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Month: December 2017

I Tried It: Alternate Nostril Breathing

Have you heard about alternate nostril breathing?

 

This is an incredible way of shifting your nervous system from fight or flight stress mode to rest and digest, relaxation mode.

 

You’re essentially breathing consciously, taking in more air and reducing your blood pressure.

 

I decided to try it after reading so much about it. Here’s how you do it:put your thumb over your right nostril and take a deep breath in through your left nostril. Hold, covering your left nostril with your index finger. Release the breath through your right nostril. Repeat, taking the breath with your right nostril.

 

I found that I was much calmer after doing this and any anxiety I was feeling started to drift away.

 

Try it and let me know how you feel!

 

Have you tried mindful drinking?

testing drinking

How much have you been drinking this holiday season? So many events revolve around having a festive tipple or two, which feels fun at the time, but may not be helping you get to your health goals and may be stopping any desired weight loss.

 

Alcohol also has an effect on our sleep – it sedates us, but doesn’t help us get restorative, restful sleep. You know, the kind where you wake up feeling ready to get out of bed and jump into the day!

 

Try mindfully drinking instead: being aware of what you’re drinking and why you’re drinking it.

 

If you automatically pour a glass of wine when you get home from a stressful day at work, think about why you think the wine will help you relax. Could you do something else instead? A bit of yoga, a couple of boxing jabs to a pillow, a hot bath?

 

When you’re out, Instead of allowing people to buy you endless rounds of drinks at the pub or bar, be aware of how much you’re drinking and how you’re feeling. If you don’t want another drink, just say so, instead of being polite. Or ask for some water instead.

 

Mindful drinking means learning to drink what YOU want to drink and the amount that YOU want to drink rather than what you consider to be socially acceptable.

 

Have you tried mindful drinking? Let me know!

 

P.S. Are you using alcohol to help you get to sleep or finding that alcohol is stopping you from getting a good night’s sleep? Join my 5 Days to Better Sleep challenge, where I’ll be sharing ways for you to get a better quality night’s sleep. Join in: www.eatlovemove.com/bettersleep

 

The 2017 Eat Love Move Holiday Gift Guide: For The Child That Loves To Help In The Kitchen

A great way to get kids interested in food, especially more nutritious food, is for them to help in the kitchen. My little guy loves helping me. His favourite kitchen duties are chopping up veg, stirring the pot, mixing pancake batter and doing the washing up (yes, really!).

Here are a few gift ideas to help instil a love of cooking in the kids in your life.

 

P.S. Check out my gift guide for the foodie in your life  and for the person that needs a little self-care.

 

little cooks co brownie boxLittle Cooks Co Healthy Cooking Kit. These cooking kits for kids are a lovely way to get them in the kitchen and trying out new flavours. Every month, there’s a new healthy snack recipe, all the dry organic ingredients to make it and a kid friendly family dinner recipe too! Get 25% of your first kit by using BOX1 at checkout.

kuhn rikon kids cooking knivesKuhn Rikon Knife Set. These knives are an amazing and safe way to teach your kids knife skills. They’re sharp enough that they can cut through softer vegetables without harming little fingers if they slip.

little helper fun pod kitchen stoolLittle Helper Fun Pod Kitchen Stool. I wish I had one of these when my son was younger. It’s a nice way for kids to reach the same height as the kitchen counter and for you to feel secure that they’re not going to fall off or accidentally touch a hot pot or pan.

personalised children's apronPersonalised apron. Make them feel like a top chef with their own personalised apron.

personalised wooden spoon set

Or a personalised wooden spoon set. How cute is this!

lunchbots stainless steel lunch boxLunchbots Stainless Steel Bento Box. These are a great way for your kids to take their packed lunch to school and are durable enough to last being thrown around in the school backpack. We have one and it’s so nice for J to have a few easy options in one place for his lunch.

nadiya's festive kids cookbookNadiya’s Bake Me A Festive Story. This is a lovely gift for an older child, with lots of easy to make cookies and cakes.

leithsLeiths Cooking Course For Teenagers. If you have teenagers or nearly teenagers, a cooking course is a lovely way to help them gain a little independence and learn how to cook a few meals. A great life skill, especially when they go to university and need to fend for themselves!

