Feel, Look, Be, Amazing

how to eat healthy

How to eat healthy isn’t complicated it really is quite simple. There’s so much clutter out there so let’s cut through all the noise and just get down to the basics. What follows are 3 simple rules that, if you follow them say 85% of the time, will put you well and truly on the road to eating healthy and amazing health.

Its about a 3.5 minute read and includes a ‘Processed Food Spectrum” downloadable giveaway.

Here’s a brief outline and the 3 simple rules for eating healthy:-

  • 1. Quit Processed Food
  • 2. Eat More Raw Produce
  • 3. Try to Eat Organic
how do I eat healthy

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Quit Processed Food

If I had to choose the most important of the 3 rules this would win hands down. In fact doing just this one rule will make you one million times healthier. The other 2 are just the icing on the cake.

It’s much easier to tell you what is not processed food than give you a long list of all the processed foods of the world.

Everything that’s not a whole food in its purest natural form is processed food…

…But

Think of Processed food as on a spectrum from unprocessed whole foods to lightly processed all the way through to medium processed which we can tolerate in small doses and ultra processed  “junk’ foods, chemically laden, sugar laden, salt laden and full of bad fats which we should aim never to eat.

processed food spectrum

Eat always from the top 2 green boxes, sometimes from the amber box and never from the red box, and you’ll be eating healthy.

85% Green is a good target.

Why?

  • Processed foods are addictive
  • They are crammed full of all the things that have been scientifically proven to cause illness, obesity and higher risk of early death. Sugar, the bad fats, too much salt, chemicals to preserve them, colour them, flavour them and to add texture.
  • They are very low if not devoid of nutrition. We need nutrition to keep us healthy and ALIVE.
  • It tastes disgusting, nothing can beat the flavours of real foods.
  • Bad for the Environment
  • You will just feel much better on a regular day to day basis. This on top of the fact that you will be protecting yourself from the epidemic of lifestyle disease plaguing our society

For much more insight into the problems with processed food read my blog post ‘Reset Your Tastebuds, Ditch the Processed Food.

How?

  • Use the Processed Food Spectrum as a guide. Eat mostly from the green boxes.
  • Use Your common sense.
  • Check labels.

As a general rule of thumb the less ingredients there are the less processed it is and if you can’t pronounce it you probably shouldn’t eat it😂. But remember the 85% rule. You don’t have to be perfect😁

eat more raw raw bananas

Eat More Raw

When I say raw I mean raw produce, or to be specific fruit, vegetables, nuts and seeds.

Yes, of course you can cook your veg. and still be healthy but eating much more of your produce raw just makes you feel and look amazing and for that reason alone it’s worth doing.

Everyone can benefit from eating more raw. There are some essential vitamins, antioxidants, nutrients and enzymes that are destroyed during the cooking process. So, to protect us from illness and just for our general health and wellbeing it’s a really good idea to try and up our raw game.

Note that I say Eat MORE raw not Eat ALL raw.  You don’t have to be perfect!!!

Why?

  • It’s alive – all nutrients intact.
  • You will Look amazing.
  • You will Feel amazing.
  • Helps weight control – High in fibre, low in calories. win win!!!
  • It’s fast food. Nothing quicker and more convenient than just picking up and eating or chopping and eating. NO heating up, no cooking…
  • It just tastes better. Raw produce tastes juicy and fresh. With a lifestyle reset you really learn to appreciate this.

Click here to read my blog post Healthy Glowing Skin, some of the best benefits of eating more raw.

How?

There are numerous ways for you to eat more raw. If easier, you can start small and slowly increase it.

Try to work up to 5 raw a day.

Here’s a few of my favourites.

  • Drink a Green Juice or Green Smoothie every day.
  • Swap out cooked veg. for your favourite salad with every weekday dinner.
  • Make some raw chocolate brownies or other raw dessert.
  • Chia seed pudding with fruit for breakfast.
  • Have a salad for lunch everyday.

For more detail click here to read my blog post Rawlicious,5 easy and delicious ways to eat more raw.

Try to Eat Organic

Basically Organic food is food grown or reared without the use of artificial pesticides and fertilisers and should not contain genetically modified ingredients.

Click here for what Wikipedia has to say about Organic food.

The UK Department for Agriculture and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) states that:

‘Organic food is the product of a farming system which avoids the use of man-made fertilisers, pesticides; growth regulators and livestock feed additives. Irradiation and the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) or products produced from or by GMOs are generally prohibited by organic legislation. 

DEFRA – Crown Copyright

Why?

  • To avoid consuming toxic chemicals, pesticides and fertilisers.
  • You are what you eat and so are the animals. A healthier animal/vegetable = a healthier meat/vegetable = a healthier YOU.
  • Nutrition. Organic produce does generally have superior nutritional value. Although sometimes it’s minimal.
  • Taste – Generally organic tastes better but it can be subtle or even non existent.
  • Organic farming is more humane and environmentally sound.

I’m currently writing a more detailed post on ‘Why You Should Eat Organic’. Look out for that next week.

How?

  • You can buy products labelled organic in the shops. Even the budget supermarkets have jumped on the bandwagon.
  • You can buy online and get it delivered to your door. Companies like Abel and Cole, or local farmers sometimes do a vegetable box delivery.
  • Go to your local farmers market and speak to the farmers. Many of their produce is in fact organic but they can’t afford to get the organic certification. Use your intuition to guide you.
  • Eat wild fish from the fish counter or freezer section or things like tinned wild salmon. Wild = organic, actually, it trumps it.
  • Grow your own. There is no better way to know that your food is chemical and GM free than to grown your own. You are in control of what goes in your soil. It tastes better and is conveniently local and cheap. More on this next week.
  • There are some fruit and veg. that you really don’t need to buy organic. It’s generally those with really thick skins which prevent the chemicals seeping through to the parts we eat. Click for a list on my blog post food list what I eat.

You are what you eat. The healthier the food you eat, the healthier your body will be. It’s really that simple!!!

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I would love to hear your ideas, suggestions, comments and questions in the comments section below.

is sugar bad for me

Is Sugar Bad For You? Is sugar Like a Drug? Do they put Sugar in Cigarettes?

Yes! Yes! Yes! and more…Read on…

There are loads of detailed, measured articles out there about how sugar can destroy your health but I’m in the mood for a bit of a rant😠. It’s how I feel about the whole subject. It’ll take around 2.5 minutes to read it. Here’s a brief outline:-

  • Sugar is Not a Food Group
  • The ACTUAL 5 Food Groups
  • The White Death
  • Sugar as a Drug
  • Smoke Anyone???

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is sugar unhealthy

Sugar is NOT A Food Group

I came across a post on social media not along ago having a pop at people for avoiding whole food groups. I agreed with the core message of the post. Avoiding food groups completely isn’t the best idea.

But…

…then I looked closer.

They had included sugar as a food group. WTF Erm…SUGAR IS NOT A FOOD GROUP.

For Your Information...

The ACTUAL 5 Food Groups

  • Fruit and Vegetables
  • Proteins (e.g. fish, eggs ,meat, nuts, seeds, legumes)
  • Carbohydrates (e.g. grains, bread, oats , starchy veg.)
  • Dairy (milk, cheese, butter)
  • Fats and oils

Sugar, the white stuff, it’s not even a real food!!! it’s a mass produced, processed product made for massive profit and, unfortunately for us, mass human consumption.

sugar is not a food group

The White Death

I’ve heard it called ‘The White Death’… It’s dramatic, I know, and I normally err on the side of reason but in this case, I have to agree IT…

…and when I say IT I mean the white processed stuff and all of it’s offshoots(1) NOT natural sugars contained in their natural containers…

…is the root of most of our health problems.

