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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Amazing Reasons to Run Your First Marathon

Marathons have been with humanity since the days of the days of the Greece Empire. A marathon is a long race where people compete for honours and fame. Today there are different categories of marathon runners: those who compete for money, presents and records, people who compete for fun and those who do it to accomplish a dream. Whatever your motivation, it is time you ran you first marathon and I will tell you why. Before that you need to know that there are mainly two type of marathon – the full marathon which is 42 km long and the half marathon that is 21km long. However, there are other fun marathons that you can participate in including the 10km, 5km and children’s races of varying lengths. Most major cities have a marathon that take place annually. In the UK, the London Marathon is regarded as one of the major races in the world, attracting thousands of runners including elite athletes from around the globe. The US also hosts many marathons with Boston and New York being the most famous.

OMSK, RUSSIA - MAY 24 : Marathon runners compete at the Spring Half Marathon 2015 in Omsk, Russia, May 24, 2015. Marathon athletes running on street

Training for the marathon

When you decide to take place in a marathon, you need to start preparing early enough. The best favour you can do yourself is to have a group of people to train with. Develop a training plan. Remember you must practice running for the same distance that you intend to run in the real marathon.

Make sure you also train adequately. You cannot begin training one week to the marathon because you will not be ready on the material day. Another important consideration is to invest in the best running shoes as you will need to be comfortable during the race. There is nothing as boring as training for marathon alone. Get some company and you will enjoy your training.

Remember to drink a lot of water because this is the fuel that will keep you going. Energy drinks are also good to use as long as they do not contain a lot of sugar. More importantly, eat a balanced diet, preferably wholesome food, but moderation. Carbohydrates are very important because they give you the energy you need to train for the race.

  1. For the sheer fun of it

There is a lot of fun involved in running a marathon particularly when you do it in a group. There is a lot to see and share with your fellow competitors in the course of the marathon. Fun moments as people struggle to finish the race will make the experience even more exciting. What more? There is nothing that defeats the joy of reaching the finishing line even if it is five hours after the winner.

Young girl crosses finish line

 

  1. To get motivation to accomplish other tasks

Running a marathon enables you to think, live and accomplish a dream. Within the few hours you will be running, you will acquire the discipline needed to set, prepare for and attain other goals in life.

  1. To lose weight

There is no way you will prepare adequately for a marathon and finish it yet fail to shed some weight. Preparing for a marathon requires you to run a lot and in the process you will burn calories.

  1. Health benefits abound

Running will make your blood run as it should because your heart will be strengthened and oxygen will reign free. Expect your risk of heart diseases to be lowered significantly and your blood pressure to normalize. Cholesterol takes a flight when you run a marathon, while your immunity will get a boost.

  1. You will make friends

Normally, major marathons bring together people from all walks of life. Here you will find amateur and professional runners from all continents and you will make lasting friendships with them.

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  1. To contribute to charity

Many people who participate in marathon do so because they are out to help a certain cause of kindness. You could help to build a school or a hospital in a developing country. With the number of disasters and prevailing poverty in the world, this is a great reason o participate in a marathon.

  1. How about being the special one?

How many people in your family or neighbourhood have ever finished a marathon? You will be in a special class. You will have a story to tell people and your story will be retold and inspire other people to take the challenge.

  1. To take part in a historic event

Marathons are important events in the calendars of important cities. Taking part in marathon means you will be listed as having participated in a great event. You will have important memories to deliver to your children and grandchildren.

Determine to run a marathon this year. It may look daunting for now but you will never regret once you reach the end of the race. If you have been craving an accomplishment that will rank high in your lifetime goals, look no further than running a marathon. Remember you don’t have to run the full marathon at the first attempt. You can start with 5km or 10km and later graduate to the half-marathon before taking on the mother of all races – the full Marathon.

 

With love,

Grace Guru

XXX

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Small and Effective Steps to A Healthier Diet!

As you begin the New Year, it is important to make some crucial changes in your life for you to have a more productive year. All of us need some form of makeover. Take for example the issue of dieting; is there any change that you need to make?

Perhaps you need to look closely at 2015 and ask yourself whether Perhaps you need to look closely at 2 you were fair to your body. A different way of looking at it is to ask whether your body was fair to you. You see, the responds exactly the way you want it. As they say, you reap what you sow when it comes to feeding and taking care of your body.

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Consequently, if your body did not give you enough sleep in 2015, don’t blame it. Scrutinize your life and find out what it is you were eating before going to bed or what amount of food you were consuming.

