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We are more than half way through February already! In fact we are day 48 in week 8, and, there is remaining 317 days of 2014! Time moves quickly..perhaps do you agree, a little quicker each year?
Did you make new resolutions for this year? Are you doing all you can to fulfil them or as time slips by are you losing your momentum? The latter is not uncommon. Many set out in different areas of their lives to achieve or change something so that they become a better version of themselves. In the beginning they are motivated, excited and looking forward to change. Over time, often days (unfortunately), usually weeks or months, the motivation fades, obstacles become the norm and suddenly you are back to where you were… the beginning.
Good news… no you are not at the beginning or back to where you started. It may feel that way, you may feel that you have failed? Remember there is no failure only FEEDBACK! You are one step closer to achieving your goal, you just need to shake your self off, reset your path and try again. Einstein got it right a long time ago – in fact I suspect, he got most things right- “You never fail until you stop trying.”
Here are two strategies to help you head down that path to a happy and healthier version of yourself.
1) Believe it is possible! For example, your goal is to shed weight, however, if when completely honest with your self, you do not truly believe that you can or will shed the weight, you are sabotaging your outcomes. You need to believe it is possible. You need to be able to truly see your self at your new weight, what does it look like? What does it sound like? How does it feel? Really feel the feelings of having exactly what you want. Have that picture of the new you in your mind, check in with that picture regularly and believe!
2) Decide what motivates you most: a) moving away from the old, unhappy, not so healthy you and all that baggage you carry or…. b) becoming the new healthy version of yourself and how good you look, how much lighter and brighter you feel etc. For some people moving away motivates them more than moving to. There is no right or wrong, just work out which resonates with you most, and go for it!
PS Do you like my new site “look” for 2014? Still playing with a few things but a fresh start!
Be Happy & Healthy!
Alas I have not been writing many stories (read blog posts) of late. Life seemed to overtake me in the last months of 2013 and I didn’t quite find myself on this page. I had intentions of posting often…just never put fingers to the keyboard.
So I am committed to spend January creating a new look for my website, finalising the direction I want to take work and will return with all things healthy early February.
I hope this post finds you happy and healthy, you have enjoyed the Silly Season, that you will take some time to recharge in January’s warmth and you are looking forward to writing your own story in 2014.
Be Healthier & Happier!
October 2013 has been a very big month for me! Returning home from my sojourn en France; assimilating back into mother role…slowly; having a “special” birthday that I am told stands for something… and that I have successfully celebrated over approx. 21 days… Busy!
Then guess what? November follows October, and all of a sudden we are celebrating all things “horsey” at the Spring Carnival in Melbourne….gorgeous dresses, hats and fascinators, delicious nibble bits and …obligatory champagnes!
End result of all this fabulous fun…. mmmm… dare I type … let’s just say a softer belly best describes my predicament! Ooh what to do?
1) Do not panic! This is not a permanent state of affairs!
2) Return immediately to daily exercise routine of walking (aim =10,000+ steps/day) and perhaps throw in a couple of 20 minute strength training sessions at the gym!
3) Return to usual way of eating – clean, natural, nutrient rich food.
4) Eliminate mindless snacking from daily activities..serves no purpose other than make belly softer!
5) Reconsider/reassess alcohol intake… mmm.. that didn’t take long!
END RESULT: Soft belly gone…..I hope…will let you know how that one goes!
Interestingly it is at this “time” in a woman’s life, this supposed birthday milestone that I’ve just celebrated, that is meant to signal the beginning of change. Change in body (again inside and out), change in mind and potentially change in life’s purpose.
I have seriously considered starting a new blog – Fifty, Fabulous and
Flailing… Falling...Flying! – a place where I would document all of these changes as they happen to me and my fabulous friends. I have not ruled it out completely, but it may be that this blog morphs into something that allows me to post my “50 something” musings as they happen… time will tell. But for now.. I am fifty..it’s only a number..I do feel healthy and fabulous (not looking at the belly!)
So bring it on!
Be Happy & Healthy!
I have returned….do you know where I have been? DId you realise I was gone? No? Actually don’t answer that.. best I believe that you have been waiting patiently for my next post and wondering how come it took so long!
I have been in France for 6 weeks! For those of you that have worked with me… I achieved my goal, the one that I put in my lifeline in December 2010. Four weeks of French language immersion in a school in Ville Franche sur Mer, and, two weeks travelling with the partner! I have had the time of my life and in time I will tell you a little more about my experience, but for now the long awaited part two ….
In the last post I explained reasons why your body holds onto water and some of the things you can do to de-bloat!! There are also foods and fluids you can increase in your diet to assist, and of course exercise!
1) Fluids that help act as a diuretic:
- Cranberry juice
- Pink grapefruit juice
- Lemon juice In water
- WATER: ensure 8 glasses /day – surprisingly it helps flush the excess.
