Top 7 Tips To Achieve Total Health And Wellness

Since I love music, I find myself continually drawn to associating harmony in any area of life to music. In a typical choir, there are four (4) principal voice types – Soprano, Alto, Tenor & Bass – and all are necessary to bring full tonal quality and harmony to the choir.

We all have a mind, a body and a spirit. It should therefore serve as no surprise that, in order to achieve total health and wellness, we need to take care of all three (3) parts of ourselves – mind, body and spirit. Don’t focus on any one part to the disadvantage of the others, since all are required to bring balance to the human person.

In this article, I will provide you with seven (7) simple, practical and effective tips that you can start using immediately to improve and maintain your overall health and wellness. Tip 1 focuses on your spiritual health. Tips 2, 3 and 4 focus on your physical health. Tips 5 and 6 focus on your emotional health. The final tip, Tip 7, focuses on a frequently overlooked area, your mental health.

1. Dedicate 30 minutes to God each day in prayer, reflection and thanksgiving.

Every day you are blessed with 1440 minutes to live your life. Thirty (30) minutes only amount to a mere 2% of your entire day. God, the giver of life, deserves some of your day. Read and reflect with daily devotionals, spiritual and/ or religious books (Holy Bible, Qur’an, Torah, Tripitaka, Bhagavad-Gita, Tao-te-Ching, Books of L. Ron Hubbard or other sacred texts). This will increase your knowledge of your religion, strengthen your spirit, improve your personal relationship with God, improve your relationship with your fellow human beings, help you with your daily living and bring you inner peace.

2. Keep Physically Fit.

The key to achieving physical fitness is paying attention to exercises that strengthen your core muscles. Your core muscles are all those varied muscles in your chest, abdomen, upper back, lower back and sides. There are several benefits to be derived from a strong core – a flat stomach, a strong back, good posture, reduced strain on the spine, effective transfer of power to your arms and legs to lift, move or carry stuff around, greater mental alertness, greater flexibility and a good heart.

3. Eat Nutritious and Healthy Food.

There is a widely circulated myth that foods that are nutritious and healthy are not tasty. Like I indicated, it is a myth and the best way to ensure that your food intake is healthy, nutritious and that you are getting all of the required vitamins and nutrients that your body needs is by:

(a) Eating from the 5 major food groups each day – Grains, Vegetables, Fruits, Milk, Meat & Beans.

(b) Eating a “rainbow diet”, that is, one that contains as many, if not all, of the colours of the rainbow – Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo and Purple. Each food colour provides a different set of vitamins and micro-nutrients. For example, green foods such as spinach, are a good source of Vitamin A, Folic Acid, Vitamin C, Magnesium and Iron. Regular consumption of Spinach fights Anaemia and improves eyesight.

(c) Using a good multi-vitamin supplement, to satisfy any nutritional deficiencies you may have.

(d) Drinking your recommended eight (8) glasses of water each day. Drink one (1) glass at various intervals throughout the day to assist your body in the efficient elimination of waste and toxins.

4. Take Good Care of Your Skin.

Your skin serves four (4) principal functions as follows:

I. Protection from external elements.

ii. A sort of sensor with nerve endings that cause you to react appropriately to pain, heat, cold, touch, pressure, vibration and tissue injury.

iii. A heat regulator that accordingly pumps blood to your skin’s surface or reduces blood flow.

iv. Your largest waste eliminator (surface wise) through sweating or perspiring.

Additionally, as you age, your skin naturally becomes drier, less elastic and produces more wrinkles. However, you can significantly slow down this aging of your skin and help your skin in its elimination process by keeping your skin continuously moist and hydrated through the following simple skin care routine.

Skin Care Routine

Drink plenty of water; 8 glasses each day. Eat looks of yellow and orange fruits which provide Vitamin A. Take a good Vitamin E supplement. Eat cucumbers, which supply sulphur – a trace element that is necessary for healthy skin!! Also use water-based moisturizing creams or olive oil on the skin, immediately after bathing to keep moisture locked into your skin.

