Being seductive is all about how you feel. Whether it is alluring, mysterious, playful, sexy, beautiful, or a bit of everything, seduction begins in the mind then it is enhanced by our appearance. The way we look makes us feel more confident and confidence is sexy. Remember, a sexy and attractive woman is a force to be reckoned with. Here are some simple tips on how we believe you can become the most beautiful seductress any man has ever laid eyes on!
1. Talk With The Eyes.
Seduction typically begins in the eyes. It is a glance, a stare or a gaze, that attracts someone to you. So amp up your eyes with a smoky look by using brown eye shadows, liner, mascara and a full set of lashes! We recommend KAT LASH Milady and can be purchased HERE.
Over the past decade, the number of vegans in the USA significantly increased. Ten years ago, only a half percent of the American population was vegan. Today that amount jumped to six percent. Veganism is more than a trend. According to vegans is an ethical eating without animal products. Besides the animal welfare, many people decide to switch to a vegan diet because of their health. Among the vegans in the USA, you will find many celebrities. In this short video, you can see 11 celebs who went vegan.
Actress Jessica Chastain has been vegan since 2007. The actress was a vegetarian for 15 years before switching to vegan diet. Jessica’s mother owns a vegan restaurant and is a vegan chef. Chastain was the one who inspired her mother to go vegan. She felt so good about it that decided to go a step further and open a restaurant.
“It’s about trying to live a life where I’m not contributing to the cruelty in the world, ‘ Chastain explains.
Jennifer Lopez is another celebrity who decided to go vegan and never looked back. At that time she dropped her video for the song “Booty” where she looked insanely hot. It turned out that the reason for her weight loss is a vegan diet. She desperately wanted to get in shape after giving birth to her twins. The star claimed that going vegan gave her loads of energy and made her feel much better. And obviously helped her get that killer body we all saw in the “Booty” video.
The young singer Ariana Grande went vegan in 2013. She explained that a plant-based diet makes her a happier person.
“I love animals more than I love most people, no kidding,” Grande stated.
Despite her Italian roots, Ariana was able to give up on meat and cheese because her love of animals triumphed everything else.
When we talk about healthy living, the word(s) juice, juice cleanse, and smoothies will usually make an appearance. There are many different types of smoothies and juices, and so the words themselves can seem overwhelming for many, and of course more information is key in making the right choice for you, as well as in terms of your actual health goals.
You can often hear people going on juice cleanses or diets, usually with the goal of attaining better health in some regard. Many people opt for short term juice cleanses to end some bloating or lose a couple of quick pounds, and others may opt for long term juice cleanses in order to ‘detoxify’ (this can be a very vague term) their bodies or ‘cleanse’ themselves. There are juice cleanses focused on weight loss, removing toxins from your body, and ones that have specific elimination targets such as yeasts like candida. The general idea during a juice cleanse is to only consume the juice as well as water, with no other foods. Smoothies, on the other hand, are usually incorporated into one’s diet with the idea of having it more often, even once a day, as a meal replacement or a way to get in nutrients or vegetable servings in quicker and in a more convenient manner. There are of course different types of smoothies, some created simply as a dessert, some focused on protein (usually in powder forms), and some focused on simply incorporating more vegetables in a diet (most commonly called a ‘green smoothie’, or can include pre-made mix powders).
See also: Homemade Banana Ice Cream Recipe
Juices are when you use a juicer (there are many different kinds available) to separate the pulp from the liquid by putting the vegetables and fruits in the juicer, and then consuming the liquid itself, which can be diluted with water. A smoothie, on the other hand, is when you put a mix of vegetables and fruits, or just fruits or vegetables, into the blender with some liquid and blend it all together, pulp included, and consume the entire drink‚ which is of course much thicker, as well as much more filling, than what a juice would be.
While there are pros to both options on a regular basis, the overall benefit is still dependent on what the end goal is and it all depends on what the actual ingredients going inside either one are. Many smoothies, especially when bought out in stands or even in restaurants, can just be meant as a type of dessert, filled with a bunch of fruits, blended with sugar and milk, and could even include some extra syrups as sweeteners! So of course saying you would like a smoothie can mean very different things, depending on where you are or who is actually making it. It is especially important to be conscious of this during the summer months, when smoothie stands are seemingly on every corner, boasting about their health benefits, and can really be made up of sweet fruits with sugar and milk, which can serve as a refreshing treat in the summer, but it is not the kind of smoothie we want to focus on. There are also many protein-based smoothie mixes available, and it is important to carefully read and research the ingredients, as they can do more harm than good, and in many cases, have sugar or flour as the main ingredients if they are not a quality brand! In the same sense, a juice may also simply be a bunch of fruit, again sweetened. And we of course are not including commercially made juices in this regard, as they are usually full of sugar and the processing methods can actually strip the fruit of any nutrients it did actually contain.
