January – Recovery

 

Each month I’ll be sharing progress on my monthly wellbeing focus, and the top resources that have  helped and inspired me to live a little better than before. 

This month I reflect on reclaiming my attention, addiction, taking myself seriously, living life without sugar, and the journey to recovering the person I was meant.

 

💜 January Inspiration 💜

My focus this month has been on identifying the influence certain addictive products, namely sugar, and secondly social media, have been exerting on my life.  

As someone who has freedom as one of their top values, it’s been a real eye-opener to say the least, to realise the trap I’ve been living in.

The three books I’ve read this month that have sparked a mini revolution and a deep investigation and reflection on my addictive patterns are:

Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World   – Helped me see how f$%£king shot to pieces my attention is thanks to social media, modern hyper-communication, and the source of all knowing, as well as all rubbish, the internet.

This book helped me step back from ‘busy-ness’ and question what I’m doing in life and how I’m actually adding value. Or rather, how I could be adding value, if I could just stay the f%$k off insta-crack for long enough to get something worthwhile done!

Realising how much power social media and other bits of technology were holding over my attention and the addictive loop we can so easily fall into with them, I started to contemplate addiction generally and to look at other areas of my life where I had a sneaking suspicion I was less in control than I liked to think I was.  This led me to shine my freshly-wrangled-from-social-media-focus onto another core health topic: food.

As a health lover and someone in the biz for over ten years now you’d think I’d know what to eat. And yet. I’d say food nirvana is still a tad out of reach and feeding myself in a totally nourishing and non-neurotic way is still  a habit that’s up for grabs for me.

Food Focus

These two books have been incredible resources and I highly recommend them both.

Food: WTF Should I Eat?: The no-nonsense guide to achieving optimal weight and lifelong health : Does what is says on the tin. With so much conflicting advice on what to eat it really can be a case of scratching your head and thinking WTF?? The chapter on sugar is particularly enlightening, which is what led me to read the next book:

 

 

Good Sugar, Bad Sugar This is an Allen Carr book, part of a series called the Easyway that helps people let go of unhelpful behaviours in their life by reframing how you perceive these so-called ‘treats’ and ‘rewards’.. Its most commonly known for its Quit Smoking title.

If sugar, or feeding yourself in a less than optimal way,  is something you grapple with I cannot recommend this book highly enough!! If you could press a button and remove your desire for sugar (the bad kind obviously, we’re not talking fruit here) leaving just a desire for foods that deeply nourish your body, mind and spirit, would you press it? This book is that button. So if you’re not ready to part ways with sugar, then definitely don’t read this, cuz when you’re done reading it you won’t look at it the same again.

 

💜 This Month’s  Experiment: Sugar-Free Jan 💜

A few days before the new year I was feeling sick and tired of not feeling optimal and decided something needed to change.

I narrowed down the most destructive thing in my lifestyle to sugar. That shit was bringing me down and it was time to part ways with it.

I set myself a 30 day challenge. Sugar-free January. There’s nothing like removing something completely to properly gain some perspective on what it adds and detracts from your life.

Compared to the average person I probably eat fairly healthy.  I cook my own meals and love a good kale salad.

But I also have a chocolate-tooth. It’s totally a thing.  

Cacao is still in my diet, nothing wrong with cacao per se, but I knew the sugar had to go. I couldn’t continue to fool myself that there was any place for it in the sort of high-vibe, feel-great-all-the-time-skip-out-my-door-in-the-morning life I’m aspiring to live.

Sugar has no place in a healthy human diet.  It really is that simple. It’s a fact substantiated by plenty of scientific research. There is no healthy or recommended amount, except maybe 0. It’s barely a food!

💜 Sugar: What I Learned 💜

One of the best bits of advice I got from reading Food: WTF Should I Eat is to treat sugar like a recreational drug.

Would you sprinkle some MDMA on your cereal in the morning to help you get the day off to a pumped up start? Probably not.

A quick line of cocaine at 3pm to get you through the afternoon slump?

A bag of ecstasy passed around as treats to the kids after school for being good?

It’s crazy shit I’m talking right there, and yet, we do this with sugar!

Why do we ‘reward’ ourselves and our children with a substance that’s so toxic when consumed in anything but minuscule amounts? A substance that causes obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, dementia, stroke, and depression?

How is that a treat?

We have to really pay attention to the things we expose ourselves to and be honest about whether they are life-affirming or life-detracting. This isn’t always an easy process.

We often want to continue clinging to things that we know don’t serve us because the illusion that they provide some sort of value is so strong.  That’s the hood of addiction.

But there comes a time when enough is enough.

I think I’ve reached this point with sugar.  

The books above have helped me to reframe my confused thinking around sugar and see it for what it is, a drug like substance that provides no benefit and deserves no space in my life.

 

💜 Abstainer or Moderator 💜

Gretchin Rubin talks about people falling into two camps. Those who can moderate their intake of something and those who need to abstain. You may be an abstainer for one thing and a moderator for other things.

Only you know if something is a problem for you, but if you find a lot of your mental energy being chewed up constantly debating whether you should have something or not, and if so how much , and how frequently, and then constantly having to re-asses…..maybe it’s time to just abstain. Maybe abstinence is easier.

With sugar, I think abstinence will provide me with a great deal of freedom.

 

💜 Recovery 💜

On anything addiction related Russell Brand is a great resource. I’ve read his book Recovery and love his definition of recovery as “recovering the person you were meant to be all along.” Yes!

My 30 day challenge has been freeing so far, and what’s making this stand out from similar forays into sugar-free living is that I’m taking myself and my sugar addiction seriously.

I’m taking my recovery and my extraction from the pull of sugar very seriously. I’m seeing sugar for what it is finally; a vitality-detracting addictive substance.

