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 […]
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. […]
Have you ever thought about how your cycle affects the way you exercise?
The highs and lows of hormones means that at certain times in your cycle it’s better to slow things down and do very light, gentle exercise. And at other times in your cycle, you feel full of energy and ready to take on the world.
Do you notice a difference in the way you feel about exercise during your menstrual cycle?
During the first few days of my period, I usually stick to light and gentle yoga sessions, because I find that anything else leaves me feeling totally drained afterwards, which is the opposite of how I want to feel after I work out!
I notice a huge difference in my energy levels as soon as I finish my period.
My energy skyrockets (along with my estrogen and progesterone levels) and I feel ready to take on the world!
It’s during this time of my cycle, I like to try new types of exercises, new classes, new instructors and new yoga flows. I find that I’m much more open to trying new things and the energy I have helps me retain new information.
There’s a point in our cycles where we feel so full of energy, like we can conquer the world!
Can you relate to this?
This is usually happens around day 14-16 of our menstrual cycles when we ovulate. We’re at the peak of our powers and it’s the point when our estrogen and progesterone levels are at their highest.
This is the time in our cycles when it’s great to go hell for leather into your hardest, most challenging class, turn the dial up to the hardest you’ve ever gone in your spin class or add a bit of extra weight in the gym.
Do you ever feel a bit sluggish and tired in the week before your period? As estrogen and progesterone start to drop, so do our energy levels.
This is the time when you might feel a bit moody, bloated and your skin might breakout a bit.
During this time in my cycle, I try not to push myself, unless I’m really feeling up to it.
Instead, I focus on restorative yoga flows, lots of slow paced sun salutations and brisk walking (I can’t get away from walking, living in London!).
The peaks and troughs of our hormones and how they connect to our energy levels show how important it is for us to listen to our bodies and not force ourselves to exercise that our bodies aren’t ready for that particular day.
Do you want to talk more about your menstrual cycle and getting control of any hormonal issues that are stopping you from exercising and leading a life full of energy? Book in for a free 30 minute Hormone Health Review!
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 […]
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. […]
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
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 […]
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 […]
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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 […]
It’s party season again and I want to assure you that it is indeed possible to have lots of fun and celebrate without compromising your health. Here are some easy tips to keep you healthy and mindful throughout December and help you go into the […]
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!