Perhaps you have decided to shed off some excess weight in the New Year. That is commendable! But have you identified the dietary changes you need to make from 2015 to make your resolution a reality? Remember you cannot discuss your health without discussing what you eat, how you eat it and when you eat it.

What You Need To Do Now!

The following are some significant changes you need to make in 2016 in order to live a healthier and more useful life. Please note that we are not talking about costly surgeries or expensive food but simple and effective strategies that only require discipline and commitment to pull off.

  1. Eat Green Foods

Green is the colour of nature, health and life. Have you ever noticed how most of the junk food we eat is not green? That aside, collard, lettuce, spinach and kale are some of the greatest gifts you should give your body in 2016. We are talking about a detoxified body; one with the right level of alkalinity and the right blend of minerals. The latter include magnesium, zinc and iron, essential minerals that increase your energy levels in a healthy way, destroy the blemishes on your skin and boost your immunity.

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In addition, there are numerous ways to eat your greens. You can prepare rainbow salads, smoothies or even fresh juice. There is no better way to boost your energy levels in the afternoon than to gulp down a glass of fresh green vegetable juice. And please don’t even say that you cannot find vegetables where you are or you cannot afford them because that will be a blatant lie.

  1. Away with Processed Foods

One reason for the current proliferation of diseases is the amount of processed foods we eat. Artificial sweeteners, additives, unsaturated oils, refined sugar and so on, are almost in all the foods you buy at your local supermarket. Look at the section that contains fried foods, cookies, sweets and white bread at your local store and you will realize it is the most popular especially with young and urbane buyers.

Instead of investing in indigestion, irritability, diabetes, rotten teeth and obesity, choose to eat fresh foods. There are plenty of fruits, vegetables and nuts that can make quality snacks. You may even want to try natural flax crackers, sweet potato fries or even raw chocolate as opposed to refined foods.

  1. Drink Water and Shun Sugary Beverages

Good old free water is still the healthiest beverage that you can take. Soda is sweet but full of additives, preservatives and carbon to fill your tummy with air. Tea and coffee will only add to your insomnia by increasing the amount of caffeine in your blood stream. If they contain a lot of refined sugar, you are in even more trouble. Fruit juices are good as long as they are freshly-pressed and do not have additives like refined sugar. All in all, eight glasses of water a day is the recommendation of the physician.

2 glasses of infused water makes a delicious and healthy summer drink.

  1. Choose White instead of Red Meat

You are safer eating fish and poultry as compared to beef. Recent studies by the World Health Organisation associate eating of red meat with the increase in cancers. Our animals are fed chemicals, GMOs and antibiotics to make them fatter and resistant to diseases. Unfortunately, we end up inheriting diseases from these animals and develop resistance to antibiotics when we eat such foods. Stick with white meat and you will be safe while getting your recommended intake of animal protein.

  1. Treat Yourself to a Fruit Fest instead of Processed Fruit Juice

Every season has its fruit offering. Learn when it is time to eat pears, avocado, mangoes, apples, pineapples, oranges, plums and so on. The good thing is that fruits are also available out of season. Raw fruits contain fibre, vitamins, carbs and other important nutrients. You can eat them as pudding or as snacks. Every agricultural market or grocery store has some fruit waiting for you.

There you have it. This New Year, make changes in your diet by reducing your intake of processed foods and eating adequate amounts of natural foods.

With Love,

Your Grace Guru

XXX

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Get Rid of Old Stuff and Start Anew in 2016!

The whole world belongs to humanity. However, there are some spaces that belong to individuals. You own such a place. It is your house, bedroom and so on. Occasionally, a lot of dirty stuff and other cluttering materials accumulate and this leads to physical, emotional and spiritual stagnation.

Is it normal to have stuff we don’t need?

Once you understand how the stuff you don’t need dirt contribute to your attitude and personal life, you will realise the need to rid yourself of the old and allow new and fresh ideas into your life. Often, we think that having stuff we don’t need is just a normal issue. But is that really true?

Think about those cards that your former boyfriend sent you many years ago and which you keep in a small or big box somewhere in your house. Are they really worth keeping today? How about those old shoes and clothes that you don’t wear anymore? Is there something more useful you can do with such space? How about the dust that emanates from these spaces, hurting your health? How many people would benefit from those old clothes that you are keeping and which you cannot wear because they are out of fashion or cannot fit you anymore? Even if you don’t want to donate your stuff to the poor why not convert them into money? You can sell your used books on Amazon and spend the proceeds in other ways.