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6 ways to enjoy the holiday season

brussels sprouts selfridges windows

I’ve been talking about shifting mindset away from thinking about ‘surviving’ the holiday season towards enjoying the holiday season. Here are 6 ways to mindfully enjoy the holiday season without throwing all your health and fitness goals out the window.

 

1. Remember your long-term goals.

It’s unrealistic to try and avoid all unhealthy foods over the holiday season. Keeping your long term goals in mind can help you avoid falling into a spiral of guilt and worry if you happen to get too drunk one night or overdo it on the mince pies at the holiday mixer. Keep the big picture in mind and don’t worry about a few days of excess!

 

2. Plan ahead.

If you don’t have a plan for meals during the week, for parties, going out, visiting friends, having family over and so on, you are setting yourself up to go off piste. If you have a busy week ahead of you, plan out what you’re going to be eating for all meals so that you don’t go to parties on a empty stomach and so you always have a few meal options prepped in your fridge. If you’re going out in the evening, have something to eat beforehand so you’re not drinking on an empty stomach or filling up on canapés.

 

3. Eat mindfully and slow down.

It’s tempting to eat quickly when you’re out at holiday lunches and dinners as you get caught in a flurry of conversation and wine top-ups. Try putting your fork down in between bites and allow yourself to really enjoy each mouthful. Check in with yourself throughout the meal and stop eating when you’re full.

 

4. Out of sight, out of mind.

Have you ever heard yourself say, “take this away from me, so I stop eating it?”. With chocolate in  directly in front of you or left on your kitchen counters, it’s easy to overindulge. Once it’s tucked away in a cupboard, you’re likely to forget it’s even there. You can’t stop people from giving you chocolate over the holidays, but you can avoid leaving it out on display. Out of sight, out of mind.

 

5. Remember to get your veg in. 

When eating out, order lots of vegetable dishes and fill up on veg first. If in doubt, order a side salad to be sure you’re getting some of your daily portions of vegetables.

 

6. Be gentle with yourself.

If you find yourself going a bit of track, don’t beat yourself up or see it as an excuse to write off the rest of the day and eat everything in sight. The next meal is the next opportunity to pick things up again. Good health is a lifelong journey – one heavy night on the prosecco or a couple of days with lots of mince pies won’t derail you if you keep the big picture in mind and stay positive.

 

Make a commitment to your future self by booking a FREE call with me to see how I can help you take control of your relationship with food and reach your personal health goals.  Click here to book a 20 minute call with me or get in touch via email.

Forget ‘surviving’ the festive season, enjoy it instead!

christmas at the natural history museum

This is the time of year where we get invited to loads of parties and enjoy ourselves (maybe a bit too much!). It’s totally normal to want to let your hair down and relax some of your ‘food and alcohol rules’.

 

Many people have the mentality that the holiday season is something to survive, rather than enjoy. Can you relate to this at all?  Maybe you’ve grown up associating food with pleasure and fun, so subconsciously you fear that if you don’t eat a lot, you won’t have a ‘happy Christmas or Hanukkah’. It’s easy to slip into a ‘one more won’t hurt’ mindset, thinking that you’ll deal with any consequences in January.

 

What if you could have it both ways? What if you could enjoy the holiday season without going into January feeling the results of excessive eating and drinking?

 

I like to be really clear with my clients about what has driven the feeling of needing to do things to excess at Christmas and these four themes always seem to come up:

1. Portion control: They felt like they’ve waited all year for the holiday season and all the festivities surrounding it, so they give themselves a license to be excessive and not hold back. That means mass quantities of roasties, Quality Street, snowballs and festive cocktails – more is more at this time of year!