5. Take a 30-minute “time-out” at least once a week.

I know this sounds easier said than done, especially if you have children or take care of elderly parents or relatives. So let’s look at it from a different angle. If you suddenly became very ill or died, God forbid, the children and relatives would be somehow taken care of. Maybe not as well as you, yes, but they would manage. Well in order to ensure that you are around long enough to provide the best continuous care, the way you alone can do it, is to TAKE A BREAK!!! Find your relaxing space: take a walk on the beach or in the park while listening to nature or music on your iPod; relax on your bed listening to music; curl up in your favourite chair with a cup of tea or chocolate and read a good book; sit on a park bench and watch people pass by… or whatever else relaxes you. This will clear your head and give you renewed energy to go again.

6. Practice Contentment

In the natural ebb and flow of life and living, there are high points and low points, seasons of plenty and seasons of scarcity. Happiness is not derived from the abundance, number or type of material things we have. That’s why we sometimes see examples of millionaires who are drug addicts or alcoholics. Added to that, there is the “Law of Diminishing Returns”. What this basically says is that the more we get of something up to a certain point, the less likely the added quantities of that thing is going to increase our happiness quota. It’s like, if I got one (1) Lamborghini – I am on a high, summersaults can’t express my happiness, I could hug everybody I meet. If I got two (2) more Lamborghinis – well that’s OK. I mean I really won’t feel as euphoric as that first time and in any case, how many can I drive at any one time?

Contentment is the ability to be happy in both the sparse and abundant seasons of our lives and it is not dependent on our circumstances. We need to develop this spirit of contentment in order to positively contribute to our overall health, happiness and well-being. This does not mean that we should not strive for better but it means that like the old West Indian say goes, “We shouldn’t hang our hats where our hands can’t reach”, in order to keep up with the Jones’.

7. Take the Care of Your Mind Seriously.

Stress and Depression are two (2) of the biggest thieves of mental and emotional health, globally. Not only are they globally prevalent but they also lead to more serious mental problems such as Dementia, Alzheimer’s, Suicide and Insanity.

In fact, “The World Health Organization estimates that more than 450 million people [worldwide] suffer from mental disorders, and a new report by the World Economic Forum figures the annual global costs of mental and neurological illnesses at $2.5 trillion. That is three times the economic cost of heart disease ‘Global mental health issues woefully overlooked’, Public Radio International.”

So stress and depression must be dealt with and arrested almost immediately in order to avoid more serious health problems. Depression is a natural phase that we all experience in our lives primarily due to loss of loved ones, work issues, job loss or money/financial issues. However, the key to ensuring that stress and depression do not get out of hand, is engaging in activities that move your mind away from the problem causing the stress or depression and move you to a better mental space, despite the problem at hand. You can improve and maintain the health of your brain by incorporating some of these simple techniques into your daily living.

Simple Mental Health Care Solutions

Board Games, Puzzles & Quizzes

Playing Board Games and Solving Puzzles & Quizzes all provide your brain with a mental workout by improving your memory, concentration, problem solving skills and preventing cognitive decline.

Listening to music

Although seemingly simple, music soothes the mind and spirit, helps the body relax, relieves mental and emotional stress and tension, stimulates the senses and energizes the body.


There are many great online writing communities, such as EzineArticles and Squidoo, which accept articles on just about any topic that you would be interested in. Again, you will be exercising your brain, since to write an excellent article you will need to do some research to supplement your knowledge of the area.

Hobbies and Sports

Engage in group activities, social clubs or sports that interest you (tennis, horse riding, soccer, football, cricket, karate, sewing, yoga, tai chi, basketball, volleyball, swimming, singing, dancing etc.). Anything that you are naturally inclined to and that makes you feel happy while doing it. If you can’t seem to find a sport or hobby that interests you, check out the World’s Largest List of Hobbies (see the link below). You’re bound to find something that’s right for you and that you’ll enjoy.

