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nutrition, Uncategorized, wellness

How to Restore Balance in your body and Activate your Incredible Healing System

Dr Mark Hyman, Medical Director at Cleveland Clinic’s Centre for Functional Medicine, Founder of the Ultra Wellness Centre and 10 time #1 New York Times  Best Selling Author believes we all deserve a life of VITALITY.

Does this word describe you?  How do you feel day to day?

Vitality…. Energy & Strength

Are you living a life of vitality?  Or are you lethargic, moody, tired and needing to lose a few pounds?

If the latter, there might be a good reason.  Our body has a precise operating system.  There are 37 billion billion chemical reactions happening in our body at one time.  And yet, people are working on hope, guesses and off the shelf generalised diets, workouts and health programmes to stay well.

One size does not fit all.

Just like a car, we all need to use a fuel that we are made for.  If we fill up with diesel when our car runs on unleaded, it breaks down.  Even if we use the wrong octane, it affects how the car runs.

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Dr Hyman believes that we all have the power to improve our health by following simple principles that optimise our biology.  Effectively, nutrition and exercise that is personalised to our unique needs.

So the question is, what nutrition and exercise?

This is where Dr Hyman advises finding out where the body is out of balance in order to have a roadmap to rebalance.

Nutrition

He is clear that DIET is the #1 place to start because food is linked to all the key things that put our body out of balance in the first place:

  • Insulin resistance
  • Food sensitivity
  • Inflammation
  • Toxic load

He suggests that a mostly plant-based diet with good fats, meat and fish in moderation is a good place to start, but we do need to understand in what proportions our macronutrients will serve us best; based on our genetic metabolism.

We also need to know what to supplement.

Our bodies are made to naturally be able to get what they need from our food and the environment, but soils are depleted and plants are bred for yield and resistance nowadays rather than optimal nutrition, so we don’t actually get what we need from our fruit and veg anymore, compared to years ago.

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Dr Hyman compared a wild dandelion to farmed spinach and suggested the dandelion would do more for us in terms of nutrition!  But we aren’t grazing on dandelions for dinner, or eating other wild food and wild fish that has what we need to thrive (with vitality)…

We don’t get enough sun.  We spend our time indoors or smother ourselves with sunscreen.  We don’t sleep enough.  We are bombarded with environmental toxins.  We are chronically stressed.

So basically, most people need some sort of supplementation, and different needs will again depend on a person’s genome, lifestyle and environment.

Exercise

Exercise is positive to weight management, our brain health, anti-aging, but also our emotional state.

Depression is not a prozac deficiency.

Image result for Depression is not a prozac deficiency.

There is a reason we feel low…

It might be:

  • Insulin resistance
  • Folate deficiency
  • Toxic metal overload
  • Gut issues.

Vigorous exercise has been shown to be as effective as anti-depressants. People who walk have been shown to have less Alzheimers.

One reason is that exercise creates BDNF in the brain, which is like Miracle Grow.  It is proven to improve mitochondria in the brain.  Generally, the best way to generate it is through HIIT workouts, but we can find out the exercise type that most serves us through the analysis of our genes.

Conclusion

Traditional medicine would take symptoms like lethargy, mood, fatigue and weight gain and find a reason for them.  They would give them one label.

Maybe you go into the doctor with lethargy, but you’ve also got lights in your eyes and headaches.  Maybe the doctor would say you have Migraines.

But what your body really has is an imbalance.  Maybe your gut bacteria is out of balance because you’re eating foods that your body can’t digest and you have food sensitivities and deficiencies.  Our bodies and those 37 billion billion chemical reactions are too complex to believe one label can provide a permenent fix.

There used to be only 12,000 official diseases in the medical books.  Now there are 155,000, but are people better off?  Is there more vitality in the world?

Just because a disease has a label doesn’t mean it only has one treatment, but doctors and Pharma are not willing to pay for system trials.

So what is our alternative?

The proactive will visit multiple practitioners to avoid the traditional route of a medical label and medication:

  • A Nutritionist for a diet plan to follow
  • A Personal Trainer to get exercises
  • A Naturopath to get a herbal tincture for better sleep

These remedies might work in combination, but at what price?  Most people can’t afford such a holistic approach, so they either do nothing or they take the medication, which takes away the symptoms that are actually red flags of a body that is out of balance and could be at serious risk of chronic disease down the line.

