Winter Wellness – Part 4 – Lose the stress

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This week I am gearing up to do my first 3 hour exam in over 20 years and I am feeling the stress creeping in with each day moving me closer to it.   It is amazing how sly stress can be! Honestly, just when I think that I’m on top of things and have this study thing sorted life gets on top of me and before I know it, I’m feeling that tension throughout my body.  

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Thankfully we have lots of nature to get out into and de-stress

The bus isn’t the easiest place to study I have to say, apparently if you can be seen you must be spoken to :), and when you’re in a small town there aren’t that many quiet places to head off to either. So, I’m trying my best to get out of the stress loop by using the tools in my kete (basket) that I know work for me.  I figured that in a culture which too often rates your ability to cope under stress as an indicator of people’s success, others may like to try some of these little beauties to remove some of that stress naturally rather than having to ‘cope’ with it.

Get moving.  Exercise (aerobic especially) is proven to help relieve stress and other negative emotions such as depression.  When we move our bodies, it helps loosen and work all those muscles that you may be holding in tension, it gets you changing your focus, in increases oxygen to the brain and best of all those ‘feel good’ hormones get released.  Any kind of movement is good so pick one that you love and try and get out in nature with it to increase the benefits. 

Have a laugh.  Laughing creates a euphoric effect that will instantly release any tension you have. It can trigger the release of endorphins (the body’s natural pain killers and feel good hormone) which helps you to feel better all over and to relax.  Laughter yoga is now offered in many places and can be a great way to connect with new people however failing that it may just be a good excuse to watch those comedies, silly youtube clips and share all those jokes you have!

Count to 10.  Taking deep breathes and a wee bit of time out is an age old classic that costs nothing and is very effective. The key to this is breathing in through the nose and out through the mouth as this helps relax the whole body … it is hard to keep tension in your body with your mouth open.  Research also shows that deep breathing helps trigger the vagus nerve (a cranial nerve which helps regulate the heart, digestion and lungs) and works with the parasympathic nervous system to bring us into that ‘rest and digest’ state of being rather than stuck in ‘fight/flight or freeze’ state of being. 

Meditate.  Even 5 mins a day of meditation will help stress levels though of course the longer you meditate the greater the benefits. This doesn’t have to be a big deal just find a quite spot, close your eyes (or look downwards, relaxing your gaze) and clear your mind of as much as you can.  First thing in the morning to ‘set you up’ for the day or last thing at night to help you unwind and get a good sleep can be really effective times.  There are loads of apps out there now which can help you get into the right headspace.

Essential oils.  Scent has a powerful impact on our bodies and can bring up memories and emotions easily. This is in part due to the fact that the olfactory nerve (whose nerve fibres in the nose allow us smell) are connected to the limbic system in the brain, rather than going through the cerebral cortex (our thinking part) which triggers these ‘primitive’ responses to what we are smelling.  Lavender is the most popular relaxant but there are plenty others to try.  This link may help you to begin your experimentation with scent.

Stretch.  A good stretch can help with the physical symptoms of stress.  Like exercise it gets you moving those muscles that may have been held in tension. Try a class of yoga which will combine breathing, stretching and exercise for a real stress reliever or even a basic stretch at your desk and see how good it feels. Here is a link to a few suggestions.

Bach Flower Remedies.  As many of you know I love Bach Flower Remedies and I’m a big believer that emotions dictate our health unless we intervene.  Bach Flowers are designed to work on emotions and can target the source of your negative emotions helping to increase the positive.  White Chestnut is a classic for those who continue with ‘mental conversations and/or internal arguments’, whereas Agrimony can help those who hide their stress behind a smile.  If you want to learn more and try a treatment bottle then check out my FREE quiz to find your remedies (don’t worry you don’t have to sign up to anything) and e-mail me to make you up a bottle. Otherwise you can find out more about Bach Flowers and have your own guide by checking out my book ‘Finding Calm and Balance’ which is on sale at a special price for the next week or so, along with my other e-books.

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Only 99c (US) at the moment along with my other books

Hope this finds you a little calmer, a little less tense and enjoying the life you have.

Arohanui

Y

www.becominghealthy.co.nz

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A Freebie!

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Yes…. you read correctly a great FREEBIE for all you lovely people who are supporting and following me.  Without you I don’t think I would have such enthusiasm to still be writing! So as a thank you I thought I would share my latest e-book with you for free.

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Finally after much procrastination (around 1 year’s worth!) I have finish Magnificent Mamas – A Guide to creating the Life the you Want.  It is a 12 week step by step programme, in e-book format,  filled with lots of life-coaching tips, practical steps, life-changing tools and techniques for creating the life you want all for FREE!  Magnificent Mamas e-book contains a combination of life-coaching tools and practical techniques I use with clients and also as the basis of a course, which I will be teaching next month, so I’m really excited to be able to now share it with you all via an e-book.

