Feel, Look, Be, Amazing

Did you know that there is a such as thing as the Sobernet. A whole sobersphere of people who engage in, discuss and enjoy alcohol free living. Yes, I said enjoy 😉 , they are actually enjoying the sober life!!! It’s a worldwide tribe and is growing bigger and stronger everyday. In this world phrases like the wine witch, wine o’clock and pink fluffy clouds are common place in the conversation.

Don’t worry, I’m not going to tell you to give up your wine or your gin. 😬 I Just want to let you into this part of my world. I’ll talk about my world with alcohol, my world without alcohol and why I stopped rather than cut down

I joined this world very recently (6 January 2019) when I had my last glass of wine. I’m saying I’ve stopped for 3 years rather than forever. I reckon 3 years is a good long break, after that I’ll see how I feel. But, I have to say, at this moment, it’s not looking good for alcohol’s chances of getting back into my life. I’m enjoying myself too much.

Here’s a brief outline of what I’m talking about, it’s about a 5 minute read.

  • And Then Went the Wine.
  • Taking a Break from Alcohol.
  • The Wine Witch and Wine o’clock.
  • Pink Fluffy Clouds.
  • Why Quit Why Not Cut Down?
  • Related Content

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And then went the Wine

I loved wine.

It was my friend.

My go to for when I was happy and when I was sad and when I was excited and when I was anxious and when I was celebrating and when I was commiserating. In short wine was everything to me, at all times, in every situation.

red wine

I looked forward to a glass after work, before going out, whilst making dinner, at the end of a hard day looking after the children.

It was my company when I was alone as well as my bravado when I was in company.

I used it to dull my pain when I was suffering and also to take away my feelings of loneliness.

The wine was my company when I had no company which was quite a lot.

Does any of this sound familiar?

So why did I end this love affair with my wine. I wasn’t an alcoholic if there is such a thing. My body didn’t have a physical requirement for it. I wasn’t physically dependant.

I always say I had a good go at becoming an alcoholic since over the years I have drank an awful lot more wine than I should have. Certainly enough and of the frequency that should my body have had the persuasion to become physically addicted I certainly would have.

There are a few theories as to why some people become addicted physically and some don’t. It’s not sure which, if any, are correct but what is fact is that some do and some don’t.

The widely accepted picture of an ‘alcoholic’ is of someone who get the shakes and tremors if they’ve ran out of drink. They might develop the DT’s and/or lose everything eventually. Some may even lose their lives… (💔💔 May they rest in peace)

Is it perhaps the case that we are all just in different stages of the same addiction, as in Alan Carrs book (2). We are all like insects sinking deeper and deeper into the same insect eating flower, we’re just at different levels in the danger zone.

Taking a Break from Alcohol


In the last few years of drinking I was doing alcohol free months, twice per year. I was sailing through these without a shake, no sleeplessness, and no hot sweats.

But what was really enlightening and a main reason why I no longer drink was the fact that I was beginning to look forward to my alcohol free months. I was anticipating them with excitement not dread. I couldn’t wait for them to happen and when I was in the middle of them I loved them.

In the sobersphere, the generally accepted opinion is that peoples’ levels of alcohol consumption goes upwards never downwards as their lives progress. In my case this was not true, my alcohol consumption was taking a downward spiral. I was drinking less and less and enjoying my wine less and less.

I put this down to my lifestyle reset, to my Amazingly Healthy Life. My body was too healthy to tolerate the toxins.

It was crazy that I was so extremely healthy all day in what I consumed and how I lived my life but then I often poured liquid poison down my neck at night. I knew it was coming for many years to be honest. I knew it was just a matter of time before I quit the final and most beloved of crutches.

If you are thinking of taking a break from or even quitting alcohol you might find the following discussion on the wine witch, wine o’clock and pink fluffy clouds enlightening.


witch

The Wine Witch and Wine O’clock

The wine witch is that voice in your head that whispers, ‘Go on Shona, it’s not too early, its 12 noon somewhere in the world (LOL), have a glass of wine, you deserve it (1)”.

The wine witch is sneaky and very persuasive. She creeps up on you from behind when you least expect it and somehow always manages to persuade you to drink alcohol, even when you’ve promised yourself you won’t.

If you want to take a break or stop drinking alcohol you have to learn to say no to the wine witch. You have to realise how sneaky she is. The wine witch doesn’t care about you, she just cares about herself and getting her wine.

If ignored enough she stops coming around as much but you have to remain weary, you never know when she will be back. She often comes to call when the chips are down, when you are struggling. She likes to take advantage of you at your lowest points.

wine o'clock

When the wine witch visits it becomes Wine O’clock. Wine O’clock is a pretty well known term. It’s that time of day when you just need your glass of wine (or whatever it is that rocks your boat)

You’ve had enough, you can’t do another thing until you have a glass of your favourite tipple in your hand. This is when the wine witch normally comes a calling but be careful, she tends to call earlier and earlier in the day and more and more often the more you give in to her demands.

Pink Fluffy clouds


Pink fluffy clouds is a term used in the sobersphere to describe that euphoric feeling you get some time after quitting alcohol. Where the world is just wonderful, you feel just wonderful, everything is just wonderful. A bit like a honeymoon period I guess. When nothing and nobody can put a dent in your world.

Your body is clean, your mind is clear. You have epiphanys and wonder why the hell you drank in the first place. Life is soo wonderful without it. You are effectively ‘high’ on your new lifestyle.

Like all highs you will eventually come down again. Sober life becomes normal and you have to ride the rollercoaster that is life, with it’s ups and it’s downs with full awareness. This is really the best bit about alcohol free living. Not the pink clouds high but that clarity where you can fully see and feel life.

Why Quit Why not Just Cut Down.

sleep like a baby

In truth my reasons for quitting rather than cutting down are many but there is just one truly fundamental one.

The sobernet would give The Moderation Myth as an answer. The Moderation Myth states that cutting down, moderation, it doesn’t really work. We cut down for a while and then your alcohol intake inevitably slowly creeps back up again, which I think we can all agree is true because we’ve all been there, right? but…. despite the fact that this is true it’s not my number one reason.

Just one drink”, you say, “won’t hurt me.”

Yes thats true…

but it will hurt my sleep!!!

Just one drink will affect my sleep.!!!

Beautiful, glorious, unbroken sleep.

No more waking in the middle of the night then unable to get back to sleep for hours. Then you do get back to sleep just as the alarm goes off or it is time to get up and you are physically exhausted and want to cry and scream.

No waking in the night with heart beating way too fast, palpitations and fear that you are going to die, fear that you are killing yourself.

You know deep down it’s the wine thats causes the fast heart beat but can’t seem to remember this when Wine O’clock comes.

This awful, recurring nightmare ceases to exist immediately when you refuse to feed the wine witch at wine o’clock and thats the biggest reward. Thats the main reason why I choose to quit rather than moderate. I’m sending the wine witch a clear message, she’s not welcome here anymore.

(1) What exactly do you deserve
(2) “Easy Way to Give Up Drinking” by Allen Carr

Related content

Starting Good Habits, Stopping Bad Habits

Boredom and Bad Habits, Are We Just Bored?

Secrets of Amazing Health, Peace of Mind

Healthy Habits

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breaking free from bad habits

This morning whilst in that twilight space between sleep and awake, I had a sudden realisation… I’m living without crutches. None of the usual bad habits, no vices, no drugs in my body, not even caffein… nada!!! I hadn’t really registered this fact and it just kind of hit me at this lucid moment. Living like this, without using popular lifestyle crutches, it’s not the normal, so I want to share with you what it’s really like.

Here’s an outline of what we are covering. It’s about a 6 minute read.

  • Crutches? What do I mean?
  • What are the reasons we use or need them?
  • Whats wrong with crutches?
  • Our crutches steal so much from us.
  • Remember Yourself
  • My Experience of Living Without Crutches
  • Related Reading

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Crutches? What do I mean?

By Crutches, I mean Lifestyle Crutches those things we lean upon to get us through the day, through life’s ups and downs. They come in many forms, but I’m particularly talking about these extremely common ones: –

  • smoking
  • alcohol
  • drugs (legal and illegal)
  • comfort eating
  • excessive sugar
  • processed/junk food consumption,
  • tea and coffee (1)

(Note: nowadays I would have to add mobile phone to that list but that is a subject for another blog post)

It’s very rare to find someone who doesn’t engage in any of the above!

