How I Make the Most Out of Being Indoors?

Focus only on what you can control.

Panicking is never an answer to anything. It will only cloud your judgment and get in the way of living your life the best you can.

I already come to terms that the effect of COVID-19 on my family and business will be immense.

So, I take things one step at a time.

I focus on what is under my control rather than what I cannot control. Take concrete steps to follow precautionary measures and recommendations by the government as I stated in my last email.

Practicing these recommendations means I am already doing my part to help keep myself, my family and the rest of the world safe.

Avoid heavy consumption of news and social media.

I know we have to be alert about what’s happening to our country and the rest of the world. But too much exposure to news and social media can only increase our distress and anxiety.

So, keep yourself informed and follow reputable sources only. Be cautious about fake news and stop sharing every bit of information you come across.

 And at all costs, avoid arguing with others online. We’re all in this together.

Establish a regular routine at home.

I know we are not used to having too much time in our hands. But having a regular routine works best to stay productive and have a sense of purpose.

Set aside time to do things that you love.

Or remember those things you have been putting off for a while because you lack the time? NOW is the perfect time to do it.

Learn a new skill, take up a new hobby, try a recipe – whatever works and will make you feel good and your mind occupied.

Exercise and keep moving!

Staying at home is not an excuse to be sluggish. Make it a point to get enough exercise every day to boost your immune system.

No equipment? Not sure which exercise is for you? 

There are a lot of exercises that don’t require equipment or machine and can be found online. All you need is your willing body and if you haven’t done much exercise before perhaps start with Pilates or Yoga as these are low impact so not as strenuous as others.

If you want to learn about it, give me a heads up and we can talk about online classes that will work for you.

Click here if you want to schedule a call with me.

Focus on your healing.

Take this time to focus on your healing and recovery – be it a mental struggle or physical pain that has been bothering you for a long time. Going out for treatments may not be an option for now, but how about trying online classes to ease your pain?

If lower back pain has been bothering you or if you just want to quiet your mind through yoga, let me help you with that.

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Or schedule a call with me and we can discuss what you need and how I can help you.

Click here to schedule a yoga online session or Pilates for back pain call with me.

 

Imagine popping a pill that eases back pain!

We can all dream of the imaginary pill, but only last week I realised I wasn’t in pain anymore and no pill had been taken!  After years of suffering I made a choice to adjust my movements and lifestyle with the intention of prevention! Thankfully I have reaped the rewards and have made these changes part of my routine.  I want to bring you on this journey with me, sharing my top tips and ideas to a pain free future.

After the first of three car accidents and having tried chiropractors, acupuncturists and massages I started listening to my body. Any twinges here or there I noted, and I would back-track on when the pain began and if I could see any patterns.  I, like most people with back-pain, found getting in and out of the car problematic. I gently altered my movements and positions and realised I needed to sit down in the car seat, as I would a normal chair with my legs together, swinging my legs into the footwell.  Even now, I still use this movement to position myself into the car as I know it works for me and my back.

Fitness is a big deal for my physical and mental wellbeing, but with back pain, running and aerobic exercise does not work for me.  I opted for the gentler, core-based activities like Pilates and Yoga – plus I have real passion for these practices which helps!  Walking has been great for my back and I have set myself challenges with buying a Fitbit and sacking off the bus or car to walk instead which does take some planning. A good rucksack is essential for this and to even out the weight on my back.

Going somewhere new can bring challenges like awkward chairs or standing for too long or sitting on a beach with no support.  I have been suffering with back pain for many years now, which can bring irritability and anger into everyday life, I have realised it is ok to ask for another chair or cushion or a seat.  Yes, back pain may be invisible, but it is still a pain (boom, boom!) and we all have a right to ask.

I have become so much more aware of how technology can really help. I have invested in a ‘robot hoover’ which hoovers independently; they are expensive and not for everyone. If you do invest in a new hoover a cheaper alternative would need to be a light, upright one which is more back-friendly.  Writing has caused me problems, so having an ‘Alexa’ has eased my pain, plus it makes great lists!  Steaming food in my vegetable steamer is super healthy, keeping all the nutrients and flavour in, but is also a great tool to soften vegetables ready for chopping up.  Finally, the best investment I made was a good bed, personally I would recommend a memory foam mattress.