Perhaps the social media post was written by some sugar lobbyist keen to keep the profits rolling in. But it could equally be just your average Josephine, making herself feel better for her own consumption. Keen to justify and protect her precious sugar and her addiction to it from the constant attacks it receives.

And it’s true, sugar really is under fire from all angles. It’s easy to understand why people are defensive nowadays. Everything seems to come under fire from somewhere or someone even the things we thought were healthy or were last weeks darling superfoods.

It can all be very confusing but don’t let this mask the actual facts, don’t let it be an excuse for you to ignore all warnings.

Sometimes the attack, the criticisms, the warnings, are for real.  In the case of sugar…and I’m really sorry… but the case is undeniable!!!

IT’S BAD FOR YOU FULL STOP

A DISASTER for your health

Makes You Fat,

Bad for your Teeth.

A disaster for your looks.

But you already knew that…

At what point in your life did you ever think or believe that sugar wasn’t bad for you. You’ve always known it.

Of course it’s bad for you!!! Have you noticed how addicted you are to it. How you crave it. Nothing with that much pull over you can possibly be good news for you.

is sugar like a drug

IT’S LIKE A DRUG !!!

Apparently, sugar hits all the same buttons as drugs like cocaine. Giving us that feel good high. The idea of sugar as one of if not THE most dangerous drugs in our society is really gaining traction. Click here for a short but concise Healthline article.

There are those who argue that sugar can’t be like a drug because it’s a food and our bodies need food to survive unlike drugs.

But…

That white processed substance IS NOT A FOOD.

We don’t need it, it has no nutrition at all. As my old food and nutrition teacher Mrs Bell was fond of telling us

ITS AN EMPTY CALORIE.

No nutrition zero, zilch, nada!

is there sugar in cigarettes

Smoke Anyone?

Did you know that they add sugar to cigarettes to make them easier to inhale , more ‘appealing’??? It also makes them EVEN more toxic and EVEN more addictive.

I MEAN PLEEEEEAAAASSSSSEEEEE…WTAF

Below is a quote from an article by the American Association for Cancer Research:-

Sugars are commonly added to American-blended cigarettes, and the presence of sugars in cigarettes increases the appeal, toxicity, and addictive potential of smoking

Click here to read the full article, it’s short and concise. https://cebp.aacrjournals.org/content/27/3/357.1

Who knows what that means to Diabetics…I believe there is ongoing research.

Scientists are also researching the link between the sugar in the cigarettes and Cancers…

Look!

I’m not saying you need to cut every grain of sugar out of your life, not at all. I’m just saying we need to be aware of its true nature and act accordingly. For a start, let’s at least know when we are eating it, there’s so much of it hidden in surprising places like savoury meats, and pre cooked foods (and cigarettes😌.

I am most definitely not saying that we should stop eating natural sugar containing foods like fruit out of our diets. Quite the reverse, these and the sugar within them are essential to our wellness.

Notes

(1) Anything ending in “ose is basically processed sugar or worse. Like sucrose, dextrose…

Further Reading

Reset Your Tastebuds and Ditch the Processed Food

Because You Deserve It, Marketing Bad Habits

Let Food be Thy Medicine

As always I would love to hear your comments, questions and suggestions below.

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Happy New Year and welcome to my first blog of the year. As a new decade dawns and the excesses of the holiday season fade into the distance it’s the time of year that we start thinking about getting healthy. We tend to concentrate a lot on what we will eat but what we drink is important too. I thought a few healthy drinks suggestions would be useful so I’ve gathered together a collection of Healthy Drinks You Will Love.

For those in a hurry here’s a brief outline, its about a 10 minute read.

  • Reasons Why You Need Healthy Drinks Alternatives
  • The Ultimate Way to Drink Your Water
  • To replace the alcohol
  • To replace the coffee and tea
  • To replace the sugary drinks

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Reasons Why You Need Healthy Drinks Alternatives

We talk a lot about what we should eat to stay healthy and to help us stay slim but what we are drinking counts too.

For me this post on this particular week is doubly meaningful because on Monday January 6th I celebrate one year…52 weeks…365 days without alcohol!!! It’s my Soberversary!!! A fact I can hardly believe myself, but it’s true. Cheers🥳

I can’t say it’s been hard because really it hasn’t, it’s been a doddle. You might expect me to talk in detail about how I struggled without alcohol at parties and social occasions, but for the most part that’s not true. In actual fact I’ve been loving my life without it.

What has helped alot though, especially in the early days while I was still getting used to the idea, was the replacement drinks I chose. I hate fizzy sweet drinks, well, all sweet drinks actually.

I replaced my alcoholic drinks with grown up drinks drinks that made me feel specialdrinks that felt special to drink drinks that looked special, that added a bit of theatre to the occasion.

Of course healthy drinking isn’t just about excellent replacements for alcohol. I gave up tea and coffee many moons ago so I have a fair few alternatives for this type of drink up my sleeve too.

And as I said I hate sweet drinks so I have several drinks that I drink when others would choose a sweet, soft drink.

There are many reasons to be looking for healthy drinks alternatives. Here’s a few:-

  • Avoiding or cutting down on sugar laden drinks.
  • Avoiding too much caffeine.
  • Finding alternatives to alcohol for the drivers.
  • Finding alternatives to alcohol for those on a break from alcohol or those who want to quit altogether.
  • If you just want to cut down on your coffee or tea or give it up altogether
  • if youre trying to avoid dairy or if you’re lactose intolerant.

What follows now are my suggestions for healthy drinks alternatives. Most of these are my personal favourites and I wholeheartedly recommend them.

The Ultimate Way to Drink Water

We need water to live but it can be a bit boring right? A nice glass of chilled sparkling water with a slice of lemon and/or lime can really hit the spot when out and about but you don’t really want to be having your full recommended daily water intake with gas included!!! It’s a good idea to find a still water drink that you like to help you reach your recommended daily water intake of 6-8 glasses per day.

The Ultimate Way to Drink Water – Not only does it taste great but your adding extra nutrients too. I give you;-

Fruit Infused water

  • Get a Mason Jar
  • Add one lemon sliced and/or
  • One lime sliced
  • Fresh Mint (a large handful)
  • Add Water to the top of the jar
  • Chill and infuse over night, wake up and start sipping as soon as you wake up and for the rest of the day. Honestly delcious!

As an alternative to lemon, lime and mint try:

  • Orange slices and cardomam
  • Berries and basil
  • Lemon and rosemary
  • Cucumber and mint or dill
  • Anything you fancy

To Replace the Alcohol

What I’ve discovered over my alcohol free year is that alot of it is just about theatre when it comes to our drinks. We want something pretty to look at , something that looks special so that we can treat ourselves after a hard day, or that feels like it goes with that amazing meal we’ve just cooked. I’ve come up with some wine replacements and mocktails that do just that, here are a few of my favourites.

healthy drinks you will love
freixenet zero alcohol cava

Bubbly
Friexenet Alcohol Free Cava – as an ex wine drinker and cava lover I can honestly say that this is great. It’s not sweet, it tastes like cava without the poisonous aftertaste, it’s fairly inexpensive (currently £4.50 from Tesco or Morrisons), it looks the part and it comes guilt and hangover free. You can buy it in Rose or White, both are lovely. I serve mine with a frozen organic raspberry at the bottom of my glass and the best thing is… you can even drink it for breakfast!!!

