Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Stress and Meditation

Finding a way to release stress that builds up is sometimes difficult. You may feel like a mouse on one of those wheels running endlessly with no chance of ever reaching your destination or you find the feeling of anxiety or worry is hard to shake. Stop! take a giant deep breath, hold, and let it go super slowly, then do it again! I can guarantee that your blood pressure and heart rate dropped a little just by doing this simple breathe a release exercise.

There has been a lot of discussion about mediation and some people's response may be "it's a bit nana noonoo or hippy for me", or maybe, "I cant relax, my mind just wonders off!" "I don't have time" is another response. Whatever you may think about meditation the facts are it works! It reduces stress levels and in creates a feeling of peace and well-being.

You don't need to spend a great deal of time to learn or practice mediation it's as easy as the breathe exercise above.Just a few minutes a day will make a difference to the way you feel. If you feel stressed at any time during the day and your mind fills with unwanted thoughts just acknowledge them by saying "thanks for sharing" stop and take a deep breath and continue on with your day. I have been doing this for a while and find it a lot easier to relax and enjoy life, even when things don't go to plan. Another great way to relieve stress is laughing...........there are always funny things to see on the internet.

If you find it difficult to sit quietly or trying to clear your mind of thoughts you will find  a guided meditation much easier to do.  There are quite a few podcast for mediation on iTunes and the best thing is they are FREE so no excuses, download and get started today :)

Acid or Alkaline which one are you?

Water has a neutral pH of 7.
Blood has a pH of 7.35-7.45, slightly alkaline.
Your body works hard to neutralise the acids and to maintain its slightly Alkaline PH levels.  With today’s lifestyle and diet it doesn’t take long for our bodies to become more acid than Alkaline. Stress, processed and sugary foods, caffeine, deodorants, plastic, cell phones....you get the picture.

Our bodies are bombarded with toxins everyday and we wonder why we suffer from extreme fatigue and ill health.
Think of you body as a finely tuned machine, if you want it to perform at its peak for a long time then you would need to maintain it properly.
How do you know how acid your body is? You can purchase a PH test kit your local health food store, it will test either saliva or urine, and will show what state your body is in.
The good thing is that there are simple ways to reduce acidity in the body by increasing foods that are more alkalising into your diet. Take a super green supplement and reduce your stress by exercising, walking, taking a meditation or yoga class.
If your body is acid, this is the perfect environment for disease to form, it your body is Alkaline it is more like to stay healthy as disease cannot live in an alkaline environment.
Possible effects from alkalising your body are increased stamina, weight loss and a stronger immune system and feeling more vibrant.
Finding the balance between too acidic and too alkaline can be a challenge in today's stressful, fast-food society.
For a great liver and gallbladder cleanse – check out these I found on
Ref:     Dr Sandra Cabot
Her site is a wealth of information and well worth a look.
The Standard Method for the Liver and Gallbladder flush is:
  1. Freshly squeeze some citrus fruits such as grapefruit, orange, lemon and limes to make 300 mls of juice. This will have a slightly sour taste, which is good, as bitter tasting fruits and vegetables stimulate the flow of bile from the liver and gall bladder. Dilute this juice with 200mls of filtered water.
  2. Finely grate 1 to 2 cloves of fresh garlic and half a teaspoon of fresh ginger, and then press both in a garlic press to make juice. Add this juice to the water and citrus juice mixture. Garlic and ginger are liver cleansing.
  3. Pour 300mls of good quality cold pressed olive oil into a warm glass.
  4. Every 15 minutes swallow 3 tablespoons of the citrus juice mixture and 3 tablespoons of the olive oil. Try to relax in between these 15 - minute intervals. Some people find it beneficial to lie down on their right side with a hot water bottle over the liver area, which helps to dilate the bile ducts to allow the passage of small stones and sludge from the gall bladder. Others prefer to sit in a warm bath, which also helps to dilate the bile ducts.
  5. If you desire, collect all your bowel actions (they may be loose and messy) into a bucket and when the flush is over, place them in a large strainer or colander and run tap water over them. You will probably find many greenish stones/gritty sludge around the size of a lentil or slightly larger. There may also be some large soft stones full of fatty cholesterol. Some people may not want to collect their bowel actions and are content to hear the stones clanging as they land in the toilet bowl!
Some people who do this flush may find that they feel very nauseated (bilious), and/or vomit several times. Abdominal cramps and diarrhoea may accompany this, before the stones are passed.
An Alternative Method for the Liver and Gallbladder flush is:
  1. Drink one litre of organic unsweetened apple juice daily for five days. This will soften up the stones to such an extent that they can be squashed with the fingers. During these five days eat only raw fruits and vegetables and no dairy products, red meat or chicken.
  2. On the sixth day, skip dinner and at 6 p.m. take a tablespoonful of Epsom salts with 3 glasses of water. Repeat this at 8 p.m.
  3. At 10 p.m. make a cocktail of 115ml of olive oil and 115ml of fresh squeezed lemon juice. Shake this very well and drink immediately.
  4. Next morning you will pass green stones varying from the size of grains of sand to as large as your thumb nail. You may be amazed at the results, as have many thousands of people who have used this technique to avoid surgery.
Preparation for the flush:
  • To prepare for the flushing procedure, it is recommended that during the two days prior to the commencement of the flush, you consume only raw fruits and vegetables and drink 2 litres of water daily. This preparation will lessen the chance of a bad reaction.
  • Begin the liver flush in the morning after some brisk walking and deep breathing exercises. Make sure that you drink 2 litres of water gradually by sipping it slowly during the day otherwise the flush may induce dehydration. Some protagonists of this procedure recommend that you begin the flush at 7 p.m. because they believe that the gall bladder is “more active at night”. This may be true; however you will not get much sleep that night, if you decide to do the flush while the moon is shining!
  • If you are a person who forms recurrent gall stones you can do this flush 3 times every year to prevent gall stones from building up. Some people do it every month and find that it does not cause any problems or side effects. If you follow the dietary guidelines found in Dr Cabot's Healthy Liver and Bowel book, you should not have to do this procedure very often because a healthy liver manufactures healthy bile, which prevents gall bladder inflammation and gallstones.
  • We do know that family history often plays a part in liver and gall bladder disease so if you find yourself with gallstones, have a good look at your family history and take extra special care of your liver.
  • Gallstones are more common during pregnancy. If gallstones are recurrent in younger persons, this may be a sign of an underlying blood disease.

