If This Was Your Last Day ….

What would you choose to do with it?

Would you be happy with life, or would you be worried of all the things you didn’t do, a life full of regret.

The best thing about LIFE, is that we really are the leading actor in our own movie called ‘LIFE’ and we can change moment to moment how we think and feel.

As humans, our brains are the most developed on the planet, mainly due to our frontal lobe in our brains. It is this part of the brain, that enables us to ‘experience events before they have actually happened’

Dan Gilbert, author of ‘Stumbling on Happiness’ talks about the ‘psychological immune system’ in his TED talk, whereby rather than striving for the fit body, car, house, relationship, holiday, any other ‘external’ thing that we believe will make us happy.

We can ‘experience the event’ in our mind before it’s actually happened. That way we are choosing to be happy in the present moment rather than waiting for the external thing to arrive in our life.

Click on the link below to find out more. It’s time to change your mind.

Bring Yourself Back In Balance

Sometimes in the midst of craziness, and chaos around you, you still need to find a sense of calm and ‘zen being’ to carry on through your day.

So how do you keep the focus, the concentration, the forward motion thinking with the constant interruptions from family, kids, work colleagues, social media, starring out of the window at the sunny weather and any other ‘bright shiny objects’ that distract you and your energy away from what you’re doing.

So here’s the thing, when it come to focus and concentration, sometime I nail it and other times I’m a prime candidate for being easily distracted and going from one thing to another. By the end of the day, if I don’t ‘nip it in the bud’ I wonder how I wasted the day, and feel so damn tired and exhausted, as I’ve just drifted from one thing to another.

So if you find yourself distracted, here are my top 5 tips for staying on track and getting the job done.

1.    What’s Your Why

Tap into and remember the importance of why you want to do it. Is it something you really want? Or do you feel it’s a should for you, and maybe it’s really someone else’s goal/dream. Is it aligned with who you really are and what you value? It’s time to get clear.

2.    Keep The End In Mind

Once you’re clear on why you want to do it, close your eyes for a minute. Take a couple of deep breaths and imagine yourself already completing the task.

Where are you? What do you see around you? How do you feel? What are you and others saying to yourself now that you’ve completed it?

By having a clear vision of how we’ll feel after we’ve done the task, energetically we’re drawn to that end result

3.    Environment

Ensure that your environment around you is supportive to your ‘task’ at hand. E.g. if you need a ‘quiet’ space to work from, ensure that your office/home space is set up accordingly for this. If you have family, kids, noisy neighbours etc. negotiate blocks of quiet time throughout the day. It could be first thing in the morning, when everyone is still asleep.

4.    Time Limit

It’s amazing what we can get done in a set amount of time when we really have to. Think back to those school exam days when you just ‘had to’ create the piece of work. I use an online clock which I set for certain time periods. It then countdowns the time and then chimes at the end of your session.

http://www.ticktocktimer.com

5.    Just Start

Take the first step and do something. Once you take that step, it’s amazing how things just begin to flow as you gain momentum, thinking how you’ll feel when you’ve completed the task.

And remember have fun and enjoy the process.

The Magic Of Fermented Foods

It might seem that fermented vegetables have come back in vogue recently, however they have been around for centuries and the health benefits of eating fermented foods are huge.

Eating fermented foods have been linked to boosting your immune system, easing digestive problems, improving chronic fatigue syndrome, adrenal fatigue syndrome in addition to many other medical diagnoses.

The reason being is that it improves your ‘gut health’. Not a glamorous topic I know, but something that is imperative to our overall health and well-being.

Fermented foods contribute live ‘good’ microbes to the microbiome, in your gut. These microbes have a powerful effect on our bodies, but when they are out of balance they can contribute to the following conditions – intestinal and irritable bowel syndrome, immune diseases, as well as type 2 diabetes and obesity.

What is fermentation?

Fermentation is a metabolic process in which microorganisms such as yeast or bacteria convert organic compounds (carbohydrates – sugars and starches) into alcohol or acids.

Fermentation has many uses such as:-

-       Preserves food – Extends the shelf life of foods e.g. pickled vegetables, cheese, salami and wine.  This was commonplace, before the modern world of refrigeration.

-       Improves your gut flora – there are many ‘good’ bacteria in fermented foods, so it is a great supply of adding microbes to the gut. Examples – yoghurt, sauerkraut, kefir, kimchi and kombucha tea

-       Increases micronutrients – Vitamin B levels are increased in some foods

-       Easily digestible foods – e.g. the lactose in milk is broken down into a simpler sugar like glucose. This helps people who are lactose intolerant sable to eat yoghurt and cheese.