I’m acknowledging that it has had a power over me and it’s time to put it in its place and take control again.

Before I’d always end up making excuses as to why I should go back and ‘treat’ myself to sugary things again after a bit of a break. But as you can read above, how much of  a treat is something that leads to obesity, diabetes and all manner of health-problems?

I want to start acting like I really love myself and start treating myself accordingly by treating myself to actual treats.

Obviously it’s early days, who knows where I’ll end up with this. But I’m taking it day-by-day and letting myself enjoy life without sugar.

I’d like to look back at the end of the year and say YES – January was the month I elevated my life to next level by dialling this new habit of sugar-free living.

The Moon is my Calendar Journal pictured here is helping me track my monthly wellness focus. For every day that goes by without sugar I give myself a little love-heart, a visual reminder that I’ve done something loving for myself.

There’s no deprivation or suffering going on here, I’m actually stepping into a new level of freedom and self-love.

Big Sugar

You might say sugar is the new smoking. A widespread health epidemic that ‘Big Sugar’ – as I’ve taken to calling the peddlers of processed-edible-food-like-substances packed with sugar- are keen for us not to look too closely at.

Did you know that if you removed all the ‘food’ items in your local supermarket that contain added sugar you would be left with just 20% of what you see there?

Also, experiments by these companies were run to try and reduce the sugar and salt intake as a way to to address the health epidemic. They failed as it turns out most processed food with added sugar doesn’t taste of anything when the sugar and/or salt is removed. Because they aren’t real food!

Bonkers isn’t it. 80% of what we’re presented in a supermarket is highly addictive, engineered-food-like-substances, with little if any nutritional or taste value, salt and sugar aside,  designed to hijack our biochemistry and keep us hooked on something that will insidiously and slowly poison us.

I’ll share something straight from Food: WTF Should I Eat:If it were a brand-new product, the government would treat it like a dangerous substance to be controlled and regulated, not something that should be given to babies and added to 74% of all packaged foods in supermarkets. In fact, it would be approved as a good additive because it is so toxic when consumed in anything but small amounts. When you look at the damage caused by sugar – obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, dementia, stroke, depression – you have to wonder why we continue to eat it as we do, and even worse, why we spoon-feed sugary junk foods to our children.

The food industry is poisoning us for profit. Just like the tobacco industry did. Same shit. Different poison. 

 

A Rose By Any Other Name

 

…..would still smell as sweet, And sugar by another name will still mess you up.

The Eskimos have over 50 ways to say snow.

We have over 50 ways to say sugar.

Gives you an idea how  deeply woven into the fabric of our society this toxic substance is. Read this list of the different names sugar is coated under and soak it up. 

Next time you’re looking at an ingredients label and wishing to avoid sugar don’t be fooled by fancy names for it.  Dehydrated cane juice, agave syrup, coconut sugar….it’s all just sugar dressed up in fancy shoes.

Once it hits your bloodstream it hijacks your chemistry and brain just like SUGAR SUGAR.

Phew, that’s a hell of a lot of information and rantings on sugar. If you’re still looking for more inspiration and information to advise your own re-assessment of sugar, here’s what else I found useful this month:

 

Research Papers

Sugar Addiction: From Evolution to Revolution

Sugar addiction: is it real? A narrative review. 

Impact of sugar on the body, brain, and behavior

Podcasts

Barry Friedman: How to Detox from Sugar, Beat Cravings & Become A World-Class Juggler

https://fatburningman.com/dr-mark-hyman-what-to-do-about-fake-foods-nutrient-deficiencies-pesticides/

Russell Brand – for general addiction information is great!

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/russell-brand-on-recovery-addiction-life-love-fatherhood/id1290769207?i=1000393025416&mt=2

And this podcast, The Doctor’s Farmacy, is awesome for all things food as medicine.

Essential Oils

Of course I’ve been using my oils to support me with this month’s focus.

Cinnamon is wonderful for balancing blood sugar and banishing sugar cravings. I use a teeny-tiny-not-even-a-drop in my cacao to satisfy any need for sweetness.

Peppermint is wonderful whenever you need a pick-me-up. No longer will I grab some chocolate, my new habit is to grab the peppermint and roll some on my temples.  You can’t get rid of a bad habit right off the bat, but you can replace it with a better one!

Jasmine – sugar hijacks your biochemistry and messes up your body’s ability to regulate its dopamine. It makes you feel like you need the sugar to get a hit or high. It’s an illusion. Just like the smoker that starts smoking and establishes a craving for nicotine which nicotine then addresses i.e. the nicotine doesn’t make you feel better than a normal non-smoker feels all the time, it just brings you up to normal by feeding a craving that you’ve created by starting smoking in the first place.  Mad isn’t it? Sugar is the same.  Jasmine helps us to rebalance our dopamine function.

Rose – a reminder that this isn’t about depriving myself of anything but actually loving and caring for myself on a much deeper level,  but freeing myself of something that brings me no real joy or benefit.

 

Over to YOU

Could you give up sugar? How does the thought of that make you feel?

Is there something else in your life that you know isn’t really serving you but you find yourself constantly pulled back to?

 

 

 

Go Deep, Not Wide

Yes to BOOKS!

Sometimes you read a book that changes you.

I’ve decided to read more of those in 2019.  And not just read, passively consuming yet more information as I have such a propensity to do #lovelearning – but to actually spend more time with each book thinking about how the information can be applied to my life and putting it into damn action.  I’ve actually read my three January books twice – how’s that for deep!

Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World is the first game-changing book of the year.

Deep Work is described as “a professional activity performed in a state of 🌟distraction-free concentration🌟 that pushes your cognitive abilities to their limit. These efforts create new value, improve your worth and are hard to replicate.”

