DIY fruit and herbal infusion recipes

DIY fruit and herbal infusion recipes

It is vitally important to keep hydrated during your Day Spa at Home (or at any other time for that matter) to ensure that toxins are flushed out of your body. Water helps to regulate  body temperature, aid in digestion and  keep skin clear and hydrated. Water also aids in the transport of nutrients around the body while also keeping our organs, other body tissues lubricated. We need to drink about at least 8 glasses of water every day for our body to function at their best. However, this amount may vary depending of such factors as body size, energy expenditure, and the climate in which you live.

Coffee, alcohol and soft drinks are not considered part of the daily-recommended water intake. In fact these drinks actually dehydrate our bodies due to their diuretic effects (increased urine output) resulting in the need for an even higher water intake. So make sure you do not consume these drinks during your Day Spa at Home or Wellness program. Dehydration impacts negatively on your physical and mental performance. Without replenishing your water intake, you can experience headaches, digestive problems, low blood pressure, lower back pain, constipation, premature ageing and more. You may even feel hungry if you don’t drink enough water. Yes, that’s right! It has been found that what some people experience as hunger is actually the result of inadequate intake of water.

If you really find it difficult to drink plain water, try making up some delicious infusions with your favorite fruits, herbs and spices. Here are some mouth watering infusion recipes to try that will make getting your quota of hydration so deliciously enjoyable and such a treat.

Lavender Lemon Ginger Mint Infusion

This is a delightfully soothing and gently warming infusion which helps to enhance the day spa and total wellness experience.

  • 4 cups water
  • 2 Tblsp. dried lavender (or 4 sprigs fresh lavender)
  • 2 lemons, juiced and peels set aside
  • 1/2 chopped lemongrass stalk
  • 1 Tblsp. maple syrup (optional)
  • 1-inch knob ginger, peeled and chopped
  • Small handful fresh mint

Combine the lemongrass, lemon peels and maple syrup in a large jug or beautiful clay or ceramic teapot if you have one, add water that has been boiled and allowed to cool slightly. Mix the ingredients well and then add ginger, mint and lavender.  Allow the infusion to steep for about half an hour and then stir well.  If you have use a jug strain through a fine sieve. You may not need to use a sieve if you have made the infusion in a teapot, which is why I have a beautiful teapot especially for my Day Spa at Home infusions. This infusion is delicious served hot or chilled.

Cinnamon Strawberry Infusion

This is a delicious fruity infusion which will delight your taste buds while you hydrate your body.

  • ½ cup. fresh strawberries
  • 4 cups. water
  • 1 pinch cinnamon powder
  • 1 Tblsp. maple syrup (optional)
  • Small handful peppermint leaves

Puree strawberries in a blender until smooth. Pour the puree into a jug or a large teapot and mix with slightly cooled boiling water, cinnamon, peppermint leaves and maple syrup. Steep for one hour. Use a fine mesh strainer to strain. Serve chilled with ice if desired.

Jasmine, Mint and Orange Infusion

Jasmine is a beautifully relaxing tea with such a wonderful and delicate aroma. It soothes the mind and the body with its mild sedative properties while delivering a boost of antioxidants. It is also thought to aid weight loss with its metabolism boosting catechins. Combined with freshly squeezed orange juice and peppermint leaves, this infusion is perfect for a day devoted to wellness.

  • 2 Tblsp. jasmine tea leaves
  • 4 cups boiling water
  • 4 cups freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 Tblsp. maple syrup (optional)
  • Small handful peppermint leaves

Pour the boiling water over the tea and peppermint leaves placed in a heatproof jug or a large teapot and allow to infuse for 5 minutes. Strain and add the orange juice and maple syrup, stirring well. Set aside and allow to cool.  Serve over ice.

Remember to avoid drinking large quantities of water with your meal, as it may dilute your digestive juices and may lead to bloating. If you feel you need to drink water with your meal, just take small sips and wait at last 20 minutes before and after your meal to have a whole glass of water. Head to our Detox pages for more great infusion recipes or go to Mother Earth News.

6 Simple Tips to Help You to Fit More Into Your Life

6 Simple Tips to Help You to Fit More Into Your Life

I hear so often from my friends, colleagues as well as clients, that they are feeling totally overwhelmed and exhausted due to all the demands and stresses of modern life.  Many say they feel like they are on auto-pilot and not as motivated as they used to be.  For some, their work has lost its purpose everything has become such an exhausting effort.  And then there are those who spend more time looking after everybody else first, not having the time to think even about the desires and needs of their own.

Do you find that you are always so busy, tired, stressed out and are you frustrated, feeling like you need some time out all to yourself? There is so much to do, so many obligations and so little time to do it in. Well, you are not alone.

Let me let you in on a little secret that has helped me fit so much more into my life. It was a piece of advice that I was given once when I was very overwhelmed myself. It’s so simple, but it is SO effective.

Are you ready for it?

You’ve got to slow down to speed up!

So, what does that mean?

