Tag Archives: Imahappster

Self Love

9 Apr

Love and be lovedI attended a ‘self love and sisterhood’ seminar last week run by the lovely Jess Ainscough, Melissa Ambrosini, Tara Bliss and Amanda Rootsey and I was blown away by the energy of these inspiring women, who, after coming from adversity were able to turn their lives and health around for the better. They spoke about self love as a muscle that needs to be worked on every day. By making small changes you allow your self love muscle to grow and can create beautiful changes in your health, wellbeing and life.

What is self love? Self love is about fully accepting yourself. This doesn’t mean that you have to like everything that is going on in your life or every part of yourself but it does mean that you accept what IS. For me it’s about letting go and fully approving and loving myself, even the parts I wish to change. I’ve used these small changes to my thinking and actions in order to see great results.

1. Stop slating yourself: You know that voice in your head that puts you down? You wouldn’t talk to a friend like that so why talk yourself like that? It’s not easy to try to switch off this voice, which is the ego, as most likely it’s been running the show in your head for years now. Just be aware of the negative self talk and observe it. Observe all the silly things it says like ‘you’re too fat/skinny/pimply/shy or stupid’. When you witness your negative self talk you lessen its severity. You observe that these thoughts are not real and you are able to move on. Try writing down all the ways in which you scare yourself or talk down to yourself. Journal about why you scare yourself, what experiences and thoughts trigger it. Also describe the feelings that come over you when you are thinking like this and how does it affect your behaviours. Be patient, this takes time. But like growing your self love muscle, daily practice produces miraculous shifts in perception.

2. Use an affirmation: Next time you look in the mirror and subconsciously slate yourself, try replacing it with an affirmation like ‘I truly and deeply approve of myself’, ‘I am exactly where I need to be at this moment and ALL is WELL’. An affirmation is a positive statement you can say out loud or in your head that reflects how you wish to feel at this present moment. Louise Hay, the queen of affirmations, has many great books on the topic, find affirmations that sing to you and practice them daily. My favourites are:

‘I am happy, I am healthy, I am strong and I am lean’,
‘Every cell in my body radiates with love, joy and bliss’,
‘I am vibrantly healthy’,
‘I am independently healthy and wealthy, amazing things just keep happening to me’,
‘I am calm, I am balanced, I am serene’,
‘I love eating nutritious whole foods, processed sugary foods do not appeal to me’,
‘I CHOOSE to love myself today’,
‘I deeply love myself and am worthy of all great things’
Say your affirmation in present tense, and find your own set that really resonates with you. Say your affirmations regardless of any resistance that may come up for you. This resistance is the ‘as if’ or ‘yeh right’ voice that may pop up, tell that voice that it is not true and affirm your positive statements anyway. Remember that your thoughts inform your energy and your energy informs your experience. Therefore, CHOOSE thoughts that are nurturing, uplifting and supporting of yourself because you’re worth it.

3. Breathe: Sounds simple but all too often we don’t stop from our busy lives to take a deep breath. Diaphragmatic breathing helps to de stress and reduces cortisol (the fat storing hormone) and makes you feel calmer and more able to have a productive day. Breath slowly in whilst pushing your belly out, hold in for 2 seconds and slowly exhale while sucking your tummy in and pulling your shoulders down and back. This helps to centre yourself during the day, keeps you focused and balanced. During your exhale let go of any tension or fear that you might be holding. I use this at work when things get too much or I am flustered or pressed for time, I feel calmer and more able to do things without rushing and making a mistake.

Namaste

4. Meditate: Sitting in stillness for as little as 5 mins a day can have a massive impact on the way you view yourself. Sit or lie down quietly, using mantras like ‘I am love’, ‘I am balanced’, ‘peace’ or ‘om’. Allow thoughts to flow through you but try not to hold onto any thoughts. Meditation creates the space for us to quiet down and listen to ourselves, and we are all very wise, so any questions or challenging situations that may be happening for you that may block your road to self love try meditating over it, ask the question ‘what is it that I need to know? What is it that I need to learn here’ you might be surprised with the answer. Read my previous post on “how to meditate” here.

5. Listen to your body: If you don’t do well on dairy then don’t have it, simple. If gluten makes you bloated, sluggish or have tummy pains then don’t eat it. Our bodies are very smart machines so if something isn’t working for it, it will tell you. Listen for the signs and love yourself and your beautiful body enough to say no to things that do not serve you. Start to be aware of what gives you energy and what slows you down. It’s an act of self love when you begin and continue to use food as fuel for your body rather than using food to punish yourself or stuff your feelings.

