Recently I travelled to Bali on a mission to increase my health through fasting, massage and the healing properties of the sun. I travelled to the centre of transformational healing, Ubud.
Ubud never disappoints. Not only did my physical body get reinvigorated and reset to it’s factory settings, my mind and heart got transformation too with a new experience for me – a Cacao Ceremony.
I hadn’t heard of such a thing before. I was fully engrossed, mesmerised and transformed by the music, the cacao brew, the community and the energy they created.
For years, dating back to Aztec and Mayan cultures, cacao was a ritualistic medicine signifying both life and fertility, it was ingested by Royalty in ceremonial God worship and in sacrificial ritual.
For me the emotional impact was profound. Everything felt heightened in my physical and emotional body, including my awareness to my deepest sense of self and to my heart. It literally felt as if my heart opened like a flower.
People dancing, singing and sharing themselves freely without alcohol or drugs. As a non-drinker I can handle more of these types of parties!
It has been said that cacao facilitates a deep sense of self-love, tears are always followed by smiles of deep gratitude. In other moments, the sheer ecstasy felt from the cacao can be described as nothing other than a divine experience.
In the right place, with the right people a cacao ceremony will surely bring about transformation, connectedness and love for all.
Give it a go when you get a chance.
My first order of pure cacao (imported into Australia by a friend situated in the Blue Mountains) will be delivered to me shortly. I’m excited to prepare my first ceremonial brew following an ancient recipe.
I can’t wait for the magic to unfold.
In health, Angie. x
We all know that water is important, but how many of us drink as much as we should? Ideally, you should be drinking 40ml per kg of body weight (go on, get your calculator out!)
Here are just a few snippets of information that might give you that little nudge to drink a bit more:
Most mature adults lose about 2.5 to 3 litres of water per day. Are you replacing your water loss? (Source: betterhealth.gov.au)
– On average food provides about 20% of your total water intake, while the remaining 80% comes from drinking water. (Source: kidney.org.au)
– An air traveller can lose approximately 1.5 litres of water during a three-hour flight – so make sure you’ve got a bottle with you! (Source: betterhealth.gov.au)
– By the time you feel thirsty, you are already dehydrated. (Source: livestrong.com)
– Low energy, loss of muscle strength and endurance, and feeling tired are symptoms of dehydration. Do you experience any of these? (Source: livestong.com)
– A sense of hunger is a side effect of dehydration. Are you really hungry when you reach for that snack, or are you dehydrated? (Source: livestrong.com)
Here are some easy tips to increase your water intake one day at a time:-
– Download the app Water Lite or Waterlogged to keep track of your daily intake.
– Add natural flavour to your water with slices of fruit and veg. Try strawberries, green apple and basil, lemon and lime or watermelon and mint, just to name a few combinations.
– Keep a big jug on your desk at work and a bottle in your bag so water is always within reach.
– Have a glass of water as soon as you wake up – this will get you off to a good start for the day.
– Drink a glass of water with every meal.
– Match each tea, coffee, wine, beer etc, with a glass of water.
– If you’re not a fan of tap water, invest in a water filter to improve the taste. Something as simple as a Brita filter bottle will do the trick!
Love, light and hydration, Angie. x
When I moved to a new house I purchased a microwave for the sole purpose of heating up my wheat hot packs. I avoid cooking and reheating any food or drink in my microwave purely as I don’t know the consequences of doing so.
Here are 4 reasons why I don’t microwave food:
1. Microwaves Zap Food Nutrition
Heating my food in the microwave strips away its original nutrients. What may have started as a nutritious plate of food has now evolved into “dead food” due to the dielectric heating of microwaves.
2. Microwaves Destroy Vitamin B-12
The health benefits of vitamin B-12 are instantly negated once heated in a microwave. The shift of vitamin B-12 to an inactive form of the vitamin is found in foods during the microwave heating process. I like my B-12 to stay as nature intended it.
3. Microwaves Create Carcinogens In Food
There is plenty of research on this one out there. When foods that are wrapped in plastic and heated in the microwave, carcinogens in the food are created.
4. Microwaves Can Change Your Heart Rate
Microwaves can produce effects on your body instantly due to the 2.4 GHz radiation — the frequency of radiation emitted by microwave ovens. If you experience irregular heart beat or any chest pain and regularly eat microwaved food, it might be best to stop using them.
