31.7.17

Turmeric tea | Relief for Moderate & severe period cramps

31.7.17

Turmeric tea | Relief for Moderate & severe period cramps



28 days of bloom, 5 days of gloom. Period cramps always got the best of me despite avoiding sugar and exercising, drinking lots of water and what not - all that good stuff! Some months I experienced moderate cramps while other months were severe but I found a menstrual cramp treatment that works wonders for me and I believe it's share-worthy.

One horrific fact- According to this US National Library of Medicine's study, menstrual pain was reported by 84.1% of women, with 43.1% reporting that pain occurred during every period, and 41% reporting that pain occurred during some periods. This study revealed that 1 out of 4 women experience period cramps.

So for me, I literally became reliant on pain medications during my periods especially Ibuprofen. However, it can be really damaging and bad for you leading to gastrointestinal problems. For me I developed bad acid reflux overtime from using this.

I knew those medications could damage my stomach linings but I didn't care much. I took it as a problem to be dealt with later. Anything to get rid of those horrible cramps!

...soon after that, my vegan sister came to my rescue!

She introduced me to turmeric and told me all about it's benefits. I was so skeptical about it because I have so much faith in pharmaceutical medications. I'll just go right ahead and list what turmeric can be used for;

  • turmeric contains anti-inflammatory properties (NSAIDs)
  • act as painkillers
  • contains anticoagulants (Aspirin)
As everyone should, I did extensive research before I eventually gave it a try and once I did, I never looked back. It is said that Ibuprofen overdose may cause hemorrhaging for people with certain medical conditions while turmeric on the other hand, has relatively no known side effects unless taken in extremely excessive amounts.

Turmeric's main content Curcumin, has anti-inflammatory properties which is powerful in relieving period cramps by inhibiting the activities of our inflammatory enzymes.

Also, it reduces the production of prostaglandins hormones which is responsible for uterus contractions known as the main cause of cramps.

Here's how to make turmeric tea with just two simple ingredients:

  1. Ground turmeric
  2. Ground black pepper
Instructions: put a teaspoon of ground turmeric into a coffee mug with half teaspoon of ground black pepper. Pour hot water over it. Cover it for three minutes then sift tea. That's all and enjoy!

You can add ginger and other spices for flavouring like my sister does but I prefer to keep mine simple.

The relevance of the black pepper is to help for quicker and better absorption of turmeric properties. Black pepper allows our body to use turmeric. It is very important you add this. 

The best part is I can drink a cup of turmeric tea three to four times a day depending on severity of cramps. I couldn't do this with medications usually having strict timings of 6-8 hours between doses.

Kindly share your thoughts about this below x










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24.7.17

DIY moisturizing avocado face mask for dry sensitive skin

24.7.17

DIY moisturizing avocado face mask for dry sensitive skin


Dry skin? Sensitive skin? Or a "tremendous" combination of both? Don't worry, I got you on this one! Lately, avocados have been making a huge statement foodwise and I'm loving every creamy bit of them. They're great on toast, great in a salad, yummy in a bowl of smoothie but did you know avocados contain beneficial properties for beautiful skin whether eaten or applied topically? 

I am in a constant battle with a dry and sensitive skin (acne prone too) so I'm always looking for simple and effective care for my skin and what's better than a DIY face mask? Talk about easy to make, harmful chemicals-free and full of nutrients. The avocado is once again making center stage!

Benefits of avocado on skin

  • It contains a high level of Omega-3 fatty acid which is great for moisturising the skin. This natural oil has the ability to deeply penetrate the top layers of your skin which helps with hydration as well as eliminating dry patches.
  • Rich in antioxidants and collagen, avocados give a youthful plump to your skin. The appearance of facial lines and crow's feet are greatly reduced when applied routinely.
  • The presence of glutamine amino acid ensures that your skin is protected from harsh environmental factors that aggravates sensitivity of the skin. It is able to do this by cleansing the deep layers of your skin. 
  • Avocados also contain a high level of vitamin E oils which is greatly absorbed by the skin providing a baby-soft smooth skin. Vitamin E also has the ability to act as a protective barrier against eczema and psoriasis.
Don't tell me you just read all these wonderful benefits and you haven't added avocados to your shopping list yet! *gasp* lol. I have been applying an avocado homemade mask twice a week on my face and I'm going to share the recipe with you. You'll need;

Ingredients:

  1. ½ avocado 
  2. ¼ cup uncooked oatmeal
  3. 2 tablespoon of Greek yogurt 
  4. 1 tablespoon honey
Instructions:

  • Cut an avocado in half then scoop the creamy flesh of one half into a bowl. Gently mash it up with a fork or spoon (easy). 
  • Following this, combine with 2 tablespoon of Greek yogurt, add ¼ cup of oatmeal and lastly add a single tablespoon of honey. 
  • Fold all mixture in without beating or whisking. Note - Avoid doing this in order not to break up the enzymes of these ingredients to get the best result.
  • Apply mixture directly onto face using clean hands or brush.
  • Leave mixture on for 10-15 minutes.
  • Gently rinse off with a washcloth and follow with your favourite moisturiser. It's that simple.