How often do we make time to do this? Honestly, distraction-free concentration? Say what? Most people (myself included) live in a state of perpetual distraction! 

Our brains are constantly bumping along in distraction and reaction, doing shallow work, like sending emails and skimming online snippets of information, to such an extent that we’ve actually lost the ability to concentrate in any depth and even think for ourselves.

If you can master your ability to focus and go deep into something, rather than have your attention constantly scattered, you have a serious edge.

I want to work deeply.  I want to master my focus. I want to use my brain, and stop outsourcing all my thinking to google.

My takeaways and action points from this book:

  • Attention residue means when you switch from one thing to another some of your attention remains on the original thing. If you’re constantly switching from a – to – b – to – c, and back to- a, your attention is all over the shop! Focus on one thing at a time for a predetermined set of time. Stick phone on do not disturb and set a timer.
  • Use my google calendar to schedule blocks of time for getting core tasks done. Don’t decide spontaneously to do non-critical or important stuff during these time blocks.
  • Ask myself regularly, is what I’m about to do now the best use of my time? Don’t get caught up in busy-ness for the sake of busy-ness, or let shallow work distract me into feeling productive. 
  • Set up specific times to use social media and email, stay out of these at other times.  Start to build a schedule that means I take breaks from focus rather than breaks from distraction.
  • Actually assess the technology that is chewing up my attention (Instagram, Facebook, Email) to see whether it is genuinely bringing enough value into my life to justify any costs and drawbacks, like the total fragmentation and annihilation of my attention!
  • BE BORED – don’t fill every space with checking of social media. Give myself time to check out, dream, think….a relaxed mind is a creative mind…that’s where the magic is.  Downtime actually aides productivity.  
  • Bonus points, every time I resist the urge to randomly check my phone for messages, social media etc….I am training my mind to let go of distractions. This makes it easier to go into deep work when periods of time have been carved out for it.
  • Quit social media for a month as an experiment – not ready for this juuuust yet but it definitely needs to be done as the thought makes me a bit edgy. 

MY 2019 MONTHLY WELLNESS COMMITMENT

As part of my focus on going deeper rather than bouncing around the surface, I’ve decided that each month I’ll be focusing on just one primary health upgrade.

The  idea is to really establish something as a new healthy habit each month, so that come December I can point to some tangible lifestyle upgrades.

I’ll be reading around my monthly focus, listening to podcasts, and tracking my experience and findings. I’ll blog each month right here with an update on the topic of the month.

Deep Work led me to investigate my relationship to social media and how in control I actually was. This spurred me to start looking at other areas of my life where I might have less control over my actions than I’d like to think I do.

My health focus in January has been addiction as it plays out in food. I’m experimenting with sugar-free January.  Watch this space for my update and top resources for kicking the sugar-habit 🙂

 

A Very Oily Christmas

If you’d like to buy someone special a Christmas gift that will keep on giving way past Christmas day, then look no further.

If the person you’re buying for appreciates quality, ethical sourcing, and 100% natural products that support their health and amplify their wellbeing from the inside out, then we got you covered.

DoTERRA produces 100% pure certified (i.e. actually tested so you have proof that it is indeed pure) therapeutic grade essential oils, and essential oil-based products. This is THE stuff if you want the goodness and infinite intelligence of mother nature in your life. Trust me, once you’ve felt supported by these oils you won’t go back to life without them. It’s the difference between living in black and white or full-spectrum colour!

Here are my favourite gift ideas for the holiday season.

Beginners Trio/Introductory Kit

The Beginners Trio contains 15ml bottles and the Introductory Kit contains 5ml bottles of three of the most popular and versatile oils: Peppermint, Lavender and Lemon. A lovely and simple place to begin experiencing the life changing impact of working with plant power in this super accessible form.

Pure-fumes

Perfumes are so last season. Consumers are increasingly aware of the toxicity of many common perfumes, with the endocrine-disrupting chemical -mayhem that they bring,  savvy buyers are ready for better solutions, but we all want to smell lovely, so why not try some of nature’s finest pure-fumes.

Any oil that your like the smell of can work well as a perfume, but if you’re buying for a special someone here are my top three picks. Jasmine, Neroli, and Rose, and three powerful, potent plants that add a touch of beauty to any moment.

These three oils are extremely labour intensive to produce and the result is a precious and delicate plant essence.

A friend smelled by Neroli Touch and commented that it was like sticking her nose in  a bunch of flowers. Essentially, this is what the experience is. Imagine giving someone that beautiful sensation of the smell fresh flowers, but in a form that they can carry around in their pocket, that will last them months and months, if not years, and that they can pull out to brighten their day whenever they need it. Pretty awesome right? Unlike toxic perfumes, these natural pure-fumes smell great and have side-benefits. Their aromatic compounds reach our brains in 22 seconds, enter our bloodstream within two minutes, and can reach every cell in our body in around 20 minutes. They can shift our whole inner state in a very short time. A powerful tool to elevate our wellbeing. Now is that a gift or what?

 

The Yoga Collection

Is there a special yogi in your life? Or maybe your the special yogi looking for a Christmas treat. Well the Yoga Collection could be your best gift this Christmas. Anchor, Align, and Arise are the perfect blends to enhance your life and yoga practice. These blends provide aromas to steady, center, and enlighten your spirit through every breath while strengthening and stretching your body. And as a little bonus, here’s a beautiful worksheet to guide you in using these three.

Hope

This is a very special blend, which given the season of giving and compassion for all is definitely one to consider. The full purchase price of each doTERRA Hope Touch bottle is donated to the doTERRA Healing Hands Foundation™ which supports efforts to fight sex-trafficking worldwide. When you purchase this you’ll be giving someone a beautiful gift and making a charitable donation. Sounds good right?

