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Stressed? Then you have to read this

Sometimes I think that there must be some kind of “blanket” that envelopes us all. That can be the only explanation for how it can sometimes seem as if everyone is going through the same thing, all at the same time. This week, so many people I know seem to have had a tough time, be they colleagues, friends or family.

Whether it’s been miscommunication or unwanted surprises, it’s all boiled down to the same thing – feeling horribly stressed and perhaps also overwhelmed.

We have a lot on our plates. We are asked to lean in, to be a breadwinner (if not also the main breadwinner), to be a leader, a mum, and the very many roles we take on in our lives. We are so good at multi-tasking, that we often overlook that we’ve taken on too much, and often forget to put ourselves into the picture.

If this is you, here’s what I really want for you to hear.

You deserve to put yourself first. Take time for yourself. Be kind, to yourself.

Sometimes, this might mean not striving 100% of the time, because 80% is perfect. When I was growing up, I remember hearing someone say that even God took a break on the seventh day. 🙂

Giving ourselves a break – physically, mentally and emotionally – is truly central to de-stressing. The funny thing is, getting tense and stressed is unconscious. It’s like breathing. It happens without you thinking about it at all. But destressing and relaxing is conscious, and what this means is that you have a choice. You can choose to turn relaxation on.

But because we are so busy, we often choose not to. We cut ourselves off from the neck down, ignoring our body’s messages that it needs a break, and we carry on, pushing through tiredness, hunger, anxiety, pain….

I’ve been there too. Not even that long ago, and because this week has been so stressful for so many people I know, I wanted to remind you, to invite you, to take a break and to destress.

The key is to begin to make it a habit – to build in reminders throughout the day to step back, if only for a moment, to take that break, and to bring your body into a more relaxed place. Over time, as you begin to tune back in to your body’s messages and you begin to notice your stress levels starting to rise, take that break. The best thing of all is that you can begin to reverse the impact that stress has had on your life.

Here are some things you can do when you take that break, to bring your body into a relaxed state. Pick and mix, if you’d like.

  1. Breathe the 6/7/8 – Sit upright in your seat, feet placed flat on the floor, relax your head, neck, shoulders, body, legs, hands, feet, fingers and toes. Now, take a deep breath for the count of 6, hold it for the count of 7 and then exhale for the count of 8. Repeat this 5 times. How do you feel now?
  2. Stand up, stretch and gently bend backwards. Hold for the count of 3. Repeat 3 times.
  3. Shrug and roll your shoulders a few times, then gently bend your neck backwards, stretch your neck and look up. Hold for the count of 7.
  4. Close your eyes, and visualize somewhere peaceful and serene – the beach, a meadow, the forest, a lake…the choice is yours. Allow your mind to calm down and watch any thoughts that may arise float off into the distance. You’ll know when to open your eyes again 😉
  5. Tense all your muscles at the same time – clench your fists, your buttocks, straighten your arms and your legs, squeeze your eyes, scrunch your face, and hold for the count of 5, then release. Repeat 3 times.

There. Just a few ideas. What others might you have?

And of course, there’s food. What you eat, how you eat and when you eat, all have an impact on your stress levels too. Remember:

  • Eat within ½ and hour to an hour of waking up.
  • Eat protein, healthy fat and fibre with every meal and snack.
  • Eat regularly throughout the day, to keep your blood sugar levels stable. Typically, this means breakfast, lunch, dinner and two snacks.
  • Minimise the junk food, refined carbs, caffeine and alcohol, which mess with your hormones.
  • Try out one of my favourite snacks – an orange with a teaspoon full of almond or cashew butter. Yum!

Not too much biochemistry this week, haha. Now, over to you. Let me know how you go.

Make your next years your best years.

 

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Is Dietary Fat Good or Bad?… 30 Leading Health Experts Weigh In

Think back to the last time you decided you wanted to lose weight or to improve your health.

Now ask yourself: On that morning, what did you do differently? Did you continue eating exactly the same but eating less instead? Did you try to count your calories? Did you cut down on fat and eat more carbs?

The truth is, many people aren’t always sure what the best strategies are, because there have been mixed messages about what it really takes to lose weight, feel great and reverse chronic disease naturally.

jar sand measuring tablespoon of ghee - clarified butter on grunge wood

One of the key areas of confusion has been around the subject of dietary fat. Dietary guidelines told us to eat less fat and more carb. These were based on the results of a study known as the Seven Countries Study. Unfortunately, the results of that study were “cherry-picked”, meaning, that only the findings that supported what the researchers wanted to show were reported. In short, it was bad science.

Fast forward to today. According to the Fat Summit website, “In 2015, the United States Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee removed any recommendations to limit fat in the diet (after concluding that it doesn’t make us fat or sick).” I am absolutely curious to hear more about this.

If, like me, you want to hear what the experts have to say, then I have something to share that I know you’re going to love.

The Fat Summit – “Separating Fat from Fiction” <— Check this out

Take a look at this amazing event, featuring some of the top leaders in health and wellness, and functional medicine. Hosted by nine-time New York Times bestselling author, and an internationally recognized leader, educator and advocate in Functional Medicine, Dr Mark Hyman, the list of speakers include David Perlmutter MD, Chris Kresser, Josh Axe, Nina Teicholz, JJ Virgin, Barry Sears, Gary Taubes, Walter C. Willett, MD, Christiane Northrup, MD, not to mention 21 other experts in the lineup.

For one week starting January 25, they’ll be weighing in (pardon the pun!) on dietary fat and the secrets to sustained weight loss, health and longevity. And incredibly, they’re giving all this away for FREE.

Here are just some of the many fascinating topics they’re covering:

  • Why eating more fat (and less sugar) actually leads to weight loss
  • Whether or not children should eat a high-fat diet
  • How carbohydrates impact hunger (I wish I had known about this years ago)
  • The research on red meat (does “grass-fed” really make a difference?)
  • The connection between toxins and weight gain
  • How to enjoy healthy meat (with minimal environmental impact)
  • The best sources of plant-based fat
  • The role of fat in ageing (ahhh, this one is close to my heart these days)
  • And much more…

Registration kicked off YESTERDAY and space is limited. Don’t put off what could well be the most important move you make all year. Sign up right now.

I can’t wait for you to watch this. This is going to change lives.

Here’s to a healthier 2016!

Love

Veronica
xo

How To Eat For Health And Weight Loss

If you’ve ever been confused about what to eat to be healthy and to optimise your energy and your weight, you’re not alone. The world of healthy eating can be a minefield of confusion!

In the UK, the government issued guidelines on health, diet, lifestyle and wellbeing twenty years ago. But since then, there has been a lot of research and new knowledge gleaned in the field of nutrition and health and wellbeing… so is your thinking about what’s healthy for you been updated too? Or are you still holding on to now out-dated ideas, without realising that to be the case?

Now, the bottom line is that we are all bio-individual, meaning that each of us will respond or react differently to different foods and/or combinations of foods and/or relative amounts of the different food groups.

These guidelines provide the basis on which to build your foundation, and then you can tweak it from there.

Remember to download the 6 Keystone Tips Cheatsheet to Tame Your Expanding Waistline.

And also the BANT (www.bant.org.uk) “The Wellness Solution” Guidelines and “Fight The Fat. Beat The Bloat” Guidelines.

Once you’ve had a chance to read through the Keystone Tips and the Guidelines, just shoot me any questions you might have. Just click the “Ask Me” picture on the right and I’ll be very happy to help answer your question in a future episode.

Cheers

Veronica
xo