 

 

During Magnificent Mama’s 12 week course you learn about:

– Creating Balance in your life

– Creating space for you within your day

– Goal setting

– EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique)

– Why self care is so important

– Bach Flower Remedies

– Overcoming your fears

– Defining what is important to you

– Finding ways to live your life in line with these values

For those of you who follow for the food posts I do, I apologise – fingers crossed next week for another recipe I have in the pipe line. 🙂  However you never know you may still enjoy this awesome, life changer or you may know someone who could use it, so share it with them.

I will be putting the price up to .99c (US) in around a week so make the most of the free download now!

Hope this finds you enjoying the life you have or creating the life you want.

Arohanui

Y

www.becominghealthy.co.nz

A bit of bribery??

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Yes…. that is right I’m going down the bribery route.  I could disguise it as a Christmas gift however I’m going for the honest approach albeit it tainted a little with my bribe 🙂 It is a good bribe though, one which provides you with a one stop read for different approaches to Natural Child health and Adult health.

You see I need reviews! I need reviews to get the word out there and I need reviews to assure all those people who have been downloading the sample of my book that it is worth paying for the rest of it.  That is where you come in my awesome supporters- hopefully, fingers crossed 🙂

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Get a FREE copy this week!

For the next week (Monday 3oth November until Monday 7th December) I will be offering both my books for free.  FREE I say, FREE!!   I’m really proud of these two books and truly believe that they will be of great benefit to people which is why I want to spread the word.  The only way to do that in e-bookshops, it seems, is with reviews.

While Amazon  is the big player, it looks like they don’t allow free books without other purchases however feel free to review there while getting your FREE book else where.  If you love Amazon though and can’t  bear to shop elsewhere then you can get my books free when you are purchase a print book with them or have purchased one with them via their price match system.

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I’d love your reviews!

The price change may take another day to come through on some sites if you happen to come across a charge on any site apart from Amazon.  Smashwords (Mother’s Little Helper and Creating a Vivacious You) have it for FREE NOW and Barnes and Noble, Paperplus NZ and  Apple will all have it for FREE within a few days!!

Please share this blog post and the great opportunity to get these awesome (I know I’m biased) books for FREE.

Thankfully you can download Kindle or Calibre (for free) onto your PC (that is all I have) so that even without the latest technology you can read.  If you don’t have e-book reader and don’t want to download one you can message me and I can give you a PDF version 🙂

Hope this finds you all  happy, healthy and sharing the love 🙂

Arohanui

Y

www.becominghealthy.co.nz

Exploring the comfort zone.

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So as I mentioned in the last post we have been all over the place with things – namely our health.  Much of the roller-coaster has been me adjusting to working a few nights a week doing reflexology and the flow on effects of that.

My reflexology room.

My reflexology room.

I have been a little stressed to say the least in stretching myself to have clients while juggling everything else. There has been a bit of guilt too over not being present of the family and at the same time there is also the question of ‘do I really want to do this?’  I love what I do, (reflexology and naturopathy) it is just the small sacrifices that need to be made in order to achieve my dreams.  The rushed bed times, the juggling jobs, the watching the clock, the missing out on evening conversations and having my mind in yet another space.  It seems that the idea of working in your business enough to get an income is quiet difference from the reality and how that reality impacts on the family!

End result?  I lot of eating on my behalf to try and squash all the emotions swirling around and a lot of pent up stress which has flowed onto the family causing us all being a bit unwell and all over the place.

My 'comfort' nut brownies which are now sugar and wheat free.

My ‘comfort’ nut brownies which are now sugar and wheat free.

There is something to be said for ‘comfort’, it feels good and makes the world feel better.  Not just the comforts of a home, loving family and friends or money but also the comfort of staying safe, secure and not extending too far.  These last three can however often prove to be a double edged sword.  While being safe should be about making good choices, weighing up options and thinking things through before moving ahead, for me it often is about eating.  Somewhere in my subconscious I have equated food with comfort, security and safety. Somewhere in my subconscious I have equated moving ahead as a risky business, far too risky to do without a lot of food or other stimulants and there in lays the double edged sword and I know I’m not alone.

I understand that my sub conscious thinks it is doing me a favour, honestly I do, it is just that it is kind of exhausting.  Thankfully I have left many of my vices behind me so the food I scoff is relatively healthy and thankfully I am now aware, yay EFT and Bach Flowers :), of what I am doing.  With moving forward with the business and actually having clients I have been slipping back into bad habits and searching the cupboards a lot more than usual in a bid to feel a little safer!  The thing I notice, now that I am aware of my actions, is that these ‘sub-conscious safely’ habits of mine end much faster than they used to and also that I am much more aware of the unwanted after effects.