It is unfortunate that you lost that close family member. However, keeping their old clothes and other bulky mementos in a closed room in your house is not the best way to celebrate the dead. Wouldn’t it be better to remember you late relatives by giving out their stuff to the needy?

Beyond getting rid of old stuff here is the philosophical angle of de-cluttering

The old and bulky stuff that occupies our precious spaces is closely connected to our relationships, histories, identities and also feelings of self-worth. We choose to keep old photos and personal belongings of our dead relatives because we want to remember them. Those romantic letters from your childhood flame are important for your history and also to remind you of your worth when somebody else rejects you.Many a times when you go through your stuff you are going through an emotional journey. Every item reminds you of a specific time in your life when you were either happy or sad. Some photos bring fond memories of people you once knew. There are also those photos that you don’t even want to look at a second time because they bring back painful memories. In essence, whatever you keep that has no use currently carries memories and emotions that are either positive or negative. When you decide to get rid of such stuff, you are getting rid of those memories and feelings. Consequently, it is important that you sort out your stuff carefully before you burn some documents, throw away some papers, sell some personal stuff or even donate to charity.

Woman buried under an untidy cluttered woman wardrobe. Woman in high heels needs help from to much shopping. Shopaholic girl.

How your dirty and bulky stuff affects you emotionally…

Experience has shown that people who have unwanted stuff that occupies space unnecessarily in their lives also have emotional problems corresponding to the clutter in their lives. In those old shoes, clothes, letter, photos and other stuff are negative feelings and experiences that you need to let go. Many have never forgotten their former lovers. They keep photos and other mementos of their former flames. As a result, they spend a lot of time comparing current lovers with past ones and end up with broken hearts because no two people are the same.

Your house lacks vital energy because, where that power should be, because you have chosen to keep the personal belongings of your grandparent who died many years ago. There is no way new positive energy will come your way if you don’t create space for it. Those projects you have not completed for many years fill you with frustration and desperation. You have even allowed some people to store their unwanted stuff in your house. It is stuffy, dirty and uncomfortable. You cannot think creatively in your own house.

A new beginning

As you begin the New Year you need to create time to sort out valuable items that deserve to be retained and those that belong to charity or the trash bin. Look around you and you will realise that a huge chunk of the stuff in your house is simply useless junk that clutters your life without adding any value to you.

The New Year offers you an opportunity to begin life anew. Getting rid of old stuff should be a gradual process because it is not easy to let some stuff to go. However, always remember that the moment you get rid of unwanted stuff, you will get a new dose of optimism that will help you live more productively in the New Year. Free yourself of trash and live in a clean physical, emotional and mental environment.

Woman Standing By Bedroom Window And Opening Curtains

With love,

Grace Guru

XXX                                                                                                                                     

 

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Water under the Bridge – How to Forgive

One of the best ways to start the New Year is to let go off the past and begin on a new slate. I have in mind forgiving those who have hurt you and allowing positive feelings and thoughts to imbue you. But how easy is it to forgive? Is it even important to forgive in the first place?

Not an easy task!

Forgiving people who have hurt you, especially those who do it deliberately, is not the easiest of tasks. We are not talking about telling that person it is ok, then remaining with hurt feelings for days to come. Forgiveness is about letting out those feelings of hatred, anger and bitterness towards someone who has hurt you.

Forgiveness is not easy…

Forgiveness is more about you than it is about the person who has hurt you although some of them are hard to forgive. Think about this close friend who knows almost all your secrets and who broadcasts your dirty linen to the public.How do you forgive betrayal from a person who is not even willing to acknowledge they are wrong or that they need forgiveness? Your close friends are urging you to forgive that boyfriend who betrayed you with a close ally but now wants to come back. However, the person in the wrong has not even made an effort to ask you to forgive him.Forgiving is also not easy because sometimes the pain is too hard to bear. This is especially when the person who needs forgiveness appears to have had the motive to hurt you. It is no wonder that there are family members who can never see eye to eye. Some cannot sit in the same room or even share a table. I know some people who will get aggressive and prepare to fight when they meet their perceived enemies. Feelings of bitterness and grudges are bottled for many years waiting for the opportune time to explode. There are family conflicts that run so deep that generations of offspring who were never alive when the triggering events occurred can even kill their ‘enemies’.

But is it beneficial to hold grudges and refuse to forgive?

