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Tag: wellbeing

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

Going back to basics with nutrition.

big green salad

In my conversations with women from all walks of life, I often get asked about food and what to eat.  Not surprising, considering my profession 🙂

 

The question I get asked the most is usually phrased something like this: “what should I eat / what shouldn’t I eat / just tell me what I should be eating!”

 

There are so many different approaches to eating out there that all seem to be ‘the right thing to do’, from veganism to paleo to keto to 5:2 to low-fat to even just the idea of  ‘eating everything in moderation’.

 

No wonder there’s so much confusion about what to eat and what not to eat.

 

Here’s my take on it:

 

There’s no one sized fits all when it comes to nutrition. What works for you may not work for someone else and vice versa.  You know your body best, so it’s important for you to work out what works for you.
 

 

So before you jump into the latest approach to eating that everyone is talking about, there are some principles I’d love for you to consider:
 

1. Eat lots of vegetables every day, especially green leafy and cruciferous vegetables.

 

2. Eat a rainbow of fruit and vegetables.

 

3. Drink lots of water.

 

4. Eat and drink fermented foods.

 

5. If you eat fish, eat wild caught fish a few times a week.

 

6. Eat good fats such as avocado, olive oil, oily fish and nuts and seeds.

 

7. Be mindful about the way you eat sugar and drink caffeine and alcohol.

 

8. Eat the highest quality food that’s within your budget, leaning towards free-range, pastured and organic meat, dairy, fruit and vegetables whenever possible.

 

That’s it!

 

Of course it must be said that these principles need to be adjusted to your personal health circumstances and goals.  Broadly speaking, they can act as a good rule of thumb to cut through the confusion.

 

Are you confused about what to eat?  Get in touch for a free 30 minute nutrition, hormone & menstrual health review to help clear the confusion.

 


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! 

I Tried It: Seed Cycling For Hormone Balance

pumpkin and sunflower seeds for hormone balance

Do you feel like you’re on an emotional rollercoaster throughout your menstrual cycle?

 

Do you suffer from mood swings, acne, fatigue and nausea in the week before you get your period?

 

Maybe it’s time to try seed cycling to address this hormone imbalance.

 

Despite specialising in this area and helping my clients improve their menstrual and hormone health, I realised a few months ago that I had to address my own hormone health. You see, I was ashamed of the hormonal acne I would get like clockwork in the week before my period. I thought to myself, “how dare I give my clients advice, when I’m struggling with the same things myself!?!”

 

Hormone acne is a sign of imbalance between progesterone and estrogen, so I decided to try seed cycling as a way to bring my hormones back into balance.

 

If you’re new to seed cycling, or wondering about the detail behind it, here’s a great guide that I’ve written up.

 

In a nutshell, even though your menstrual cycle is split into 4 phases, the main principle behind seed cycling is splitting your cycle into two – day 1 – 15 (with day 1 starting on the first day of your period) and 16 – 28 (or however long your cycle actually is).

 

In the first part of your cycle, you’ll be taking a tablespoon of flax seed and a tablespoon of pumpkin seed each day. This supports estrogen production.

 

In the second half of your cycle, you’ll be supporting progesterone production by taking a tablespoon of sunflower seeds and a tablespoon of sesame seeds each day.

 

Seems pretty straight forward, doesn’t it?

 

I decided to add the seeds into my morning smoothie so that it would be easy to integrate into my morning routine and I wouldn’t have to think about it for the rest of the day.  Luckily, I had all the seeds already on hand in my kitchen cupboard, so I moved them to my kitchen counter so I would remember to add them to my morning smoothie.

 

So far, I’ve been doing seed cycling for three cycles, and it’s taken 3 cycles to see any difference in my skin. I have to admit that when I continued to breakout after the first round of seed cycling, I was very disappointed. I decided to keep going, knowing that it takes time and patience to bring balance back to sex hormones.

 

So I plunged into the next round of seed cycling, which by this point, had become a habit. As long as I had my morning smoothie, adding the seeds was an automatic action that I didn’t need to think too much about.

 

Cue my disappointment, when my next luteal phase arrived and so did the pimples on my chin and around the lower right hand side of my mouth and cheek.

 

Nevertheless, I persisted.

