How to Declutter Your Life This Season

The holidays are just around the corner, and the year is coming to a close – can you believe it? With a new year approaching, now is the perfect time to reflect on what your life looks like, both physically and mentally, and make the necessary adjustments to feel lighter and less stressed.

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Time passes quickly, and life can easily become cluttered without even realising it. Whether it’s your wardrobe filled with too many items (yes that’s me, so need to make some room!), your pantry is stacked to the hilt, or your mind consumed with redundant thoughts, clutter can cause us to feel overwhelmed, anxious, and restless. Clutter can also make us react impulsively instead of taking the time to make well-thought-out decisions.

Clutter comes in many forms; it’s not just that junk drawer in your kitchen, your office desk hoarding old papers, or your email inbox growing by the hour. There is also mental clutter – the things that are always on your mind. Primary food – your relationships, career, home environment, social life, and more – fills your thoughts and can affect your body and your health.

Many people dread the process of decluttering, but it doesn’t have to be so painful! Here are a few ways to remove clutter from your life so you can feel more relaxed and relieved.

Write It Down
What has been consuming your mind with more clutter than necessary? Notice where you feel content and where you can find more space for welcoming new opportunities that will bring health and happiness into your life. Is it a career you’re unsatisfied in, a relationship you want out of, or a discussion with an old friend you’ve been putting off for weeks? Write down the areas of your life that are constantly in the back of your mind and need to be addressed. A great first step in understanding what is truly disturbing your concentration and productivity is putting it on paper and seeing it in real life. Writing things down can help prioritize what is going on and identify what is truly causing stress.

For material items, write up a list of the places you know need to be cleaned out. Then, put time on your calendar to thoughtfully go through your drawers, cabinets, wardrobes, and computers.

Start Small
If there’s something you know you want to change in your life that is cluttering your mind, take small steps. It could be adjusting your current routine to have one less commitment to free up more time for yourself or simply starting to research how you can pursue a passion that you want to turn into a career. The same goes for clearing your physical space. There is no need to hurry through cleaning your house or office in one day. Start by organising your T-shirt drawer or throwing out old bathroom products that you haven’t used in months.

Take small strides toward reducing clutter by schedule time each day or over the weekend to start. It may feel like you don’t have time to do it, but to feel more focused and productive in life, it’s important to make time. Commit to doing what you have scheduled and make it a priority, but don’t rush through it.

Let Go
Often, when going through our belongings, we hold onto things we don’t need by creating unlikely scenarios in our head, just to feel better about keeping them. It’s not uncommon to build an emotional connection with items that serve no purpose to us. A good rule for getting rid of unneeded items is if you haven’t worn it, used it, or touched it all year, it’s time to toss it. Instead of just throwing it in the garbage, though, find a way to do good by donating it! By donating your unused goods, they won’t go to waste and can be extremely useful for someone else. Knowing that you’re helping someone in need can make this minimisation process much

Boosting Your Immunity for Winter

Do you frequently get colds or the Flu every Winter?

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While avoiding sick people and washing your hands can help you avoid sickness. Strengthening your immune system is your best defence.

The below are 6 ways you can easily boost your immunity

  • Consistently restful sleep
  • Daily exercise
  • A whole food diet
  • Keeping your vitamin D at an optimal level
  • Avoid sugar – it decreases our immune system

Also including herbs into your every day can be an important part of your immune system support.

Herbs support the immune system

Herbs can help to strengthen and boost your immune system so that it can do it's complex job well. When our Immune system is not functioning at its full capacity, it can increase the risk of infection.

How Do We Know Herbs Can Do that?

When learning about plants\herbs, it is important to realise that there is no one way of knowing. We have historical records of plant use going back thousands of years. Then we have today’s herbalist’s using herbs in their lives and their practices and documenting their personal experiences. This historical and current information on herbs coupled with the growing number of scientific studies on plants enables us to get a clearer picture of the many ways that plants/herbs can heal.

Herbal theory has an entirely different approach to health, with principles and diagnostics that go beyond this for that.  Practitioners commonly referred to this as the art of herbalism it is important to understand that a well-trained herbalist doesn’t treat, diagnose, cure or prescribe herbs for diseases. Instead, herbalism often takes the more personalized approach, choosing herbs for a person rather than simply for a particular ailment. If you were to see a practitioner they would do a thorough examination to get a more precise understanding of who you are. Below is a general overview of how certain herbs can benefit and support your immune system.

