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How to wake up in the morning if you are a night owl

Do you absolutely dread mornings and wish they didn’t exist?

DO NOT be alarmed! You are not alone! Mornings are the absolute worst, especially if you are a dedicated night owl. Unfortunately though, if you want to function in the real world, then you must learn to tolerate, and one day even enjoy mornings.

The best way to do this rather than wake up and throw pillows at your alarm clock, and show up to work looking like you’ve been at the rodeo is to develop a morning routine. Sound like a snooze? It is indeed the complete opposite, and will help you to wake up instead of rush out of the house in a mad frenzy every morning.

The absolute first thing you must do when you wake up is drink a tall glass of cold water with lemon if possible. It will immediately revive your dehydrated, tired body and give you that first kick to waking up. Once this task is complete, stretch from head to toe. And when I say that, I don’t mean simply raise your arms above your head. I’m talking a full-on cat stretch that engages every part of your spine.

Now you are ready to put your feet to the ground. Do it quickly before you lose motivation and fall asleep again. Once your feet are out of the bed, the day has started. Celebrate! Rejoice! You have achieved the first hurdle of your day. Next up, yoga.

Try doing 10 minutes of yoga, beginning with morning sun salutations. It gets the blood moving in your body and will help work out any kinks that developed through the REM cycle. If you prefer to self-lead, do so and if you need support, there are many 10 minute yoga videos to try out. Finding your preferred method of getting your body moving in the morning is essential, and if yoga doesn’t do it for you, try push-ups, Pilates, or jogging on the spot! Whatever works, simply remember to get your body moving.

After working up a (little) sweat, it is time for the shower. There is nothing better than feeling warm water on your skin and a meditation to go along with cleaning off the soap suds will surely set your day on track. When you are in the shower, close your eyes and visualize the warm water washing away all of your stress and anxieties. Imagine all of these fears washing down the drain and open your eyes renewed and refreshed physically and mentally. Listening to music in the shower is also a pleasant add-on.

Another essential, though it will come as no surprise since everyone is told to do this from age three onwards, is breakfast! Even if breakfast isn’t “your thing”, try to have at least something small and healthy to eat in the morning. If you are like me, and aren’t much of a morning muncher, try a smoothie instead. Make sure it is full of delicious and healthy ingredients including flax seed, berries (full of antioxidants), and protein powder for an extra kick. At this point, remember to take your daily vitamins too to keep your body vital and strong.

If you make this routine a regular thing and incorporate rehydration, exercise, a shower, meditation, and healthy eating into your morning, you will find that waking up becomes a pleasant experience rather than a complete and total drag. It is inevitable that people must wake up in the morning whether for work or school — so why not make it a happy part of the day?

What are parts of your morning routine? Let Women’s Post know in the comments below.

Looking natural: tips on how to look great without make-up

I rarely wear make-up and often get comments from other women about how brave I am to show off my natural beauty — a strange sentiment if you ask me. It honestly makes me feel fabulous and free. My skin also looks better as a result. It may feel risky to go make-up-less for a week, much less a day, but it is definitely worth a try and you won’t regret it.

For many women, it’s the worry about blemishes and dark eye circles that prevents them from going oh-naturel. Women’s Post has a list of tips for you to look natural and beautiful. Put your various brushes, and sparkles aside and focus on the beautiful person that is already right in front of you.

Taking good care of your skin is the first step to illuminating your natural magnificence. Find a moisturizer that is replete with eco-ingredients like shea butter and lavender essential oil. Before applying, try making a natural scrub that will help exfoliate your skin. Combine coconut oil, brown sugar, and a dash of vanilla to make a simple brown sugar scrub. Rub it in circular motions on your face and rinse. Make sure you find out what kind of skin type you have, ranging from oily to dry. Once you understand which skin issues you need to tackle, you can address them as needed and end up with a smooth and happy face.

Eating healthy foods will also bring out your natural beauty. Fruits, vegetables and foods replete with omega 3 oils and vitamins will make your skin look healthy and full. It will also help remove dark circles under the eyes and reduce acne. Pair healthy foods with getting enough sleep and your skin and face will glow. Taking extra vitamins will make sure all proper nutrients are being absorbed into your skin. Take a vitamin e, c and collagen are good supplements to enhance natural beauty.