 

I looked at my skin in the mirror this morning and realised that my usual luteal phase spots hadn’t appeared. And I did a little cartwheel of joy inside!

 

I’m taking a wait and see approach to the seed cycling and will probably continue to do it for at least three more menstrual cycles to continue to balance my hormones and support my skin health.

 

Would you try seed cycling to support hormone balance, skin health and your menstrual cycle?

 

If you want to have an in-depth conversation about way I can help you support your hormone, skin and menstrual health and feel more in control of what’s happening in your body, book a free 30 minute hormone health review by clicking this link

 

Photo by Cathal Mac an Bheatha on Unsplash

Eating for your menstrual cycle

eating for your menstrual cycle

 

Since I started tracking my period a few years ago, I’ve become much more aware of the different phases of my period, the dips in my energy and mood and what I can eat to support my hormones in each phase.

 

Menstrual Phase

The menstrual phase is when many of us feel super low with less energy and cramps and pain, to boot. During this time, I love eating lots of iron rich foods like grass-fed organic beef and lamb, dark leafy greens, chickpeas and lentils to rebuild my iron levels and lots of vitamin C foods like citrus, berries, peppers and broccoli to help absorb the iron from the iron-rich vegetables. 

 

I continue to eat lots of good fats to fight any sugar (chocolate!!!) cravings.

 

Do you notice a difference in what you eat in the week of your period?

 

Follicular Phase 

This usually happens for a week after your period ends.  This is the time in your cycle when you feel amazing, with great, glowing skin and loads of energy. Can anyone relate to this?

 

I love eating lots of leafy greens, flax, pumpkin, beetroot, chilli, watermelon and oily fish during this time of my cycle to support hormone clearance, blood circulation and give my immune system a boost.

 

Do you notice a difference in what you eat (and crave!) in the week after you finish your period?

 

Ovulatory Phase 

Yes, this phase is still important even when we’re not trying to get pregnant! The menstrual cycle has been called the fifth vital sign and ovulation is a sign that things are working as they should.

 

So what do you eat to support your body when you ovulate? Well, eating a diet rich in fruit and veg, free-range meat and dairy, wild fish and some whole grains will support ovulation – this is something that’s helpful through your cycle.

 

Vitamin D foods like mushrooms, wild salmon, sardines, organic milk and eggs  and a variety of fruit and veg in a range of colours have loads of antioxidants and phytonutrients that help support the immune system during this phase.

 

Luteal Phase 

My luteal phase, which is at the end of my cycle, right before my period, is when I need lots of healthy fats to support skin health and prevent the breakouts that are so common during this time. I also eat lots of magnesium and tryptophan foods to help support my mood – avocado, wild salmon, sesame and sunflower seeds are great during this time.

 

Would you eat for your cycle? For some, this is too much detail, so here’s a few basic food principles that will support your cycle no matter what phase you’re in.

 

  1. Eat lots of vegetables every day, especially green leafy and cruciferous vegetables. 
  2. Eat a rainbow of fruit and vegetables.
  3. Drink lots of water.
  4. Eat and drink fermented foods.
  5. Eat wild caught fish a few times a week.
  6. Be mindful about the way you eat sugar and drink caffeine and alcohol.

 

Do you eat to support your cycle? Would you try it?
Are you feeling perplexed by your cycle? Do you want to finally get to grips with period pain, mood swings and sugar cravings? Book in for a free 30 minute Hormone Health Review!

 

What are the fundamentals of self-care?

yoga as self care

I’ve been talking a lot recently about self care: how it’s in my view, not a trend, but a sustainable way to listen to and have respect for your body.

 

Self care means different things to different people, which is where some of the confusion comes from. In essence, it’s about taking the time to do the things that refresh and recharge YOU.  For me, this is about making sure I get enough sleep, spend quality time with friends (and not just texting them), eating enough veg every day and making sure to practice yoga and deep breathing every day.

 

For you, it could be something completely different.

 

As with everything, there are some fundamentals to self care: eating well, maintaining good personal hygiene, moving your body everyday, finally quitting smoking and being in nature.

 

Everything in your body is connected and a daily self care practice tends to your mind, body and spirit. Which is one of the reasons I called my business Eat Love Move: a lifelong journey of health addresses all of these areas.