Herbs I love for boosting your immunity and overall health

Astragalus - (Astragalus membranaceus)

Astragalus is one of the most popular herbs in traditional Chinese medicine. It's used for a variety of purposes, including strengthening the immune system and preventing upper respiratory infections.

Astragalus appears to activate B- and T-cells (essential for immunity) and stimulate macrophage activity (macrophages are white blood cells that locate foreign bodies and "eat" them). Its immune-boosting properties mean that it's commonly used as a preventative treatment against colds and flu, rather than for an acute infection.

One of the easiest ways to include this amazing herb in your diet is by using it to make Chai tea. You can also add the root to broth or soup (always remove the root before eating). In China, the dried roots are added to soups for their medicinal benefits.

Use astragalus after an illness to boost your immunity. It's not recommended to take during illness as it can aggravate the acute infection.

Recommended Amounts

It is recommended that you use large amounts anywhere from 10 to 30 grams per day as they do in traditional Chinese medicine.

Possible Side Effects & Precautions

Make sure you buy Astragalus membranaceus not one of the many other plants in the same genus. Take to prevent colds and the flu, however, avoid it during acute illness. Do not use with autoimmune suppressive drugs.

Astragalus is generally safe to use with no serious side effects. There are possible interactions with other herbal supplements, so start with smaller doses to prevent side effects.

Women who are pregnant and who are nursing should not use astragalus, as some animal research indicates it may not be safe for pregnant moms.

People with autoimmune diseases should speak with their doctors before starting astragalus because of its ability to stimulate the immune system. Individuals with diseases like multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis and other immune system conditions could be especially sensitive to astragalus.

Some specialists suggest only using a specific adaptogen for a few months and then move on to another.

Holy basil - (Ocimum tenuiflorum)

Holy basil, also known as tulsi, is revered in Ayurvedic medicine. It's a herb to take on a daily basis for general health and well-being. It's especially useful where stress is present (stress lowers the immune system) as it helps to lower cortisol levels. It also regulates blood sugar.

If you are under a lot of stress or going through something particularly emotional – perhaps consistently waking up in the middle of the night – holy basil may be for you. Makes a delicious tea - Steep for 5 – 10 mins. Sip on holy basil tea during the day, or use as a calming tea before bedtime. 

Suggested ways to use Holy Basil

  • As a tea - Steep for 5 – 10 mins
  • Use in a Chai Tea

Recommended Amounts

You can start with one teaspoon of the leaf and increase as desired it will be difficult to take too much of this herb.

Possible Side Effects & Precautions

Holy basil should not be taken when pregnant or breastfeeding. Taken in large doses, it may act as a male contraceptive, it, therefore, should not be used regularly by couples wishing to conceive.

One note to keep in mind is that holy basil (tulsi) may slow blood clotting, so taking tulsi along with medications that also slow clotting might increase the chances of bruising and bleeding. Some medications that slow blood clotting include aspirin, clopidogrel, dalteparin, enoxaparin, heparin, ticlopidine and warfarin. Due to its influence on blood clotting, you should discontinue use of holy basil two weeks before any scheduled surgery.

Ashwagandha – (Withania somnifera)

 

  • Supports the immune system
  • By increasing four different immune system cells
  • Well researched

Suggested ways to use Ashwagandha

  • Add to smoothies 1 tablespoon of powdered Ashwagandha
  • Add to Bliss balls  2 tablespoons of powdered Ashwagandha to around 2.5 cups of ingredients such as nuts and dates

Garlic - (Allium sativum)

Garlic has long been used as a medicinal herb for infections, it also:

  • Stimulates your immune system
  • Supports the immune system
  • Reduces inflammatory Cytokines (chemical messengers of the immune system)

Garlic was used in the 1600 against the plague in Europe and during World War 1. Practically every herbal text in the Western world includes references to garlic anti-microbial properties and science has been validating garlic's effects against infections.

Recommended Amounts

Eat 1 -2 cloves a day

Suggested ways to use Garlic

  • Garlic Hummus
  • Add to Broth
  • Garlic oil
  • Garlic Honey

Garlic Honey

This is great to have made up and ready to use over the winter months.  By combining honey with the garlic it makes it quite palatable.

Ingredients

  • ½  a cup fresh minced garlic approximately 15 cloves
  • ½ a cup of honey

Method

  1. Place the garlic in a glass jar, let it sit for 10-15 mins to allow it to react to oxygen and become even stronger medicine.
  2. Put half the honey into the jar. Still well, then add the rest of the honey to the jar.
  3. Let the mixture rest for 24 hrs before using.
  4. Will keep for ages on the bench or in the fridge in your prefer.