2) Foods that help:
- Increasing water based foods: they stimulate your kidneys to release excess water. ie more vegetables and fruit! Especially….
- Banana – high in potassium
- Asparagus /parsley / Beet’s/ green beens/ leafy greens /leeks
3) Herbs that help:
- Evening primrose oil
- Chaste tree
- Dandelion tea
- Ginger tea
4) Vitamins that help:
- B vitamins particularly b6 – found in brown rice/ red meat /salmon /tuna/ banana
- B5 – found in natural yoghurt
- Calcium: 1,000 mg
- Vitamin C – 1000mg /day
- Getting hot and sweaty always helps
- Work the muscles in the areas where the water accumulates
- Massage the areas always massaging in the direction towards heart
- Sauna – sweat it out!!
Be Healthy & Happy!
Compliments of La Columbe d’Or.
St Paul de Vence, October 2103.
Water is to me the fluid of life and its health benefits reign supreme. Sometimes however, for various reasons you may be holding onto too much water resulting in that bloated feeling and/or swollen legs, arms, ankles and face. It is the accumulation of excess water in your body tissues that is the culprit. Here are some of the potential causes:
- PMS- could be either pre menstrual or peri menopause! (Gentlemen you cannot use this excuse!)
- High salt levels -1 part salt attracts 4 parts water 1:4
- High sugar diet (including alcohol)
- Thyroid issues – potentially under-active
- Hormone imbalances – progesterone levels are on the low side
All is not lost – there are changes that you can make to your diet to reduce water retention. I would try these first then if the problems persists, see your medical practitioner to test for thyroid and/or hormone imbalances.
So what to do, what to do…?
- REDUCE SALT INTAKE:
If you are a big salt eater then this could be your guy!! Cut it down (not out) – aim to be less than 1000mg/day. Check all nutrition labels for sodium content as it in hides in products like salad dressings/sauces/mayo/bread/pasta. Don’t add salt to cooking or be heavy handed at the table.
2.REDUCE EXCESS STARCHY CARBS – a high starch refined diet, think lots of bread, pasta etc etc can play havoc with both your blood sugar and salt levels. Cut back – your waistline will also love you for it!
3.REDUCE CAFFEINE – INC. COFFEE AND TEAS (not herbal) Alas even though caffeine is a diuretic (makes you pee) and you would think that would help the problem – it’s the opposite! It makes you body hold onto water not let it go!
4. REDUCE ALCOHOL – Alas too much alcohol (think sugar), dehydrates the body therefore the body in panic, holds onto water!! Those A.F.D’s you have been thinking about are looking better and better!
Next post I will tell you what to increase in your diet to help combat water retention.
Be Healthy & Happy !
The article below has just been released in Australian Food News. Food manufactures (OK most..) are on a never ending journey to put “food like products” on our supermarket shelves that are meant to be a healthier option! Consumers expect that will be the case, often with no questions asked. Not so….
CHOICE says “dodgy” diet foods may be contributing to weight gain
- July 22, 2013 .
- Sophie Langley
Consumer group CHOICE has conducted a review of ‘diet’ foods, which it says shows that “hundreds of products on our supermarket shelves” that claim to help consumers lose weight might actually be higher in kilojoules than the regular products.
According to CHOICE, Australian consumers spent $827 million on weight loss products in 2012.
“Food companies attract would-be dieters with terms such as ‘guilt-free’, ‘lean’, ‘balanced’, ‘healthy’, ‘less’ and ‘stay in shape’, but unfortunately this marketing jargon is meaningless if you are trying to count kilojoules,” said Tom Godfrey, Head of Media at CHOICE.
CHOICE said it compared a range of diet products including cottage cheese, fries, chips, ice cream, breakfast cereal and rice cakes. The consumer group said another concern was the “premium price” that often came with ‘diet’ foods.
“The first thing you notice when you look at diet products is that many tend to be highly processed, salty, sugary treat foods with little nutritional value,” Mr Godfrey said. “From jams and biscuits to salad dressings, they’re foods you’d assume a dieter should avoid, even with reduced kilojoules,” he said.
“With 80 per cent of weight-loss products purchased by women, they should be aware that ‘simply less’ could well mean more kilojoules, so it’s vital that if you want to watch your weight you need to read the nutritional panel on the pack,” Mr Godfrey said.
And the moral of the story is……. buy, grow, eat, real food. Food with one ingredient.. apples, almonds, avocado, sweet potatoe, yoghurt, grass fed beef, free range chicken etc etc etc. You know the drill……
Be Healthy & Happy!
July 1: Pinch and a punch for the first of the month!!
6 months of 2013 gone… never to be repeated and 6 months left!! Is it because we are older that time passes at a greater speed each year? I suspect so but would be happier for another explanation if anyone out there has one!
