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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?
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 […]
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.
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 […]
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.
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 […]
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.
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.
How many hours do you sleep a night? Ideally, according to the World Health Organisation, we should be sleeping at least 8 hours a night, uninterrupted. Anything less counts as sleep deprivation. And guess what: on average, most of us get 7 or fewer hours […]