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green diet

Get the best of a leafy green diet

We’ve all been told to “eat our greens” by mom and dad growing up – but do we really know just how vital a rich diet of leafy greens is? In this edition of our monthly blog, we’ll explore the importance of leafy greens and where to grab the best and richest nutrients available.

The Best Sources:

  • Microgreens
    Microgreens are chock full of nutrients, these tiny powerhouses contain much more nutrients than their fully grown counterparts. You can expect to find vitamins C, E and K in this group of leafy greens. Given that microgreens are the immature versions of their vegetable sprouting adults – they can be grown all year round.
  • Spinach
    Spinach is probably the most popular and well publicized leafy green – thanks in part to a certain cartoon character from days of old. This fully-fledged member of the leafy green diet boasts an impressive array of vitamins K and A and a rich source of manganese. Spinach is an excellent source of folate boosting and is particularly beneficial during pregnancy.
  • Cabbage
    Cabbage forms part of the stable diet in many places around the world as well as being synonymous with various cuisines such as sauerkraut in Germany and kimchi in Korea. Cabbage improves digestion, boosts the immune system and may be linked to aiding weight loss.
  • Kale
    Kale has been hyped in the media this past decade and lauded as a superfood; it isn’t hard to see why. With just a cup of a kale (67 grams) you can expect to take care of your daily requirements of vitamin K 6 times over, double your daily needs of vitamin A and well over your daily dose of vitamin C. This rich anti-oxidant is a fantastic addition to any leafy green diet.

      Other important sources:
      Watercress, Beet greens, Romaine Lettuce, Swiss Chard, Arugula, Turnip Greens & Bok Choy

leafy green diet

The Potential Effects of a Rich Leafy Green Diet:

  • Improvements to Bone Health
    Vitamin K rich leafy greens provide the minerals needed to form osteocalcin; this protein is vital in bone formation and aids your body in sustaining strong and healthy bones.
  • Maintaining a Strong Memory
    Published studies have found that diets which contain at least one serving of leafy green vegetables a day help fight the age-related effects of declining memory. Give your cognition a strong ignition with leafy greens and aid your memory in working as best it can.
  • Helps Combating Type 2 Diabetes
    The bountiful supply of fibre present in leafy greens helps to maintain healthy blood sugar levels. High fibre foods slow the process of digestion and this in turn slows the rate of sugar absorption into the bloodstream. These fibre rich foods help in preventing hyperglycemia and maintaining a more manageable blood-glucose level.
  • Aids in Maintaining Good Eyesight
    Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is an eye disease which can result in the decline in eyesight or complete elimination of central vision, this can harm your ability to read, write and drive. An exercise rich lifestyle with leafy greens can lower the risks of developing this condition.
  • Lowers Cholesterol Levels
    The fibre present in many leafy greens, particularly Swiss Chard, helps to fight the effects of cholesterol by binding to it, resulting in much more of it being excreted through waste. A rich leafy green diet can lower the risk of heart disease.

Celebrate your health and body by including leafy greens in your daily intake, these powerful foods are a cost effective way of maintaining good health and ensuring your body has access to all the nutrients it needs throughout the day. If you have a garden or balcony you can grow your own greens and ensure you always have access to some excellent sources of vitamins and minerals.

These versatile greens present a myriad of options for intake and consumption, for those on the go perhaps a green juice smoothie to keep you powered up? Join us at Wellness on Alon for your daily dose of green goodness with our juice shots.

leafy diet drink

We wish you all good health & happy eating.

positive energy

Charging your water with positive energy

Humans have approached the concept of water for healing purposes through everything from religion to culture for centuries. The significance of water in our daily lives is undeniable, but how do we approach water? How do we approach our experiences with it?

Let’s look at changing your approach to water and charging your hydration with affirmations.

What will you need?

  • A glass of water, a bottle of water or any container that you feel happy drinking from.
  • A quiet place to sit and reflect.

We begin by sitting down with a glass of water, relaxing ourselves and holding the glass between our hands, being careful not to let our fingertips touch. You want to begin by focusing on positive thoughts and words of affirmation towards the water. The purpose of this is to turn the process of consuming water into a ritual of self-actualisation and affirmation. When creating habits like this around our consumption of water, we build opportunities for introspection and appreciation, both of ourselves and of the life-giving liquid we are enjoying.

Where to start, on what to think?

Ensure you maintain positive thoughts, keep your focus on things that are either beautiful or admirable. Move away from negative thoughts, every time you bring a negative thought into your space, either about someone else or about yourself, you are hurting your growth.

Uplifting words and ideas that celebrate and encourage yourself and others are essential and go a long way towards fostering positive energy.

Shift your perceptions towards the positive, look for the best in yourself and others, focus your energy

positive energy

on your love and gratitude and pair those thoughts with your water.

Look for something, within every situation, to be grateful for.

