Why National Stress Awareness Day could save your life

Why National Stress Awareness Day could save your life

I know the title ‘Why National Stress Awareness Day’ could save your life sounds dramatic, but it is true.

Stress is called the silent killer

According to the World Health Organisation Of the 56.4 million deaths worldwide in 2015, more than half (54%) were due to the top 10 causes. And the top 2 causes for the past 15 years have been Ischaemic heart disease and stroke. Stress is often a feature of these two causes.

Have you accepted stress as part of your life?

Society has really changed hasn’t it. More families with both parents working, single parent families, caring responsibilities. Expensive houses to pay for, images and expectations to live up to and of course social media to keep up with.

There’s children’s education, clubs, hobbies, social events and physical and emotional needs to attend to.

You might choose to study. Maybe while working, running a home and raising a family at the same time.

Then there is convienience food and spending a lot of time sitting in jobs that require computer work. And a competitive environment for well paid work.

Wow, it’s stressful even writing all that.

Everyone seems to be in such a rush and has accepted that as normal. Have you?

Hence the popularity of retreats!

What impact is this stress having on your life?

You know the drill. Work as hard as possible do everything as listed above. But you are not too worried because yes! You have a holiday to look forward to. Maybe even all inclusive. Everything done for you. You can really enjoy this time to relax and unwind and just ‘be’. You arrive on the holiday and spend the first few days in a vegetated state. Or even worse… ill! You can’t believe it. Where is your energy? And your joy? They seemed to have gone on a different holiday!

This is so common for people who are living in a stressed state most of the time. The body gets a glimpse of ‘stopping’ and it makes the most of it.

Things you may not have noticed as signs of stress

Thing is, when stress creeps up gradually, you don’t always notice it. You take on more and more. Do more and more. And you are so busy you don’t notice some of the symptoms of stress are upon you like:

  • Headaches
  • Muscular pain in our neck, shoulders or back
  • Fatigue and low energy levels
  • Raised blood pressure
  • Palpitations
  • Increased pain thresholds
  • Poor sleep patterns
  • Poor breathing
  • Suppressed immune system  and increased susceptibility to infections
  • Increases in blood sugar and cholesterol levels

 

Don’t ignore the signs

burnout

Left ignored these symptoms can build into bigger problems like burnout, depression and anxiety. It is your body and mind’s way of rebelling against the pressure it’s under.

Once you suffer from these they may affect:
  • Your relationships with family or friends
  • Your hobbies, interests and leisure time
  • Your performance at work, school or college

 

This is the most important point in this blog:

Noticing yourself is the answer to good health. Noticing how you feel. Noticing your energy levels. Your mood. Your interactions with others. How your body feels.

Imagine you had a leaking tap in your bathroom? And you didn’t notice. And it kept dripping and started creating a small flow of water that needed to escape. So it finds a way through a crack in the tiles. And it keeps leaking and leaking. And then there is a funny smell. And you notice but don’t address it. And before you know it you have a damp issue and a big problem to fix. It’s important to notice.

So all I would encourage you to do as a first step is to notice how you feel.

Notice what might cause you stress and then you can work on a plan to reduce the stress in your life. I will be writing a couple of blogs around relaxation which will really help you reduce stress.

 

Take an easy step to reducing stress and relaxing by joining my free 21 Day Wellbeing Challenge

It is called a challenge but it’s easy! I promise you will feel less stressed at the end. Sign up now!

 

 

 

Healthy eating day 21 – What type of eater are you?

child eating chocolate

What type of eater are you?

Just as we have different personalities, we are different types of eaters. Here I have taken a look at just a few, but it would be great to hear about others you think of.

If you want this blog emailed to you simply sign up to my newsletter at the bottom of the blog. People are loving that!

The waste eater

coffee-creams

‘Don’t worry about the leftovers, John will clear those up.’ Are YOU John? Does your appetite know no bounds and you just cannot leave any leftovers. Kids don’t finish their tea… no  problem you are there to finish it! Macmillan cake morning, you finish ALL the leftover cake? Or maybe you actually eat the coffee creams that are left in a box of chocolates?

The emotional eater

Bad day at work and you reach for some ‘comfort food’? Or maybe you are feeling the stress and munch through biscuit after biscuit. Or you are feeling lonely and food becomes your new best friend. Food is a much used emotional reliever but unfortunately we can get to use it a bit too much and gain weight as a result. Which then causes more emotions about feeling bad about our bodies. A vicious circle!