Hibiscus TeaRed Wine
I first came across Hibiscus in Phuket, Thailand. It was in a fantastic little cafe that served organic food and amazing, raw desserts. After ordering a set meal of soup , curry and salad it came with a drink on the side called Rosella, which I found out later was in fact cold hibiscus tea. The drink was served with a jug of syrup to sweeten it. When I tasted it, it was very bitter, but what I found is that if I drank it after I ate some food it was really good at cleaning the palate and the bitterness was not an issue. It tastes good too a bit like unsweetened cranberry juice.

healthy drinks you will love
hibiscus tea

For me it has several similiarities to red wine. As you can see from the above picture which is in fact hibiscus tea not red wine, it looks exactly like it. This really helps with the theatre at the table. It looks the part and feels very familiar. It also washes down and cuts through the food in the same way as red wine does.

You may have to work to like it (in much the same way as you probably worked to like red wine) but it is worth it.

Hibiscus has some truly amazing health benefits. It is full of anti-oxidants and is particularly renowned for lowering the blood pressure Personally, I already have quite low blood pressure so I make sure not to drink too much of it. I stick to just one large glass per day with my evening meal. Click Here to read an excellent article which outlines the many benefits of drinking hibiscus tea.

Hibiscus Tea – How to Make It:-

  • I use a glass teapot with an infuser section
  • Fill the infuser section half full with hibiscus flowers
  • Add boiling water to fill the teapot
  • Leave to cool and refrigerate overnight
  • You can bottle this, it will keep for a few days

Notes -Apparently you can use the flowers a few times although I don’t, I use a fresh batch every time. I like it strong.

It’s important that you buy quality tea. Not teabags with hibiscus dust mixed with god knows what. You can buy organic, whole dried hibiscus flowers. If you have no local supplier you can buy them on Amazon.

Please note:- I have no affiliate links with any company whatsover. I’m genuinely recommending where I buy them from myself to help you out in sourcing the best ones.

Mines a ‘Gin and Tonic

lemons
healthy drinks alternatives

Sometimes I have a healthy ‘gin’ and tonic or should I say seedlip and fevertree light. I’ve noticed these are becoming pretty mainstream but thought I’d mention them here for those who haven’t come across them yet.

Seedlip is an alcohol free ‘gin’ which comes in three varieties = grove, garden and spice. Each of these have different botanicals and flavours, there are no calories in them and the ingredient list seems relatively harmless.


Fevertree light offers many different varieties of tonic water (and a mean ginger ale). The great thing about them is that they don’t use unhealthy artificial sweeteners neither are they laden with sugar. Instead they have a little sugar in them which makes them taste much better, and of course they are much better for your health and your waistline. Just be careful though you have to pick the fevertree light options as they also do full sugar versions too.

Seedlip and Fevertree light are widely available at most supermarkets in the UK.

mocktails
skinny virgin mojito
healthy drinks suggestions

Mocktails
Of course there’s loads and loads of mocktails you can make with various fresh fruits, juices and herbs. My favourite is a skinny virgin mojito.

Skinny Virgin Mojito

  • Juice of 1 fresh lime.
  • Raw honey to taste (suggest half teaspoon).
  • Handful of mint. Crush it in a tall glass along with the lime and honey.
  • Add ice to three quarters up the glass.
  • Fill remainder with fevertree light or sparkling water.
  • Decorate top with a sprig of mint and a slice of lime

Make Your Drinks interesting and colourful

Use natural colours and flavours to make them exciting, that’s fairly easy when using natural products like fruits and herbs.

You can also use Butterfly peas flowers (another Thai discovery) to colour other wise boring drinks. They turn drinks various shades of blue or purple/pink when mixed with citrus. You can buy these dried flowers from Amazon, they last forever since you only need a few to colour your drinks.

butterfly pea flower 
make healthy drinks

To Replace Coffee or Tea


Of course there is nothing wrong with drinking tea and coffee in moderation but here’s some healthy alternatives in case you want to cut down or just for a change.

Coconut MilkMy homemade Recipe

  • Dried coconut (unsweetened chips or dessicated)
  • Water
  • Vanilla, a few drops to taste (fresh,essence, paste…)

Put all ingredients in your blender (high speed works best) at the highest setting and blitz until your milk starts to get warm. Squeeze milk through a nut milk bag into a large jug and that’s it made. Transfer into a sealable glass bottle and store in the fridge. It should keep fresh for around 3 days but will probably be gone by then.

Some more tips:-

  • Drink it warmed but don’t overheat it, it tastes better and will preserve all nutrients.
  • You can add spices like cinamon and dried ginger.
  • If you really want to you can sweeten with a little raw honey or coconut sugar. Personlly I find it sweet enough.

You can also make the very popular Golden Turmeric Latte.

Golden Latte
Contains turmeric, a much revered superfood. Click here for my recipe from a recent blog post of mine which was all about the health and beauty benefits of coconut.

Cocoa
We all know how to make this. The trick is don’t buy sugary hot chocolate powder buy actual cocoa powder and skip adding sugar. I make it just with boiling water and just drink it straight or add a little of my homemade coconut milk. There are a few good brands, I always use Green and Blacks Organic Cocoa.

Espresso
If you enjoy a coffee espresso shot you will probably enjoy a chocolate one even more. Here’s how:-

  • Around 25g (about one quarter of one of the blocks) of Willies 100% Cacao (available at Waitrose)
  • An espresso shot cup of water
  • Put both in a pot and heat until chocolate is melted and mixed into the water.
  • Pour into an espresso shot cup and drink.

Genmaicha – Japanese brown rice tea,
A personal favourite and again I discoverd this in Asia, this time Penang, Malaysia. If you like the burnt sticky rice at the bottom of your rice cooking pot you’ll love this. If not try it anyway, it’s funky and really grows on you.

You can drink it hot or cold to suit yourself. It’s basically green tea mixed with popped brown rice. Click here to find out more about it in wikipedia.

To make it you steep in boiled water for a few minutes to taste. You can buy good quality Genmaicha from Amazon. Yamamotoyama brand is the only one I’ve tried and very good. I’ve generally bought mine on my travels in Asia and it lasts forever. You could also try your local chinese supermarket or Japanese restaurant.

Pukka Organic herbal teas

There is a huge variety and all are good according to your own personal taste. My favourites are three ginger and wild apple and cinamon. Pukka is a good solid company with high food and environmental standards.

You can buy it online or at your local supermarket.

To Replace the Sugary Drinks


Drinking our calories is really bad news. Especially when the calories are coming from the sugar. If you’re addicted to sugary, sweet drinks I definately advise you to wean yourself off this habit as a matter of urgency. Drinking sugar is a major cause of obesity and it’s related health issues. Not to mention the damage drinking sugar is doing to your teeth. Below are a few suggestions for healthy replacements:-

Fruit Infused Water
As described above. This is my number one recommendation. It doesn’t get any better.

Fevertree Lights
An excellent brand of soft drinks with the light variety being very low in sugar rather than full of chemical artificial sweeteners. A staple in my drinks cabinet. As a soft drink replacement I would choose Ginger Ale Light or you could try mixing the following delicious drink.

Grapefruit Fizz

  • Half fill a tall glass with ice
  • Squeeze in juice of half a grapefruit
  • Fill glass with fevertree aromatic light.
  • Decorate top with a stick of rosemary or a stick of lemon grass
healthy drinks you will love
coconut water

Coconut Water
Fresh out of the coconut is premium… but the chances are you don’t live in an area that has these readily available. If you live in the UK Marks and Spencer do a coconut water fresh in the coconut. Pricey but nice if you can afford it or for a treat.