If your eyes are especially puffy, there are ways to decrease puffiness using natural methods. Cooled chamomile tea bags on the eyes bring down puffiness and reduce black spots. Chamomile has antioxidants that help the skin and the coolness is very calming. After you drink a cup of chamomile tea, use the tea bag to cool your eyes and try it out. Another option is cucumber slices, a well-known way to decrease puffy eyes. Simply slice them and use them on your eyes (and eat them afterwards if you want to!).

Natural beauty comes easily to women who believe in themselves. Covering up your skin with colour enhancing products is nice in moderation, but many girls rely on make-up every single day. It takes courage to have a naked face and show of your true colours. Using high-quality and natural skin creams and a healthy lifestyle will bring out your natural magnificence and ultimately shows that every woman is beautiful.

Top foods to boost your mood

Feeling down? Your diet could be a factor. Despite the everyday stresses of life, poor eating habits can also contribute to your bad mood. Lack of mental and physical energy is not something you want to deal with while trying to conquer the world. If you’re experiencing a case of the Debby Downer lately, try these mood boosting remedies:

1. Apples

They always say: an apple a day keeps the doctor away! Apples are one of the most valuable remedies for mental depression. The various chemical substances present in this fruit help the synthesis of glutamic acid, which controls the wear and tear of nerve cells. Try eating the apple with honey and milk. This combination makes an effective tonic that helps recharge nerves, gives new energy, and vitalizes the life.

2. Root of asparagus

The root of asparagus is highly nutritious and is used as an herbal medicine for mental disorders. Much like apples, it is a good tonic for the brain and nerves. One or two grams of the powder of the dry root of the plant can be taken once daily.

3. Bananas

There is logic behind the phrase ”going bananas,” you know! Eating bananas facilitates the cross-talk among the brain cells and affects the mood. To prevent recurring minor depression, a banana- a – day therapy will help.

4. Cardamon

Add some cardamon seeds to boiling water along with a teabag. These seeds will add a very pleasant aroma to the tea, which can be used as a medicine in the treatment of depression.

5. Rose Petals

Feel like a queen by infusing half a cup of rose petals in two cups of boiling water. Drink it occasionally, instead of the usual tea and coffee, and get the benefits. If you wish, leave it to cool off, place it in the refrigerator and drink it cool.

6. Cashew nut

The cashew nut is another valuable remedy for general depression and nervous weakness. It is rich in vitamins of the B group, especially thiamine, and is therefore useful in stimulating the appetite and the nervous system.

7. Herb lemon balm

The herb lemon balm has been used successfully in the treatment of mental depression. It alleviates brain fatigue, lifts the heart from depression, and raises the spirits. A cold infusion of the balm taken freely is excellent for its calming influence on the nerves.

8. Peanuts

Peanuts are good sources of trytophan, an essential amino acid which is important for the production of serotonin, one of the key brain chemicals involved in mood regulation. Surprisingly, peanuts may have good affects in lowering depression.

 

Remember: In addition to eating healthy, daily exercise and a positive attitude is also highly important. If you’re experiencing depression and anxiety and are having trouble completing day to day activities, be sure to also visit your doctor for more information on how to improve your mental health.

Good luck!

What do you eat to boost your mood? Tell us in the comments below! 

 

How to make unpopular vegetables delicious

Fruits and vegetables are vital for your diet, and most people enjoy them in some form or fashion. Peppers and cucumbers, for example, are family favourites in a salad or a stirfry. But, what about the less popular vegetables such as radishes or rutabaga that aren’t so well-loved at the dinner table? These vegetables still have nutritional value and can be cooked to be delectable so that picky eaters will still enjoy them. Read below to find out how.

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Radishes

Radishes are a root vegetable that is often eaten raw. The radish is crunchy, with sharp flavour. If eaten in certain salads, the radish can actually be quite delicious, so don’t write off the strong taste quite yet! Radishes can be sliced or diced, and are full of vitamin C. The vegetable also has fibre, riboflavin and potassium. Radishes pair well with strong cheeses and are also yummy when doused in pepper and salt, with olive oil to balance the sharp taste.

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Brussel Sprouts

Brussel sprouts are another commonly unpopular vegetable, but are delicious when cooked in oil and spices until they are tender. Brussel sprouts have vitamin C and K, with folic acid and a lot of fibre as well. If you slice the center of the Brussel sprout prior to cooking, it will help tenderize the sprout. DO NOT overcook Brussel sprouts or the buds will become grey and soft, releasing an organic and smelly compound that contains sulfur. Cook with Dijon mustard to brighten the taste of the sprouts and add maple syrup for a sweet kick. Brussel sprouts also pair well with pinto beans in a burrito to add extra fibre to the wrap.