Eating seasonally is soooooo important for many reasons, so I’ve decided at the beginning of each month I will let you know what is in season and share one of my favourite recipes that compliments one or more of the seasonal foods…enjoy!
- Custard apples
- Fuji apples
- Navel oranges
- Pink lady apples
- Red delicious apples
- Brown onions
- Brussels sprouts
- Chinese greens
- Dutch carrots
- English spinach
- Gai lan (Chinese broccoli)
- Jerusalem artichokes
- Kumara or sweet potatoes
I am not sure where I got this recipe, but it is delicious and brings the humble often boring carrot into it’s own. I have served this in a small shot style glass or small cup while having pre-dinner drinks.
Curried lentil, carrot and cashew soup!
1.5 litres chick stock
750g carrots grated
3/4 cup red lentils rinsed and drained
1 tbs olive oil
1 large onion
1/2 cup unsalted cashews
1 tbs madras curry paste
1/2 cup chopped fresh coriander leaves and stems
1/2 cup Greek style yoghurt
fresh shredded coriander leaves for garnish
Method: Bring the stock to the boil in a large saucepan. Add the carrots and lentils, bring the mixture back to the boil, then simmer over low heat for about 8 minutes, or until the carrot and lentils are soft.
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a pan, add the onion and cashews and cook over medium heat for 2-3 minutes, or until the onion is soft and browned. Add the curry paste and coriander and cook for a further 1 minute, or until fragrant. Stir the paste into the carrot and lentil mixture.
Transfer to a food processor or blender and process in batches until smooth or a little bit of crunch if you prefer. Return the mixture to the pan and reheat over medium heat until hot. Season to taste with seas salt and cracked black pepper and serve with a dollop of yoghurt and a sprinkling of coriander.
Be Healthy & Happy!
It is not often these days that we receive a written note of thanks – it normally comes in the form of a quick text, email, message on facebook or if we are lucky, perhaps a phone call.
I received such a note last week and a close friend persuaded me to share it with you…..
I have been on the AYM journey for 12 months. The complete transformation of my life has been astounding. Not only have I lost 22kgs, my life is so much better in so many different ways.
I feel so much more in control of my emotions, I feel empowered, energised, and so very optimistic for the future.
Caroline, you have guided me and given me the skills to achieve this, I can’t thank you enough. You have added years to my life and life to my years……….
Be Healthy & Happy!
Before I delve in .. can I point out that I AM posting my blog on a Monday as scheduled and that It has returned to its weekly time slot ….now that I am over my procrastinating bump in the road!
One of your body’s highest priorities is to maintain blood glucose (sugar) in a normal range at all times. Improper regulation can result in either hyperglycemia (too high) or hypoglycemia (too low). Having blood glucose imbalances plays havoc on our bodies, how we feel and also is a contributing precursor to a number of diseases – diabetes is one of the obvious ones.
If you are trying to shed weight, then you need to understand that maintaining your blood glucose in the normal range is very important. If your blood glucose levels are too high (think an overdose of sugar, high carbs, starchy foods!) then your body sends out the sugar police (insulin) to return the levels to normal. One of the ways it does this is by shutting down your fat stores as a source of energy – think of it as a fat prison lock down – no one is leaving their cells!! With the cells in lock down, the excess sugar in the blood is utilised as the primary energy source until the levels return to normalcy! I have talked about this in more detail here and here!
So here are some tips for healthy blood sugar levels & weight loss!
Focus on including protein at breakfast. Eating up to 10 gms of protein at breakfast sets you up for normal blood sugars throughout the day.
In Fact – protein should be included in every meal and snack. At lunch/ dinner use the palm of your hand as a guide to amount that is right for you. A meal/snack with protein will make you fuller for longer than a meal without.
Eliminate wheat – the version of wheat we eat today does not resemble it’s ancient ancestors. 2 slices of whole wheat bread can spike your blood sugars as much as a tablespoon of sugar!!
Starchy carbs – pasta, rice, breads, cereals, potatoes should be keep to a minimum – make it no more than 1/2 cup for lunch /dinner. Fill half of your plate with veggies and salad.
Do not eat carbs alone ie an pear, your blood sugar level will rise – eat it with some nuts or a slice of cheese or mouthful of yoghurt (plain)
Ensure there are healthy fats in every meal and snack. The combination of the protein, carb and healthy fat all work together to keep your blood sugar stable.
Don’t stress – stress releases the hormone cortisol, which also plays havoc and makes us reach out for starchy carbs (and promotes belly fat). Stressing?
Go for a walk or do any exercise instead!
Dont’ Diet! They don’t work – just incorporate the above tips and you will reap the rewards.
If you want to know more about not dieting and still shedding the weight – you can go to my contact page here
(compliments google images)
Be Healthy & Happy!