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Stress part 3- My top 10 tools for better management

STRESS SUCKS! There I said it! Image result for free image of stress
I thought I never really suffered much with stress, but that’s the thing with some stressors, we can have it as a constant low lying level that just simmers away in the background, then eventually you wake up one day and feel overwhelmingly exhausted and have to force yourself to just stop, breathe and rejuvenate.
As an ex-busy rushing woman with a type ‘A’ personality and a ‘doing’ attitude (can you guess this was my big stress driver?), over the years, I have actively put daily practices and strategies in place to keep these levels at bay. Which for the most part has been very successful. But sometimes life throughs you curve balls.
These curve balls can throw you for six and leave you reeling, which has been something that I have been dealing with over the last several months. A big life curve ball! The thing that has surprised me the most, is I thought I was keeping everything under control, but then my body and mind went into ‘freeze’ response and I felt overwhelmed, unable to think clearly, stuck and almost powerless.
Big stressors and trauma can do this to you…..

Instead of accepting this, I let it frustrate me, as I just wanted to get on with it, but I couldn’t, which only added to my bodies stress response ( remember adrenaline and cortisol?) and created a lot of unnecessary anxiety within (hello, perception of added pressure!)
So the vicious cycle began!
But the moment I decided to just surrender to it all, that to accept so much was out of my control, then to get clear on what it was I could control and do, this then helped me regain the strength to move forward. Remember we can cannot control what others do, think or say, we can only control how we reacted to them or show up in the world.

So I’ve been working through things, accepting that it’s OK to feel this way, it doesn’t mean I have to like it, but fighting it is NOT helping. I’m ok, and I am well and truly on track to regaining my strength and grounding.
To paraphrase from the opening paragraph of ‘The Road Less Travelled’ by M Scott Peck-
“Life is difficult – once we truly understand and accept it – then life is no longer difficult.”

The tips I want to share with you below are tools that have worked for me. I do hope something here resonates with you and as I always say, find what works for you and take one step at a time.

So here is what works for me:

1. Diaphramic breathing and meditation- Taking deep diaphramic breathes can be one of the simplest yet most powerful tools to can do for your health, yet it’s something we don’t give enough credit too. Take notice of your breath- is it all up in your chest? Is it short and sharp? Do you often feel breathless? Do you find yourself holding your breath? If you are not breathing correctly and not getting enough oxygen and blood circulating all around your body, this will keep your body in the constant state of stress and a huge depleted of energy. Take deep belly breaths, diaphramically.

Meditation is a practice that I have been doing for many years now, but not without its challenges. I thought you had to be all serene and your mind empty. The minute I learnt this is not the case, you can’t control your thoughts, just breathing into them and quieting them, this all changed for me. I will share my favourite meditation apps and resources with you next week.

2. Yoga- preferably restorative/yin. High impact exercise will only aggravate and already stress body, so gentle yoga has helped me keep my blood and muscles moving, stimulating my organs and giving me the feeling of being grounded and strong. You can google free yoga session online or go to a class. Look for Yin or Restorative yoga.

3. Seeking support– For me, talking with trusted loved ones, lots of hugs and having someone by my side (big shout out to my amazing hubby….Love you!). I’m a talker, so this has been essential for me to talk it out. Also I have an amazing Reiki healer who has been helping me shift any negative energy that my body has been holding onto. I have considered counselling but feel I am on track to recovery, but if you need to seek this help, please do. Lifeline is a free and wonderful support for anyone in need. You can call 131114.

4. Chiropractor– you may be thinking, “What?” Many postures and defensive tensions arise from anxiety and stress. Stress of a psychological or emotional nature can produce marked changes in the muscular-skeletal system, profoundly influencing the overall functioning of the body. My jaw, neck and shoulders have been extremely tense, especially my jaw overnight (bad dreams!) and my lower base spine. There are many great Chiropractors and Osteopath who get the whole holistic experience on the body and I am lucky to have a wonderful practitioner who understands this.

Check out SD Protocol here; http://www.sdprotocol.com.au/

5. Remove/ minimise stimulants– I don’t drink coffee, never have, so coffee has not been an issue for me, but alcohol or whatever your choice of stimulant could be, will only drive your body to produce more stress. Now I know you can often look for these things during challenging times, to either give you energy( caffeine) or numb your thoughts (hello ½ bottle of wine a night!), but I can assure you, long term, it is only adding to the effects of stress, not subsiding it. So no wine or vodka for me!