No matter how intense, stressful or horrible a situation may be, there is always a positive lesson or thought to take away from it. Situations that are negative also serve as opportunities for growth and the creation of strength, perseverance and determination, build on those strengths, take those feelings of achievement and growth and run with their positive implications and associations.

Sit with your glass or bottle of water ready and filter out your negative feelings and emotions by replacing them with those of appreciation and kindness, both to yourself and others.

Speak these words into the water, create build this experience into one that entwines and strengthens you and the water. Reflect on your thoughts, reinforce them and yourself, this process can take as long as you require it to. Identify the thoughts and feelings you want the water to carry and visualize them as you sit, holding your glass. Make sure the focus does not slip away from the affirmations and gratitude you wish the water to reflect and the experience to build.

If you are having trouble creating this vision, thinking about what you wish to alter or remove from your life can be a starting point, build from there towards your positive thoughts and your love and gratitude will flow.

motivation

You may feel that you struggle with motivation or that the thing you are trying to achieve is eluding you.

Create the space and opportunity in your thoughts for greater motivation and more opportunities to achieve, focus on the expansion of potential and move with those thoughts. If you are feeling blocked, ask yourself why, what is preventing me from becoming motivated, turn those blockages into opportunities to remove them from your life.

In all aspects of life, essences or not, if you focus on attempts to fix or alter the external world – your job, family, country, you will be wasting your time and energy.  Attempting to alter systems and others to suit your own needs is not something you have the power to do or the right, instead focus on your inner-self, something you can change, something you can alter and build into a beautiful and thriving thing.  The external world will demand a lot of our energy and drain our positivity if we allow it to do so, focus on yourself and your moment, pour the positivity of your own self-control into your thoughts.

When you are comfortable with the energy you are trying to create within the experience, build into it words and phrases of self-love, success, health, love, and gratitude. Coat the water with these thoughts and feelings and once you feel calm and ready, drink the glass, celebrating yourself and giving thanks for all you have achieved.

Masaru Emoto has published a New York bestseller The Hidden Messages In Water in which he explores water as a blueprint for our reality. Emoto asserts that emotional energies and vibrations can change the physical structure of water. He claims that exposing water to positive speech and thoughts results in the creation of visually pleasing crystals being formed when the water is frozen. Charging water prior to consuming with the vibration of positive words enhances the crystalline structure of the water. You can kick-start your positive water charging journey with our range of inspiring coasters, complete with positive words and phrases to set you off on a healthy start, you can find them here.

peace journal

Mom, Put Yourself on Your To-do List!

Whether you’re a first-time mom, or an old hand at motherhood, we’re willing to bet that you know all about self-sacrifice.  There is hardly a mom we know who doesn’t define the words selfless, generous and caring.  

From sleepless nights and baby burping to early morning school runs, never-ending taxiruns, overflowing laundry baskets (I just did a load yesterday!) and meals that never seem to be enough or please everyone’s taste buds – we know a mother’s work is never done.  

As we celebrate our mothers this month on Sunday the 9th, we’d like to remind every mom not to forget to make time for herself.  Check out our recent blog about self care and the importance of putting yourself first.   And this is exactly what we believe most mothers have a hard time doing – putting themselves at the top of their to-do list. 

As women, we are taught directly and indirectly from a young age what the world expects from us and how to fill these expectations.  While some of these expectations may have sincere origins, they could lead to us simply never saying no, spending all of our time on others and making every effort, using most or all of our energy, to live up to them.  Due to factors such as this, we expect it may be specifically hard for mothers to make the mental shift of putting themselves first.

SInce you are a busy mom, we put together a few tips to help you make the shift to prioritise yourself.

List your Priorities

Make a list of your priorities.  It may look something like this:  Family, Health, Community, Home, Work.  Look at the list and read it again.  Oftentimes our priorities are intertwined, if you aren’t healthy, you can’t go to work for example.   We’re hoping you realise that you are at the core of each of these priorities.  These things are important to you, and if you want to serve them well, you need to be well.  Write down your priorities again, but start the list with your Most Valued Player: You.  When we recently asked a single-parent mother who also runs her own business to rewrite her list, it looked like this:  Me, Kids, Work, Community, Home.  

What do you need?

When asked, most mothers will say they need their family to be happy and healthy.  But today, we want you to think about yourself.  What do you love, what do you miss?  What would you like to have in your life that brings you happiness?  

Here are a few ideas

  • Uninterrupted sleep – this one is for the new moms, or moms with infants.  Regularly ask your partner or a family member to babysit so you can catch up on some z’s.  
  • Alone time to reflect or journal – schedule an hour or two at your favorite coffee shop, or park at least once a week and use the time to jot down your feelings and ideas in a notebook.  
  • A hobby – pick up an old hobby or start a new one by making time for it in your schedule.
  • A treat – we all need a treat every once in a while.  Schedule lunch with a friend, a manicure or a massage and try to do it once every two to three months at least.
  • Exercise – take time a few times a week to get to the gym or go for a walk, get fresh air and work up a sweat.  

