Tag Archives: healthy mind

How intelligent are you?




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!

Caroline

Maintaining Momentum on Mondays! Weight Gone and a Note of Thanks.

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…..

Dear Caroline

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……….

Warm regards

JP

(pinterest)

Be Healthy  & Happy!

Caroline

 

 

Stressed out? Could be playing havoc with your waistline and your weight loss!!!!

Nervous, anxious, worried, overwhelmed, exhausted, overloaded, depressed?? Perhaps a little…perhaps a lot? If you can relate to any of these states then you may be shocked to know that too much stress in your  life can wreak havoc on your weight loss intentions and your waist line!

Your body is an extremely clever machine and has at hand all it needs to physically cope with any given situation. If you turn a corner and are suddenly face to face with a bear ( just go with me …) your body releases the hormone cortisol into your blood system which evokes the “fight or flight ” response. Cortisol is designed to get you through these crisis- in small doses cortisol is a good thing, it gets the blood pumping and improves your attention, concentration and hence improves your reaction to the given situation.

Despite the fact our  cavemen days are behind us (thank the Lord – loin cloths just do not suit me!), our body’s basic mechanics remain the same.  Most of us don’t come face to face with a bear very often, but more often than not we lead our lives as if we have. Many of us live our lives at a very  fast and furious pace. We become overwhelmed and stressed out.  End result?  Cortisol overload.

Cortisol overload equates to

  • storage of fat (remember the caveman is running from the bear so he needs his fat stores intact in case food does not cross his path for days..imagine!)
  • Increase in fat storage around the stomach – the most active of fat cells, and also the most dangerous place to be stored!
  • Increase in cravings for sweet things and carbohydrates
  • Breaks down muscles for energy.

So perhaps it is time to stop, take a deep breath, smell the Spring flowers and check in with exactly how you are feeling. Remember you do not have to be at your wits end for cortisol to do its job – constant low levels of anxiety or worry or OMG I can’t do everything – can have the same effect!

Are you feeling like you have a cortisol overload? Let me know ..maybe I can help!!

 

Be Healthy & Happy!!

Caroline

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Is it time for a Spring Clean?

As you shrug off the Winter Blues and embrace Melbourne’s Spring Sunshine are you in the mood for a Spring Clean?  I am not talking about your wardrobe or your kitchen cupboards (though if you feel inclined ..go ahead!) I am talking about YOUR MIND!!

A client who did the program last year mentioned she would love to feel that “buzz” that she felt when she completed the program.  She has remained on track but feels the ‘buzz’ has diminished. I would argue that she is still in a state of “buzz”, that state however has just become her norm!

So I gave her request some thought and there is no reason why we can’t hit the REBUZZ button! I have designed a mini program (approx 2-3 hours) where we can explore:-

  • Where you are are at with your health goals or work goals?
  • Are there any limiting beliefs that are holding you back?
  • Are there any unhealthy habits that have snuck back into your day?
  • A re introduction to the good food eating strategy
  • A reintroduction to the motivation strategy
  • And finally a refocus on your goals

Our minds are much like our homes ..they too can be cluttered with thousands of thoughts, attitudes, emotions good and bad, limiting beliefs that might just be holding us from going forward in a happy and positive manner. So our mind can benefit from a general overhaul and what better time to do it than now..Spring, a time for the new and renewed. 

If you would like to chat to me about your own personal Spring Clean contact me here, I would love to hear from you.

 

Be Healthy & Happy! 

Caroline 

Maintaining Momentum on Monday – I am 8 Weeks Sugar Free!

I began this experiment on Monday 30th April 2012 and 8 weeks later we arrive at today, my destination 8 weeks sugar free!  As you are all aware, there have been a total of 5 hiccups which I  have detailed in previous posts and considering this has been a 56 day experiment I think statistically that ain’t too bad!

So what are my (one woman) research findings?

Mentally…

  1. It was not as hard as thought it may be. In fact once I set my mind to it, I found it was easy to say no to the bowl of bullets under my nose, or a bowl of chocolates sitting on the table! I suppose when you have your head set in “experiment” mode there is not that sense of restriction or deprivation, it was, it is ..an experiment!
  2. People comment on your behaviour when you make an obvious change. IE I was at a dinner and said no to dessert and explained what I was doing which then opened the floodgates into a whole new discussion of pros/ cons etc. It is similar to another client who has cut back on her wine content considerably and is loving the health benefits. When she is out socialising however, everyone comments on the fact that she is not drinking, coercing her to have “just one” or want to know what is wrong with her!!  Some people don’t like change!