Thank goodness for my Bach Flower Remedy kit!!

Thank goodness for my Bach Flower Remedy kit!!

In being more aware of my actions I realise that they are exactly that, ‘actions’, not ‘me all the time’ just the actions I take when I am stressed.  I don’t know if I will ever rid myself of them and sometimes I wonder if I ever should, I mean they are part of my safety check after all and we all need a safety check of sorts.  When I begin to search the cupboards now though I know something is up and that I am at the outer limits of my comfort zone.  It allows me to take a step back, not from the cupboard always 🙂 , and think about what is happening.

So maybe from now on I will be a bit kinder to myself and my vices and realise they are trying to convey a message to me rather than sabotage my life.  Maybe in being a little kinder to them they will be a little kinder to me in visiting less frequently.

Hope this finds you exploring your own safety measures a little less harshly and resting easy with them.

Arohanui

Y

Easing through the stress

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Honestly there really isn’t that much to stress about with this move; we are getting packers, the house has been freshly painted, all the maintenance on the property is done, it is a landlord’s market here with hardly anything to rent, himself will be here pretty much until we move and the kids are old enough to help.  Yet, me being me I still find something to worry about and stress over!

Our house on the hill

Our house on the hill

Last shift (2.5 years ago) my eating wasn’t as good as it was now and I resorted to late nights mixed with V energy drinks and rescue remedy to see me through. This time I am in much better health and with the absence of sugar in my diet there will be no V this time around 🙂 However the stress has made an old problem re-surface; diverticulitis.

I have pretty much sorted this diverticular dis-ease, which I have had for close to a decade, with changing my life style and eating however in times of stress is does appear for short bursts with vengeance!  In these times I get tapping, keep up the exercise and Bach Flowers to help the emotional side and I usually revert to a gluten free, diary free, increased liquids along with a nut and seed free way of eating which equates to a fairly dull old meal time.

So imagine my delight when I read a great wee recipe in my running magazine for a yummy wee ‘pancakes’ which fit into the above criteria!  I thought I would share it here because they really were very easy, yummy and best of all healthy 🙂

Coconut and Banana Pancakes

Thanks to Runners World Magazine – November 2014

  •  2 bananas
  • 45g ground almonds
  • 15g desiccated coconut
  • 1 egg
  1.  Mash bananas (just realised I did both when the recipe says one and to use the other for a topping – still yummy though) in a bowl and stir in the ground almonds and coconut.
  2.  Beat in the egg. (Recipe says to add in milk to make a batter however in using both bananas in the recipe I didn’t do this).
  3. Heat some oil in a frying pan and place a few teaspoonful amounts into the pan, keeping them separate.
  4. Cook for 3-4 minutes until golden underneath and then flip over and cook till the other side is golden.
  5. Serve as they are for a yummy morning tea or top with a drizzle of honey and  sliced banana for an easy dessert.
  6. Enjoy

Hope this finds you all happy, healthy and pain-free 🙂

Arohanui

Y

Living one day at a time

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So I had a good lesson last week in living in the present moment and not trying to rush ahead with life – my usual tactic- when my scheduled post only to have it disappear into cyber space. Today I had another reminder on the importance of living one day at a time so here I sit on a Monday night and type so that I know it will actually publish! 🙂

The truth is though that I am bloody impatient in life. There I’ve said it.  I’m the person who is always thinking 3 steps ahead while working on a task. I’m the one who literally can’t sit still because I have so many things that I could be doing.  I’m the one who hates waiting to do or say something which could be happening now.  I’d love to sugar coat my impatience as enthusiasm however it isn’t that sweet.  My impatience often turns to irritation at myself and others which is not the best look for someone advocating health and stress-less days! 🙂

Making the most of a snowy Porters Pass for a quick play

Making the most of a snowy Porters Pass for a quick play

I do however notice that the more I think and talk about stress-less tools, emotional release tools (EFT and Bach Flower Remedies) along with well-being, the more I am aware of my actions and the faster I am able to ‘nip’ my behaviour in the bud.  I bring my focus back to the here and now so that I can make that moment count.  Time is not renewable and actions speak louder than words.  I’m learning. I’m learning minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day to make the most of it all.

Extending our lunch time so the kids can enjoy make their own meal.

Extending our lunch time so the kids can enjoy make their own meal.

