SPRITUAL DIET

If you're feeling a little low, depressed and lacking in confidence, grab some sunny foods to help rebalance. Food: Broccoli, kale, lettuce, green peppers, spinach, pak  choi, cucumber, celery, green apples, avocados, limes and green herbs. The chakra of love, joy and the chakra of self.

Alaska Wild Salmon Are A Real Catch

Alaska is famous for its wild salmon. The flavor of Alaskan salmon depends upon fat content and the environment in which it matured. Alaska's pure waters and the abuundance of natural food give Alaska salmon unparalleled flavor.

Alaska is famous for its wild salmon. The flavor of Alaskan salmon depends upon fat content and the environment in which it matured. Alaska's pure waters and the abundance of natural food give Alaska salmon unparalleled flavor.

Although salmon are caught in Alaska's pristine waters year-round, fishing season in Anchorage and southcentral Alaska really heats up in late May, when the prized king salmon returns home to spawn in the area's glacier-fed, freshwater streams. 

The remaining four varieties of Pacific salmon-sockeye, coho, chum and pink-are also found in the general area. 

Many anglers are now trying to catch what's known as a "grand slam"-all five species of salmon. Some say an easy way to remember which kind is which is to match them up with the fingers on your hand.

• Thumb-Chum salmon (Dog). The best fishing for this fish is mid-July to late August. Chum salmon have a firm texture, tempting orange-pink color and delicate flavor that makes it a perfect fish for smoking. The average weight is eight pounds and they can grow to be 25 to 27 inches long.

• Pointer finger-Sockeye salmon (Red). Most available late May to early June or mid-July, sockeye salmon are the second most abundant Alaskan salmon species. This species turns from a silvery color to a bright red body and green head as they begin the journey upriver to spawn. Their average weight is six pounds and they can grow to almost three feet in length.

• Middle finger-King salmon (Chinook). The best fishing for king salmon is mid-June to mid- July. The largest species of salmon in Alaska, they are prized for their color, high oil content, firm texture and succulent taste. Average weight is approximately 20 pounds and length ranges from 30 to 40 inches.

• Ring finger-Silver salmon (Coho). With its orange-red flesh, firm texture and delicate flavor, cohos are very popular among locals. The best fishing for them is found in early August to mid-September. Cohos are the second largest of the species, with average weights of 12 pounds, and range from 25 to 35 inches in length.

• Pinky finger-Pink salmon (Humpy). At the height of their run, millions of pinks swim up the freshwater rivers and streams to spawning grounds. Pinks are the smallest and most abundant of the species and average about two to three pounds. The best fishing for pinks takes place in mid-July to late August.

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Healthy Diet

Introduce new foods without spending a lot of time or money

Learn how to spice up your family meals with quick and easy recipes

With cooking, creativity can be just as important as the ingredients. With our busy lives, we can all get in a rut sometimes when it comes to cooking. We want simple and quick meals that we've cooked hundreds of times - no surprises! We want our children to try new, healthier foods but aren't willing to be creative and try out some new recipes. 

If you find yourself cooking the same old meals week in and week out, there's good news. Now you can try out new recipes using many of your handy ingredients and create new healthy meals easily. Here are some tips to get started.

Buy an Easy Cooking Cookbook

This might sound obvious, but you should first find a cookbook with recipes your family will love that's very easy to follow. Many cookbooks today offer only "fancy" foods packed with bizarre ingredients you've never heard of. Often, the food in these books doesn't even look tasty in the photos! Shop around online to find a cookbook that makes cooking easy and uses many of the ingredients you already keep around the kitchen. Be sure the cookbook offers your basic types of recipes such as entrees, casserole dishes, breads, fruits, veggies, beverages, and desserts.

Cookbooks also tend to favor one style of cooking, such as Santa Fe style cooking or Southern cooking. Choose one that caters to your family's taste buds, but don't be afraid to try something new.

Spice It Up

After buying a cookbook, go through the cookbook marking recipes you'd like to try for the month. You might try one or two new recipes a week just to add a little excitement to the dinner table. Write down the ingredients required, but don't forget the spices. Spices are usually what can make or break a meal. Buy spices that are required for the recipes and maybe a few extra spices for later. You can stock up on spices and keep them for a long time. When you become familiar with the new spices, you can test them in a variety of foods to enhance the flavor.