What are the reasons we use or need them?


alcohol to celebrate
  • They sometimes give us just the lift we need to get started in the morning
  • They help get us through a dull day,
  • They can help to drag us through horrific times,
  • Or calm us down when we are anxious,
  • They help us manage our stress levels
  • And give us a boost when we are down,
  • They give us strength when we feel weak,
  • Confidence when we are lacking
  • Bravery when we are scared.
  • We sometimes use them to make the good times even “gooder”
  • or to celebrate good news…

So whats wrong with this? Why would you want to live without them? Isn’t it a great thing that we have ways to make our lives easier to manage, things that make us happier, more content, less stressed, able to cope… ???


Well…yes, we all need help in this crazy , complicated world. However…

We believe that our chosen crutches of the moment can deliver all of the above but the truth is that ultimately, they deliver none of them. They simply serve as a temporary solution to numb and distract us from what ever it is we are trying to escape from.

What we are trying to escape from may be something as harmless as boredom right through to something as serious as bereavement and everything in between. The truth about crutches is that:

  • They do not make our lives better,
  • They do not make us stronger,
  • They do not make us happier or more contented,
  • They do not fix our problems,
  • They do not take away anxiety,
  • They do not make us calmer.
  • They do not make the good times “gooder’
  • There are better ways to celebrate good news

Our crutch may give us a temporary ‘high’ or an ‘escape’ or ‘numbing’ but then we come crashing back down to the low, the reality, to real life.

The problem with the crutches listed above is that they are all highly addictive and mostly extremely unhealthy. Their unhealthy and addictive nature is well documented so I won’t bore you with yet another lecture. (1)

So Whats the Story

We start our lives as children with no crutches but quickly pick up the sugar one, possible the junk food dependant on our parents eating habits. As teenagers and young adults we pick up more of them, possibly smoking, coffee, alcohol… Some of us have just one crutch, some of us have a few and some of us have all of them. I myself can raise my hand to having used most of the above.

In reality many of our crutches deliver exactly the opposite of what we wanted from them. For example, one of the reasons we drink alcohol is for fun and happiness. But if you have drunk it for any length of time, I don’t need to tell you that it is just as likely to cause fights, anger, distress, blackouts and confusion. Not to mention the dreaded middle of the night panics, disturbed sleep, hangovers and ultimately ill health.

woman smoking

Smoking is supposed to relax us, but in reality it makes us more anxious and less calm. Is it not true that we are constantly worried about the undeniable ill health effects, the cost, where we are allowed to smoke, not to mention the physical withdrawal symptoms we suffer when we cannot get our next fix?

Those seeking escape through comfort eating, sugar fix and junk food may feel good at the time of eating… But the lingering feelings of shame and guilt afterwards plus possible physical discomfort soon destroy any feel good factor. There is also the anxiety about obesity and possible lifestyle diseases caused by bad eating habits like diabetes, digestive disorders and worse to contend with too.


Our crutches steal so much from us…

time never stops

They are all thieves of time. We need to make time to smoke, to drink, to eat compulsively.

Not to mention the time spent recovering from them or worrying how we are destroying our mind, body and souls by using them,

Our seconds turn into minutes, minutes to hours, hours to days, days to weeks, weeks to months, months to years, years to decades and before we know it, we are getting older and older and have done nothing, absolutely nothing with our lives except abuse our own bodies and minds.

This is our time, our valuable time in our valuable lives. Our one and only life. We could be doing something so much, much better with this time. Stuff that matters!

Remember Yourself

Thieves of you... the real authentic you. The potential that you possess cannot thrive whilst buried in poisons and addictions. If you are buried deep in your crutches you have probably forgotten yourself, who you really are. You have potential for so much more!

My point isn’t that you can never enjoy an occasional cigarette or a glass of wine, or your favourite chocolate and so on. No, my point is that when you are using them to lean on and you get addicted whether habitually or physically, That’s the danger.

Because these type of bad habits and addictions they swallow you up. You loose yourself so there’s no time for you, you become engulfed in the addiction. You can’t think clearly, you’re sludged up with brain fog, you may be constantly feeling like shit and you don’t even know it. You’ve forgotten what it actually feels like be healthy, to be yourself.

My Experience of Living Without Crutches

Facing life naked, stripped of our crutches, brimming full of emotions with nowhere to hide, nowhere to run, no crutch to take the strain. It sounds really scary right?

But do you know what, it’s absolutely beautiful. Facing up to your problems, your life, and most importantly yourself, it’s exciting beyond belief. I feel like I’m me again.

It’s like where have I been? What was I doing? What was I thinking? Im waking up every morning with the kind of excitement I felt as a child who could not wait to get up and start a new day. Brimming with energy and enthusiasm and just really, really happy.

In truth though, I’m not really living without crutches. I’ve simply replaced the old, useless and unhealthy ones with new, effective, healthy and life enhancing ones. (For more on this click here to read about my story and here for my new healthy habits and here for my healthy diet)

We all really do need things to help us get through life’s ups and downs. My amazing health journey has brought me back full circle to myself, my true authentic self and that is a great place to be because I now know that I can do anything.

But there are downsides. I’ve discovered how painfully shy and awkward I am in social situations. I would normally have covered this up by having a few glasses of wine to ‘fit in’.

I’m much better in small groups of people I’m comfortable with. Otherwise I just clam up. But do you know what, I’m happy with that. Thats just me! It’s going to take time to get to know the new me or should I say the real me but I’m good with that. No, in fact, I‘m really excited to get to know her again.

Related Reading

(1) Please Note: I include tea and coffee on the list because I have given them up for health reasons. In moderation, there is nothing wrong with a cup of tea or coffee for most people. If you suffer from acid reflux you may want to think about quitting them completely as I have done.

Let me know what you think in the comments section below. Tell me about the crutches (healthy or unhealthy) you use to make life more manageable. Would you like to give any or all of them up but don’t know how.

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realise your own power

I’ve found myself and my journey into amazing health starting to reach deeper and deeper into my life. Into my soul. Into my core beliefs about life, the universe and everything…but mostly into myself and my very being. Things I believed about myself, deep rooted beliefs. Beliefs that have held me back my whole life, these are being uprooted and thrown away. I have began to fully realise my own power and reach my full potential.

It’s fascinating really how changing what you eat and consequently your whole lifestyle can have such far reaching effects. It’s not just about the looks, the figure, the lack of disease, yes these are fantastic benefits ( read about these fabulous benefits here) But yes there is more! It’s the feeling that you have power. The recognition of your own power and greatness.

The purpose of this post is to give you a glimpse of this lesser known benefit of leading an amazingly healthy life. It mostly consists of excerpts from my Morning Pages (morning pages are like a personal journal, read more about this here) I’ve written it this way so you can get an honest and authentic peek into my new and improved and I have to say the word healthy mindset. Believe me, it didn’t used to look like this pre amazing health days. I was wracked full of self doubt. Anyway, I hope you find it enjoyable, enlightening and inspirational. From this point, it’s about a 3 minute read.

  • Find Your Lifes Purpose
  • Realise Your own Power and Greatness
  • Be Brave, Own It and Reach your Full Potential
  • YOU can do it

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find your life purpose

Find Your Lifes Purpose

Your life’s purpose is likely to be your dream. What you really want to do. What do you dream of but think impossible? Anything is possible, you just need to shift your mindset a little. I believe leading an amazingly healthy life leaves your mind and body free and fully able to do just that.

Here is an excerpt of my own thoughts on this taken directly from my morning pages:

“I am very excited about the prospect of sharing my truth with the world. Sharing my journey into amazing health so that I can inspire other women to make their own health a priority. My brain even touched on the idea, the possibility that it may be my lifes’ purpose, why I am here, what i was put on this earth for. A divine job, given to me by the universe or some higher being.

Stranger things have happened. If you believe in Taoist principles, which I do, then you’ll agree that the universe, if left to its own devices, does somehow just takes care of things, puts them back in order. Then its not outwith the realms of possibility, that I have finally found my purpose in life.

If I have that driving force behind me, that belief, that this is my purpose, my responsibility, my duty given to me by the universe then that is powerful. That is hard to argue with. How can I say no. How can I not feel confident in myself.

