When I first started practicing yoga, I thought the only thing that would change was how flexible or strong I would become by practicing consistently. Although I did become more flexible and strong, yoga transformed my life in a much deeper way and changed my life forever. Yoga is so much more than a physical pose and can truly enhance so many areas of your life. I am so excited to share with you below 5 ways yoga will transform your life:
Whether you’re a hard working career woman, student or entrepreneur, it’s often easy to forget that a whole other world exists outside your everyday routine. A world that perhaps involves sleep-ins, self-indulgence, and dare we say it – “me” time.
A diet rich in fruit is essential for optimum health – but try telling a kid that.
If you have a nagging feeling that your children aren’t getting
sufficient amounts of fruits into their tummies, you’re probably right. According to recent research, an astounding 60% of children are eating
less than the recommended daily intake of fruits.
Loaded with vitamins, minerals, and high in fiber, fruits are a necessity for healthy growth and development.
The reasons why are countless!
To start, fruits are an instant energy supplier. It’s a natural source of vitality and will help kids stay alert and active longer. Fruits are also
naturally low in calories, and its powerful combinations of flavonoids, antioxidants, minerals, vitamins, phytochemicals and the countless micro and macronutrients this makes fruits wonderfully easy way to keep kids healthy and reduce the risk of colds and flus.
All of this begs the question: how do you actually get a child to eat more fruits? Here are 7 easy ways you can guide them to a more balanced, fruit-rich diet. Trust us, not only will they be eating fruits, they’ll be loving it, too.
Lead By Example
Why not make eating fruits a fun family activity after dinner? If you make it a habit to snack on fruit when your kids are around, they’re more likely to pick up an apple when they’re feeling peckish.
Familiarize them with fruits
A lot of children say “no” to fruits because they’re afraid of its unfamiliarity. This is not because they dislike the taste. You can get them used to certain fruits by keeping them on display in a fruit bowl in your home, talking to your kids about it, and subtly sneaking them into meals that they enjoy so they can slowly get familiar with the flavor.
Slice it up
Children are curious little creatures, and may take more kindly to fruits that have been sliced into bite-sized pieces than whole fruits.
In fact, a study of 14 elementary and middle school cafeterias showed schools that sold sliced apples received 71% more apple sales than schools that sold their apples whole.
Make fruits fun
Get children more excited about fruits by making it fun. Stickers of their
favorite cartoon characters will work great. Research has shown that
kids are twice as likely to pick up the piece of fruit in their lunch box if it has a picture of a cartoon character on it. A simple yet effective method.
Prepare fruit together
Making fun no-cook creations with the kiddies will make them proud and eager to taste their fruity culinary delights. This can be as simple as fruit salads or as cool as real-
fruit popsicles. Either way, kids will love eating what they helped make.
Give them picking power
Get kids involved in the grocery shopping process and they’ll be more likely to eat what they’ve chosen at home. Giving children the chance to explore and discover different colors, textures and shapes will get them more interested in tasting the fruit.
Mix it up
Allow kids to learn that fruits comes in different forms. They can eat the same fruit whole or they can drink it in a juice. Teach kids that fruit can be frozen, canned, and dried to take on different tastes and textures.
It’ll be like a mini science experiment – they’ll love participating in it!
Because nothing is sweeter than a good night’s rest.
We devote a large chunk of our lives to sleep. Around 200,000 hours of it in the first 60 years of our lifespan, in fact. So we’d better hope it’s of quality.
If you often feel grumpy or exhausted after a night of tossing and turning, here are 14 easy things you can do to help you get a solid sleep – every night.
1. Aromatherapy oils
A few drops of lavender oil on your pillow can increase your sleep quality by 20%. Lavender is a natural relaxant, and will help lull you into a blissful state of sleep.
2. Power off
The blue light on your phone or tablet can hinder your ability to fall asleep. Many phones come with a blue light filter you can switch on in the your before bed, or you could simply just refrain from scrolling before you plan to nod off.
Many people swear by meditation as a means of getting to sleep. Try it.
4. Watch your nap time
Naps can be really beneficial to your health, but try to keep them at 20 minutes or less if you’d like a restful night.
5. A leg pillow
Is back pain stopping you from getting 8 hours of shut-eye? Try a leg pillow. A pillow between your legs aligns your hips and relieved stress from your lower back.
6. Make your bed a sleep-only sanctuary
Reserve your bed for sleep (and cuddles) only. Watching tv, eating, surfing the net or worst of all – working – in bed takes away from its aura of relaxation and rest.
7. Get a routine going
Setting your body clock is the way to go. Hitting the sheets at the same time every night and waking up at around the same hour every morning will help you fall asleep with ease.
8. Avoid caffeine after noon
Coffee in the morning is fine, but not so much in the afternoon. Look for hidden caffeine too – chocolate before bed can keep you up longer than you’d like.
9. Smart exercising
Working out is wonderful at helping you fall asleep – as long it’s not 3 hours or less before you hit the sack.
10. The alcohol myth
A lot of people think wine makes them sleepy. And it may help you fall asleep initially, but it’s not a good idea for a sound night’s rest. Alcohol dehydrates the body, so you’ll be waking up parched at various times throughout the night.