Emotional Aromatherapy Touch Kit

The doTERRA Emotional Aromatherapy Touch line contains six unique essential oil blends combined with Fractionated Coconut Oil in 10 mL Roll-Ons for convenient and gentle topical application. These proprietary blends provide targeted emotional health benefits for the entire family and can be applied every day to specific points on the body to help balance and brighten your changing moods.  With names like Peace, Cheer and Passion, you’ve an oil for every need. These make great Pure-fumes also! The great thing about these collections is you also have the option of breaking them out into several individual gifts.

The Home Essentials Kit is the one I point almost everyone to initially. As the name suggests it’s the essential collection for all your home needs. From cleaning the house in a green and healthy way, to making your own gorgeous beauty and self care lotions and potions, right through to managing all the common ailments like the sniffles, digestive issues, stress, sleep issues. There’s something in this kit for pretty much anything you can think of. It includes a 15ml bottle of Frankincense which, well, search ‘Frankincense’ on pubmed and check out the research, you want this wise old man in your life. It also comes with the beautiful petal diffuser so you can enjoy your oils in all three ways, aromatically, topically and internally (where appropriate).  If your budget allows this is the best value for money kit.

Christmas Specials

DoTERRA have a selection of limited edition oils and sets which you can view here.  These are available while stocks last.

 

This page will be a work in progress, I’ll update as I gather more gifts for my loved ones and let you know of new suggestions.

If you’re ready to get going head over here or check out my getting started guide if you need more guidance.

Got questions? I’m here to help 🙂

 

 

Never Got Anything To Wear?

Maybe the problem isn’t your wardrobe. And maybe the solution isn’t a new outfit.

Maybe the problem is that you’re not really happy in your own skin?

That dissatisfaction with yourself, and your life as it currently is. How often does it spur you to spend money on things you don’t need? Things that provide temporary upticks in the otherwise constant-hum of background discontent?

You know you’re carrying excess weight but rather then addressing the core issue you buy yourself a new outfit to make yourself feel better, from the outside in.

Or maybe you’re caught up in the cultural obsession with self-flagellation, perfectionism and all-round self-bashing with the never-good-enough stick. So you buy yourself a new outfit to temporarily feel good enough, from the outside in.

I was doing yoga teacher training with Rod Stryker once and I remember him joking about this concept. How we convince ourselves that if we just buy that new scarf/bag/dress/coat/haircut we’ll be happier. Nirvana is just one more transaction away.

We buy into it, because it does work. Temporarily.

For a short spell we feel closer to the kickass-badass-goddess deep down we know we are. Our outer appearance feels temporarily more in alignment with our inner vision. But it’s a bandaid. It’s not the actual solution to the problem we’re seeking to solve.

I remember another time in my life. A time when I had indeed found the solution to the inner discontent.

I was having a lot of fun. I was partying. I was making friends. I had lots of options and opportunities at my feet. I felt like the whole world was my oyster.

This was all mindset btw. This was how I was choosing to experience my relationship to life.

I was in love with life.  Someone actually pulled me up on it and asked me to spill the beans. To tell them who I’d met. No-one in particular. Life was my lover.

And guess what? I never once at this time felt like I had nothing to wear. I was happy wearing anything. Everything in my wardrobe had its charm.

I felt great, so everything I wore looked and felt great. To me at least. And that’s all that matters, right?  I remember a particular cardigan that cost £2, primark-second-hand through a charity shop. It was great, I looked fine and dandy in it and enjoyed wearing it. The End. No clothes drama. Ever. I was having far too much fun revelling in how wonderful it was to be me to care all that much about what I was wearing. Honestly, I would have been comfortable and confident rocking a bin-bag!

So what’s the point of all this? Next time you feel like you ‘have nothing to wear‘ consider this:

Self-care is the best outfit.

Self-love is the best make-up.

Do something for yourself that will truly fill you up with love and light, from the inside-out. 

 

 

 

If you’re done with band-aid-solutions to your woes and ready to get stuck into making real lifestyle changes that will have you radiating from the inside out, check out my Happy Healthy Habits course.  Next courses start September 2018 and January 2019. Register your interest now if you’re ready to start feeling your best.

You’re The Author Of Your Own Story

A few years ago I was in a major early-adulthood rut. I hit a fork in the road and had to make a major decision about which direction I wanted my life to take. I made the right choice but the process knocked the hell out of me.

I was energetically-depleted, and, despite being pretty “health-conscious”, didn’t feel all that in control of my health and wellbeing.

My waistline was expanding for a start. Not massively, but enough for me to see that, despite being relatively healthy by our cultural standards, I was still basically on the usual ageing trajectory which = degeneration over time.  Slower for some. Faster for others.

I did not like what I was experiencing. My yoga training had also told me, and shown me countless times, that this was not an inevitability.  Images of 150-year-old Indian yogis tied up like pretzels and prancing around like spring chicks kept cropping up.

You’ve heard the phrase “when the student is ready the teacher appears”. Well, just as I was in my slumpy-rut-a-tut-rut wondering what the hell to do next, I saw an advert on facebook for a 10-week programme that promised to get my life on track by guiding me step-by-step through the 10 core habits of yogis that ALL humans need to thrive.

The timing was divine. It was exactly what I needed. Structure. Support. A step-by-step plan.

I LOVE a good plan. 🙂

The best bit is, after implementing just habit 1 for a few weeks, I was out of my rut and back into the flow of my life.

I was so impressed by this course and how effective it was in getting me back in the driving seat of my life and into an upward spiral that I quickly signed up to become a yoga health coach so I could offer the programme myself.

And here I am doing just that.

So if you are in a rut. Whether you know it or not.