Physically…

  1. I have lost weight – though this was not my intention. Not a lot, but what I have noticed is that it is an all over weight loss from top to toe, not just from my usual already non existent chest area!
  2. My eyes are clearer. The whites are definitely whiter!! 
  3. My skin feels more hydrated. Interestingly I had my Mother’s Day Facial the other day (one of my pressies) and the beautician positively commented on the state of my skin….though in hindsight she could say that to all her clients!!
  4. I believe I have definitely been sleeping better and not getting up or waking as much as I usually do!

Conclusion: I have thoroughly enjoyed my experiment and intend to remain sugar free as much as I can.

I have loved my switch to full fat Greek Style yoghurt’s and indulging everyday has been one of my pleasures. My newly discovered sugar – free muesli  (the muesli) is one of my great finds and have now converted many a client. Whether I have it with the yoghurt or heat it up on a cold morning with rice milk it keeps me satisfied more often that not till well after 1.00pm!

I am very much looking forward to eating fruit daily again – I did not cut it out completely but I did cut it down considerably. As you know whole foods such as fruit are an extremely important part of a nutritious diet… just remember to have a small protein source with them to keep your blood sugar levels stable.

So there it is – I can highly recommend to everyone going sugar free or at least just cutting as many unwanted sugars out of your daily life as possible… your body will thank you for it.

 

Be Healthy & Happy!

 

Caroline 

 

 

 

 

 

Are you getting the right combinations of food in your life??

The Easter Bunny has hopped for another year, hopefully not leaving a deluge of too many chocolate wrappers in his wake! School holidays are over and routine takes precedence once again! I think I can admit I like routine….most of the time.

Routine, on the one hand, permits you to get more things done, it orders your day, it makes you commit to work that little bit more, it provides your life with structure and purpose. Routine, on the flip side, can become a little tedious, sometimes boring and expected and often lacks spontaneity.

It is a matter of finding the right balance for you…

Balance is vitally important for our overall health and well being. Joshua Rosenthal, in his book Integrative Nutrition – Feed you hunger, health and happiness, explains that there are two types of food – primary and secondary.  Primary food is not what you think it would be!  He explains it much better than I, so enjoy the explanation…

“Primary food is more than what is on your plate. Healthy relationships, regular physical activity, a fulfilling career and a spiritual practice can fill your soul and satisfy your hunger for life. When primary food is balanced and satiating, your life feeds you, making what you eat secondary. But what is primary food?

Sometimes we are fed not by food but by the energy in our lives.  We take in thousands of experiences of life that can fulfill us physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. We hunger for play, fun, touch, romance, intimacy, love, achievement, success, art, music, self-expression, leadership, excitement, adventure and spirituality. All of these elements are essential forms of nourishment. The extent to which we are able to incorporate them determines how enjoyable and worthwhile our lives feel.

Modern nutrition—carbs or proteins, fresh produce or fast food—is really just one source of nourishment, which I call secondary food. If we are not starving, other dimensions of the human experience are generally much more important to us than what we put in our mouths. Secondary foods don’t come close to giving us the joy, meaning and fulfillment primary food provides.

When we use secondary food as a way to alleviate or suppress our hunger for primary food, the body and mind suffer. Weight gain is just one of the consequences. Diet-related disorders such as heart disease, cancer, obesity,high blood pressure and diabetes are national epidemics, and one of the main reasons is because we are stuffing ourselves with secondary foods when we are really starving for primary food.”

Food for thought?? You and I have all the resources needed to bring about change and success. It is up to us, no one else can do it for you or or me. We cannot blame others or other events for what we do not achieve. Everyone of us has the potential to develop and grow.

The new all encompassing food pyramid…..

Be Healthy & Happy!

Caroline 

“Does my bottom look big in this?”

Do you comment about your thighs or your voluptuous tummy in front of the kids? Have you be known to  ask “Does my bottom look big in these jeans?” Do you talk about dieting, losing weight and trying to achieve the perfect body?

Be careful what you say as the impact can be devastating. Comments such as these may only reinforce a child’s growing insecurity of how their own body should look.

According to a new report out of the UK, teenage girls in order to achieve their “ideal” body are taking drastic measures.