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Mashed Turnips

Turnips

People often turn their noses up at turnips, but they are another food that is full of nutrition. Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Vitamin A, folate and calcium are just a few of the healthy components in the vegetable. Interestingly, turnips contain cyanoglucosides that release small and non-lethal amounts of cyanide. Sensitivity to the cyanglucosides is controlled by an gene in each individual person, and some people have two sets of the gene. This makes turnips taste twice as bitter for some and delicious for others. If you are one of the lucky few, mash them and douse the mixture with olive oil, and chives for  yummy dish.

Rutabaga

Rutabaga, also known as a Swedish turnip is a hybrid root vegetable that is a cross between cabbage and a turnip. Similarly to other root vegetables, the rutabaga is full of vitamins and fibre. It also acts as an antioxidant if you have a cold. Rutabaga can be roasted, baked, boiled and used in a soup. Rutabaga julienned and sautéed in a red wine vinegar makes a delicious side dish that will have your taste buds flying. Mashing the rutabaga and mixing it with pepper and olive oil is also an option.

Beet lemon cupcakes. By Dennis Wilkinson.
Beet lemon cupcakes. By Dennis Wilkinson.

Beets

Beets are often overlooked in meal planning, but they can be cooked in a variety of ways that can hide the texture that most find unpleasant. Beets have zero cholesterol and very little fat content. Betaine in the vegetable lowers the chance of heart disease, and stroke, along with essential folate. Beets can be used in salads as a grated vegetable, and even in cupcakes, which adds a natural sweetness.

By preparing and cooking the root vegetables listed in a new and fresh way, you get a delicious new meal. The plus side: these veggies are often cheaper as well because they aren’t in as high of demand, so it is a way to save on groceries.

How do you like to cook any of the vegetables listed above? Let us know in the comments below.

7 nutrients to boost your immunity

by Dr. Suzanne Bober

Stress can be high this time of year, which means your body is particularly vulnerable to common viruses. Adequately feeding your immune system boosts its fighting power. There are a number of nutrients to add to your diet now to cut down on missed time from work due to illness.

1. Vitamin C

Vitamin C increases the production of white blood cells that fight infection and increases interferon levels, which prevent viruses from entering cells in the body. It is important to know that you don’t need massive amounts of vitamin C, as any excess just gets excreted from the body. Therefore you just end up with very expensive urine. You can obtain the necessary amount by eating six servings of fruits and vegetables per day.

2. Vitamin E

Vitamin E helps to stimulate the production of natural killer cells, which seek out and destroy viruses, bacteria and cancer cells. It may also reverse the decline in the immune system seen with aging. Seeds, vegetable oils, and grains are good sources, but supplementation may be needed to reach the recommended 100-400mg per day.

3. Carotenoids

Carotenoids increase the number of infection-fighting cells as well as mop up excess free radicals that accelerate aging. Carrots are high in beta-carotene, which the body converts to vitamin A to boost immune function.

4. Bioflavinoids

Bioflavinoids help to protect the body’s cells against environmental pollutants. A diet that contains a wide variety of fruits and vegetables will help you get the bioflavinoids needed to help increase your immunity.

5. Zinc

Zinc increases the production of white blood cells and helps them to fight infection more aggressively. It also increases the number of T-cells that fight against viruses, especially in the elderly who are often deficient in zinc, and whose immune system often weakens with age. Be careful with zinc supplements however, as too much zinc can actually lead to reduced immunity. Generally 15-25mg per day is adequate.

6. Garlic

Garlic is a powerful anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal nutrient that is also rich in antioxidants. It also helps to lower blood-cholesterol levels.

7. Omega-3

Omega-3 fatty acids increase the activity of phagocytes, which are the white blood cells that eat up bacteria. They also protect the body against damage from over-reaction to infection. Always ensure that you are taking additional vitamin E when taking omega-3 supplements for antioxidant protection, as they act together to boost the immune system. Add one or two teaspoons of flax oil to a fruit and yogurt smoothie.

If you do happen to fall ill with a cold, stay away from drinking milk as this will increase the production of mucous in the nasal passages. Hot foods such as chili peppers and onions contain ‘mucolytics’ which break up the mucous that accumulates in the nasal passages.

Arm yourself with these nutrients now, to prevent a cold or flu from overcoming you over this season; your immune system will thank you.