If you are feeling less than your best (and fyi: 99% of us are nowhere nearexperiencing the full potential of how good we can feel and how awesome we can rock this life!)

If your body is experiencing the effects of ageing and of our modern stress-filled life.

If you have aches, pains, niggles, extra pounds, random injuries and chronic sickness/illnesses.

If you haven’t got the energy you once had, but still have so much you want to do with life.

If you keep on repeating the same old patterns that you know no longer serve you, but can’t work out how to get yourself out of this trap.

If your body is sending you various signals and your mental response is “oooh, guess that’s because I’m getting on now”.

If you’d like to do more and feel better, but feel stuck in “I can’t”, “it’s not possible anymore”.

If you’ve given up on yourself, but not quite entirely yet.

If you’re resigned to the fact that degeneration over time is just a fact of life.

I’m here to tell you that this is all OPTIONAL!

It’s a choice.

Your write your own story, any way you want.

Just so you know.

You have so much choice.

Choice and power.

Over how you feel, physically, mentally and emotionally.

If you’re not rolling around reveling in just how much power, choice, and control you have over your life and how you feel. If you’re not consciously deciding how awesome you want to feel each day, but you’d like to, then please, PLEASE, for the love of all the goddesses, don’t struggle solo any more. It just ain’t fun. Or effective.

Take the first step now and register your interest in the next 10-week Happy Healthy Habits course which starts in September. There mightn’t be enough places left for you this time around but at least you’ll have taken a small step today and you’ll be on the wait-list for the next time around.

The next course is heavily discounted for the last time and I only have 5 out of 10 spots left as of today.

So if you want to take a giant leap in your well-being this year, don’t dilly-dally on yourself.

The. Time. Is. Now.

 

You’ve heard my story, but here’s an update from a  dear client who took my last course…

The last course really kicked started things for me – I’ve started yoga classes 

again and regularly run.  I had never ran before, always wanted to but didn’t think I could due to arthritis and ‘can’t do’ attitude.

The people on the course inspired me along with the kaizen steps. I even managed a half marathon earlier this year with another one planned in October! I NEVER thought I would do that!! 

You’ll notice the client used the term “kick-started”. The power of this course doesn’t just lie in the course itself and the 10-weeks we spend together, but the new and better trajectory that you step onto as a result of doing this work, and the positive compound effect this continues to have on your life throughout the rest of your lifetime.

Will your epic testimonial be featured here this time next year?

Here’s a fun exercise if you’d like to be in a position to write something like the above a year from now. This exercise will literally get you writing a new story for yourself. Enjoy!

OTHER UPCOMING EVENTS

 

Two free online talks coming up next month on Lifestyle Medicine.  Pick up some simple tips on how to add more years to your life and more life to your years,  from the comfort of your own home. How easy is that?

More details and registration here.

Get Out Of Your Rut And Into Your Life

A previous client of mine recently sent me an update, I wanted to share her story in case it strikes a chord with you.

“Since May I’ve lost 15 kgs (that’s 2kgs more than my 2 year old weighs!) I was walking around carrying a 2 stone toddler everywhere I went! I now know why I woke up with my joints seized up and achy each morning and why I was chronically tired.

I can’t believe I heaved this weight around with me all day every day – it was crushing my skeleton!

I’ve fallen in love with my body. It’s really looked after me to fulfill my responsibilities, even when I neglected it. My body never failed me or broke down, it just sent me a series of subtle messages that I needed to give it a bit of care and attention. As soon as I listened it rewarded me immediately and didn’t hold a grudge! It continues to serve me well and reward my efforts. I feel incredibly grateful.

Your course  kick-started it for me. I honestly believed how I felt was inevitable because of my advancing age and because I’d had babies.

There was something you said that really struck me. Something about western theories on ageing being illogical. That surely as we age and gain more general knowledge as well as knowledge specific to our bodies we should become increasingly healthy and happy.

It was such a revelation. Getting to know my body  and really learning about what it needs (and doing it!) has been such an amazing experience. It’s made me feel so incredibly empowered and genuinely happy and grateful because I see myself differently and treat myself differently.

I feel really happy :-)”

 

Perhaps you’re where my client was a year ago.  Not feeling your best any more. Weighed down by a less-than-optimum health situation. Stuck in a rut. Not sure how to get yourself out of said rut. Not even sure it’s possible, now you’re “getting on a bit”.

I want you to know that you can absolutely change how you feel and how well you age.

It’s not even that hard. Not with the right structure, support, and an earnest desire to treat yourself with the sort of love and respect that you are absolutely worth.

You have power and choices. You do not need to put up with feeling increasingly worse as you age.

It’s a choice.  

You choose whether you want to follow the standard model of ageing, or a dynamic model. A better trajectory does exist. I’m living proof, as are my clients.

I can show you just how much power and control you have to choose how you feel; physically, mentally, and emotionally.

If you’re ready to get out of your rut and into your life, then get in touch. Don’t struggle alone, needlessly weighed down by unnecessary health issues.

The Happy Healthy Habits course will shift your trajectory and set you on track for a happier, healthier you.

If you’re ready to feel better, take the first small step now and register your interest in this transformational course here.

If you’re a good fit for the course, and I still have slots available, I’ll be in touch to schedule a conversation.

I have 10 spots available on the next course starting in September (some already taken) and I’m offering it at a heavily discounted price one last time so I can gather more testimonials like the one above.

Will it be you writing a testimony like the one above a year from now? 

You only get one body and you only get one life.  

Let’s do this!

 

 

 

 

You might also be interested in the following online free talks I’m offering next month. Register for these here

 

How to Live Longer AND Better.

The average life expectancy in the UK is 81 years, but the average health span is just 71 years. The last decade of life on average is spent battling chronic illness and preventable diseases.