Certain people such as pregnant women, young children, very elderly and frail people, insulin-dependent diabetics or those with severe liver disease or an acutely inflamed gallbladder, should not try the liver/ gallbladder flush and should discuss it with their own doctor.
Ideally a qualified health practitioner should supervise your gallbladder flush. At the very least, never do the flush alone, so that if you do dislodge a large stone and get severe pain, your companion can take you to medical care.
Always check with your own doctor before doing the liver/gall bladder flush.

Cellulite - How to Reduce Cellulite


 Dry Body Brushing - Stimulates the Lymphatic System to promote detoxification.

 Trapped Toxins

Ever wondered why dieting and exercise had  little or no effect on reducing cellulite? It is because cellulite is the result of your body protecting itself from trapped toxins. When our liver is overloaded and cannot cope with detoxifying the barrage of toxins we expose it to everyday, some of the toxins attach to our cells instead. These toxins are acidic so the body surrounds them with water in order to stop them burning or inflaming body tissue, this gives skin a lumpy, puffy look we call cellulite.

In order to remove these from our body we need to break them down. First we need to  detoxify our liver so it can work more efficiently. It’s important to eat good clean food without colours, preservatives or additives, organic if you can.   Part of detoxifying is alkalising the body and regenerating the liver this is the only way the body can rid itself of cellulite.

It is virtually impossible to remove all toxins from the body as we live in a very different world today. It is more feasible that we can reduce exposure to toxin within our control such as food, personal hygiene products and reduce our use of plastic that is not BPA free.

Another key factor to reducing cellulite is filtered water, drink, drink, drink!!! The ratio is 30ml per kilo or 2.2lb of body weight daily.

Also there has been research showing that Milk Thistle seed extract (Silymarin) is effective in supporting/regenerating your liver which in turn should help with the reduction of cellulite.

Dry Body Brushing

There are a few theories on how you develop cellulite. It is my belief that a combination of, poor circulation, body acidity and toxic build up that contribute to forming cellulite.

What can we do to release the toxins and reduce the appearance of cellulite?
Dry body brushing......