Take 1 teaspoon a day as a preventative or during a cold take 1 teaspoon  3 times a day. For a sore throat take 1 teaspoon every 1 -2 hours.

How to care for Acne & Acne Scars

What is Acne?

Acne is the term for plugged pores (blackheads and whiteheads), pimples, and even deeper lumps (cysts or nodules) that occur on the face, neck, chest, back, shoulders and even the upper arms. Acne affects most teenagers to some extent. During adolescence, rising hormone levels are thought to increase the number of oil glands and the amount of sebum they produce. The increased production of sebum causes blockage of hair follicles, leading to the formation of small bacteria-filled cysts.

However, the disease is not restricted to any age group; adults in their 20s – even into their 40s – can get acne. While not a life threatening condition, acne can be upsetting and disfiguring. When severe, acne can lead to serious and permanent scarring. Even less severe cases can lead to scarring.

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Everyone’s skin is so different, we need to keep that in mind when effectively treating acne breakouts at home. Treating ache requires a multi-disciplinary approach. The home remedies for acne described below can be used in combination to provide the best results.

However keep in mind that while you overcome acne it’s also very important to avoid the biggest mistakes that can make skin irritation or scarring worse, such as:

  1. Don’t pick blemishes
  2. Cleansing with harsh chemicals and cleansers
  3. Believing only topical care of the skin is necessary to fight acne
  4. Not giving skin the chance to adapt to new care
  5. Failing to stay properly hydrated
  6. Failing to start treating acne from the inside, out

Getting rid of stubborn pimples, blackheads and whiteheads starts with thorough but gentle cleansing of the skin.

Homemade Honey Face Wash

Try my recipe for Homemade Honey Face Wash to cleanse skin without causing irritation. It features apple cider vinegar, honey, coconut oil, probiotics and essential oils (like tea tree oil). The honey soothes the skin, the coconut oil helps to fight bacteria and fungus, and the tea tree oil helps to invigorate the skin.

To use

Dampen skin with warm water, and massage into face and neck. Rinse well and pat dry. Do this each morning and evening and, if needed, after workouts. Refrain from cleansing more often, as this can irritate the skin and cause an overproduction of oil.

Avoid products with chemicals

If you find that acne appears around your hairline, commercial hair products may be to blame. Shampoo, conditioner, hair spray, gels and mousses contain acne-causing ingredients, including petroleum, parabens, silicone, sulfates, panthenol and other chemicals.

Like hair products, makeup and skin care products contain ingredients that can cause acne. Common offenders include lanolin, mineral oil, aluminum, retinyl acetate, alcohol, oxybenzone, triclosan, parabens, polyethylene, BHA and BHT, and formaldehyde-based preservatives. Read ingredient labels to avoid putting these types of chemicals on your sensitive skin. Switch over to a organic and natural brand, my favourites are The Organic Skin Co. and the World organic range.

Nourish You tip: These products are especially great for acne and blemishes:

Here are some great testimonies from customers:

CALMING CALENDULA CREAM: "To combat breakouts on my skin, I recently tried something new. I mixed 2 drops of the Rose Attar Face Oil with the Calendula Cream and the Evening Primrose Cream. Within a week it proved a miracle all together for my breakouts! Try and you will see results after just one night! I can’t stop “Wow!”. It is amazing." - Julie R.

REPLENISH ROSE ATTAR ELIXIR FACE OIL:  "The Rose Attar Elixir is great for scarring and pigmentation too. It has been an absolute legend product on my skin." - Donna W.

Tone to Restore pH Balance

Toning is an important step in proper skin care. It helps to remove any residue after cleansing and helps to restore the skin’s natural pH levels.

You can use pure apple cider vinegar (with the mother culture) as your evening and morning toner. Apple cider vinegar is packed with potassium, magnesium, acetic acid and various enzymes that kill bacteria on the skin. Chronic acne can be the result of bacteria and fungi that continue to spread and grow on the surface of the skin. With a cotton ball, smooth ACV over skin paying particular attention to active breakouts and acne prone areas.

Use Healing Masks

To hydrate and heal your skin, try applying masks a couple of times per week. Yogurt, honey, cinnamon, essential oils and other ingredients can be used to create soothing masks that help to hydrate skin and fight common causes of acne.

Add a couple of drops of tea tree oil to either of the masks above during an active acne breakout. Tea tree oil is considered one of the best home remedies for acne.