Marketing Ideas For Small Architecture Firms

Small architectural firms have slowly dwindled, being unable to cope with competition from established larger firms. This makes it essential for the existing small architectural firms to have a well-thought-out marketing plan and effective marketing strategies to become successful firms. Some firms have selected a certain niche to specialize in; others have formed alliances with other services to stay in business. With a good marketing strategy they can attain their target goal more easily.

Some Marketing Ideas for Small Architecture Firms:

– Making use of the Internet is a great way to market small architecture firms. By creating a content-rich, visually pleasing and easily navigable website, you can attract a number of clients. You can make your small architectural firm visible to the whole world using the Internet; and if it is keyword-search optimized, your site can be displayed when keyword searches are done by prospective clients, thus making it highly target market-oriented.

– You can also start a free newsletter service asking those who visit your site to subscribe to it, generating leads as well as staying in touch with potential clients.

– Ask for your satisfied customers to put up their testimonials on your website as this may help persuade other clients to consider your firm.

– Permission-based e-mail marketing is a very cost-effective and easy way to market your services online.

– Use carefully planned advertisements that are well planned and that convey the right message to the clients extolling the benefits of choosing your firm. The TV, radio, newspaper, free newspapers, and magazines can be used effectively to advertise your services. Make sure you advertise regularly and effectively. Try advertising in magazines that deal in home decoration or building and construction. Infomercials on TV that are informative as well as portray your firm as trustworthy and capable can help, too.

– Form alliances with other services that complement your business, in which they can refer you and get a commission from you for doing so.

– Work out deals with local real estate agents who may recommend you to people who are in need of your services.

– Offer excellent customer service, since nothing can compare to word-of-mouth advertisements. Your firm has to appear dependable and experienced and promise them quality work, but make sure you keep your promise.

– Market research and competitive analysis have to be done frequently to stay ahead of your competition and to counter any of their strategies.

– Keep track of how your client heard of you, since it can help give you valuable insight as to which advertising media is working for you and which area is not that effective so that you can allot appropriate funds to the various media.

You can use these tips and many more for getting new clients for your firm. If required you can even take the services of professional marketing consultants and business management software for managing and developing your business.

Out of Thin Air Came A Key Ingredient That Made Beer

To varying degrees, craft beer drinkers are by nature ‘yeast prospectors”; always searching for that new or unique flavor in a beer that unbeknown to them comes from yeast. Many do not know the role of yeast in producing flavors, look and aromas. Those unique tastes and aromas that gives each craft beer a distinct style signature is from, to a great extent, the contribution of yeast. The adage is: no yeast, no beer. Interestingly, yeast has always been ubiquitous in nature-Wild Yeast. This does not diminish the fact that barley and hops are important too.

One word describes what makes the craft beer industry unique–innovation. Craft brewers are willing to think outside the box. Some brewers have carved out a niche by experimenting with ‘prospected’ wild/natural yeast. These are strains of yeast ‘prospected’ directly from nature. And are strains of yeast literally collected/harvested from trees, plants, fruits, etc.

Obviously, there are risks in using wild yeast because a brewer never is sure how beer will turn out once fermentation is complete. But this is the risk in yeast prospecting and innovating. However, this does not stop researchers from looking to wild yeast for some new commercially viable yeast. It all about flavors and understanding the performance of various yeast.

I am mentioning wild yeast upfront because that is how beer came about 10,000 years ago-naturally. Today there are brewers that have resurrected this art form and specialize in only wild strain yeast beer. Wild Mind Ales in Minnesota started their brewery by going around the state prospecting/collecting yeast strains from various wild fruit bushes, trees, and wildflowers. They wanted the unique and wild flavors from natural yeast used in their saison, farmhouse and sour beers.