“Of the 83,000 pupils interviewed, 56 per cent of 14-15 year old girls, 50 per cent of 12-13 year old girls and 32 per cent of 10-11 year old girls said they want to lose weight. This compares with 27 per cent of 14-15 year old boys, 34 per cent of 12-13 year old boys and 24 per cent of 10-11 year old boys who wanted to lose weight. Almost a third of girls in Year 10 skipped breakfast and 18 percent had also skipped lunch the day before. The proportion of young women skipping meals increased with age with almost two-thirds of 14- to 15-year-olds adopting measures to control their weight. Of Year Six girls and boys questioned, 40 per cent said that they consumed no protein “on most days”. (Source: UK Schools Health Education Unit. Australian Food News 31.10.11)

These findings are similiar to other studies conducted here in Australia. In one study looking at high school age girls,  70-76% choose an ideal figure thinner than their own.

Interestingly according to Robin F. Goodman, a clinical psychologist who writes on the N. Y.U. Child Study website, ” girls self- esteem peaks when they are 9 years old, then takes a nose dive.” And the nose dive continues for many years to come – 80% of Australian women are dissatisfied with their own body image (Aust. Society for Behavioural Health and Medicine annual scientific conference, 2010)

Seriously how crazy and yes how sad is that?

Who is to blame? Is it the media, the fashion industry, Australia’s Next Top Model, the Kardashians, our constant fascination with all things celebrity??

I don’t know the exact answer, I believe many forces are at play and wreak havoc on a young mind and sadly on the minds of women in their 20’s, 30’s, 40’s, 50’s, 60’s,70’s…… (please not the 80’s –  life is seriously too short by then to worry about your body image – instead you should be rejoicing in the fact that it has served you well!)

What I do know is that we need to take the focus off the size of our bottoms and focus on being the healthiest version of who we are, not who we think we should be.

 

 ” No one can make you feel inferior without your consent”.

 (A wise comment from  Eleanor Roosevelt.)  

Be Healthy & Happy!

Caroline

Mind Over Matter – Maintaining Momentum (on a Monday!!)

I subscribe to 5 French blogs – all written by American/English/Australian woman who have either married a Frenchman and taken up residence, or, who have been fortunate to buy a little parcel of French countryside and call it home. I am amazed by their commitment to their blogs.  4/5 post three to four times a week, the other (who like me) posts every week to ten days to two weeks….depending! 

I have decided that I need to committ to you and to myself, that I will post a regular Monday post. Mondays are, for those who have practised the art of dieting for many years, the day when they start again. Who recognises this common diet mantra – I will start again tomorrow …it’s Monday?

As dieting is no longer part of our vocabulary, there is no reason to start again just because it is Monday! There is nothing to start because WE are all on the path to be slim, fit and healthy everyday.

So Monday will be the day when I will post on healthy food, healthy mind and healthy bodies! I would also like to post one other time during the week – something short but meaningful!! There I have put that out into cyberspace and now you can hold me accountable for what I do or not do – post wise that is!

While in my phsyio’s waiting room (back is now 90% thank you for asking!) on Friday I read a wonderful piece  (I will need to get back to you on the author as I did not note him/her down!)… these words are worth repeating….and may be a reminder to some…

“Constantly building up unrealistic expectations of your self and others will always lead to disappointment. Instead work to accept each situation the way it is and let go of your attachment to the way it is supposed to be. Having a long list of how things should be in your life will only weigh you down…..

Don’t cling to the past and worry about the future, all the while wishing your life was that little bit different. Be thankful for all that you have rather than wasting energy thinking about all the things you don’t…”

Remember that positive goal image and self talk should be an important two minutes of your day. Allow yourself to be kind to yourself and say “I can do absolutely anything that I put my mind to.”

Focus on the positives and solutions. There is a positive and negative to every situation. Work on finding the positive in all situations. Remember There are no problems …only solutions . And you know the one I love …There is no failure only feedback!

Have a wonderful week!

(une petite ville francaise)  
 
 
Be Healthy & Happy !

Caroline

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mindful Eating – One of Life’s Great Pleasures!

Recent conversations have bought to my attention that the art of mindful eating is not easily grasped. I suppose that should not be a surprise. Many people who have had food/eating/weight gain/weight loss issues dominate their thought patterns, mindset and behaviours for such a long time have lost touch – or have never been in touch – with mindful eating. They have eaten mindlessly – often for the wrong purpose, attempting to nurture an emotion rather than respond to real hunger; and more often than not without any sense of control. Slowly over time, often years, mindless eating results in genuine unhappiness with food,  your relationship with food and how your body reacts to it.            