However, when done correctly, both smoothies and juices can actually be very beneficial and healthy. When we talk about juices, they are usually for a full day (and often much more), and meant as some sort of cleanse. When going for a long period of time (there are some that can be over a week or 10 days), it is important to make sure you are doing it correctly to avoid any potential problems, and it is a good idea to check with your doctor, nutritionist and/or naturpath beforehand. The idea behind juices is that they are essentially direct shots of vitamins and minerals, filled with anti-oxidants, which help your body to cleanse or ‘detox’ itself. Our bodies spend so much of their energy focusing on breaking down what we eat, and as many people eat processed and heavy foods and eat late into the night, it can send our livers on overdrive, overworking them and not allowing them to focus on breaking down toxins. When we therefore choose to be on a juice cleanse, our bodies can then have the focus of breaking down toxins, and are being fueled by the juice’s beneficial nutrients itself. This is why it is extremely important to make sure what you are consuming as a juice is actually good for you, as this is the only form of sustenance on a juice cleanse. When doing any type of juice cleanse, they all also recommend a similar process of easing into the cleanse, as well as easing out of the cleanse. What this means is simply in order to avoid ‘shocking’ your body, and going abruptly from eating heavy or processed foods straight to consuming only liquids, there should be an easing in process, which includes eating light meals that are mostly vegetarian for a few days before beginning. After the juice cleanse, and depending of course on how long it has been done, many people have cravings and want to eat heavy or processed foods that they miss. Just as with the beginning, it is important to then ease out of the juice cleanse as to not ‘shock’ your body, by eating soups or solid foods that are still light.
Smoothies can of course be very nutritious for you as well, when made right. The general idea is to consume a ‘green’ smoothie, which generally means that the majority, or at least half of what you put into the blender and smoothie, are vegetables or specifically greens. Green leafy vegetables are packed with vitamins, minerals and many other nutrients, so they are always a great option to include. Some, for example, can be spinach, kale, parsley, cilantro, beet greens (leaves), and so on. Some of these options can of course be bitter, so the idea is to include some sweet fruits in order to change the taste, but still keeping it mostly vegetable based. Smoothies are also excellent ways to include beneficial ‘add-ons’ you want to incorporate into your diet. Many people enjoy the benefits of flax seed powder, spirulina, or maca root powder, for example, but remembering to consume all three can be difficult or inconvenient. However, when you make a smoothie, you can easily add these (or other) options and also mask any potential undesirable flavours from them.
So while both of these options can be nutritious and healthy when done correctly, when comparing them, you can see which one is better for you, as well as which, in the long-term is a better option. While you can skip ideas of juice cleanses, and simply make juices to add to your daily or weekly diet, there are reasons smoothies are more common or desirable on a long-term basis. The two reasons include that they are better in terms of waste, and the most important one, they are filled with fibre.
When you make juices, as your are separating the pulp from the fruits and vegetables, that pulp goes into a separate area in the juicer, which many people toss out. There are some ways to reduce this waste, including juicing vegetables first, and then removing the pulp before adding fruits and freezing it to use in vegetable based broth or simply adding to a homemade soup, or when juicing fruits, again keeping it separate and removing it, and using the pulp as an ingredient in baked or raw desserts. Of course some of the flavour will be removed, but it can still serve as a good base in either option. An important note with juices, however, can be keeping stems or vegetable or fruit peels you remove for recipes (or even for smoothies), and juicing them. This can eliminate other forms of waste, and the stems and peels of vegetables and fruits you may otherwise not want to consume still contain nutrients, so this can be a great use for them!
The second reason that makes smoothies a more desirable option in terms of long-term or consistent use is the main component in them: fibre. As the fibre is found in the pulp when you juice, you are not consuming it, whereas with a smoothie, you are technically consuming the entire fruit or vegetable‚ just as a liquid form, and therefore getting the fibre as well. Why is fibre so important? It promotes regularity, removes toxins from our bodies, and keeps our small intestine empty and clean, allowing nutrients to be absorbed. On top of the vitamins, minerals and enzymes found in fresh fruits and vegetables that are essential to our well-being, fibre is also key in this regard, and with its many health benefits, it is easy to understand why eating fibre-rich foods is so important in our daily diet.