You can also buy from a carton. To be honest it’s not something I do alot as it is processed but I will occasionally have one of these. Check the carton, you’re looking for ‘not made from concentrate’ and you also don’t want added sugar or chemicals. Here’s an excellent article on the best coconut waters if you are interested in learning more.

Kombucha
I have to fess up here and say I still haven’t made my own kombucha. I guess that means I don’t need it in my life… I have to mention it here though as Kombucha has many heathy benefits and apparently tastes awesome and so is an excellent healthy drink. I really must get around to making it. Here’s an excellent article on why.

Important Note:

Please don’t replace your sugary soft drinks with the diet versions. These are proven to be extremely unhealthy and do not help keep you slim. Below is an clip from my earlier blog post ‘Let Food Be Thy Medicine’ click here to read the whole post.

Soft drinks were also under fire this month, September 2019, when the public were urged to drink water instead. A massive scientific study has found a higher risk of early death linked with both sugary and artificially sweetened soft drinks. The sugary ones most linked with digestive issues (like liver disease) and the artificially sweetened ones with cardiovascular disease. Read a balanced article about if here by The GUARDIAN

So there you have my Healthy Drinks You Will Love suggestions. I hope you try them out and love them. Let me know how you get on in the comments section below and I would also love to see your healthy drinks suggestions down there.

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resolutions that stick

We all make New Years Resolutions but how many of our healthy resolutions stick. How many are successful? It’s a great idea, the whole new year/new start thing. I totally love it. I don’t do the raucous Hogmany party any more! As a Scot. this is almost blasphemy but there you have it. I prefer a light celebration on the 31st (which is also my birthday)…

…Then I wake up as fresh as a Daisy on New Years day and can really feel into and appreciate the specialness of that new fresh day, that new fresh year, that new fresh start…

We can use that feeling as a booster to make a healthy New Years Resolution that will stick. Resolutions that will become more than resolutions that will become a part of your success story, a new habit, a new and healthier path and lifestyle.

So today, Im doing a very short post about how we can make resolutions that we can keep. A short post because I know you’re busy enjoying yourselves. Here’s a brief outline it’s about a 2.5 minute read.

  • Make Them Easily Achievable and Be Persistant
  • Focus on Gaining Not Losing
  • Reflect on and Celebrate Your Wins, no matter how small
  • Get Some Company

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successful healthy resolutions

Make Them Easily Achievable and Be Persistent

  • Make lots of very achievable goals – So rather than making one big goal that you are bound to fail on within days, make an initial, much smaller goal that feels achievable to you.
  • When you achieve that goal make a new one and so on and so on until you have achieved your goal. It may take a while but you will be improving all the time.
  • Keep the time frames short so that you are never far away from success. Go slowly but surely, step by step and action by action so that you build up a natural momentum of success, achievement and progress.
  • Strong and slow wins the race and lots and lots of small wins eventually equal one huge big achievement.
  • If you fall or fail, start again. Persistency is the key.

You can do this by either drawing up an overall plan with each step and goal already plotted or you can just concentrate on your first goal and when you get there make up the next one and so on as you go along. The one you choose depends on the type of person you are. Both are equally valid.

Focus on Gaining Not Losing

Let your resolutions be about what you will gain rather than what you will loose. Let them be about how your life will improve rather than what you will miss out on. Let me give you an example to show you what I mean:

Resolution- I want to stop smoking.

Change this to:-

  • I want to breathe normally again
  • I want my time back (we spend alot of time smoking)
  • I want to feel good about myself
  • I want peace of mind and not to worry about my health
  • I want to smell fresh
  • I want to look healthy

and so on…there are many more gains from stopping smoking.

resolutions that are successful

Reflect and Celebrate Your Wins No Matter How Small

Me Time
Take 10 minutes every day to reflect on your resolutions and how you are progressing with them. If you are doing well and have achieved them, no matter how small, congratulate yourself and celebrate this success (in a healthy way). If you havn’t done so well, rethink it, make changes to your goal that will make it easier for you to succeed and start again. Remember Persistence is the key.

Healthy AND Happy
You will never stick to anything that you are not happy with. You have to be happy with what you are doing, your lifestyle choices, what you are eating… The reason I stick at my healthy lifestyle is that I’m happy in it, there is no willpower needed and no struggle involved.

Involve Other People

You’re much more likely to succeed if you involve other people. That may be just by telling them so that they can support you or it may be that they will come along for the ride with you. Everything seems much more achievable and fun when you have company right?

Resolutions that involve starting good habits and stopping bad habits will have much more chance of success if you have accountability. Someone to report to, someone who will hold you accountable for your actions. If it’s a joint effort you can be each others accountability buddies.

My online course ‘Healthy and Loving It’ is close to being ready to launch. Although it will be packed with useful information, in actual fact, I can see that my students success will be hugely due to the online classroom full of accountability buddies including myself.

If you would like to hear about my course launch please subscribe below. You will also receive my weekly blog post direct to your inbox.

In a Nutshell

New Year is a great time to make healthy resolutions that will stick. Applying the above ideas should really help make achieving yours real and long lasting.

Good Luck with your Resolutions and a very Happy New Year when it comes.

Further Reading

Starting Good Habits Stopping Bad Habits

Boredom and Bad Habits, Are We Just Bored

Life with Crutches, Whats it Like to Break Free from Bad Habits

Because You DeserveIt, Marketing Bad Habits

Step By Step, The Slow but Powerful Path to Success

The Wine Witch, Pink Fluffy Clouds and Wine O’Clock, When You Stop Drinking Wine

Wikipedia – About New Years Resolutions

I would love to hear about your New Years Resolutions below, Plus any comments,, thoughts, suggestions or comments. xxx

chocolate is a superfood
shona hagan visit to chocolate farm and factory, grenada
@amazinglyhealthylife

It’s Xmas so let’s talk about the crazily awesome health benefits of Chocolate. Chocolate is a superfood and that’s not just some trendy label that everyone just blindly follows it actually means something. It’s called a superfood because it really does have superhero levels of nutrition within. Nutrition that genuinely helps us reach and maintain our best health. But there is a but…it’s the cacao in the chocolate that is the superfood rather than the actual chocolate bar itself. Don’t despair…all is not lost… Read on there is hope!

I know you’re busy with all your xmas stuff so heres a brief outline. It’s about a 3.5 minute read.

  • What is Chocolate/Cacao/Cocoa
  • Why We Should Eat It
  • Cacao is a star – Its’ highlights
  • Megadose of Antioxidants
  • Makes You Happy and Fights Depression
  • Healthy Heart and Brain
  • Helps You Look Good
  • Even More Highlights
  • The Bottom Line
  • How to Take Action
  • Further Reading

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cacao tree
cacao fruit
chocolate is healthy
cacao is a superfood

What is Cacao/Cocoa/Chocolate

Chocolate is made from cacao which is grown on the cacao tree the theobroma cacao which translates to ‘Food of the Gods’ a justified name I’m sure we all agree.

  • Cacao is the fruit that comes from the Cacao tree. The flesh tastes deliciously sweet, the beans are what’s used to make cocoa and chocolate.
  • Cacao nibs are crumbled raw cacao beans with a strong bitter taste a bit like coffee.
  • Cacao powder is made from cold pressed cacao beans. It is raw and unprocessed.
  • Cocoa powder is made from roasted, processed cacao beans. It’s what most chocolate bars are made of although you can buy raw chocolate bars.

Cacao is healthier because it’s raw and untreated so retains its full nutritional profile, but cocoa still retains some good health benefits and therefore so does chocolate.

cocoa sign, chocolate farm and factory grenada

Why We Should Eat It


Cacao is incredibly healthy for you, a superfood in fact. It is exceptional in its health boosting, anti-ageing and disease fighting properties.