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What if nutrition, exercise, lifestyle changes and supplements (where necessary) can be used together, along with a roadmap personalised to the individual, to get the body back to its natural balance so that it’s own incredible healing system is activated?

If you would be interested in this kind of approach to your wellness; to your vitality, click here to answer a few short questions!

 

 

 

anxiety, Freedom, law of attraction, manifestation, mindset, Uncategorized, wellness

How to Ensure Gut Instinct is the Right Instinct!

Our emotional lives are a patchwork made of beliefs we have internalised and modes of reality we have modeled

Ever get a “hunch” something is not right?

“Gut instinct” is real; it can even be measured, mapped in the body and analysed chemically.  We know that differing emotional states cause different sensations inside our body and different signal physical reactions… When we are angry, our heart rate speeds up and our face gets hot, when we are anxious, we feel a little sick and we breathe faster, when we are sad, our heart physically hurts.

What do you feel when you get a “hunch”?  Do you act on the feeling?  How do you know whether this intuitive decision is the right one? Have you made an intuitive decision that is the wrong one before?

Understanding how we are feeling on the inside is called Interoceptive Awareness and it truly is our internal guidance system – we can be guided by our heart.

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We also can be over-sensitive to our feelings, which we see in people who experience pain more than another person or experience fear more than the next person to the point of anxiety. While I was a previous sufferer of crippling anxiety disorder I have actually experienced a low Interoceptive Awareness since childhood.  It ultimately manifested in an eating disorder in my teens at a time when a lot of things were out of control in my life.  Interestingly enough [coincidentally?] I also have the “fat gene” that stops you recognizing when you’re full up.  Later this lack of internal guidance manifested in my experience of my anxiety, where my body would show very clear physical signs of anxiety (heart rate increasing, etc) without my conscious awareness until I was already in a panic attack. My eldest daughter also seems to suffer with this naturally low Interoceptive Awareness. For example, she will not seemingly notice feelings of hunger, pain or even needing the toilet, until the need is so urgent that it’s too late.

So you can see how this internal guidance system and our connection to it affects our positive:

  • Self-awareness
  • Problem-solving
  • Perspective taking
  • Social understanding
  • Flexibility of thought
  • Emotional Recognition and regulation
  • And use of our Intuition.

In this month’s 20:20:20 Programme we have been focused on Intuition – how we can better connect to it and how we can use it to make the intuitive decisions that take us forward to wherever we want to get to.

“Recent findings show that instincts based in feelings from within our bodies are powerful and useful influences on the way our minds make decisions. The old divide between a thinking brain and an unthinking body is blurring. And despite the word “gut,” that useful instinct goes far beyond our stomach and includes the feelings from our heartbeat, our lungs, muscles and even our immune system, whether we are conscious of it or not.  It is the “the dialogue between brain and body.”  Ottawa Citizen

So how do we listen to our gut and ensure it’s giving us the right answers?

Let’s think about the biological process.

We know we have five primary sense organs: our sight, our smell, our taste, our touch and our hearing.  Within these sense organs are receptors for specific types of stimuli that are connected to our body’s nervous system, which then sends data to our brain and provides us with useful information about our physical/external world. I.e. we feel an itch, we scratch, right? However, if we feel a threat, our nervous system will also respond appropriately; whether this reaction is appropriate or not (read more here to understand better what I mean and how this is damaging).

But what about our essential/internal world?  What about our connection to our inner voice, or even, our higher self?

This is where we meet our sixth and seventh sense.

Image result for how to use brain neuroplasticity to create new beliefs

We are still using our Interoceptive Awareness, but this is where we experience the “hunch” of intuition, déjà vu, or that crazy feeling of a past life parallel.  Conditioning makes us question these feelings, even distrust them. We spend 10+ years at school learning to look for cause and effect because there is always a theory or a precedent or a formula/rule. Where do you think we get the belief so strong that “it’s just a coincidence?”