For many people, eating the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables can be difficult, especially for those who are accustomed to cooking or who, with busy schedules, have trouble finding time. For days, weeks, or even months like this, getting one smoothie in a day can at least guarantee some fresh vegetable and fruit consumption for the entire day. Especially on days you know you will be busy, or working late, or going out to dinner or to a celebration, drinking a smoothie in the morning can at least guarantee a good amount of vegetables and fruits, even if you are not able to get any in afterwards! It is also very convenient and easy, and you simply need a blender and fresh fruits and vegetables on hand.
While a smoothie is beneficial any time of day, mornings are best as you never know what the day can bring and you may not come home in time to make one in the late afternoon or evening, and as it is blended, it is easy to digest so this makes it an ideal breakfast option.
Simply choose, for example, two types of greens (kale and parsley is one pair idea), and then you can pair it with a cucumber or carrot, and one very sweet fruit, like an orange or apple. Oranges work well since you can use the amount you want, depending on the taste you would like, and the vitamin C content helps absorb the iron found in the dark leafy greens. Simply wash and chop the greens and vegetables and fruits, add them to your blender with enough water depending on the consistency you would like, add on any extra nutritious add-ons, and blend until there are no large pieces left, and everything is smooth. It will depend on the type of blender you have, but this can take anywhere from 30 seconds to two minutes. Aim to drink it as fresh as possible, as the nutrient content will begin to lessen as the ‘exposed’ fruits and vegetables will now be affected by oxidation.
Make sure to change the recipe up, incorporating different greens, vegetables, and fruits in order to keep them interesting and to avoid boredom in terms of taste. Just make sure to keep them ‘green’ in the sense of having mostly vegetables in them!
So while juices are of course beneficial, and they do have a time and a place, notably in juice cleanses, when wanting a health-kick on a long-term and consistent basis, that also does not create waste and is a very convenient way of getting in some much needed nutrients‚ including fibre, green smoothies are a much better choice!
Photos courtesy of Kayture
We always hear that “water is good for you’, but what does it actually do for us? And can the way you consume water actually do more harm than good? There are many reasons, outlined below, showing the importance of getting in adequate water daily, and we will look at some of the symptoms of dehydration, tips on keeping water consumption simple, as well as some “don’ts’ in terms of drinking water.
Especially with the hotter months approaching, it is all the more important to make sure you are getting the 8 to 10 minimum cups of water recommended daily. It is important to also note a lot of times when it seems that your body is signaling to you that it is hungry, it can actually be signs of thirst!
Did you know? Water is considered to be one of the seven essential nutrients our body needs to survive. It is recommended that we drink eight to ten glasses of pure water a day. What are some of the signs of dehydration? Many people who suffer from constant headaches, joint pain, skin issues, weight gain, constipation, hunger pains, over-eating, weakness, low energy levels, dizziness, and indigestion could actually just be dehydrated These are just some of the many potential symptoms of an inadequate water intake, and it is extremely important to remain hydrated and pay attention to the above mentioned symptoms as a guide. Water is the liquid that nutrients need in order to travel throughout the body, and the way we eliminate toxins. Many nutrients (notably the water soluble vitamins such as C and the B-vitamins) and hormones require water in order to be properly distributed throughout the body as well, and a lack of water intake could also keep blood pressure high and contribute to kidney stones as well. In addition, as a result of it being needed in proper digestion and elimination, as well as our livers needing it in order to metabolize fat, dehydration can also lead to weight gain.
See also: How to Reduce Gas and Bloating
How can you tell if you are dehydrated? It is actually quite simple to know if you are not drinking enough water. There are two quick ways to see, and the first is that if you are thirsty, you are already dehydrated. Another way to know is the color of your urine. It should remain a light yellow shade, rather than a darker color. The only exception to the second rule could be when you first wake up in the morning, as you have technically been fasting and not been taking in any water for hours. So if your urine is a darker shade of yellow during this time, this is not an automatic sign of dehydration. However, beginning your day with some water is still a good idea upon waking up! Another exception would be if you take B-vitamin supplements, since they can change the color of your urine to a darker yellow!
Are there other factors that cause dehydration? On top of not drinking enough water, there are also many other ways to add on the initial dehydration. There are dehydrants such as caffeiene, alcohol, nicotine, and salt. If you use or consume any or all of these often, you need to incorporate more water into your lifestyle. If you drink two cups of coffee a day, and have a beer at the end of the day, you need to make up for the additional water you are losing as a result of these dehydrants. Another factor that comes into play is if you are physically active and sweating, again, your need for water is automatically increased, as well as during the hotter months of the year. If you go for a run on a sunny day in July, you again need to make sure you are making up for the loss of water this way. Also keep in mind caffeinated teas do not count as water intake since they are actually dehydrates and not a pure form of water.