Remember our back and core are the epicentre of movement for our bodies so even the simplest of jobs such as getting in and out of the car or cutting vegetables can impact how our back feels.

I would love to know what changes you have made to your movement and lifestyle to prevent back pain?  Could you let me know so I can share it?  Maybe this is the first time you have thought about it and if so, fear not, you are not alone.  I am here to help with new ideas and can offer you support and encouragement.

Start this journey with me by signing up to my 4 top tips to a pain free back.

Would you consider your mind healthy?

We all know the benefits of physical exercise but what about mental exercise? Meditation is an excellent way to exercise the brain. Meditation helps strengthen the mind’s ability to be aware of and focus thoughts.

Studies show how meditation may reduce blood pressure, anxiety, depression and insomnia.

For me 10 to 15 minutes a day meditation is perfect. Consistency is the key.

Have you tried meditation? And if so what are your blocks to trying it?Meditation Keynsham

“Why go to Yoga?”

I’m desperate to go to Yoga. It’s not liked I haven’t tried. Tuesday I arranged for my son to be looked after so I could go to Yoga. I show up but the class is cancelled so today. I arrange to go into Bath, my mum to have the children and arrive at Yoga 20 minutes early to be told it is fully booked. Then, my mum asks me. “You do so much Yoga why do you have to go?” I NEED Yoga. I just like to go to a class and switch off. Not to have to think about what poses I want to do next but to drift off in a meditative state and zone out. That’s why I have to go to yoga as a student. I need to remember how it feels at the end of a Yoga class when my aches have disappeared and my mind feels reset again. Able to cope with the world and be a better wife, a better mum, a better friend.. That’s why I HAVE to go to yoga! Sandhya.Yoga si

Pilates or Yoga?

What are the differences between Pilates and Yoga? There are many different opinions on this and it depends on the teacher too.

My Yoga classes are focussed on increasing flexibility, being mindful, introducing movement and meditation. The classes flow from pose to pose.

My Pilates classes are focussed around strengthening the muscles of the core, stretching out muscles and improving balance. It is more of a structured work out and the  exercises are carried out in repetitions.

Pilates or Yoga mat? Which one should you buy?

Whether you are new to Yoga or Pilates or have been practicing for years there is an exercise mat for you. This post will give you an overview of the differences between Yoga & Pilates mats and help you find the right mat for you. Yoga mats can still be used in Pilates and vice versa. It’s more hygienic to get your own mat.Yoga or Pilates mat

Yoga Mat

Yoga mats are the thinnest usually around 4mm – 6mm thickness and around 180 long and 60cm wide. Usually made of PVC. If you prefer you can find mats made of biodegradable fibres like hemp or cotton.

Benefits:

  • Lots of grip to help your hands and feet stay static and slip free
  • Good for balance as not too thick and you can feel the floor beneath you
  • PVC Mats you can wash in the washing machine
  • More compact when rolled up than a Pilates Mat

Cons

  • Less cushioned than a Pilates mats

Pilates Mat

Thicker than a Yoga Mat. Pilates mats are usually 8-10mm thick and made of foam.

Benefits: –

  • More cushioned than Yoga mats so good if you have any knee injuries (when in kneeling positions) or back injuries (when doing any exercises or final relaxation) lying on your back
  • Sliding surface to allow you to move smoothly in exercises.

Cons: –

  • Bigger
  • More slippery than yoga mat (if using for Yoga poses)
  • More cushioned so more difficult to balance. This can be easily fixed by stepping off your mat for balancing postures.

Where to buy?

  • Ebay
  • Amazon
  • TK Maxx

Why Chewing Your Food Properly Is Important For Your Overall Health and Wellbeing

Did you know that you should chew your food a minimum 15 times before swallowing. In some cases upwards of 30-40 times! When it comes to chewing your food a good rule of thumb is to chew till food has turned to liquid and well-mixed with saliva; a piece of hard vegetable will take longer to be chewed properly compared to a piece of soft fruit.