Dry skin brushing technique is used to aid in the skin's ability to release and remove toxins from your body.
Dry body brushing has been around for thousands of years. The Japanese and American Indians have been practicing dry brushing for centuries.
Understanding the functions of the skin helps when looking at the benefits of dry body brushing.
The skin is the body’s largest organ.
The outer or top layer of skin is called the epidermis it contains several layers. The epidermis cells are constantly dying off and renewing.
The second layer of skin, the dermis contains the following important structures.
  • Blood and Lymph vessels
  • Sweat and Sebaceous Oil Glands
  • Nerves
  • Collagen Fibres
  • Hair Follicles
The second layer of the skin is the most important when looking at the benefits of the dry brushing. If we focus on the blood vessels, our circulatory system which also carries the nutrients to feed our cells also the lymphatic vessels that filter waste and sweat glands that help in the removal of toxins and waste from the body. These structures are the most stimulated by dry brushing, creating better circulation, exfoliation and detoxification.
What is Dry Brushing Technique?
To brush the skin vigorously with a loofah to both clean the skin and promote healthy circulation.
What are the Benefits of Dry Brushing?
  • Exfoliate dead skin cells
  • Aids in stimulating circulation
  • Assists the lymphatic system in removing toxins from the body
  • Promotes healthy, glowing skin
  • Increase energy
  • Reduce Cellulite
  • Dry brushing the skin brings the oil to the surface, reducing dry skin and increasing the skin's softness and elasticity
  • Our bodies are constantly sweating, and the skin eliminates between 500mls- 800mls of waste through perspiration each day. Clearing away dead skin improves our ability to sweat out toxins more easily.

How to Dry Brush your Skin using the body brush technique?

  1. Stand or sit on a towel or in the shower/bath so any dead skin cells can be easily cleaned up.
  2. Use a natural bristle body brush
  3. Your skin needs to be completely dry so do this before showering or bathing.
  4. Always brush inward and towards the heart as this follows the normal flow of the blood and lymph (Above your heart brush downward and below the heart brush upwards)
  5. Use a quick swiping (long) motion, like brushing your hair, to stimulate and remove dead cells, not too hard. It should create a warm tingly sensation and not feel painful or irritate. You can use circular motions as longs as you are moving up or down towards the heart.  Remember harder is not better be gentle to start.
  6. Never brush broken skin, cuts, abrasions, sores or rashes. Avoid brushing those areas.
  7. If your skin is sensitive use a dry face cloth to start this will get your body use to the action of brushing and simulate and exfoliate more gently. You can progress to a brush in time.
  8. It should take between 3 to 5 minutes for the whole body
  9. Start with the soles of your feet then move to the top of your feet.
  10. Moving from the feet to your legs brushing up towards the heart
  11. Move to your hands starting at the fingertips and moving up the arms brushing towards the heart.
  12. Move to your stomach -remember to brush clockwise up from the right across transversely and down on the left across transversely and up as this is the direction of the colon same on the back.
  13. Move to rib and upper back brushing either up or down towards the heart
  14. Chest stoking either up or down toward the heart.
  15. Finally neck front and back brushing down towards the heart.
  16. Now you are finished step into a shower or bath
  17. Clean and dry your body brush

Ten top tips to a healthier Life

Have you tried every crazy diet, promised yourself that Monday is the day you will start your healthier life? Well I have some news, you and millions of people around the world are doing just that every Monday. Like Albert Einstein says “Insanity is - Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”, but we continue to tell ourselves I’ll start Monday!
“Health” is not about starvation, denial or long workouts at the gym, “Health” is about living life to the full, being energised and feeling fantastic.
It not about a number on the scale or fitting into those “skinny” clothes you keep in the wardrobe just case you lose some weight. 

I am passionate about holistic health which encompasses the whole person. The human body is complex and amazing in its abilities to balance and heal itself, keep this in mind you when you consider making changes to a healthier lifestyle.  decide what those choices might be for you. If you are positive and willing you are more likely to succeed.

Here are my top 10 tips to a healthier life

1. Attitude  – What do you really think about changing to a healthier lifestyle 
If you think that being healthy means depriving or starving yourself and painful exercise, then you’re
doomed from the start. It’s all in your attitude and your thoughts create your perception. Firstly you need to decide if you really want to make healthier choices and secondly you need set yourself realistic guidelines and stay positive......remember one day at a time.