What drinking habits should be avoided? As is the case with almost everything, there are correct and incorrect ways to consume water. For many people who are not accustomed to drinking water at all, but want to correct this mistake, they may decide on chugging the eight to ten glasses at a time, or still drinking a large portion in one sitting at the end of the day to get the recommended amount in. Chugging large amounts in one sitting is a shock to your body and is never a good idea. You want to incorporate water throughout your day and here is the simplest way to make it a habit. Aim to keep a canister or bottle filled to its amount near you and measure how many cups of water it can hold. For example, if it can hold four cups, you know that you have to drink at least two of those throughout the day. Try to consistently sip throughout the day and soon it will become second-nature and you will not have to remind yourself! Drinking a lot of water with meals is also not a good idea as it actually dilutes the body’s secretion of stomach acid and can cause indigestion. It is better to drink it before and after eating, but allowing some time to pass after you eat so it does not disrupt your digestive process. Drinking it first thing in the morning before eating helps your body ease into the day.
Infused water for the summer: While aiming to get used to drinking water on its own is ideal, there are also some easy and delicious ways to make water consumption even more convenient. You can fill up your large bottle with a few of your favourite berries (raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, or a mix) and add fresh cool water on top. You can drink this berry-infused water througout the day which is a great option in the summer! You can also simply twist some mint and cucumbers into your water for another refreshing alternative, or find your own preference. Just remember, if it contains caffeine it no longer counts!
Now that you know the importance, signs of deficiency and ways to consume it, make sure to get your 8-10 glasses of water a day and see the benefits of being truly hydrated!
Photo courtesy of Shutterstock
Model Liza Golden Bhojwani decided to share her body conscious story with the world, and the ripples of positivity and insight that will result from her story are likely to help a lot of people. In the posts on Instagram, Liza elaborated on more than just her modelling career and her weight maintenance, but how being healthy feels for her now.
It was a revealing and sensitive set of posts that informed people of her personal experiences without throwing a single person under the bus. She did, however, express love and gratitude for her husband who helped her to love the healthier version of herself. Her timeline was clean and clear, covering the break from her incredibly restrictive diet and the results over the following fashion week runway shows.
The whole recounting of the experience did not once lose its personal accounting or lose focus and Liza Golden Bhojwani was very clear on how her body consciousness has changed and how she feels that her life has improved. We learned how the peak of her career had her so meticulously maintaining her weight with such unrealistic goals that she was only ingesting 500 calories a day ” rigidly.
Unable to maintain a diet that barely kept her body fuelled she lost consciousness while making herself a meal, recounting the experience to us and telling us all exactly how that felt. The decision to “call it quits with the diet and workout regimen I was put on and… do it on my own” Liza recounts similarly to an awakening.
The intimate view of how the weight gain was perceived gradually began to affect her mentally. She bravely explained how the restrictions she had to place on herself in order to maintain a successful high fashion career made her feel more disconnected from the fashion and modelling world she’d loved so much previously.
She went from feeling incredible and experiencing the ‘serious adrenaline rush’ that high fashion modelling gave her to saying: “I had seriously just given up on my short lived high fashion career, because I just simply could not hack it.” This was back in 2012.
By 2014, modelling began to glitter and call to her again and Liza began watching what she ate again ” but in a much more responsible way. Liza said: “I wanted in again, but in a much healthier way,” she recalled. “And I did just that, I worked my a** off day in and day out in the gym. I was strict about my diet, but I wasn’t fully starving myself like I had two years ago, I was eating more but I still kept a diary of exactly what I ate everyday and I would tally up the calories at the end of the day.”
This method worked out much better for her; she was fit and healthy but not where many of the brands wanted her to be. By 2016 she (and her dogs) had relocated to India, giving up New York and traditional modelling standards deciding to model what she wants, how she wants, with support and love in her corner.
Liza Golden Bhojwani’s final decision is one that is not only respectable, but also inspiring. She said: “I do it solely for myself, not for my job anymore. I eat what I want and I feel no guilt. And for me that’s a good feeling. Maybe I wasn’t made to be on the covers of magazines and shooting the biggest and best brands, but I was made for a reason. I do deserve to be happy and feel fulfilled. We all do.” She’s right!
Photos courtesy of @lizagoldenreal
Coffee is really a phenomenom around the world. There are so many different ways to prepare it, and there can be so many different ingredients that different cultures or areas incorporate into it. In this way it really does seem like coffee can be for everyone.