6. Sleep– This has been challenging at times, but I have been using a strong dose of an herbal remedy and really making sleep as much of a priority as I can. Meditation and restorative yoga have helped with this, also the 4-7-8 breath I shared with you in my first post and making sure I’m tucked up in bed nice and early and no social media at night.

7. Self-care– Nice long baths, walks, trips to the seaside, no matter what the weather (I do love being in or by water, the calming effects this gives me is profound.) Resting my body when I can rather than pushing through. Lots of cuddles and kisses with my daughter/hubby and reading or gardening. This is what works for me- do what works for you.

8. Scale back & simplify– All my clients will contest to this strategy! When you’re overwhelmed emotionally, physically or perceptively, then just scale back your life as much as possible. This will give you the space and time to simply breathe. Don’t be afraid to say No or cancel/reschedule if you have to. Just remove overwhelm and listen to what you body and soul needs.

9. Eat as healthy as possible– I have had many moments of not feeling hungry at all, which is HUGE for me, I love my food but I know my body on a cellular level needs energy and the only way it can receive this is by eating real food, so no junk food or takeaway, doesn’t have to be fancy or much, just simple and real.

10. Removing any negativity from my life that I can control– this includes watching/reading the news- filled with such negative images and stories! Minimising or avoiding social media and any negative people or situations that I can in my life.

These are tools and strategies that are helping and have helped me over the years. I’m not saying this will all work for you, but if you are going though stressful times, then try one or some of the tools that resonate with you. For anyone going though or has experienced any kind of trauma, make sure you seek the help you need. Going through difficult times doesn’t mean you need to go it alone. There is wonderful support our there and I encourage you to be courageous and seek this support out.

Next week I will share with you just what some of these supports and resources are. But until then, please stay happy, healthy and grounded!

 

Wicked Asian Spiced Chicken

This super quick and mega tasty marinade on this chicken I completely made up on the spot, with what I had in the fridge and cupboard. It was such a success with my family and so yummy, I thought I had to just share it with you.

In fact, this chicken was destined to be made into a whole other dish, ( I menu plan!) but on getting closer to cooking time, I changed my mind and decided to cut up the whole chicken I had into 10 pieces and whip up a marinade using what herbs I had and a few spices from the pantry.

The best part was, it took less than 5 minutes to whip up the marinade, then approx. 30-40 minutes to cook the chicken in a hot oven. While the chicken was cooking, I then whipped up a quick fried rice with some leftover brown rice that was in the fridge and some chopped up veggies.

Winning!!

I like to call this my Wicked Asian Spiced Chicken. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

Wicked Asian Spiced Chicken
Print Recipe
it takes less than 5 minutes to whip up the marinade, then approx. 30-40 minutes to cook the chicken in a hot oven. Mega Tasty and Mega Quick!
Servings Prep Time
8-10 People 5 minutes
Cook Time
30-40 minutes
Servings Prep Time
8-10 People 5 minutes
Cook Time
30-40 minutes
Wicked Asian Spiced Chicken
Print Recipe
it takes less than 5 minutes to whip up the marinade, then approx. 30-40 minutes to cook the chicken in a hot oven. Mega Tasty and Mega Quick!
Servings Prep Time
8-10 People 5 minutes
Cook Time
30-40 minutes
Servings Prep Time
8-10 People 5 minutes
Cook Time
30-40 minutes
Ingredients
  • 1 tbs sesame oil
  • 1 tbs Tamari ( or Soy Sauce)
  • 2 cm Fresh ginger, grated
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic, grated
  • 1/2 cup Fresh corriander, chopped
  • 1 tsp ground corriander powder
  • 1 tsp Tumeric powder or freshly grated
  • 1/2 tsp Chinese Five Spice
  • 1 Whole chicken cut into 10 pieces * you can have your buthcer do this for you, or you can purchase your pieces already prepared.
Servings: People
Instructions
  1. Place all your ingredients into a small mini blender or mini processor. Blitz till well minced and blended.
  2. Add your marinade to your chicken pieces, toss and mix well. You can either place in hot oven straight away or else marinade for any where from an hour to overnight.
  3. Once you have covered your chicken with the marinade, place in a hot oven, 200C and roast on a rack over a baking tray for 30-40 minutes. The cooking time will depend on the size of your chicken pieces.
  4. Once cooked, you can serve with any of the following sides; Steamed Greens Stir Fry Vegetables Vegetable Fried Rice
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Stress Part 2- What’s really going on in your body?