As I said today while out I was reminded of all of this as a woman shared her life story with me.  Everything can change in an instant so it is important to make sure I am living the life I want.  I am so fortunate to live the life I do.  I am also so fortunate to have a loving and supportive network around me, of both friends and family, and even though sometimes my hurried arse is too busy to show it I am so, so grateful for all of you and everything you bring to my life.

Sending you all lots of loving thoughts and reminders to make the most of each of your days with the ones you love.

Arohanui

Y

Six weeks in and ……

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So it has now been 6 weeks since I have begun this sugar free lifestyle.  I haven’t really keep count,  as it just feels like a nature part of life now, it’s  just that someone asked me the other day and I really had no idea so decided to count it up 😉  It has taken a bit of work to be sugar free at times especially in double checking labels of food that we had regularly and replacing them for homemade versions when I found they contained sugar, pre-made tortilla is a perfect example of this. However on the whole, with the cupboards set up with heaps of sugar free foods it has been pretty easy. 

I got through Easter sugar free (though not fructose free as I had some dried currents in our homemade hot cross buns) and a weekend away then last week a few bit of sugar did creep in.  Some as part of meals out (stewed fruit given to us, cream sweeten up and in a salad dressing) and some through choice (curry paste with less than 3gm per 100gm).  I have got to say that while there was a bit of guilt I do try to work on the 80/20 rule in life so figured that as long as the serves were small and I wasn’t making a habit of it, things were all good.  The thing is that I really noticed the difference in my moods on the day after having that wee bit of sugar.  I suddenly felt irritable and a bit volatile along with a mild headache which nagged ever so slightly at me. Thankfully I had a few Bach Flower Remedies to get me through along with a bit of tapping and by the following day I felt good as gold again 😉  Maybe it was coincidence that I had those feelings all in the same week as I had bits of sugar, maybe …….. and then again maybe not.  I certainly felt calmer when no sugar was in my diet that is for sure and it has been a good reminder of why I really began this – to improve my health and well-being (emotionally and physically).

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What was left of the second batch minus the crosses as little ones were eager to begin munching.

My journey to giving up sugar has been a gradual one in improving my health, until this final cutting off of all sugar (apart from fresh fruit) that is.  When we decided to have kids I gave up alcohol, luckily for me I was pregnant 2 weeks after that so I had to continue with that sugar loss 😉  From there a realisation that wheat was playing havoc with my stomach made me reduce baked goods. My daughter then developed eczema and while there were no allergies it seemed that the more processed i.e. the more ingredients in it, the more she flared up.  So that meant that I began reading labels more and once you read those labels it isn’t long before you are buying food stuffs without sugar.  I was however still a big fizzy bubbly (soda) drinker, tomato sauce user and a humongous honey hogger!  These were my staples for coping, and feeling normal, until I read an article last December about how fizzy drinks can deplete the calcium in your bones not to mention what it does to your teeth.  Being a runner – well that is what I call the thing I do in the mornings 😉 – I didn’t want to be breaking any bones so the fizzy bubbly was the next to go.

That left my trusty friends honey and tomato sauce (ketchup), along with fresh and dried fruit giving me most of my sugar hits.  It is at this point that I read about Sarah Wilson’s book. ‘What??!! Give up fruit and honey?’ ‘She must be mental’ I thought.  It planted a seed though. A seed that niggled at me and grew till I eventually went to the library to order her book.  It was then that I found and read David Gillespie’s book and the rest is history 😉  No more tomato sauce and no more honey!  I can hardly believe it some days.

I have kept in the fresh fruit for a snacks if needed (dried fruit has been left a bit abandoned on the shelf except of Easter buns)  and use this in baking. It just comes down to preferring to use naturally occurring products versus processed, like dextrose, for me.  I save the dextrose for those occasions, like my Mum’s birthday cake, when the receiver really just wants to taste a yummy sweet baked good and not banana dense wholemeal option 😉 My experiments with the glucose syrup, which I found out is made with completely GM free corn from NZ thanks Queen Fine Foods, have not been that successful so that has be ditched too.  I’m happy to have fresh fruit, mostly oranges, pears and kiwifruit now, as the sweeter in my life (baking  and raw) instead of all the other stuff.  I can go into shops and walk down the lollie (sweets) aisle with ease and even the chocolate section isn’t a big attraction anymore.  I do still have cravings for food however it is just that food, not the sweet sugar stuff that I used to think about.  Usually nuts can quell it pretty fast, thankfully, along with my trusty Bach Flower Remedies 😉

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The past 6 weeks have certainly been an interesting journey into what works best for my body and also just how much I don’t miss all those sugar laden foods when I am eating whole, nourishing foods. Here is to continued health, vitality and enjoying life.

Till next week.

Arohanui

Y

www.becominghealthy.co.nz