Latest news, nutrition, exercise and a positive mind.
What are your plans on thanksgiving? Do you Celebrate it?
Thanksgiving sounds like a wonderful day. It is a time where families get together, give thanks and eat good food. What's not to love? Admittedly I have never celebrated the day, living in Ireland and being from England so I would love to hear about anyone's experiences with the holiday first hand!
On Monday, in my children's yoga class, our theme was thanksgiving. We talked a little bit about why it is celebrated and how and then we moved on to practicing our own gratitude through a fun yoga sequence followed by a more arty expression. We then practiced some yoga for digestion, super useful for if we eat a little too much or just feel like we can help our bodies out a little.
Gratitude opens the door to the power, the wisdom, the creativity of the universe. You open the door through gratitude.
I love the idea of having this celebration of giving thanks, surrounded by loved ones. Is it something we can do more off? Though I haven't had the pleasure to join in on one of these feasts, a strong gratitude practice has become part of our families norm.
There is often so much going on in our lives, it can all get pretty hectic. It can cause stress and a lot of pressure. Studies have shown that when our mind is stressed our body is also stressed. This means to de-stress your mind, we need to de-stress the body. When de-stressing the body it is super important to bring your focus onto a positive emotion. One I love to visit regularly is Gratitude. Setting an intention of gratitude at the beginning of your yoga practice can be a really powerful touch. Other ways in which we practice gratitude is through journaling. It is funny, once you start writing out your gratitude list, it just keeps growing. I can often fill a whole page with little effort. This isn't because my life is extraordinary, it has many struggles and challenges but because there is always something to be grateful for even when you are at your lowest. The fact that you reading this, you have access to some form of technology, you are breathing and you are able to use your vision (or perhaps hearing if you are listening to this being read to you). The more we practice gratitude, the more we find we have to be grateful for. You are here for a reason. You have purpose.
A really great book to read for the younger ones is by Dr Seus and it is called 'Did I ever tell you how lucky you are?'. It is a fun story and a great way for children to realise just how lucky we really are.
Science has shown many ways in which having a gratitude practice is good for our health. It makes us happier, more patient and reduces negative feelings. It can help our relationships with those around us as well as with ourselves. Today I was met with some confrontation. I felt angry, then upset but before biting back as I previously might have, I decided to pause. I let myself feel those emotions and I let them pass. I then stepped back into the situation with love and light. Grateful for them and grateful for the work I've been doing on myself that allowed me to react in a calm, cool way.
Thanksgiving and being around your family is wonderful, but it doesn't always come drama free. Mindfulness can keep you vibing high and meet tough situations with love or at least calm so that it doesn't turn into more than it has to be.
Do you have a regular gratitude practice?
Go ahead and think of just three things now, that you are grateful for. And please feel free to share them with me, I would love to hear.
Have a Great thanksgiving, those who are celebrating and those who aren't, maybe you would like to take this chance to start making gratitude a habit. Grateful people are the happiest people.
Love and Light,
We are probably all aware of goal setting which focus is very much on the future. Intentions allow us to live in the moment. They allow us to live in alignment to ourselves and help us to live according to our purpose.
By setting Intentions we can see if our beliefs and values are actually ours and not ones that we have just inherited from our parents or those around us. It can really open our eyes and make us aware if we are living to our full purpose.
What are my some of my daily intentions?
* I intend to stay open to possibilities today
* I choose to see things in the light, not the darkness.
* I choose to stay connected to my goals
* I intend to stay connected with my family and friends
* To remember I am doing my best
* I intend to be patient with myself and others around me
* To trust that everything is happening as it should be
* To be thankful for this and every breath
* To remember to rest when I need to
* To choose love at every opportunity
* To nourish my body lovingly
* To move my body in celebration not of hate
* I intend to live in gratitude and notice all that I have
* To treat myself with the upmost love and respect
* To find the joy in the smallest things
As you can see these are much different to goal and different from positive affirmations. It is great to have that intention set so if something triggers you through out the day, you can think back to your intentions before snapping and think, am I seeing this in the light/ am I being patient?
Sounds simple right, but it will take practice. It really helps to have these intentions on display somewhere you can see them. It can be on your fridge, bathroom mirror, your desk or even your car radio. The point is that it is there reminding you. These are just some of my Intentions but it will really help to set your own. Of course feel free to use mine if they feel true to you but please use them as inspiration to fuel your own.