Image result for Free image of a woman under stress

In todays post on stress, I will discuss;

  • What is really going on in your body
  • Stress v’s trauma
  • What is the flight or fight response? What is the freeze or flop response?

Stress comes in all shapes and sizes. Sometimes it’s brief and passes, sometimes it’s low level but constant, sometimes it’s there but you are not aware of it, sometimes it’s chronic and other times it’s intense. Whatever or however it appears in your life, it all plays out the same way in your body and that is by the release of stress hormones, adrenalin and cortisol.

The one thing that is very clear is that when experiencing stress for long periods of time or of great intensity, the way it manifests in your body, mind and spirit, it can have a major impact on your health.

Let’s consider the impact that the stress can lead to in terms of our health and wellbeing?
• Adrenal fatigue
• Anxiety
• Thyroid issues and sex hormone imbalance (including PMT, debilitating menopause etc)
• Digestive issues
• Depleted immunity
• Unexplained weight gain or weight loss
• Poor sleep
• Constant fatigue
• Mood swings
• Blood pressure
• Cardiovascular
• Overall emotional wellbeing
• Headaches
• Feeling overwhelmed
• Lowering concentration
• Auto immune disease
• Increase of muscle tension and chronic pain
• Diminishes brain and liver function
The list can go on.

Now I don’t mean to scare you or overwhelm you here, this is not my intention, just too simply point out how important the management of this is.

We all have daily stressors. These can be;
• Pressure from your job
• Juggling family life
• Relationship issues
• Financial pressures
• An overwhelming ‘to do’ list
• Too busy
• Renovating/moving/selling a home
• Stuck in bad traffic
And much more…..

These are life issues that we all face, no matter what your situation is and it can be more often than not, about the juggle of life. This can often present itself as constant low to moderate lying stress levels. It can also be more about the perception of pressure, rather than actual reality that contributes to these levels.

What do I mean by this?
For example, the overwhelming to do list, is really just a list, not a real life threatening situation. If the beds don’t get made, or the 300 emails don’t get an immediate response from you, does it really matter? OR If you’re stuck in traffic and going to be late for work or that appointment, there is absolutely nothing you can do about it in that moment and the stress you place on yourself is not serving you or anyone for the better, now is it? These are called our perceptions of pressure!

Then, there are traumatic events that occur in your life that can challenge you in ways you can’t even imagine nor prepare yourself for. These events can elevate your stress levels and coping mechanisms to a whole other level. This could be;
• A death or serious illness of a loved one
• An accident/injury to you or a loved one
• Major conflict/dispute
• Marriage/relationship breakdown
• Threat or harm
• Witnessing a traumatic event
Or more….

Now if this is you, if you have been through a trauma of some sort, it is important you seek help from a qualified professional and receive the support you need. Stress from trauma is difficult and challenging to overcome and there are many great resources that can assist you. I will share some of these in a later post.

So what is really going on in my body?
I touched on last week about the Autonomic Nervous System and what are our body’s biochemical responses. I will try not to bore you with too much science, but just to help you understand how your amazing body works, when under stress. This can help you take steps to regain control and calm your system down.
Your central nervous system (CNS) is in charge of your “fight or flight” response. In your brain, the hypothalamus gets the ball rolling, telling your adrenal glands to release the stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol. These hormones rev up your heartbeat and send blood away from some organs and your digestive system ( hello stress and digestive issues!), then it rushes to the areas that need it most in an emergency, such as your muscles, heart, and other important organs.

We often hear a lot about the flight or fight response, when talking about stress, but there is also the Freeze or Flop, response.