When we begin to dip our toes into the world of vibrational energy and Law of Attraction, our senses become an interface between the dense physical world and the non-physical world of pure consciousness. Our sixth sense utilizes our feeling body to inform us when our intuition is on or off target, as long as that connection to our consciousness is strong, and if it is our seventh sense, our purest knowing will embody in us the impenetrable trust of Flow when we are in it.

When we are children, before we go to school and before we create beliefs or take on beliefs and conditioning that limits us and disconnects us from ourselves, we are in a state of open wonderment. And what I like to help my clients rediscover is that the same wonderment is still within us if we remove the upper limits that block us from it, and if we learn to become aware of the feelings we have, what they are telling us and can be sure they are not being shaped by beliefs that will not serve us.

So where do we start with that “gut feeling” that we can’t quite put into words?

ChildWe have to start with our belief systems that guide our ultimate self belief and how we show up in our life.  This is something I go very deeply into in my From Fear to Fierce course.

We can also use techniques that I am going to connect you to below that tune up our Interoceptive Awareness, so that it’s in good nick; not over or under-serving us.  If we think about the Maslow’s Hierachy of Needs, if we fulfil at the bottom we are more likely to reach our full potential.  Like the saying, “you can’t pour from an empty cup.”

We are all busy in life and serving the needs as others as well as ourselves.  Some of us are particularly driven and take on more than we can chew, but if we don’t notice our own needs stacking up, our proverbial cup tips over, so to speak.  And we can’t hear our inner voice if it is drowned out by other noise.  (If this resonates, you might benefit from my mini course to help quiet your mind, so your soul can speak.)

So, while our Interoceptive Awareness system is the least known and least understood sensory system and is generally thought to control our autonomic functions like blinking, breathing, and flinching.  It’s also how we recognise pain, hunger, thirst, needing the toilet, our emotions and more.  Sensory receptors send neural signals to the insula deep inside the brain and it is here that an important process is undertaken to decode the message and alert us to the changes in our body’s state.

Any imbalance in our body isn’t healthy.  If we think about emotion, being angry causes our heart rate to rise, the blood to rush to our face and then we often fire off at somebody and regret it.  Sadness causes our heart to physically hurt and this can cause us hide away and wallow, go off our food and disconnect.

We are empowered to act in a way that is positive at this decoding stage of the process.  We can choose to feel the emotion so that it is processed, not repressed. We can meet our needs and we can listen to the important messages of our inner voice and be guided by our intuition when it comes to the choices we make and the directions we go.

Different sensations inside the body allow us to understand how we’re feeling and make the best decision based on that fact.

To access your FREE Interoceptive Awareness Fine Tuning Tool, enter your email below and I’ll send it right out!  Leave me a comment, if you like, about your experience at the moment.  There may be other free tools that are helpful

In your high vibes, happiness & healthiness,

CW x x x

anxiety, mindset, Uncategorized

4 Ways to Train your Brain like a Muscle for Better Performance and Happiness

“We don’t see things as they are; we see them as we are.” —Anais Nin

Our brain is amazing.  I didn’t realise quite how much so until very recently as I recovered from anxiety.

It’s easy to dismiss the power of this 3 pound blob in our head; our “grey matter”, but it is the most complex (and perhaps the most powerful) and beautiful organ in our body. I know!  How can that ugly blob be beautiful?

Because it has the power to transform our life.  And we’re only using about 10% of it.

IF:

  • You feel your mind gets the better of you too often
  • You are looking to peak your performance as an athlete, business person, etc
  • You are ready to own your thoughts and master positive thinking that serves you
  • Or if you have depression or anxiety… Keep reading!

There are approximately 86 billion neurons that make up our brain, and if we laid those 86 billion neurons in one long line it would stretch approximately 534 miles (860 kilometers).  Our brain’s health and resilience impacts every aspect of our life.  It controls our thinking, memory, cognitive efficiency, physical health, emotional health, habits, urges, cravings, resilience and so much more.

How many of the issues in your life that you have right now could be attributed to those very things? Over-eating, relationship troubles, not coping, stress, being stuck in your comfort zone and unable to chase your dreams!

How would your life be better if you could make positive, long lasting changes?

Your brain could be the answer you’ve been seeking.

Although it accounts for less than 2% of our body weight, it consumes 20% of the body’s total energy.  This high energy consumption of our brain demonstrates the crucial role it not plays in keeping us alive, but alive and thriving.