There are 4 key benefits to chewing food properly that increases overall health and wellbeing. Let’s go through them:

  • ENABLES THE RIGHT AMOUNT OF FOOD EATEN

Research has shown that chewing food slowly and thoroughly can help a person feel full faster. In a recent study, women who ate fast consumed more calories, and felt less full than those who ate slower and chewed their food correctly. Similarly, in a study by Iowa State University, researchers found that subjects that chewed their food more reported lowered appetite.

When your food is turned to liquid before entering the stomach, your body is able to digest your food faster and more efficiently, allowing faster nutrient absorption and a wonderful sense of fullness because your body is satisfied.

  • THROAT CARE

When we eat, food is chewed to an appropriate particle size, mixed with saliva and rolled into a smooth shape by the tongue, before we swallow. This ball of food is formally called the bolus. If food isn’t chewed to a proper particle size, or still has sharp and hard edges (imagine chewing potato chips fast!), the bolus may harm the throat when swallowing, or the bolus might come apart.

As chewing, swallowing and breathing in humans are intricately linked, eating fast may lead to choking or the food harming the throat grazing it on it’s way down. This is when infection can occur within the throat.

  • TO PROMOTE OPTIMUM DIGESTION

Digestion starts in the mouth, as saliva contains enzymes to break down starch and fats. By chewing your food properly, you allow the digestive process to start even before your food reaches the stomach. After swallowing, food particles reach the stomach to be broken down and digested by the acidic gastric juices. Chemistry tells us that the larger the surface area to volume ratio a particle is, the quicker it is eroded and in this case, digested. Conversely, large particles make be difficult to break down, which slows down your digestion, and can slow down your metabolism over time.

A study was conducted on how the particle size of chewed almonds affected the bioavailability of the nutrients in it. Not surprisingly, the more an almond was chewed, the smaller the particles, the more nutrients were extracted from it.

By not chewing enough, larger particles pass through the digestive system undigested causing problems such as bloating, gas, gastric cramps and diarrhoea

  • MINDFULNESS

Mindful eating relates to savoring one’s food through appreciating the way it looks, the aroma, texture and taste. By chewing slowly in appreciating these aspects of your food, you cultivate a mindfulness of what is being eaten, rather than eating mindlessly, which often lead to overeating, especially when done in front of a TV.

Mindful eating is not only about slowing down so that you consume less; mindful eating can potentially decrease stress level and ensure better digesting. Science[1] shows that when the body is under stress, digestion is impacted as the body may regard it as secondary to preparing for fight or flight reflexes. Mindful eating focuses attention on the meal, relaxing the mind and thereby ensuring the body digests food properly.

 

Out of all the health benefits in eating slowly and chewing our food properly, the most important of all is the ability to connect with our loved ones while we eat. It allows space for having a mindfulness about our interactions, not just with our food, but with our friends and family too.

Try to make each meal a potential social event if possible; catch up with your family over breakfast or teach your kids the importance of slowing down to eat and how it makes them feel, have lunch outside the office with your colleagues, reconnect with old friends through dinner.

Start to eat slowly and see how it impacts those around you.

Foods with high amounts of hidden sugar

Sugar is the real culprit.

For many years people have been led to believe that saturated fat is the main cause of heart disease. However new studies have revealed that saturated fat is far less harmful than sugar. It is no surprise that that chocolates, fizzy drinks, sweets and cakes are loaded with added sugar. But there are other culprits that you might not associate with added sugar.

Theses culprits are the foods which are packed with large amounts of hidden sugar.

Food manufacturing companies have become wise about the outcry of added sugar by health practitioners, and with clever marketing, have started to disguise the sugar in their products so that consumers do not know how much sugar they are really eating.

They add sugar into foods to enhance the taste, especially in reduced fat foods, as foods without fat are bland, and do not taste so good. This means that foods you may believe to be healthy because they are labelled low fat, are actually worse for you as they are loaded with added sugar – which keeps you hooked and going back for more.

Researchers have proved that sugar is instrumental in the worldwide rise of type 2 diabetes, heart disease and obesity.

SOME FOODS WITH ADDED SUGAR YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT.

We all have favourite things we eat that taste delicious, and which we may not realise are rich in hidden added sugar.

