Most people know that Turmeric is used as a color additive in foods such as Curry powder, and that it has a bitter, sharp taste. Did you know that in India Turmeric has been used for over 2500 years, most notably as an Ayurvedic Medicine and is continuously being studied for its effects on modern disease? In fact this colourful gem touts over a 1000 published studies on its relation to various ‘diseases’. It’s no surprise when you consider that India, which has the highest use of Turmeric, also has the lowest rate of Alzheimer’s in the world! German scientists have studied Turmeric’s effect on the human body’s digestion and have found that it helps with bloating and indigestion however it is not recommended to be taken by a person with a stomach ulcer, since it will increase the acid levels and possibly make the issue worsen. Before taking this as a medicine it is best to speak with your qualified health care provider to see if Turmeric is right for you.

Turmeric has an active agent called Curcumin which performs as a strong antioxidant. Researchers have been and are currently studying the different ways Curcumin can be used for cancer, Alzheimer’s, arthritis and others. Another notable association is in the positive effects on Dementia. How this has helped is by clearing the body of a protein called beta amyloid within the region of the brain that controls memory and learning. Unfortunately many people do not realize that it takes 15-20years for actual symptoms to appear, so it has a long time to process in the brain creating the damage.  It is of utmost importance that people realize this and take per-cautions now rather than later. Unfortunately, just taking Turmeric alone for these types of issues, just won’t be enough to help the brain completely. Diet, exercise and other lifestyle factors are also major contributors here.

Turmeric is excellent as a blood thinner and helps to reduce inflammation, but what else can this simple herb do? Well it sure tastes pretty good in dishes, soups, salads, crackers and breads too.  It has a mild taste with a strong yellow-orange pigment. We enjoy it in our morning fresh made green juice as well as in many of our food dishes. Have you tried Turmeric before? If so, how do prefer to consume it?



Making Snack time ‘Healthy’ & Fun!

School is nearing its end and soon there will be a lot of children outside playing.  With all this expended energy comes ‘I’m Hungry! What’s there to eat?’  Instead of opting for the cheetos and pop, why not give them something to snack on that is nutritional, good for them and easy to make, yet best of all tastes great?  Make this summer a good one for them and yourself, and try making something together.  Kids usually love to create and build things, so here’s a snack idea they can participate in the making of at almost any age.  A fun-to-make snack with your children is trail mix.  You will need a large container to mix it in and a measuring cup.  Place ½ cup of the following ingredients:

Almonds,   Pecans,   Pistachios, Coconut shreds,   Cacao nibs,   Goji berries,    Mulberries,   Incan berriesSunflower seeds,    Pumpkin seeds,    Red Flame RaisinsCashews  & Yacon slices

If there is an allergy to nuts, just eliminate them and add some dried  fruits like figs, or dates instead. You can heat it up by adding some of your favorite  spices or one of the ready mixed ones we have like our Vegan Cheesy Mix that can be added to anything not just salads.  Also comes in Original Mix for a different ‘seasoning’ to add to the trail mix.  Other popular choices if you like that cheesy taste is Rawmesan, or Herbs’n’Spice Rawmesan Simply mix  the ingredients thoroughly together in the container.  You now have a ready-made snack for whenever the friends come over unannounced. Leave them out at a get together and they will end up trying it out, and with the mix of salty, sweet, or spicy if you choose, it is a sure hit for their sweet or savoury preferences.  Trail mixes also work well on camping trips or even sleep-overs providing an option for a tasty yet nutritious treat.

If making a trail mix doesn’t fit into your busy lifestyle, yet you still want something good for your kids, then we have ready- made ones as well! Check out our wide selection HERE! Try a trail mix as a snack for work even, or that five of clock drive home, you will be surprised how it can just ‘hit the spot’ for yourself too.  Are you a do-it-yourself snack/food maker or do you prefer the ready made ones?  Do you have a favourite trail mix preference or recipe that you enjoy making?  Let us know your thoughts..


Allergies & Your Laundry

This time of year a lot of people are suffering from the dreaded seasonal allergies, but if you are like some of the staff here at Upaya, some have suffered all year long with allergies.  One of the biggest allergies is to scent and even some of their family members have experience this too.  One staff member found the hardest thing to eliminate the scent from was laundry. They tried all the brands out there and if one person wasn’t bothered by it, another one was.  Upon starting work here at Upaya, aside from working in a dreamland environment of scent free, they spotted what they had been looking for, the answer to their scent problem, Nut Berries or better known as Eco Nuts.

Eco nuts are berries that grow in the Himalayas and they naturally produce soap.  They don’t cost much either. If you were to compare the price of regular laundry soap to that of the Eco nuts per load, you would find that you are saving money with the Eco nuts. You only have to use 3 to 5 in a little bag and your laundry comes out clean and scent free, also fabric doesn’t thin out as fast and the colour stays longer.  The best part is those 3 to 5 nuts can be used up to 5 or more loads. It is quite amazing how they work,  try it out for yourself and you will see. We have Eco Nuts available in liquid form for those that like to toss, wash and go, or the whole nut form (which is so much fun, kids have been known to start offering up to do laundry too – ahem, at least offering to do the Eco Nuts part of it…)


This company also makes a beautiful selection of linen sprays, and drawer sachets. There is nothing like some fresh non-toxic scent that is actually from essential oils combinations that are truly dreamlike, some fresh, some relaxing.  What is best in our opinion is that they are fine to also spray directly onto the skin! Most linen sprays you cannot safely do this with, so check them out!