 Exfoliate Regularly (But Gently)

Clogged pores and dead skin both contribute to acne. (1) It’s important to exfoliate properly to remove build up, however keep in mind that commercially available scrubs are ridden with chemicals that can further irritate skin.

Spot Treat with Tea Tree Oil

Acne responds well to melalecua, more commonly known as tea tree oil. It’s used the world over as an antiseptic and to treat wounds. Like coconut oil, honey and cultured milk products, it fights bacteria and fungi.

According to medical research, tea tree oil gels containing 5 percent tea tree oil may be as effective as medications containing 5 percent benzoyl peroxide. (2) Researchers do indicate that tea tree oil may work more slowly for some individuals, so try to be patient.

To make a simple home remedy for acne using tea tree oil mix 4–8 drops of tea tree oil and one teaspoon of coconut oil or jojoba oil. Dab lightly onto the problem areas. Slight tingling is normal, but if the application causes lots of burning then discontinue use. Always use a carrier oil, as tea tree oil can be too harsh when applied directly to skin.

Fight Bacteria With Holy Basil

Holy basil and sweet basil essential oils have been found to fight acne caused by bacteria, according to a report published in the International Journal of Cosmetic Sciences. (3)

In this study, sweet basil oil slightly outperformed holy basil oil in topical applications. Holy basil oil tea, or Tulsi tea, supports healthy blood sugar and hormone levels. As these two conditions are linked with acne, consuming herbal tea daily will help to balance hormones naturally, fighting acne from the inside out, making this one of the best cross-over home remedies for acne. Additionally, Holy basil tea can be applied topically to the skin as a toner. Either sweet basil or holy basil essential oils can also be added to homemade masks, cleansers or exfoliating.

Moisturise

Contrary to popular belief, acne-prone skin still needs to be moisturized. Using topicals that focus on drying out the skin tricks the skin into producing even more oil, thereby further contributing to clogged pores and more acne.

What is the best product for acne if you have dry skin? Coconut oil is one of the most versatile and healthy oils on earth. While it can be too heavy for some skin, coconut oil is an excellent moisturizer. A study published in Biomaterials found that lauric acid found in coconut oil demonstrates the strongest bacterial activity against acne caused by bacteria. (4) There is an increasing demand for coconut oil beauty products because the lauric acid, antioxidants and medium-chain fatty acids hydrate and restore skin and hair.

The Organic Skin Co. Calendula Cream

is also used in traditional medicine topically for acne, particularly stubborn acne with inflammation. It is a vulnerary, non-tannin astringent and anti-inflammatory.

Avoid Too Much Sun Exposure

For acne-prone skin during breakouts, it’s important to protect against sun exposure. Ultraviolet rays stimulate pigment producing cells, increasing the risk of acne scarring. (5) The best option is to use natural sunscreens and to only get an appropriate amount of direct sun exposure daily (about 15-20 minutes most days). Commercial sunscreens are packed with harmful chemicals that can irritate sensitive skin and acne-prone skin.

Research shows that coconut oil has an SPF value of 8, as does olive oil. (6) To use as sun protection, apply a moderate amount to exposed skin every couple of hours and try to avoid spending too much time in direct sunlight during “peak” hours, which is about from 10am-3pm each day.

Take a Probiotic Supplement

Remember, fighting acne requires both external treatment and an internal treatment. Live probiotics support healthy digestion and immune system functioning, plus improves skin health by fighting acne. According to a recent study published in Dermatology Online Journal, researchers indicate that probiotic foods and supplements are a promising and safe acne treatment. (7) The study indicates that larger trials are still needed, but evidence thus far is promising for using probiotics to improve gut health and fight acne.

Eat A Healthy, Low-Glycemic Index Diet

As part of the protocol to treat acne from the inside out, it’s important eat foods that don’t cause blood sugar spikes or increased inflammation. There’s evidence that eating a low glycemic diet, meaning one that doesn’t include lots of processed grains/flour products and added sugar, can help prevent acne.  Glycemic index measures how quickly foods raise blood sugar. Processed and refined foods, like those common in the Western diet, are high-glycemic, while meats and whole plant foods are low on the glycemic scale. Glycemic load is a measure of glycemic index times carbohydrates minus fiber. Most of the time, refined and processed food will have a high glycemic index AND high glycemic load, while certain vegetables will have a higher glycemic index, but very low glycemic load on the body.