The plate loader

eat as much as you like plate of food

Maybe you love ‘eat as much as you like’ restaurants? How exciting being able to load your plate with a wide variety of foods and as high as you like! You merrily eat your way through one plate and then go for seconds even though you are not at all hungry. After the second plate you hold your stomach and moan that you are over full! But you just have to have a go at that chocolate fountain don’t you? After all, how often do you get to use a chocolate fountain? And it’s free!

The sugar addict

Coco pops for breakfast or chocolate spread on toast, that gives you that early morning sugar kick that you need. By mid morning a chocolate biscuit seems like a good idea, but one or two are never enough and that ends up at 5! Few cups of tea with sugar throughout the day and a nice sandwich and creamy chilled desert for lunch. Now what’s for tea? Maybe a sweet & sour sauce on something but definitely ice cream for pudding. And there’s that nice big family bar of chocolate waiting in the fridge for later….. And in a sweet shop you are well, like a kid in a sweet shop!

The sniffer dog

Your partner is out. You know there must be some goodies in the house somewhere and you are going to find them! Wow those cupboards are dusty up there but nope, not there. Surely there must be a stash somewhere? So you put your best hunting skills to use and eventually find something. You want it but you don’t want them to know you’ve had it. This dilemma plays on your mind for a while but in the end you think you will replace it tomorrow and scoff it anyway.  You cannot be trusted around Easter and Christmas with all those Easter eggs and selection boxes around!

 

These are just a few light hearted types of eaters that maybe you can relate to. Just like our personalities, self awareness is key and often the first step to making changes if you want to.

Over the past week we’ve heard from 6 different guest bloggers.

Here they are if you want to catch up:

Jill Howie from Porchester told us how she changed her diet and changed her life. Read it here  

Carol Hunter from Worthing shared her bread making secrets with us. Read it here

Maggie Albrecht from London told us how she put positive thoughts into her vegetarian food. Read that one here

Rebecca Boulton a nutritionist from Yorkshared a day in her food life. Read it here

Healthnutgirl Rachel Kieffer from New York City gave us some easy healthy eating tips here

Ayurvedic practitioner, Julie Rawnsley from Ditching, near Brighton shared her Ayurvedic day with us here

It’s been wonderful hearing from so many different people about their healthy eating andover the next 9 days we will hear from even more.

Why sign up for my newsletter?

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See you tomorrow

Healthy hug 🙂

Honey

 

 

 

Healthy eating – Day 18 – What food does Rebecca Boulton eat? Find out here…..

Rebecca Boulton is a Nutritional Therapist from Yorkshire and runs Simple & Clean nutrition. She provides Nutritional Coaching for busy women struggling with hormonal imbalances who want to transform their bodies, health and lives with simple diet changes. So what food does Rebecca eat? Here she tells us.

The Day In a Life of a Nutritional Therapist 

My day always starts with a large glass of tepid water with a squeeze of fresh lemon and apple cider vinegar to help kickstart my digestion and support the liver. The best way to have this is on an empty stomach. I make sure I stay hydrated throughout the rest of the day with plenty of water, green and peppermint tea. I love coffee and for me it’s the hardest thing to give up, but I am quite sensitive it and it sends me cortisol levels up so I only have 1 (2 max) cups a day. I have good quality fresh coffee with coconut oil to help calm the nervous system and for some healthy fats.

I get up before the kids so I can get some exercise in and also do some meditation and journaling while I have some peace. I meet a friend at 6am twice a week for a HiiT workout and then a couple of days I do kettlebells in my garage. I’m a bit lazy so I like the quick workouts which give maximum results and those work best for me. Other days I’ll just have a bit of a stretch to wake myself up! I’m not naturally a morning person but I find this helps me start the day calm and energised instead of rushing around stressed out trying to fit everything in like I used to!

green smoothie

Breakfast is usually a green smoothie (with extra protein powder like Sunwarrior or Purition for workout days to help with recovery) made with spinach or kale, some berries or half a banana, almond milk and some flaxseeds and chia seeds. Often I add in some cacoa powder for magnesium or spirulina if I need an iron boost. So, I don’t wake the kids, I make it up the night before and store in the fridge as my nutribullet is pretty noisy and I don’t want to disturb them (or my peaceful morning!).

homemade muesli

I’ll follow the smoothie with either some scrambled eggs with avocado and spinach or homemade muesli with yoghurt and berries. For me, breakfast is the biggest meal of the day as that is when I am most hungry!

I understand the importance of mindful eating

Once I’ve got the kids to school, I spend the rest of the morning at my desk until lunchtime. I usually break about midday and have a walk around, stretch off and some lunch. Long gone are the days of scoffing a sandwich at my desk without even noticing what I’m eating, while still working!