Exercise: Sometime today or in the next few days, try to grab a journal or a piece of paper and set a timer for 5 minutes. In that 5 minutes just write out anything you can think of. Do this when you are in a calm and relaxed state. What intentions you wish to have for that day and how you would like to feel. Putting these intentions out in to the world will really help to get you out of your own head. Clearly stating how you intend to feel rather than wishing to feel a certain way gives you the control. Don't leave feeling good up to chance, take control. Choose to feel good. And if this doesn't feel right to you right now, choose another intention that does feel right for you. Maybe its to show yourself a bit more kindness and patience or allowing yourself to be gentle with yourself, or enjoy something in nature today.
I have still got the daily planner on the blog in which you could add your daily intentions to in the notes section here:
Daily health and fitness planner
Comment below and let me know if you have a practice similar to this or if you are going to adapt this one. You can use the same intentions each day as long as you read through them and make sure they are still in alignment to your true self. You can add or take from this list whenever you choose. Don't see this as a chore but an invitation to grow and show yourself some self care.
Have an awesome weekend!
A great way to calm down while having to use focus and concentration. Our toes are crammed in shoes all day and this is a great way to stretch them out and release any tension. Working as a team we picked up all the coloured pom poms to put in the pot.
You can try this at home and get inventive, you can use a cake tin and separate different colours, or different sizes etc. Be sure to change foot half way through. This is a great activity and really works those toes muscles in a gentle and kind way. It's simple, fun and easy to clean up!
Mondays' class we will be diving into the concept of friendship. What is friendship? What makes a good friend?
Friendship is often underrated, considering the tremendous impact it has on our well being. Early-childhood friendship is something that is frequently overlooked as a positive developmental influence. Recent research shows the importance of friendship, and its impact on mental and physical health.
In Amazing me yoga we try to encourage new friendships and work on ways we can practice yoga together. We practice partner poses as well as letting the children create their own poses with a partner or as a group. Kids Yoga is not just about the stretches and the poses but about developing social skills.
Through yoga, children learn valuable verbal and non-verbal communication skills, and become
increasingly aware of the interconnectedness and interdependence of all beings; an understanding
that is essential for a healthy social life. Emotional and cognitive skills that we learn in
the relaxing environment of a yoga class can serve us greatly when faced with stressful events
throughout our lives.
As instructors, we do all of this without long lectures; it is all discovered and developed through
doing, through playing games, through working together and through yoga journeys. While yoga is more beneficial for children when done in a group, it is also much more fun!
Have you got any childhood friends you are still friends with? Have they had a positive impact on your life? Were your parents supportive of this relationship? Did they help it grow? Share your experiences below.
If you have ever taken a Yoga, Pilates or fitness class of some sort you have most likely been told to engage your pelvic floor muscles. Now I didn't know what the hell this meant until I got pregnant. Pregnancy can be tough on the pelvic floor as can childbirth. This is why it can be so scary to sneeze or laugh too much at the end of pregnancy or right after giving birth!
Many women ignore this area all together because talking about the V word is awkward and asking about it is even more weird. So lets just get this out of the way now, without feeling awkward or scared to say it - Vagina. See, we're not 13 any more. It's okay.
Kegels are exercises that tighten your vagina but they have nothing to do with your actual vaginal muscles. They strengthen the pelvic floor muscles which surround your vagina.
So how do we help it? How do we engage it?
Well before we talk about how to engage it, let's talk about what it is.
What is the pelvic floor muscle and why is it important?
A woman's pelvic floor is a set of crossed muscles supporting the bladder, womb and colon. The urine tube (front passage), the vagina and the back passage all pass through the pelvic floor muscles.
Your pelvic floor muscles help you to control your bladder and bowel. They also help sexual function and reproduction. Now if you've ever given birth you'll know why it is so important to keep up those daily pelvic floor exercises. A weak pelvic floor can result in small accidents during sneezing, laughing, running etc - we've all seen the tenor lady adverts ;)
The males pelvic floor is slightly different but just as important. See the diagrams below.
What can affect your pelvic floor muscles?