Have you ever just flipped out , seemingly randomly?  Gone from 0 to 100, silence to rage?

It’s likely that your brain has responded on instinct to a “threat” and your evolutionary brain has made a decision based on partial information. You see, in reality the threat is just intense pressure to get something accomplished on time. But the reaction within your body mimics a deeper threat (heart-rate rising, breath rate increasing, etc).  In your primitive brain’s experience, your body’s reaction is the same as if you were responding to the surprise of walking round the corner to a lion in wait, it roars, so you roar louder and you are ready to fight for your life!

You know what this feels like.  Maybe you are under pressure at work with an important deadline that makes you feel anxious, irritated, or both. Somebody catches you off guard with a request or some information and you explode at them with rage. You completely overreact!

Or maybe, your a mum like me, who runs a business and is under pressure to juggle her work with her children, or you just have a massive load on your plate! You are overwhelmed and the kids are squabbling and nagging at you. You just explode and scream at them. You experience the harrowing physical symptoms of your over-reaction and afterwards you become physically tired and your emotional energy is drained. Maybe you even feel like suddenly taking a nap! Your eyes feel heavy like you’ve been sedated. You feel like shutting down and spacing out.

You just bounced from hyperarousal to hypo­arousal.

This instinctive hyperarousal state (fight or flight) is as damaging as a hypoarousal state (freezing/immobilising/taking no action) because its in these states where we suffer things like anxiety, rage, depression, mind fog, etc and operate in unhealthy past patterns because our responses are driven instinctively by our reptilian brain that can’t create new information. When this part of our brain is activated, our neocortex – the most recently evolved part of the brain, which is responsible for conscious thought and language – is suppressed. This means we impulsively react from a place of habit, rather than step back, think about and plan a rational response.

However, we have so much power to change how our brain responds and so therefore how we respond and how we direct the actions we take in a positive way.  Basically, accurately assess a situation and appropriately respond in the present moment.  The problem is that we generally don’t know how to fight against our instinctive response.  This causes us jump to conclusions (I’m not good enough), make
inaccurate assumptions (they won’t like it, I’ll fail if I try), and respond from a defensive place. This can cause so many problems in our lives and cause us unnecessary suffering both at home and at work. It leaves our beautiful potentiality untapped and stops us living our best life and experiencing optimal wellness because this defensive state has harsh physical effects as well.

In this blog I am going to share the experiences that can prime your brain for the deeper work that will literally rewire it.

The theory at the foundation of these is “Neuroplasticity”. If you have heard this term, it’s the recent discovery that our brain can adapt and change based on our experiences and other things.  We can physically manipulate our brain for better responses and improve our brain health.

For me, this manipulation caused me to stop existing and start living; free of the anxiety that was ruining my life.

Neuroplasticity can be positively influenced by a number of things.

The first is our environment.

         1. Our environment promotes positive Neuroplasticity

If you are  somebody who sits at home all day in same environment, or in an office with the same white walls and no windows you will suffer with a kind of negative plasticity. Whereas, if you see new things, regularly challenge yourself, discover new places and be mindful of where you are in the moment – sit and notice, and focus fully on what you’re doing, you will promote neuroplasticity.

POSITIVE ACTION #1

Think about how you can get yourself out into new environments regularly, facilitate a tight bubble of total focus in your work or study, and challenge yourself regularly.

         2. Regular mental activities can improve cognitive abilities.

As few as 10 x 1 hour sessions of cognitive training over 5-6 weeks has the potential to reverse the same amount of age-related decline in the brain that has been observed in the same period.  If we work our mind like a muscle we can reverse age-related decline!

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POSITIVE ACTION #2

Investigate my MyndDojo.  

         3.  Working out the body can also slow down neuronal death and degeneration of our hippocampus (learning and memory centre).

Exercise, physical activity and good physical fitness can preserve brain.

POSITIVE ACTION #3

Review how much movement your body is doing.  Both nutrition and exercise are huge for our powerful grey matter.  For a personalised nutrition and exercise plan, click here! 

