best meats for a Pitta include; shrimp, chicken, turkey, and river fish. All the listed types of meat should be taken in small amounts.

Meats such as seafood and red meat should be taken in moderation

Eggs and fish

Beans

Mung beans, tofu, red lentils, and chickpeas.

Beans such as black lentils, black gram, and Ar har Dal should be taken in moderation.

Oils

The best oils for Pitta include sunflower, soy, grape seed, and olive oils.

Oils such as coconut, corn, safflower, almond and sesame oils should be taken in moderation.

Spices & Herbs

Pittas should avoid all types of spices as they too heating. However, some herbs and spices such as cumin, mint, black pepper, dill, cinnamon, cardamom, coriander seed, saffron, fennel, and turmeric can be consumed in small amounts

Vegetables

The best vegetables include broccoli, carrots, Brussels sprouts, radishes, asparagus, lettuce, green leafy vegetables, okra, potatoes, mushrooms, cauliflower, celery, sprouts, squash, zucchini, parsley, green beans, and spinach.

Some of the vegetables that ought to be taken in moderation include onions, beets, tomatoes, eggplant, hot peppers and chilies

Seeds & Nuts

The best seeds and nuts for Pitta include flax seeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin, and coconut seeds

Sweeteners

All sweeteners are allowed except for molasses and honey.

KAPHA DOSHA

Kapha dosha is related to the elements of water and earth and roughly translates to “the one that sticks” It refers to the energy of lubrication and constituents of the body with its physical and structural form and the smooth functioning of all human parts. In general terms, it can be referred to the body lubrication, glue and cement of the areas of the body all rolled in one.

Kaphas tend to weigh heavier as compared to the other doshas. They also possess earthier bodies than the other two types. As a result of being heavier, they can easily store fats and fluids. Their speech is slow and melodically. They are attached and naturally calm. Sometimes they have watery dreams and have heavy and thick elimination.

Locations of Kapha in the body include the following: tendons, lungs, fatty tissue, ligaments, connective tissues, chest, throat, lymph, and the head. Psychologically, they govern greed, mental inertia, forgiveness, attachment, and love. Physiologically they store energy, moistens food, and they relate to bodily fluids such as mucous, water and lymph

The fluids in a Kapha may be stored in the body and leading to a dampened system which will eventually cloud the mind and weigh down the body leading to fatigue. This accumulation of fluids in the body leads to other body disorders that include sinus congestion, obesity, and mucous related diseases. Such body disorders often, in the end, cause depression, attachment, and lethargy. 

KAPHA QUALITIES

The qualities of a Kapha include steady, slow, heavy, oily, cold and soft. It governs the body structures. It is the principal that holds together cells and forms the bone, muscle, and fat. Kapha also provides immunity to the body. The core function of Kapha is safeguarding the body from diseases.

Kaphas have an excellent stamina and a strong build. Their skin is radiant and smooth. Their digestion is regular, and they sleep soundly. However, once a Kapha adds a lot of weight, he or she tends to retain lots of fluids, which eventually manifests as allergies in the body.

What Are The Emotional Characteristics Of A Kapha

They are naturally loving, thoughtful and calm. They tend to be comfortable with routine and enjoy life. Kaphas are also supportive, loyal, steady, patient, and strong. They love listening to music, relaxing and reading.

Imbalance Of A Kapha

What causes an imbalance of a Kapha?

  • Overeating
  • Eating to get rid of emotions e.g. eating sweets when stressed.
  • Not engaging in any physical activities.
  • Avoiding intellectual tasks.
  • Spending a lot of time in cool and damp climates.
  • Spending lots of time indoors especially on the TV, laptop or computer.

When imbalanced, Kaphas become lethargic and overweight. They sleep excessively. They suffer from diabetes, depression, asthma, and depression.

Kaphas also hold onto jobs and relationships when imbalanced. They show excessive attachment and are resistant to change. They are also quite stubborn.

How Can Kaphas Stay Balanced?