In 2007, a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that glycemic load can greatly affects acne. 43 males with acne, aged 15 to 25, were separated into two groups. For twelve weeks, one group ate a diet that was 25 percent protein and 45 percent low-glycemic carbohydrates. The other group ate carbs without any control of glycemic index, resulting in a higher glycemic diet. At the end of the study, the acne had decreased in the low-glycemic group by almost twice the rate of the high-glycemic group! (9)

Here are tips for following a acne-free diet:

  • Focus on eating lots of leafy green vegetables, berries and clean protein.
  • Increase consumption of wild fish, grass-fed meat and cage-free chickens.
  • Healthy fats are essential to good skin health and treating acne breakouts at home, so include foods rich in omega-3s like wild-caught salmon.
  • Add zinc-rich foods such as kefir, yogurt, lamb, pumpkin seeds and chicken. According to a recent study published in BioMed Research International, there is a correlation between low zinc levels and the severity of acne.
  • Eat more high fiber foods since fiber found in vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds supports cleansing the colon and growth of good bacteria in the gut.
  • Add vitamin A rich foods  to your diet, including spinach, carrots and beef liver.

Foods to avoid for acne-free skin include hydrogenated oils, gluten, wheat, sugar and conventional cow’s milk dairy products.

Researchers have found that conventional milk products can contribute to acne. (10) In addition to conventional dairy, it’s important to exclude known allergens or foods you have a sensitivity to — common food allergens include gluten, tree nuts, soy, peanuts and shellfish.

Sugar and carbohydrate rich foods – Consuming excess amounts of sugar and grain products can feed yeast and candida in the body increasing acne.

Gluten and wheat – These foods cause inflammation of the gut which affects the skin.

Chocolate – Is high in compounds that can trigger acne.  Eliminate chocolate completely if possible but if you consume it then make sure it’s pure dark chocolate.

Fried and fast foods – These foods contain a number of ingredients that cause inflammation including hydrogenated oils, sodium, chemicals, flavorings and sugar.

Hydrogenated oils – Causes oily skin and are one of the main causes of acne.  Hydrogenated oils can be found in foods like pizza and in packaged foods that contain soybean oil, corn oil, canola oil, and vegetable oil.

Use Essential Oils To Reduce Acne Scars

If you’ve ever suffered from acne in the past, then you’re probably wondering how to get rid of acne scars that can remain for months or even years. Treating acne scars takes patience and perseverance. The sooner you start treating a scar, the better possible results. The vast majority of individuals that get acne will experience some degree of scarring. The most important thing you can do to prevent scarring? During a breakout, never pick or pop pimples, whiteheads or blackheads!

For 6 –12 months after an acne breakout, stay out of the sun as much as possible to avoid making dark spots and scars worse. When you are in the sun, use an all-natural sunscreen to protect skin. If scars do develop, dot a drop of rosehip seed oil, carrot seed oil or Rose Attar Elixir Oil on the scars twice per day until you notice a difference in the scar.

Coconut oil, lavender essential oil, honey and gentle exfoliation can also help prevent scars, depending on your skin tone and texture. To naturally heal acne scars you can make a paste of raw honey, lavender essential oil, tea tree oil and frankincense oil.

Here is a recipe for a homemade acne scar removal face mask:

  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons almond oil or olive oil
  • 8–10 drops tea tree essential oil
  • 8–10 drops frankincense essential oil
  • 6–8 drops helichrysum essential oil

Combine all ingredients into a jar. Mix well. Apply daily, leaving on the skin for 10–15 minutes. Wash thoroughly.

Precautions Regarding Acne Treatments

Acne will sometimes go away on its own with time, especially if you get acne as a teenager or during a stressful period of your life. But if you’re suffering from ongoing cystic acne then it’s best to visit a doctor for help, since this usually points to a bigger problem. Big, inflamed, painful cysts under your skin indicate that an underlying health problem may be to blame, such as PCOS, a thyroid problem, etc. Talk to your doctor about potential causes and ways to treat acne holistically depending on your unique situation.

Final Thoughts on Home Remedies For Acne & Acne Scars

Acne (acne vulgaris) describes several different types of skin conditions that cause acne symptoms like whiteheads, blackheads, papules, pustules, cysts and discoloration or scars.

Causes of acne include clogged cores, bacterial infections, hormonal imbalances or fluctuations, inflammation, a poor diet, stress and lack of sleep,

Some of the top home remedies for acne and acne scars are gently cleansing skin, toning, moisturizing, balancing hormones, protecting skin from sun damage, using essential oils and eating a healthy diet.

After you have gotten rid of acne, it’s important to stick with a healthy diet, drink plenty of water, keep up with your new skin care routine and change your pillowcase every week to prevent breakouts from returning.