If you’re interested in living well now and into your golden years, in taking responsibility for pro-actively managing your health care, then come and take some notes on the habits of longevity.

Wednesday 15th August, 7.30-8.15pm

Lifestyle Medicine Part 2: Reducing Your Toxic Load

Around 85,000 chemicals have been introduced into our environment in the last 50-100 years. The  Environmental Protection Agency in the U.S. estimates that our indoor environment is two to five times more toxic than our outdoor environment!

In this free talk we’ll discuss some of the most versatile essential oils to have on hand to detox your home.

We’ll cover how easy it is to swap out the unnecessary chemicals and empower yourself to live naturally with just a few basic ingredients; from cleaning your sink to cleaning your teeth, there’s a simple natural solution for all your needs.

Tuesday 21st August, 7.30-8.15pm

 

 

Supercharge Your Intentions

It’s all moon-tastic over here. This year I’ve been plugging into the lunar cycle and working more mindfully with her cyclical wisdom.

Today we have a super new moon. If you don’t have a new moon ritual, maybe today is the day to start one?

The monthly new moon is a cosmic reminder to surrender what’s no longer serving us in our life, and an opportunity to plant the seeds for new beginnings. This is a time of beautiful renewal.

Create some space, get quiet, surrender into a long deep exhale, and revel in that space of infinite potentiality. What will you manifest in this next lunar cycle?

If you’d like to dive into a new moon manifestation practice, check out this quick guide.

New Moon Blessings!!

 

Is there a gap between how you feel and how you’d like to feel?

Does the gap seem to be getting wider with age?

Do you have a sinking feeling that you’re getting slower, stiffer and fatter with each passing day but don’t know what to do about it?

The Happy Healthy Habits course is here to turn that ship around. To empower you with the skills you need to take charge of  your health and shift your trajectory onto a path of vibrant health.

Head over here for more details and to register your interest, next course sets off in September, will you join us?

Simple Self-Care for the Super Busy

So you’re super-duper busy. Who isn’t these days? Busy seems to be a way of life. Oftentimes we put our self-care at the bottom of the pile, something to get to last, if there’s time.

Thing is, self-care isn’t really optional, it’s not a luxury. It’s not fluffy-duffy-day-at-the-spa-get-your-nails-done stuff. It’s taking appropriate care of our vehicle for action in the world; taking care of our body, mind and spirit, so that we can show up as the best version of ourselves and contribute to society and the world around us.

Not having time for self-care because you’re too busy is like not having time to stop and refuel the car because you’re in a  hurry to get somewhere. Running out of fuel while you’re racing along is more time-consuming and less efficient then just stopping for regular re-fills.

That said, how do you slot those re-fills seamlessly into an already full life?

The Why

First, always, take a moment to get super clear on why you’re committing to make some time for self-care. Do you keep coming down with colds that knock you out for days? Do you keep blowing your fuse and getting into relational messes that you then have to clear up? Is your cup running empty but you’d like to have something to give once again? Are you just missing out on feeling great most of the time and sick of it?

What’s the why? We always need a strong why before making ANY change. We’re creatures of habit, without a strong why to fuel our changes we will just keep doing what we’ve always done.

The How

How do you slot self-care in when you’re busy?

The answer: 1 minute practice

If you don’t have 1-minute you really don’t have a life at all. If that’s the case, you might want to look at that! So I’m going to assume you do have minutes to spare. You’re reading this after all 🙂  Sprinkle several self-care-power-minutes throughout your day and notice the difference it makes. Setting a timer is a nice way to trigger these new self-care mini habits.

The What

What can you do in 1 minute that’s going to make a difference?

  1. Meditate, stop, drop and breaaaathe deeply for one minute. Set a timer, everything can wait for 1 minute. For 1 minute make the world stand still by letting it all go and entering a deep pause. It’s not quantity but QUALITY that matters. Take one minute and make it count. I’ve meditated for 20 minutes, 30 minutes, hours before, and sometimes only been really present when the timer went off to start and to signal the end. So get grooving with the present moment (possibly my favourite definition of meditation ever!) for one minute. 
  2. Move your body! Jumping jacks, sun salutes, walking, jogging on the spot, a mini-dance party. Whatever floats your boat. Just get your breath going, your heart pumping and your body moooooving. Notice the difference after just one minute.
  3. Earth/Ground: Go outside, take your shoes and socks off and plug yourself directly into mother earth. For bonus points look up at the sky and soak up heaven and earth for 1 minute. Guarantee you feel better.  Won’t go into why this is amazing here but if you’re not aware of earthing definitely check this out.

And there you have it, super, simple self-care for the busy bee.

 

If you’re ready to get serious about self-care, ready to dial in the daily habits and routines that will unlock the best of you,  then join me on my next HAPPY, HEALTHY HABITS adventure. You’ll gain 10 new habits in 10 weeks that will set you on a better trajectory for life!

Learn More

Diary Of An Oil Junkie

If you’d told me this time last year that essential oils would be my new obsession, hobby and a new addition to my wellness business I’m not sure I’d have believed you.

I’ve gone from occasionally using some questionable oils in an old candle burner, to owning a veritable collection of gorgeous therapeutic grade oils and using them for pretty much everything. If you’re not oil-obsessed you probably wouldn’t believe how versatile they are.

So for you, dear, curious friend, here goes, my day through the eyes of my oil collection:

MEDITATION

My bedside companions

My ideal day starts with meditation, but it really depends if I rise before my little human decides to get up. It’s about 50/50 as she’s an early bird! If I can, I roll on some sandalwood in between my eyes and around the back of my neck, and also on my palms. I take a few deep breathes, enjoy the sandalwood and the sweet memories and feelings of my time in an ashram in India that come with the aroma. I meditate until the boss wakes up and sets me to work. 😉

DENTAL CARE

I brush my teeth with the On Guard toothpaste, this is a fluoride-free toothpaste made with a combination of oils that are excellent for oral health including cinnamon and clove

I’ll also add a drop of tea-tree or On Guard to some water and swish around for a natural mouthwash.