Coffee is the drink prepared from roasted coffee beans, and has a high caffeine content. Some people may drink it out of habit, some because they enjoy the taste, and others for the stimulating effects the caffeine gives them. It can be made with a jazzve, in a percolator, in a coffee maker or espresso machine. Coffee can be drunk hot or cold, and also incorporated into other beverages, whether they be alcohol based or not. It can also be included in many desserts such as tiramisu, and even in some foods.
Some prefer it black and plain, while others fill it up with both sugar and milk (or cream), and you can of course incorporate different flavours such as hazelnut, vanilla, almond, caramel or different spices like cardamom. There are coffee shops around the world that specialize in coffee, making sure to offer a wide variety of both beans and flavours, in order to suit everyone’s preferences. You can also buy it for the home, and you can buy the beans themselves to grind and keep as fresh as possible, or the grinded powder in coarse or fine forms.
Some people go for a cup first thing in the morning as a “wake up’ strategy, while others drink it consistently throughout the day or after meals. Many people talk about how after a certain time it is “off limits’ due to its stimulating effects that can keep you awake at night. Many people talk about coffee withdrawal symptoms, or joke about how they cannot function until they have had their first morning cup. Regular coffee drinking reports headaches, fatigue, grumpiness, drowsiness, irritability and more when they cannot (or choose not to) have their regular amount of coffee.
What effect does coffee actually have on the body? As it is a central nervous system stimulant, while it can, in the short term, keep you awake, alert, and feeling more energetic, it increases and sustains high cortisol levels ” a stress hormone, it can lead to under active adrenals, a depletion of the B vitamins and vitamin C.
Caffeine, along with alcohol and nicotine, also causes the stomach to empty prematurely, which is why many people opt for a cup of coffee, a cigarette, or even some alcohol after a meal ” in a way to “lighten their load’. However, that premature emptying means the food being emptied did not have enough time to be properly digested.
Caffeine also acts as both a diuretic and also has a laxative effect, which means that even if you are drinking eight to ten glasses of water daily, you could still, depending on your coffee intake, be in a state of dehydration. Bowel movements may also be seen regular, but as coffee can have a laxative effect, it may be a false truth and can be masking an inadequate intake of fibre.
For many people who consume coffee regularly, it can also cause a rapid heart beat, high blood pressure, restlessness, nausea, as well as insomnia. As it causes high levels of cortisol, it keeps our adrenal glands active, which deal with our responses to stress, and can in turn cause underactive adrenals, which would actually result from overactive adrenals as they have become exhausted. If you are prone to anxiety, nervousness, and any sort of sleep disorders, caffeine can exacerbate the already existing issues. It is a similar case for people who experience high blood pressure.
For many people who experience the above mentioned side effects and want to either stop drinking coffee all together or at the very least reduce the amount they do consume, there are usually two ways suggested.
The first is often stopping the habit “cold turkey’. This means waking up the next morning with the decision made to stop drinking coffee and understanding that even when you crave it, or want the short-term appealing benefits, you do your best to refrain.
The second option is much more realistic and a little more sympathetic! This option is gradually decreasing your intake of coffee, and replacing it with better stimulants and healthier options, to the point where you gradually “need’ coffee itself less and less.
What this means is that you have still made the decision to consume no coffee (eventually) and can even give yourself a timeline to achieve this goal. For the first week, if you are prone to drinking multiple cups of coffee a day, you reduce the actual times you drink it, and always replace it with another beverage. This can be tea, berry or lemon-infused water, or any other option that has no or little (compared to coffee) caffeine. After the first week of successfully reducing the times you drink coffee throughout the day, you can then focus on reducing the amount you drink for the following week, again replacing it with different beverages.
During this time, it is also important to understand what “type’ of coffee drinker you are. Do you drink it out of habit? Do you like it because of the stimulating effects? Do you like it after your meals? Or is it a mostly social drink you meet friends for?
Understanding why you drink coffee is key to eliminating it from your diet. If you prefer to drink it after meals, consider making your meals lighter to avoid the feeling of being too full and therefore “craving’ to quicken up your digestion process. If it is out of habit, aim to replace it with a healthier alternative to drink throughout the day. If you drink it mostly in social settings ” with colleagues or friends, try to suggest different places to meet rather than cafes, where you would be more tempted. If it is for the stimulating effect, incorporate herbal alternatives that can offer similar effects, but which are better in the long-term as well as for your health.
By understanding why you drink coffee, and making the goal to reduce it in order to lessen the side-effects that can come with drinking it or drinking too much, you can still feel awake, alert, energized, and stimulated, coffee-free!