Intermittent fasting is another brain positive activity because it promotes adaptive responses in our synapses.  Intermittent fasting is not something I do yet, as I’m just getting my head and habits around a hyper-personalised diet to my genes and biometric data, but I have heard good things and I am researching benefits.  I’ve heard our body compared to a room that you keep throwing stuff into without ever tidying up. If we continue to eat without  our body finding time to process it, it accumulates and can be bad for our metabolism, toxic load and our brain.

        4. Sleep is another critical consideration to brain health

We can actually develop a sleep debt if we don’t sleep enough that can have devastating health effects.  Chronic insomnia, even disrupted or lacking sleep cycles causes brain atrophy. While we are not sleeping, we are killing off brain cells instead of promoting Neurogenesis (developing new brain cells).

Positive manipulation of my brain’s functionality has been a big part of me healing from anxiety. It has also improved my performance in my sport and helped me build relationships and my business.

Anxiety, social anxiety, depression, low mood, anger etc damage the brain. It causes negative plasticity, so our focus and effort must be on remodeling the brain through our daily experiences; actually flexing our mind muscle on a daily basis in a positive way like we would a bicep in the gym.

By doing this, we can rewire our brain to our advantage.

 

anxiety, mindset, nutrition, Uncategorized, wellness

Secrets from the World’s Top 5 Wellness Retreats

I recently led a 5 Day Self-Love Challenge in my private Facebook Group.

I felt that between my booming business, my energetic children and their social schedules, and my intensive Muay Thai training, my Self Care was lacking a bit!

Life gets like that sometimes, right?

Maintenance (or even achievement in the first place) of peace and balance is tricky and so the things that make us feel good and relaxed, that make us slow down, that make us exhale, that help us clear out our negative energy and revitalise get sacrificed.  We eat on the run, healthy diet choices slip down the priority list and we find ourselves indulging in a glass of wine, rather than a meditation to relax!

This is where luxury Wellness Retreats are cashing in.  They offer us the chance to take charge of our health with imposed self care, dedicated support and the promise of transformed health and connection to inner feelings and a new perspective.

So what can we learn from the world’s top wellness retreats?

I did some research on the leading Wellness Retreats across the world and the types of programmes you can enjoy by booking in.  Read on to discover:

  • The Healthy Ageing Women Retreat in Spain
  • The BodyScience Retreat in St Lucia
  • The Shanti Sleep Retreat in Mauritius
  • The LeFay Detoxification Retreat in Italy
  • And the Ananda Yoga and Meditation Retreat in the Himalayas

Have you ever been on a Retreat?

(Keep reading for 8 Alternatives to a Retreat for improved wellness….)

My sister-in-law just came back from a weekend one right here in New Zealand and she described feeling a million dollars at the end of the weekend.  She connected with like-minded women, she released unprocessed emotion and ate healthily and existed in peace across a weekend of what sounds like pure bliss.

So why aren’t we replicating this “bliss” in our daily lives?

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The reality is that modern day life is fast pace, high stress, highly toxic and monumentally processed.

In consequence, the progression and severity of “lifestyle” diseases is set to continue at an alarming rate. Figures for diabetes, cancers, cardiovascular diseases and more are SOARING and 80% of healthcare spending across the world is acute to take care of us once we have fallen ill.  It is our ambulance at the bottom of the cliff, so to speak.

And yet, only 10% of our wellness across our lifetime can be attributed to the HEALTHCARE we get.

Think about that for a minute.  Everywhere you look there are hospitals, doctors surgeries, people on waiting lists, people in treatment and for the majority the primary focus of their own healthcare is to seek out the advice of the medical profession when acute symptoms arise.

But across the span of our life only 10% of this acute care can be attributed to us being alive and well?

Basically, yes.  It is our genetics (30%) and our behaviour and environment, including nutrition (60%) that plays a bigger part in the outcomes we get.  Our genetics are a set piece, of course, but how we affect our genes with nutrition and our lifestyle can be attributed a whopping 60% to the wellness we experience across the span of our lives.

With that in mind, is a 5-7 day retreat enough to pick up the slack of this monumental responsibility our nutrition and lifestyle plays in keeping us well?

Do we learn enough, recover enough and change our habits enough in 5-7 days to make the investment in our health through a retreat worth it?

What value do you place on your health? 

