|Posted on 2 February, 2016 at 9:50||comments (0)|
New Year Resolutions.
It’s widely known that New Years Resolutions don’t usually last very long. In fact, although 32% of people in the UK make them, only 37% of those who make them stick to them and weight loss and health is the number one resolution made. Although there is no new data which specifies exactly how long diet related resolutions last it’s clear that many of us want/need to change or eating habits but, often don’t manage it beyond the first month. I’m definitely one of these people. For years I have known that I need to change my dietary habits permanently - with a significant weight loss being a primary target. This is for many reasons and is primarily health based. For years I have suffered with achy joints, back pain extreme tiredness etc and all of my nutritional training has not managed to convince me to maintain a change for long but this year feels a bit different.
Abigail Wilson (chief executive of ISOShealth.com) says :
‘These diets are just that, they are diets, but they are not behavioural changes and do not last for very long. The diets you choose need to be able to fit within your lifestyle. They need to be something that is realistic. Its taken you years to get where you are with your weight, you’re not going to be able to fix it in five weeks’
Sound familiar? I have found, in the past, that I’ve starved myself for a couple of weeks, and, when that didn’t show amazing results, gave up. This time, I’ve tried to take things slower, got certain lifestyle changes under my belt before moving on to the next thing. I’ve taken my own advice (the advice that I expect my clients to follow….) and removed intolerances from my diet, I’ve slowly got breakfasts sorted, I’ve made sure I’ve had protein at every meal and I’ve started taking my supplements fairly religiously. Its interesting to me that I have not yet felt discouraged - I’ve had blow outs, the odd snack here and there but I’m not feeling like an utter failure. I’ve been able to see the positive’s in my lifestyle changes and, slowly, I’m starting to see the benefits.
Abigail Wilson again -
‘Choose to overcome one behavioural change at a time and then move on, rather than making a whole lot of changes all at once because you’re guaranteed to fall over’
I keep saying to my clients to take things steady and have patience, the changes will come and they always do. Clients leave happy and focused, ready to carry on their nutritional journeys without me to hold their hands and I need to do the same.
|Posted on 19 January, 2016 at 10:25||comments (0)|
Following on from my happiness blog last week I thought I'd do some digging around to find our whether what we eat has a bearing on whether we are happy or not. Of course, if we don't eat enough we are less likely to be happy but eating too much can also make us miserable and feeling down. There has to be a happy (...) medium where we are eating the optimum amounts of the right foods for our body's needs.
So what is the optimum amount? and what are the right foods? Food can be our greatest ally in the fight to be happy. It has the power to lift us up or push us down and, I for one, would like it to lift me up.
There are many nutrients which have been proven to improve mood. There's even a diet called 'The Happiness Diet' and these things are essential in our diet as we make a bid to find more happiness in our lives.
1. Calcium - We all know that calcium can help our bones to grow stronger (remember the petit filou adverts?) but did you know that a lack of calcium is linked to PMS related depression? If our calcium levels are good, we're less likely to feel down when our hormones are going mad.
2. Chromium is a mineral found in green leafy veg, brocolli, potatoes, sweet potatoes etc. It's only needed i small amounts in the body but a lack of it is linked to depression (and insulin resistance). It helps to boost the production of serotonin and melatonin in the brain and helps us to feel better and sleep better.
3. Folate - or folic acid. Always given to pregnant women, this B vitamin helps to send messages along nerve cells. As serotonin is passed along the nerves, a lack of this vitamin can lead to depression and fatigue. Its found in green leafy veg (especially spinach and kale), avocado and black eye beans.
4. Iron - this is an easy one, as a lack of iron leads to anaemia. Anaemia leads to tiredness and tiredness leads to depression. Its found in red meat, fish, green veg etc.
5. Magnesium - this is my favourite mineral and one that I recommend to all of my clients. It helps in serotonin production and is a muscle relaxer. What a wonderful combination! Happy and relaxed:-). It's found in almonds, cashews, spinach and other green leafy veg. Also - one of the best ways to have half an hour to yourself and relax is to take an epsom salts bath. Epsom salts contain magnesium which is absorbed through the skin and into the muscles - definitely one to have just before bed as it helps to promote good sleep.
I think thats it for now but I'll add some more fantastic happy nutrients to the blog tomorrow.
|Posted on 7 January, 2016 at 15:00||comments (0)|
'What is happiness?' It's a question that I have been pondering a lot over the past week or so. A new year can bring opportunities for positive growth or it can be a chance to bemoan how miserable we are because we didn't achieve what we set out to. Most people think that happiness will be found some time in the future - 'When I make my first million', 'When my children have grown up', When I get the promotion at work', and 'When I've lost weight' are all things that I've heard recently. I have recently been an 'I'll be happy in the future' kind of person and I'm sure that I've missed out on a lot by thinking that way. The very wise John Finnemore, in his series Cabin Pressure puts forward a different view of happiness. In the episode entitled Fitton, one of the characters, Arthur, shows the rest of the cabin crew why apples are the secret of happiness. I've copied a bit of the transcript because he says it so much better that I could.