Photos couretsy of @songofstyle, Pinterest
There are many reasons why having gas or being bloated can be a big inconvenience. Gas of course can interfere with many professional and social atmospheres, and also put us in potentially very embarrassing situations. Bloating can additionally make us feel heavy, weighed down, and can make our clothes feel very tight and snug, sometimes even painfully so. Being bloated can of course even alter your mood, making you feel sluggish and inactive, as well as unattractive.
However, while we may look upon both bloating and gas as minor inconveniences, and usually treat them as jokes, for many people who experience both consistently, it is of course part of a larger health problem and both are common symptoms of indigestion itself. In that sense, they need to be looked at more critically and the root causes should be properly examined in order to avoid both from occurring, as well as to fix the underlying issue itself.
As mentioned above, having the occasional gas or bloating can be short term ‘inconveniences’ for many people, and both are usually over within a day or so. There are some remedies when they do occur sporadically mentioned below. However, when experiencing both in the long term, it is important to understand what could be causing the symptoms, and to how to prevent them from occurring by understanding and examining the root cause(s).
What are some of the main causes of both gas and bloating?
Carbonated beverages: This one is probably the most obvious cause of gas or bloating and is of course a much more immediate effect of consumption rather than a consistent and underlying indigestion issue. However it can still cause both bloating and gas, so it should be considered and ruled out before going forward. Carbonated drinks, whether it is coke, sprite, fanta, etc., can cause immediate bloating that can last hours. Try to avoid carbonated beverages as most contain far too much sugar and caffeine anyways, and instead opt to flavour your water with natural ingredients like berries, or lemon and mint and skip the gas and bloating!
Too much sodium: While sodium belongs to a group of minerals classified as electrolytes, diets that are too high in table salt can have very serious consequences, such as high blood pressure. Gas or bloating can often be another side effect of diets too high in sodium, and it is best to use high quality salts (such as sea salts) whenever possible, and to limit the intake in general. Instead, try using less salt and a wider variety of spices instead to flavour your meals and keep them interesting. Also it is important to keep our sodium levels in check by consuming enough potassium, which regulates sodium in our bodies, so limiting salt and increasing potassium is also very helpful.
Drinking too much water or liquids with meals: While the consumption of water is vital to our well being and overall health, there are actually times when it can have a less than desirable effect on us. Drinking water while we eat is one of the times it can lead to indigestion, or more specifically, gas and bloating. When we eat meals, our stomachs secrete hydrochloric acid to digest and break down the foods. When we drink too much water or any liquids while we eat, it can dilute this stomach acid, interfering with its ‘job’ and causing indigestion. For that reason, it is best to consume water or liquids before and after eating, rather than during. A few sips with a meal can be fine, of course, but avoiding a large intake is ideal in order to avoid any potential digestive difficulties.
Eating too quickly or not chewing thoroughly enough: People tend to eat food far too quickly, and one unfortunate consequence of that is indigestion as the food particles leave the mouth too large. The undigested food can usually even be seen in the stool itself! Digestion begins in the mouth, and for that reason it is important to actually take your time when eating, and to chew your food thoroughly to make sure it is in a state to go on to the next phase of digestion, as well as be ready for the nutrients to be properly absorbed. When eating food, avoid watching TV or being on your computer (whether for work or for social), as you can be more tempted to eat without paying attention to how you are doing it or how fast you are going, and it is difficult to break old habits when distracted. Instead, try to focus solely on the food, and eat it thoughtfully. A good way to test this strategy is by eating sesame seeds. They are so small that for many people who eat too quickly or do not chew food thoroughly enough, they can actually be swallowed whole! It is a shame as they are very nutritious and contain a high amount of calcium, but you can use them as a test. Simply sprinkle some on your meal, and next time you use the bathroom, you can see if they are present in their entirety in your stool. If so, hopefully it will serve as a good reminder to chew slowly and thoroughly!
Improper food combining: For many people, gas and bloating can be symptoms of improper food combining. Proteins take much longer to digest compared to carbohydrates. So, for example, when eating a steak, feeling very full, and then eating a peach as something sweet right after, the peach is ‘waiting for its turn’ in terms of digestion, and can actually begin fermenting, causing both gas and bloating, as well as heartburn or acid reflux. This is the general idea and reasoning behind eating salads before a main course. When you eat the salad first or as an appetizer, you are eating the food that is easier to digest and that moves much quicker, as well as contains enzymes (assuming the salad is one packed with raw vegetables and fruits) that aid in the digestion, before the heavier, and usually protein-heavy, meal. Or if you would like to eat something easier to digest, such as a fruit, after a large meal, aim to space it out so the digestion process of the meal is already on its way and it will not interfere.