Here are just a few of them:

  • Most low fat items, including yogurt and low fat ice cream have added sugar.
  • Breakfast cereals, especially those directed at children, are packed with sugar.
  • Sauces and soups ranging from basic tomato sauce to a spicy curry delicacy, and including soups, have big amounts of added sugar.
  • All condiments and salad dressings, especially the so-called low fat ones are filled with sugar. Mayonnaise and honey and mustard salad dressings are delicious, but could be deadly, because of the hidden sugar which has been added to them.
  • Tinned baked beans, whilst high in fibre, contain lots of sugar and other additives.
  • Muffins, even those with seeds and nuts, are really just cakes high in sugar.
  • Protein and energy bars are not healthy snacks. They may contain vegetable protein and some vitamins, but they are also exceedingly rich in refined flour and added sugar products.
  • There is sugar and calories in all alcoholic drinks, which add up fast, interfere with fat digestion, and prevent fat loss.
  • White bread, the staple diet of many, is also high in added sugar.

Scientists in the food industry have got the ratio of fat, sugar and salt in their products just right to make them tasty enough for you to want more and more.

HOW TO IDENTIFY HIDDEN SUGARS IN FOODS.

You need to be aware of the many different ways sugar is identified on the labels by clever marketers.

Here are some to look out for:

  • Agave nectar, brown sugar, cane sugar.
  • Corn sweetener, corn syrup.
  • Dextrose, fructose, organic evaporated cane juice, sucrose, syrup.
  • Glucose, fruit juice concentrates, processed honey.
  • Lactose, maltose, malt syrup, molasses.

There could be others as well, but they are all just grand-sounding names for hidden sugar.

 

HOW TO AVOID BUYING FOODS WITH HIDDEN SUGAR CONTENT.

  • You may have to give up some of your favourite foods if you are serious about the dangers of hidden sugar. Check the labels of products thoroughly, including the amount of the sugar product, whatever it may be called, in the item you want to purchase. Also check the nutrition facts in some of the packaged foods – you could be surprised by the lack of any real nutrition in the product.
  • One heaped teaspoon of sugar is equivalent to 4 grams of sugar, and on average up to 16 grams is added to a product, equal to 4 teaspoons of granulated sugar. This is just in the hidden added sugar from processed, off-the-shelf foods, not the obvious added sugar from cakes, sweets and deserts. So you could be over-loading your body without even realising it.
  • Don’t buy anything which is labelled low fat, as it could do your body more harm than if you eat a full-fat product.

You may feel that all this checking on labels is going to a lot of trouble, and sometimes time- consuming, but if want to stay healthy and prevent the dangers related to excess sugar, then it is worth all the trouble for the benefit to your  health and well-being.

 

A WORLDWIDE EPIDEMIC.

Heart disease, diabetes, obesity and tooth-decay, have almost reached epidemic proportions. A poor diet, overeating, and especially high sugar intake, play a huge role in these conditions.

Follow a healthy diet, exercise regularly, and watch your sugar intake, especially if you do not want be another statistic in the sugar rush for poor health.

Get Slim Without The Gym! Learn 5 Fat Burning Techniques To Lose Weight Comfortably In Your Home!

Finding the time to work out can be hard enough with busy schedules, dating, married life, kids…..but no matter the situation, time and comfort is of the essence.

So taking a 15-minute drive back and forth from the gym, while also assessing awkward shower rooms and encountering ogling strangers during your workout, can be a complete turn off. So why workout at the gym at all?

Simple things like sleep duration, drink intake, and meditation are all small but super beneficial tasks that can have you sweating off the pounds in no time. It leads to a healthier body and a healthier mind. You can get your rocking bikini body by just living in the comfort of your own home and keeping tabs of your daily habits.

Plus, you can still work every muscle and stretch every joint with ease and determination, while also tracking how you live your life positively.

I’m going to introduce you to 6 workout must-haves when making the transition to your homemade weight-loss haven. Learn how to effortlessly achieve your beautiful and sleek beach body.