Create Menus in Advance

Preparation is the key to saving time and sticking with a meal plan. Plan menus in advance so there are no surprises. Keep ingredients on-hand that you know you will need. Most recipes give a preparation and cooking time. Plan your meals according to your schedule. Check out the available time listed for cooking. On days that you get off work late and will be rushed, find simple meals that you can cook quickly.

Prepare Mixes and Simple Foods in Advance

If you plan to make a dessert or a large meal, prepare your mixes and simple foods in advance to save time. For instance, if you plan to serve rice, potatoes, or macaroni with a meal prepare these the night or morning before and store them in the fridge. Then you'll only have to warm them up when needed. 

Cake, cookie or brownie mixes for dessert can also be stored in the fridge for later cooking. Tip: To make your flour last for months and months, store the bag of flour in the freezer. The flour itself will not freeze, but it will last a very long time.

Mix Old with the New Just to be Safe

When preparing a brand new dish, be sure to mix some old food items in the menu just in case your family dislikes the new dish. This will ensure that everyone has something to eat even if they don't like the new recipe. For example: Perhaps you're introducing sourdough bread for the first time. You can cook some regular bread along with it and present both types of bread for everyone to try. Some family members might like the new bread and some might not. At least they are trying new foods!

With any new cooking venture, you will need to take some extra time and effort to give it a try. Once you become familiar with some new recipes, you'll find that it gets easier and easier to add new foods to your family meals.

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All About Basil

Basil is one of the most popular herbs used in cooking today. It is a very versatile herb, and is used in Italian, Thai and Vietnamese cuisines amongst many others.

It has a warm, aromatic but gentle flavor, with a hint of spicey aniseed. It's well known that it goes extremely well with tomatoes, where it can be served raw in salads such as the classic Italian Caprese, or cooked into a rich tomato sauce for pasta or other hot dishes.

Basil is also popular as the prime ingredient of pesto sauce (known as pistou in France), which is made by pounding fresh basil leaves with pine kernals, olive oil, parmesan cheese and garlic to produce the distinctive thick green sauce so often used with spaghetti or as a dipping condiment.

Like most herbs, basil is widely available in both fresh and dried forms. Again like most herbs, the fresh version is generally considered to be superior. If you come across a cheap and bountiful supply of the fresh herb, you can dry it slowly in a very low oven before crumbling it and storing in airtight jars. This method of preserving it costs much in terms of flavour though, and a better option is to puree the leaves and freeze into ice cubes, which can then be dropped from frozen straight into the recipe you're cooking.

Basil can be quite expensive to buy in the fresh form, so if you become a fan of the herb you might like to try growing it yourself - it's much cheaper that way, and you can also ensure that the leaves you're using will be as fresh as can be! It's also one of the easier herbs to grow and so is ideal for beginners.

Basil is a native of warm climates, and so needs to be planted in a sunny and sheltered spot if it is to flourish. If you have a patio or terrace with a south facing wall, then sowing it in a pot there is ideal. It's all the better too if you can grow it close to your kitchen for easy picking whenever you need it!

Left to itself, basil will tend to grow into a tall, thin, ungenerous-looking plant with little in the way of edible leaves. You can encourage a more rewardingly bushy growth by 'pinching out' the plant as it grows, removing the top young leaves to encourage more sideways growth. Harvesting the herb regularly will also encourage more vigorous growth.

Basil is a tender annual, and will die off quickly in cold weather. You may be able to prolong its life by bringing it indoors at the first sign of a cold snap, or you could sow a succession of new plants indoors for a year-round supply.

Although it is mainly a culinary herb, basil does have some minor antiseptic properties, but is not widely used medicinally by herbalists. It is however a member of the wider mint herb family, and in common with its relatives it's said to be a good digestive aid.

There are many varieties of basil available, but the most popular are the Genovese type which gives the typical authentic italian flavour and aroma, and the purple-leaved 'holy' basil which is used more often in Asian cooking.

Whichever variety you choose, and whether you decide to buy it or grow it, basil is a treat for your senses and a great addition to your culinary toolbox.