No one’s impervious to food cravings. At some point, we all feel that pesky, nagging urge to eat the wrong foods. Cravings lead us to make poor food choices. Some experts believe food cravings have both psychological and biological aspects to them. By understanding the root cause of food cravings, it is easier to stop ourselves from over indulging and eating fattening foods. Below are the most common causes of food cravings and how to address them:
Cause: Endorphin Production
Endorphins popularly known as “happy hormones” are secreted by the pituitary gland. It uplifts the mood and makes us feel happier. Unfortunately, it can cause food cravings. Food that is rich in sugar, carbohydrates and salt boost production of endorphins. These items trigger the urge to eat more. This may explain why you’re always less strict about your diet when you are in a good mood.
Solution: Exercise and Have Enough Rest
Studies show that endorphins can also be produced by the body through sleep and exercise. Instead of eating a bag of chips or chocolate bars, go for a quick run or take a brisk walk during the day. Once you get home at night, go to bed early and get a good night’s sleep. The endorphins your body produces will be just as good as those produced when gorging on sweets.
Cause: Serotonin Depletion
Just like endorphins, Serotonin is a “happy” hormone created by the body and then used as a neurotransmitter. It mainly comes from the gastrointestinal tract and is believed to have an impact on how people feel. Serotonin can also affect a person’s appetite and digestive system. Studies show that food consisting of sugar and carbohydrates increase serotonin level which can cause food cravings too.
Solution: Improve Gut Health
Since serotonin is primarily produced in the gut, make sure your gut is healthy so it can easily absorb the nutrients from the food you eat. This will help your body maintain the right amount of good bacteria and digestive enzymes that will kill off any cravings you have. Increase the amount of fermented foods rich in probiotics.
Cause: Emotional Factor
Perhaps the toughest to overcome among all causes of food cravings are the emotional triggers. A person is more motivated to eat when depressed, bored, anxious, or stressed. Eating your feelings may make you feel better temporarily but habitual, excessive eating isn’t exactly kind on the waistline.
Solution: Find a Substitute
Cravings do not last long. The urge to eat will pass within several minutes giving you enough time to make better food choices. Even better, distract yourself by working out rather than pigging out!
Also, try drinking lots of water. Keeping yourself hydrated will lessen the chances food cravings. Keeping your body hydrated will reduce the feeling of hunger. Experts say you should drink about 40ml of water per kilo of body weight per day.
It would be nice to eat steaks and foie gras all day every day, but high-quality foods are expensive. And let’s face it, there are times an all-organic diet isn’t sustainable at all. This doesn’t mean you should settle for cheap, overly-processed foods. The key is to be selective about the kinds of food you eat, even when on a budget. In today’s post, I give you tips on the best foods to get when you’re broke:
Organic grains are healthy but expensive. On days when your savings cannot sustain expensive goods, try whole grains instead. The important thing to consider is to go for whole grains made with very little to no additives. At this point, you should start learning how to read labels. Find out what additives or food flavorings you should avoid. We recommend barley, wheat flour, quinoa or couscous. These products are made with healthy whole grains but aren’t as expensive. But again, double check the labels. Go for brands with ingredients you recognize.
The best kinds of meats are those from grass-fed, organically raised sources. But if you’re really broke and you can’t afford all the nice meats, opt for antibiotic-free and hormone-free lean meats instead. If you must have beef, always ask for antibiotic-free and hormone-free lean beef. If your budget does not allow meat products, then go for protein-rich vegetables and local eggs instead. These food items are just as filling but are a lot healthier than meat. Dairy products, tofu, and vege-meat are great options too.
Fruit and Vegetables
Ideally, the best kinds of fruits and vegies are the organically produced kind. But since those are more expensive, go for produce with the lowest pesticide loads instead. Another tip is to go for produce that could be peeled as opposed to those eaten with their rind. Peeling the fruits or vegetables lower the pesticide load even further. If you have no choice but to buy conventional produce, make sure you wash the products thoroughly! Peel them if you can. Cheap fruits and vegetables include apples, cantaloupe, grapefruit, turnips, sweet potatoes and cabbages. Most of these are always in season.
Dairy products are rich in high-quality protein and essential nutrients. But the wrong kinds are loaded with hormones or antibiotics. Some dairy cattle are given higher doses of female hormones to make them produce more milk. Responding to public outrage when the secret came out, some dairy companies pledged not to use growth or female hormones. This is why it’s important to do your research. It’s one thing to buy cheap, it’s another to make smarter food choices. You want to make sure you are getting your dairy products from trusted sources.
Rather than spend more money on caffeinated or carbonated beverages, opt for water instead. Nothing beats water when it comes to hydration. Water does not contain calories too. You can drink as much as you want and not get fat! Even better, water is cheap and nourishing!