When you are stressed and busy, you can’t think clearly. When you are calm, poised, serene and connected to yourself, it’s like you’ve got more hours in the day. When you are calm, you develop the capacity to do more, be more and experience more in your day.

So here are my simple six tips to help you to calm down to speed up to enable you to fit more into your life!

1. Create a morning ritual

I used to answer about ten emails or messages and check all my social media apps before even getting out of bed in the morning. But starting the day off like this often sets a negative tone for the day, and I now know that most issues can wait. I’m learning that I’m much happier when I take 45 minutes to wake up slowly, spend time in my garden and shower before checking email.

Create a morning ritual to help set your “vibe” for the day. So many of us are living on auto-pilot and just reacting to whatever happens to us throughout the day. If you watch the morning shows you’ve already been subjected so much bad news before your day has even started. This puts you into a negative “vibe” with a negative filter. Your brain will start to seek out negativity.

Why does this happen? Have you ever decided that you want to buy a car and the moment you decide on a make and model, you begin to see that car everywhere? You may not have noticed that they were everywhere before, but now that you’ve set your “intention” to buy the car, similar cars just seem to pop up.  This is because the part of the brain known as the Reticular Activating System automatically seeks out the information that you placed your “intention” on and brings it to your attention. Find out more about the Reticular Activating System here.

Write a list of the 10 things that you are grateful for. I do this as part of my morning ritual. Make sure you think of 10 different things every day. When you are in a grateful mindset you, increase your contentment and life satisfaction. Having an “attitude of gratitude”  improves mood by boosting your feelings of optimism, enthusiasm, and happiness in your life.

2. Incorporate a meditation practice every day.

I start every morning with a short 10-minute meditation using an app called OmHarmonics. The meditation helps me visualize the things I’m most grateful for and allows me to reduce negativity and design my perfect day. I find that early morning meditation increases my self-awareness and helps me put into perspective what really matters. This practice helps me start the day more positive, energetic and happy.

Meditation helps us counteract the stress we all face on a daily basis. By detoxing the mind and letting go of thoughts and feelings that don’t serve us, meditation helps us reduce stress and all of its negative effects, allowing us to have the capacity to fit more into our day.

You can start off by just doing this for five minutes every day and build up to 20 minutes of meditation on mindfulness every day. Try to do this at the same time every day and make it a ritual. I usually do this as part of both my morning and evening rituals.

3. Do something relaxing that you love regularly

Do something you love, something that you really love and savor every moment you are doing it. You can be something as simple as taking a bath, or listening to beautiful music or indulging a hobby such as gardening, painting or taking in the sights of a beautiful view. If you have a pet, spend some time playing with or cuddling them. Or if you have children spend some quality time or play time with them.

Write a list of all the relaxing things that you would love to do. All those things that you’ve meant to do but haven’t gotten around to yet. After you have done this schedule them into your calendar and set reminders. Keep your list of things that you would love to do somewhere where you see it often. This will remind you of the things you love to do so that when you are busy you can easily refer to this list.

Try to do one thing each day no matter how small, just because it makes you happy. You’ll be flooding your body with “feel good” endorphins and feeling great.

4. Disconnect the devices and Re-connect with nature

We spend far too many hours in front of a screen or hunched over our phones these days. Switch everything to air-plane mode and disconnect from the constant social media and email alerts for about one hour a day and re-connect with nature. You can sit under a tree at lunchtime and read a book or walk barefoot on the grass or wet sand. Go for a swim in the sea or lay down and simply watch the clouds in the sky.

Our bodies respond to touch, whether from other human beings or the earth. The texture of sand, earth, or the grass underneath our feet or back or the protective canopy of a huge tree above our heads helps us to ground ourselves and reconnect with the natural environment that surrounds us. Be in the moment paying attention to all the sights, sounds, smells, and sensations that you experience. This is such simple a thing to do that can be invigorating we so often overlooked in our busy digital worlds.

5. Keep a journal

Keeping a journal is a wonderful tool for self-examination, goal setting and celebrating your successes. You can use it to track your progress, encourage yourself and especially when you are trying to encourage better self-talk. It is a great outlet for dealing with challenges and a place where you can process your thoughts. It really helps to get some feelings that you have bottled up inside out and on paper. I have found I have gotten to know myself better by keeping a journal and by writing down my thoughts have more understanding about how I feel about things.

6. Schedule in some more “me time”.

Think of some ways you could schedule in more “me time” and the practice self-acceptance and self-love. It could be having a massage, relaxing at a beach or giving yourself at home beauty treatments. Having a Day Spa at Home at home is an excellent way to do this so schedule in some “me time” regularly for relax, restore and rejuvenate.

I hope you have enjoyed hearing the simple ways you can slow down to speed up and if you got something out of this feel free to share, like or comment. I’d love to hear your thoughts and your stories.

DIY Detox Bath Recipes

DIY Detox Bath Recipes

Baths can be a useful way to transform your bathroom at home into a sensual and enjoyable sanctum that you won’t want to get out of any time soon! A great home-made natural beauty treatment is a detox bath that is both relaxing and luxurious for your skin.