Nowadays I understand the importance of mindful eating and ensuring I focus on what I’m eating and when I’m full up. One of the things I’ve found with my clients is that they are no longer able to recognise the signs and just eat until they have emptied their plate. Stepping away from your desk and taking time to breathe and relax is also important for you mentally and emotionally in helping to reduce overwhelm and stress.

Rebecca's lunch

Lunch is an omelette (if I haven’t had eggs for breakfast!), a salad with chicken, salmon or prawns or some quinoa with roasted vegetables. I plan all my meals in advance and pre-prepare as much as I can which always helps me make better choices. I take a couple of hours at a weekend or after school to prep veg, chicken, fish, make a healthy cake or muffins and protein balls to keep in the fridge. It saves time, money and stress!

After I’ve picked the kids up, we always have an after school snack (usually oatcakes and hummus, fruit with some nuts or a Nak’d bar if we’re in a hurry). We often go a long time between lunch and dinner and it’s important to make sure your blood sugars don’t crash as this can make you tired, irritable and find it difficult to concentrate. As I don’t normally eat until 8pm I need something to keep me going or I am grumpy mum and just want a snooze on the sofa.

Dinner time

salmon and vegetables

 

Dinner is usually fish or chicken with roasted vegetables, a stir fry or a curry. We’re big fans of the quick and easy option. I also love my slow cooker and use to make big batches of chilli, stews and roasting joints of meat.

For me, it’s all about keeping it as simple as possible, being prepared so I get everything my body needs without it taking over my life, and allowing room for the odd chocolate, glass of wine or meal out!

You can find Rebecca on facebook

 

A note from Honey

Thank you Rebecca for sharing your food day with us and that steady energy sounds great!

What’s in this blog for you:

  • 30 days of blogs from a variety of people including experts to give you top tips and inspiration for healthy eating
  • You can get this blog sent to you every day if you sign up here for my newsletter and you will also get a free relaxing recording

See you tomorrow

Healthy hug 🙂

Honey

 

 

Healthy eating day 17 – guest blogger Maggie Albrecht tells is why she is a vegetarian

Today’s guest blogger is vegetarian Maggie Albrecht who is a certified NLP Trainer, Coach, mBIT Coach, Advanced Law of Attraction Practitioner and Reiki healer from London.  She is the owner of Life Redefined.

You are what you eat

How often do you hear the phrase ‘you are what you eat’? When I first heard it, years ago, I thought well that can’t be… What? I’m am big old hamburger wandering around? That must mean that every time I eat something, I change, and that doesn’t make any sense. How can eating something change who I am? Well I’ve done a little adapting myself since those days.

I’ve learnt lots (still an infinite amount to continue learning) and realised that yes, we are what we eat. I know if I go through a period of eating lots of sugary stuff or highly processed food, then I’ll really lack in energy afterwards. I feel hungover without the pleasure of having experienced the alcohol!

Why I am a vegetarian

little plant

When I was younger I used to be a vegetarian. 8 years without meat until a fateful girls weekend away in Barcelona when I was 21. Most veggies who relent say it was a bacon sandwich. Mine was a whole chicken, there was even a stunning photo of me, shoving the chicken carcass into my face so I didn’t miss anything. Nice.

Fast forward 18 years and I’ve recently become a vegetarian again. I’m learning so much about energies and how everything is interconnected, that I don’t want to eat meat or fish again. I just don’t want to cause pain. Purely personal, I don’t judge what others eat. Eating another species is survival, I’m not against it, it’s just that I won’t die if I don’t get that steak, but something else will.

Does veganism call? Not sure yet. Will see what happens. The point is, I feel better in myself. Not necessarily because I’m not eating meat but because I’m not feeling bad or have guilt attached to what I’m eating in the same way anymore.

The power of your thoughts

think positive thoughts

You might have heard of Dr Emoto and his water experiments. If not then you can easily find further info online. He conducted experiments with water to show how powerful thoughts were, and how they could change  molecular structure. Part of the experiment was to talk to water in different ways. Some samples were told they were loved, some that they were hated or made a person feel sick.

For the purpose of this article, to make it easier to explain, let’s use the labels good and bad thoughts. The water was then frozen and the molecules studied under a microscope. Those subjected to ‘good’ thoughts were beautifully formed.  The molecules subjected to the ‘bad’ thoughts were all twisted and ugly. For the sake of copyright I can’t show you pictures here, but pop his name into a search engine and check out the images. The differences are astounding.

Now think about the human body. We’re about 3/4 water. What about the foods we eat, whether it’s plants, fruits, animals, fish or vegetables? Bearing this in mind, doesn’t it make sense to be a bit more aware of what we’re eating? The experiences our food goes through before becoming dinner, could affect our energies and our own molecular structure.