 

Holy Basil - (Tulsi)

HOLY BASIL - (OCIMUM TENUIFLORUM)

Holy basil, also known as tulsi, is revered in Ayurvedic medicine. It's a herb to take on a daily basis for general health and well-being. It's especially useful where stress is present (stress lowers the immune system) as it helps to lower cortisol levels. It also regulates blood sugar.

If you are under a lot of stress or going through something particularly emotional – perhaps consistently waking up in the middle of the night – holy basil may be for you. Makes a delicious tea - Steep for 5 – 10 mins. Sip on holy basil tea during the day, or use as a calming tea before bedtime. 

Suggested ways to use Holy Basil

  • As a tea - Steep for 5 – 10 mins
  • Use in a Chai Tea

Recommended Amounts

You can start with one teaspoon of the leaf and increase as desired it will be difficult to take too much of this herb.

Possible Side Effects & Precautions

Holy basil should not be taken when pregnant or breastfeeding. Taken in large doses, it may act as a male contraceptive, it, therefore, should not be used regularly by couples wishing to conceive.

One note to keep in mind is that holy basil (tulsi) may slow blood clotting, so taking tulsi along with medications that also slow clotting might increase the chances of bruising and bleeding. Some medications that slow blood clotting include aspirin, clopidogrel, dalteparin, enoxaparin, heparin, ticlopidine and warfarin. Due to its influence on blood clotting, you should discontinue use of holy basil two weeks before any scheduled surgery.

The Unexpected Benefits of Daily Gratitude

With it being Easter and a long weekend.  It is a great time to stop, reflect and take some time to remind ourselves of how thankful we are to have, everything from good friends and family to the most basic human needs, like food, water, and a beautiful place to live. 

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But should gratitude only be an occasional thing? I don’t think so! The more thankful we are on a regular basis – the more gratitude will permeate our lives and have a lasting effect with many benefits.

While you may have heard that being thankful daily can make you healthier and happier, you may be pleasantly surprised to learn of its additional effects.

Here are 5 wonderful things that happen when you embrace gratitude every day:

1. You are more generous with others.

In a world of consumerism, gratitude helps us feel like we have enough - more than enough - and that makes us want to share with others. Whether it’s being more thoughtful when buying gifts, surprising our loved ones with a home cooked meal, or offering up our time for community volunteering, generosity becomes an effortless part of our lives and it gives other people things to be thankful for too.

2. You develop deeper connections.

Counting our blessings helps us feel more grounded in the present moment, which is a skill we can also bring into our relationships. Being able to simply listen and connect with others without succumbing to internal or external distractions will strengthen these bonds and make them more nourishing for both parties, something Health Coaches and their clients truly value.

3. You have more love for yourself.

Being thankful about the life you have while also thinking negative thoughts about yourself rarely go together. Conscious gratitude helps you see that you are an incredible and fortunate person just as you are. Over time gratitude will lead you towards greater self-care, more positive thinking, and making decisions that lead to greater happiness.

4. More opportunities seem to come your way.

Gratitude is often accompanied by the expression of gratitude, a positive demeanor, and an optimistic outlook on life, which are qualities people gravitate towards and want to be around. This can result in personal or professional invitations that lead to new relationships, more likelihood of people saying yes when you ask for things.

5. You are a magnet for abundance.

The more you are thankful for what you have, the more you’ll have to be thankful for. It may seem a little mysterious at first but the truth is that abundance is all about perception. Feeling that you have what you need to be happy helps you relax and go with the ebb and flow of life, rather than being resistant to change and getting in your own way. Be expectant for goods things to happen and they will.  You will start to see and notice the abundance in your life if you expect it and look out for it.

What are some of the results that daily gratitude has had in your life? Please share in the comments below!  

 

Reading labels guide

Nutritional information printed on our food is designed to help us make more informed decisions about what we are eating, but just because a product has the word "natural" or "organic" plastered on it, that doesn't mean it's earned its health halo or five star rating.

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When comparing similar products always use the per 100g column so you are comparing apples for apples.

Watch out for those big red ticks of healthiness, they don't always equal healthy. The food marketing industry is huge, and there are products out out there that are labelled 'healthy' such as muesli bars that contain more sugar than a chocolate bar. Very confusing for well-meaning parents trying to tackle the battle of the lunch box.

Go straight to the back of the packet and bypass the misleading information on the front.

- you have to look at the actual ingredients in the product. This is more important than the nutritional information panel.