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A Hymn to Baked Potatoes

What better on a cold winter’s night, than to come home to a supper of crisp-skinned baked potato, piping hot, a knob of butter soaking into the fluffy centre. Perfect for days when you get home in good time but have a million things to do and cooking supper is last on the list. All you have to do is get the oven hot (200C), fling them in, (with a cross scored on the top, so they don’t burst and coat your oven with an irremovable patina of flaked potato) and leave them there for at least an hour, better an hour and a half. You can get on with everything else, secure in the knowledge that supper is cooking without you and then put together a few fillings at the last minute.

One of  my favourite toppings is tuna. Just open the tin, drain, season with salt and pepper and some lemon juice (feel free to add mayonnaise if you like it but we don’t). Other hassle-free accompaniments are baked beans, grated cheese, left-over juices from last night’s stew. Any of these makes a tasty, nutritious meal with no fuss and best of all, one that most kids will eat...an enormous plus point for mothers everywhere.

A microwave hastens the process but leaves you with thin skinned potatoes that might do as an accompaniment to something else but lose the crisp appeal of the true oven baked article. If you are in a hurry, cook pasta instead and save your jacket or baked potatoes for a day when you remember to switch the oven on in time.

A variation to try with smaller potatoes: after washing, drying and scoring the potatoes, rub the skins with a little butter, then season with salt and pepper before baking to give you extra crispy, tasty skins that everyone will eat. 

Another thing to try if you want to get fancy: once the potatoes are cooked, halve them, scoop out the insides, mix with a beaten egg, grated cheese, salt and pepper, heap the mixture back into the skins and return to the oven for another 15 minutes until the tops are golden brown. A meal in itself!

Cheap, filling, nutritious with the right toppings and needing the minimum investment of labour, the baked potato is every busy mother’s ideal supper!

Heart Cookies

After lunch desserts and snacks

The highlight of South African living is the breakfast, desserts, snacks and drinks.  Easy to please anyone.  Breakfast varies between “mieliepap” and “beskuit”.  “Mieliepap” is the same consistency as polenta and served with a teaspoon of sugar, butter and milk.  A great creamy and healthy breakfast to see you through the morning hours.  “Beskuit” is rusks, dough baked in the oven, broken apart and then places back in the oven to dry out.  The perfect breakfast, specially for those living on farms, is home made rusks, dunked into your morning coffee.  If you are more of a tea lover, try the great local herbal tea called “rooibos”  

During the morning you can chew on some “biltong” which is salty dried meat or “droëwors”, which is dried sausage.  You can not watch any rugby or cricket match without this salty snack.  By now it is time for more coffee served with banana, ginger of mealie bread, smeared with butter.  Mealie bread is a sweet bread, baked with sweet corn.  You will probably wonder why we have such an obsession with mealies?  Well, mealies basically are Africa’s staple food.  We use it to make breakfast, bread, crisps (or chips) and many more.

After you finish this, it is time for your main meal of the day.  And then the BEST course arrives, the dessert.  Most puddings are baked pies served with custard and ice cream or a special sauce.  Malva pudding is one of the old time favourites, a great, sweet tasting spongy apricot dessert with a lovely sweet sauce.  Cottage pudding is a type of cake pudding served with a special white wine sauce.  

If you prefer a colder dessert, this is the place to be.  Enjoy a fresh fruit salad with ice cream, made from local seasonal fruit.  The most famous fruits are grapes, apples, naartjies (a type of tangerine), peaches, apricots, mangoes, melons and many more.  There is nothing more refreshing than a fresh fruit salad.  If you like ice cream, there are special treats in store for you as well.  Try the watermelon or papaya flavoured ice cream in a cone or on its own.     

As a special treat, why not try a Dom Pedro?  This is ice cream with a little drop of milk and a shot of your favourite whiskey of liqueur.  Try Amarula liqueur, made from the potent marula fruit or van der Hum liqueur, made from fresh naartjies.  This is a treat you should not pass on.    

Later the afternoon you can enjoy some “koeksisters”, a very sweet delicacy.  Afrikaans “koeksisters” are twisted pastries, deep fried and then sweetened with a very sweet sauce.  Another favourite of mine is “ystervarkies”, a sponge cake, dunked in a home made chocolate sauce, rolled in coconut!  Doesn’t that just sound magnificent?  