6. Move your body: We were made to move. Daily. Find ways of exercising that you enjoy. I love weight training, all types of yoga and high intensity interval training. Challenge yourself with new and different training styles. Take care of your body as it’s the house you live in. Find a training buddy or a personal trainer for some motivation.

7. Know your boundaries: Learn to say no to things that do not serve you. Listen to what it truly is that you would like to do it and DO it. This has been massive for myself lately, I’ve been saying ‘no thanks’ to invitations out when I know I’d rather be catching up on sleep, study or exercising or doing whatever the hell I’d like to do. Setting your own boundaries is an act of self love as you are telling yourself that you are number one, that you no longer feel the need to please everyone by saying yes to everything.

These are a few suggestions that I find work for me. See if you can adopt some of these into your life and build up your self love muscle. Thinking well of yourself and making small changes to build your self love muscle is an act of kindness that will have an enormous effect on your wellbeing and life.

The thing is, once I allowed myself to truly love and approve of myself I allowed miracles to enter my life, things just got easier and I can honestly say that I am a happier person because of it. It’s still a daily practice for me though as I often criticise myself for silly things, but I’ve learnt to recognise that voice and although there are areas in my life that I would like to change I am OK with it and can accept what is.

“Events come and go, but the love you have for yourself is constant.” Louise Hay

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Try this for an energy boost

21 Mar

During those moments when you’re feeling not so ‘super’ or a bit zapped of energy it’s good to have a handful of stuff to do to make yourself feel like yourself again. For me it’s having a green smoothie, going to yoga or the gym, getting out in nature, rolling out on my foam roller or meditating. A new addition to the mix which I love is a ‘happy song’.

Joshua Rosenthal (Founder of Integrative Nutrition) mentioned the importance of a happy song to boost your mood a few weeks ago during a lecture on self-care. So I’ve been doing it daily and I must say how surprised I am at the change of my mood and energy! It’s great not only when I’m feeling flat but any time of the day to get a boost of energy :).

What’s a happy song?

Choose a song that makes you smile and have the INTENTION of boosting your mood and energy levels during and after the tune. This especially worked for me last week when I was on my way to another night shift after barely 4 hours sleep (groan).  So I had a choice to either keep feeling like shit and sorry for myself or I could try this little trick to zap me out of this mood… I pumped up ‘Miracle Mile’ by the Cold War Kids in the car and sang at the top of my lungs and danced as much as I could whilst sitting down (lots of shoulder shaking and bopping side to side)… And lo and behold it worked! I felt happier and lighter and didn’t dread the next 10hrs- whoop! This sure beats scoffing processed sugar, a coffee or (gasp) an energy drink!

Consciously choosing the intention of feeling better has a powerful effect of uplifting your mood. So give this a go, set yourself a happy song each day and dance and sing to it like nobody is watching.

Go ahead, loosen up a bit and let your happy song ‘feed’ you.

Dance

Superfood Cashew Butter Chocolate Cups

14 Mar

Healthy Cashew Butter Choc Cup!

I made this delicious healthy version of ‘Reece’s cups’ last night for some friends and they were pleasantly impressed!

I saw this recipe on http://www.bewellwitharielle.com but added my own twist. Check out her site for some great recipes and her amazing wellness jeWELLry collection (I’m really loving her ‘i love me’ ring).

Ingredients:
2-4 tbsp Cacao powder
4 tbsp Coconut Oil
Handful of Goji Berries
2 tsp Coconut sugar (or you can use raw honey, agave or Stevia)
Packet of Raw Cashews

What to do:
Melt Coconut oil with a little boiling water and add cacao and coconut sugar, mix well. Pour into cupcake patties and set in the freezer for 5 mins.

To make the cashew butter soak cashews overnight or for at least 5 hours in water. Strain the water and blend until creamy (I made more and used it as a dip to have when the guests arrived- yum!)

When the chocolate is set put a dollop of cashew butter on top and cover with more cacao/coconut mix with added goji berries. Place this in the fridge until the top has set.

004

The finished product! I served it sprinkled with cacao and goji berries and a few coconut flakes

 

The Finished product!

This quick, simple and oh so delicious desert is high in good fats making it satiating. The cashew butter can be substituted for almond butter or if your blender is not powerful enough you can buy nut butters at your health food shop.

Cashews are a great nut, high in protein, minerals (especially magnesium) some B-Vitamins and good fats!

Again the amount of ingredients can differ depending on your taste and the consistency.

Wallaby, Kale and Ahhhmazing cauliflower mash recipe!