The ingredients are listed in order of quantity, from highest to lowest. If the first ingredients include refined grains, sugar or hydrogenated oils, put it back on the shelf, this product will not support your health.

Look for wholefood ingredients that you recognise. To give your body the best nourishment eat foods with minimal ingredients, minimal human intervention, less numbers and more whole foods.

The Nutritional Information Panel 'NIP', includes how much energy, protein, fat, carbohydrate, fibre and sodium is in a product.

It will indicate both per serve and per 100g. Be mindful of how many serves are in a packet, just because you could easily eat it in one sitting doesn't necessarily mean it is one serve.

It is important to consider how much you actually eat of that food in one serving and how your portions compare to the recommended serving size. When comparing similar products always use the per 100g column so you are comparing apples for apples.

Fat

Not all fat is created equally, some fats like olive oil can be very beneficial to our health and other fats can be detrimental.

Avoid trans fat, they are often listed as hydrogenated oils in the ingredients and are used to make things like margarine.

Ten Steps To Healthy, Younger Looking Skin

We all want skin that has a healthy, youthful glow. But it can be difficult to attain, unless you are clear about how you look after yourself and your skin. Here are 10 steps you might want to implement not only to promote great looking skin, but to improve your general health as well.

1. Buy Certified Organic Products that are certified organic will almost certainly be free of dangerous synthetic chemicals. Instead, they will be packed with therapeutic, natural ingredients. Look out for cosmetics and personal care products that are certified by one of these respected agencies – BioGro, NSF, USDA Organic, NaTrue, Eco-Cert, ACO (Australian Certified Organic), NASAA Australia, Soil Association UK.

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Buy BioGro certified organic products by World Organic – USA | AUS | NZ

2. Check The Ingredients List Always check the ingredients list if you can. A lack of regulation in the industry means that many products claim to be natural and organic when they aren’t. If the product has less than 95% natural ingredients or contains ingredients which you can’t pronounce without a chemical engineering degree, then you probably want to avoid it!

3. Stop Treating The Sun As Your Enemy The sun is not our enemy. In small doses, it actually does us good, offering us Vitamin D and a happier frame of mind. What’s more, most of the sun blocks we use contain dangerous petrochemicals like oxybenzone. If you go out into the sun for a prolonged period, cover your skin with light clothing and a hat, and try to use natural sunscreen formulas with non-nano zinc or titanium.

4. Drink Water We are exposed to hundreds of environmental toxins every day. Drinking filtered or spring sourced water is the best way to flush these toxins from our system.

5. Sleep, Relax, Be Happy A good night’s sleep is vital to maintaining our immune system and keeping us looking and feeling young. Taking time out to relax has a similar effect, as does a positive state of mind. Happy thoughts and a positive approach to life benefits both your emotions and the way your face settles into its evolving, natural shape as we age.

6. Avoid Excess Our skin is a mirror for the way we treat ourselves. Try to avoid an excess of alcohol, too much junk food, continuous late nights, and even over-complicating your skincare regime. And if you smoke, do your best to give it up altogether.

7. Exercise Regularly Exercise is an essential component in maintaining a healthy skin. It increases blood flow and thus helps nourish skin cells and keep them vital.

8. Deal With Stress Unfortunately, stress is a prevalent condition in our daily lives. It has a major impact on our general well being and the health of our skin. Regular exercise, meditation and a positive outlook are all effective techniques in helping us to deal with stress.

9. Eat Well A good diet is not only necessary to keep us healthy on the inside, but also looking good on the outside. A diet rich in healthy oils from foods such as walnuts, seeds and fish, and high in antioxidants found in foods like whole fruits, berries and vegetables is an essential component in maintaining a youthful, vibrant skin tone.

10. Think Green Look out for products that are earth-friendly, recyclable, and free from testing on animals. They will prove a boon not only for your skin, but also your peace of mind.

source: World Organics Blog

Why choose Organic Essential Oils?

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Essential oil grades can seem complicated when determining which oil will best suit your needs, but if you follow the lead of professional aromatherapists, selecting Certified Organic is the best choice you can make.

World Organics Essential Oils are 100% organic.

What is Certified Organic?

When recognising the benefits of Certified Organic products, it is important to understand what it means to be accredited. Farmers, growers and producers that have achieved organic status are known for some key unique features in their farming production methods –
• No synthetic chemicals, pesticides, herbicides or fertilisers
• No exposure to GMOs
• Focus on social responsibility
• Focus on environmentally sustainable practices including soil and land health and balanced eco-systems

In Australia, Australian Certified Organic (ACO) is the leading certifying body and in New Zealand BioGro – both have international recognition for adhering to extremely high standards. All of World Organics oils are certified by BioGro.