Image result for Yoga & Meditation at at Ananda in the Himalayas

 

At the Ananda Retreat in the Himalayas you’ll pay an average US$4000 per person to rejuvenate the mind and body across 5 days; increasing clarity, relieving stress and anxiety, and potentially strengthening your immune system.

As you relax in the beautiful setting, your heart rate will slow down, your blood pressure will lower and the focus on breath will flood your system with oxygen.  It is these vital signs that are the first things a doctor checks when we wind up in hospital unwell because they give such a great indication of our body’s state, and combined together can give a picture of the threat to our health.

Do we notice these silent whispers as we go about our busy daily lives?

Our bodies have their own natural balance that is individual to each of us (your blood pressure and heart rate won’t be the same as the person next to you and we all have varying levels of insulin receptivity.)  It is these vital signs that change as we respond to stress, lack of sleep, bad diet, and lack of exercise.

When in optimal balance (maybe the imagined state of the “om” as we sit in focused meditation?) our bodies can fight off illness naturally.  It’s getting out of balance that can lead to serious consequences, including disease and a shorter lifespan. And this is a process that happens over time, not overnight.  Our lifestyle and attitude has a lot to do with this slip of balance.

To go deeper… our Mitochondria, the powerhouses of our bodies, are able to function optimally when we are in balance.  Mitochondria are part of the energy production work of our cells — our muscle cells, our brain cells — everything needs energy to function optimally, so even a minor impairment of mitochondrial function can have dramatic systemic ramifications.

The energy originally comes from the food that we eat: carbohydrates, fat, and protein. Inside our stomach and intestines, enzymes break down our food into small molecules like glucose and pass them to the cells around our bodies. Inside our cells, these molecules pass into our Mitochondria where they extract energy from the molecules so that our cells can use it.

This is done by burning the molecules; reacting them with oxygen. About 95 percent of the oxygen that we breathe goes to our Mitochondria, and when we burn the molecules with oxygen, the energy that is released is trapped in a currency that cells can use (for example, to contract a muscle) and this energy currency is called ATP (adenosine triphosphate).

Mitochondria are essential for keeping cells alive. If we deprive the brain or heart of oxygen, like in a stroke or a heart attack, a major cause of damage is that oxygen is no longer going to the Mitochondria. When there’s a lack of oxygen in Mitochondria, they stop working, and the cells die. A growing body of research is implicating mitochondrial dysfunction as a root cause in a wide spectrum of metabolic, lifestyle and degenerative diseases including: Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Autism, Cancer, Diabetes, Alzheimer’s, Fibromyalgia and potentially many more.  These Mitochondria are essential to our human survival at the most basic level, but they are seriously suffering in our modern environment.

So, as our vital signs slip – our oxygen sats drop, for example – our risk factors for chronic diseases increase and accrue.

71% of the diseases that are killing us annually are within our scope of “control” to avoid.  Cardiovascular disease is at the top of this list.  The heart has high energy demands and 35% of the volume of cardiac muscles cells is taken up by mitochondria.

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At the Lefay Resort & SPA, Lago di Garda, Italy, you can detox your heart out for US$3000… 

 

It’s true, our ancient Mitochondria simply cannot cope with the amount of environmental toxins our bodies face off against on a daily basis – from the food we eat,  the medicines we take, the air we breathe, and the chemicals we apply on our body. The lack of quality nutrients in the modern processed diet also challenges our Mitochondria, reducing their function and increasing Mitochondrial damage.

free-radicals

Unhealthy lifestyle habits, bad diet and ‘toxic load’ show up as raised blood pressure, imbalanced blood sugar and weight gain.  We don’t seem to have the time to notice these clues as we are rushing through life, but is a 5 day Detoxification Retreat enough to cleanse your body of all that challenges it?

One of the best ways to improve Mitochondrial health is through sustained dietary changes.  On a positive note you’ll get a nutritional consultation and prescription of special diet as part of your stay at LeFay.

Nutrition is the foundation and basis of good health.

The appropriate diet for you can assist in the prevention of many common 21st century chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, neurodegenerative diseases, and cancer.  We essentially pass what we eat to our Mitochondria, so they can make ATP. Having too many nutrients—too much fat, too many carbohydrates or protein coming in—causes extensive damage to the cell and the Mitochondria itself.