11. Eat wise
Eating rich and heavy foods before going to bed can hinder the quality of your sleep. Keep snacks light – and try not to eat an hour before going to bed.
12. Dim the lights
Start lowering the lights in the hours before bed. Dark lighting signals to your body to make melatonin, the hormone that sends your body to sleep.
13. Unwind the mind
Let go of work or daily stresses before going to bed. If you struggle to switch off, try a warm bath or relaxing music.
14. Temperature control
The perfect sleep temperature for most people is between 68 and 72 degrees. Being too hot or too cold has a major effect on our sleep quality – so it’s best to keep it in check.
We answer the 7 most frequently asked questions about this delicate skin type.
Love it or hate it, if you have sensitive skin – you have to take care of it. It requires a little extra attention and a tad bit more patience. But if you play your cards right, youe sensitive skin will become a total non-issue. In fact, you can even use it to your favor!
Here, we answer the 7 most frequently asked questions about sensitive skin.
1. What exactly constitutes ‘sensitive skin’?
There are a variety of factors at play to making up what people call sensitive skin. But put simply, sensitive skin reacts unpleasantly to skincare products and chemicals. When diagnosing sensitive skin, dermatologists look for: skin reactions such as redness, bumps or erosion, very dry texture, or a tendency towards heavy blushing.
2. How do I know if I have it?
If it’s common for your skin to get irritate or feel uncomfortable after using over-the-counter skincare, you probably have sensitive skin.
The best way to find out, of course, is to check in with a dermatologist.
3. What should I look for in skincare products to ensure they don’t irritate my sensitive skin?
Products designed specifically for sensitive skin are usually your friends. Also look for products that contain no parabens or sulfates – and that are made up of mostly natural ingredients.
Try to avoid products with harsh chemicals and way too many ingredients on their lists.
4. When using a new product, how should I test for skin reactions?
Patch testing is the way to go – after all, it’s better to be safe than sorry! When you get a new product, place a small amount behind your war for a few days. If your skin reacts well, try the same thing along your temple. If you don’t get irritated skin, the product should be safe to use.
5. How can I protect my sensitive skin against harsh weather conditions?
We hate to sound lime your mother, but you MUST wear suncream all year round. It’s a non negotiable. And make sure it’s one thats at least SPF 30+.
In the summer, you should generally try to avoid sunbathing and spending long periods of time in the hot sun – even if you have applied your SPF. UV rays are highly damaging and particularly so on your sensitive skin.
In the winter, try not to overheat your home. Have a good moisturizer on hand for skin and body to keep it hydrated, and always wash with paraben and sulfate free cleansers.
6. Is sensitive skin genetic?
It would appear that yes, sensitive skin and its associated conditions (includong rosacea and eczema) are inherited.
7. What are the best tips for caring for my sensitive skin?
Use skincare that has been specifically designed for your skin type. These products should be soap-free and light on harsh chemicals to avoid overworkinf your skin. When cleansing, be gentle – and avoid using chunky scrubs and exfoliators.
Also, hydration is key. Stay on top of your moisturizing schedule and your skin will thank you for it.
PS – DID YOU KNOW that Raw Sugar is launching a BRAND NEW line of skincare created especially for SENSITIVE SKIN? Yup! It’s made with natural, soothing, nourishing ingredients made to love and care for sensitive skin! More info coming soon… WATCH THIS SPACE, sensitive-skinned sisters!
The truth about nature’s wonder fruit.
Coconuts truly are the gift that keeps on giving.
Aside from being considered both a fruit, a nut, AND a seed (overachiever, anyone?) – coconuts are one of the most versatile of nature’s creations.
So much so, that according to the Coconut Research Center (yes, it’s a real place), in many parts of Southeast Asia, India, and the Philippines – the coconut tree is known as “the tree of life.” And for good reason, because incredibly – over 1500 studies have been published as evidence of the pure health benefits of the humble coconut.
Boasting lauric acid, potassium, cytokinin and electrolytes – coconut can help to improve skin and hair, slow aging, aid weight loss, and improve immunity. But that’s not all. There are many surprising benefits that coconuts offer that you may not know about. Since we’d never want you to miss out, we’ve compiled the top 5 things you may not know about coconut.
1. It can improve memory
Say what?! Yep, it’s true – coconut oil can improve cognitive function. Recent studies at Oxford University have revealed that people with signs of Alzheimer’s and dementia had short term memory benefits from its use. Remember that the next time you’re feeling a little… forgetful.
2. It can boost your metabolism
While it may seem a little strange that a fatty product could actually help with your metabolism, it’s true. How? Coconut oil helps you oxidise (aka burn) fat. It contains medium chain triglycerides which actually works to boost metabolic function and have you feelin’ fine.
3. It’s a natural deodorant
Say bye-bye to BO! Coconut oil is a great alternative to conventional deodorant. It contains Laurie acid he lauric acid which kills odor-causing bacteria. Simply apply it to your skin to ward off any unpleasant smells. Easy.