Trust, Honesty & Integrity

In a clinic environment, Aromatherapists need to have complete trust in the quality of the essential oils they utilise to treat their clients. They seek products that are 100% pure and natural to ensure they have the maximum therapeutic benefits and provide high level potency.

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Certified Organic essential oils meet these needs with their superior aromatic profile and comprehensive constituent content. The transparent nature of the certification guarantees a trustworthy supply chain and secures the integrity of the product. 

Without independent organic certification the grade of the oil is subject to the seller’s marketing strategy. If an oil has the claim of therapeutic grade, we recommend considering what this actually means. Who is the oil graded by and to what specification? Certified Organic is the ultimate pure grade available in the market. 

It is also important to know that there can be seasonal variation with Certified Organic essential oils. As they are the purest form of oil extracted from plant material, they are susceptible to some variation year on year. Harvesting times, climatic changes including temperature, rainfall, sunlight and soil condition all impact the final plant health and subsequently can cause differences to the essential oil scent and constituent chemical analysis. These variations are mostly minimal and very seldom impact the efficacy, and may only be noticeable to professional users of essential oils.
 

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Source: World Organics

Is a 21-Day Elimination Diet Right for you?

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You’ve tried eating gluten free, even though you’re not sure if you’re allergic to gluten. You thought about cutting nightshades out of your diet after reading a post on social media.  Maybe you even went vegan for a while. And every time you cleaned up your diet, you felt a little better—but you’re not exactly sure what works for your body … and what definitely doesn’t.

Here’s the thing—many of us have quite a few “trigger” foods that just make us feel off. For some, it’s equivalent to a serious food allergy that causes everything from hives to anaphylactic shock. But it’s far more likely that your body’s adverse reactions to certain foods or ingredients are much more subtle. Symptoms like bloating, digestive discomfort, gas, skin problems, headaches, and even fatigue can all be signs that you have a slight food intolerance.

But without taking an expensive allergy test, it can be really challenging to determine which foods are triggering your uncomfortable reactions. And even if you do take an allergy test with your physician, sometimes there are discrepancies and inaccuracies. One of the easiest, cheapest ways to find out exactly what causes a deleterious response is by going through an Elimination diet. In fact, IIN recommends that all graduates try a 21-day Elimination diet in order to determine exactly which items in their diet makes them feel energized and healthy, and which foods or ingredients are holding them back from feeling their best.

It sounds a little intimidating, but it’s actually pretty easy to follow a 21-day elimination diet at home. There are a few different ways to go about it, but generally, you’ll start by cutting out three of the most allergenic food groups from your diet—dairy, grains and gluten. You’ll also need to ditch fast food—the preservatives and processed ingredients in fast food can cause an inflammatory response in your body—and alcohol for 21 days straight.

Why three weeks? It takes 21-23 days for the antibodies in your bloodstream to turn over. Antibodies are activated by intruders like bacteria and viruses, but they’re also triggered by allergic reactions. After 21 days, you should notice a serious decrease in the amount of inflammation (which is caused by an antibody response) that you see or feel. It’s really important to stay honest with yourself when you try an elimination diet—slipping up and noshing on a slice of cake or even snacking on a handful of nuts could mess with the outcome.

After you’ve completely eliminated those three allergenic food groups from your diet for 21-days, you’ll slowly start to reintegrate each group into your day-to-day. Start slowly, first adding dairy back into your meals. Two to three days later, you can try eating gluten, too. As you add foods back into your meals, you’ll notice almost instantly when something causes a negative reaction in your body. Seriously, the reaction can be fast and BRUTAL! We’re talking upset stomach, headaches, hives … and even, ahem, bathroom problems.

Obviously, if something instantly makes you feel ill, that’s a pretty good indication that you have an intolerance to that food. The good news is that food intolerances are things that can come and go—sometimes, all you need to do is lay off the diary/gluten/grains for a while to allow your body to recover, and then you can slowly begin to reintegrate that food into your life. Of course, if it’s more serious than an intolerance—like a dairy allergy or Celiac disease—you’ll probably need to avoid eating that food for good.

So, is trying an elimination diet right for you? If you think you have a food intolerance or allergy, it might be just the thing you need to finally understand what’s best for your body!

If you would like to try a elimination program check out our easy to follow Nourish-2-Flourish program.

Source from: http://www.integrativenutrition.com/