If you prefer something less sweet, try the “melktert” (milk tart).  This is a milk-based tart, absolutely gorgeous if you eat it warm, just as it is made.  If you want something savoury, try the “souttert” (savoury tart) consisting mostly of vienna sausages, cheese, onions, herbs and egg.  

For the evening you can enjoy one the best known foods, “vetkoek”.  This is a treat.  You can enjoy “vetkoek” in three ways.  Dunk it in your tea, butter with syrup and cheese or stuffed with curry mince.  No matter which one you choose, you will not be disappointed.  If you are looking for something smaller, try the “plaatkoekies” (almost like crumpets) served with marmite or syrup or maybe try some pancakes with cinnamon sugar?

During the day you will never go thirsty.  If you like warm drinks, there are the many varieties of strong coffees, regular tea, “rooibos” tea, hot chocolate and my favourite, milo.  This is a great drink filled with vitamins and minerals, made with warm or cold milk.  If you prefer cold drinks, try the various ice teas and fruit juices.  Guava, orange, grinadella, fruit cocktail, grape, peach, pear, apple, apricot and mango are only a few choices you have in fruit juices.  Guava and mango must be two of the most loved choices.  

If you are looking for a bottle of wine to accompany you meals, there are hundreds of local Cape wines to choose from.  You will be spoilt for choice.  Make sure you try as much as you can and enjoy the hospitality while you are visiting the rainbow country, South Africa.            

These are only a few of our great traditional recipes.  There are so many more to try, so start now and enjoy!

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A Look At Coconut Oil

Coconut butter, which is also commonly referred to as Coconut oil, is a fat that consists of more than 90% saturated fat. As it’s name implies, this oil is obtained from coconuts and is commonly used for cosmetics, baking ingredients and cooking oil. The world’s largest exporter of Coconut oil, which is the Philippines, receives 7% of it’s total export income from this product alone.

Coconut oil is rich in a fatty acid and is among the more stable of all vegetable oils. Many consider it to be a healthy product, which may increase metabolism and improve the body’s ability to fight sickness by strengthening the immune system. Once an immune system becomes weakened for any reason, the body becomes susceptible to an array of illnesses. In order to maintain a healthy lifestyle, one’s immune system must remain strong. If it ever becomes weakened, it is essential to rebuild the immune system in order to protect the body against harmful sickness and/or disease. On the downside, because coconut oil is also high in saturated fat, some believe that it may increase the likelihood of cardiovascular and/or heart disease and possibly even diabetes. On the other hand, some international populations who consume large quantities of coconut oil have been shown to have lower rates of heart disease.

In addition to concerns surrounding the health effects, both good and bad, Coconut oil has been tested as a fuel, but has been faced with difficult obstacles due to it’s high melting point. Coconut oil is also used for hairstyling in India, while other individuals find it to be useful as a skin moisturizer. Coconut oil is believed to be both effective and safe when used in connection with skin care. And best of all, it is not believed to carry any adverse reactions to the skin. In fact, some users have actually reported improvements in specific skin conditions after using Coconut oil. Among them, eczema, which is a very uncomfortable rash that develops in the form of small blister-like lesions. These are both painful and may result in scarring.

The information in this article is intended for informational purposes only. It should not be considered as, or used in place of, medical advice or professional recommendations for any type of treatment, cure or remedy to certain skin conditions and/or other illnesses. Prior to beginning any treatment regimen, including that which consists of coconut oil, individuals are urged to consult with their physician and/or dermatologist for proper diagnosis and/or treatment recommendation.
 

Tips For A Healthy Dinner Out

Ever wonder how you can possibly lose weight when the average dinner out contains over 1,000 calories? Well, don’t fret! Keeping yourself in shape when dining out is simply a matter of ordering the right menu.

Below are 6 tips for having a healthy dinner out (while still enjoying your meal like normal!):

- Watch Your Drinks – By not ordering an alcoholic beverage, you've saved yourself a considerable number of calories. Try sipping iced tea sweetened with a noncaloric sweetener, a diet soft drink, or water with lemon. You'll be glad you did when you consider the calorie savings.

- Have A Salad – One of the best menus to have is salad. Not only will it fill you up so you'll consume fewer calories overall, but it will also give you a hefty dose of antioxidants which are heart healthy. Be sure to ask your waitress to hold the croutons and cheese which will further reduce your caloric load. Also, choose your dressing wisely. Avoid cream based dressings and go for the vinegar based ones. You also have the option of using vinegar and olive oil which is heart healthy.