I do this twice a week and my skin has been loving me back. It is really simple to follow and easy to make with these basic ingredients normally found at home. Also note - If your skin is really dry, gently scrub while you rinse but avoid doing this if it's very sensitive or irritated to avoid redness. Let me know in the comment if you have ever used a DIY mask or are willing to give my homemade moisturizing avocado face mask for dry sensitive skin a try.




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18.7.17

Creative ways to practice mindfulness (no yoga or meditation)

18.7.17

Creative ways to practice mindfulness (no yoga or meditation)

how to practice mindfulness everyday+ benefits of mindfulness

Once I began using smartphones and social media, life has been going on way faster than I can catch up. It feels like I can't keep up with time and being early on new trends became a priority.

I remember purchasing my first smartphone once I was through with high school- fun times it was but apparently that was also when I started to forget how to be mindful and aware of my present moments.

I grew up playing Pokemon cards and playing outdoors like every other 90's kid back then and during that time I felt really connected and in tune with my thoughts and surrounding. I was present!

I can't discredit the importance of smartphones and social media. It's all about finding a balance within yourself.

What is mindfulness?


My understanding of mindfulness is the ability to be present in all situations while not being overwhelmed by things that you have no control over. Mindfulness requires us not to be overly reactive- especially on negative things of the past.

I learned that mindfulness is not an ability we need to acquire because it's already present in us. We just need to make a conscious decision to practice this everyday in order to strengthen it. Our minds are quick to wander off, thinking about what's yet to happen or what's already in the past and forgetting what's in front of us.

A lot of mindful activities center around yoga and meditation and I understand why. Now I don't do yoga, but I meditate maybe once a couple of days. Meditation clears our thoughts and organizes our thinking process. I find this really beneficial since I am a blogger and creativity is a priority for me however, there are other fun ways I practice mindfulness and being present.

How I practice mindfulness


  • Using photography and imagery- I never liked taking pictures, a selfie here and there but nothing too 'posey'. My sister would always take pictures of me and thanks to her I have some documented moments stored away. The reason why I use photography to practice mindfulness is because we often forget about those little moment of our lives and those are the ones that counts most- especially when you're having a bad day. Taking candid pictures are great for capturing specific moments and emotions that are locked in time. View them to bring yourself back to a good space. I and my sister film little videos of our nephews, creating our most cherished moments to look back on.

  • Speaking to my mind- Another way I practice mindfulness is by talking to myself (not out loud) lol, No one wants to look crazy. What I do is prep myself towards an activity prior to commencing it. It's a way to ensure awareness allowing me put my mind into everything I do. For example, if you are having a conversation with a friend, put your mind and thoughts into it. Remind yourself to listen and be present in that conversation, then respond appropriately with full awareness. I've caught myself wandering off during conversations.

  • Hiking- or something as simple as taking a walk. Other than exercising your leg muscles, hiking helps by removing you from your comfort zone and opens you to a new environment with fresh air with an initial  sense of  determination whether you reach your goal or not. It's an opportunity I take to clear my mind and resolve lingering issues within myself. 
There are myriads of benefits in practicing mindfulness. Personally I have experienced increased focus, more creativity, reduced stress level, emotional balance and overall mental well being. I am grounded and above all, present. However you chose to practice mindfulness shouldn't really matter as far as you are making the effort.





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    12.7.17

    Consequence of shyness | Overcome shyness + increase confidence

    12.7.17

    Consequence of shyness | Overcome shyness + increase confidence

    how to overcome shyness + tips to get rid of shyness

    For a fraction of introverts like me, shyness was a strong part of my character for a very long time. It still is but I don't let it get in the way of what needs to get done. I had trouble speaking openly, loudly and reaching out to people. I experienced the effects of shyness on someone's life and learned that being shy will have nothing but negative consequences for me.. or anyone.

    Looking back over the years, being shy really cost me some fun opportunities. Nothing major.. but boy oh boy, wouldn't I have loved to be a part of the debate team or the basketball team in my teens. The older I got, I came to the conclusion that shyness wasn't going to get me anywhere in life. I guess it would be fine if I didn't have goals and dreams that involved interacting with thousands of people but I do!