Pregnancy and childbirth, slouching when sitting (which pushes the internal organs down), repeated incorrect lifting of heavy loads, chronic constipation (leading to forceful pushing, aggravated by modern toilets, on which we sit as on a chair, instead of squatting as nature intended), incorrect abdominal exercises, frequent and strong coughing (in case of a chronic lung condition for example) are all known to affect the pelvic floor muscles.
How can we keep our pelvic floor healthy?
Basically, as with any muscles, you can’t just focus on toning, you must also relax. Some people need more relaxation, others more toning. Pelvic floor exercises are often referred to as Kegals. Before we can exercise it, we need to be able to find it.
To find your pelvic floor muscles start by sitting or lie down. Squeeze the ring of muscle around the back passage as if you are trying to stop passing wind. Now relax this muscle. Squeeze and let go a couple of times until you are sure you have found the right muscles. Try not to squeeze your buttocks. Using this squeeze/hug and lift approach is exactly what we mean when we say to engage that pelvic floor If you don’t feel a distinct “squeeze and lift” of your pelvic floor muscles you can ask for help from your doctor, physiotherapist, or continence nurse. They will help you to get your pelvic floor muscles working right.
In the case of pregnancy and childbirth, practicing specific pelvic floor exercises which focus on elasticity of these muscles such as taught in the pre- and postnatal classes are proven to be helpful.
While doing pelvic floor muscle training
One Great Kegal exercise you can do easily at home:
1. Grab your yoga block
2. Stick it between your legs
3. Hold a Plank pose, but only hold it for as long as you can squeeze your inner thighs
Try hold the block in plank for as long as you can 5 of 6 six times a day for fast strengthening results.
When we engage our pelvic floor muscles we aim to keep the thighs relaxed but this one is an exception to that rule ;)
Please comment below if you found that in anyway helpful.
Are you doing daily Kegals?
Are you worried you are not doing enough?
Let me know below and feel free to share <3
Easter - The time when chocolate eggs are everywhere. You've already bought the kids some and then had to buy them more because you ate the first lot while they were sleeping. It happens.
So what do we do to get past the temptation of more? It is fine and even encouraged to enjoy your Easter with your family but how do we stop that day, weekend or week becoming a whole month or longer! Especially when all the unsold Easter eggs become so ridiculously cheap after Easter Sunday!
We have had a fantastic time baking indulgent treats, licking icing of the spoon and demolishing chocolate eggs in record time but you have to know when to stop and sugar cravings do not make this easy!
I have put together a list of 6 simple things you can do to help you get back on track after the Easter blow out. No guilt here for what you ate already just a plan to move forward and get you moving closer to your weight loss goal, fitness goal or just achieving general healthy balance.
1. Drink More Water
Sometimes it is easy to confuse being thirsty with sweet cravings. Ever get that feeling where you want something but you're not quite sure what - chances are it's water your body wants. Give it a go.
2. Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth Naturally
I have got such a sweet tooth that it has been important to come up with some handy recipes that keep your sweet tooth satisfied without hurting your progress. I have lots of great recipes that I will get around to posting up on here soon enough but you can find some now on my facebook and instagram page. One of favourite simple go to desserts' is to half an orange, sprinkle with cinnamon and place under the grill until warm and serve with Greek yogurt and a drizzle of honey.
3. Eat Protein, Fat and Fiber
Now that you are cutting out or cutting down on sugar focus on what you can eat rather than what you 'cant'. Protein, Fat (healthy fats) and Fiber will help keep you fuller for longer and help to keep your blood sugar levels steady meaning you will less likely to have uncontrollable cravings. Healthy fats include coconut oil, avocado and nuts. For fiber you want to be eating lots of veggies and for you can get your daily protein needs from lean meats, eggs, fish and a variety of beans.
4. Stop Buying it
Sometimes we can be so good all day, we are out and about opting for healthier options and feeling pretty damn good about ourselves then the evening comes, kids are in bed, cravings kick in, we are tired and the urge to fall in to old habits is higher than ever. What do we do? If it is not in the house it is going to be much harder to cave. Instead keep fruit and veg ready prepped - easy to grab if you really must snack but take a moment to think about why you are snacking. Are you hungry? If so listen to that hunger but could it be that you are just bored or have the habit of reaching for some sugar at that time? Your body gets accustomed to these habits, we just need to be more mindful around food and listen to what our body really needs. When these cravings do kick in try brushing your teeth or having a chamomile tea instead.