Cacao is rich in healthy nutrients including:

  • Anti oxidants,
  • Protein
  • Calcium
  • Carotene
  • Thiamin
  • Riboflavin
  • Magnesium
  • Sulphur
  • Flavonoids
  • Essential fatty acids

It’s thought to improve your health in multiple ways including;

  • Heart health
  • Cholesterol levels,
  • Stress levels,
  • Reducing the inflammation that can lead to multiple lifestyle diseases
  • Improves and balances moods
  • Increases happiness levels

So cacao really is a star, here’s some of its highlights

Contains Mega Doses of Anti-Oxidants

It has one of the best anti-oxidant profiles of any food in the world with 20 times more anti-oxidants than blueberries. Anti-oxidants help fight oxidative stress which is thought to be behind a multitude of todays lifestyle diseases including Depression, Alzheimers and some Cancers. The anti-oxidants alone are enough reason to eat it.

Cacao is the best source but good quality cocoa and dark chocolate also deliver anti-oxidants. In general, the higher the level of cocoa in the chocolate the more antioxidants it will contain.

raw cacao beans, chocolate factory, grenada

Can make you happy and fight depression


We all know eating chocolate makes us feel good and we might hit the chocolate when we are down. Well, it turns out that there is a scientific reason for that.Cacao releases several feel good chemicals in our brains, 2 of which are seratonin and PEA (phenylethiamine).

When you fall in love your brain produces PEA which then tells the body to release feel good endorphins. PEA also metabolises into serotonin which is great for balancing your moods and is known as the happy chemical. So when we eat chocolate our body mimics the feeling of falling head over heels in love and that sense of happiness, wellbeing and euphoria associated with it.


Happy Natural High – There is a venue in Berlin which runs a monthly event on a Sunday afternoon. 200 people drink cacao together, meditate, and then have a six-hour electronic music dance-off, before going home to sleep. How awesome is that? I want to go.

Healthy Heart and Brain

Magnesium, the cacao flavonoids and other important nutrients found in abundance in cacao have been shown to improve heart health and brain functions.


Eating chocolate can lower blood pressure according to research by Harvard University but the chocolate needs to be a minimum of 50% cocoa for it to get results. In the tests it worked better in those who already had high blood pressure.


During a British Psychologists study, eating dark chocolate was shown to improve partiipants mental maths.

Helps you Look Good


Anti-Ageing and glowing skin – contains anti-ageing anti-oxidants, which fight free radicals and protect skin from sun damage so less fine lines, wrinkles and more even skin tone.


There is research suggesting that regularly eating Cacao can help weight loss and prevention of type 2 diabetes. (not the sugary chocolate bars of course)


Those mood enhancing chemicals make you feel good, when you feel good you look good.

More Highlights

Cacao is THE highest plant based source of iron.

Great news for the non-meat eaters out there!

Cacao has more calcium than cows milk.

Again, great news for non-meat eaters and those who are lactose intolerant.

Cacao, cocoa and chocolate are treats and healthy treats are a godsend.


It tastes delicious and is very filling and satiating.

chocolate is delicious, healthy and filling

The Bottom Line


To get the maximum benefits of the superfood cacao, you have to eat it in its raw form as cacao rather than cocoa or chocolate. However, there are still great health benefits to eating quality cocoa and chocolate. The better the quality, the higher the percentage of cocoa, the better the benefits. Also, the higher the percentage of chocolate the lower the percentage of sugar which is of course another huge advantage.

How to take Action

  1. Actively seek to eat more raw cacao, it’s health benefits are off the chart.
  2. Eat good quality cocoa and chocolate moderately as a treat.
  3. Actively seek high percentage chocolate which will also be much lower in sugar.

Further Reading

Cacao versus Cocoa excellent article

Click here for my food recommendations

Click here for the benefits of eating raw produce

Let Food Be Thy Medicine

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I would love to hear your comments, thoughts, suggestion and questions below. x

sleep for health
2 piglets sleeping

Getting a good nights sleep is essential for our general health and wellbeing everyone knows that. But did you know that poor sleep can sabotage your weight loss goals. To put it bluntly, poor sleep can make you fat…

I love my sleep. Catching some quality 💤 😴 is a priority for me every night. I love to feel alert, on top of my game and fresh for a new day and there’s nothing like a good night sleep to deliver that. But who knew that it can also help with weight loss…Let’s dive deeper…

If you’re short of time here’s a brief outline of what’s to come. Lots of cute sleeping photos 😬 and about a 3 minute read.

  • Hormones
  • Poor Choices
  • More Time More Calories
  • May Decrease Resting Metabolism
  • Less Likely To Excercise
  • Can Cause Insulin Resistance
  • Reasons For Poor Sleeping Habits
  • Other Consequences of Bad Sleep Habits
sleep like a baby for good health

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Hormones

Not getting enough sleep messes about with our hormones – Ghrelin, Leptin and Cortisol.

Ghrelin is the hormone that signals hunger to your brain. When you don’t get enough sleep your Ghrelin levels increase. As you can imagine this is a problem. Increased hunger means increased eating resulting in an expanding waistline.

Leptin is the hormone that sends signals to your brain that it is full up. When your sleep is poor the levels of Leptin in your body decrease. Again problematic since even when your full up your not getting the message. This is bound to lead to overeating.

Cortisol is the fat storing hormone. It is also known as the stress hormone and is thought to increase appetite. Cortisol levels increase when we don’t get enough sleep which again, cannot be good news for our waistlines.

Since cortisol levels are strongly connected to type 2 diabetes, I have to mention here that there is believed to be an important link between sleep deprivation and type 2 diabetes. If you are interested in this click this link to read an article by The Sleep Doctor.

These natural hormonal occurrences are part of your bodies natural defences. Their purpose is to protect your body not to make you fat but with consistent lack of sleep that will inevitably be the result.

sleep like a baby to be healthy

Poor Choices

When we are hungry we don’t think straight. Our brains can’t function properly. Even after one night of bad sleep.

We tend to make poor choices and rash decisions. We are more likely to give in to cravings and give ourselves excuses for bad behaviour. Of course this can result in us making poor food choices. I’m looking at you sugar.

Hands up who recognises this. I’m definately guilty as charged.😉

More Time More Calories

This ones fairly obvious. When you’re not in you’re bed and sleeping you’re up and about awake. Being up more means more time to eat, and therefore more food, more calories and more potential weight gain.

Additionally, Many people also like to stay up late hence why they don’t get enough sleep. Late night snacking is definitely a thing, I’m sure you agree and I’ve never heard of late night snacking involving anything healthy!!!

Decreases Resting Metabolism

Studies have shown that sleep restriction can decrease our resting metabolism. This makes sense since it’s simply the bodies deeply entrenched self protection being unleashed. Because of the lack of sleep the body automatically goes into energy conservation mode which causes the lowering resting metabolism.

A low resting metabolism is bad news for anyone wanting to loose weight but it will immediately go back to normal after a good nights sleep. So one nights bad sleep will cause no problem but consistent and consecutive ones could play havoc with weight goals.

If you want to read more in-depth about these studies Click here

sleep is important for your health
cat sleeping

Less Likely To Excercise

This is really going back to the bad decision making which often results from sleep deprivation. You are much less likely to hit the gym or do your workout thing, whatever that may be, if you haven’t had a good nights sleep and are exhausted. If this lack of quality sleep is regular then multiply that unlikelyhood by a million.