    What shyness can do
    1. Shy people have a tendency to go on dates less often than non-shy people. So, if you're looking to go on successful dates you might want to loosen up a bit.
    2. It makes interacting difficult. This may cause you to miss out on life-changing opportunities.
    3. Shyness may lead to self-doubt. Note that shyness is born from a state of uncertainty and worrying about what other people think.
    4. It makes you appear unassertive and lacking confidence in simple things like interviews and that doesn't ever have a happy end.
    5. In an attempt to appear 'cool' and 'average', shy people have more tendency to overcompensate in social gatherings.
    Personality changes and self-improvement takes time. By no means is it an overnight transformation. It requires patience, determination and consistency. They say it takes 21 days to form a new habit but I'm a strong advocate for steadfastness no matter how long it will take to get the desired results.

    Here's what you can do to overcome shyness.

    • No one is looking: it's all in your head more than half the time. As a 'used-to-be-shy' person I learnt that when I'm in social gatherings, I don't really care much for what people do or say. I listened to them without judging and never retained specific thoughts in my head about anyone. That's probably how a lot of people feel too. Stop worrying about what people might think of you.. they probably aren't thinking about your actions at all and that doesn't mean they don't regard you as a person.

    • Lights. Camera. Action: confidence is a thing of action and less of the mind. We all harbor some fraction of insecurities on the inside and that's it, keep it on the inside. No one has to know you are terrified of walking alone into a room full of people. It's all in your stride and carriage. Observe, learn, practice and master. That's a way to be confident that no one likes to talk about. Fake it till it you make it.

    • You just have to get out there: look into your hobbies and join a club. Being among people who share common interest with you makes it easier to open up and talk more. Check out this post on how to find your tribe. Connecting with right people will bury your fears of socializing and boost your confidence levels.
    Follow these tips to overcome shyness and social anxiety and be more confident in public. Do not force yourself to break out of it overnight but also keep in mind that the cost of shyness can be really steep.





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    5.7.17

    Time management tips that works for everyone

    5.7.17

    Time management tips that works for everyone



    We've all been there. Those mornings when you wake up tired because you pulled an 'all-nighter' trying to complete the tasks of the day before, sleeping in seminars, barely having time for lunch, making deadlines by the last minute? Basically, you are in a constant race chasing time. This was me till I discovered these time management tips that will benefit not just college students but everyone else.

    Two major problem most people face, is proper prioritizing and making the right decisions at the right time. Both which I sucked miserably at in my college years. Even while I was in grad school, I faced major distractions too but I easily dealt with them with these tips below.

    1. Schedule your day by the hour 
    Planning out you day by simply making a list won't cut it for a college student. Time is extremely illusive for any busy person. The trick is to schedule your day on an hour to hour basis. Every thing on your to do list should have a corresponding time frame which it must be executed by.

    This way, you ensure and enforce discipline on yourself. By doing this, you won't be able to entertain distractions for too long because you are aware of what you should be doing at a particular time.

    Whenever I make a regular to do list, I end up scrunching up everything together thinking I'd complete them all at once. However, I have a tendency not to finish my tasks on time and end up pulling an all nighter or end up leaving it for the next day.


    2. Write down your list
    To avoid forgetting what's on your to do list, it is best to write them down. You can easily go over the list throughout the day and  that way to make sure you are check yourself and ensure you are doing the right thing at the right time.

    Have them written on a cute memo pad (the brightly colored ones worked best for me) or have them typed down in your phone. There is a higher chance you may leave your memo pad at home than to forget your phone.


    3. You won't be productive everyday
    I used to spend countless hours in the library everyday trying to get work done but it was all wasted time. Those kind of unproductive days happen and it's okay. Sometimes the creative juices just won't flow.

    Knowing better now, the key is to use that time on other physical activities. This is the time to do your laundry, get your groceries, clean your room, go to the gym or enjoy an evening out but avoid getting drunk. Getting drunk may disrupt your balance for a successful week. 


    4. Avoid pulling an all-nighter
    It may seem to work at first but it's a trap. An all-nighter is like a loan shark. It will likely cost you more than what you asked for. Setting up a bed time and following it strictly is the best way to avoid studying late into the night.

    There will be adequate time for you and your tasks if you wake up early enough. Working late at night will get you feeling tired  with reduced productivity which will end up costing you more time to efficiently get your work done.


    5. Don't forget to have adequate fun
    Getting a chance to have a nice time with your friends can be invigorating and potentially raise your energy levels for the rest of the week. When done correctly, it leads to more productivity. It is wise to take some time off to hang out and do other things asides working.

    I recommend spending your weekends this way to recover and be ready for the following week. This is also a key way to reduce distractions during the week by doing the activities you want during the weekends. 


    These are some of the tips I follow in ensuring that I achieve productivity. I wish I learned how to manage my time quicker but I eventually learned somehow. Follow these effective time management tips and breeze through college life or work life like a pro. 






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