MARTIN: But does it make you happy? Truly happy?
DOUGLAS: Oh, well, come on. No-one’s truly happy.
ARTHUR: I’m truly happy!
MARTIN: Oh God.
DOUGLAS: No, Arthur; you are cheery. No-one’s interested in the secret of true cheeriness.
ARTHUR: No, that’s not true. I’m fairly often just completely happy. Like, for instance, when you get into a bath quickly and it’s just the right temperature, and you go … (blissfully) … “Ohhhh!” I mean, no-one really gets any happier than that.
MARTIN: What a depressing thought.
ARTHUR: No! No, it’s not, though! Because those sort of things happen all the time, whereas you’re hardly ever – you know – blissfully happy with the love of your life in the moonlight; and when you are, you’re too busy worrying about it being over soon. Whereas the bath moments – there’s loads of those! Oh! Like when you realise your knuckles are ready for cracking."
Arthur then goes on to say
"ARTHUR: This – tossing an apple from hand to hand. It just feels really nice. I could do it for hours. Try it."
Arthur's point is that happiness is measured by a recognition that there are lots and lots of small moments of happiness every day. If our lots of small moments are recognised and enjoyed then, my theory is, that each day would become happier.
Instagram had a similar idea when the #100happydays started. The idea was that you took a photo of something that made you happy every day for 100 days. I did this challenge in the summer and found that I became much more aware of the world around me, more excited by small and very simple things. I found joy in the moment and, despite missing days or having frantic catch up sessions, i found that I was happier. Recognising the little things that made me happy, made the whole day better.
Maybe happiness is truly found in an apple! (and go and listen to the rest of Cabin Pressure - because that definitely makes me happy;-))
|Posted on 6 January, 2016 at 14:30||comments (0)|
Dinner tonight was amazing - even being hailed as 'better than a meat one mum!'
Recipe posted below
Recipe for Black bean and Sweet potato enchilada's...
3.5 sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 large onion, diced
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 red peppers, diced
2 (15 oz.) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
2 large handfuls spinach, roughly chopped
2 cups red enchilada sauce (recipe below)
1 tsp. chili powder
½ tsp. cumin
7 small tortillas and 4 gluten free tortillas
salt and pepper, to taste
Creamy Avocado Sauce (recipe below)
Large handful chopped coriander
Preheat the oven to 200C.
Grease a rectangular baking dish.
Put diced sweet potato in a large saucepan and add enough water so that the potato pieces are covered. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 5-7 minutes (until potatoes are easily pierced with fork. Drain and set aside for now.
Add the oil to a pan and sauté the garlic and onion for about 5 minutes.
Add the bell pepper, spinach, black beans, and sweet potato to the pan. Cook for a few more minutes, until the spinach is wilted.
Remove the pan from the heat source and stir in ¼ cup of enchilada sauce and the lime juice, chili powder, cumin, and salt and pepper.
Spread 1 cup of the enchilada sauce evenly on the bottom of the baking dish (so it’s covered).
Scoop one fifth of the enchilada filling into each tortilla.
Place each enchilada seam side down in the baking dish.
Pour the remaining sauce over the enchiladas.
Bake covered for 15 minutes, then uncover for the last five to ten minute
Enchilada sauce recipe
2 Tbsp. olive oil
4 tsp. chili powder (I used 2 tsp mild chilli powder and two tsp chipotle flakes)
4 cloves garlic
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
1 large onion chopped finely
½ tsp. paprika
Large teaspoon turmeric
2 cans chopped tomatoes
½ tsp salt
Add the oil to a sauce pan over medium heat. Fry onions and garlic until soft. Stir in the spices. Cook for about 2 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes. Stir until mixed well.
Bring to a boil (put the lid on the pan so you don’t get splattered) and then immediately reduce heat and simmer for another 5 minutes.
Serve over enchiladas or rice.
½ cup fresh coriander
1 medium avocado, pitted
2 Tbsp. lime juice (about 1 good, juicy lime)
¼ tsp. sea salt
2 cloves garlic
Good splash of apple cider vinegar - add more to taste if you want.
2 tsp honey
glug of olive oil
Put all of the ingredients into a food processor or nutribullet and blitz until its a smooth creamy sauce - serve with everything!
|Posted on 6 January, 2016 at 9:00||comments (0)|
On Sunday I heard the quote in this post's title.