What is Freeze or flop? – If we are unable to flee or fight the stressor (especially if it is an emotional experience within us) our bodies begin to shut down and collapse. This can leave you reeling and stuck in a situation you feel hopeless or unable to break out of.
For anyone who is going through or has been through any kind of stress or trauma, then your journey and process through this is deeply personal. These blog posts are not for diagnosis or to replace any kind of therapy or treatment but simply a guide to deeper understanding of what stress actually is, and direct you to better management, either through strategies or resources that can help. For more information or support, speak with your doctor, who can recommend and refer to an appropriate practitioner.

Next week I would love to share with you, just what I personally am doing and how this has helped me through challenging times but for today, I would like to finish with sharing my very simple one minute grounding technique, that like last week’s technique, can be done anywhere, anytime, is almost instant and FREE!
Here’s what you do;
Look around you. Take a deep diaphramic breath. Then;
• Find 5 things you can see
• 4 things you can touch
• 3 things you can hear
• 2 things you can smell
• 1 thing you can taste.
This is called ‘grounding’. It can help you when you feel overwhelmed and you’re losing control of your surroundings. It will bring you back into the present and help you feel in control.

Until next time, stay happy, healthy and grounded x

Image result for free image of grounding

 

STRESS…a blog series on the effects it has on your health

STRESS…what does it look like?
The subject of ‘stress’ is the most consistent topic that comes up in my coaching practice and let’s be honest, with a lot of people everywhere these days. This series of posts I am writing is not only a deeply personal one but one I hope will bring you or someone you know a level of understanding and guidance in the management of this. We all experience it at some point and for many these days, it is constantly simmering away, under the surface and often, you are not even aware of its insidious existence! For others, you may experience a traumatic event in your life, which you can be acutely aware of the role this stress is placing on you.

I am someone who is a HUGE believer in the absolute importance of managing your stress. In fact, I would even goes as far as saying I believe it to be my number 1 health rule! Now this does to mean I am immune to it, and I don’t feel completely Zen and grounded all day every day…not at all. It is a constant working progress but I totally believe that if you don’t make this management a priority and if stress is playing a role in your life, then, the negative impact this has on your health and wellbeing can be significant and no of amount organic quinoa and kale will fix this! I hear a lot from clients, that they are rushed, stressed, exhausted and so on, but yet many are unwilling to address the elephant in the room and make the changes in your life to take back control, so I encourage you to be brave and start the process of positive management, as your health, happiness and wellbeing will thank you in millions for it!

I have shared with you recently that I am going through a deeply personal, traumatic and stressful time in my life. This event has affected me in ways that has been challenging, frustrating and life changing. I am not here to talk about the details of my life, nor am I in a position to share these details, but what I would love to do over this month, is share this series on stress and explore not only the impact it can have on your health, but also share with you tools and resources that have not only helped me, but my clients and friends who have seek my guidance in this area.

One thing I know for sure, is that no matter who, what, where, when or why, stress plays a role in our day to day lives on some level and each situation is unique and each journey through this is personal.

Image result for free image of good stress
GOOD STRESS? Is there such a thing?

Stress is defined by the way your mind and body prepare to successfully meet challenges and demands. It can help you cope with potentially serious situations.
Good stress -gives you energy and focus
– drives you to become more skilled, confident, competent & resilient
BAD STRESS…
Is when we activate our sympathetic nervous system (which is part of our autonomic nervous system) for too long. Our bodies release the hormones adrenaline and cortisol, which increase your heart and breathing rates and ready your muscles to respond.
Yet if your stress response doesn’t stop firing, and these levels stay elevated far longer than is necessary for survival, it can take a toll on your health. Anything you perceive as any kind of threat to your body or life, will create a defensive reaction of tension in your body and this tension must then be released.

But for today, I want to leave you with this simple strategy that I learnt during my studies, it is called the 4-7-8 breath. This technique, by Dr Andrew Weil, is so simple and can be used wherever and whenever you need it. The best part of all is it is instant and free!
Now I’m not going to say this technique will remove all your stressors or change your life, it is just a coping strategy that you can put in your tool box.
I will explain in more detail in a later post about the importance of diaphramic breathing, but for today, just know that to deeply breath- breathing in, your belly should rise and breathing out your belly goes down, this is diaphramic breathing and something so essential to your health, it’s not funny!