Low stomach acid levels: Another reason why gas, bloating, and general indigestion could occur, could be related to low hydrochloric acid levels. Every time we eat something, our body releases this stomach acid in order to break down the food and continue in its digestion. Too much alcohol, overeating consistently, as well as a diet very high in protein are just some of the possible causes of low stomach acid levels. When this is the case, every time a person eats food, the low stomach acid levels secreted are not enough to properly break down the food, and can of course cause indigestion.
Eating too late at night: Eating late at night can be the cause of feeling tired in the mornings, having interrupted sleep, headaches, as well as gas and bloating. When you eat large meals late into the night, it is much more difficult for you body to properly digest it, and you are essentially keeping your liver on ‘overtime’ and the food may not be digested optimally, causing feelings of gas and waking up bloated first thing when you wake up.
Uncooked beans: This is a more specific cause, but still one that is a common reason when people experience gas or bloating. Many people cook beans without actually allowing them to be fully cooked, and this can often give beans (or legumes) a reputation of causing gas notably, as well as being hard to digest. However, it can be the cooking itself that is the problem, rather than the beans. This is why it is best to rinse and then soak your beans over night, which softens them significantly and also reduces the cooking time, and then cook them on medium heat with a lid on until they are soft enough to break apart in your mouth without much effort. Lentils do not require such a long soaking process, but it is still important to make sure they are thoroughly cooked as well. If you are also not accustomed to eating beans, it is best to introduce them well-cooked and slowly into your diet, in order to allow your body time to adjust to the food!
Constipation: Constipation can affect people in many different ways. For some it’s a once in a while problem, and for others it can be a chronic issue that must be resolved by examining the root causes. Either way, constipation causes both gas and bloating, and only once it is resolved will both begin to disappear. While there are many potential causes for constipation, making sure you are getting enough fibre in your diet is key in terms of a preventative approach.
For times gas and bloating do unfortunately occur, there are as well some other ways to deal with the problem immediately, while still aiming to incorporate the long term preventative solutions mentioned above.
Steeped ginger tea: On top of its various health benefits, ginger is often known as one of the best ways to reduce nausea or motion sickness. Ginger root is also very effective in eliminating or relieving various forms of gastro-intestinal issues. Ginger is often used as a way to actually eliminate intestinal gas as well as inflammation. While you can incorporate it into many meals, a steeped ginger tea is quick way to alleviate some of the symptoms related to indigestion. Simply remove the peel of a piece of ginger root with a spoon, slice the root into thin pieces or grate it, add it to a pot with hot water with the lid on over low or medium heat, and steep it for 10 to 15 minutes and drink as warm as possible. During the summer you can also make this in a larger pot with more ginger and water, and once it cools down, keep it in glass bottles in the fridge to have on hand.
Diluted apple cider vinegar: Apple cider vinegar is a type of vinegar that is made from apples and tends to have a slightly pale or somewhat amber color to it. The unpasteurized version also includes a type of foggy strand-like substance at the bottom (usually can be seen through a bottle) that are strands of the mother bacteria used to make it in the first place. Apple cider vinegar is most often used as an ingredient in salad dressings, but is also known and used to reduce bloating as well as gas. Apple cider vinegar, like lemon juice, also mimics hydrochloric acid, so can help in the digestion of different foods as well. It is important to make sure to always dilute apple cider vinegar when using it directly, as it is strong and can irritate the esophagus and damage tooth enamel. Simply dilute a teaspoon in about one or two cups of water and sip on it throughout the day to reduce bloating and gas. While apple cider vinegar does have a strong taste that may not seem pleasant for many, diluting makes it much lighter, and you can simply add more water to keep the taste neutral and pleasant. You can also drink a smaller amount before meals to promote digestion, which of course can then reduce any potential bloating or gas that would have been caused by indigestion.
Now that we have looked at just some of the reasons that gas and bloating can occur, by taking the preventative measures mentioned above and limiting carbonated beverages and liquids during meals, sodium intake, avoiding eating too quickly as well as too late, aiming to incorporate proper food combining within all of our meals, cooking beans properly and incorporating high amounts of fibre in our diets, we can aim to eliminate these unpleasant side-effects of improper digestion, and incorporate some natural remedies when they do occur, and keep both side-effects limited!