Is this where people get their unbelievable confidence from? Their self belief, their self worth. It’s not cockiness it’s the belief that they were sent to earth or that they were born to do what it is they are doing!!!”

reach your potential

Realise Your own Power and Greatness

Women tend to underestimate themselves drastically. We really need to stop that, think straight, clear our heads… Im guilty of this myself. Until very recently (when I decided to retire early to travel the world) I was a successful, full time professional Egyptian Bellydance artist and teacher. I performed, mostly for other dancers and taught adult women to dance. Below is an excerpt from my morning pages which illustrates a classic example of my shift in mindset:

” In dance, I believed I was good at what I did but I never felt like I was doing much of any good for other people. I was mistaken, pitifully mistaken. I see that now. I helped, and enhanced the lives of many, many women over the years…decades through inspiration and teaching.

My classes were a safe place, a place for women to be themselves, and forget their worries for awhile.

To leave their children behind for an hour or so and rediscover themselves as themselves, not as mum.

A place to expose their bellies regardless of what they looked like. I’m very proud to say that my classes had women of all ages, shapes and sizes.

We laughed a lot, sometimes we cried, we shared lifes ups and downs, births, deaths , boyfriends, breakups.

It was a great getting together of women celebrating their shared love of dance, love of sisterhood, love of friendship, love of each other, love of their own dance, love of their own bodies and their own unique part in that bond of women who danced.

I provided that environoment day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year. I am suddenly aware that I should be immensely proud of that. I am immensely proud of that.”

You too are very powerful but only if you realise your own power. You need to wake up and see this. It’s very exciting.

You need to put work in to understand your own gifts , your own uniqueness, what you give to people. Why? Because it allows you to do even better, it gives you freedom to really shine, to stretch out and reach towards your full potential. You can take full responsibility for what you are here for, and it’s not a burden it’s an absolute joy.

Be Brave, Own It and Reach Your Full Potential

Another excerpt from my morning pages:-

“The other day I looked in the mirror and smiled at myself and said ‘You are going to be a successful woman”. I have since revised this to “I am a successful woman”. I have already achieved sooooo much and I never give myself any credit. we don’t as women give ourselves enough credit.

I am already a successful woman who is fully ready, willing and able to reach my full potential. I am no longer afraid of my own success. I will ride with it, take what comes, go with it, the ups and the downs. the failures and rejections, the good bits and the bad. I will make decisions myself, without fear, I will believe in myself and my abilities, my truth…”

just do it

YOU can do it

“It’s amazing how strong and powerful you feel sometimes, like you can do ANYTHING you want.

I believe these times are the Truth. Glimpses of the possibilities that should and could be your life. Your reality.

Not to say that it will be easy, not at all. You have to put the work in, perseverance, self belief and confidence in yourself and your own work. But all of this , I believe, brings results , achieves your goals, your dreams, beyond your dreams but nobody and I repeat nobody will do it for you. It has to be you, you have to do it yourself.”

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

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being bored and bad habits

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the relationship between our bad habits and boredom. When we were kids, we didn’t really have the bad habits, we were too busy enjoying ourselves and when we were bored we soon found something to do. As adults do we just fill in boredom gaps very lazily with bad habits like drinking, smoking or eating trash? Have we forgotten how to amuse ourselves in a non harming way? Is there something better we could be doing instead of numbing and dumbing out?

Here’s a brief outline of what we are talking about. It’s about a 3.5 minute read.

  • I’m Bored.
  • Do we just get lazy when we get older?
  • Are our bad habits cause by boredom?
  • Rediscover yourself, your imagination and your creativity.
  • Just be happy.
  • Further Reading

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‘I’m Bored’

The phrase most dreaded by mothers of young children. But do you remember saying it…

Do you remember as children the times when we said ‘Im bored” often led to the best adventures ever.

We would use our imaginations to find ourselves something to do, something to relieve our boredom and make us happy and content again.

‘I’m bored’ never led to watching telly or mindlessly eating food. Being bored led us to do or look for something to do that was fun. Something that that took all our attention. Experiences that enriched our lives.

Sometimes that would be playing a game with our friends, a card or table game indoors or an active game outdoors.

Or we would walk somewhere. There was always a goal when we were young, we didn’t just go for a walk. There was a destination or purpose to the walk and there was always fun on the way.

We would discover things, stick sticky willow on each other, try and balance on stones in the burn (stream) and inevitably get wet.

Sometimes we hurt ourselves by falling or cutting ourselves on something, an inevitable part of being unafraid of life, of when you dont think too much, you just live in the moment.

play instead of bad habits

Sometimes we would just do something arty or creative from nowhere. Colouring, drawing, painting, doing your scrap book. All normal pastimes.

I can also remember making xmas decorations, paper mache, painting eggs, making puppets and paper figure nativity scenes. We would become totally engrossed in the activity, almost meditative.

Do we just get lazy when we get older?

I think we can definitely learn a lesson from our younger selves. We would go outside, we would play, we would connect with friends and when that was all impossible because of the weather or because it was night time we would get creative.

Perhaps when we get older we do get lazy and set in our ways. When we get bored we can’t be bothered to make the effort to do something interesting or creative.

We reach for the easy answer, preferring instead to numb and dumb out by using something that provides us with instant gratification like alcohol, cigarettes, sugar. Often all 3 and often slumped in front of the telly.

couch potato

Why is just watching the telly not enough, why do we need to watch the telly while blankly eating at the same time, or drinking alcohol or smoking fags, why do we do that? Are we not entertained enough by what we are watching?

If what you are doing is not enough, perhaps you should be doing something else.

I was especially guilty of this. It’s now a rule of mine that if I want to watch telly then the programme alone has to be enough, nothing else to go with it. I must just enjoy the telly watching without further gratification.

Are our bad habits caused by boredom?

How much of our habitual behaviour is caused by boredom? Are we just bored when we reach for that glass of wine, cigarette, junk food, social media, mindless tv programme?

Are we just looking for a high… a hit of dopamine to lighten up our boring existence?

I think there may be some truth in this. But then surely we can just find something else to lighten our days, something that doesn’t harm us. Something that our child self would approve of!

Rediscover yourself, your imagination and your creativity

Instead of distracting ourselves with wine and other mindless activities we could be having fun and getting creative.

Not something difficult that we don’t enjoy. We have been at work all day it needs to be something enjoyable.

We could be playing with our children, playing with our friends (sport, dance, a shared hobby), working on our life long passion…

A deep and meaningful conversation with a friend or loved one, a sunset walk, dance class, dancing on your own even for just for 10 minutes to your favourite music in your bedroom…

Could that be enough to take the edge off. Would it stop some of our habitual behaviour.

creative play instead of bad habits

I would suggest that in moments of quiet boredom (when its not appropriate to do something active) then doing something creative would be called for:

Writing , painting, drawing… anything creative can be so soothing, relaxing and really fulfilling.

What about working on a project that is also your passion, your dream, instead of reaching for the fags, booze and junk food. I believe in these moments of boredom we could be reaching for our dreams not our vices.

Even while sitting with the telly on, just pick up a note pad or sketch book and just write or draw, right there , sitting on your couch, It might amaze you how you loose yourself in it. How happy it makes you feel. Even just for a short while.

And sometimes its just ok to be bored. just to sit and stare out the window, allowing our minds to wander.. I find these are the times when I actually come up with the best ideas. Not because I’m trying to but they just seem to pop out of nowhere.

Studies have shown that actually, boredom does make for a more creative mind. For more on this concept click here.

Just be happy

My dad used to always say to me “just be happy lassie”. It was infuriating at the time but I have to admit, he had a point.

We need to stop looking elsewhere for our happiness and start looking inside ourselves. Creativity can help you with that.

Art of any variety is the ultimate form of self expression. No matter if its ‘good or bad’ (beauty is in the eye of the beholder anyway so who can judge). Be spontaneous, don’t try to be perfect. Creativity is in us all, it is truly a gift and its such a shame that so few of us use it as adults.

We are encouraged to use our creativity as children but if we are not ‘good’ at in in the conventional or commercial sense we seem to then be discouraged going into adulthood.

But thats not what art…creativity is about. It’s about expressing yourself. We must self express. When this is squashed we can become bored, depressed, anxious, unhappy and sometimes addicted to all the wrong behaviours.

We numb ourselves, we lose ourselves in these behaviours so much that we are no longer present. There is nothing left of us anymore.

Just be YOU, you are enough.