 

Of course, I’m not perfect and I need to take my own advice. I pulled back from a lot this past week as I was feeling drained, down and generally a bit out of sorts. I blamed it on needing a slow start to 2018, but really, I wasn’t taking care of myself properly. Not sleeping enough, skipping meals and feeling a bit overwhelmed.

 

I went back to basics and focused on eating almost all of my meals at home, sticking to a daily yoga practice, going to bed earlier and doing my alternate nostril breathing when anxious feelings started to creep up.

 

So tell me. What do you think about self care?

Do you set intentions for yourself?

have you set your intentions for 2018 yet?

I’ve been thinking a lot about resolutions and intentions this week.

 

January rolls around and a lot of us put pressure on ourselves to build a list of resolutions that are mostly about things we should improve about ourselves. Problems we should resolve about ourselves.

 

But what if we accepted ourselves as we are?

 

What if we set intentions instead? Intentions are a common way of starting a yoga session, a positive way of focusing the mind for the practice ahead.

 

Daily, weekly and monthly intentions are a lovely way to focus on the present and the good things you want to do for yourself.

 

My intentions for 2018 are to live in the moment and remember all the things I’ve achieved (it’s easy to forget these things, isn’t it?).

 

What are your intentions for 2018?

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

 

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.

 

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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What are the benefits of coffee?

coffee break

Like many people in the UK, coffee is my go to morning drink. I love the smell, the taste and the ritual of making a lovely cup of joe. There’s also the sheer weekend pleasure of having the time to sip on a hot cup of black coffee while reading the newspaper.

 

It pains me to say this because I love it so much, but coffee is a much-maligned drink, with the downside more frequently talked about than the many positives. A recent review of studies in the BMJ showed that moderate coffee drinking is okay and has some benefits, but like all good things, you need to know when to stop.

 

So what are the benefits? 

1. A cup of coffee is so much more than just hot black water. A cup of coffee contains riboflavin (vitamin B2), pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), manganese, potassium, magnesium and niacin (vitamin B3). Coffee is also packed with antioxidants.

 

2. Coffee can improve brain function. Caffeine blocks one type of neurotransmitter that can hold you back and increases noradrenaline and dopamine, leading to enhanced firing of neurons.

 

3. Coffee could lower your risk of developing type II diabetes. A number of observational studies show that coffee drinkers have as much as a 62% lower risk of developing this disease; one of the biggest health problems of our time, which is characterised by raised blood sugar and the inability to secrete insulin to lower blood sugar levels. A daily cup can typically lower your risk by 7%.

 

4. Coffee can help you burn fat. Caffeine is found in almost every fat loss supplement because it’s one of a very small number of substances proven to help with fat burning. Research shows that it can boost your metabolic rate by up to 11%, and raise the amount of fat you burn by between 10% in overweight people and 29% in lean people. The downside is that the effects are likely to diminish with time in regular coffee drinkers.

 

5. The caffeine in coffee can boost your physical performance. Caffeine stimulates production of adrenaline. This is one of the stress hormones, but primes you for physical activity. A cup of coffee can improve physical performance by up to 12%. Caffeine also stimulates the nervous system, telling it to break down the fat stored in fat cells and making the energy more available to be used as fuel. A cup of black coffee before a workout could improve your performance in the gym!

 

What’s the best way to enjoy coffee?

No coffee after 2pm. It is, after all, a stimulant and, if you drink it too late in the day, it can interfere with the quality of your sleep, or your ability to get to sleep in the first place.

 

Ditch the sugar. A sure fire way to undo all the good a cup of coffee can do is to add a few spoons of the white stuff. The downside to sugar is now pretty well documented. In a nutshell, it increases inflammation in the body, and can lead to obesity and diabetes.

 

Go organic. Coffee is routinely heavily sprayed with pesticides, so go for organic whenever you can.

 

How much can I drink?

The amount of caffeine in a single cup of coffee varies enormously. A small home brewed cup is likely to contain around 50mg per cup (unless you have an amazing coffee machine), while a large one from a coffee shop might have over 400mg. You’d expect the average cup to have around 100mg.