Photo courtesy of Pop Sugar
Now that you know how to make your own chocolate, and see how simple and delicious home made healthy versions of your favourite sweets can be, why not move onto the next level and also create homemade desserts? The following recipe combines the idea of cakes, pie crusts, and homemade chocolate all together in one easy to make a healthy treat with many additional benefits. This walnut-date squares recipe is suitable for vegans as well, and depending on what type of cacao powder you end up using, it can also be considered raw. Packed with protein, anti-oxidants, calcium, Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs), and fibre, this is a perfect dessert to enjoy anytime, and as a result of its incredible taste, no one will be able to suspect it is actually good for you!
All you need for this recipe are walnuts (can also use almonds instead), dates, sea salt, cacao powder (if you can find a raw one you can use that), sesame seeds, and as always, there can be a few additional add-ons you can pick and choose from to customize and personalize this dessert, and also have options for variety! The appliance that would be ideal in this case would be a food processor.
The benefit of making your own dessert is of course knowing what is going into it, with ingredients you can actually pronounce as well as trust, and being able to add healthy components so that having a sweet tooth craving doesn’t have to always equate to having a guilt trip or automatically equal some notion of “cheating’. The idea is not so much to remove things that are sweet from your daily intake, but rather, to offer options that are not full of processed ingredients, and actually offer some sort of health benefits.
To begin, you simply start with your walnuts and food processor. If you buy your walnuts with their shells intact, just put on some music and begin cracking! If you buy your walnuts with the shell removed, always make sure they have not gone rancid, since they do contain Essential Fatty Acids, which are sensitive to both heat and light, and you can usually tell simply by tasting them. If the walnuts have a bitter taste and that taste lingers, they are most likely already rancid. They should have a light, pleasant, and nutty flavour to them, rather than bitter. You can keep walnuts that have been removed from their shells in a bag in your freezer so they last longer and remain fresh. Once you have your walnuts ready, take about one cup (can adjust these portions to make more or less), and put them into your food processor. Begin processing them until they become a coarse flour type consistency, but they do not need to be too fine.
Next you can add some sea salt to the mix. You can adjust to your taste bud preference, but usually about 1/8th of a teaspoon does the job! Do a quick grind with the salt to distribute it and then you can move on to the next part. Dates are excellent for sugar or sweet replacements. When they are good quality and fresh, they can melt in your mouth and are extremely sweet, so they are able to satisfy even the strongest sugar cravings. They also contain fibre, which helps to regulate our blood sugar levels and will prevent any symptoms of sugar spikes and crashes‚Äö√Ñ√∂‚àö√ë‚àö√Ümost notably headaches, fatigue, irritability, moodiness, and so on. You simply need to pit the dates and make sure you discard all of the seeds as they can damage your food processor, and you can either add them in their halves or as a whole to your walnut and salt mix. The amount needed will depend on how fresh they are, as we are aiming to have the dates serve not only as a sweetener, but also as the “glue’ that will hold all the dry ingredients together. Process all these ingredients together and add more until there is a slightly sticky consistency being created.
Next you can add cacao powder to the mix. It is always best to start with small amounts, process it, try the mixture, and then you can add more if needed or wanted, rather than beginning with a large amount and not being able to remove any. Add the sesame seeds next, and you can add one or two heaping tablespoons. Among their other nutritional benefits, one you may not realize is that sesame seeds are actually great sources of calcium! The only problem is that people tend to chew their food so quickly and not very thoroughly, and since sesame seeds are so small, they simply are not being broken down and digested properly when not chewed well enough initially. So this dessert also serves as a good reminder to chew your food thoroughly!
Before this recipe is complete, there are of course some optional add-ons you can add to either this mixture as flavour enhancers, or on top simply as a decoration. You can add cinnamon powder or coconut flakes for the taste, flax seed powder for the additional fibre and EFAs, and any other spice you prefer, or fresh berries such as raspberry or blackberry. If you opt for berries, just make sure to add them gradually to make sure the liquid released does not completely change the consistency, as we need it to remain sticky enough to mold it!
Once you have processed all of these ingredients together, simply put the contents into a pan of any shape, and in terms of size you can use either kind and make this dessert thin or thick. Flatten it out into the pan. Add any additional decorative add-ons now, cut your squares into the mold while it is very soft, and simply keep it (with a lid) in the fridge or freezer. You can enjoy a square with your morning tea, as an afternoon snack, or as an evening treat!
This dessert contains protein, EFAs, calcium, anti-oxidants, and fibre, is both vegan and potentially raw, and nothing you can buy pre-made or packaged can compete with that!
Photo couretsy of thetravelingchamelian.blogspot.com