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Category: Wellness

Six ways to improve your health and wellbeing for free (or close to it!)

 

Fancy powders and expensive exercise classes are great, but you don’t need these to be feel or be healthy. I worry that people feel like they can’t be healthy unless they have a lot of money. It doesn’t have to be this way!

 

Here’s the thing: there are loads of things that can be done for free or not that much money that can contribute to your health and well-being.

 

Here are six things you can do to improve your health and wellbeing that are free (or close to it!)

 

  1. Eat more vegetables. Farmers markets and market stalls have a variety of veg that doesn’t need to cost the earth.
  2. Get more and better sleep
  3. Move your body everyday
  4. Breathe
  5. Get rid of emotional vampires
  6. Drink water

 

How many of these do you do each day? Check out my IGTV video where I go into detail about each point. 

 

Do you want to talk more about your health and wellbeing? Get in touch for a free 30 minute hormone & menstrual health review.

 

Le’Nise Brothers is a nutritional therapist, women’s health coach and founder of Eat Love Move.

 

Le’Nise works primarily with women who feel like they’re being ruled by their sugar cravings, mood swings and hormonal acne & bloating.

 

They want to get to grips with heavy, missing, irregular & painful periods, fibroids, PMS, PCOS, endometriosis, post-natal depletion and perimenopause. 

 

Her mission is for women to understand and embrace their hormones & menstrual cycle!

 

Photo by Bruno Nascimento on Unsplash

Is wellness for everyone?

I worry that many people feel health and wellbeing isn’t for them because they don’t have a lot of money for expensive ingredients, classes, crystals or workout gear. Or they don’t see anyone that looks like them speaking about health and wellbeing topics that are relevant to them.

 

This is why I believe it’s so important to have voices in the health and wellbeing industry that have a different cultural point of view and come from different backgrounds, be it race, age, body shape or ability.

 

By opening up the conversation to other people from different backgrounds, we widen the scope of what wellness means and the tools to achieve this. 

 

This means acknowledging that not everyone can afford expensive ingredients or has the luxury of time to make long and complicated recipes. 

 

It means acknowledging the history and cultural context of the wellness trends such as yoga, meditation, matcha and Ayurveda. 

 

It means acknowledging that certain health topics such as menstruation, fertility and childbirth have different cultural and religious contexts that must be addressed in order to move the conversation forward. 

 

It means acknowledging that some might be intimidated by going into a fitness class, feeling as though they don’t have the right body / skin colour / brand of leggings / etc. 

 

It means acknowledging the racial disparities in health outcomes, especially in the UK and the US. 

 

What do you think about diversity in wellness? What else needs to be discussed? 

 

Do you want to talk more about your health and wellbeing? Get in touch for a free 30 minute hormone & menstrual health review.

 

Le’Nise Brothers is a nutritional therapist, women’s health coach and founder of Eat Love Move.

 

Le’Nise works primarily with women who feel like they’re being ruled by their sugar cravings, mood swings and hormonal acne & bloating.

 

They want to get to grips with heavy, missing, irregular & painful periods, fibroids, PMS, PCOS, endometriosis, post-natal depletion and perimenopause. 

 

Her mission is for women to understand and embrace their hormones & menstrual cycle!

 

Photo by Nick Grant on Unsplash

Getting natural with makeup, skincare and homecare. 

SkinPhoto by Anna Sastre

A few of my girlfriends have been chatting over email this week about natural beauty and cleaning products. As I was adding my two cents into the mix, I realised that over the past two years, I have completely overhauled my beauty bag and cleaning cupboard into something that reflects the principle, ‘if you wouldn’t eat it, don’t put it on your skin / clean your house with it.’  And according to the Times, more and more consumers are starting to think this way.

I’ve used Ecover and Method products for a long time, but I used to buy lots of mainstream beauty products, like Chanel, Bobbi Brown and MAC. Then as I read and researched more into skincare and ingredients like parabens, SLS and the like, I realised what effect these things had on the body and specifically, the endocrine system, the system that produces hormones like estrogen, progesterone and insulin. A lot of these ingredients disrupt the endocrine system and affect the way your body produces these essential hormones. And to add insult to injury, it’s hard for the body to get rid of the ingredients and many tend to be stored in fatty tissue in various parts of the body.

I like to use Think Dirty, an iOS app to check the ingredients in homecare (soaps, detergents, etc) and beauty products to make sure I’m buying the right things for my house, myself and my family. It was through Think Dirty that I discovered that some of my Bobbi Brown products weren’t as bad as I thought!

There are a few amazing websites to get natural / organic beauty products in the UK. I really like Naturismo and Content Beauty (they have a shop in Marylebone which is super cute, you can lots of samples). I also love checking out the latest in Whole Foods and As Nature Intended as well. The staff are generally quite helpful and you can usually find quite a few bargains too! I’ve recently discovered rms beauty – an amazing natural beauty line by a make up artist called Rose-Marie Swift. The concealers and tinted moisturisers are coconut oil based and amazing for the skin. I also love her lip2cheek product, made with coconut oil and shea butter and no lead (!) (most lipsticks have lead in them as a by-product of the manufacturing process) and looks amazing on the cheeks and lips! I also love Dr Hausckha, Korres and beauty counter.

Like loads of other beauty bloggers, I love to use coconut oil or Egyptian Magic as a moisturiser for my hair, face & body. Egyptian Magic is especially brilliiant as it’s only made from olive oil, beeswax, honey, bee pollen, royal jelly and bee propolis, which are all super nourishing, healing and moisturising.