 

A number of studies suggest up to 400mg a day (that’s about 4 cups) is safe for most people but many people are able to enjoy more without any ill effects. Do bear in mind that tea, chocolate and some soft drinks and prescription drugs also contain caffeine, so you need to view your coffee intake in light of other things you are eating and drinking.

 

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!

 

Contact Me

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.

My new e-book is here!

 

I am so excited to share my first e-book, Six Ways To Improve Your Period Pain! In it, you’ll find six ways to get started on improving your period pain, including ways to integrate these changes into your life.

 

Period pain is so common and it needn’t be. I’m passionate about helping women get to a place where they understand their menstrual cycles, their periods are pain-free and they know more about how their bodies work. Use this link to download my book.

 

Want to know more and have a more personalised session? Get in touch for a free 20 minute period health review!

 

How well do you know your menstrual cycle?

swan at the round pond

This isn’t a trick question!

 

There are a few signs that tell you it’s worth becoming more familiar with your menstrual cycle.

 

Are you surprised every month when your period arrives? Do you get hit like a brick with PMS every month, feeling like it’s come out of nowhere? Do you track your period by when you get PMS symptoms?

 

Ladies, there is a better way!

 

Knowing more about your menstrual cycle and embracing it can benefit you in so many ways.

 

Firstly, I encourage you to download one of the many period tracker apps out there and start tracking your menstrual cycle and symptoms. At the very least, you won’t be surprised when your period arrives every month #whitejeansallyear

 

After a few months, you start to get a sense of the length of your cycle. And it’s really important to know  that not every woman has a 28 day cycle. Some women’s cycles can be as short as 21 days and as long as 35 days. Every woman’s cycle is different so don’t compare yourself or your cycle to your friends.

 

Once you know when your period is scheduled to arrive, you can then start tackling your PMS. Many women get PMS in the 7 days before their periods, with symptoms like bloating, anger, irritability, brain fog, weepiness, pain and acne. PMS is a sign that something is wrong, so please don’t accept it as normal!

 

But your cycle isn’t just about when you get your period. Did you know that you have four phases to your cycle, where each of your sex hormones will peak or decrease depending on the phase?  This is why you might have more or less physical and emotional energy at certain times of your cycle or your libido might be higher or lower. It’s all connected to your hormones.

 

Knowledge is power. Knowing the ins and outs of your menstrual cycle can help you manage it better, get to grips with PMS, period pain, heavy bleeding and emotional ups and downs.

 

Do you need help understanding your cycle and your hormones? Book in for a free 20 minute Hormone Health Review!

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Alcohol and your hormones

christmas lights

We’re creeping up on Christmas party season, traditionally a time when many of us indulge in a tipple or two and let our hair down.

 

We all know that alcohol is a toxin. Yes, I said it! It tastes great and can loosen you up, but your body has to work hard to clear this toxin from your body. And guess what organ does most of the work? Your liver!

 

Your liver is an incredible organ. It has over 200 functions, including cholesterol production and fat & protein metabolism. For women, the liver is where we metabolise or break down hormones like oestrogen, testosterone, progesterone and remove the excess from our bodies.

 

Because the liver does so much for us, when we drink alcohol, we put an extra burden on our livers. Alcohol is very toxic and cannot be stored by the body, so the liver prioritises clearing it from your body above its many other functions.

 

The thing is, if you have PMS, heavy & painful periods, PCOS or are perimenopausal or menopausal, alcohol can throw a spanner in the works, affecting your hormones and throwing them out of balance.

 

So when you drink a lot, your liver’s number one priority is removing alcohol in the form of ethanol from your body. And while it’s doing that, it can’t do things get rid of excess oestrogen that might by causing PMS or perimenopause symptoms.

 

More bad news: all of this means that your oestrogen levels are raised and your body’s capacity to burn fat slows down.

 

So what does this mean for you?  If you’re having hormonal issues, it’s time to think about much alcohol you drink. If you’re worried about losing weight, then it’s also time to think about how much alcohol you drink.

 

The British government recommend a maximum of 14 units of alcohol each week for men and women, which is the equivalent of 6 pints or 6 small glasses of wine. Not in one session, mind!

 

Have you found that alcohol has had an effect on your PMS or perimenopause symptoms?

 

Are your hormones getting the better of you? Get in touch for to book a free 20 minute health & hormone review to find out more about how you can get things back into balance.

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