  • Follow the food plan below
  • Exercise every day.
  • Engage in activities that will energise, stimulate the body and mind.
  • Allow for variety in life, challenges, and excitement.
  • Break off from old ways of thinking, and stagnation.
  • Always keep dry and warm
  • Take part in introspective activities such as writing and meditation
  • Have a boundary between being taken advantage of and being nice.

What Are The Favourable Diets?

Kaphas need to have dry foods, light, warm or cooked light meals. They also do best with raw vegetables and fruits. Spicy foods are such as Indian or hot Mexican foods are good for Kaphas. Dry methods of cooking that include broiling, baking, sautéing, and grilling are preferred to moist methods of cooking such as poaching, steaming or boiling. Preferred spices include turmeric, cumin, sesame seed, and fenugreek. Tonic water, endive, and romaine lettuce are some of the foods that are good for a Kapha.

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Foods Kaphas Should Reduce

Kaphas should go slow on the consumption of fatty and sweet foods, and should reduce salt consumption as this often leads to fluid retention in the body. They should avoid deep-fried foods that are too oily. Kaphas have a tendency of overeating.

They should have the main meal during the day with less heavy, dry foods in the late afternoon or night. Kaphas should desist from consuming fats, sugars, dairy products, chilled drinks, and foods. They ought to use oils and ghee in small proportions.

KAPHA FOOD PLAN

Stated below are steps that a Kapha should undertake to ensure balance and restore Kapha balance if there is any imbalance. These foods mainly affect the moist and heavy aspects of the body.

Fruits

The best fruits include grapefruits, cranberries, apples, pears, prunes, papaya, berries, cherries, and pomegranates, and apricots

Dried fruits including figs, apricots, raisins, prunes, and are great for Kaphas.

Some fruits should be taken in moderation, and they include mangoes, bananas, fresh figs, dates, and coconuts.

Grains

The best grains for a Kapha include basmati rice, buckwheat, barleycorn, millet, oats, and rye.

Grains, for instance, rice and wheat, should be taken with moderation

Kaphas are also advised to avoid steamed grains and hot cereals because they are too damp for the body.

Diary

Small amounts of whole milk, warm skim milk, camel milk, goat milk, and soy milk are good for a Kapha. They can also take eggs, but they shouldn’t be cooked with butter or fried

Eggs yolks should be taken in moderation.

Meat

The best meats include the following; lean fish, chicken, and turkey which should be taken in small amounts.

Meats such as red meat and shrimp should be taken with moderation

Beans

All legumes can be consumed.

Beans such as kidney beans and tofu to be taken in moderation.

Oils

The best oils for a Kapha include sunflower, grape seed oil, almond, and olive oil.

All oils should be used in small quantities.

Spices & Herbs

Kaphas can have all types of spices and herbs. However, the most preferred include sesame, cumin, ginger, and fenugreek. Spices and herbs are good because they improve digestion.

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Vegetables

The best vegetables include broccoli, carrots, Brussels sprouts, garlic, radishes, asparagus, onions, beets, lettuce, green leafy vegetables, okra, potatoes, mushrooms, cauliflower, celery, eggplant, sprouts, peas peppers, and spinach.

Vegetables to be eaten in moderation include zucchini, sweet potatoes, cucumbers, and tomatoes.

Seeds & Nuts

The best seeds and nuts for Kaphas include flax seeds, sunflower seeds, and pumpkin seeds.

Sweeteners

All sweeteners are allowed but in small quantities.

Woman having Ayurvedic spa treatment. Pouring milk.

With love,

Your Grace Guru

XXX

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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How about a Valentine’s day with a difference?

Yes, it’s that special time of the year again. Our cities and our towns are painted with the colour RED, the colour of LOVE. Love birds are drowning themselves in wine; red roses flowers are decorating our streets. All these acts of love only happen once a year, this month of February. It’s the month of love.

But first, have you marked on your calendar that Valentine’s Day is only a few days away? I know you probably are way too busy working hard, making extra money to take care of your loved ones, but the first step in ensuring such a day is a success to remember the day in the first place.

