Mental Health Awareness Week

 

As it’s mental health week, I wanted to touch a subject that’s close to my heart… something I don’t reveal too much about. Why do I keep quiet about this subject? Is this because of my culture? Pride? Family? Or am I just simply embarrassed and worried about how people will look at me and define me? However, I’m going to be BRAVE and tell you that ‘I AM’ a silent sufferer of mental health issues. It started when I was pregnant, seeming to change something in me for good. It’s been years now since my first episode of mental illness, and I still occasionally have panic attacks and anxiety and an overwhelming feeling of not being in control. It seems to happen when I least it, especially when I’m on my own.

But I’ve been trying to take back my life and am currently receiving some wonderful support and help. I’ve found my passion again and I have started this amazing business journey. My advice to everyone is, be kind, be generous, be supportive, to friends and family even a complete stranger! That person might be going through a tough time. Give hugs, they are so important and listen. Listening to people, even if you don’t have anything to say can be so helpful and comforting to people in need. But most importantly, feed your mind with good fuel. Not just this week or when you’re struggling, but everyday. I have my beautiful aromatic Indian spices to help me, especially to boost my brain with goodness!

3 COGNITIVE SPICES that contain powerful brain-boosting benefits are:

Turmeric 


  • Curcumin has been found to support working memory, calmness, and satisfaction in coping with mental strain. It also promotes cardiovascular health and lessens physical fatigue.
  • It’s attributed to increasing the brain hormone BDNF, which improves the function of neurons, encourages their growth, and strengthens and protects them.
  • One of the key features of a brain affected by Alzheimer’s disease is the build-up of clumps of a protein called amyloid-beta. The latest studies on turmeric show that curcumin can cross the blood-brain barrier and has the potential to help clear these plaques.

Cinnamon (powder or sticks)

  • It affects several physiological functions of the body. Cinnamon kills bacteria and yeasts that cause stomach ulcers and urinary-tract infections and helps the body regulate blood sugar.
  • But my favourite benefit is increased brainpower. A few years ago, it was discovered that just the smell of cinnamon could improve cognitive function. In that study, either tasting (technically it was chewing) or smelling cinnamon worked to improve brainpower.

Ginger

  • Another of my favourite spices that should be on everyone’s mind is Ginger. It was reported several years ago that ginger might indirectly lower the risk of Alzheimer’s through its anti-inflammatory properties.
  • As it turns out, ginger decreases prostaglandins. These are chemicals that lead to inflammation and perhaps other chronic diseases. So ginger may ease minor aches and pains in much the same way as aspirin without the side effects such as upset stomach while simultaneously helping maintain brainpower.

 

Engaging your senses!

 

Do you use your 5 senses when you eat? Sight, hearing, taste, smell and touch?

We should take the opportunity to stop, breathe and celebrate. We  forget how easy it is to get caught up in our everyday life and rush food down our mouths, eating mindlessly. Who sits down and looks at the food in detail and savours the aroma? If you pause to eat more mindfully, you will taste every spice, ingredient, texture and flavour.  We forget to glorify the little things that make our lives rich on a day-to-day basis, to celebrate the food we have in our hands.

Food can evoke negative emotions and positive emotions. When we are feeling negative and disconnected in the world, this is when over-eating plays a part a big part in our lives. However, when you are positive and full of life, this is when you enjoy the burst of flavours and feel the sensation of spice inside your mouth. You can change your relationship with food, and it starts with appreciation and choosing to be present. Slow down and engage all of your senses the next time you shop, cook or eat a meal, and the result will be a transcendent, extraordinary experience!

The first step in engaging your senses is taking time to experience the moment. Once you find the space to breathe and be present, you’ll be amazed at the joy your food has to offer you. When you engage all your senses, the brain releases feel-good chemicals, which elevate your mood and evoke feelings of trust, enjoyment and relaxation. The result is that you’ll enjoy your food in a new and exciting way.

Take in what you see. “We eat with our eyes first,” yet we rarely take the time to truly experience this. What you see will likely evoke emotion, and you may even associate what you see with flavours your love or hate. This is a great time to consider where your food came from and how it was grown, and if you’re eating a meal, you can reflect on the work that went into preparing it. Appreciating the beauty of food and its journey to your plate.