5. Switch to Dark chocolate
If you really must have that chocolate fix try having just a couple of squares of dark chocolate. It is better for you and you are far less likely to consume the whole bar as you would with milk chocolate.
6. Go Cold turkey
Some people find cutting down the best way others need to go cold turkey. While I don't usually promote restricting yourself with rules, when it comes to sugar - it can be one of the best ways. Once we cut out sugar we stop craving it so it can help to set yourself a time frame in which you are not going to have it. Once this time frame is over, it'll be out of your system, you will have focused on making healthier habits and less likely to go back into old ways. I am a fan of eliminating all processed foods, caffeine and sugar for 9 days while I focus on consuming whole foods that I prepare myself and get my body back into balance. I also use this time to meditate and be more mindful about my meals. I have wrote more about this process on another blog post.
I hope you all had a great Easter!
Please comment and let me know what your biggest challenge at the moment is and what goal you are focusing towards. Which part of this guide do you think you will definitely be trying?
Remember to Share with your friends if you found this helpful! It is much appreciated!
Full Benefits of Forever Active Probiotic
Living inside our body are many micro-organisms – some harmful and some good. The good ones are called ‘probiotic’ which means for life. Forever Living recognizes the importance of probiotics in our body for our good health and has introduced the product Forever Active Probiotic.
Probiotics are not a new thing. They have always been around but it is harder to get them as naturally as it once was with so many food regulations etc - which don't get me wrong, is great!
This is a supplement which comes in the form of small, easy to swallow beadlets. We use an exclusive, encapsulation technology which we have patented. This protects the probiotic and helps to release a combination of 6 important probiotics.
How does it work?
Each Forever Active Probiotic works primarily in the colon where it assists with the digestive process. Each beadlet has a triple layer covering. This ensures that the probiotic does not get destroyed as it passes through the stomach.
The first layer helps in protection against the stomach acids.
The second layer ensures that the correct probiotic is released into the small intestine
The third layer completes the process by releasing the required probiotics in the large intestine
The beadlet can be taken as a daily supplement, to be taken with water either on an empty stomach or two hours after a meal.
Probiotics selected in Forever Active Probiotic
The probiotics we have selected are all based on the Lactobacillus and Biffidobacterium species as below:
Lactobacillus Acidophilus – This helps in reducing the number of unwanted bacteria in the body and stops them from multiplying.
Bifidobacterium Longum – This keeps out the bad bacteria and assists in reducing the frequency of gastrointestinal disorders.
Bifidobacterium Lactis – This helps in lowering the body’s pH and also inhibits the growth of undesirable bacteria.
Lactobacillus Rhamnosus – This protects the intestinal tract and strengthens the ability of the body to defend itself against undesirable microorganisms.
Lactobacillus Bulgaricus – This helps in cleansing and balancing the small intestine.
Lactobacillus Plantarum – This performs the important function of preserving essential nutrients, vitamins, and antioxidants.
Benefits of Forever Active Priobiotic
Designed to promote a healthy digestive system, the beadlets give the following benefits-
Helps overcome imbalances which are created in our body by the food we consume and our lifestyle
Assists in the process of food digestion by releasing necessary enzymes
Improves absorption of nutrients in the body
Enhances our body’s immune function
This product has an advantage over other similar products as it is stable at room temperature and is the only shelf-stable product of its kind.
The Forever Active Probiotic comes in packs of 30 beadlets. We also give you a 60 day guarantee in case you are not satisfied with our product.
About Forever Living
Forever Living is a multibillion dollar company that specializes in wellness and beauty products. The company lives on the simple philosophy of offering products which are tried and proven and keep interactions with the consumer personal.
Any more questions about Probiotics - please comment below! :)
Get your probiotic here : Shop link
Take it paired with the aloe vera gel for perfect body balance <3
There was soo much interest in this little sheet I made up I wanted to make it available to everyone! Please find it attached above!
If you find this helpful please like this post and share with your friends!
You can also sign up to my email list to receive updates on new plans, print outs and general health and wellness news.