So the technique goes like this;
1. Sit comfortably on a chair or couch or lie down, if possible. Close your eyes and find a position you can be comfortable in, let go of any tension you are feeling.
2. Take 3 deep breaths in and out.
3. Then, through your nose, breathe in for 4 counts. Make sure your belly in going up, not in.( this will activate your diaphragm)
4. Hold your breath for 7 counts.
5. Then exhale, through your mouth slowly for 8 counts, whilst making a whoosh sound.
6. This is one breath. Now inhale again and repeat the cycle three more times for a total of four rounds.
The absolute time you spend on each phase is not important; the ratio of 4:7:8 is important. If you have trouble holding your breath, speed the exercise up but keep to the ratio of 4:7:8 for the four rounds. With practice you can slow it all down and get used to inhaling and exhaling more and more deeply.

Once you develop this breathing technique by practicing it every day, twice a day or more, it will be a very useful tool that you will always have with you. Use it;
• Whenever anything upsetting happens – before you react.
• Use it whenever you are aware of internal tension.
• When you feel overwhelmed.
• Use it to help you fall asleep.
• Use it to deal with food cravings.
• Great for mild to moderate anxiety, this exercise cannot be recommended too highly. Everyone can benefit from it.

“When the breath wanders the mind also is unsteady. But when the breath is calmed the mind too will be still, and the yogi achieves long life. Therefore, one should learn to control the breath”. ~Svatmarama, Hatha Yoga Pradipika

Over the next few weeks, I will explore and share with you;
• What is the flight or fight response? What is the freeze or flop response?
• The health impact on our physical and emotional wellbeing
• My top 10 stress management techniques
• Stress versus trauma
• Helping a loved one, no matter how young or old, through difficult times
• Resources that will help you with stress management

If you know someone who is going through a stressful time, please feel free to share these posts or have them subscribe to my newsletter.
Until next time, stay happy, healthy and grounded!

Chorizo, Pumpkin and Kale Fritatta

It’s the weekend or your home late from work/activities. You don’t feel like cooking much but you don’t want to eat take away food. This simple and quick frittata takes minutes to prepare, pop in the oven then cook for approx. 20minutes and a delish diner is served….Problem solved!

The good thing about frittata’s is you can make them for breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner, use almost any vegetables and/or proteins and is always super quick to make. It’s my lazy go to meal and a great way to use up leftover veggies that are lurking in your fridge.

I often buy some chorizo sausages and freeze them individually, so I can just grab one, slice and place in a frittata or even on a pizza. YUM!

This Frittata was inspired by Donna Hay and used leftover roast pumpkin that was in the fridge.

Chorizo, Pumpkin and Kale Fritatta
Print Recipe
The good thing about frittata's is you can make them for breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner, use almost any vegetables and/or proteins and is always super quick to make. It's my lazy go to meal and a great way to use up leftover veggies that are lurking in your fridge.
Servings Prep Time
4 People 5 minutes
Cook Time
20-25 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 People 5 minutes
Cook Time
20-25 minutes
Chorizo, Pumpkin and Kale Fritatta
Print Recipe
The good thing about frittata's is you can make them for breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner, use almost any vegetables and/or proteins and is always super quick to make. It's my lazy go to meal and a great way to use up leftover veggies that are lurking in your fridge.
Servings Prep Time
4 People 5 minutes
Cook Time
20-25 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 People 5 minutes
Cook Time
20-25 minutes
Ingredients
  • 1 cup diced pumpkin this can be raw or previsouly been roasted.
  • 1 cup Chopped Kale
  • 1/2 Red onion, sliced
  • 1 chorizo sausage, thinnly sliced
  • 6 eggs, whisked use free range and or organic eggs.
  • 1/4 cup Goats feta, crumbled * this is optional
Servings: People
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 200 C.
  2. Roughly chop all your ingredients and place in an oven proof pan or dish. Whisk your eggs, well and pour over your ingredients in your pan/dish.
  3. Place in hot oven for 20-25 minutes till well cooked through. * to make more, double recipe and you have some breakfast or lunch leftover for next day or 2.
  4. I like to serve mine with a lovely green salad on the side. Simple, delish and nutrish!
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Hangin’ with your peeps!’ Can spending time with your friends, improve your health?