I’m not a believer in excercising as a weight control method directly by burning off calories. But, I do think excercise helps us meet our weight and body goals indirectly and of course it does directly improve our health.

Excercise oxygenates us and tones our muscles making us look better. It also improves our mental attitude meaning we’re more likely to make healthy food choices and decisions.

Reasons For Poor Sleep Habits

There are many factors causing many of us not to get sufficient sleep including:

  • Personal resistance (just don’t want to go to bed early or don’t understand the importance).
  • Disturbed or low quality sleep due to things like caffeine or alcohol.
  • Eating or drinking too late at night interrupts sleep.
  • Inability to fall asleep at night due to stress, light pollution, mobile phone usage.
  • No relaxing evening routine that readies you for sleep.
  • Waking in the middle of the night and unable to get back to sleep due to things like anxiety, alcohol, indigestion.
  • Noisy partners or environment.
  • Not honouring your circadian rhythm.

Tackling the above should improve your sleep quality.

Other Consequences of Poor Sleep Habits

Sabotaging your weight loss goals is just one of the consequences of poor sleep. It also threatens our good health:-

  • Weakened immune system.
  • Loss of ability to think or reason effectively.
  • May increase risk of certain cancers and diabetes.
  • May have a Negative impact on heart health click. for more
  • Skin problems. click for more
  • Accident prone (including increased risk of car accident).
  • Less happy and contented.
  • Decreased libido.
bad sleep sabotages weight loss

So…

You have to prioritise your sleep. The odd nights bad sleep isn’t going to harm you. The problem comes with consistent low sleep quality. Weight control and indeed our whole general health is not just about what we eat or how many workouts we get in. Taking a holistic, whole body/whole lifestyle approach to health and weight loss will give much better and lifetime lasting results and getting a good night sleep consistently is just one part of that.

Further Reading

Posts to help you tackle sleep disturbing habits:-

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I would love to hear your questions, comments or suggestions below. 💋

girl indulging in doughnuts, eating junk food

‘Because you Deserve It’ is a phrase we hear a lot of nowadays in social media and advertising. Our friends might also tells us this or we might even tell it to ourselves, ‘I deserve it’ that’s how deeply entrenched it is in our psyches. I have to admit, I’ve used it. It’s a very useful tool to use as justification for just about anything. Lets dive deeper:

Heres a brief outline of what we are looking at, it’s about a 3.5 minute read.

  • What do You Deserve?
  • Why do you Deserve it?
  • What is It?
  • Is It worth having?
  • Further Reading

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What do You Deserve?

‘You deserve it’ is a very clever marketing ploy, tempting you to give in to your desires against your better judgement. Perhaps buying something you can’t really afford, sshh 🤫 or it’s used to justify naughty behaviour… eating that extra piece of chocolate cake, sinking back that bottle of red on a Tuesday, putting your feet up (with a glass of wine) and ordering a pizza…

girl eating junk food, eating doughnuts

It’s very persuasive. The opposite of ‘you deserve it‘ is ‘you don’t deserve it‘, and thats strong isn’t it? Nobody wants to be told they don’t deserve the things they want.

So what is it that you have done to deserve the naughtiness…the ‘treats’?

Why do you deserve it?

Most commonly, the reason you deserve it is that you’ve been at work all day/week or you’ve looked after the kids all day/week (1). You’ve worked your butt off and you’re knackered!

(1) Note: It used to be an all week thing, you’ve worked hard all week you deserve to relax, kick back, eat, drink and be merry, it’s the weekend. It now seems to be a daily thing, you worked hard all day, have a drink, relax, sit back, phone in for food, eat drink and be merry, it’s the evening, it’s wine o’clock.

I get it. Even just getting to work nowadays is an absolute nightmare, be it public transport or driving, the commute in itself. It’s draining. Then you have to work in a corporate world that seems to care less and less about its workforce. It’s almost unbearable.

As for bringing up children as a full time job, anyone who has done this will know it’s one of the hardest jobs in the world. Non stop hours, and the ultimate in responsibility.

What is IT

you deserve it, lady being spoiled

So yes I get it and agree, you do deserve something after working so hard.

But what is the ‘IT’ that we deserve.
What is ‘IT’
‘IT’ = What?

Surely something nice… to feel amazing, life long happiness perhaps, great health forever, world peace

That would be worth it, we would definitely deserve that , but no unfortunately not.

  • ‘it’ = the thing they are selling.
  • ‘it’ = the promise of something amazing.
  • ‘it’ = instant gratification

Advertisers don’t sell wine or food or cigarettes…they sell lifestyles, they sell sexy, they sell easy , they sell glamorous, they sell dreams and promises.

They sell the happiness that comes from taking the easy route, the glass of wine, the easy meal…

But this is instant gratification, these are in the moment rewards and they are fleeting. If given in to frequently, as is commonly the case nowadays, they have horrible consequences. Conseqences you definitely do not deserve after all your hard work.

‘It’ = unhealthy body and mind, inability to work effectively, detrimental affects on your physical appearance, weight issues, hangovers, indigestion and ultimately more serious disease.

‘It’ = Instant, in the moment happiness and gratification at the expense of genuine, long lasting happiness.

woman drinking too much red wine

Is ‘it’ worth having

No.

You work hard. You deserve lifelong, deep and meaningful happiness that stems from a strong and healthy mind, body and soul.

Don’t fall for false advertising, don’t fall for meaningless memes on social media that you know are just there to lull you into clever marketing ploys.

  • You don’t deserve ‘it’.
  • You deserve better.
  • You deserve to be the best.
  • You deserve to look your best.
  • You deserve to feel your best.

Further Reading

Healthy Habits

Starting Good Habits, Stopping Bad Habits

Boredom and Bad Habits: Are We Just Bored?

Click here for a short, interesting and different take on ‘You Deserve It’ as a marketing ploy.

I would love to hear your thoughts, question, comments and suggestions below.

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powerful steps

Everybody is always in a rush to get things done now and they want results next week, overnight or immediately. This race for results now, (a race that can never be won), is the reason, I believe, that many people give up on things too quickly, too easily. And it’s a shame because if you do this you are missing out big time. Missing out on the chance to achieve amazing things in every single aspect of your life. The Power of Slow Progress, taking each day at a time, step by step, action by action and making small changes and small progresses, this has the power to transform your life.

Heres what we are talking about, its about a 4 minute read

  • What do I mean by slow progress?
  • How can we use it?
  • Why is it powerful?
  • Track yourself for success.
  • It’s the Journey that Matters.
  • Chase Your Dreams
  • Related Content – Things to practice step by step on.

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What do I mean by slow progress?

By Slow progress I mean when you concentrate on today and take things step by step, action by action on a very regular basis. The regularity will be dependent on your goal and the steps and actions needed but most likely on a daily basis.

You make small changes or take small actions that slowly but surely push you ever forward towards your goals and dreams. Big goals and dreams. Think daily progress, yearly goals instead of ‘I want to try and do it by next week or next month’

step by step to reach your goals

Being told ‘just take it step by step‘ infuriated us as children. When we were always in a hurry to get it done, to reach the prize, the goal. You wanted to get there and fast. You expected to achieve everything and expected to be great at everything almost overnight or indeed instantly or might we say ‘naturally’.

Of course we are all born with natural talent in varying degrees in varying things. but all and any talent needs nurturing. We need to put in the work to get the results.

Now that we are adults we can realise and harness the power of slow progress. We can take step by step and turn it into action by action and use it to achieve anything we want. The world is our oyster.