2. Social life: Family commitments, work lunches and endless parties mean that opportunities to eat and drink excessively are everywhere, sometimes on a daily basis. And regular hangovers add to the urge to order in unhealthy takeaways and veg out on the sofa.

3. Sedentary lifestyle: A busy social life means exercise routines tend to get put on the back burner as clients decide to wait until January to get back on the treadmill / bike / yoga mat.

4. Mental ‘hall pass’:  Willpower seems to go out the window at this time of year, with clients telling themselves it’s fine to binge, they’ll just sort it in a January diet / detox.

 

Can you relate to any of these themes?

 

What if I told you that you don’t need to ‘survive’ the festive season? That you could enjoy this time of year without needing to go on a mad diet / detox in January?  As long as you have some strategies in place before the festive season, there’s no reason why you can’t start the New Year looking and feeling fantastic.

 

As a qualified nutritional therapist, I work with clients to take control of their relationship with food and plan how to get through times when overindulgence might feel hard to resist.

 

Make a commitment to your future self by booking a FREE call with me to see how I can help you take control of your relationship with food and reach your personal health goals.  Click here to book a 20 minute call with me or get in touch via email.

 

The 2017 Eat Love Move Holiday Gift Guide: For Self-Care (For You or A Loved One)

Self-care has been a big topic this year and rightly so. It’s a nice way to do little things to take care yourself to reset amidst hectic lives and uncertainty.

 

Self-care doesn’t have to cost anything and I worry about the commercialisation of this term. Sleep,  positive self-talk and eating well are the best forms of self-care and the first two are free!

 

Here are some ideas if you want to give a self-care themed gift to a loved one.

P.S. Check out my gift guide for the foodie in your life.

 

daylesford organic candle

I’m obsessed with these Daylesford Organic candles. They’re paraffin and GM wax free and smell amazing.  Perfect to light just before a yoga or mediation session.

 

diffuser

A wood and ceramic diffuser is a brilliant way to clean the air and can be very calming, especially when you add in a few essential oils. And your house will smell amazing too!

 

yoga with adriene

A subscription to the Yoga with Adriene Find What Feels Good app. A daily yoga practice can create an amazing sense of health and wellbeing. For me personally, it grounds and calms me, whilst being an incredible workout that has sorted out my dodgy back and right knee.

 

eat love move holiday gift certificate

A health & wellbeing consultation with me! Give yourself or your loved one the best start to 2018 with a personalised gift certificate for a consultation or value towards a package.

 

sister and co coconut scrub

I love this body scrub. It’s such a beautiful product that makes the shower feel like a spa. So rejuvenating and the matcha in it helps to give you a healthy glow.

 

plyopic yoga mat

A colourful yoga mat (that can go in the washing machine).  There is something nice about having your own yoga mat when you take yoga classes, isn’t there?

 

weighted blanket

A weighted blanket. These are amazing – they ‘trick’ the nervous system into thinking you’re receiving a hug or some form of touch and can help you relax and fall asleep more easily. Perfect for those times when you’re struggling to switch your brain off.

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8 ways to beat colds and flu

lemons and grapefruits

When the temperature drops, the chance of you coming down with a cold or the flu increases significantly.

 

It’s widely accepted you’ll get sick more often in the winter.

 

That’s because you’re likely to be inside more and the common cold thrives better in dry air than where there’s humidity. And, when you spend more time indoors, you’re exposed to more germs.

 

Here’s something interesting about the common cold: when your core internal temperature falls after exposure to cold, the immune system’s ability to battle the rhinovirus (the virus that causes it) is also reduced. The immune system literally slows down. The flu virus is also transmitted much faster when it’s cold out because the lipid (fatty) coating of the virus becomes more resilient the colder it gets.

 

Your immune system is the most powerful weapon you have against disease. Strong immunity means that the body is better able to fight off viruses and germs. Fewer colds and sick days this winter would be good, right?