Image result for Free image of girlfriends hanging outCan spending time with your friends, improve your health?….Most definitely! Good friends are good for your health.

The key here, is GOOD friends…More on this later in the post.

Friends can help you celebrate good times and provide support during bad times. Friends prevent loneliness and give you a chance to offer needed companionship, too. Friends can also:

  • Increase your sense of belonging and purpose
  • Boost your happiness and reduce your stress
  • Improve your self-confidence and self-worth
  • Help you cope with traumas, such as divorce, serious illness, job loss, the death of a loved one, etc.
  • Encourage you to change or avoid unhealthy lifestyle habits.

I am blessed to have some truly wonderful friendships in my life and last weekend, I had the pleasure of a weekend away with two of my closest. I wrote recently about the huge amount of stress I have been under, so you could only imagine how much I was looking forward to this weekend, not only a break from this, but to get away from the Groundhog Day and responsibilities of life, even though I love my family to bits, we all need a break sometimes, don’t we? But to just hang out with these amazing women who LOVE a chat and truly accept each other, for who we are.

And it didn’t disappoint!

We visited Daylesford (Victoria) which is a perfect place to sit around a warm cosy house, in your most comfortable clothes (ie; PJ’s) and chat, discuss, analyize, laugh, chat and discuss some more, all this over some slow grazing yummy food and a glass or three of wine…. You get the picture?Image result for Free image of girlfriends hanging out

Now don’t get me wrong, I accept that this is not everyone’s cup of tea, sitting around talking all weekend but my point is just hanging out with your ‘peeps’, just being you in a relaxed and positive environment, can only be good for the soul, no matter where or what you are doing.

If you have ever read the book and research about the ‘Blue Zones’, by Dan Buettner and the National Geographic, (you can watch his TED talk here) which explored the healthiest, oldest living communities in the world, then the research tells us that not only diet and exercise play a role in longevity, but human connections and lifestyle was just as important, if not the most important. This is what, in my practice I call primary foods.

Adults with strong social support have a reduced risk of many significant health problems, including depression, high blood pressure and an unhealthy body mass index (BMI). Studies even found that older adults with a rich social life are likely to live longer than their peers with fewer connections.

Put simply, Friendships and human connections enrich your life and improve your health.

But we can also have negative friendships and relationships. These relationships have a negative impact on your health and wellbeing. You need to acknowledge who these people are in your lives and either find ways to place boundaries or choose to walk away from them, if you can. I focus on these very things in my coaching practice, guiding you to find ways to implement boundaries, where and when needed.

But for now, for me, I feel rejuvenated, not only for a relaxing weekend away, but to spend quality time with some of my girlfriends. I know that in our busy, hectic lives, you often put these ‘catch up’s’ whether it’s just a coffee, dinner, weekend away or whatever it is, on hold or the back burner. But if you have close friends or loved ones in your life and ‘busy’ is the reason why you’re not spending time with them,  then you owe it to yourself and your health to connect, it doesn’t have to be a weekend away, just spend time and hang with your ‘peeps’!

I’m sure glad I did!

Tell me how do you like spending time with your closest friends? Or is your busy life getting in the way of this?

Hearty Sausage, Bean and Vegetable Soup

It’s still winter here in Melbourne and although a little sunshine is appearing this week, as the cold night air sets in, I’m still looking for comfort food and this hearty winter soup, certainly fit the bill.

It’s a hearty, warming,  filling meal in a bowl and full of nutritious ingredients. The best part is it also economical and super quick to make. Ticks all round!

 