“The cool thing about wild, isolated strains is that you can have something that is both truly local and also proprietary to you,” says James Howat, co-founder-Black Project Spontaneous & Wild Ales in Denver. Further, “Yeast is really a way for a brewery to distinguish themselves,” says Eric Lumen, co-founder-Green Room Brewing. “All breweries have access to pretty much the same raw ingredients, yet wild yeast can set a unique and interesting flavor to a product.”

Yes, there are innovations involving wild yeast. The latest new yeast development was announced in June 2020 by Lallemand, an innovative yeast manufacturer. This new patented yeast is named Wildbrew Philly Sour with a technical designation-GY7b. The strain originated from a Dog Wood tree in a cemetery near the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia by a student of Dr. Matthew Farber-Director of Brewing Sciences. This yeast strain was found as part of a project. This new yeast is one of more than 500 yeast species for beer. According to Soft School there are thousands of varieties in total.

There are a lot of benefits of this new yeast in producing beer with unique flavors and aromas in the sour beer category. This is a huge commercially viable discovery involving an organism that cannot even be seen with the naked eye.

Philly Sour is now being marketed to homebrewers and brewers worldwide. “Philly Sour allows for faster brewing time for making sour beer, because the yeast itself makes lactic acid, for the first time there is no need for brewers to introduce bacteria in their sour beer production line thus avoiding contamination concerns. Plus, it’s delicious,” says Dr. Farber.

As an aside, sour beer has been around for a thousand years, but it became more popular in the last couple of decades. In fact, there are a few brewers who produce only sour beers.

This discovery illustrates how a simple living cell, as old as time itself, produces beer. “Beer has been produced for more than 5,000 plus years as a fermented beverage. It wasn’t until the late 1860’s, when Louis Pasteur isolated the yeast cell, that the ancient mystery of fermentation was defined,” said Eric Abbott, Global Technical Advisor for Lallemand yeast manufacturing. “Before Pasteur’s discovery, brewers accepted that somehow wort simply started growing a foamy substance that made a delicious beverage. Now we sell yeast to brewers that are specific to their specifications for flavors and compatibility with their grains and hop requirements.”

So, what is yeast and why should craft beer consumers be interested in knowing a little more about it? First, beer without the yeast is nothing but sugar water. In simple terms, yeast is a single cell, living organism, small but nonetheless a living thing. It loves warm temperatures, moisture, and a needs oxygen and a plentiful food supply. The food supply for yeast comes from the starches in malted grains that are heated in water to release the sugars. Various yeast strains react to the myriad sugars in wort (the result of boiling the malt mixture) to produce alcohol and carbon dioxide. In the end, selected yeast strains eat the sugars and gives off alcohol and CO2. and brings out the best of hops and malts.

But just how small is a yeast cell? If a homebrewer were doing a batch or a larger brewer was testing a recipe, they may need 5 to 10-grams of yeast. One pouch of dry yeast for the 5-gallon fermentation would contain approximately 150 billion cells for an ale and 300 billion for a lager. A 5-gram pouch of dry yeast contains approximately 150 billion cells.

The consumer appreciates the final craft beer product because of the alcohol content, visual appeal, flavors, aromas, and mouthfeel. All of this is facilitated by yeast. Each type of yeast used is responsible for the character of a specific beer style to be brewed. Even yeast will contribute to the ‘head’ on a beer.

Here are some of the by-products of yeast that impact the consumer. Yeast creates esters, ketones and phenolics in the process of consuming sugars. To get a signature craft beer a brewer must pamper the yeast. Pampering involves creating the right fermentation temperature, introducing the right yeast at the right volume, creating the right water chemistry, and having the proper sugars in the wort for a specific yeast to render the desired style of beer.

  • Esters – These create fruity flavors. Interestingly, if you want more esters ferment at higher temperatures.
  • Ketones – These compounds add to beers buttery or caramel taste.
  • Phenolics – A compound producing spicy notes, a common attribute of wine.
  • Alcohols-Some alcohols can add stress to yeast performance during fermentation, but alcohol does contribute to aromas and mouthfeel.
  • Foam/foam retention (called head)-The selection of yeast that will help produce a head on beer is important.