Touch, feel & smell. Do you feel your food? Even with your tongue? You smell your food before you eat it? Ever really paused to think about the sensuality of the experience? Explore the texture and immerse yourself in the tactile sensations you experience in the kitchen, from holding a knife to peeling garlic, chopping an onion or juicing a lemon. Get your hands dirty and play with your food, then slow down enough to really enjoy the experience. As you eat, think about the way a food feels in your mouth, which will, in turn, slow down your eating and engage you in the flavour of the meal.

Listen to, while you savour each bite. Challenge yourself to take a bite and taste your food before you even started chewing it. Chew mindfully; challenge yourself to chew your food at least 10 times and pay attention to each chomp and the way the flavour and texture of your food changes. By savouring each bite, you can enjoy less food – and still, feel satisfied.

Relish the aroma. There’s something so inviting about the smell of your home when you cook, as well as the aromas at your favourite restaurant. Scents evoke memories and emotions, which you can use to your advantage. How a food smells is directly related to your perception of how that food tastes.  Seasoning your food with beautifully fragrant herbs and spices can enhance the aroma and, therefore, taste. Take a moment before each bite to inhale and enjoy the way your food smells, which in turn gets you excited to mindfully eat it.

The soundtrack to your life. Though our sense of hearing seems abstract to our relationship with food, it isn’t. When you take an active approach to listen to the world around you, it can deepen your overall experience of life, including your relationship with food. Listen to the sounds created when you cut into a potato, or the sizzle as you sauté some vegetables in a pan. Be attentive to the sound of chewing your food, and delight in the melody of voices as you share a healthy meal with friends and family.

You may give this a go once in a while or incorporate a few of these tips on a daily basis, but either way, the act of engaging yourself in all that your food is offering will allow you to celebrate your plate in a way that takes the emphasis off deprivation.

Meet Davinder Ojalla – The Lightworker Coach, she’s a dear friend of mine and I would like to share her blog with you to help with this exercise. It’s so simple but yet effective and it’s called ‘The Raisin Exercise – Mindfulness Meditation’

Davinder’s Raisin Exercise can help us ignite a healthy love for food. This exercise is a great way to help with diets and health and it’s an holistic approach to our personal evolution and potential. Next time you eat one of my dishes or cook one of my recipes, I would love you to use your 5 senses and engage with the food. Tell me about the journey you’ve experienced!

 

 

Fruit & Veg of the Month – February

 

 Heath Benefits of White Cabbage

  1. Cabbage is a low-calorie vegetable that is rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
  2. Cabbage contains powerful antioxidants that may help reduce inflammation.
  3. Your body needs vitamin C for many important functions, and it is a potent anti-oxidant. Red cabbage is particularly high in this nutrient, providing about 85% of the RDI per cup (89 grams).
  4. Cabbage contains insoluble fibre, which keeps the digestive system healthy by providing fuel for friendly bacteria and promoting regular bowel movements.
  5. Cabbage contains powerful pigments called anthocyanins, which have been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease.
  6. Potassium helps keep blood pressure within a healthy range. Increasing your intake of potassium-rich foods like cabbage may help lower high blood pressure levels.
  7. Cabbage is a good source of soluble fibre and plant sterols. These substances have been shown to reduce LDL cholesterol.
  8. Vitamin K is critical for blood clotting. Cabbage is an excellent source of vitamin K1, with 85% of the RDI in 1 cup (89 grams).
  9. Cabbage is a versatile veggie that’s easy to incorporate into your diet. You can use it to make many different dishes, including salads, stews, soups, slaws and sauerkraut.
  10. Cabbage contains calcium, potassium, and magnesium, which all are necessary for bone health.

The Bottom Line:

Cabbage is an exceptionally healthy food. It has an outstanding nutrient profile and is especially high in vitamins C and K. In addition, eating cabbage may even help lower the risk of certain diseases, improve digestion and combat inflammation. Plus, cabbage makes a tasty and inexpensive addition to a number of recipes. With so many potential health benefits, it is easy to see why cabbage deserves some time in the spotlight and some room on your plate.