Tag: stress

Deep Breathing To Support Hormone Balance

Hormones are a funny thing, aren’t they?    When they’re in sync, we don’t worry about them.    When they’re not, well, it feels a bit like our bodies are betraying us, doesn’t it?    If you’ve been reading along for a while, you’ll know […]

Let’s talk about how our thyroids are affected by stress!

  Let’s talk about your thyroid and stress!   Good thyroid health is closely connected the health of your glands that produce your stress hormones – your adrenals. These tiny glands are located on top of your kidneys.   Chronic stress is the enemy of […]

I Tried It: The 4-7-8 Deep Breathing Method For Better Sleep

sunset in richmond

Do you ever have nights where your mind is whirring and it’s tricky to drop off to sleep? I do.

 

I’ve been trying the 4-7-8 deep breathing method to help me get to sleep and it’s been really helpful! Pioneered by Dr Andrew Weil, the technique is designed to calm the mind and relax the muscles. If you’re one of the 30% of Brits who suffers from poor sleep, anything is worth a try, right?

 

Not sleeping well doesn’t just affect your blood sugar balance, make you tired and unable to concentrate – it also puts you at risk of more serious health issues including obesity, heart disease and diabetes and even reduces your life expectancy.

 

The 4-7-8 deep breathing technique comes from yoga breathing, where you have to keep the tip of the tongue behind the upper front teeth. You breathe in through your nose quietly and blow air out forcefully through your mouth making a whoosh sound.

 

Here’s how to perform the 4-7-8 mindful bedtime trick:

1.    Exhale through your mouth making a ‘whoosh’ sound.

2.    Close your mouth and inhale quietly through your nose to a count of four.

3.    Hold your breath for seven seconds.

4.    Exhale through your mouth, making a ‘whoosh’ sound to the count of eight.

5.    Inhale again and repeat the cycle 2-4 times or until you feel yourself drifting off.

 

According to Dr Weil, this technique works by filling the lungs with air, allowing more oxygen into the body, which in turn promotes a state of calm. Dr Weil advises doing the breathing during the day as well as it can also be used to improve digestion and stop the ‘fight-or-flight’ response in the body, reducing stress.

 

Even if you decide this stress-relieving technique isn’t for you, it’s worth exploring other ways to reduce your stress levels. Stress plays such a huge part in how we feel about ourselves, and that in turn has a knock-on effect on how motivated we are to eat well and take proper care of both our physical and mental health.

 

It might seem like a luxury to practise mindfulness or indulge in any kind of self care but you know what they say when you’re on a plane: you’ve got to put on your own oxygen mask before you can save anyone else.

 

The same is true for healthy eating. In my clinic, people often come to me feeling unmotivated and exhausted by life and it’s my job to help you feel inspired to make positive changes for yourself. And once you feel motivated again, it will help to inspire the whole family and others around you.

 

If you know you need a diet and lifestyle upgrade, but are not sure exactly what that would look like for you, get in touch. Looking forward to talking to you and helping you take the first step towards a new you.

Stories I loved this week.

I’ve been talking a lot about self-care and ways to destress recently. It’s so essential. Here are five more ways to feel less stressed. (Healthyish) I love this profile of Oprah, especially this line, “When the shoot is finally over, I am taken to the […]

Are you more stressed than you realise?

How do you feel right now? Check your breath. Is it shallow, taking short, little breaths through your nose? Check your hands and teeth – are they clenched? Check your shoulders – are they tensed up towards your ears?   If you answered yes to […]

Stories I loved this week.

coffee break

Happy weekend! Here’s a round up of some of the interesting food, health and wellness articles I’ve read this week. Have you found an interesting study? Send it my way!

Just eat real food and eat mindfully. This interesting study shows that the common denominator between a good quality low-fat and low-carb diet is having vegetables all day long, as much as you can eat, having a salad every day, no added sugar and as little refined flour as you can get. (The Washington Post)

Changing what you eat (and drink) can help you respond better to stress. (The New Potato)

I’m a big believer in reproductive freedom, however this story underlies the importance of women doing proper research before they choose. The joking tone to a story ultimately about hemorrhaging and anaemia caused by a copper IUD is disturbing. (Refinery 29)

I love the cooking tips in this article, especially around really thinking about how you salt your food – it is through an actual salt or through salted foods like anchovies, capers or olives? (Food 52)

More reason to be mindful about the amount of fish you’re eating. (NY Daily News)

Who doesn’t love Ina Garten? (Epicurious)

This is a great recipe for fig season. (Bon Appetit)

What I’m Reading: 10% Happier

Everyone seems to be talking about mindfulness these days.  A few months ago, I was wandering around Indigo, a fabulous chain of bookstores in Toronto and decided I wanted to read something about mindfulness and meditation, to learn a bit more. I didn’t fancy a […]

I Tried It: Foam Rolling

Foam rolling. It’s so hot right now, isn’t it? Goop’s talking about it, Kayla’s released her own branded grid roller and many gyms now have rollers as standard in their cool down sections. But what is foam rolling? in a nutshell, foam rolling or myofascial […]

Stories I loved this week.

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Photo by Hilthart Pedersen

The week after a holiday can be a bit discombobulating, can’t it? Finding your feet after a break, getting back into your routine, making sorely needed changes to your old routine. I decided that I was going to fully enjoy myself while I was away, as I was feeling very run down after my summer of work travel. All the brakes came off and I indulged my heart out. I’ve spent this week getting my nutrition back in order and getting rid of a head cold I picked up at the end of my trip.

It’s not all doom and gloom, because I worked out a lot while I was away (full disclosure: I’m doing Kayla Itsines’ Bikini Body Guide workout plan. It skews young, but it’s incredibly effective) and I can feel my strength when I run around with my son and inevitably end up carrying  him (“pick me up, Mama!”) – 13.5kg of squirming child!

Is work making you sick?  Here are some common sense tips to incorporate into your day. (The Guardian)

Great message in this article: “Nutrition is complicated, but eating is not. Spend your energy discovering what works for you and try not to get too caught up in the science.” (Summer Tomato)

Some stress (and adrenaline) is good for us, but not too much stress. (goop)

5 tricks for making a perfect smoothie. (Well + Good)

Saying no to anecdotal parenting. I love this. (Grok Nation)

There’s simply no substitute for physical presence. (New York Times)

You are what your mother ate. Nutrition during pregnancy is so important, but no one’s perfect and sometimes you have to just submit to the cravings! (The Times)

What to do when you’re ‘zit bombed‘. Funnyname, but nice to see the gut – skin – inflammation connection being discussed. (Well + Good)

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Under pressure.

  Photo by Eli DeFaria There is no doubt we as women put way too much pressure on ourselves. We want to be the perfect mom, the perfect wife, have the perfect body, do our very best at work and cook the best food. The list […]