To make your own detox bath treatment, start with Epsom salt, sea salt, baking soda, apple cider vinegar, and your favorite essential oil such as lavender or rose geranium for the perfect scent. Put all ingredients in your warm bath and just soak away. This detox bath is great for relieving stress as well as easing tired muscles, and always has health benefits to boot. We’ve got some great recipes below for a DIY Detox Bath, so light some candles and let’s get started.  (more…)

How to Have a Mental Detox

How to Have a Mental Detox

Much ink has been spilled about the importance of a physical detox. While purging all of the harmful toxins that have collected within the body is crucial to long term health, it is not nearly as pivotal as purging the mental toxins. In order to get the absolute most out of any wellness program, you must first clear out all of your mental clutter. Removing the clutter from your mind starts with removing the clutter from your living space. The more clutter and junk that you allow yourself to accumulate, the harder it can become to let it go at the appropriate time. By finally taking the time to get rid of your physical clutter, you are further equipped to tackle the task of handling your mental clutter.

Switch off the TV or any other source from which you are hearing bad news. Constantly hearing bad news puts you into a negative state with negative thinking patterns. Instead, read inspirational and motivational articles, books and biographies. Subscribe to daily positive and motivational emails. Monitor your thoughts. When you catch yourself thinking negative thoughts say “STOP” and think of something wonderful instead. Controlling your thoughts this way is so powerful and can encourage very positive changes in your mood, your relationships, your work and your life.

Focus on what you are grateful for. Start a gratitude journal and write down the 5 things you are grateful for every morning or night. Take notice of your self-talk. Do you speak to yourself with kindness, compassion and love or do you beat yourself up with put-downs and criticism? Write down some constructive and loving affirmations and recite these to yourself as you look yourself in the eye in the mirror.  Speak to yourself with love and kindness. Tell yourself you love you. Begin a ritual of doing this every day for at least 5 minutes in the morning. It may seem silly at first, maybe even fake. But continue to do this until it seems less and less fake and until you actually believe it.

Meditation is one of the best forms of mental detox. Meditation does not require the purchase of any fancy equipment or a membership to a club.  It can be done in the space that you already have and can slot easily into your busy schedule. There are many guided meditations available free on the internet and YouTube. Even if you only have fifteen minutes to spare each day, meditation can still deliver the desired results. See our Meditation page for more information. Your mind is a powerful tool, it simply needs to be taken care of in the correct manner. Meditation gives us the chance to work through underlying emotions and traumas and a long stretch of silence can often be just what the doctor ordered. Thoughts that were once dormant inside of your mind and merely taking up space can now be accessed, processed and removed, increasing your mental space and your mental state.

Another way to remove unwanted thoughts from your head space is to participate in a regular exercise program. We are all aware of the fact that exercise provides us with a tremendous boost to our overall energy level. But what the majority of people do not realize is that exercise is also a great aid to our thinking processes. A person who exercises on a consistent basis will experience heightened levels of serotonin within the brain. Serotonin is a natural chemical, one that is released inside of the brain when a person’s fitness level increases. Those who are in search of increased mental clarity would do well to exercise and provide themselves with a much needed serotonin boost. See our Fitness or Yoga pages for more information.

By removing mental and physical  clutter and placing yourself on a regular meditation/exercise regimen, you greatly increase the effectiveness of any Wellness program. Not only is your physical wellbeing immensely important, but so is your state of mind. Don’t neglect your cluttered mind and be sure to take the right steps towards eliminating negative  thought processes.

Dry Body Brushing

dry body brushIf you have cellulite or poor circulation or simply want to ensure that you get the best results from your Detox, we recommend that you try dry body brushing.

Dry body brushing improves the efficiency of the lymphatic system and the detoxification process. It also clears the pores to aid in added absorption of your body treatments. It is important that body brushing is done on dry skin so brush before your bath or shower, not during or after. For best results refer to the image here for guidance in the direction in which you should brush.

Using a firm natural bristled brush, brush all over the body in upward strokes in the direction of your heart.  Start by brushing the soles of your feet and then upwards over your legs, hips and buttocks. Concentrate on problem areas such as the hips and thighs or where there is cellulite. Then brush your back and shoulders remembering to brush in the direction of your heart. Next, brush the palms of your hands and then upwards over your arms and shoulders. Use light and gentle brushing strokes to brush in downward strokes over your chest, as your skin is very delicate here. Then finish off by brushing your stomach area in clockwise motions.

Try adding a drop of juniper or grapefruit essential oil to your brush, which have diuretic properties to help reduce excess fluid. Dry skin brushing will help improve skin texture and tone. Do it before your bath or shower for about 5 minutes and for maximum benefits, and continue body brushing regularly. For those who are new to dry skin brushing we recommend that you brush daily for 3 months for best results and continue body brushing regularly, about twice a week to maintain the benefits.

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