What’s for sure though is that the more we know about our body, the more empowered we are to ACT.

sleepSleep at Shanti Maurice (Mauritius)

Sleep is another really important factor for health, and in 2013 (the last year measured by Gallup), the average American slept 6.8 hours a night—with 40 percent banking less than six hours.  New research reveals that children who fall short by just one hour per night have a higher risk of developing Type 2 diabetes!

To understand how much is enough sleep to allow our bodies to rejuvenate, refresh and function at our best, watch this video.  Sleep influences how we think, eat, concentrate and it affects our mood, hormones and immune system.  Getting adequate sleep limits unhealthy food cravings, improves low mood and fatigue, and helps us to avoid chronic diseases!

So how do we discover what nutrition is right for us?

Image result for BodyScience at BodyHoliday (St Lucia)BodyScience at BodyHoliday, (St Lucia) offers DNA testing, comprehensive body analysis and a tailor-made wellness plan using your unique genetic information.

I am a MASSIVE fan of this type of Personalised Wellness.  For me, the discovery of my ideal macronutrient composition and exercise ratio (between strength and endurance) has been life-changing.  My physique has completely changed and I have reversed auto-immune disease. I am also no longer intolerant to certain foods and at the best weight and health of my life!  I’m also confident I’m supplementing what I need to at the right doses and nothing over and above, or lacking.  My energy has been significantly boosted, my body is able to work at its optimum and even my mind feels healthier.

BodyScience at BodyHoliday will set you back US$6000 for a 5 day trip.  Find out how I maintain the same outcomes for just US$3/day here.

Image result for Healthy Ageing Women at SHA Wellness Clinic (Spain)Finally, we have the Healthy Ageing Women Retreat at the SHA Wellness Clinic in Spain. This retreat will set you back US$10k and promises to take away your fear of ageing, as well as provide support to adjust with the changes in your body to preserve youthfulness and vitality. 

But, what makes us age?

In a study of more than 2,000 women, those who had the lowest vitamin D levels showed the greatest signs of biological ageing.

The most reliable measures of a person’s age are telomeres; the lengths of the genetic material that cap the free ends of DNA in a cell.  With age, the telomeres shorten and the DNA becomes more unstable until eventually the cell dies.  The study found that those with the highest vitamin levels had significantly longer telomeres – equivalent to 5 years of normal ageing.

Vitamin D has also been shown to have a positive effect on age-related diseases, like heart disease and cancer.

So what else can extend your life? Exercise has been proven to lengthen telomeres (so I should be alright!) and some cells have the ability to reverse telomere shortening by expressing telomerase.  Telomerase is an enzyme that extends the telomeres of chromosomes. Meditation has been shown to increase telomerase.

So what is it going to be?  An ambulance at the bottom of the cliff to take you to your much needed/deserved wellness retreat or some much needed, really simple lifestyle changes personalised to you?

Here are a few facts to help you make your decision…

  • Doctors don’t have time for us
  • Chronic diseases that we can control are killing us
  • Guessing what diet or exercise plan is right for us costs time, money and a lot of frustration
  • Our bodies metabolise differently depending on our genotype
  • Understanding our genetic blueprint can help us identify how our body will respond to different diets – whether protein will increase muscle tone, whether low carb will affect hormones or blood sugar negatively, for example
  • If we eat to our genetic metabolism we shouldn’t need to diet and struggle with willpower/hunger.  We can target food choices better, improve our eating habits, eat in the right portions and stick consistently to a habit that is going to serve us for a lifetime
  • Getting your diet right can help your body get back into a natural state of balance, improve your immune system (80% of the immune system is in our gut) and avoid chronic disease
  • A few tweaks in mindset can help you give yourself the self care you deserve and time management skills that serve your stress levels and anxiety.