Hearty Sausage, Bean and Vegetable Soup
Print Recipe
It's a hearty, warming,  filling meal in a bowl and full of nutritious ingredients. The best part is it also economical and quick to make. Ticks all round!
Servings Prep Time
4 People 15 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 People 15 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Hearty Sausage, Bean and Vegetable Soup
Print Recipe
It's a hearty, warming,  filling meal in a bowl and full of nutritious ingredients. The best part is it also economical and quick to make. Ticks all round!
Servings Prep Time
4 People 15 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 People 15 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Ingredients
  • 3 Good quality Pork sausages
  • 1 Brown Onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 Fennel bulb, thinly sliced
  • 1 carrot, finely diced
  • 1 parsnip, finely diced
  • 1 turnip, finely diced
  • 1 can Cannellini Beans, well drained & rinsed
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic, grated
  • 1 litre quality chicken stock
  • 1 Tbs Tomato Paste
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 4 stalks of Silver beet or Kale, finely sliced
Servings: People
Instructions
  1. Slice and dice up all your vegetables. In a saucepan, heat your oil and sauté your onion and fennel, till soften. Add in your crushed garlic and lightly fry.
  2. Once your onion, fennel and garlic are lightly cooked, add in your chicken stock and tomato paste. Stir well and bring to the boil.
  3. Add in all vegetables, except your sliver beet or kale. Simmer for 15 minutes till tender.
  4. Grab your sausages, remove the casing and add in small pieces of sausage to your soup mix. It will look like little meatballs. Add in your well drained and rinsed tin of cannellini beans. Cook for a further few minutes, then add in your sliver beet/kale for another 3-5minutes. Season if required. Serve! It's that simple.
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My first published article!

I was recently asked by the editor of a wonderful hairdressing magazine, called ‘Modern Salon’   to be interviewed for an article, all about my journey from hairdressing to health coaching. I said, SURE…

YAY FOR ME!

You can click here to read it…..

I have talked about my personal health journey before, but it was interesting to talk about this in terms of hairdressing and the health and wellbeing issues that this industry face.

 

The hair and beauty industry is notorious for not supporting healthy habits and most working in busy salons have a tendency to;

  • Work long stressful hours
  • Standing all day and holding our bodies in ‘awkward’ positions
  • Not taking breaks
  • Eating on the run
  • Giving and pleasing our clients with our time and energy.
  • Exposing ourselves and breathing in chemicals all day long.

So it was good not only for me to reflect on the health and lifestyles changes I have made in my life, to minimise the impact on these above challenges, but to also have the opportunity to share this information with others in the industry and hope that this may have an influence on their own health and wellbeing.

You can read the article here and I hope you enjoy it. It was an honour and privilege to asked.

I hope you enjoy it?

 

 

Do we hand over responsibilty of our health?

This morning I stopped into my local health food outlet, while I was out walking and had an interesting chat with the naturopath who works there. Now this is not an unusual happening for me, as I love a chat ( hello, nearly 30 years of hairdressing!!) but as we got talking about what we both do now and health and wellbeing in general, she said to me that as humans, we often delegate responsibility out to other when it comes to our health. 

We want the quick fix, for someone to make the decision for us and are unwilling to do the work on ourselves in order to make positive changes in our health and wellbeing or they feel they have no other options available to them.

Most people don’t want to change their habits until forced to do so. In other words, they are willing to gamble with their health, hoping to beat the odds.

For example, we may know deep down that a certain food we eat consistently does not agree with our digestion, but we keep eating it, because we like the taste, it’s convenient or its simply a habit. To actually stop eating this particular troublesome food, just seems a difficult task. But if we went to a Doctor who said, “oh, I have a pill for that”, we say ” write the script!”! Yet by simply removing the offending food, will minimise inflammation in our bodies and inflammation is the precursor to many, many diseases and ailments.

Now, as a health coach, I hear this a lot, that people are really interested in what I do, say they really need to do this but are unwilling to do the work. Time, money, work, kids, dogs, cat, ‘responsibilities’ all get in the way of why they can’t make change. I get it, we are all really busy and life often gets in the way of doing what we really want or need to do. We feel like sometimes, to look after our health is just another decision to make and it just seems too much.

I was like this for many years, but what became apparent to me, after years of my body whispering to me, then it got louder, then screaming at me when my health really deteriorated was, when I was trying to seek help was these 3 things;

  1. Not all doctors and practitioners are the same and don’t always have the answers-  Doctors are only human, after all. Not only do they make mistakes: Sometimes, they have very different opinions from one another.
  2. That I am the only one who can change my life, no one else.
  3. That if you know something is not right, if you don’t feel right, chances are, there is something not right, so KEEP ASKING THE QUESTION! No matter what the doctors and tests say.

The bottom line: It is YOUR body and YOUR health. Speak up for yourself! Do the work!!