Further Reading

Click here for more ideas on healthy habits

Click here for more on quitting bad habits

Learning to Love Yourself

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

delicious healthy food

Last week in my post Secrets of Amazing Health: The Ultimate Weight Loss Tool, I talked about how amazing health is the best way to sustained weight control. Weight control that is for life. There are 2 reasons why it works – 1. It resets your mind so that you now desire to eat the things your body needs (i.e. wholesome foods) instead of what it wants (i.e. processed foods, sugar etc) 2. It resets your taste buds. These two resets are interconnected, whilst working on one we have to work on the other. This week I want to expand on the second point, resetting your taste buds. Why do we need a taste bud reset? Whats wrong with the food we eat?

This is the third and last in a series of posts looking at the Secrets of Amazing Health. By secrets I mean things most people don’t realise about being amazingly healthy. Things only really healthy people know. These are the reasons why we don’t struggle with our healthy diets and lifestyles. Why we don’t relapse and fall off the wagon like most people do. Why we are not just able to sustain our healthy lifestyles but why we are ecstatically happy to do so. We love our lives and wouldn’t go back to standard, mainstream diets and lifestyles if paid to. You can keep your weekly takeaway, I’m just not interested.

Heres a brief outline of what we’re looking at today, its about a 4 minute read.

  • Real food actually tastes better
  • Real food feels better
  • Defining processed ‘food’
  • Whats wrong with processed ‘food’
  • Why we get hooked on processed ‘food’
  • Real food versus processed ‘food’
  • Note: Processed ‘food’ is bad for the environment

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Real Food Actually Tastes Better


A quick scour of the internet reveals that people ask questions like why does unhealthy food taste so good and why does healthy food taste so bad. This is just plain crazy. Real food, whole foods, actually do taste better, yes really, I promise you. And processed food really does taste like crap, well actually like chemicals or just super sweet. Once you’ve had a break from it, after you’ve reset your taste buds, processed foods taste like chemicals, nasty and cheap and sometimes just ugh so sweet. Which brings me to my next point. With a taste bud reset that cuts drastically on the sugar, you will find everything too sweet, even stuff that’s supposed to be savoury.

If you’re a chocolate lover even your old favourite chocolate bars will fall from grace. All you can taste is the sugar, no chocolate flavour at all. I now eat 100% cacoa chocolate which has zero sugar (1) I want to taste chocolate, not sugar.

Real food feels better


Last week I talked about the almost euphoric feeling you get after filling yourself up on whole food. This, as opposed to the stuffed up uncomfortable feeling when full with standard processed ‘food. Although I probably don’t need to tell you this. You are probably well aware of how processed food does not make you feel very good. This is not a secret to most people.

I’ve also talked extensively about the many benefits of healthy eating in many of my blog posts. This one lists all the benefits I have enjoyed through my lifestyle reset About and this one discusses how amazing health helps in ageing beautifully .

processed food

Defining Processed ‘Food’

There are two types of food processing, mechanical processing and chemical processing. In general, it’s the chemically processed ‘food’ we want to run a mile from, but let’s dive deeper…

I want to bring some clarity to what I mean when I talk about processed ‘food’. You might have noticed that I always put the word food in quotation marks when Im discussing the processed variety. Yes, Im being sarcastic, its because in my opinion much of the processed variety does not deserve the title food. It would be more accurate and honest of me to put processed food shit. Which is pretty much the name it goes by in my house. (Click to see exactly, the type of food I eat and recommend.)

Not all processed foods are equal. In fact we often process our whole food ourselves when we get it home. For example, take an avocado that comes to my house. It might expect to be mashed up with a fork and mixed with salt, pepper, lime juice and tabasco sauce, so I can eat it for breakfast with some raw seeded crackers. This is a process. I haven’t just peeled it out of its skin and eaten it straight.

The other half of this same avocado might find itself in my high speed blender with other ingredients being turned into my delicious raw chocolate brownies, so after the blender process it will be sitting cosily warm in my dehydrator ready for me to devour. Yum. Again, I’ve processed the avocado. Your own processing is fine, you are in charge and you know and can control what is going in to your food.

Processed foods from the shops is a different animal. You really have no idea what you’re eating. There are varying degrees of processed from mildly processed to ultra processed and everything in between. I personally keep any form of processed foods I eat to a very bare minimum on the lower degrees and never ever eat at the ultra processed end.

Whats wrong with Processed Foods


Processed foods 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. Add to that the fact that they are often completely devoid of any nutritional value and then you have to wonder why the hell it is that we eat them in the first place. Which leads me to my next point…

processed food addiction

Why we get Hooked on Processed Foods


Junk food, processed food is highly addictive. We don’t tend to eat it in moderation. Why is this? This is the thing that gets me really angry, really really angry. Much of this processed ‘food’ is specifically developed, especially crafted to get you hooked.

The combination of sugar, salt and fat is extremely appealing to your brain because it knows this is what it needs to survive. Food manufacturers know this and are tapping into it to make their foods as appealing to this natural instinct as possible.

The brain is also wired to over eat for survival which just makes the whole thing worse. .

We know sugar is highly addictive, we don’t need to be told this, we experience it ourselves everyday

Of course, the fact that this ‘food’ has no nutritional value just aggravates the problem. Your body screams “please feed me some nutrition”, you give it ‘food’ devoid of nutrition and so your body screams “please feed me some nutrition”, if you keep giving it ‘food’ instead of actual food, it will constantly be looking for actual food because it needs nutrition for its survival. It will constantly be hungry. You will constantly be hungry (sound familiar?).

healthy life benefits

Real Food versus Processed ‘Food’


There really is no contest, real food all the way from every possible angle. Speaking purely from a taste point of view it wins but you may need a tastebud reset to let you see that. To let your body recover from the addictions and brash flavours of processed food. Your tastebuds will come around to the fresh, subtle and complex flavours of real food after years of assault from the sugar, salt and fat abundant in most processed foods. Resetting your taste buds will allow you to enjoy the fresh , whole foods your body desperately needs and in turn you can enjoy all the benefits eating for amazing health delivers.

Note: Processed food is also very bad for the environment, this is beyond the scope of this post but click here for a very short round up of the reasons why.

(1) Willies Cacao 100% 180g blocks, available fromWaitrose supermarkets

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

ultimate weight loss

In last weeks blog post Secrets of Amazing Health: Peace of Mind. I talked about how amazing health gives you peace of mind and one of the things i touched upon is how you never have to worry about weight control anymore when you have amazing health. That means no more diets, fads, calorie counting, carb counting, doing without etc. This week I want to dive deeper into that and talk about why? … Why is Amazing Health the ultimate weight loss tool.

This is the second in a series of posts looking at the Secrets of Amazing Health. By secrets I mean things most people don’t realise about being amazingly healthy. Things only really healthy people know. These are the reasons why we don’t struggle with our healthy diets and lifestyles. Why we don’t relapse and fall off the wagon like most people do. Why we are not just able to sustain our healthy lifestyles but why we are ecstatically happy to do so. We love our lives and wouldn’t go back to standard, mainstream diets and lifestyles if paid to. You can keep your weekly takeaway, I’m just not interested.

So today we’re looking at what makes Amazing health the ultimate weight loss tool, let’s dive in. If you’re in a hurry, here’s a brief outline of my points, it’s about a 5 minute read.

  • It’s not a fad It’s forever
  • Willpower is not reliable
  • What you want versus what you need
  • You are never ever hungry
  • A different kind of full
  • It’s not just about the food

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It’s Not a Fad It’s Forever

Normally, we go on a diet we loose weight, we go back to our old lifestyle and duly put the weight back on again, either very quickly or gradually over time. On traditional, mainstream diets this is inevitable because you will have been doing without due to the dictates of your chosen diet, i.e. low fat, low carb etc. Nobody wants to go without indefinitely, its not a great life. This is the reason diets don’t work.

The thought of losing and gaining the same half a stone (or 1 stone or 2 stone whatever your number is) over and over again for eternity really hit home to me one day when I realised the absolute truth in it. That is what I had been doing my whole life. What an utter waste of time.

Willpower is not Reliable.

