Jul 21, 2014

Natural Ways of Overcoming Depression

In today’s world, almost everyone is on, or knows someone who is on antidepressants, but these medications only treat the symptoms of depression – not necessarily the causes. There are several ways to treat the causes of depression so that you can avoid those miserable moments altogether.
  1. First, be happy- your serotonin levels naturally increase – which is exactly what many antidepressants try to make happen.
  2. Expose yourself to the sun- Exposure to bright sunlight for 30 minutes a day either through sunlight or a light made for this, helps keep your internal clock set. This circadian rhythm helps to regulate our sleep/wake cycle and insures a good night’s sleep which in turn, helps our physical and mental health. Don’t wear sunglasses though; the exposure must come through your eyes!
  3. Next Exercise Daily- 30 minutes at least 3 times a week. It’s also a good way to work through and release stress. You don’t have to run a marathon, just get your heart rate up to your target range – around 120 to 160 beats per minute depending on your age and condition. Walking works wonders. Get your doctor’s approval first!
  4. Adjust your diet. The foods you eat are determining factors for your mood and irritability level. Diet high in fats boost your mood, low in fats make you feel crappy, and has a just the right amount of protein to keep you feeling your best.
  5. Omega 3 Fatty Acids-  1,000 mg daily. Omega-3′s aid in the brain’s neuron connectivity.Throw in a good multi-vitamin and avoid overly processed foods in favor of complex carbohydrates (whole grains), fish, free range meats, & vegetables and you’re good to go.
  6. Include B Vitamins in your Diet - Vitamin B promotes the brain health, and promotes functioning of the mind and nervous system. And induce the relaxation and it fights fatigue. Vitamin B deficiency can cause depression, lack of interest, and irritation, to get rid of these symptoms, increase the foods that are rich in vitamin B. Food that are rich in vitamin B are germ, bran of cereal grains, beans, eggs, nuts, dairy products and liver.
  7. Socialize. Involve yourself with close friends and family. You don’t have to engage in heavy conversations about your plight, just have fun. Keep it simple and go to a movie, visit an art gallery or museum, go to a ball game, grab a cup of coffee or have a meal together. Just be with other people and your feelings of isolation will fade. Do this face to face (not online!) and do it regularly.
  8. Practice Sudarshan Kriya- Sudarshan Kriya is a unique, powerful breathing technique that uses the natural resource within you – your breath, to help you easily come out of depression. For more click
  9. Self-massage (abhyanga)- As per Ayurveda self massage improves all of the sense organs, and remarkably, improves eyesight. It also helps to boost our immune system, makes us feel whole again and nourish our body and soul simultaneously.
  10. Take Stress Herbs- Taking herbs for stress relief is one of the easiest, cheapest and healthiest ways to help your body and your mind in the fight against stress. Learn More
  11. Limit Internet and cellphone use- A lot of internet and cellphones use are one of the many causes of the stress now days. By limiting use of the internet and switching off the mobile, we can limit and close some of the stress channel. It also makes us live in the moment fully and appreciate it. It is important to switch off the use of the internet/mobile half an hour before sleeping; it will cut down on the sleep problems. Moreover you would spend some quality time with your loved ones which would help you sleep better.
  12. Meditate Daily Before Sleep- One of the best tools to help you with both insomnia and stress is meditation and in particular, meditating before going to bed. - Learn more
  13. Take a Good Sleep- Turn your lights down and go to bed at the same time everynight. Turn the t.v. off. Engage in calming, quiet activities like reading, taking a warm bath, etc. Avoid caffeine and alcohol. Don’t work late or do other stressful activities that cause your mind to race. Remember a tired body and quiet mind are the requirements for quality sleep.

Jul 11, 2014


Making hummus at home from scratch is a very simple process summarized as follows: first you soak chickpeas overnight, rinse with fresh water, boil for about an hour, then while still hot mash them in a food processor with Tahini paste, garlic, some salt and lemon juice for a few minutes and voila!

• 1 lbs dried chickpeas
• 4 garlic cloves, crushed
• 8 tablespoons tahini paste (pureed sesame)
• Olive oil to taste
• ⅔ cup of fresh lemon juice
• ¼ teaspoon Paprika
• ⅓ to ½ teaspoon salt
1. Rinse the dry chickpeas to get rid of any debris, then soak for 10 hours with ½ teaspoon of baking soda. If you don’t prefer to use baking soda, you’ll just have to boil them for a longer time so they get soft. Baking soda helps softening them quicker.
2. Once ready, empty the soaked chickpeas in a colander/filter to get rid of the soaking water, then rinse it with fresh cold water really well.
3. Add the chickpeas to a cooking pot with ½ teaspoon of baking soda (optional, just to speed the process) and then add about 6 cups of water (or until water covers the chickpeas by about ½ inch).
4. Bring it to a boil on high heat, then let it simmer on low heat for about 1 hour while the pot is covered.
5. Check up on the chickpeas 45 minutes into simmering to see if it’s done. The test is simple, try to crush a chickpea with your fingers, if it crushes easily and feels smooth then it’s done.
6. Once the chickpeas are cooked, and while still hot add them immediately to a food processor with ½ to 1 cup of warm water and grind for a 3-5 minutes at low speed.
7. Add the salt and garlic, then slowly start to add the Tahini paste as the food processor grinds away.
8. Once done, slowly add the lemon juice at the end and let the food processor run for a couple minutes more afterwards. Taste the beautiful puree and see if it needs an adjustment of salt or lemon juice.

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Jul 9, 2014

How To Sprout Alfalfa Seeds

Sprouts always prompted us to call our mother. Why? Because when we were in kindergarten, she used yp grow and teach us how to grow our own sprouts in a jar. It seems like a good idea now to grow sprouts from organic seeds available in local organic shop.

Method of sprouting is very similar. It's easy, and since the entire process only lasts a few days, you get instant gratification. All you need is a mason jar, some cheese cloth, a rubber band, and some alfalfa seeds.

To get started:

  1. Put 2 tablespoons of seeds into the jar.
  2. Cover them with a few inches of cool water.
  3. Cover the top of the jar with cheese cloth and secure with a rubber band.
  4. Allow the seeds to soak overnight, then drain off the water.
For the next few days, rinse the seeds in the morning and evening by filling the jar with some water, swishing the seeds around, and draining them. Store the jar in a spot away from direct sunlight.

After three days, we could see white shoots coming out of the seeds. After four or five days, our swishing was no longer a big, loose swirl of seeds but a thumpity thump rolling of a tangle of growing sprouts. This morning, we will see the green tips of the fully grown sprouts. Now replace the cheese cloth with the jar top and put them in the refrigerator.

Your grown sprouts, takes just six days. Now make your favorite sprouts sandwich. Use whole wheat fiber bread and fresh cheese to make healthy alternative sprouts sandwich. It's surprisingly filling, nutritious, and open to many adaptations. If you want a heartier sandwich, you can add turkey, sliced chicken, or other vegetables.

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