When it comes to household cleaning products, I really like Ecover, Dr Bronner’s and Dayleford Organics, although my mother tells me that vinegar, lemon and water that do the job just as well.

Starting my #whole30

Photo by Shane Perry

Today’s the big day.

Today, I commit to cleaning up my diet and to spending 30 days eating clean. Not eating wheat or sugar is not a big deal for me, but no dairy and no alcohol? Mon dieu!

But it’s necessary. I’ve realised that alcohol was becoming a bit of a crutch for me. I was using it a major stress relief – is it normal to spend the day really looking forward to ‘wine time’ in the evening? For me, this new normal was becoming a little scary and too much of a pattern.

So here we are on day 1 of my Whole 30.

Here we go.

Fitting in workouts with a baby

Photo by David Marcu

I have a soon to be one year old son who still doesn’t really nap at home, no family near by and a husband that works long hours. I also really want to workout. How do I fit it in? It’s been tough, but I’ve finally worked out a strategy that suits my life right now.

1. Walking everywhere

I try to walk rather than taking the bus and this means that I average about 4 miles a day walking and pushing a pram with a 10kg baby in it! I track my steps using my Fitbit, which makes me accountable, challenges me to move more and walk at least 10,000 steps a day.

2. Kettlebells!

It’s easy to pick up a kettlebell and do 50 swings while the baby is playing. I’m still trying to teach him that the kettlebells aren’t a toy and that he doesn’t need to hold on to my legs while I’m swinging, so I’ve accepted that there’s going to be a bit of stopping and starting for the moment, but it always feels good to get a quick 50-100 swings in when I can.

Kettlebells are a good full-body workout that anyone can do, as long as they have the right form and technique. Here’s a site that will give you a primer on good kettlebell technique.

3.  Fast workouts – 7 minutes or less

I use a few apps that have a high intensity circuit routine that allows you to exercise your entire body in just 7 minutes, using only your bodyweight. There’s a lot of science behind this technique, which basically consists of 12 exercises (squats, planks, crunches, jumping jacks, etc) that you do for 30 seconds at a high intensity with a 10 second rest in between.

I’ve been using the 7 Minute Workout app and finding it really effective. If I have more time, I’ll do another circuit or two, but it’s great knowing that in just seven minutes, I can get in a great full body workout that gets me good and sweaty!

4. 30 day challenges

I’m the type of person that likes a bit of accountability and a 30 day challenge is perfect for me, because I’m quite competitive and don’t like to fail. I’ve been using the 30 Day Fitness Challenges app, which is great, because it offers so many different types of challenges, like a 30 day plank challenge and a 30 day ab challenge, which get progressively harder as the 30 days go on.

While the baby is playing, it’s easy to get down and do 20 crunches or 30 squats. The challenge is when he thinks what I’m doing is funny and toddles over to grab my legs while I’m squatting or crawls over me while I’m doing situps!

I’ve finally gotten into a nice rhythm where I’m able to do some form of exercise every day. This is great for shaking off the cobwebs when I’ve had a tough night with the baby. It also sets a great example for baby J – not that he needs it as he is very active!

Keeping focused, not getting discouraged.

Photo by Chris Lu

I’ve lost all of my baby weight and now I’m trying to lose the weight that I was trying to lose before I got pregnant.

When I look at the bigger picture, I’m happy, I’m excited and I know I’m on to a very good thing. Since the end of March, I’ve lost 22 pounds / 10 kilograms. That’s a number that you can’t turn your nose up at.

I’ve also gone down three jean sizes from a 33” to a 30”. Not too shabby.

So you’d think I have a huge cause for celebration, right? Well, that’s when moving from big picture to the detail causes problems. Tonight, I was scrolling through my Instagram feed and I realised that I’ve lost 4 pounds in the month of July. Four pounds is good and I’m happy with that, but I had a moment where I started to beat myself up and think that I could have done more and that what I was doing wasn’t good enough.

Then I paused, shook my head and took a deep breath. This isn’t a diet, it’s not a fad – it’s something I’m doing for life. I’m trying to set a good example for my son by living a healthy, vibrant lifestyle.

These things take time.

I need to enjoy my life, have the odd indulgence, have a glass of wine at the end of a challenging day. These things mean that the numbers on the scale don’t down so quickly.

But they’re going down. And I’m embedding all of my new food and exercise principles into my life in the right way.  And I’m enjoying life.

Getting strong again.

image

Before I got pregnant, I was in a nice groove of eating primally, working out with my kettlebells 4-5 times a week and doing a lot of walking. When I got pregnant, I had the best intentions, especially about working out.

And for the first three months, I did. I was diligent about getting a good kettlebell workout in, so much so, that I lost weight in my first trimester and bought a 16kg kettle

bell because the 12kg one was getting too easy, especially on swings.

Then I got really, really sick. The kind of sick that makes you miserable, especially when you’re sick in the coldest winter London has had for years.

So I stopped exercising, gave into my pregnancy cravings and did a lot of sitting around on the couch.

As my son has grown and wants me to carry him or rock him to sleep, it’s made me realise that I need to get stronger. It’s one thing carrying a 6kg baby, it’s another thing t

o carry around a wriggly 9.5kg eleven month old that doesn’t want to go into his buggy. So it’s time to properly get back into my fitness. I walk miles everyday, but that’s not going to make me stronger. I need to lift (swing!) heavy and do this consistently.

Kettlebells – welcome back, old friends!

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