Mainstream diets rely on willpower. You cannot and do not want to rely on willpower to control what you eat. That would be exhausting and frankly it wouldn’t work as the whole world and their failed diets prove to us over and over and over again. Whether it’s by the end of the morning, the end of the day or the end of the week, your willpower will eventually run out. It’s not an infinite resource.

right mindset for health and weight loss

What You Want Versus What You Need

You need to get to a place where what you need is the same as what you want. This is crucial. Or put in another way you need to get to a place where you want what your body needs. We all know deep down, what we need, what our body needs, it needs a wholesome nutritional diet, simple, The problem is that this is not what you want! Its not what you want to eat!

That is the crux of the matter.


You need to get to a place where you don’t want to eat the junk food, the processed food, the sugar… And not just that you don’t want to eat it but that you are happy , really happy, not to eat it.

Even though I only hold myself to 80/85% compliance to my healthy eating, normally I choose not to indulge myself in rubbish for the remaining 20%, or even 5% of it… why? Well, its certainly not willpower it’s because I prefer what I eat. I want to eat the good stuff. I want to eat what I need. There’s no effort on my behalf. I choose it. I love it. Even on my ‘cheat days’ I go with whole, healthy foods.

This is what the amazingly healthy lifestyle can give you. It can get you to a place, (through resetting your tastebuds and mindset), where you want what you need as opposed to constantly struggling to oppress your wants. It will change your wants. This is huge. This is life changing!!!

You are never hungry


This is another great reason why amazing health is the ultimate weight loss tool. You are never hungry except of course when you should be, just before a meal. I don’t ever eat between meals, Im just not hungry so it doesn’t even occur to me. It doesn’t come into my mind. Why is this? Healthy food is nutrient dense. Your body is fed. All its needs are satisfied and so it remains happy until it needs its next feed. It’s really that simple.

A Different Kind of Full

I eat a diet rich in protein, healthy fats and fibre and very low in sugar and refined carbs. Its also stuffed full of raw vegetables, leafy greens and fruit. (click here to read about the many benefits of eating raw). This gives a different kind of full. I can only describe it as a feeling of satisfaction and elation. There is a definite feel good factor, like endorphins are released (I’m not sure if they are but that’s how it feels). This is the euphoric feeling I often get after eating a meal…another secret of amazing health😁…

Whereas, I never feel stuffed like a turkey kind of full. If you switch to a healthy diet there may be a readjustment needed here while you get used to this new kind of full. But… I mean who wants to feel so full that you have to release the buttons on your trousers so you can breathe. Who wants to feel so full that you are fit for nothing, certainly not romance or an evening walk to enjoy the sunset. All you are fit for is to slump in front of the telly!!!

what not to eat

The logic is simple. If you are not hungry you won’t overeat or be tempted to eat rubbish.

Weight Loss/control is not just about Food


Controlling your weight is mostly about what you eat but there are other very important factors that affect it too. Amazing health has all of these covered.

Exercise
To achieve amazing health you will always be looking at physically moving your body to keep it healthy. This doesn’t need to involve an exhausting exercise regime it really should be fun and part of your play, relax and destress goals. Doing too much exercise is the opposite of healthy and may actually slow down weight loss (because it stresses your body out too much and ‘stress makes you fat’) It’s never good to overdo it.

Sleep
Quality sleep is a non negotiable part of an amazingly healthy lifestyle. It’s important to many aspects of life only one of which is weight control. If you are tired you are more likely to make poor eating choices, simply because you just can’t cope with cooking/preparing food or you just want a quick fix to make you feel better. You are also less likely to do your gym/excercise session if you are tired. Lack of quality sleep also plays havoc with certain hormones which are responsible for signalling to our brains that we are full or we are hungry. We can easily see how that could be a problem.( Read more about why sleep is an important part of weight control in this excellent article.)

stress makes you fat

Stress
Stress makes you fat! This seems to be pretty much accepted as fact. Here is a balanced article on the subject. Of course pursuing amazing health means that you are tackling stress and actively practising de stress methods like meditation and play as a normal part of your lifestyle. Read more about introducing de-stressing activities into your lifestyle in my blog post healthy habits.

So why is Amazing Health the Ultimate Weight Loss Tool. – The ultimate answer is because it actually works unlike all of the other offerings out there. It’s the only one that really works because it doesn’t just make weight loss effortless but means you will never need to loose weight again because once you are healthy its easy…effortless, to keep your healthy figure forever. You won’t even need to think about it . Yes, it will be weird not to have to think about or be on a diet ever again, but in a good way.

Further Reading – You can read more about my thoughts on traditional, mainstream ways of thinking about diets and ‘getting skinny’ in my blog post Healthy is the New skinny. Read all about my thoughts on exactly what you should eat here and about healthy habits to complete your amazingly healthy lifestyle here.

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Amazingly Healthy Life, helping you Feel, Look and Be Amazing from the inside outat any age.

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

peace of mind

This is the first in a series of posts looking at the Secrets of Amazing Health. By secrets I mean things most people don’t realise about being amazingly healthy. Things only really healthy people know. These are the reasons why we don’t struggle with our healthy diets and lifestyles. Why we don’t relapse and fall off the wagon like most people do. Why we are not just able to sustain our healthy lifestyles but why we are ecstatically happy to do so. We love our lives and wouldn’t go back to standard, mainstream diets and lifestyles if paid to. You can keep your weekly takeaway, I’m just not interested.

This week I’m talking about the secret of Peace of Mind. This is both a fantastic benefit of amazing health and also a major factor in keeping me on the straight and narrow, because I’m just not prepared to loose it, that’s how precious it is to me.

Heres a brief outline of what we are covering, Its about a 4 minute read.

  • What is Peace of Mind and Why Do We Want It
  • Prioritising You
  • No Mores

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What is Peace of Mind and Why Do We Want It

Peace of mind is a state where you are happy and content with yourself and within yourself. You have no anxiety or worry. This may be in general or about a specific thing, area or part of your life.

For example, you may have peace of mind that you raised your children properly. That doesn’t mean you think you were perfect, no doubt you made mistakes, we all do. But you are happy with and positive that you did everything within your power to do that job well, to your best ability. You could have done no more. Therefore, you.have peace of mind regarding that particular area of your life.

Peace of Mind = Your mind is peaceful, there is no conflict, confusion, anxiety, worry, stress, negative emotions and feelings. Your mind is neutral or full of positive emotions and feelings. Feelings like happiness, contentment, hope , peace, clarity… To summarise, peace of mind is a huge positive, it is something we should definitely strive for.

Have you forgotten what its like to have peace of mind. You had it as a child. Not a worry in the world. A glorious, happy state to be in I think we all agree. While as adults we may not achieve a complete worry-less state of mind we can strive to minimise the worry. The more aspects of our lives we have peace of mind about the happier and more contented we will be.

Prioritising You

My job, what drives me, and the purpose of this blog is to persuade everyone to make their health and wellness a priority. Breaking that down even further I’m talking about when you make YOU a priority in your life. Doing this comes with many benefits, one of which is Peace of Mind. (To read about the many benefits I’ve enjoyed click here)

If you prioritise your wellness, I mean really prioritise it to the point where you are 80-85% happy with your lifestyle choices, then you will achieve peace of mind in this central and urgently important aspect of your life. Just the knowledge or acknowledgement that you have peace of mind about your own wellness brings relief and satisfaction. It is a wellness enhancer itself.

Imagine this…

No mores

Weight Issues
No more worrying about weight control, weight loss, diets, slimming, fads, counting calories… No need for worry or even wasting time thinking about it. Prioritising your wellness means that you are feeding your body with all the nourishment it needs to thrive and you are minimising the harmful substances you are ingesting. You are also taking care of other areas of life that cause weight gain such as high stress levels. lack of sleep and lack of physical movement. If you have weight to loose it will just drop off naturally. Read about the food I eat here. There is no better way to control your weight and it will last for a lifetime. There is nothing else to do.

the joy and freedom of being healthy

Lifestyle Disease and illness

No more worrying about self induced disease/sickness and no more suffering constant niggly dis-ease like colds, headaches, sore throats. Many doctors will admit that many of our modern day illnesses could be avoided by introducing simple lifestyle changes. For more on this read my blog Let Food Be Thy Medicine . I never get sick, I never get headaches, I never get a bad cold or flu I haven’t done since I reset my diet and lifestyle over 7 years ago and I have spoken to many who have similar diets to me and they say the same thing. If you prioritise your wellness, you can enjoy the same benefits. Imagine a life where you always feel well, and where you are not constantly worrying, deep down inside, that you are causing yourself future serious illness by poor choices. It is sheer bliss.