Everything is your choice

pancakes smiling on plate

So what can we do? Well you don’t need to give up anything if you don’t want to. It all comes down to personal choice. What you can do is set an intention when you are preparing your food. You don’t have to have studied Reiki or hug trees on a regular basis to flow positive energy through your food. As you prepare it, put yourself into a ‘good’ state of mind, whether it’s joy, peace, happiness, love; you get the picture.

Imagine that feeling infusing into your food (or drink). If you’re out or have not prepared the food yourself, you can give a little quiet thank you for what you are about to eat. Imagine every mouthful or sip making you stronger, full of love or healthier. This is your food, your thoughts; you choose what enters your body and the affect that has. If you’re feeling stressed before you eat, take a moment to calm yourself. The last thing you want to do is pass that energy into your food and then ingest even more stress!

I appreciate this might sound odd (or even very odd), but life is in the experience. Give it a try for a week. You’ve got nothing to lose, apart from maybe some guilt weight.

Maggie is an NLP Trainer and Coach. She encourages women to live life with purpose, power and passion! You can follow her on Facebook at Life Redefined UK. She offers residential (certified) NLP Practitioner and Master Practitioner training retreats.

 

A note from Honey

Thank you Maggie for sharing your positive mindset towards food. And everything else!

 

What’s in this blog for you:

  • 30 days of blogs from a variety of people including experts to give you ideas and top tips for healthy eating
  • Free advice and inspiration
  • You can get this blog sent to you every day if you sign up here for my newsletter and you will also get a free relaxing recording

See you tomorrow

Healthy hug 🙂

Honey

Healthy eating day 16 – If you love bread you must read this!

Today’s guest blogger is artisan baker, Carol Hunter from Worthing. Grainwave is Carol’s business and she sells baked goods, including gluten free bread from her home in Worthing and at Goring farmer’s market.

A day in the life of ……… a fairly average (self-proclaimed) artisan baker

The ‘early to bed, early to rise’ maxim has always been in my subconscious, but only became a reality when I started my own business a couple of years ago. That’s when it became a choice thing rather than a struggle. (the ‘late to bed, late to rise’ – student thing  and ‘no-sleep, early rise’ of new-born infant thing were something else entirely!)

So what that means for me these days is starting the day with some ‘overnight oats’ – my own choice of additional nutty, seedy material to some basic bircher muesli soaked in organic soya milk. Fruit – it happens to be foraged blackberries from my own hedge this morning – and half a banana.

In winter it’s porridge – minus the seasonal blackberries – cranberries and grated apple. Oh, and lemon and ginger tea. I’ve taken advice from my Chinese doctor, mentor and well-being guru on the tea. She’s right, it’s a brilliant early morning de-tox. Whatever the season, if I start the day with that kind of combination, I know I can get to lunchtime without deviant snacking!

Soda bread

soda-bread

If it’s summer – which it seems to be for at least three days a week at the moment – I need to get on task immediately after my muesli. Summer is busy for my best customer – a local seafood restaurant – so today it’s early morning slicing and wrapping of the light soda bread ready for lunchtime service.

This is a great recipe and I often make extra for my own bread bin. Easy to digest unyeasted bread made with a blend of organic white and stoneground wholewheat flour. I add lemon juice and zest as it goes really well with fish and seafood plates at the restaurant. At home I just toast it like normal bread and have it with poached eggs, but it’s great with your favourite breakfast spread – honey or nut butters are delicious!

I never have enough eggs!

OK, so far so good. Almost eleven o’clock and seem to have found enough to distract me from any thoughts of food. Namely, a trip to Sainsbury’s for essential supplies – why have I never got enough eggs? I have a very convenient arrangement with my neighbour Zoe; she hands over a consignment of eggs from very happy hens and in return I supply her with organic home-made bread for the weekend … and still I end up at the supermarket making up the shortfall!

After a diversion to buy paint, I arrive home and embark on a small DIY project – painting a couple of tired old chairs. That takes me industriously towards coffee o’clock.

Time to get Zoe’s bread on its first proofing. Today it’s organic malted sunflower seed. I get all my flour delivered from a traditional flour mill in Gloucestershire. Once I tried it, there was no going back. The quality speaks for itself. I don’t make fancy bread, people are happy with a nice wholesome loaf that tastes good with anything – which isn’t that difficult if you make it yourself.