Earlier on we had observed that forgiveness is more about you that about the person who has hurt you. There is a saying to the effect that keeping a grudge is like taking poison and expecting the other person to die. In other words, failing to forgive a person hurts you more than the other person. It is ironical that the other person may not even be asking for forgiveness and has a light heart at a time when you are carrying an emotional burden in your heart. Yes, your self-mage and self-esteem were hurt by the actions of another person, but by holding on to feelings of bitterness, you hurt yourself more.

The woman in a white sundress on seacoast with open hands. A picturesque landscape

In essence, whether the other person comes to you asking to be forgiven or they simply pretend they never did anything wrong to you, you owe it to yourself to expel the hurt feelings from your heart and begin on a new slate. That burden that is weighing so heavily upon you cannot wait until a remorseful person comes to ask for pardon.I know you think that by stopping to talk to this person you are retaliating. Yes it is true that there is a form of relief from saying that hurtful word or hitting back in a way towards that evil person. However, when all is said and done, it is you who will be hurt whenever you meet this person or even hear people talking about him or her.

Health benefits of forgiving

And there is scientific evidence to back these assertions. According to the Journal of Behavioural Medicine, those who take time to forgive others enjoy better health including lower blood pressure, reduced levels of depression, less stress and a strong immune system. Forgiveness if kindness towards your soul, mind and body and giving yourself an opportunity to live wholesomely,

You also need forgiveness

Let us elevate this discussion. Are you also in need of forgiveness at one time or another? Unless you are not human, you can never avoid hurting people, whether deliberately or inadvertently. Honestly, how do you feel when you have hurt a person, and when you ask for forgiveness, the aggrieved person withholds it? Forgiveness is about empathy – walking the path of the other person and living their experiences. The golden rule urges us to do to others what we would want them to do to us.

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Its normal to be hurt; it should be normal to forgive

To sum up, remember you cannot avoid being hurt by the people around you. While you should try to minimize it by being more empathetic and civil, do not hold on to hurt feelings because it is you they will destroy – not the other person. You have a choice to make; do it wisely. This New Year, determine to forgive the hurts of 2015 and begin on a new grudge-free and healthy slate.

With love,

Your Grace Guru

XXX

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The Essence and Beauty of a Smile!

If you knew the potency of a smile, you would use it more often. The hearts doesn’t lie and one of the languages of the heart is your smile. Did you know that that positive reaction you craved from people, but never received, was denied because you never smiled? There is a profound science behind a smile which you should know so that you use this weapon more often to your advantage.

Non-verbal communication

Did you know that a lot of the meaning we share in communication is actually non-verbal? People tend to believe more in what you don’t say than in what comes out of your mouth. One of the non-verbal cues that people resort to in order to judge your intentions and character is your smile. Even little children avoid older people who don’t smile genuinely and often!

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Smiles are like communicable diseases

A smile is a contagious cue that transmits an emotion. More importantly, a sincere smile is easy to decipher and it comes our involuntarily. Your mood or emotion is like a barometer that people use to gauge approachability. Your smile represents the units of measurement. When you smile, you are telling the people around you that you are a positive minded person they should get close to you.

In addition, a smile elevates your mood and the emotions of people around you. Have you ever noticed how a smiling child brings cheer to people in the vicinity, including strangers? Try looking at a mirror and smiling at your face and you will be surprised at how your smiling mirror image will create wells of positive feelings inside you.

Research has shown that when a positive-minded and smiling person enters a room, the mood of the people in that space is transformed to reflect what the newcomer has introduced. The opposite is true. A smile is like an echo that must reflect back. The only way you can make people to view you positively is to be genuinely concerned about them to the extent that it shows on your face through your smile.

What else does research say about smiling?

• What would you feel if someone gave you a big amount of cash or you won the jackpot in a lottery? That is the feeling a simple smile will give you at no cost.

• When you smile, you help your body to fight against worry while simultaneously bringing down you heart rate and blood pressure.

• Do you love eating chocolate? A smile will bring so much happiness your way that not even 2000 chocolate bars will!

• A child will smile 400 times more than you every day. The best most of us can accomplish is 40 to 50 times, if we really love to smile.

• Endorphins, the feel-good hormones in your brain, are secreted when you smile thus increasing your propensity for positivity and success.

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Let’s be more practical

When you smile often you increase your chances of succeeding in your interactions with other people and also in your individual pursuits. A smile is sometimes the differences between the job candidate who secures employment and the one who merely attends an interview. Of course you know that interviewers are human who cannot resist a smile!

A smile makes one salesperson successful while grumpiness drags the other person to failure even though the two have similar qualifications and the same products to sell. The reason some shopkeepers have a constant flow of customers and others end up closing shop in the first month is because one smiles with customers and the other doesn’t. Indeed as the Chinese say, “If you can’t smile, don’t open a shop!”