Valentine’s Day is celebrated every year on the 14th of February. It’s a great day of reminding and rekindling the passion between you and your soul mate. Book a romantic hotel for your wife or who you love, buy a bottle of wine, cook his or her favorite meal. There is so much you could do for your loved one. But is it the only month or day of the year where we manifest love in all its forms including romance, passion, intimacy, joy, friendship, communion and ecstasy? Or can we express it at anytime of the year?

Love is a very strong power, what guides us humans! I know you may not yet have met someone who you are compatible with due to one reason or another. And you won’t be happy with all the roses littering our streets and couples holding hands in your city if you are all alone this Valentine’s.

But let me make it easy for you now! The first step in attracting that person you desire this is to cultivate self-love. You’ve got first to love yourself before you find that someone you have always wanted to be with.

Pretty couple kissing each other against a white background

What is self-love?

‘You and you deserve your love and affection more than anyone else in the universe!’

Personally, I have had problems with lack of self-love before. I have sorted the approval of others after struggling with feelings of guilt and failure in my life. I have felt shame and talked to my friends and family with little success. I didn’t feel I was worth of being loved at all. So how do you come out of this dark pit?

Self-love is a word that is often thrown around and misunderstood by many. It’s not about taking great care of yourself, buying yourself the latest Nikes or buying yourself that Chanel bag you have always wanted. It’s more than the usual material possessions that make us smile. Take part in actions that will ensure the psychological, physical and spiritual growth of yourself.

Lack of self-love often leads to many other self-sabotaging traits that may include either of the following

  • Hypersensitivity and defensiveness
  • Poor communication skills
  • Underachievement
  • Eating disorders
  • Poor social life due to poor social skills
  • Hyper vigilance defined as the constant fear of making mistakes
  • Chaotic and stressful relationships with your loved ones
  • Passive aggressiveness

Many of you who are looking forward to Valentine’s Day may be well aware of this concept called self-worth. We may accept the term and all that comes with it i.e. that we love ourselves, and hopefully, our family and acquaintances reinforce that. Things will be different out there because you know it’s a harsh world. You could encounter comparisons, judgments, and criticism.

Such negative thoughts will cloud your mind and make you believe you can’t love yourself. And once you don’t love yourself, you won’t be able to attract that person you have always wanted to be your valentine. Take it as a fact!

Being told you aren’t good enough, is detrimental as you will forget to trust yourself and rely on other people’s judgments and beliefs. If other people detest you and your ways, you will struggle to be that person who meets the needs and traits of the person who you seek. You will also not be able to meet the world’s approval, and you will end getting trapped in a negative bias.

With such kind of challenges, it’s no wonder so many persons suffer from a low self-esteem. To embrace a feeling of self-worth, we have to come up with various ideas for responding to bad input and negative criticism that often boxes us to the corner.

Image of woman holding heart symbol, shallow depth of field

So how to cultivate Self-Love?!

Learn to accept

You may not always like something about yourself, like your body size or your face, or you may not be the most interesting person in your circle. You might look at some of your family members or friends and wish you were like them, but unfortunately, there are some realities in life but you can always try to change some. The most important even if you are trying to do the best of yourself and go on a diet, be more intellectual or even do nothing about it. Just learn to accept the way you are and focus your energy on more positive and productive endeavors in your life and about yourself. That way you will be able to relax your mind and heart.

Learn healthy communication and social skills

This is the best way of finding that person who you’ve always wanted and, therefore, inspire love in your life. You should be able to communicate your fears and feelings in a healthy, non-confrontational and mature way. Such are critical in ensuring you cultivate self-love thus leading to improved relationships. Everyone on this planet is insecure in one way or another, instead of diminishing or hiding them, enhance your emotional insight so as you are more authentic to those whom you approach. 

What’s your passion?

What do you love doing, what is your hobby? Once you define what you like participating in, you will always find a reason for waking up in the morning. You will be eager and engaged in doing what you desire. You will be able to strengthen a confident self-perception by linking up your skills with what you are passionate about. No one will force you to be someone or something you aren’t because you will openly express what and who you love.