No bloating

48-hydration-sourdough

Pictured 48% hydration sourdough

The key element to home baking is the time you can give your bread to rise properly. All mine is done at room temperature. No running up and down stairs to the airing cupboard, just leave it to do its own thing – which may be most of the day. That way, the bread doesn’t start fermenting again in your tummy, which means no bloating

The last thing I do most evenings is weigh and feed my sourdough starter. This is the science part. OK, I don’t use my own wild yeast in every loaf, but by growing your own yeast, the only thing in your bread dough is flour, water and salt and nothing else! So for my bread it’s’ early to bed, slow to rise’ and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

 You can find Carol on Facebook at Grainwave and on her website

 

A note from Honey

Thank you Carol for sharing all your bread insights. I will be along for a loaf soon 🙂

What’s in this blog for you:

  • 30 days of blogs from a variety of people including experts to give you ideas and top tips for healthy eating
  • Free advice and inspiration
  • You can get this blog sent to you every day if you sign up here for my newsletter and you will also get a free relaxing recording

See you tomorrow

Healthy hug 🙂

Honey

Healthy eating – Day 15. Jill Howie tells us how she changed her diet and changed her life

Healthy eating – Day 15. Jill Howie tells us how she changed her diet and changed her life

How I changed my diet and changed my life

Jill Howie from Portchester, Fareham changed her diet and changed her life. Here she shares her story.

This is Jill Howie

Hi this is me in mid April at the beginning of my journey and 18 weeks later some 3 stone 4lbs lighter and feeling on top of the world indeed (some way to go but I ll never go back to the old me ).

My life is now full and fantastic

To show you how I changed my life around I’ll show you a fairly typical day (although I must say life is so full and fantastic right now that “typical” changes daily).

exercise bike

So normally I will wake around 6 am and drink a large glass of water (I love water now and drink at least 3 litres a day. A must for everyone ) and be ready to either do a small workout (I find many online and do a quite simple legs bums and tums or arms one) but today was a cycle whilst catching up on recorded programme.

That done it’s time for brekkie which this morning was a snicker (only joking it was a smoothie made with chocolate, hazlenut milk and cashew butter). Delicious yet healthy and completely natural.

This morning I have a few notes to write up and some info to send to some prospective clients (I run my own business helping others get fab fit and healthy too. Just a dream come true truly).

Snack time

humous and celery snack strawberry crunch nakd bar

To keep me going until lunch I will have a snack today is houmous and celery but lots of other lovelies available fruit , nuts , nakd bars for example.

Lunch

tuna salad lunch

After a busy morning I’m ready for a light lunch and as its so hot out I opt for a lovely delicious tuna salad.

Healthier treats

You know following this healthy eating had changed my life and why I ever did these fad diets before is beyond me.  Clean eating has literally changed my life. Now to share it with a friend who is coming to visit as she has just started with me and so I’m making a few healthier cakes and biscuits we can have guilt free.

healthy cakes and biscuits

Chocolate cakes made from a very simple gluten wheat and dairy free recipe as are the lemon biscuits (both were quite delicious ) So much so said friend left with the left overs and recipe in hand which is always a good sign.

My confidence is growing

I really sometimes have to pinch myself when I think how much my life has changed. With poor health and little confidence my life seemed to revolve around my home quite often alone and sleeping.  Now I am out and about helping others as well as attending as many events as I possibly can.

My confidence is growing even to the point where I allow the odd photo.  This was always a no no hence the shortage of before photos. Crazy isn’t it!!

Dinner

So to dinner what do we have for dinner tonight chicken tikka masala won again all fresh clean ingredients no take aways or processed for us anymore. This is so much tastier and so easy. Tasted divine I can tell you.

healthy food
Here are a few of the meals we’ve eaten recently there really is no need to go hungry to lose weight and get healthy.

This evening is so lovely we spent it in the garden and I decided to use one of my cheats ( these are good to have keeps you focused and nothing is off limits if you really want it although I find mostly my body craves goodness even when we eat out its the fish and fresh vegetables that have me drooling not he stodge anymore).

So whilst hubby and I talk about our dream holiday which may now be in our reach since the change in my health and our finances, I treat myself to vodka and soda and possibly a few healthy nibbles.

Life is a dream right now. I hope you ve found some inspiration from my words if you d like to talk to me and find out more about how I’ve changed my life please  email me

A note from Honey

Thank you Jill for sharing your clean eating journey with us and well done.

 

What’s in this blog for you:

  • 30 days of blogs from a variety of people including experts to give you ideas and top tips for healthy eating
  • Free advice and inspiration
  • You can get this blog sent to you every day if you sign up here for my newsletter and you will also get a free relaxing recording

See you tomorrow

Healthy hug 🙂

Honey

 

 

 

 

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