No more guilt and self trash talk
Guilt comes in many forms when you are not prioritising a healthy lifestyle. It may be that you feel guilty that you are not being the best mum by not setting a good example i.e. by smoking, drinking alcohol, eating junk or by the giving the kids too much sugar or junk food.

Perhaps you feel guilty because you dont have patience with people because you are snappy or irritable. These are all symptoms of a less than optimum lifestyle. i.e. lack of quality sleep, unfit body, anxious mind, addictions and withdrawals…

You may feel guilty just in yourself or you kick yourself up because you keep missing out on your fitness session or you keep caving and making bad food choices. The list goes on. Call it guilt, call it self trashing. its the same thing. and it has to stop. If you prioritise your wellness you can wave bye bye to the guilt and self trashing. Have you any idea how good this feels???

No more waking in the middle of the night
This is a big one. No more waking up wracked with anxiety, heart racing caused by poor lifestyle choices. such as alcohol or smoking. Unable to get back to sleep, an effect of the racing heart beat. This is a miserable and extremely scary place to be. You swear tomorrow will be different and then tomorrow never comes. (to read more on giving up bad habits click here) Everything stays exactly as it is, the following night you are there again , wide awake in the middle of the night, a nervous wreck with sleep escaping you. Prioritise your wellness and this nightmare will end forever. ( click here for an interesting read about many reasons why we wake up during the night)

No more worrying about looking old/losing your looks
The ageing process is inevitable but it can be slowed. I believe that many of the “signs of ageing‘ are actually ‘signs of neglect‘. Read more about ageing beautifully in my recent blog post. However, when you prioritise your wellness you will look the very best it is possible YOU can look. Your healthy insides will be reflected on the outside. Your complexion will be radiant, your eyes will sparkle with life. Your happiness and energy will be there for all to see. You will not need to worry because you are safe in the knowledge that you doing your best to maintain your good looks and vitality.

the joy of a healthy life

I wouldn’t trade my peace of mind for anything. I may in the future get sick, who knows. There were many more years that I did not follow an amazingly healthy lifestyle. But I can’t change the past and I can’t predict the future. I can only deal with the present. I know that now I am doing everything I possibly can do to look after myself well and I know that I will never go back to unhealthy choices. They just don’t interest me. I dont feel tempted, I love my lifestyle. I am nourishing and cherishing every inch of my being with all of my heart and soul. I can do no more. There is nothing else to do but sit back contented and enjoy my one and only life. It’s a great feeling.

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Amazingly Healthy Life, helping you Feel, Look and Be Amazing from the inside outat any age.

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

One day we wake up and we are 40… meaning we are now middle aged. This fills most women with horror. Old ideas, perceptions and images of what middle aged is and represents are not encouraging. Nowadays though, there is no need to worry. By prioritising yourself and your own health, you can age beautifully. You can unleash a complexion that you would have killed for back in the day. Getting healthy will shine, magnify and multiply your natural beauty. This is healthy beauty and it works at any any age.

When I was 22 I thought I was old…passed it. No seriously, I really did. I remember thinking it. The absurdity of this truth has helped me a lot over the years to just be happy with what I’ve got and who I am now…Because I know that in 20 years time, my 72 year old self is going to look back and think how beautiful and young I was at 52 and I want to appreciate and enjoy that fact now, not look back with regret wishing I had realised it and enjoyed it at the time.

Here’s a brief outline of what we’re talking about. It’s about a 5 minute read.

  • Are we Middle Aged?
  • A note on rebranding
  • Images of Middle Aged
  • Realities, Symptoms and Angst
  • Is it Age or Is it Neglect
  • Ageing Beautifully
  • Healthy Beauty
  • Healthy Beauty Tips from my own beauty routine

Last week I sent out my Healthy Beauty tips from my own beauty routine giveaway to all my email subscribers as bonus material to last weeks blog post, (click here to read). Since it’s also relevant to this post I will be sending it out to all of my new subscribers this week. To receive this just enter your name and email address in the box below.

Are We Middle Aged?

In my 40’s I desperately searched for the answer NO to this question but unfortunately the answer is yes. Even at the tender age of 40, if we are lucky enough to live until 80 , that’s still half way. We are in the middle. There is no getting away from it.

Should we rebrand– Middle aged – it’s such a negative term. Surely we could come up with something better. Since we are in the Prime of our Lives, the term Prime Lifers could be appropriate. I think that has a more positive feel to it. What do you think?

What images does the term middle aged conjure up?

  • Old…
  • Greying hair
  • Stout
  • Going to seed
  • Excess fat around the middle
  • Dull
  • Lifeless
  • Invisible even
  • Undesirable and Undesiring
  • Grouchy
  • Jealous
  • Must wear appropriate clothes

Not a pretty picture really.

Not something to aspire to. It’s no wonder it fills us with horror and dread.

Middle Aged Realities – Angst/symptoms
What are the realities in your life? Do some or all of these sound familiar to you.

  • Are you worried that you are losing your looks? or that you will never be able to regain your youthful figure?
  • Are you suffering from the dreaded middle aged spread?
  • Is you skin looking a bit dull and lifeless?
  • Have your eyes lost their sparkle are they a bit puffy, do you have black circles under your eyes?
  • Are your joints starting to ache, muscles getting a bit tired and weak?
  • Have you lost your get up and go, your mojo?
  • Do you feel like life is passing you by and you haven’t achieved your full potential?
  • Do you yearn to laugh and love like you did when you were in your youth?
  • Do you wonder what happened to that crazy, vivacious child that was once you. (the one that used to relish the rain, get on her khagoul and wellies and tramp about in the puddles for fun) Where is she?
  • Are you starting to suffer from lifestyle dis-ease and/or digestive issues?

I confess, at some point or another over the past 12 years, I can hold my hand up to all of the above.

Some will say these are all just part of getting older and that’s true up to a point. Certain things do start to fail and fall as you get older. You get a bit scuffy around the edges. You’re bound to feel a bit jaded.

Also, at some point in our 40s and 50s we have hormonal changes to contend with. This is very real and no laughing matter. Amongst many other symptoms hormonal changes can (note the word can not will) contribute to weight gain. To read more about hormonal weight gain click here

Age Related or Neglect?
All of this angst and these symptoms though, they do not happen solely because of your age. They are there because of years… decades of neglect. I know this because I had them and now I don’t…

  • Eating junk food, poisons, addictions and bad habits
  • Neglecting to feed our bodies with the proper nutrition it needs to function
  • Lack of exercise
  • Lack of relaxation
  • A life full of stress
  • No stress management
  • No play time
  • Not getting enough sleep
  • Burning the candle at both ends…

Of course we will all have some signs of aging it is inevitable…

…But surely anyone can see that neglecting ourselves as I’ve described above… Pumping our bodies full of chemicals and toxins while at the same time not feeding our bodies with the nutrients it needs to function correctly… is a recipe that’s bound to end in disaster.

That disaster often starts to happen around middle age as the carefree attitude of our youthful selves, the blatant disregard for our own health, starts to catch up with us.

Ageing Beautifully!
Have you ever wondered how the rich and famous stay looking so good into their 40s and beyond. Yes I know, some have very good surgeons, but that can only do so much. Do they have a secret?

Can I tell you a secret? You’re too young to be old!


When we get older, from where Im sitting, we have 2 choices:

  1. Give up and let ourselves go to seed.
  2. Get wiser and start prioritising ourselves and our health.


Presuming that since you are reading this you’re not ready for choice number 1 yet I give you…

Healthy Beauty

When you are healthy on the inside it shines through to the outside giving you glowing skin, sparkling life, filled eyes, a healthy figure, a healthy head of hair, a spring in your step, that energy , the internal joy seeping from every pore of your body that comes from complete health and wellbeing. This is Healthy Beauty.

I’m not just talking about healthy diet and exercise to look after our physical bodies and appearance although that is important. We need to look after mind, body and spirit. Taking care of all 3 adds up to one healthy, happy and beautiful person.

When you feel good you look good. When you are happy you look good. There’s nothing more attractive than a happy person.

How To get Healthy Beauty?