'If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always got and you'll always feel what you've always felt' (anon)
Despite being a nutritional therapist for nearly two years now, and having clients who have made fantastic progress with their health, I have only just realised the truth of this quote for myself. I, initially, made good progress with my diet, feeling that, when I felt better I could eat normally again. However, my idea of normal is not brilliant by any means and, so I still have no idea what it feels like to be well. The reasons for this are because I have always done what I have always done and I get what I've always got which includes weight gain (or static weight), inflammation (because one biscuit/ slice of bread/ bar of chocolate wont hurt), joint pain (linked to inflammation) and a general feeling of tiredness/ exhaustion or fatigue. Unsurprisingly I have forgotten what it feels like to be truely well. So, on Monday morning, I got up all fired up and ready to change my life for the better. I'd love to think that this will be an easy, effortless road and that by December 2016 I will be several stone lighter, feel super energised, be a great business woman and a fantastic wife and mother but I know myself too well. I'm simply hoping that, by changing what I do I can get different results, and that by December 2016 I will be better than I am now - and, maybe, have written some inspiring blogposts along the way:-). Happy New Year!
|Posted on 17 November, 2014 at 4:40||comments (0)|
Having never been a business woman before I'm finding the job of selling myself to be quite a challenge. I'm generally the one 'selling' someone else. Advertising for someone elses business or assisting another person to follow their dreams. Its difficult to find the right balance between bragging about your acheivements and being self deprecating. I am excited and passionate about what I do. I have complete faith in the power of food and the ability of the body to heal itself but I'm not great at getting that across.
This is an exciting journey though and, although I will find struggles along the way, right now I'm happy to be learning.
|Posted on 6 November, 2014 at 11:25||comments (0)|
Amazing Healthy Eating Club today with new people in attendance - welcome to Joanne, Sue and Kirstie. Our topic this week was skin health and I brought a delicious smoothie for everyone to taste. The recipe is below. Next week's topic is How to Reduce Sugar Cravings. Come and join us.
Beetroot and Berry Smoothie
Juice a beetroot, carrot and a handful of spinach and blend with a handful of raspberries (or blueberries), one banana, a teaspoon of coconut oil, a teaspoon of raw cacao and half a teaspoon of Maca root powder for a delicious (slightly earthy tasting) smoothie packed full of antioxidents and healthy fats!
|Posted on 4 November, 2014 at 9:30||comments (0)|
At the weekend one of the other exhibitors at the Huddersfield Health and Wellbeing Festival came over and started chatting to me. During the course of our conversation she announced how excited she was by what she does. Her face was incredibly animated as she said (and I'm paraphrasing but you'll get the picture) How amazing that we get to do such fantastic work. I wake up every morning and I'm grateful for what I do. This really got me thinking. As a new practitioner I don't have many clients yet but everyone of them makes me happy. I'm excited to talk to them, excited to research for them and giddy to learn new things and implement them.
I think that my motto might have to be 'how Grateful I am for my job!'. Long may the excitement continue.
|Posted on 2 November, 2014 at 0:55||comments (0)|
What a wonderful day at the St Patrick's Centre in Huddersfield. Its been great to meet other therapists and new friends. Today I made some delicious new treats for people to try. All had great reviews and I'm putting the recipes on here - enjoy:-)
Carrot and Raisin Muffins.
3 Cups Ground Almonds
7tbsp Coconut oil
1/2 Cup Dessicated Coconut
Pinch of salt
1 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 Cup Raisins
1/2 Cup chopped Pecans
Warm oil and honey together. Mix all of the dry ingredients together and stir well. Add the oil/honey mixture and the eggs and mix thoroughly.
Put into muffin cases and bake at 180C until golden.
Pumpkin, Maple and Pecan Granola.
3 Cups Oats
1/2 Cup of Cooked Squash/Pumpkin
1/3 Cup Maple Syrup
1/4 Cup Coconut Oil
1 1/4 Cup Pecans
1/2 Cup Pumpkin Seeds
3 Tbsp Brown Sugar
1tsp Cinnamonor All spice
Warm the coconut oil and maple syrup. Mix the dry ingredients together.
Blend the Oil/Maple syrup and Pumpkin together until smooth. Mix thoroughly into the dry ingredients until the oats are well coated.
Bake at 170C until crisp and golden brown, stirring every 20 minutes or so. Don't be tempted to over cook. I leave the granola in the oven after I've switched the oven off.
|Posted on 30 October, 2014 at 16:05||comments (0)|
For three years now I've been combining studies with a busy home and family life, a full time job and many other committments. There have been times along the journey where I've felt as though the end would never come but these feelings have been completely eclipsed by the excitment of learning new things. I have been overwhelmed by the huge discoveries about the amazing things that our body can do and, the more I have learned, the more I realise I still don't know. My lifestyle and diet have changed dramatically and my health has improved in a way that I did not think was possible.
I'm now so excited to be able to share my newfound knowledge and pass on my fantastic discoveries. In the future this blog will include recipes, photo's, articles and other interesting bits and pieces but, for now, I just wanted to share my giddiness with you all.
Have a healthy weekend.