- Don’t Order An Appetizer Unless Necessary – Do you know that some appetizers have more calories and fat than the main course? Plus, many appetizers are fried and served with heavy sauces which will add to your intake of saturated fat as well as trans fats and calories. It's not a healthy way to start your meal. 

 - Choose The Right Kind Of Foods - Go for broiled and grilled rather than fried. Not only will you save calories and fat grams, you'll also avoid trans fats which are so prevalent in fried foods. Instead, consider asking for a doubles order of vegetables with your entree. Very few Americans are getting the 7-9 servings of fruits and vegetables recommended for optimal health. Plus, by avoiding the starch, you'll be reducing your caloric and carbohydrate load. Also, stick to tomato based sauces rather than cream based and you'll enjoy a considerable calorie savings. Lastly, ask for the sauce to be served in a separate dish on the side so you can control the amount you eat. 

- Don’t Overeat - Today, many restaurants are serving larger quantities of food than in the past. If this is the case, put aside a portion of your entree at the beginning of the meal to take home with you. If you remove it from your plate before you start eating, you'll be less tempted to overeat.

- Say “No” To Sugary, Fatty Desserts - Instead, go for a low fat or low carbohydrate dessert selection such as a low carb cheesecake. These are wise choices for the health conscious eater and still allow you to end the meal on a sweet note. If a healthy dessert option isn't available, try a cup of coffee with skim milk to help satiate your desire for something sweet.

The next time you go out for dinner, keep the above tips in mind. You will be surprised how many calories you are able to slash out of your meal just by ordering the right menus! Happy healthy eating!
 

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Tea you can have it hot or cold

History of tea

 You can have it hot or cold, black or green, herbal or lemon; yes what we are talking about is tea. Tea is the most popular beverage worldwide. The discovery of tea was done in 2700bc by a Chinese emperor, also a scientist, Shen Nung. In the Indian and Japanese legend tea was supposedly discovered by a Buddhist missionary monk Daruma. Shen Nung had discovered tea when some leaves from the garden fell into his pot of boiling water resulting in a refreshing drink where as it is believed Daruma on being disappointed of himself for not being able to complete his nine year meditation had cut off his eyelids and thrown it on the ground from which originated the tea plant.  It was the monkeys who were first trained to pick tea leaves.

                     Tea slowly gained popularity among the French and the Dutch, but due to its high cost remained a drink for the wealthy. With the passage of time and the increasing popularity different processes of brewing, preparing and drinking tea was evolved. Marquise de seven was the first to have mentioned the addition of milk to tea giving the drink a new dimension.

                    Tea was first taken to Europe by the Dutch in the 1600bc. In the 1700bc tea was first sold in a fashionable coffee house by Thomas.  John Dorniman was the first to sell tea in nett weighed packets. The first European to write about tea was father Jasper De Cruz, in the year 1560, who tasted the drink at a missionary. The duchess of Bedford originated the custom of afternoon tea but the credit turning it into a pastime should be given to Queen Victoria.

                   Tea was originally grown in china and exported to Europe and other parts of the world. china emerged as the trader of tea . Due to the steep rise in demand and also to keep a check on the balance of trade the Europeans started looking for other places where tea could be grown .this search gave birth to the tea fields of India . Later Europe imported tea from India followed by Ceylon.

                  The history of tea also enhances our general knowledge.   When we move back in time, we learn that the practice of tipping was developed in the tea gardens of England where a small wooden locked box labeled tips (to insure prompt service) was kept for its customers. Customers came and went by, years and centuries passed by, only to take to new heights the refreshing drink called Tea.

The Right Snack Track

Snacking is the downfall of many otherwise healthy diets, but the good news is that your can learn to control this snacking quite easily. Also, even if still want to snack during the day, there are ways in which you can do so without killing your healthy diet. Staying on track with your diet when you like to snack might be hard, but it is worth that extra effort because it keeps your body healthy.

 

To prevent snacking, simply eat more meals. Instead of eating three large meals every try, try eating smaller meals every few hours. If you are snacking because you are hungry, chances are that you are using more energy than you are ingesting and you need the extra fuel. By eating 6 smaller but healthy meals every day, you will not be tempted to snack very often, but will keep your high energy levels.