       2. Motivation – What are your reasons? There are many reasons for living a healthier lifestyle, increased energy levels, looking and feeling younger and more vibrant, reduced stress levels, releasing endorphins that make you “feel good” and reducing your risk of diseases are just some that come to mind. Improving your health whatever challenges you have now, is possible, just remember small steps. Choose at least two reasons that are really important to you and make a visual board or add motivational digital picture to desktop or phone. You can use pictures and words that relate to those reasons. Whatever you choose, board or a digital visual, make sure you can see it every day, this will help keep you motivated when you start to lose your drive.

      3. Inspiration – What inspires you? Inspiration comes from many places, it is important to find something or someone that really inspires you to become healthier. Also just as important is to make it relevant to you, if you enjoy meditation and walking on the beach then don’t choose a muscle bound gym junkie as your inspiration, pick the Dalai Lama. Remember if they can do it you can too. Find a way to keep that inspiration in the forefront of you mind.

          4. Fun – What fun activities could you do? Your body needs to move to be healthy, with this in mind, ask yourself what could I choose that would be FUN. There are endless activities you could do, from going for a walk to skiing down a mountain, learning to dance or taking up yoga, throwing a Frisbee or dusting off your roller blades, kayaking, bike riding, team sport, running, tennis or golf.  Whatever you choose, make sure it’s appropriate for your health level, you don’t want to trip at the first hurdle so to speak.
           5. Creativity – What is your creative outlet, what do you do to nurture your creativity?  This is key to maintaining good mental health. It is my belief that a healthy mind creates a healthy body. From writing to painting, scrap booking, building models and sculpture or whatever takes your fancy, doing more is healthier.  If you don’t have a creative outlet may I suggest exploring different activities to find something you enjoy.  

           6. Focus – What keeps you focused?  Keeping you focus is the most challenging of all, there are little tricks you can use to maintain your vision of a healthier lifestyle. How do you want to feel? How do you see yourself when you are healthier? Have a vision and create something that continually reminds you of your goal. It can be pictures, words, affirmations or music. It can even be an elastic band on your wrist that you can thwack every time you are tempted to stray from your goals. I recently saw Anna Mears (Cycling Olympic Gold Medallist) speak at a conference. Anna spoke about focus and one little trick she used was “Chocolate” her one weakness. Anna self imposed a ban on chocolate in her preparation leading up to the Games. Every time she craved chocolate she would ask herself “how much do you really want to be the best? “This kept her focus on the goal.
    7. Perception – Do you really think you can be healthier? What does being healthy mean to you? Everyone has their own reality created by their perception of the world, and it is the same for health. How do you see yourself? We all have different genetics, some good some not so good.  It is important that your perception of yourself is a positive one, as this is an important key to success, not only in becoming healthier but also in life.  Write a list of 10 positive things about you including your body, this sound easy but some may find it difficult.
         8. Support – Do you have support? It is necessary to have a support system in place to achieve your goals. Everyone’s needs are different. What type of support do you need? It could be anything from a conversation with a friend or relative once a month,  maybe you could get a personal trainer or join an online chat or support group. Find support that suits you.

           9. Celebration – Enjoy the moment and stop looking at the past or future. I believe in the 80/20 rule, eighty percent good and twenty percent not so good, don’t beat yourself up if you fall off the wagon at some point. Celebrate your life, enjoy every day and admire the beauty in nature, connect with others, take time to be grateful for what you have. 

       10. Success –Do you consider yourself successful? We are all successful but we rarely acknowledge our achievements because we are either focusing on the past or what’s next.  We can sometimes get overwhelmed when looking at the big picture. I find breaking down your goals to smaller one helps, you will feel more successful. I have a  challenge for you, write down your top five major achievements in your life so far, and then your top five in the last year followed by the top five this week.  Having trouble? That’s because you are looking at the big picture. I would say there are many achievements that you have mentally disregarded without a thought and they would be different for everyone. Some example might be: that you a thoughtful son or daughter, have you raised children, learnt to read and write, learnt a language, are you a great cook, can you fix mechanical items, you are a great friend, you get the idea. Health can be broken down into body mind and spirit and each of them broken down into a myriad of choices. If you do this you will feel more successful and this will lead you realising you can achieve your goals. One choice at a time is the secret to success!

Health is more than what we eat it’s a way of life that feels amazing.
Looking back, there have been times in my life when I find that my health had taken a back seat. During those times I see that I was not as happy, defiantly more stressed and suffering from various health symptoms. I understand that life is so much faster these days, however being healthier gives you an ability to cope better when life throws a few curve balls. 
Eat better, move your body, stay connected, laugh more and above all have FUN, your life will be healthier.