Feel, Look, Be, Amazing

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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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


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


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.


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.


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

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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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Related Content

Healthy Habits

Boredom and Bad Habits. Are We Just Bored?

Starting Good Habits, Stopping Bad Habits

Learning to Love Yourself

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.


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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