How can we use it

The Power of Slow Progress can be successfully applied to all aspects of your life such as:

  • Food
  • Habits
  • Exercise
  • Your career
  • Creative
  • Meditation
  • Relaxation
  • Realising your hopes and dreams
  • Everything

Why is it Powerful

slow and steady wins

It gets things done that are HUGE!

just a bit slowly.

The slowness is great though, it stops overwhelm. It means that the small piece you are working on today , just now, in the moment, has your absolute and full attention thereby assuring it’s quality. You are not rushing to get through it to get to the next bit, to get it done, to reach the end. You are enjoying the journey and giving each small step of the way your utmost attention.


This is great news for any project.

Work projects, personal projects, dance choreography, strength training, weight loss, launching a new business, getting amazingly healthy, learning how to do a bullet journal (click here to learn everything you need to know about bullet journals), learning how to draw or paint, keeping your house clean. and so on ad infinitum.

Slow progress in action:

  • Food – Get rid of one unhealthy food and add one healthy food at a time every day/week/month. You set the schedule.
  • Exercise – start at 1 minute per day and add 1 minute of exercise to this every day/week/month. You decide.
  • Sleep – go to bed 5 minutes earlier every day/week/month until you reach desired bed time
  • Smoking – smoke 1 less cigarette every day/week/month.
  • Alcohol -Drink 1 less glass of wine per day or drink 1 less day per week until desired result. Or do 1 alcohol free week or month per year then 2 and so on.
  • Relaxation – Start with 1 minute meditation, breathing exercise or just sitting in the garden then add 1 minute on every day .
women exercising

A specific example of this in action:
In the gym for my strength training, I do 5 sets of 5 reps of every exercise I do every time I go, which is 3 times per week. I increase the weight by the smallest amount possible and by just one set at a time.

Incredibly slow progress, but progress nevertheless.

It works for me.

It’s not overwhelming.

It stops me from being injured

I am still making a march in the right direction.

I can see my progress in my body.

I can also see the progress on my tracking sheet which is showing that the incremental small weight increases I’m making 3x weekly , are becoming big weight increases overall from when I started. It’s right there in black and white.

Lots and lots of small wins = One huge win.

take the right path to results

Track yourself for success

Track your progress and you are setting yourself up for success. You can use an online tracking app. or just pen and paper it doesn’t matter, both are winners. Whatever you want to achieve, think of small steps you can take to achieve them, write these down so that you can track your progress, then just do it!

Apart from anything else this is just really satisfying and enjoyable.

Why?

Because you are virtually ticking done boxes every single day. These ticks signify a step closer to your goal. they mean you are getting better, bigger, stronger, closer. thinner, more healthy, whatever it is you are chasing. This is extremely satisfying and motivating. It gives you the feeling that you are in control and that you are successful in what it is you want.

IT GIVES US THIS FEELING BECAUSE IT IS TRUE.

They say its the journey that matters, not the destination. This is so true, it is. It’s the journey that brings the happiness, the satisfaction the contentment. all the good feelings of success.

chase your dreams and goals, its the journey that matters

Chase Your Dreams

Once you have reached a goal it’s time to set a new one and then enjoy this new journey. So, for example, if you have managed to switch to a completely healthy diet, that is great, congratulations! A new goal could be to level up even more on your health by learning to grow your own vegetables or to up your meditation game. No rush, no hurry, just in your own time.

If you have it in you to achieve one big goal then you have it in you to achieve many. You have it in you to achieve bigger and better things. Its not a stressful path of striving, its one of enjoyment where you are reaching out for your dreams and enjoying yourself along the way. In this path lies human happiness.

Related content – Things to practice your step by step on:-

Reset your Taste Buds, Ditch the Processed Food

Healthy Habits

About Amazingly Healthy Life

Healthy Eating

Rawlicious:- 5 easy and delicious ways to eat more raw.

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I would love to hear your comments, ideas, suggestions and questions below.

reach for your dreams

Do you feel too old to live your best life, to put your best self forward? Have you given up on your dreams? The dream of achieving your life passion, the job or career you always wished for, the fitness goals you wanted to reach. Have you given up on achieving the healthiest and best looking version of you? Have you settled? Many people reach a certain age, and they just seem to give up. You don’t need to, it doesn’t matter what age you are. You’re not too old and it’s never too late.

Here’s a brief outline of what I’m talking about today, it’s about a 3.5 minute read:

  • ‘Old” is relative
  • Its your time now
  • Celebrity Inspiration
  • No regrets
  • Too Old to be Healthy!
  • Invest In Yourself

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‘Old’ is Relative

Do you remember when you were 11 and you thought 25 was old? Exactly!

I remember thinking I was passed it at 22 and thats just ridiculous. I see that now.

Ive also noticed now at 52, Im starting to think how young I was at 40 however when I was about to turn 40 I was panicking.

Its all crap!

Just because our minds chat this rubbish to us doesn’t make it true. Our minds don’t always speak the truth. We can listen to our mind but we don’t need to believe everything it tells us.

Whatever age you are now, fast forward in time 10 years, and your current age is going to look pretty young to you. You’re going to wonder what all the fuss was about!!!

Often when we reach middle age we really start to suffer from this too old crap but at middle age we still have half our lives ahead of us. The clue is in the name. We’re in the middle. You get to choose whether your cup is half empty or half full, so to speak. It’s all in YOUR attitude. It’s up to YOU.

It’s Your Time Now

you are never too old to chase your dreams

No matter your age its your time NOW. You’ve done your bit for society. Perhaps you’ve had your kids. You are better equipped to pursue exactly what you want. You are older and wiser. You have more confidence. You have more experience. You can handle yourself and other people with much more ease. You don’t have the same responsibilites taking up your time. It’s time for you and your dreams, whatever they may be, and why stop at one, pursue them all!!!

Celebrity Inspiration

Many of the rich and famous we idolise did not start until they were older. If they had decided they were too old and just given up we would not be enjoying their work now. Below are 3 of my favourites, click here for more celebrity inspiration.

Professor Snape actor the late and great, Alan Rickman was a graphic designer before he landed his first big acting role at the age of 42. I can’t imagine anyone else playing Snape

celebrities who started late, professor snape actor alan rickman

Little House on the Prairie author Laura Ingles Wilder did not have her first novel published until she was 65. Can you imagine growing up without Little House on the Prairie on tv.

Singing sensation Susan Boyle found fame on Britains Got Talent at 47. Nuff Said!

No regrets

Imagine looking back on your life when you are 95 and regretting that you didn’t pursue your dreams. Is that what you want for yourself? We want our 95 year old selfs to rub our hands together with glee remembering how we lived our best and authentic lives. (Incidentally, when we are 95 I’m sure we will think that a 70 year old is positively spritely.)

Don’t listen to the voice in your head telling you you’re not good enough, you’re wasting you’re time, you’re too old. Try!!! and if you fail, thats fine, get up and try again and again and again. That is what life is all about. That is life. If you don’t do this, if you don’t live authentically, you won’t really have lived at all.

The truth is one minute, one hour, one week of living your dream is worth it, just enjoy the journey you take trying to achieve it.

Too Old to be Healthy?

its never too late to be healthy, dancing ladies

We’ve talked a lot about feeling too old, thinking its too late for us and giving up on our dreams, our goals, our careers. Now let’s look at that tendency to give up on ourselves, our body, our health, our appearance when we reach a certain age. At a time when we should be looking after ourselves more, we seem to give up completely!

One thing is certain, your lifespan will very probably be shorter if you don’t look after yourself. (And its not just the length of your life that matters it’s the quality of your life. Being healthy means that you will actually enjoy your life while you are still alive.)