-       Eliminates anti-nutrients – Natural compounds that interfere with the absorption of the nutrients can be destroyed by fermentation. Eg. Legumes and seeds contain phytic acid, which binds minerals such as iron and zinc, which reduces their absorption when eaten. Tempeh and miso are examples of fermented legumes.

The Best Of The Best

Pickled Vegetables

Sauerkraut, kimchi, dill pickles and other pickled vegetables are fermented using lactic acid fermentation, where the bacteria converts the sugars in the vegetables into lactic acid. The vegetables are mixed with salt, which stops the growth of unwanted organisms. When the fermentation is complete, the pickled vegetables are rich in beneficial microbes.

Kefir

A carbonated, slightly alcoholic fermented milk drink that looks similar to runny yoghurt. Kefir is made using a lactobacilli bacterial culture and yeast.

Cheese

Heated milk curdles during the lacto-fermentation process.

Yoghurt

The lactose sugar in milk is converted by the lactobacilli bacteria into glucose and galactose, which further break down into lactic acid which gives the natural yoghurt it’s sour taste. Live bacteria stay in the yoghurt providing good bacteria for your gut flora.

Probiotics are live microorganisms, such as bacteria, yeast and fungi that are found naturally in fermented foods. Studies have shown that they can improve digestion, help protect against disease and improve your immune system.

Easy Guide To Make Your Own Homemade Sauerkraut

I recently shared a recipe to make your own homemade sauerkraut in the Run Well – Eat Well – Be Well Club, you can get a sneak peek at the guide here - How To Make Your Own Sauerkraut.

If you are a woman who is healthy, loves to run, exercise, eat healthy food and knows the importance of developing a great mindset OR is ready to BE and DO all those things you’re going to LOVE what the ‘Run Well – Eat Well – Be Well’ Club has in store for you! For more info click here 

Stretching On The Go

Sometimes it’s easy to go about our day, not taking any notice of our bodies. Most people now sit for extended periods of time – in the car, at work, watching TV, sitting at a computer etc etc.

Even though we might exercise for 30 mins to 1hr a day, it’s great to stretch and extend the body at regular intervals throughout the day to maintain and improve flexibility, muscle suppleness, blood flow and clarity of mind. As well as preventing stiffness, imbalances and injuries.

Here are some quick stretches you can incorporate daily on the way to work (if you travel by bus or train) as well as some exercises to do in the office/home.

Stretches On The Train Or Bus

Calf Stretch (Vertical Pole)

-       Stand near a pole on the train or bus

-       Place your toes of your right foot on the pole, whilst keeping your heel on the floor

-       Push your hips forward

-       Hold for 30 seconds before swapping to the otherside

Chest Stretch (Vertical Pole)

-       Place your right forearm and hand against the pole ensuring that your elbow is in line with your shoulder

-       Step forwards slightly until you can feel a stretch around the front of your shoulder and chest

-       Hold for 30 seconds before changing to the otherside

Shoulder Stretch (Horizontal Pole)

-       Hold the pole above your head

-       Step forwards until you can feel a slight stretch in your shoulders and back

-       Hold for 30 seconds

N.B. Ease into these stretches, as you might not have done a warm up. Ensure you are balanced on the train/bus before and during these stretches, just in case the vehicle suddenly moves in a different direction or stops suddenly.

Stretches At Your Desk Or At Home On The Couch

It’s great to stretch your legs and walk away from your desk every hour, ideally every 30 minutes. If you have to sit for longer periods at a time without getting up for a stretch, then ensure you do the following exercises throughout the day.

Head Roll

-       Slowly lower your head down, then up, before slowly turning your head to the left and right, keeping the rest of your body straight and aligned in your chair

-       Slowly bring your head down before rotating it slowly anti-clockwise

-       Slowly repeat your head roll in a clockwise direction

Arms Stretch

-       Clasp your hands in front of you, stretch your arms upwards with your palms facing the ceiling and hold for 20-30 seconds

-       With your hands still clasped, lean over to the right side and hold for 10 seconds, before leaning over to the left hand side

-       Clasp your hands behind you, stretch your arms away from your back, slightly leaning your body forward. Hold for 20-30 seconds

Shoulder Shrugs

-       Lift your shoulders up to your ears and drop to their natural position. Repeat 5 times

-       Lift your shoulders up and rotate backwards 3 times.

-       Lift your shoulders up and rotate forwards 3 times.

Tip Toes

-       Place your feet on the floor in front of you ensuring that your knee is at a 90 degree angle to your legs

-       Lift both heels off the floor so that the weight is on the balls of your feet.

-       Repeat 10 times

Feet Rotation 

-       Stretch out your feet in front of you and slowly rotate your feet at the ankles in a clockwise direction 5 times

-       Rotate your feet in an anti-clockwise direction 5 times