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Bali Cacao Ceremony

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

A little Indian doctor introduced me to Turmeric 20 years ago.  He sold it to me for astronomical prices.  I knew no better then.  It just made me well.  Sometimes it takes blind faith to heal your body.  I know, I’ve been there.

1.      Fights inflammation naturally

Chronic inflammation is believed to be the culprit of many of our modern diseases. Curcumin, or turmeric’s active compound, is found to be a potent anti-inflammatory compound which matches or even exceeds the effectiveness of many anti-inflammatory drugs available. (1)

2.      Protects your brain

Cognitive disorders such as dementia and Alzheimer’s are often linked to decreased levels of Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF), which is a type of growth hormone.  Researchers have found that curcumin positively influences the levels of BDNF and may delay or even reverse many brain diseases or age-related decline of our brain functions. (2)

3.      Reduces the risk of several types of cancer

Turmeric may be one of the most potent natural anti-cancer substances out there.  Not only can it prevent cancer growth, but inhibits the development and spread as well and may even hold the natural cure for this dreadful disease. (3)

4.      Improves digestion

Eating turmeric on a daily basis stimulates the gallbladder, reduces bloating and gas, and prevents inflammation of the digestive tract.  However, when suffering from a gallbladder disease, turmeric should not be taken on a daily basis to avoid overstimulation, which can make things worse. (4)

5.      Protect your heart

Curcumin has shown to reduce LDL (or bad) cholesterol, prevent blood clotting, and remove plaque build-ups in the arteries. (5)

6.      Soothes symptoms of Arthritis

Although more research is needed in this field, many people report various improvements of their condition. It helps them fight chronic inflammation and reduces the pain too. Some even claim curcumin supplements work better than many OTC or prescribed drugs available on the market today. And without any side-effects. (6)

7.      Delays aging and improves longevity

Free radicals and inflammation are believed to play a major role in aging and curcumin affects both. And given that it also protects our heart and fights cancer, which are 2 of the biggest killers in today’s world, it obviously benefits longevity too. (7)

These benefits are only the tip of the iceberg of what turmeric can do for you.

To improve overall health and happiness, add 1 teaspoon of turmeric to smoothies, juices, soups, curries, stir-fries, homemade cultured sodas, and dressings on a daily basis.

Feel free to call or email me to see how you can incorporate turmeric in your life.  I’m always up for a chat.

Enjoy your turmeric.

Love, light and being best friends with turmeric.
Angie. x

Sources include:

1. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19594223
2. http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0031211
3. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18462866
4. https://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/herb/turmeric
5. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19233493
6. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22407780
7. http://www.immunityageing.com/content/7/1/1

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

My life is a whirlwind now. Every day I make decisions and if I get hung up on the fear that they may be the wrong choices… I’m going to blow a gasket!

So, today I prepare for next week where more decisions are coming right for me. Bring them on I say.

Here are 5 tips to balance out any decision-making process. They may help you find a bit of balance to…

1. The 2 minute rule

The idea behind this tip is to force action through a self-imposed deadline. It’s simple enough to incorporate: any time you have to make a decision, just set the timer and begin the process. The time limit forces you to quickly assess the pros and cons while quickly coming to a decision. The simplicity behind this tip makes it very accessible. If you’re simply slow at making decisions, then this tip is a life saver. It doesn’t have to be 2 minutes either; anything from 1-5 minutes should work fine as well.

2. Think black and white 

There are times when we have more choices then we need. Excess of anything can overwhelm and lead to analysis paralysis, so in this case, try judging your options simply as good or bad, which will simplify and quicken the process of weeding out the less optimal decisions. This limited approach is ideal for the over-analyzers who insist on questioning every variable to death.

3. Put it in a hat

If all options seem to have roughly equal value, write down your best ones on separate pieces of paper and place them in a hat/bag. Your decision will be the one you pull out at random. This also works if you have a bunch of tasks you don’t want to do; these you could pair with a reward hat. Do a task, then when its done pull out your random reward from the other hat. This will help make the process be more tolerable.

4. Focus on the present

We can often become overwhelmed with the big picture, trying to see how our decisions will affect the future. The process is mentally draining, because you’re trying to see every step along with its every outcome. It’s better to save that energy for the task at hand, and simply try and make the best decision possible. Live in the moment, make a decision based on what will make the next step the easiest instead. Doing this for every step is a great choice for the chronic non-decision maker.

5. Embrace the idea of failure

Probably the biggest fear for us slow decision makers is that our decisions will lead to bad results. Compensation is then made by over-thinking the situation, causing us to question every aspect involved in the decision. Ultimately we run the risk of making no decision at all because we waste time and energy on useless questioning—this line of thinking must be rewired.

Instead, we should see delaying the decision as worse then making a bad decision. Bad decisions can be recovered from and learned from, but not making a decision at all means we don’t get to determine how our lives unfold. A fear of failure means that some thing or someone will make that decision for you.

Keep these tips in mind the next time you feel like you want to back away from a decision, because you don’t want your life to be decided for you.

BRING IT ON!

I was thinking about how powerless I feel today. I am a little cold, procrastinating to do anything productive and not inspired by the work I usually love doing. In this mood, I asked myself “How did I give my personal power away and how do I get it back?”

So, a bit of searching had to be done to relocate my personal power!

I discovered I was giving my personal power away purely through negative self-talk (there other avenues I will share on another blog). I couldn’t find a way to get out of my own head. I recognised I was saying many of the statements below. How about you?

·        They are doing it, so I couldn’t…

·        I don’t know how to…

·        I never get to do what I want to do…

·        I’m not smart enough…

·        I’m not pretty enough…

·        I can’t do it because it’s too hard…

I had to stop myself and ask, “Is it really true?” Then I asked myself how I would know if it was true. In most cases I haven’t done anything (or everything) to combat my self-talk.  I could wash my hair… then I will feel prettier for example.

There is much that we can control and impact with our own personal power. Change our thinking and we will start to see what we can do rather than what we can’t do.

I got up, put on an hour affirmation YouTube clip, wrote this blog and now I’m ready to get going.

The social media strategic business plan I promised to complete this week for a client… its complete in my head already. Winning!

Good vibes, Good love, Good day.

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:

Whole Grains

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.

Lean Meat

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

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.

Plain Water

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!

Juice Plus is whole food based nutrition, including juice powder concentrates from 25 different fruits, vegetables and grains. Juice Plus helps bridge the gap between what you should eat and what you do eat every day. Not a multivitamin, medicine, treatment or cure for any disease, Juice Plus is made from quality ingredients carefully monitored from farm to capsule to provide natural nutrients your body needs to be at its best.

Complete Smoothie Mix

Juice Plus Complete is a whole-food-based beverage mix that provides balanced nutrition in every scoop. Juice Plus Complete can be used in any number of ways: as a healthful “on-the-go” breakfast, pre-exercise energy drink, post-workout recovery drink, or a late night snack. This combo comes with 60 sachets each of delicious French Vanilla and Dutch Chocolate Complete flavors.