Forgive, forgive, and forgive

To love yourself and those close to you, you have first to forgive yourself, and then forgive others for hurting you. You forgive yourself the same way you forgive others, be it your friends or family. Offer it freely with kindness. Don’t beat yourself over a mistake you have done as it’s an exercise in futility. Offer your friends forgiveness even if they don’t seek it for one reason or the other. The ability to forgive yourself and others is a bold step in wholeness, self-respect, and self-worth.

So after attaining your self-love, how do you attract someone, in other words, how do you become a love magnet?

Where and how do you find it? What steps can you take to keep the fire burning once you find love? Why is it so hard for you to find love and your friend, colleague or cousin drowns in it every day? Those are some of the questions that may be running through your mind.

Allow natural love to flow from your heart to others.

  1. The first thing you should do is to let go of fear.

You should be confident by now, having gathered your self-worth. The natural state of us humans as stated above is love, and the opposite of it is distress, anxiety and fear. Once you feel anxious or anguish, build a wall, a fortress around yourself to protect you from all things related to anxiety, and negative comments. That ‘fortress’ may include dropping friends that may be bringing you down, or you could engage in other positive activities that will build your confidence such as taking part in team building activities with your colleagues or family members.

Action: Over this period, look for any issues in your life that are fear based. Take a piece of paper, indicating what you fear and how you can respond to your fears from a compassionate and positive point of view. Instead of fearing that homeless man that you always ignore at the subway, how about you buy him a sandwich or hand him a couple of dollars?

Train yourself to let go of fear by countering fear with acts of love.

  1. Love yourself first.

As I mentioned earlier, you should first and foremost think about yourself before you can love another person. What that statement means is you should accept your flaws as none of us is perfect. Instead of blaming yourself and others for mistakes committed in your life, why don’t you look at the positive side. Look at yourself and appreciate yourself and those close to you, reminding them of their good qualities.

Action: State down the positive traits of yourself as well as others. You look great, and you are beautiful inside and outside. Look at the positive side of everything, e.g., how you handle your colleagues or what you are great at. Once people critic you, or you critic yourself, pick up a positive response to it from the list you have written down.

Loving yourself will help you project your love towards other people, and that way true love can blossom between you and your soul mate.

  1. Forget about your past

Most of the people who I have spoken to, have told me that so many unpleasant things have happened in their past relationships, some of which have negatively affected their love life. You may not realize it, but every time something negative happens in your life, you register it in your subconscious. It, therefore, goes in the ‘sack’ of all unpleasant things that ever happened in your life and such things are a burden on your relationships.

Imagine having a 200-pound sack on your back? It will be tough to walk. Accumulated ‘unpleasant things’ in your head will be like a 200-pound sack on your back; it will be hard for you to move forward in life especially with regards to relationships.

Action: State all the terrible things from your past, and write them down on a piece of paper. Strike them out one by one, indicating letting go of all fear, anxiety and unpleasant things that may be weighing you down and then burn it. Let go of any anger and excessive need to control those who you love and care about.

Close-up image of smiling couple in love, concept of love and happiness

  1. Define your needs.

Having needs is part of human nature. We go to school, eat, sleep, work, or even marry because we have needs. In fact having needs will help you create a relationship. You and your partner will be more connected and feel better if both of your needs are voiced and accomplished. Even after stating such, most of us are uncomfortable asking the other party to meet our needs.

The irony is, we get into relationships to get some particular needs met.

Action: Think about your needs, write them down if you can. Then know the needs of your significant other, and those who are close to you. Go ahead, work hard and ensure all the stated needs are met!

  1. Do you know your relationship patterns?

If you aren’t attracting the right persons in your love life, most likely it’s not the first time. In such a case, you may be having relationship patterns that are a hindrance to you attracting the right people to your love life.

Action: Ask yourself if there is a way you behave that prevents you from causing love? What are your relationship patterns and what kind of people do you attract? Once you state your pattern, you will be able to define new ways of causing love between you and those who you crush on.

  1. Express your boundaries.

Boundaries are critical as they help you honor your wants, needs and protect you as well. Once you can choose to say yes or no to a request or demand from those who you love is when you know you have defined boundaries. Boundaries are important when you are well aware of your needs. Always ask those close to you to respect them. They will help you be more discerning, earn you self-respect and inspire others to treat you well.