One woman has a hard time getting men to notice her despite her natural beauty and the added magic of makeup and stylish dressing. Another woman is confused on how to choose the right man for her because the number that is attracted to her warm genuine smile is too high to handle.

How then do you make smiling a natural habit?

1. Be grateful for who you are and what you have and you will realise you have something to give to the world including a genuine smile.
2. Maintain a positive mind-set and you will realize that the world has so much to laugh and be happy about.
3. Fake it till you make it. Go before a mirror and smile at yourself. Visualise yourself smiling before people and feel the positive vibrations you will create in these people.
4. Keep in mind that special person in your life. Think about the many happy times you shared together and particular events that are unforgettable for both of you.
5. Learn to see the unusual and hilarious side of life. There are many events, people, movies, songs and many other issues that should not leave you without a smile.
6. Surround yourself with positive minded people who also like to smile. Soon you will catch the smiling diseases and never get cured!

Finally, please remember to smile genuinely!

With Love,

Your Grace Guru

XXX

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The Ultimate New Year’s Cleanse!

Every New Year is an opportunity for you to start life anew. People make resolutions to transform their lives positively. Sometimes I wonder why these resolutions do not include eating and dieting. Considering the many health problems in our society, it is time you made the wise decision to cleanse your body in 2016.

Not An Expensive Exercise

Detoxing your body should be high up on your list of the things you must do this year. I need to state from the onset that cleansing your body does not have to be expensive. In fact, if you use food as your primary cleanser, you need to incur any extra costs on top of your grocery expenditure.

Why Should You Detox?

It is also important to remember that the beginning of the year is a very important time to detox because of the effects of the festivities on your body. Think of the damage you will have caused your body through uncontrolled eating, poor eating habits and consuming of unhealthy foods, and you will appreciate the need to give your internal organs a healthful bath.

Digital Bathroom Scale Displaying OMG Message

 

Here are practical ideas you may want to implement this year to ensure your body is clean and healthy at all times.

  1. Water. Water

I cannot emphasise this more. You need to take as much water as possible every day, the recommended minimum is eight glasses every day, but that does not stop you from taking more. Moreover, while ‘water’ here is taken to mean fluids, please take pure / distilled water as much as you can. Remember this is the fluid that is crucial in almost all body processed including carrying nutrients to the cells. Toxins will be flushed out and your brain will function more effectively when you take water regularly and generously.

 

  1. Eat a lot of Fruits and Vegetables

The toxins in your body are mostly as a result of eating unwholesome food. One way of flushing them out is to eat fruits and vegetables in large amounts. Remember fruits and vegetables contain vitamins and other disease-fighting elements. They also have fibre which provides roughage and aids digestion. Research has shown that people who eat more fruits and vegetables lose weight faster than those who don’t. I am sure you know that excess weight is an indicator that your body has toxins that need to be expelled.

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  1. Replace caffeinated beverages with apples

What do you take for breakfast? Many of us cannot imagine breakfast without tea or coffee. It is customary and we think it is mandatory. But what do these beverages contain? They have caffeine and other stimulants that continue to detoxify the body every time we take them, yet we ignore that fact. I suggest you take apples instead. They have pure and long lasting energy for the day ahead. They also keep hunger pangs away for long, which means you are unlikely to overeat during the day. Are we not in the middle of an obesity epidemic? Apples will also give you vitamin B12 which is vital for your health. I suggest you also pack your breakfast with soy milk, yoghurt and eggs while minimising coffee and tea intake.

heart shape by various vegetables and fruits

  1. Eat adequate amounts of protein

Many of us neglect proteins and instead eat a lot of carbs which in turn leads to unhealthy weight gain. To ensure your body is clean, you need to eat fish, eggs, beef, mutton, pork, poultry meat, milk and other forms of protein. Proteins are also found abundantly in legumes like beans and pulses. The good thing with proteins is that they help to build body cells, tissues and muscles. Considering the natural wear and tear of these important body elements, proteins are very important as part of your diet. However, ensure you eat the prescribed 45g a day and opt for white instead of red meat.

  1. Be temperate in eating

Eating is good but it must be controlled if the body is to be detoxified. Some of the people who are obese did not get into their current conditions because they did not eat the right food. Their mistakes was to consume more than what they needed. The body is burdened and poisoned when we eat in excess of our needs. The excess food is store in form of body fat but this is done after the digestive system has been given surplus work to do. Eat smaller portions more often, chew slowly and allow the body time to digest before you take another meal.