As I said above, your bodies whispers to you all the time, sending your signals to let you know, there is something a miss. But most of us leave it to the point of screaming, even a health crisis till we make those changes. Even if it is as simple as eliminating a particular food.

One thing is, that I know sometimes change is overwhelming, but instead of looking at our health and wellbeing as one big task we need to tackle, just look at it like a stairwell, we don’t look at the top of the stairwell and think, “oh, I can’t make it to the top, too many steps”. I suggest you just look and take the first step, master that, get your grounding, then take the next.

Changes with your health doesn’t need to feel overwhelming and handing over this decision, action and choice to others, no matter how qualified and cleaver they are isn’t the right answer for you. Don’t get me wrong, seek advice, support and guidance, but only you have the power to own it and put it into action. You so deserve to have vibrant health and abundant energy. It is YOUR body and YOUR health.

Let me know your thoughts in the comments below?

A Very Personal Note

Image result for Stressed WomanI have been under quite a lot of stress lately. I don’t know really where to begin but to say that there has been an accumulation of things building up in my life and its hit me for six over the last couple of weeks and became one big mind f@#k! (I know, language Kerry).

Stress can be funny like that sometimes, you can be cruising along, feeling all ‘jiggy’ with it, then bam!
I am unable to share with you the details of what has been going on but what I can share with you that it has had a huge impact on me, in ways that I thought it couldn’t or wouldn’t. So much of what happens in our lives can be things that are out of our control and the only thing we can control is how we react and deal with these issues. And this is what I want to share with you today.
I have spent the last 5-6years doing some really deep work on myself in this area and the one thing that I truly believe, is that stress and the way it manifests in our bodies, mentally and physically, has a much greater impact on our health that any amount of organic quinoa and kale we consume. I say this A LOT to my clients and to anyone who will listen, but I have dropped the ball on how I manage my own stress. I thought I was, I really did but I know now just where I have gone wrong. I’ve been ‘doing’ not ‘being’.

And this has been my undoing!

What do I mean by this?
Well, let me put it this way. I’m a doer and doers are always doing things, writing and crossing things of our list, feeling successful and smug when we achieve things (yeah, you know what I’m talking about?). We organise and get on with it, this is our way of feeling in control of our lives. This can often be misinterpreted as trying to control other around us, (boy have I been accused of this a lot in my life) but I know in my case, it’s not about trying to control others, that is not what I am trying to do, its simply about trying to feel in control of my personal environment, feelings and ME. So I feel safe and not fearful of the unknown.

But the conflict I have with myself is, I totally believe in the universe and the spiritual side of my life and handing over that trust to it, but my pragmatic, organising ways often block this and it becomes a battleground between the 2, rather than a lovely symbiotic dance.
When this happens, I get all up in my head, feeling completely disconnected from my body and gut instincts and then I try to hang on for dear life, to the control, isolating myself to my thought, thinking I can ‘think’ my way out of it all.

How does this unravel to me, my work and those around me?
Well….. Disorganised, unfocussed, all over the place, sleep issues, digestive issues, brain fog, snappy, grumpy, disconnected, distant…shall I go on?
Then I hit the wall. And that’s what has happen to me over the last weeks.

So I’m stepping back from as much as I can at the moment. I’m getting back to basics (yes, my clients would be saying to me now, Kerry, simplify….I know, I know, I need to practice what I preach?).I’ve been to see my Reiki healer, beginning to let go of the control and handing over trust. Simply getting my ‘grounded chic on’ and actually practising some big time self-care of being, not doing!

I am also blocking out the negative energy that I have allowed to sneak into my life. I will talk more about this next week. I am taking back my own energy and not handing over power to those that are taking it.

Why am I sharing this?
I am sharing this with you today, not to tell you about my life and personal issues, but to reinforce, that the connection between the mind, body and spirit is such a hugely important one, for our overall health. It’s not all woo,woo! And when we feel this way, feeling stressed, disconnected and all up in our heads, we just need to step back in our lives and stop, breathe, let go of the need to be ‘in control’, practice a little self compassion and get some grounding. That no one and I mean no one is perfect, including me.

Share with me, what you do, to get some grounding in your life? How you pull back and simplify?

OR do you need tools to guide you with this?