Ask for help

The activities you need are completely actionable if you schedule them ahead of time and make proper arrangements.  Ask for help from family members or friends and remember that you would do the same for others when they ask.

Keep the Balance

Here is the answer to every mom who’s knee-jerk reaction at the start of this article which was probably something to the effect of: “how can I put everyone below me on my to-do list? Isn’t that selfish?  Everyone will suffer and nothing will get done!”  Well, mommas, it’s all about balance.  It’s not selfish if you take a few hours per week for yourself, but it may become a very selfish act if you simply disappear every day and only come home to sleep.   Well, selfish but probably mostly unhealthy.  

Keep an eye on how much you take and how much you give to others.  You will know when the balance is off.

Motherhood is one of the most rewarding journeys you will go on in this life.  It is by no means easy.  We hope you are able to accept the challenge and start putting yourself first on your to-do list.  We salute all the mothers in our community and in the world.  You are doing good work.

“Life is difficult. This is a great truth, one of the greatest truths. It is a great truth because once we truly see this truth, we transcend it. Once we truly know that life is difficult-once we truly understand and accept it-then life is no longer difficult. Because once it is accepted, the fact that life is difficult no longer matters.” – M. Scott Peck, The Road Less Traveled. 


PS. Still looking for that PERFECT Mother’s Day gift? Why not check out our Honorary Ritual Pack?

Put Yourself First

It has been more than a year since Covid19 hit South African shores.  And here we are, wearing masks, sanitising and keeping our distance from others.  Add to this all the usual stresses you may experience like work or financial stress, relationships, kids and school obligations… you may be starting to feel like you’re at your rope’s end.  How are you coping?  Are you remembering to take good care of yourself so that you will be able to take care of your loved ones?

To understand exactly what selfcare is, it is important to understand what it is not.  It is not selfish and it is not about indulgence.  Selfcare is all about adopting healthy habits in order to take care of your body, mind and soul.  It’s about spending time with yourself, doing what you love.  

Who even has time for this, you ask.  It’s crucial that you understand that you need to be a priority in your life.  Not third, or second, but your very first.  This doesn’t mean that your partner or your children or your job will suffer.  It simply means that you need to fill your tank with fuel so that you are able to fill all the other roles you may have.  Balance, as is so often the case, is at play here.  Spending 90% of  your day on your own needs every day will only leave you with 10% of your time available for other obligations.  This will obviously throw the balance off, important things will not get done and you will most likely be perceived as selfish and/or a lazy bum.  

When I think of selfcare, I’m reminded of the cabin crew on an airplane, instructing parents to secure their own oxygen masks before that of their children, in case of cabin depressurisation.  In the same way, we need to take care of our personal needs first.

Let’s look at a few examples of healthy selfcare habits.

Hobbies and exploring personal interests are always a good start.  If you love doing something, make time for it.  Set aside an hour or two per week to work on a craft project, to garden, golf or learn a skill you are curious about.  Take a class, watch a DIY video and get cracking.  Just put it in your diary and do it.  It can even be reading a book you’ve had on your nightstand for a while.

Exercise does not have to be a burden.  If you’re not into cardio or going to the gym, simply go for a walk.  Move your body the way it was designed to.  And if you love music or listening to podcasts or audio books, you can even combine the two.  Exercise has so many benefits, we’re sure you’ve heard it all.  Again, schedule the best time for you to take 30 minutes or so to be active and just do it.

Reflecting and journaling is something not many people talk about.  It is probably the best habit to aid mental health and wellbeing.  To reflect and journal means that you become quiet and calm and allow your thoughts to spill out on paper.  You don’t have to analyse or judge anything.  Think about your actions, reactions and thoughts and how you would prefer to do better next time.  You can also praise yourself for wins, motivate yourself for tasks ahead or simply visualise yourself as the best version of you.  You can even write about a conflict you are experiencing and try to make sense of it by writing out both sides.  We recommend keeping a journal.  This can be a little notebook for you to jot down your daily thoughts, aspirations, wishes, accomplishments and things you are grateful for.  Journaling has long been prescribed by counselors and psychologists.  It can help you overcome challenges, cope with overwhelming emotions, stay focussed, keep on track with goals and generally, we find that it helps quiet the mind and form tangible thoughts – almost like making proper sentences from all the disjointed words and phrases running through the mind.

If you’re interested in taking up journaling, click here to purchase the journal that helped Kareema overcome stress and trauma and essentially, take back her life.

More selfcare options for you to explore

  • More sleep, less screen time
  • Spend more quality, recreational time with loved ones
  • Eat nutritious food
  • Look for opportunities to laugh regularly
  • Go ahead, pamper yourself now and then

Like any new habit, it takes time to settle into it and make it a way of life.  Give yourself a lot of time and don’t be too hard on yourself.  The one most valuable tip I can give you is to start doing the things the person you want to be would do.  Before you know it, you will look back over time and notice that you have become that person.

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