  1. Shun sedentary lifestyle

The food you eat cannot be digested and assimilated effectively simply because you chewed it well. You will greatly aid your digestion and detoxification processes by exercising in one way or another after eating. Take a walk or hit the gym occasionally. Engage in household chores so as to move your body. This will quicken digestion and give your body time to rest and make use of the food you have eaten.

Change your diet and eating habits to make sure you have a Happy, toxin-free and healthy 2016!

With Love,

Your Grace Guru xxx

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How to Make Your Resolutions A Reality

Positive thinking and the law of attraction have continued to mesmerise people over the years. In particular, the idea that by visualising something and holding that image in the mind can actually bring that object to a person is popular among people. But does it always work like that? What lessons can we learn from visualisation to help us realise our New Year resolutions?

Some people cannot tell the boundary between fantasising and visualising. You can create fantasies in your mind about a car you want to purchase and believe that simply by dreaming about it, it will be actualised. This is what most naïve practitioners of positive thinking believe. Most of what people call the law of attraction is actually lopsided and unable to yield results, unless by coincidence.

Earn Your Results

One of the tenets of life that many people ignore is the fact that results must be earned even when visualisation is part of the equation. According to research, you stand to gain if you focus on the real steps that you will take to achieve your dream instead of fantasising about the dream itself. You are better off thinking and planning the process of achievement instead of wasting time on the potential outcome.

It is human to try and avoid the long and practical route. We want the shortcut and that is why we believe that fantasy will yield fruits without exerting any efforts. Your mind normally believes in the images you create for it. It is possible to create an image of success and convince the mind that it has already been achieved, thus negating any need for real effort.

First – Visualise Your Action

That is like putting the cart before the horse. To do things the right way would be to visualise the efforts first before the outcome. The moment you base you aspirations on a solid foundation of action, you are on the path to success. In essence, you cannot simply set New Year resolutions and wait for time and chance to make them happen simply because you have ingrained the image of your expected outcome deeply in your mind. The moment you glorify dreams at the expense of pertinent action, you lose the way to success.

Your New Year resolutions are good but you must chart the path to them. While your destination is known to you, it is impossible to get there unless you know the way and actually travel on it. You will do yourself a great favour if you identify the way and start visualising how you will cover every step. Before you realise it, you will have covered every mile and arrived where you always wanted to be.

See yourself going through the steps to your resolutions instead of fantasising and feeling excited that you have arrived even before starting your journey. It is not naturally for fruits to grow where the roots are or vice versa. Everything has its place in the scheme of things. Nature does not change its processes and principles to favour you. You must plan based on the infallible laws of nature.

Second – Take Action 

Now that we are clear that you must focus on the actions you will take towards achieving your New Year resolutions, begin to realistically act on your plan. The first point would be to fight doubt. Doubt is the water that douses the flame that is your dreams. It is rare for a person to have a dream without some lingering thoughts of self-doubt in the background. The difference between successful people and those who don’t make it is that the former decide to stifle self-defeating thoughts.

The next important action you must take is to work on your positives and affirm your positive conduct. This New Year, you need to work on eradicating your negative thoughts while at the same time adopting positive behaviour. Think about your strengths and focus on making them even better and surpassing what you have already done. For example, waking up early to exercise will lead you gradually to your fitness goals instead of fantasising over the ideal image.

Another crucial step towards your dream is to stop procrastinating. Granted, there will always be a tomorrow to accomplish your goals if you are too tired and have enough excuses not to do anything today. However, that tomorrow may be next month or next year and you will not have realised your objectives. Procrastination is one of the greatest thieves of time or so we are told. Don’t fall into the temptation of having excuses for what you should be doing now.

To complement these efforts, exercise mindfulness as you plan for the New Year. Concentrate on one action at a time. Mindfulness teaches us to focus instead of multitasking. Give each action towards your resolution the time and effort it requires before moving to the next one. Only then will you realise your plans for the New Year.

Happy New Year! 

With Love,

Your Grace Guru

xxx

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The Perfect Bedtime Drinks To Send You Into A Peaceful Sleep

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

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

Importance Of Herbal Teas

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

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

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

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

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

Our Recommended Herbal Teas:

  1. Peppermint

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

  1. Chamomile

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

  1. Lavender

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

  1. Valerian

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

  1. Lemon Balm

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

  1. St John’s Wort

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

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

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

With Love,

Your Grace Guru 

xxx

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