 

There are many diet and lifestyle tweaks you can make to reduce your risk of catching a cold and flu this season. Here are my top tips to keep you feeling fit this month – and beyond!

 

1. Eat real food. Your body needs real, unprocessed food to stay healthy. Focus on eating natural, unprocessed food as often as possible. Follow the 80/20 rule: this means eating nourishing, unprocessed food at least 80% of the time.

Free-range, organic meat and wild fish, organic fruit and vegetables and wholegrains all contribute to a stronger immune system and offset the occasional indulgence.

 

2. Get to know probiotic foods. Did you know that up to 80% of our immunity to germs and disease is in our gut? The mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT) in the gut is part of the first line of immune defense, so getting the right balance between beneficial, or ‘good’ gut bacteria, and the ‘bad’, or potentially pathogenic bacteria, is key.

The gut environment takes a beating year after year, due to poor diets, too much sugar, stress, antibiotics and other factors. Even if you have no obvious tummy troubles, digestive health is vital, so it’s worth the extra effort to take care of it.

Add probiotic and prebiotic foods to your diet, as these repopulate the gut with good bacteria and feed them well enough to crowd out bad bacteria.

Here are some gut-friendly choices to get you started:

  • Organic, probiotic, natural full-fat Greek yoghurt, such as Yeo Valley or Rachel’s
  • Miso soup or miso paste
  • Oats
  • Onions, garlic and Jerusalem artichokes
  • Sauerkraut
  • Fermented soy
  • Kombucha
  • Milk or water kefir

 

3. Have a bowl of chicken soup. Have you ever heard that chicken soup is great when you’re unwell? No, it’s not just an old wives’ tale! Research suggests that a bowl of chicken and vegetable soup can slow the speed at which neutrophils move around your body. Neutrophils are a type of white blood cell and part of the immune system, protecting your body from infection. When the neutrophils move slowly, there’s a greater chance of them becoming more concentrated in the areas of your body that need to be healed the most. Studies have shown chicken soup can be particularly helpful in reducing symptoms in upper respiratory system infections like the common cold.

 

4. Add herbs and spices to your cooking. Adding flavour to food is a smart way to include delicious immune boosters on your plate (and make your food taste better!). Garlic is a potent and flavourful herb. It is antimicrobial, thanks to the active ingredient allicin, which helps fight viruses, and has been used for thousands of years to boost the immune system and prevent sickness.

Most culinary herbs contain anti-inflammatory properties due to their phytonutrients, and in particular, oregano and thyme are rich in immune boosting properties. Spice up your cooking with turmeric and ginger, too, as these are well-documented immune boosters.

 

5. Cut down on sugar. Even if you don’t consider yourself a sugar addict, it’s worth taking a look at how much you do consume. Sugar fans the flames of inflammation and affects the ability of white blood cells to fend off viruses and bacteria. In fact, the immune system stays depressed for hours after consuming sugar, according to recent studies.

 

6. Drink more water.  Water is a miracle worker. It flushes germs from your system, helps your blood to carry plenty of oxygen to your body’s cells and allows those cells to absorb important nutrients.

Invest in a water filter to avoid taking in high levels of chlorine and fluorine along with your tap water and a stainless steel water bottle to avoid buying plastic bottles when you’re out and about.

 

7. Get outside! As difficult as this is to achieve in winter, spending sufficient time in sunlight is a vital immune booster. Vitamin D is made by your skin absorbing sunlight and a minimum of 10 minutes a day will help, although it’s worth nothing that darker skin has higher vitamin D requirements.

Supplement your vitamin D levels by eating more oily fish (salmon, mackerel and fresh tuna), free-range, organic beef, mushrooms, cheese, egg yolks and dairy.

 

8. Get back to basics. An age-old way to boost immunity is by following childhood rules – wash hands, go to bed early and be active. These simple measures may seem boring (and more difficult to achieve than popping a pill), but science proves that they work.  And your immune system will thank you for it.