4. It’s an energy booster
Want to amp your morning smoothie up a little? Add a teaspoon of coconut oil. When paired with protein, particularly chia seeds, coconut oil’s medium chain triglycerides offer the perch pick-me-up.
5. It can stop gum disease in its tracks
Did you know that some people use coconut oil as a toothpaste? Other simply use the oil pulling method for healthier mouth and gums. Because of its wonderful antibacterial properties, some dental professionals believe that coconut oil can work to prevent tooth decay and gum diseases.
Coconuts have been keeping people healthy for 55 million years!
While we in the Western world may only have just discovered (and bottled) coconuts – the truth is that ever since coconuts first appeared in tropical areas, they’ve locals as a natural elixir.
Our bodies are pretty impressive entities. They’re full of diligent cells, untiring bacteria and industrious electrolytes that work around the clock to keep the machine well-oiled and ticking along according to plan. To function properly, of course, our bodies need fuel. That fuel comes in the form of nutrients from food, from sleep, and from water. If your body loses water, and doesn’t fill it back up – things start to get a bit problematic.
When you work out, for example, you can lose around 1.5 liters (about 6 full glasses) of fluid per hour – which is a helluva lot when you consider that you have about 5 liters of blood in your body in total!
But you don’t have to be exercising to be losing fluid. You lose it simply through sweating and the normal functions of your respiratory system. And when you sweat, you lose electrolytes – which are absolutely vital for proper cell function.
If you lose too many fluids, you become dehydrated – which leads to feeling tired and fatigued, lightheaded, and gives you those much dreaded muscle pains and cramps. THIS is why you need to drink at least 2 liters of water a day to keep hydrated and healthy.
But there are also other, more noticeable things that will happen when you start drinking more water. Get your 8 glasses a day in and you’ll reap these benefits:
By cleaning your liver, water can eliminate the cause of acne and breakouts – and help prevent and decrease the appearance of wrinkles.
STRONGER TEETH AND BONES
If you’re lucky enough to live in a country with clean, healthy tap water – it has added fluoride that gives your pearly whites (and your bones) extra strength and density.
IMPROVED JOINT HEALTH
No one likes achy joints. If your body dehydrates, less synovial fluid is there to protect the joints from pain and damage.
MIND AND BODY
Did you know that water is crucial for nutrients to absorb properly? It also helps with lots of other chemical reactions in the body – like optimum brain function and memory retention.
Water is essential for a well-functioning digestive system – and is vital to up keeping a healthy urinary tract. To properly metabolize food, water is critical – and even helps reduce constipation.
Recent studies have shown that an increase in water intake actually works to reduce fat deposits. Drinking lots of water can also be a natural way to suppress the appetite, help with metabolizing stored fat, and leads to less consumption of sugary drinks like soda.
Although water doesn’t directly give you burst of energy like, say, carbs do – it does play a very important part in your body’s energy levels. It’s where all your energy reactions will happen – and if you don’t drink enough water, you’ll become fatigued and lethargic.
IMPROVED MUSCLE TONE
Your muscles need electrolytes to be able to function and not cramp. Because muscles are mostly water, dehydration can stop them from properly flexing and contracting – leading to decreased muscle tone.
Sounds glamorous, right? Not so much. But it is vital for glowing skin – because good skin health truly does begin in your gut.
Taking care of your gut means you’re getting right to the source. Cutting out the middleman, if you will. It’s efficiency at its very finest. Improving your gut health will help you simplify your skin care routine – and give you countless other health benefits, too. So where’s the skin-gut connection, you wonder?
Here’s a way of looking at it that might be a wee bit easier to digest. Think of your skin like a flower, and your gut like the soil. The soil requires the right nutrients and levels of good bacteria to allow the flower to blossom. So, for your skin to be healthy and radiant, your gut needs to be first.
Here’s a nifty little list of foods that love your guts:
Sauerkraut, kimchi, pickles and many other naturally fermented foods contain healthy amounts of probiotics. These probiotics give your gut the good bacteria it needs, and organic acids that allow you to maintain a healthy intestinal pH.
Recent studies have shown that almonds are incredible for gut health because they’re a prebiotic. Prebiotic’s are probiotic foods – ones that reach the colon undigested. They promote the growth of good bacteria in your large intestine – plus they’re packed with great dietary fibre!
3. NON-DAIRY YOGURT
Non-dairy yogurt is good for your skin for two reasons. The first is that it’s probiotic-rich, which means it loads your gut with good bacteria that will has a dynamic effect on your digestive system. The second is that it is, of course, free of dairy products – which are known to trigger acne and breakouts. None of that here, folks.
Kombucha is jam-packed with gut-loving nutrients such as amino acids, enzymes and vitamins. It also contains a variety of health promoting acids that include ascetic acid – known for its prowess in killing the bad bacteria that lives in our tummies, and gluconic acid – which assists in inhibiting body infections.
5. ORGANIC APPLE CIDER VINEGAR
In its raw and organic form, Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) brims with raw enzymes and good bacteria that help work your digestive juices, help nutrients absorb, and monitor the growth of harmful yeast and bacteria in the belly.
BONUS TIP: you can also use ACV as a toner – simply dilute with two-parts water and voila!