If you use this sheet please let me know, I would love to see it all filled out! :D
Carbs have gotten such a bad rep! No wonder there is so much confusion when people talk about carbs. Let me try to clear some of these worries for you by just giving you the cold hard facts. This isn't meant to come across as some sort of science lesson but knowledge is power, and improving your diet is soo much easier when you understand what you are putting into your body and why.
Facts about carbs
If you eat a slice of cake (also loaded with simple sugars) right before you go to bed, your body has no immediate need for the glucose that will be coursing through your bloodstream, so it will store this energy in the liver for a short time. Since you don't require large amounts of energy in your sleep, your body may convert some of this excess glucose into a more stable form for storage, unfortunately, this is when we convert glucose into fat for later use.
Some diets will say no carbs after 6pm - again this is not the case. Carbs do not make you fat. It is just less likely that you will need to use them for energy. It is also good not to eat too close to bed time.
Carbs can be very nutritious as well as being a great energy source. What would make us 'fat' is if we eat more carbs (or anything else) than our bodies need to keep us going. If you eat in moderation as part of a healthy balanced diet you will not gain fat but you will be able to power through your workout and you will tone up and get lean.
Some people avoid things like white potato's because they fear the white carbs and must only eat brown or whole grains. Now I love wholegrain and brown rice etc but it's nice to have good ol mash once in a while!
Wholegrain carbs have a lower glycaemic load (Gl) which basically means they don't cause your blood sugar levels to spike as much as white carbs. The thing is after a tough workout, your body loves high Gl foods.
In conclusion, everyone needs different levels of carbs. Try eating them as unrefined as possible. Choose whole-grains for the majority of the time but don't be scared of choosing other carbs especially after a workout. The more "whole" a food is, the less opportunity people have had to add refined sugars and additives to it.
I hope this has answered any questions you had about carbs and why we definitely need them in our diet!
If you have any more questions - pop them below in the comments >
And please give this a thumbs up if you found this in any way useful!! Thank you :)
The word 'diet' comes from the Greek diaita and mean 'a way of living'. Everything we eat is a diet, it is our diet whether it is good or bad. There are so many diet plans out there that are so hard to stick to and leave us feeling miserable, hungry, deprived and like failures when we chuck it in. This can not be good, surely? So how do we snap out of this. How do we stop setting ourselves up for failure, ending up on a binge and telling ourselves we will start Monday? The answer is simple - We stop 'dieting'.
The diet culture has sucked all the joy out of eating. We are constantly worrying - people are even feeling bad about the natural sugar content of fruit! We have completely lost the point that food is there to sustain us! It is there to nourish us, to give our bodies energy and it should be enjoyed. Don't sacrifice a healthy mindset in pursuit of the 'perfect' body.
Wait? What? But I want to lose weight and get trim, how can I do that if I am still eating the way I am?
Ahhh, well you see just because we are not going to diet does not mean we can not still pursue our goals. We can have our glass of wine, we can eat our chocolate and we can even have that yummy birthday cake someone bought into work - because hey, it'd be rude not to right. We can allow ourselves these things and not feel guilty about it. Not only will we not feel guilty about it but we will ENJOY IT.
This sounds too good to be true, how am I going to eat 'rubbish' and still achieve my goals?
Very simply. We are not putting restrictions on ourselves but we are also going to work on improving our daily habits. By changing the way we think about food and changing our habits we can achieve a way of living - a true sense of the word diet with out any mad rules, without any guilt and without being so hard on ourselves. Good nutrition is soo important. Making sure you are getting enough good fats, clean proteins and fresh fruits and veggies are essential and making small changes will help you towards this. So even tho we are going to allow ourselves to have 'treats', we are not going to go mad on them. The more we start to focus on what we eat and how it makes us feel, the more we eat out of love. We start to love how eating healthier makes us feel (and look) which leads us to take better care of ourselves, make healthier choices without restrictions or rules.
It is for this reason my plan will NOT involve a one size fits all meal plan. Instead it will have recipes, tips, meal prep ideas and healthy swaps to help support your way of living and get you the results you want. You will look and feel beautiful knowing you are making small positive changes each day that are realistic for your busy life style. By making these changes you are much more likely to stick to them, enjoy them and feel healthier than you ever have.
My new plan is coming soon!
Comment below and please tell me 3 things you find challenging when it comes to losing weight / getting toned >