 

Are you the kind of person that gets sick more often than others? Your immune system could likely use some support. Maybe there is an underlying issue, especially if you also have asthma, eczema or allergies. Is this you? I invite you to book in for a free introductory session with me to talk through your health and wellbeing.

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The 2017 Eat Love Move Holiday Gift Guide: For The Foodie In Your Life

It’s December, which means that the tree is up, we’re playing Christmas tunes non-stop and my husband goes on his daily mince pie extravaganza.

 

I’ve been working hard to bring you my first Holiday gift guide, with different themes, where I give you gift ideas for the various people in your life. I’ll post a new guide over the next few weeks, so you’ll definitely still have time to shop! Today’s gift guide is all about the foodie in your life, and has ideas for all price points. Happy shopping!

 

salt fat acid heat

Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat: Mastering the Elements of Good Cooking by Samin Nosrat

This is one of the best cookbooks I’ve seen in a long time and is high on my own Christmas wish list. The author breaks down the component parts of making a really flavourful meal. The foodie in your life will love this!

 

instant pot 7-in-1

Instant Pot Duo, 7 in One Electric Pressure Cooker

Having an Instant Pot is a kitchen game changer! Any meal that you used to prepare in a slow cooker, you can just drop into your Instant Pot and cook in less than a quarter of the time. I use mine to make rice, oatmeal, stews, pulled pork, pulled beef, creamy beans – the list is endless!

 

kleen kanteen water bottle

Klean Kanteen Water Bottle

Having a stainless steel water bottle stops me from buying plastic water bottles when I’m out and about and reminds me to keep up with my daily target of drinking at least 1.5L of water. These Klean Kanteen bottles are so durable and environmentally – I take mine everywhere!

 

big berkey

Big Berkey 

A water filter is essential for removing chemicals from your everyday drinking water. I love my Big Berkey Water Filter System, which is an investment at around £250, but it is the leading water filter of its kind and is big enough for a large family (it holds 8.5L).

 

lodge cast iron skillet

Lodge Cast Iron Skillet

Cast iron skillets are incredible and very versatile. Once you get the hang of seasoning, your cast iron skillet can last you a very long time. True story: my cousin cooks with cast iron pans that are at least 50 years old and she says the food she makes in them tastes incredible.

 

biosnacky seed jar sprouter

Sprouter

Sprouts are the real stars of the vegetable world. Sprouted beans and seeds contain many more nutrients and enzymes than non-sprouted varieties. The vitamin content of some seeds, grains, beans or nuts increases by up to 20 times the original value within only a few days of sprouting! Research shows that during sprouting, beansprouts increase in vitamin B1 by up to 285%, vitamin B2 by 515% and niacin (for heart, brain and skin health) by up to 256%.

The Biosnacky Germinator Seed Jar at £10 is a good introductory product or, for the more dedicated, the 3-tier Germinator at £16.22.

 

nutribullet

NutriBullet

There are a number of these compact, countertop appliances that will whizz you up a decent smoothie and, if you’re the kind of person who struggles to get the recommended 7-10 portions of fruit and veg in each day, you should definitely consider one. I LOVE my NutriBullet. You’ll want to make sure that (regardless of what you choose) you pick one with a 600+Watt motor to ensure that nuts and seeds are efficiently blended. This one is also very easy to use and to keep clean.

 

herb zipper

HerbZipper

This little device is an easy way to remove the leaves from the woody stems on herbs, perfect for the cooking enthusiast in your life.

 

lock and lock glass storage containers

Lock & Lock Glass Storage Containers

I absolutely love these storage containers. I’ve been transitioning away from using any plastic to store food and these glass storage containers are the best. They are also oven safe – just remember not to put the lid in with it, because that is NOT oven safe!

 

reusable stainless steel straw

Reusable Straw

If you eat out or even get takeaway iced coffee, then inevitably you will have been given a plastic straw. These are terrible for the environment and in many places, not recyclable. These stainless steel straws are a lovely alternative, that come in their own little case.

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