Being healthy gives “never too late’ a whole new meaning. If your lifespan only reaches 60 or 70 then yes sure, 50 is leaving it a bit late (but it would still be worth it). However, if you are healthy, with any luck you will reach 90 or even 100, then no you still have ages left.

When it comes to being well, are you ever too old. Is it possible to be too old, to want to feel at your best? I don’t think so! Personally, I want to feel absolutely amazing on my very last day on this earth so that I can enjoy and savour every last minute of it!

Invest In Yourself

it’s all about you!!!

bashful,  its your time now

Yes you!!!


Now is the time to prioritise your health. You are older, wiser, more confident and better able to deal with yourself and others. You don’t have the same outside responsibilities pressing on your time. Why not invest in yourself. Both in time and money. Why not spend a bit more money to buy better quality food and spend a bit more time on what you eat.

Now you do have the time to do a wee exercise session at the gym, or in the house or out in the garden. You can go for a walk. You do have the time to fit in a short mediatation session before getting up because you don’t have to get up and get the kids ready for school before even thinking about getting yourself ready for work.

They say the best gift you can give someone is your time.

So true…

but let that person finally be yourself!!!

I would love to hear your thoughts, suggestion, comments and questions below.

Related Content

Let Food be Thy Medicine

Reset your Taste Buds, Ditch the Processed Food

Healthy Eating

Learning to Love Yourself

Healthy habits

Subscribe below to receive my weekly blog posts direct to your inbox.

writing in nature

You’re not a writer so why would you write? It may have never crossed your mind since leaving school, college or university to write. Today, I want to convince you to give writing a try. It’s cheap, (pen and paper) it’s portable and it’s time flexible (you control how long you write for) . Writing is a fantastic tool for self care, I wouldn’t be without it. It’s cathartic, soothing, and just sheer fun. Write your way to happiness.

How incredible that everyone learns the art of writing from a very young age. That means we ALL have the ability to share our thoughts, ideas, stories and dreams with the world or just with ourselves and our own world.

So simple yet so powerful, the written word! It’s about a 4.5 minute read.

  • Why we should write – the benefits.
  • Rediscover your writing.
  • How and where to write.
  • Your Authentic and Honest thoughts
  • Bringing light to dark places.

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Why we Should Write – The Benefits

Writing can help get things you should be saying or facing said. Perhaps things you have been blocking out.

It gets things out of your head and onto paper and out into the world which is somehow satisfying. Like a burden being lifted from your shoulders. Maybe it’s enough to know that somehow you said them. And even though no one has listened you have still somehow been heard. By the universe perhaps!

I know we all have thoughts in our heads but writing them down on paper, it somehow makes it more real. Brings them to life, enables you to formulate them clearly, or should I say to understand them better.

You find things out about yourself, what you’re thinking and where you are, that you may not have even realised. When you are aware of something you can start to fix it or act upon it.

When you’re writing you’re released from thinking about all the other stuff. it’s a repreive, a stress release. It calms the mind, like a form of meditation. Similar to dance, or yoga. You get into your flow zone

Writing uses brain cells… it keeps your brain young and active.

Be warned writing can be addictive. But it’s a healthy habit.!

writing for happiness

Rediscover your writing

We need to rediscover what its like to put our thoughts and ideas onto paper. When we are at school we do this constantly. Communicate our ideas and thoughts through writing. Especially creatively. Then unless we have a job that includes this or unless we do it as a hobby or kept a journal we inevitable loose the skill and like everything else practice makes perfect.

With practice you will be encouraged by your progress. By how your writing improves both in your ability to express yourself and in just the fun you are having. It’s an exciting journey of self discovery because you will constantly be writing things about yourself, your feelings, emotions, hopes, beliefs, truths and passions that you weren’t really fully aware of.

just write

How and Where to Write

Pencil and paper versus keyboard warrior

Should you do your writing pencil to paper or directly onto a keyboard? The answer to that is, it’s up to you, your choice, whatever you fancy but here’s a few thoughts:-

I type directly onto keyboard for blog posts but quite honestly, when writing for self care purposes I would go with writing by hand every time.

  • Pencil to paper is slower but you’re not in a hurry!
  • You can’t so easily self edit. This is important, you want to see your first thoughts, your unedited thoughts. With keyboard its gone, never to return. With pencil to paper you can score them out and revise them but we can still see the original thought, that’s important.
  • It’s portable, you can do it anywhere. You can get comfy and sit anywhere. Including outside in nature which is in itself great for self nourishment. Carry an A5 journal around in your hand bag and you’ve got access to it anytime and anywhere you want.


For self care writing I use a concept called Morning Pages. Morning Pages are a daily journal that you do every morning upon waking. You have to fill 3x A4 size pages of writing and you have to do it as soon after waking up as possible. It normally takes me around half an hour to do. (To find out more about Julia Camerons concept of morning pages click here.)

Morning pages and any type of self care writing must be from heart and soul to page, no editing, no corrections, no ‘ego’ involved, just authenticity and honesty. For me, pencil to paper is the only way to go.

Your authentic and honest thoughts.


Don’t think about what you write, just scrawl and let the words flow from your heart, soul and mind to the page. This gives a more authentic experience, a more honest communication of what you are feeling or thinking. Your writing, your work, should be full of YOU. Your energy, your honesty. your beliefs and your passions.

writing outside

Chill out, write what you want. It doesn’t have to make sense. You dont need to think, punctuate, do capital letters, you can forget all the rules. Just write, self to paper.

You don’t have to read what you write, the choice is yours. You can write then read it straight away. You can write then leave a short time and then read it or you can write leave a long, long time then read it. Or you can write and never read it, you can throw the books in the fire. Its up to you.

For self care and discovery I would strongly recommend write then go back at a later date and read. What you wrote will amaze you!!!

write pencil to paper


Art as Divine Inspiration


It’s an interesting thought that art, in whatever form, is not just you but a higher being… the universe…just flowing through you pen to paper, paint to canvas, dance through human interaction with the music.

How hippy dippy but I like the thought of it. Certainly in Dance, which is my highest developed art form, when I improvise I’m not thinking about it at all it does just simply flow out of me as if from nowhere and this is often some of my best work!

Bringing Light to Dark Places

I think writing can really help you get through those bad times when you are in those dark places. The times when your confidence takes a nosedive and you start having outrageously exaggerated thoughts about yourself.

The times when you start criticising every part of your own body, your personality, your achievements… Below is an example from my own morning pages:

“when you feel so small and insignificant where you want to hide from the world because your heart is crushed, because you are crushed. You feel too ugly for people to see you..you are embarrassed for people to see you because you don’t want them to see your sadness…”

I mean just because we think the thoughts doesn’t make them true. In fact, to the rational thinking mind, to our friends and family , often to every single person except you, they are quite blatantly absolute nonsense, but still we believe them at the time.

woman writing

Could we write these down these kinds of thoughts then immediately challenge them with counter arguments to the contrary. Lets take, for example, what I imagine to be quite a common and very simple self criticism that women often have, regardless of their age.

“I am ugly”

You could counter argue with

“No Im not, Im beautiful, both on the inside and the outside
Look at what I did to help such and such
I have great hair and skin
My friends are always telling me how good I look
I am healthy

And so on…

Personally, that works for me. Writing in whatever form is extremely cathartic.

Writing is somehow vulnerable but in a beautiful way. You can see yourself. Write like nobody else will read it. Nobody else has to see it. Nobody else should see it. It’s your secret world, just for you.

I would love to hear your thoughts, comments, questions and suggestions below. xxx

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