  • Learn to Love Yourself (click to read more)
  • Eat real food (click to read more)
  • Ditch the junk and poisons
  • Exercise 3x per week (click to read more on healthy habits for mind, body and soul)
  • Effective stress management
  • Relaxation every day
  • Meditate every day
  • Sleep 8 hours per day
  • Fit some playtime into your life
  • Do a job you enjoy, enjoy your work
  • Have lots of time with friends and family
  • Get Outside

Those seemingly age defying celebrities you see in their 40s, 50s, 60s and indeed beyond, they already know this. Of course they have surgeons and injectables… But no surgeon in the world can give you that unmistakeable Healthy Beauty look and the internal happiness that shines through from a person who has true health.

Last week I sent out Healthy Beauty tips from my own beauty routine to all my email subscribers as bonus material to last weeks blog post. (read it here). Since they are also relevant to this weeks blog post, I will be sending them out to any new subscribers to my blog this week. To receive this enter your name and email address in the box below.

Coconuts for health and beauty

I wanted to talk to you about healthy beauty this week. Or more specifically why getting healthy will shine, magnify and multiply your natural beauty. But since Monday was World Coconut Day 🌴 (I know) I was inspired to write a piece all about coconuts and how they can totally rock your world, bringing you health and healthy beauty.

For the busy bees here’s a brief outline… Its about a 6 minute read.

  • Nutritional profile
  • Health and Nutritional Benefits
  • Coconuts in all their guises and how we can use them
  • How to make your own Coconut Milk
  • Make your own superfood Turmeric Latte
  • Coconut and Beauty
  • Healthy beauty tips from my own beauty routine

Im sending out some healthy beauty tips from my own beauty routine to my email subscribers this week. It was meant for a future post but then I realised just how full of coconut it was and so decided to send it out this week. If you’re not one of my email subscribers but would like to receive this you can subscibe in the box below.

Lets talk Coconuts. I eat them, I drink them and I use them alot in my beauty routines. In fact after writing this article I don’t know what I’d do without them.

Nutritional Profile of Coconuts
Coconuts contain mostly fat but also have protein, carbohydrates, fibre, essential minerals and b vitamins. Click here for the full nutritional profile.

Scientific studies have suggested many health and nutritional benefits of eating coconuts, here are some of the main ones:
Heart Healthy
Helps promote weight loss
Boosts digestive health
Stabilises blood sugar
Antiviral, antifungal, antibacterial, contains antioxidants
Boosts immune system

Many of the health benefits of coconuts come from the fat. The fat in coconuts is different from many other fats because it contains mostly MCTs (Medium Chain Triglycerides) Coconut also contains several essential minerals which all have a specific role in helping our body function properly. Its especially high in Manganese which is essential for maintaining good bone health and helps metabolise carbohydrates, proteins and cholesterol.

To read a complete and detailed description about all of the many nutritional and health benefits plus some potential downsides of coconut please read this excellent article

Coconut in all its Guises

Green coconuts – the jelly and the water
Brown coconuts – Fresh coconut meat
Coconut milk,
Dried coconut
Coconut oil
Coconut sugar

Green Coconuts – the jelly and the water
Green coconuts are the young fruit. They are abundant in the tropics. If you are travelling to a place that has them definitely partake. They are healthy, inexpensive and delicious. You can drink the water thats in them. ‘The sports drink of Mother Nature‘ as its often called, is a fantastic isotonic drink, low in calories and high in nutrition.

Often, if you are lucky you can eat the jelly thats stuck to the inside of the green coconut. Yum its sweet, nutritious and delicious. If theres a lot of jelly there isn’t so much water and vice versa. This jelly is also extensively used in the raw food community to make things like raw desserts and raw cheeses.

There is a company in the UK that will deliver green coconuts to your door. I have tried it. It’s very expensive and I found the coconuts to be low in quality. Not much water and zero jelly. I may have been unlucky but now I just look forward to them when I’m travelling.

green coconut water on copacabana beach
drinking green coconut water on Copacabana beach

Green coconut water is widely available in cartons in many countries including the UK. It is processed though, so although I do take it as an occasional treat its not something I’d want to be drinking every day.

Some of our UK supermarkets (Waitrose, Marks and Spencer, Sainsburys) do have the actual coconuts containing the water ( they’ll be light brown not green though, they’ve removed the outer skin) They definitely taste good. The last I looked they sold for £3. per coconut, a bit pricey but if you can afford it…

Brown coconuts
These are older green coconuts. The mature fruit contains that delicious, sweet, firm white coconut meat we all know and love. Still extremely nutritious and delicious. You can just eat the meat straight or use it in recipes.

coconut for health

Coconut milk
Drink it straight, warmed or chilled or or use it in sweets, desserts, curries, smoothies and more.

Yes you can buy it in tins and packets but the best thing is to make it yourself.

Find out how to make your own simply delicious coconut milk below.

Raw Dried Coconut

This is a briliant store cupboard staple. You can use it in baking, whole or by grinding down to flour.

But I prefer to eat it raw whenever possible so that I keep all the many excellent health and nutritional benefits intact.

How to eat it – cakes, desserts, curries, stews… make your own coconut milk.

Homemade Coconut Milk

Coconut milk is delicious to drink on its own warmed or chilled, you can use as your regular milk in teas , coffee and hot chocolates, cereals and desserts, in curries and its delicious in smoothies. (click for green smoothie recipe that includes homemade coconut milk)

I use both dried coconut chips and homemade coconut milk to make my chia seed pudding which I have every day for breakfast. The recipe is here in a previous blog post

chia seed pudding recipe

How to make Coconut Milk

Ingredients

  • Dried coconut (chips or desiccated, always unsweetened)
  • 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 you are done. I normally transfer mine into a sealable glass bottle and store it in the fridge. It keeps fresh in there for around 3 days but its normally gone before then.

Notes:

  • I often add spices like cinnamon and dried ginger for a nice, warming, relaxing drink.
  • It’s naturally sweet but you can sweeten this more by adding a little honey or coconut sugar.

You can also use it to make the highly acclaimed Turmeric Latte.

Golden Milk/Turmeric Latte

turmeric latte recipe
golden milk recipe

This is the current Mrs Popular of the health world. I have to say these are truly delicious, well worth a try. I came upon it by chance in a vegetarian cafe, while I was in Canterbury visiting my daughter Daisy a few years ago. It was so good I immediately went home and found out how to make it. I messed about with a few recipes and started drinking it everyday until I got my invisalign braces. Bright yellow braces are not a good look. I’ve now finished with my invisalign but never really got back into my turmeric lattes again. I must rectify that.

It’s the Curcumin in the Turmeric that holds all the health benefits. It is widely held to be an absolute wonder substance with claims that it fights against cancer, heart problems, alzheimers and more. It really does seem to have wonderful benefits. This excellent article tells all about it.

To make the Latte you first need the paste…

Golden Milk/Turmeric Latte Paste

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoon ground turmeric (organic better)
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Coconut oil (half tablespoon or enough to mix into smooth paste)

To make just stir all the ingredients together to make a smooth paste.

Notes

  • The oil and the pepper are essential, they help your body absorb the Curcumin.
  • You can, and I encourage you to, add other spices to this mix i.e. ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove. You can increase the amount of black pepper too if thats to your taste.
  • Add Vanilla if you like.
  • Sweeten with a little honey or coconut sugar if that’s more to your taste.
  • Store this in a sealed jar in the fridge it should keep fresh for around a month.
  • You can also freeze it in portion sizes as ice cubes

To make Turmeric Latte/Golden Milk

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons turmeric latte paste
  • 1 cup of your homemade coconut milk (you can also use other milks)

First blend a little of your cold milk with the paste so that the paste is more liquid and easy to blend into the rest of the milk. Gently heat this mixture with the rest of your milk in a small pot. Do not boil or overheat. Heat until just hot to touch. Pour into cup and enjoy. You can also serve this chilled

Coconut Oil
As already stated, its the fat that contains many of the beneficial nutrients of coconuts so this stuff is definitely nutritionally valuable.

I would err on the side of caution however, before you start stuffing it by the spoonful down your face. Its very high in calories (which I agree are not all equal but still do matter). I really do believe that it’s the fat in the whole item that’s beneficial not the fat stripped away from its natural source.

Even the best raw extra virgin coconut oil has gone through a process, the process of extracting it from its original source. So yes by all means use it in the kitchen…I do… just use common sense on portions.

Coconut oil is widely loved for its topical uses as a beauty product. More on that below.