  1. WATER. WATER. WATER!!

I know you might hear it all the time, but it’s your life line! Hydration keeps your body moving all the toxins and unwanted materials from floating around in your stomach, throat, and intestines. It expels it regularly and boosts your metabolism the more you drink it.

And the best part about water is that it’s easily accessible. So, if you’re only drinking two glasses a day, bump it up to four and then six and then eight! And before you know it, your body will be faster, stronger and you’ll have more energy!

  1. DON’T STAY UP PAST YOUR BEDTIME!

We all love to stay up and watch a movie marathon or read that book that we can’t put down, but we have to wake up early most days. This is definitely not good for losing weight or even maintaining it! By doing this often, you are just stressing out your muscles and your brain, as it gives it less time to shift through the materials in your body for proper metabolic function. The side effects of not having proper sleep can result in fatigue, crankiness, aching pains, and a slower metabolism!

Simply setting a bedtime that allows you 8 or more hours of beauty rest can increase your metabolic processing rate and rejuvenate your body overnight. There is nothing but pros on this one, so, set that alarm and wake up feeling fresh as a bird.

  1. STRETCH THE STRESS AWAY

A quick stretch can be a lot more useful and rejuvenating to the body than one might expect. Not only does stretching help prevent further injury during strenuous workouts or everyday activities, but it also awakens the body. It is the alarm to the nervous system that it needs to keep up the good work throughout the day, and generally restarts your system at maximum speed.

After a good stretch of the main muscles—in the torso, neck, abdomen, hamstrings, and biceps—you can feel your body charge up in energy as a quick spurt of endorphins flood through your blood stream.

So no matter if it’s just touching your toes or an entire stretch workout, you should get your stretch on multiple times a day.

  1. DON’T DRINK AWAY YOUR CALORIES

Beverages are one of the sneakiest culprits that mess up diet strategies and weight-loss plans. One can of a carbonated soda beverage can be up to 200 calories on average—that’s 10% of the calories you should be eating a day! So round that to two meals of soda and a grape juice breakfast and 25% of your daily caloric intake is gone! And to add insult to injury, most soda beverages incite cravings for other sweets and salty snacks because they have more than your daily intake of suga. You’re already trying to eat less of those, so why tempt yourself further?

Try and substitute with water when you feel like a soda. Water is tasty, non-caloric, and everywhere! So you can drink as much as you want without any food guilt later. Flavor it up with fresh cut fruits or a squeeze of lemon.

  1. VIDEO WORKOUTS AT HOME

Nowadays, everything can be accessed on the internet; and, many people, including personal trainers and fitness buffs, make a living teaching easy and effective fitness courses online. You can get some great free workouts without even entering the gym and you get a strenuous workout in the middle of your own home.

This also gives you flexibility. Want to lose weight dancing? Well, you can with a quick type on the YouTube search bar. You can even be more precise and specifically search for ballet workouts or salsa dancing workouts. You are in control of your workout destiny, so take the power into your hands! Hating the gym is now not a viable excuse!

Concluding Thoughts:

Now that you’ve got these tips on your side, you can start a path to a healthier and slimming daily routine without even going to the gym. Slow and steady, the fat will burn off your body with ease. And at the same time, your mind will be expanding with positive endorphins and chemicals. So, start your healthier lifestyle without the gym today! You’ll start feeling good as you get into the groove of your new routine, and your body will be thanking you for it by presenting you with stunning results.

Rosemary Fries

Ingredients

1kg/2lbs of potatoes

3 tablespoon coconut oil

4 large sprigs of rosemary

pinch of cayenne pepper

 

Method

  • Heat oven to 200C/180C or 350/400F or fan/gas 6.
  • In a shallow roasting pan, add 1 tablespoon of the oil and place in the oven to heat up while you prepare the potatoes

  • Cut potatoes into chunky chips/sticks

  • Pour the rest of the oil into a large bowl and add the potatoes
  • Sprinkle the cayenne pepper on top and mix together until coated well
  • Remove the tray from the oven and scatter over the chips. Use a spatula to coat the chips in the hot oil, then lay them out in a single layer
  • Top with the sprigs of rosemary and roast for 30 mins
  • Remove from the oven and use the spatula to turn them over, then return to the oven for 15 mins until golden and crispy