Beautiful, Courageous You

A Journey of Healing Spirit, Soul and Body from Depression


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How to keep your Brain Happy

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Exercise counters the depressed brain by boosting the production of BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor), a protein that helps neurotransmitters perform their function and also promotes neural growth (neurogenesis). Recent research reveals that individuals with depression actually show lower levels of BDNF in their blood than people without.

So how does BDNF help with depression and how can we get more of it? BDNF can be increased by engaging in regular exercise. Research also suggests intermittent fasting, under guidance, and an enriched cognitive environment also promotes BDNF.

Although the focus here is on exercise, the notion of increasing BDNF requires a little more attention. I believe it is important to understand the significant research behind fasting and increased brain function. Most certainly, consult with a medical professional before you undertake an intermittent fast or calorie restriction.

According to a new study carried out at the National Institute on Aging in Baltimore, fasting for one or two days each week may significantly boost brain function. Professor Mark Mattson, lead author of the study and professor of neuroscience at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, has likened fasting to exercising your brain muscles.

Mattson explained that according to research, chemicals involved in the growth of brain cells are significantly boosted when food intake is dramatically reduced. (Mattson and Wan).

So, how does BDNF help with depression? An increase in BDNF helps to increase neurogenesis (changing of physical matter in our brain, in particular the hippocampus), and this produces antidepressant effects which may help depressed people emerge from their rut.

Now that you understand that exercise is the primary key to the maintenance of healthy BDNF levels, it is most important to note that stress is the primary cause of low BDNF! What do we do with stress? EXERCISE it out! Remember, no fasting without the Doctor’s approval! Want more information on this topic, watch this space for the release of “Beautiful, Courageous You” due out Feb – March 2016.


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“Save Me”

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Going over some manuscript changes in my book and this snippet stood out as something to be shared, someone needs to hear this x …

“God already knows what you need, He has a divine purpose for every situation you face, so instead of crying out “save me” or “bless me,” may I encourage you to move beyond fear-based praying, disarm your self-interests and enter into a prayer life based on love, for His love will never fail you. Love-based prayers assert trust in a Heavenly Father that is Sovereign and always has your best interest at the centre of His heart.”


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Nutrition for a Beautiful Mind

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Nutrition for a Beautiful Mind

It is important to understand that there are a number of nutritional imbalances that can make you prone to depression. Therefore, part of your food plan must include foods that are particularly good for optimal mental health and brain function. Scientific research clearly indicates that the epidemic of depression as a major health issue is linked to the widespread consumption of a “Western diet.”

In a December 2012 review study in the Journal of Medicine and Life, titled “Nutrition and depression at the forefront of progress,” the authors wrote that:

[Depression] is undeniably linked to nutrition, as suggested by the mounting evidence by research in neuropsychiatry. An adequate intake of good calories, healthy proteins, omega-3 fatty acids and all essential minerals is of utmost importance in maintaining good mental health. In addition, the link between fast food and depression has recently been confirmed (TA Popa).

Unmistakably, diet plays a major role in mental health; a nutritional imbalance in any of the following areas, which are discussed in more detail below, can possibly make you more prone to depression and anxiety. In my experience, supplementing with Omega-3 fats and B Vitamins, also addressing Serotonin deficiency and balancing blood sugar levels, although certainly not limited to being the only dietary factors involved in good mental health, were pivotal for me on my healing journey.

Omega-3 fats are called essential fats, because unlike some other substances, they can’t be manufactured within the human body and therefore it is essential that you take them in through your diet. The richest dietary source of Omega-3 is from oily fish such as salmon, sardines, mackerel, pilchards, herring, trout and fresh tuna. Other excellent vegetarian sources of Omega-3 can be found in flaxseeds, chia seeds and walnuts.

B vitamins are important for nervous system function and the production of energy from food as well as various metabolic processes. Most often B vitamins are considered “anti-stress” nutrients that help to relieve anxiety and treat depression. Of particular interest are Niacin (B3), pyridoxine (B6) and folic acid (B9) all of which work with the amino acid tryptophan to produce serotonin, the “feel-good” chemical.

For a more detailed list of nutrition for a healthy mind watch this space for the release of my book “Beautiful, Courageous You a Journey of Healing Spirit, Soul and Body from Depression”.


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Christmas Blessing’s

May you find yourself encountering the true essence of Christmas this coming 25th December. We celebrate the Savior, that He came into the world and showed us the love of the Father! But even greater cause for celebration is Christ in you the hope of glory, I pray this Christmas you will be ambushed with blessings from the abiding Christ x

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God… Abusive Father or a Father that Loves?

a-jesus_on_the_cross-1408522Like many Christians, I long believed God was an angry father… and a violent one at that. A father that was only appeased by nailing his Son to a cross and all the rage he felt towards me, a pitiful sinner, was taken out on Jesus so as God might be able to look at me without feeling ill for my detestable sin. Even on my best day I could never measure up to his demands of holiness and purity, for years I identified myself as a ‘stench in the nostrils of God’.

Oh but now… but now! I have been born-again – again :-) I have a faith of my own (not the inherited/flawed version that I received as a child), my faith is in a Loving God who loves me allllll the wayyyy allll the time – just because!

I read a story recently, recorded as being a true account, of a young woman who was ticketed for speeding. Because of the offense she was to go to court and have her case heard. When she stood before the judge, he re-counted the speeding offense and she was asked, “Guilty or not guilty?” She plead, “Guilty.” The judge struck the bench with his gavel and fined her $100 or ten days in jail. Then the most stunning moment… he stepped down from his bench, took off his judicial robe and paid the young woman’s fine. Why? He was her father. He loved his daughter, yet he was a just judge. He could not simply overlook the infraction of law because the offender was his daughter. But he could take off the robe and step down to her position, assume the role of a father and pay the fine.

This father – daughter story demonstrates a powerful analogy of what God did for us through Jesus Christ. The Bible says, “The wages of sin is death”, and we are all sinner saved by Grace… what Grace? The Grace that God extended us when His Son was nailed to the cross.  No matter how much he loved us, because He is a righteous and just God, he had to bring down the gavel and say death, the penalty was issued and required payment. While He is a God of justice He is above all a God of Love, He loved us so much that He was willing to come down off the throne in the form of the man Christ Jesus and pay the price for us, which was Christ’s death on the cross. All God has ever wanted is our love, He sent Jesus to be crucified, to absorb our debt so that we could be with Him forevermore. Yes the God I worship is Lord and Saviour to be honoured but He is also my Heavenly Father that loves me beyond measure, He gave His Son for me, the least I can do is live for Him. x


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Believe in Your Dreams My Friend

“Your message is so, so, so, so valuable. Each quote or passage has the opportunity to shine light into the dark corners and if we’re lucky, it will spill over a woman crouching there and fill her with the life she so deserves.

I am so honoured to be able to work with you to help others feel the presence they have forgotten” – quote from my beautiful editor and friend Assisi Chant ‪#‎believeinyourdream‬ ‪#‎beautifulcourageousyou‬

God has taken my broken pieces and made something beautiful x

beauty out of ashes

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