BEAUTY PRODUCTS

I make all my own beauty products now, it’s so quick, easy, and cheap, to make beautiful all-natural products that make your skin smile with these lovely oils.

The picture opposite is a simple body scrub made from a base of baking soda with rosemary, tea tree and lavender. Amazing!

Sometimes I’ll just add a drop of an oil I’m liking a lot into the palm of my hand, run my dry brush through it, and then do a quick dry brushing session before hopping into the shower. Your skin feels amazing from the dry brushing and the gorgeous aroma is released with the hot water, enveloping you in a beautiful smell.  Better than chemical-laden shower gel, right?? It’s a totally different vibe.  Way to start the day! I’m loving Rosemary at the moment.

 

If I don’t feel like dry brushing I might just add a drop of oil to the bottom of the shower.  I don’t use any shower gel or other products in the shower – just a little castile soaps on the old pits. You don’t need anything else!!

 

 

 

 

Post-shower I apply some oil to my body and face. I have a blend I use for my face which includes frankincense and sandalwood; both great for skin and smell amazing together.

 

 

 

 

 

I’ll pick an oil to wear as perfume on my pulse points. A lot of perfumes have hundreds and thousands of chemicals in them, some of which are endocrine disruptors and really not great for us, so I just use oils for fragrance now. They have the added benefit of actually assisting you in terms of managing your mood and general wellbeing.  I’ll pick an oil depending on what I need that day. I’ve been feeling a bit beaten down recently by the grind of life so I’ve been using the Passion blend. Passion is the inspiring blend that helps individuals who are feeling burdened find a more playful and spontaneous side to life, and to remember that there’s more to living than working and obligations.

 

I’ll apply my homemade deodorant. Baking soda is another key ingredient in this one, man that stuff is versatile. I use anti-bacterial oils like lavender for this one.

 

If it’s hot I’ll apply my homemade sunscreen. The key ingredient is zinc oxide, and there are certain oils that are great for harmonising the effects of sun exposure. I think this one merits a separate post.

 

 

CLEAN AND CLEAR HOME

After that, the diffuser goes on in the living room with something uplifting to get the day off to a good start, peppermint, wild orange, lemon, or the cheer blend are all used frequently in various combinations.

I’ll clean my kitchen and surfaces with a homemade spray consisting of vinegar, water and drops of On Guard essential oils.

FOOD FOOD FOOD

Sometimes I’ll even include some oils in my food.  These wild orange bliss balls live in the freezer for when I need a little sweet treat.

And I’ll often add a drop to my water. I’m using Slim and Sassy at the moment which is the metabolic blend designed to help with weight loss. I’ve got a bit of excess baby-weight to lose and I’m struggling with it. This blend doesn’t just work on the physical side by helping to curb cravings but supports individuals in releasing the heavy emotions which contribute to physical and emotional pounds. Now that’s where the real work is. Emotional eating is a whole quagmire that I’m very much stuck in thanks to post-baby-survival-mode. Interestingly enough I really disliked the taste and smell of this oil at first, as well as all the other oils that are recommended for this issue. Sometimes our patterns are so strong that we’re attracted to them even though they’re painful and not working and we actively avoid anything that might disrupt them and lead us in a better direction.  The jury is out on this one, but I’m working with it to see what happens.

END OF DAY SELF-CARE

I also use oils when oil pulling. Oil pulling is best done in the morning but I find it fits my daily routine better to do it in the evening, so that’s when it gets done, and done is better than perfect!

Peppermint leaves my mouth minty fresh, or clove and on guard are great for all-round mouth health.

 

By the end of the day I’m usually frazzled and I’ve got a massive sleep debt to pay off thanks to 10 months of pretty hardcore sleep deprivation. My favourite oils to use in the evening are Peace and Serenity. If my mind is all-over the shot then I’ll anchor down with Balance, the grounding blend, rubbed onto my feet and paired with a few moments of meditation, works miracles.  Another favourite evening combination is cedarwood and lavender in the diffuser, or massaged onto the soles of my feet with a little coconut oil.  

I give my face a quick wash at the end of the day, washing away the day. I apply my homemade frankincense and sandalwood infused-oil and roll-on a little Immortelle under my eyes.

And that is my typical day in oils….it’s a lot of oils right? Consider how many products you use in a day. Have you checked what’s in them? We’re routinely exposed to a ridiculous amount of chemicals. They certainly aren’t all toxic and lethal, but most of them probably aren’t beneficial either. I use A LOT of oils because I’ve slowly replaced dubious chemical-concoctions with plant-powered and fabulously-fragant home-made products. 

To learn more about natural living check out Nadine Artemis’ beauty bible Renegade Beauty. 

To join my natural living community for regular tips and inspiration join me here.

To learn more about the best quality essential oils and to shop oils go here.

Top Tips for a NINJA immune system

Guard Your Sleep

Sleep is the best beauty cream and health supplement. Not getting enough sleep on a regular basis is one of the quickest ways to shoot your immunity in the foot. So get yourself a sweet bedtime routine, and wind down for some epic sleep to stay well.