8 Alternatives to a Wellness Retreat

  • Unprocess your diet
    • Go back to wholefoods and if you have to eat processed food, stick to foods with less than 5 ingredients that your grandma would recognize!  This will help prevent the need for detox.
  • Go chemical free
    • Use essential oils to replace chemical cleaners, perfumes and skincare over things our body doesn’t know how to process.  This will support mitochondrial health!  (Don’t forget EMFs)
  • Consider this
    • Our genes naturally have spelling mistakes that predispose us to certain health problems, but our lifestyle and environmental factors pull the trigger.  We can literally avoid activating faulty genes.  It’s called Epigenetics.
  • Hydration
    • Get at least 8 glasses of water a day.  Consider downloading an app that can remind you when to drink and how much.
  • Breathing
    • Many people do not breathe very well, especially people who have suffered chronic stress.  This can have negative health effects.  Go deeper at this blog…
  • Investigate Intermittent fasting
    • Eat food in a 12 hour window – it’s good for our brain and body!
  • Eat lots of colours for phytonutrients
    • Eat at least 4 portions of vegetables a day and make sure they are colourful
  • Consider tracking your blood sugar
    • How our body responds to sugar is significantly important to our long-term health. Blood Sugar levels are integral to weight loss and a factor in over 100 diseases!  It’s important to note the distinction that blood sugar problems are the symptom of T2 diabetes, not the cause.  The cause is insulin resistance that builds over years.
anxiety, gratitude, mindset, Uncategorized, wellness

My Remedy for Anxious Feelings

Now that I am not drowning in anxious feelings every day and have the space in my mind to approach anxiety more rationally, I am able to implement a really cool tool for making anxious feelings go away…

(If you are drowning in anxious feelings, i.e. feeling anxiety every day, this tool likely won’t work for you, but click here for something that will)

Often when we feel anxious there is something completely different that we are feeling underneath, we just haven’t given ourselves the time to feel that original emotion and process it.  We process emotions by experiencing them and choosing whether they require more action to resolve them.  However, how we live today is too fast paced for this sort of consideration!  Everybody is in a rush and busy.

So this emotion instead builds up and will be joined by other repressed emotions until all of a sudden you’re bubbling inside with this emotional boil up that makes you feel like you are going to throw it all up.  This frenetic emotion puts your body into sympathetic overdrive (fight or flight) – it’s on edge waiting to respond to whatever’s got you so on edge!  The blood rushes from your gut to your limbs and your digestion goes to shit, your mind can’t focus and your focus goes into lock down while your whole being commits to survive.  And at this point we often keep going because we still don’t stop and take action to feel the emotions we have repressed (or we numb them temporarily with alcohol, drugs or even sex) and this is where mild anxious feelings downspin into chronic anxiety disorder.

So here is a really simple action you can take.

Ask yourself, what am I really feeling?  And list the things out:

  • fear
  • out of control
  • love
  • overwhelm

The list can be as long or as short as you need.

Now interrogate the reasons for the feelings you have:

  • Too much work on
  • Some worry over something real
  • Uncertainty regarding a situation
  • Fear of loss, rejection, failure, success!

Now we are getting somewhere!  We can work with this.  We can take action.

  • We can spend some time thinking about what we are actually working towards and identify the priority actions to get us there fastest
  • We can figure out how to resolve our worry or make a decision whether it is worth our energy to worry at all (if it isn’t that thing can take a walk)
  • We can utilise gratitude so uncertainty (or any other negative emotion) is replaced
  • We can identify the beliefs driving the fear and whether they actually serve us.  We can always create new beliefs that work better for us.

Ultimately, personal development, goal setting, action planning and inner work will always be powerful in overcoming anxious feelings because they give us the control back.  We can’t get to where we want to go in the passenger seat of the car.  We have to take the steering wheel and drive!

Have you ever been a passenger in a car where the driver is scaring the life out of you?  That’s what is happening in your mind!  Negative thoughts and negative feelings buzzing around are like a white knuckle rollercoaster for your brain and it does what it knows best instinctively – it steers you away from pain – it alerts your nervous system that the shit is about to go down, so prepare to fight or run!  But when we take control of our thoughts and put action into place that restores order our nervous system can’t help but calm.

Breathing will support this process.  Contact me for a really simple anxiety breathing technique I learned that beats anxious feelings every time!  (Please just specify in the comments that it’s the breathing exercise you are seeking.)

Hope this helps!

Much love if you are feeling anxious.  It is an awful thing to battle, but I can help you overcome the battle for good. Click here to learn more