So to eat mindfully requires both focus and action.  It is being fully present with your experience, in the moment, in a nonjudgmental way. When you sit down to eat your breakfast, lunch, dinner, or even a snack for that matter, your body and mind are both present, you are really aware, you enjoy and savour the experience.

Here are some of my simple principles to mindful eating:

1. Check if you are hungry. To do that you need to ensure you are in tune with your true physiological hunger signs – not because the clock says 1pm or you are stressed and need to feed that stress.

2. If you are truely hungry, then rejoice, hunger is your friend not your foe. It is your body’s signal that you need to refuel.

3. Think about a couple of food choices you may like to have and toss those ideas around in your head while thinking which one do I really want? How is it going to taste? How will I feel when I have completed my meal? etc.

4. Make a decision – choose the food option you want the most, taking the time to prepare it and present it thoughtfully.

5. Sit down to eat, clear all distractions, (no TV/computer/ipod/newspaper/homework/steering wheel!)

6. Take the time to anticipate the food, look at it, smell it, then take that fist bite. One mouthful at a time…slowly, really tasting the flavours and do not swallow it until the food has been chewed well (15-20 times!).

7. Put your knife and fork down between mouthfuls, rest, be aware of how you are feeling, how your stomach is feeling – where are you hunger levels?

8. When you are half way through your meal, stop eating and really check in to how you are feeling, are you still hungry or feeling satisfied?

9. Do as the Japanese do – eat only to your 80% full or “elegantly satisfied”(not full or stuffed!). How do you do this? When you are 2/3 of the way through your meal, put your knife and fork down, push your plate slightly away, wait a couple of minutes. Be aware. You will probably find that your hunger is no longer, you are satiated, you have not reached that feeling of fullness  but that is OK – you are content and have enjoyed your meal  thoroughly.

Note: If you have reached that feeling of fullness you have gone too far- you have eaten more than your body requires.

10. You have finished your meal and just enjoy the moment. The food has nourished your body and your mind. Rejoice in the fact that you have probably eaten less but it enjoyed it so much more.

Be Healthy & Happy!

Caroline

Big Eye Tuna Tataki - Sushi rice timbale, asian slaw, sesame crisp, ponzu dressing. One of my favourite meals - Botswana Butchery, Queenstown, New Zealand, March 2011.

 

 

 

One Flaw in Women – But Oh So Many Strengths!


I was sent this email this week by one of my special clients. It was titled The Clock – and like many emails floating around cyberspace you have to on-send it. I thought I would on-send it via my blog, because it has a message that is important for all of us to remember. Again like most of these emails it did not have an author however, I did a trusty google search and came up with Paul Jenkins as author. If that is correct he writes extremely thoughtfully and I must say he is very insightful!!
  

God  doesn’t give you the people you want, He gives  you the people you NEED… to help you, to hurt you, to leave you, to love you and to make  you into the person you were meant to  be.


  One  Flaw In Women

Women  have strengths that amaze men.
They bear  hardships and they carry burdens,
but they hold happiness, love and joy.

They smile  when they want to scream.
They sing when  they want to cry.
They cry when they are  happy
and laugh when they are nervous.
They fight for what they believe in.
They stand up to injustice.

They  don’t take “no” for an answer
when they  believe there is a better solution.

They  go without so their family can have.
They go to the doctor with a frightened  friend.  

They  love
They cry when their  children excel
and cheer when their friends  get awards.

They are happy when they hear about
a birth or a wedding.
Their  hearts break when a friend dies.
They grieve  at the loss of a family member,
yet they are  strong when they
think there is no strength  left.
They know that a hug and a kiss
can heal a broken heart.

Women come  in all shapes, sizes and colours…

They’ll drive, fly, walk, run or e-mail  you
to show how much they care about you.

The heart of a woman is what
makes the world keep turning.

They bring joy, hope and love.
They have compassion and  ideas.
They give moral support to their
family and friends.

Women have vital things to say
and everything to give.

HOWEVER, IF THERE IS ONE FLAW IN WOMEN,
IT IS THAT THEY FORGET THEIR WORTH.

Be Healthy & Be Happy!

Caroline