Coconut sugar
Is made from the dehydrated sap of the coconut palm. It Is still sugar and so should be used sparingly. That said, unlike regular sugars and syrups which are empty calories (contain zero nutritional value)…

(thank you Mrs Bell, this is the one fact I have never forgotten from my ‘o’ level food and nutrition class, that sugar is an empty calorie, I knew it would come in handy one day)

…Coconut Sugar on the other hand does contain a little fibre and some nutrients iron, zinc, potassium and others in small doses. It is also a little lower in the GI index than normal sugars which is another plus point. Gi Index measures the speed in which sugar hits your bloodstream, basically, the lower the better.

I use the Groovy Food Company brand. It’s organic, tastes delicious and is easy to come by (Tesco, Morrisons, Amazon) and is relatively inexpensive.

Coconut and beauty

healthy beauty

Coconut in all its guises can make a strong contribution to a healthy lifestyle. Healthy = Beauty, So coconuts work from the inside out helping us to Feel and look our best.

Coconut oil can also be used topically, to enhance , maintain and look after our physical bodies. Its widely used to look after our hair (hair masks, conditioner), skin (moisturiser) and teeth (oil pulling, as a base for homemade toothpaste)

I’m sending out some healthy beauty tips from my own beauty routine to my email subscribers this week. It was meant for a future post but then I realised just how full of coconut it was and so decided to send it out this week. If you’re not one of my email subscribers but would like to receive this you can subscibe in the box below.

I would love to hear any thoughts, questions or suggestions about this post in the comments section below. 😘

We are all amazing, just the way we are!

Healthy is the new skinny. It has to be! It’s one of those things that seems so obvious I shouldn’t even have to write about it. But sometimes writing it down or reading it out loud just strikes home the reality punch we need.

I don’t know about you but Im sick of being hit with totally unrealistic media images telling us what to look like. Telling us that we must conform to a certain body image (skinny) to be cool, beautiful, successful…

You may think you have this sussed, that it doesn’t affect you. But we shouldn’t underestimate the power of the media and the warped views they give us on how we should look.

In fact, how many people out there are starting on a new diet today? Millions I bet. Are you one of them?

Chasing Skinny – The Crazy Truth

Back in the day when I was a teenager in the 80s, it was fashionable to have skinny legs and a tiny, little, peachy bum. What I had was ‘thunder thighs’ and a pretty big pear type bum. 😎

When we did PE (Physical Education) at my school, we wore gym pants instead of shorts. An unfortunate thing for me! We did have a choice but they were what everyone was wearing so of course my 13 year old self chose them.

They were exactly as they sound, just a pair of pants. 2 of my 4 butt cheeks hung out of them. A fact that didn’t escape the guys, who teased me mercilessly.

‘Hey Shona your bums winking at me’,

‘Wee Bogey’, who was a cheeky little git but got away with it, came up behind me on the school running track one day and shouted

‘Hey Shona, your bum looks like an oscillation’??? (Yeah, I had to look that up too😬) On reflection a very polite insult for a Scottish person.

I was mortified!

I’d have done well today with the whole Kardashian led craze for big bums but back then not so much.

I tried and tried to get that ‘fashionable’ look. Suffering the pangs of starvation as I battled with every diet out there. I puffed and panted my way through every fitness craze. It was in the days of Jane Fonda and the invention of lycra (not a great look for old thunder thighs)

I remember my first aerobics class, it was in a seedy old disco in town and it was rammed full of sweaty bodies. Of course I thought they were all skinnier than me…and better at the aerobics. 😔sigh😔.

It was torture.

The whole thing was mission impossible. For a start the ‘dieting’ didn’t work. I was yo-yoing all over the place. I lost weight, put it on, lost weight, put it on. It didn’t matter. The thunder thighs and big butt remained even during the ‘skinny’ times.

The problem was, my goals were unrealistic for me. I was fighting against my genes. The thighs and bum were ‘what my mama gave me’. The only way I could have got rid of this genetic gift would be to starve all the fat off myself. The only way to reach my goal was to make myself ill. Luckily I never went there.

As an aside, I don’t think much has changed for our younger women. In fact I think with the added pressure of cosmetic and aesthetic surgery, social media and photo filtering, it may be worse. I feel so sorry for them.

Sammy, the 400 year old Sammand tree, stands on a former slave driven sugar plantation in St Kitts, The Carribean.
I love its message, we can all learn from it.

As we get older and wiser

Of course we still have the same genes as we get older. But…hopefully by now we have a level of acceptance of ourselves and all our bits, maybe even a bit of pride… My ‘thunder thighs’ are strong and powerful and really help me with my dance, yoga, and just generally give me practical, physical strength. I’m very grateful to have them.

And hey, Im proud of my big bum but now apparently its fashionable, thanks Kim. And it seems that having a bit of meat around the posterior region is and always has been sexy to lots of people!!!! who knew. The point is, if you love yourself and the way you look, who’s going to argue.

Healthy has got to be the New Skinny why?

Genes Matter-You can go on all the diets in the world and be a goddess champion of fitness but you can’t beat your genes. Unrealistic goals of ‘skinniness’ will never be achieved unless your natural body type allows it. The truth – Learn to love your natural self and make the best of what you’ve got. Choose healthy not skinny!

Media sucks-What a pile of crap. Why should I, we, be slaves to what other people, the media, think of as beauty. They churn out unrealistic images that are genetically impossible for us to reach. The fact that they airbrush to make them even more extreme and unrealistic really pisses me off.

The images they hold up as the epitome of beauty are also subject to fashion trends which makes the whole thing even more farcical. The Truth – We can never live up to their fantasy images. If you happen to be naturally ‘skinny’ then that look is healthy for you. For everyone else, just forget it. Choose healthy not skinny!

Diets dont work anyway – If you are just chasing skinny, i.e. changing what you eat soley to loose weight, it’s destined to fail. Deep down you know diets don’t work. They only work for the lifetime of the diet. As soon as you go back to your normal lifestyle the weight goes back on. We all know this, we’ve been there. The truth of this is undeniable.

Yo yo dieting is very real. We really do put on and loose the same stone or 5 kgs or whatever your personal number is, over and over again. What a pointless waste of time.

To learn more about why diets don’t work read this blog post from Psychologytoday.com

Healthy not Skinny I’m certainly not suggesting we should all be overweight either. The truth is we should be chasing healthy. We should be striving to be our best selves, not blindly chasing ideals that are held up to us by people who are only there to take our money.

Chasing healthy

Just one goal but with so many benefits. One of which is

Losing Weight

Yes, if you are overweight, a huge benefit of getting healthy is that you will loose weight. naturally and effortlessly. (Or gain it if you are underweight). Chasing healthy is the best way to reach your naturally healthy weight. What that looks like is very different from person to person.

But the weight control is just one of many benefits.

I began chasing healthy over 7 years ago and I’ve never looked back. I feel amazing. You can read about how I did it and the many benefits here.

If I can do it so can you!

I m very excited to be working on my   Amazing Health Lifestyle Reset course. I know it’s going to help so many women.

Full details coming soon but here’s an outline:

  • An online 6 week live course
  • The number 1 objective and committment of the course is to inspire healthy eating habits, but a total lifestyle reset is offered.
  • Leading you step by step , day by day, through the reset and offering advice and support from myself.
  • Personal guidance to help you negotiate any obstacles on your way to success.
  • Active student forum for you to motivate each other, share ideas, problems and more.
  • Helping you make good habits and break bad ones.
  • Mindset reset
  • Lifestyle reset
  • Tastebuds reset
  • Basic recipes, video demonstrations, advanced techniques and demos.
  • Suggestions of weekly menus and shopping for those who want it. You don’t have to think, “what’s for dinner” if you don’t want to.
  • Inside Out. Tackles many problems with just one goal.
  • Holistic – We are aiming for health of the Mind, Body and Soul
  • Learn simple organic beauty routines
  • Never be hungry
  • Get peace of mind
  • Tips for when you travel

Try out Amazing Health lifestyle reset course. See if it fits! If not, you can always go back to your old lifestyle having completely nourished and cherished yourself for 6 weeks, your body will thank you for it.

Or

You may decide that you love it so much and you feel and look so good that you just keep on going.  

Dying to try it to see if it works?

Excellent choice! Just subscribe below to be first to get the details when its ready.

Email subscribers will get first dibs on the first course to run and also a nice discount. All I need is your first name and email address in the box below.

Amazingly Healthy Life, helping you Feel, Look and Be Amazing from the inside outat any age.

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