“To get ever more unique flavors and aromas, use more than one yeast strain in a given beer and add the yeasts at different stages of fermentation,” says Charlie Gottenkieny of Bruz Beer. So, it is obvious the process of turning sugar water into a beer must be constantly controlled. Making a craft beer is very much a cerebral exercise, it is anything but being a “no brainer”.

American Homebrewers Association points out: “Yeast contribute more than 600 flavor and aroma compounds which add complexity and nuance to beer. Beer can build upon, showcase, or even diminish malt and hop flavors. One yeast strain might leave a residual malty sweetness while another might dry the beer out leaving a punching perceivable bitterness.”

Yeast manufacturers also publish detailed data sheets on each yeast variety. These specifications give brewers pitching rates, fermentation time, temperatures, attenuation rate, flocculation data and of course aroma data. A flavor and aroma wheel, shown below, are offered by manufacturers so brewers can visualize a specific yeasts’ suitability for a beer style.

Each of the yeast houses provides a wide assortment of strains. There is some overlap of cultures, but some are unique strains cultured by each company exclusively. So, it is hard to say who provides the largest assortment. But Lallemand does seem to focus on innovations in yeast and flavors.

In doing research for this article I saw a webinar on November 12, 2020 sponsored by Lallemand Brewing about “Biotransformation”. In addition to scientists from Lallemand Brewing, Dr. Thomas Shellhammer made a presentation explaining new discoveries and analysis on Lallemand yeast products that are designed to enhance flavors and aromas in hops the brewing processes. (Note: Dr. Shellhammer is the Nor’Wester Professor of Fermentation Science at Oregon State University and is an internationally recognized expert in hops chemistry. His lab studies the contribution of hops to beer flavor, foam, and physical & flavor stability.)

The webinar presented new yeast research specific to a new approach to craft brewing called Biotransformation–defined as the chemical modification made by an organism (yeast) on a compound (derived from oils in hops). These findings impact even the casual lover of craft beer, as they recognize new interaction of a hop compound and a yeast strain that create ‘new’ aromatic compounds. This process is initiated by enzymes in yeast working with certain hop compounds in fermentation. Craft beer consumers should be prepared for some new aromas and flavors coming from hoppy IPA’s.

Yeast influences the hop character of the beer which is the point all beer consumers know and appreciate. This new study is starting to revolutionize the way some craft brewers think about how yeast react with hop compounds and vice versa they select for their beers. There are compounds in hops that are non-aromatic but with specific yeast strains, inherent yeast enzymes can release new aromatic/ flavor from hop compounds in beer.

For craft beer ‘hop heads’ this means, “Different yeast strains can influence flavor and aroma by interfacing with specific hop-derived flavor compounds, a process called biotransformation,” notes Lallemand Brewing research.

The benefits derived from this new yeast enzyme research include:

  • Increases the diversity of hop flavors and aroma,
  • Enhances the beer mouthfeel and drinkability by reducing unpleasant bitterness, and
  • Expresses more character in the beer for consumers while using less sophisticated hop varieties.

Interestingly, some brewers in the EU are starting to note on their labels specific yeast strains and hop varietals used in their beers as part of a new approach to beer branding.

There is some crossover in yeast research between wine and beer. Dr. Shellhammer got his PhD from UC Davis and did some research there. With more transparency in labeling craft beer consumers will become for informed and educated about the beer brands and styles. When it comes to exploring new yeast from the wild/open environment or new ways of introducing yeast’s to hops used in fermentation, consumers will benefit with new flavors and aromas. There is a lot of on-line information available to consumers who want to understand specifics about yeast a brewer has used in making a beer. The “flavor wheel” above is one example of information being available.

Keep exploring new craft beer ingredients and brewing techniques because there is a great deal of sophisticated research specific to beer sciences underway all around the world.