My favourite ways to guard my sleep:

  • Turn off all electronics (including the TV!) an hour or two before bed. Give yourself time to literally unplug. Our devices give off a blue light that messes with our sleep hormone melatonin. The bright blue light of our dear screens and devices trick our brains into thinking it’s still daylight.
  • If you can’t bear to unplug look for special night settings that turn the harmful blue-rays down. For my computer I use f.lux, it’s a great programme that reduces your screen’s blue light: https://justgetflux.com/
  • Do something nice for yourself at the end of the day as a little self-care ritual, it’ll put you into a great mood for sleep. Some of my favourite things include making a nice herbal tea, giving myself a foot massage with some essential oils (cedarwood and lavender are two of my faves right now), and reading something inspiring, or journalling.

For more sleep tips, check this out.

Exercise & Movement

Exercise keeps our immune system-fighting strong, not least because it’s one of the most powerful anti-stress techniques. We all need lots of daily movement,  but sadly our sedentary culture means most of us aren’t getting anywhere near enough movement,

Try slotting 20 minutes of movement at the beginning of the day, before the day gets away from you. Then, whatever way the winds blow later in the day, you’ll always be getting a minimum amount of exercise each day.

If 20 minutes seems like too much, start with 10 minutes. If that’s too much, go to 5 minutes. Make it a habit! Daily is the key, even if it’s just a small amount, you’ll earn good compound interest on it over time.  

Besides exercise, keep your eyes peeled for ‘opportunities to move’.  Do you have to sit down while you take that phone call? Could you stand? Walk? Squat?! Ask yourself ‘how can I get more movement into my daily life?” and watch as the opportunities start to present themselves.  Katy Bowman’s book Move Your DNA offers lots of inspiring information and ideas. Her podcast is also well worth listening too. Just make sure you listen on the go 😉

 

Eat Real Food

Specifically lots of plants, ideally those in season.  When we eat plants they gift us their immunity, we benefit from the many wondrous chemicals and compounds that comprise their immunity.

When we eat local and seasonal fruits and vegetables we receive the immunity from plants that are set up to thrive in our area, which is where we too are looking to thrive.

Another way to get more plant goodness is to use a variety of herbs and spices in your meals. The amount of antioxidants in herbs and spices compared to regular plants is crraaaay-zy.

Check out this ORAC Scale chart that illustrates the point nicely. Something like  blueberries, which are well-known for their antioxidant punch, score around 2,400. Clove on the other hand, scores over a million!! See, craaaazy!

Don’t miss out, get your herbs and spices in there. It’s as simple as sprinkling some cinnamon on your porridge.

I’ve recently gone next level by incorporating some pure essential oils into some of my foods.  Right now I’m loving adding a drop of doTERRA’s On Guard blend to my porridge. It includes clove, cinnamon and wild orange so packs a powerful antioxidant punch, and is delicious to boot.  It’s been great while I’ve been away from home especially as I haven’t had my herbs and spices on hand and travelling about opens you up to all sorts of new bugs and possible infections, so you want to be more On Guard then ever. See what I did there? 🙂  Cinnamon is also super-duper useful in reducing sugar-cravings.

Which leads to the next point, reduce your sugar intake! It suppresses your immune system. This one’s a little tough for me as I’m a chocoholic, but the cinnamon is definitely helping!

 

Chill-ax – Reduce Stress

Stress puts you into fight-or-flight mode which suppresses functions that aren’t needed for the fight-or-flight. Our hectic modern lives are often fraught with low-level stress, so get yourself a strategy to deal with it. Create boundaries for yourself, don’t take on too much, take time out each day to just breathe and relax.

Carve out some time either at the beginning or end of each day (ideally both!) just for you, to meditate, journal, do some yoga…whatever helps you imprint a pattern of ease on your mind-body-spirit. Without some conscious practices built into your routine you’ll easily be swept up by the stress that surrounds us all. Unless you’re a complete cucumber and just too cool and totally unflappable. #envyyou

Mind Your Gut

The gut is known as the second brain. In Ayurveda it’s hailed as the root of all health. If digestion is healthy everything else is good, if digestion is messed up, all manner of problems unfold.

Did you know that 80% of our immunity is in our gut? And 90% of our serotonin!

Our gut is one place that’s full of bacteria. In fact, for every 1 human cell there are around 10 bacteria cell. We are totally outnumbered, so we better keep the bacteria dudes happy.

The best way to take care of your gut is to cut out (or seriously reduce) processed and junk food. Eat real foods that keep gut bacteria happy. You might also consider taking a probiotic – a supplement made of different bacterias that helps out the good bacterias in there.  Another great option is to eat fermented foods, these serve as wonderful probiotics. I always have a batch of sauerkraut on the go, it couldn’t be easier to make, see recipe here:

Consider Supplements

Do some research into supplements to see if you might benefit from any. Most of us in the northern hemisphere at least need to supplement with vitamin D in the winter as we just don’t get enough sun exposure and this is a vital vitamin for our healthy functioning.

 

Reduce Your Toxic Load

If you’re eating well, exercising, sleeping like a trooper, taking time to zen-out and stay cool, then it might be time to look at reducing your toxic load.

Something like 80,000-90,000 chemicals have been introduced into our environment in the last 50-100 years or so. We’ve never been exposed to such a variety of chemicals, many of which haven’t been studied or testing thoroughly. They’re in our face cream, our toothpaste, our shampoo, our cleaning products, our carpets, furniture, even in our water supply. Everywhere you look, they’ll be room for improvement.

Don’t get bogged down. Notice the products you have in your home that you’re using regularly. Check out the ingredients labels. Don’t freak out at the enormity of the problem and do nothing. Pick one things at a time and see if there’s a better option available. Better still, have fun making your own products!  

 

Action Steps:

Use the Think Dirty App to help you assess products and make better purchasing decisions. 
If you’d like to be in good company as you lighten your toxic-load then join my natural living facebook group for ideas and chit-chat on this topic. 

If you’re interested in using essential oils to uplevel your health and wellbeing then check out the link below. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions, I’m here to help!