Action: Keep in mind the boundaries that people should know, and make them aware of them in a subtle, polite manner. Be kind and open to your partner.

  1. What do you want?

What do you want from your relationship or your partner? Clearly and concisely state your wants. Ensure you don’t go overboard and give unrealistic and out of this world expectations. Be modest and avoid setting very low expectations. Avoid sabotaging your love life by engaging in negative behaviors, and instead, take action to create what you want.

Action: Model your love life after those relationships you value the most.

Be your own valentine

As you might already noticed, the month of February is often full of expectations, talks of love and people exchanging all kinds of gifts. Some can’t wait for it to come while some want it to pass as soon as it comes because they haven’t found someone to share the love with. Those who are single dread the day because there’s too much pressure from their friends and family who have a plus one to celebrate with.

I have highlighted a couple of ways in which you could cultivate self-love, and after that attract that one person you want to spend the 14th of February with. To be sincere, you may need to be patient to find love. It depends on the kind of a person you really want, your needs and desires. What if you don’t find that one guy or lady that you want to be with? How do you get to enjoy and have fun this month?

There is absolutely no reason you shouldn’t enjoy this month. I agree that having someone else in the picture is important as it will bring you happiness and joy. However, you don’t have to have someone so as to have the best Valentine’s Day ever in your life. You could view it positively and even name it ‘Self-love Month’ instead of Valentine’s Day. And another important point to note is you don’t have to wait till February to celebrate ‘Self-love Month’. How about we do it differently this year and celebrate it every single day of our lives. Being your own Valentine is one of the best ways of living a positive life.

So what steps could you take in being your own Valentine, not only this month but also every other single day of the year?

  1. Indulge yourself in a treat

I know you have probably seen lots of offers from various shopping establishments, salons, bars or even spas. Why don’t take a day off, go for a spa day or buy yourself a box of chocolates and get to remind yourself that you are worthy of such indulgence? Indulge in a treat, have an hour relaxing or reading a good book. You deserve it!

Treats and gifts are the first languages of love. Do something good for yourself. It’s not a crime to send yourself dozens of roses!

  1. Keep in mind how awesome you are!

Don’t wait for friends to tell you how beautiful, handsome, talented you are, or that you have a great smile. I know you feel great when other people compliment you. But compliments are even better once you praise yourself. We are often quick to blame ourselves when we do wrong, but once we do right, we never remember to pat ourselves on the back. I am all about self-improvement, and giving myself a compliment every day of my life.

Doing so has helped me live a happy and optimistic life.

  1. How about you challenge yourself this Valentine’s period?

Take a paper and note down your goals. What do you intend to achieve this year or this month of February? Start a project and challenge yourself to learn a new skill in the coming days or months. How about you take a day off, and learn a new recipe. Get empowered by the unlimited possibilities that are before you and take your life by the reins. Learning is a recommended way of invigorating yourself and getting to have fun this Valentine’s month.

  1. Eat healthy

Indulge in activities that will add value to your life. You could slow down on the alcohol and instead have more fresh juices instead. Eat healthy foods as such kind of foods are the key to supporting a healthy life. According to Anahata Chakra, the fourth main chakra of Buddhist Tantric, Hindu Yogic, and Shakta Traditions, there are certain foods key to supporting a healthy lifestyle. They include vegetables such as broccoli and Brussels sprouts.

Eat more vegetables, and exercise during this month.

Fresh farmer strawberries on dark wood texture in shape of heart

  1. Reflect on your life and relax.

You could relax through a number of ways e.g. by enrolling in a yoga class. Engage in heart-opening postures under the Anahata teachings such as the Cobra Pose, Camel Pose, and Heart Melting Pose. These exercises will help increase blood flow in the veins, hence increase your flexibility and strength.

Delight and smile that you have nothing special going down on the 14th. You could catch some early sleep. Once you relax on your bed after a long day, reflect on the positives that life has to offer e.g. a simple thing like the fact that you are healthy.