28 Feb

I cooked this simple and easy dish with my sister last week and thought it was way too good not to share. This clean meal is packed full of goodness and should leave you energised and feeling great!

Wallaby and Kangaroo are great sources of protein and are usually antibiotic and chemical free as they are free range and able to graze on grass in their natural habitat. Be careful not to over cook the game, to quote my butcher “if ya cook game for too long and throw it as someone it’ll break bones” – can’t have that!

INGREDIENTS (Serves 2, but Wallaby, Kale, Sweet Pt and Cauli mashI always make enough veggies for leftovers, cook once eat twice)

2 Wallaby steaks (or you can use Roo)

Coconut oil

1 cauliflower

Olive oil

Garlic

Goats cheese (Meredith’s is the bees knees)

1 bunch of Kale

Sweet Potato

Rosemary

Cinnamon

Real Salt

Pepper

METHOD

Wallaby– We used a skillet but a pan will suffice, fry in a little coconut oil on high heat for 2 mins each side then let rest for 2 mins. We also fried some garlic with it, then topped with salt and pepper.

Cauliflower mash -Steam cauliflower and a clove of garlic, when done add to a blender with olive oil, rosemary, goats cheese (the oil from the goats cheese if you’re buying Meredith’s or a marinated one is amazing), salt and pepper and blend to desired consistency. I’m lucky enough to have a vitamix but if your blender isn’t strong you may have to add more oil or try coconut milk and pre mash it.

Kale– De-stem the Kale by breaking off the leaves, then steam for a couple of minutes until the Kale goes a beautiful bright green colour, immediately remove from the boil and run under cold water to avoid overcooking the Kale. Cauliflower and Kale are both part of the Cruciferous vegetable family and contain high amounts of fibre, vitamins and minerals, great for detoxing, weight loss and putting an extra spring into your step (thumbs up). Also various studies have linked cruciferous vegetables to lowering your risk of cancer!

Sweet Potato– Steam sweet potato until soft, then add cinnamon to serve. (I lurve cinnamon! This superfood is packed full of antioxidants and goes so well with sweet potato, not only for the taste but because the polyphenols in it assists in reducing insulin resistance – oh happy days…)

This clean, Paleo meal had my sister and I doing a happy dance as it was so easy to prepare and tastes delicious! It’s a great mix of protein, good fats and low GI carbs.

Be Grateful!

12 Feb

My grateful journalWriting a gratitude list is something I heard about but never actually did, I kind of put it off. But then I decided to bite the bullet and write one mid last year… I wrote one every night for 30 days, and since then I haven’t stopped.  I can honestly say it’s been a ‘game changer’ for me and the way I view the experiences I have in my life. 🙂

So what does it actually do?

“Be thankful for what you have and you will end up having more. But if you concentrate on what you don’t have, you’ll never, ever have enough.”                                                   Oprah Winfrey

A thought can be measured by its frequency, and a happy thought of gratitude has a very high level frequency. When you are vibrating at this higher level you start attracting more of these high level frequency experiences into your life. Feelings of gratitude increases serotonin which is a neurotransmitter responsible for making us feel good. It’s a lack of this mood enhancer that can make people susceptible to depression.

It’s been said before that ‘positive things happen to positive people’ and by focusing on the good in ones life it attracts more good. On the other hand focusing on the bad attracts more bad luck, haven’t you heard that drainer person complain about how ‘unlucky’ they are and that ‘bad’ things always happen to them. Well of course they do, bad stuff is always going to happen, that’s life. It’s what you CHOOSE to dwell on that will ultimately shape your mood for the day.

According to Dr Simon Young from The Journal of Psychiatry and Neuroscience (2007, Vol 32:6) a negative mood is a risk factor for many disorders. He discussed that hostility and a negative mood are associated not only with mental but physical disorders too, he used the example of heart disease and found patients who were negative or hostile had a poorer survival rate. Furthermore, hostility may lead to a decreased social support network and social isolation, which can lead to a greater mortality rate of those with heart disease!

So being grateful for what we have brings increases serotonin, reduces our chances of depression and heart disease AND attracts more good in our life??

Have an attitude of gratitude for goodness sake!!!

 “Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn’t learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn’t learn a little, at least we didn’t get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn’t die; so, let us all be thankful.”

Buddha

Today I’m grateful for my beautiful family, my amazing friends, this blog 🙂 , the delicious nutritious food that I have eaten, finishing another gruelling yet rewarding Bikram class, getting a text from the boy that I dig, the sun shining, learning new things, living in this great city, my car starting, and having the dog sit here with me while I write this!

What are you grateful for today?