 

You can also help to stop your snacking simply by removing temptation. Before you reach for a snack, ask yourself if you are honestly hungry or if you are just eating because you are bored, because the food tastes good, or because you feel compelled to eat when doing a certain activity (like watching a movie). If you are snacking because you are really hungry, than it is probably fine to have something to eat, but if you are snacking for another reason, you should try to remove the temptation. Simply rid your house of junk foods and do not buy these items again when you go to the grocery store.

 

Instead, purchase healthy snacks. Think about the snacks you are eating. Would they fit easily into a food group as fruit, vegetable, grain, dairy, or protein? If the answer is no, then the snack is probably not good for you. For example, carrot sticks (vegetables), yogurt (dairy), or whole wheat crackers (grains) work well as snacks, while candy, potato chips, and processed foods do not.

 

When you snack, remember to consider your beverages as well. Drinks like soda, fruit punch, iced tea, lemonade, and juice boxes can contain unnatural ingredients and lots of sugar. In short, they are high in calories but low in nutrients. Instead, opt for drinks that supplement your healthy diet. Choose water most of the like, or drinks that are made with natural fruits, like apple juice. Low-fat milk and sports drinks are also good choices. Above all, stay away from most kinds of alcohol. Red wine is an exception, since this can help your heart health, but any type of alcohol in high amounts is fairly bad for your body.

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Healthy Vegis

Cauliflower
Cauliflower is a very versatile cruciferous vegetable. It can be used to make a multitude 
of healthy dishes — and also tastes good on its own.

Cucumber
Cucumbers are one of the world’s most popular vegetables. They’re very low in both carbs and calories, 
consisting mostly of water. However, they contain a number of nutrients in small amounts, including vitamin K.

Garlic
Garlic is incredibly healthy. It contains bioactive organosulfur compounds that have powerful 
biological effects, including improved immune function (8Trusted Source).

Kale
Kale has become increasingly popular because it’s incredibly high in fiber, vitamins C and K, 
and a number of other nutrients. It adds a satisfying crunch to salads and other dishes.

Onions
Onions have a very strong flavor and are very popular in many recipes. They contain a number 
of bioactive compounds believed to have health benefits.

Tomatoes
Tomatoes are usually categorized as a vegetable, although they are technically a fruit. 
They are tasty and loaded with nutrients like potassium and vitamin C.

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HEALTHY FOOD

Eat as much Raw food as possible. You tend to Eat less and thereby maintain weight. Its Easily Digestable

EATING HEALTHY

Live Long Eating Healthy by including berries and Fruits

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Food Tips

Tips to a healthy  life

  • Base your meals on higher fibre starchy carbohydrates

  • Eat lots of fruit and veg

  • Cut down on saturated fat and sugar

  • Eat less salt: no more than 6g a day for adults

  • Get active and be a healthy weight

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Simple Tips to Make Your Diet Healthier

  • Slow Down

  • Choose Whole-Grain Bread

  • Add Greek Yogurt to Your Diet

  • Increase Your Protein Intake

  • Drink Enough Water

  • Bake or Roast Instead of Grilling or Frying

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Effect Of Food On The Mind

Food may be placed in one of three categories. Pure (or sattwic) food constitutes the staple diet of a yogi (meditator). It includes fruits, grains, seeds, sprouts, most vegetables, dairy products and a moderate amount of spices and herbs. Then there is stimulating (or rajsik) food which may be consumed in moderation, and includes coffee, tea, colas, vinegar, radishes and spices. Finally there are impure (or tamsic) items, such as tobacco, alcohol, nonprescription drugs, all meat, fish, fowl, eggs, stale food and also garlic, onion and chives. These should all be completely avoided. Ordinarily onion and garlic are recommended to non-vegetarians as blood purifiers and to help counteract the buildup of harmful animal fat and cholesterol. However, the healthy vegetarian is not in need of such protection and a spiritually sensitive meditator will be aware that they (onion and garlic) tend to arouse anxiety and irritation – passions which reduce serenity and peace of mind. The purer ones diet, the more the emotions remain in a state of equilibrium, bringing tranquility to the consciousness and greater clarity to the mind and intellect.