And as I mentioned all above, you don’t need a date to have an unforgettable Valentines experience on February 14th. Stop frowning and live life to the fullest. In fact, this should be your happiest month of the year. Be happy, progress, and the most important thing, CULTIVATE SELF-LOVE this February.

And just live every day of your life like a Valentine and spread the love vibes out, they will come back to you more and bigger then you can imagine.

With LOVE,

Your Grace Guru

XXX

 

 

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Help Save the Planet – Change Your Food Shopping Habits

The world is reeling under the weight of environmental degradation. Humankind is busy destroying its resources with little regard as to how future generations will live or survive. Governments and organisations are some of the main culprits in this regard thus explaining their slow and half-hearted reactions. It is time that each one of us took the task of saving the planet personally.

Different Ways; Same Objective

There are different ways to play your role in making the planet a better place to live in. Among the most popular is to be vegan or to eat only organic food. Whatever you decide to do, make sure you curtail emission of greenhouse gasses and the use of chemicals in growing food.

Of course you have many other reasons to want to be vegan or to eat organic food. Most of the food in our market is grown using chemicals that are known to contribute to high risk of cancer and other diseases. Genetically Modified Food (GMO) is also said to be responsible for some diseases. Add this to the use of antibiotics and artificial hormones and you will have second thoughts before buying and eating conventionally-grown food.

On veganism, it is important to realise that human beings contract some diseases from domestic animals. These animals are kept in congested conditions where they are fattened for slaughter using chemicals and modified animal feeds. The normal process through which an animal must go before it matures is shortened so that you get meat and milk on your table. If we all chose to be vegan, there would be no need to rear animals in such unhealthy environments or even to eat them.

How The World Can Be Saved

The most important issue, though, for this article is that we are able to save and protect the earth through the food choices we make. Suppose all of us chose to eat organic food, there would be many benefits. It would be a decision that would revolutionise the world, help to conserve the environment and save the world billions of dollars that we are using to treat diseases associated with chemicals in food.

To begin with, if we stopped growing and eating organic food, there would be fewer toxins in our soils and the air. Normally, most of the chemicals used in farming remain in the air, water and soil for very long durations and continues to poison the environment. When people eat these foods, they are likely to get sick often gradually.

In addition, if we decided to grow food organically, the fields on which this food is grown would absorb most of the carbon in the environment. Is it estimated that one acre of an organic field can absorb the amount of carbon that is emitted by about 11, 000 cars every year. In essence, we would be reversing the negative effects of excess carbon in the air.

Animals that are grown the normal way emit less carbon than those that are grown for meat in secluded and congested places. We have interfered with nature and this is causing us many problems. When animals graze in the open and eat the grass and other plants they are meant to, the carbon and other gasses they emit are in tandem with natural flows of carbon in the air.

Female Customer Shopping At Farmers Market Stall

Another reason to support the assertion that going organic would save the earth from further destruction is the fact that non-organic farming also requires the use of other techniques for packaging which increases the waste burden of the planet. Normally organic companies ensure they have sustainable ways of packaging their products so that only few greenhouse gases are emitted.

Organic farming is in tandem with nature because it replenishes nutrients in the soil. Organic strategies also protect plants from pests and diseases in a manner that does not interfere with the ecosystem. What most of us don’t know is that some of the pests we consider harmful and kill with pesticides are important to the environment and should not be killed.

Greater Awareness and Activism

The good news is that people are becoming sensitive about the environment and are making demands related to the type of foodstuff they want to purchase. It is not just about nutritional value of food but how that food is grown. People want to eat food that is grown in a healthy manner. In turn, supermarkets and governments are conducting research and surveys among consumers to know what type of foods the latter do not want to find on shelves.

It is sad that human beings have resorted to destroying the very environment they live in. For example, our flesh-eating habits are depleting fish and other creatures in the ocean. The wastes from the animals we keep for meet are polluting the air and making the earth hotter by the day.

By choosing to be vegan or to eat organic food only, you may not seem to be doing much, but if all of us played our little roles effectively, we would save the earth.

With Love,

Your Grace Guru 

XXX

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