"Health is a large word. It embraces not the body only, but the mind and spirit as well;...
and not today's pain or pleasure alone, but the whole being and outlook of a man."
~James H. West

Archive for Celebrating Life

Do this quick quizz for fun…

If you are standing at a banquet table, what would you choose first:

  1. Apple
  2. Banana
  3. Strawberry
  4. Peach
  5. Orange

Decide and then type in your choice in the comment field and I will send you your result!

Categories : Celebrating Life, fun
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Jun
14

I’ve Got Life!

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Nina Simone an absolute inspiration!

… What have I got? I’ve got Life!

Categories : Celebrating Life
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Jun
11

What’s your choice?

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“Where in your life are you avoiding a choice?  Are you willing to make self-honouring choices today?  If you don’t make clear and conscious choices, you’ll be stuck with whatever shows up. ” Iyanla Vanzart

This is quite a confronting quote. But there is so much in it… The quote eludes to how even not making a choice is actually making a choice.  “Are you willing to make self-honouring choices today?”  Wow, this is important, how often in life are the choices you make in line with what you really want, really feel, really believe.  By making self-honouring choices you start to make different sorts of decisions and live a life more in line with your values and meeting your needs.  This is powerful.

Are there things in your life that you are putting off and hoping will just go away? We never get to hide from ourselves, so if it is a life choice that you are putting off and it affects your wellbeing, taking ownership and doing what you need to do… can be very liberating.

Sometimes it is challenging to stand up for yourself or to have the courage to make decisions or choices that other people might not understand and might not approve of.  One of the most important things you can do for yourself and your health is to be true to yourself. 

Make choices in line with your value systems and in line with your beliefs.   Sometimes it might make you unpopular, sometimes it might upset others.  Dr Demartini once explained: “If I have to choose to (upset) myself or (upset) somebody else, I choose them”, while this may come across as quite a selfish point of view in some ways it makes sense,  at the end of the day, many people will come in and out of your lives, but you are stuck with you and your choices forever.

And one interesting thing I have observed is how often the choices you make will actually inspire people or encourage people, empowering them or giving them permission to make self honouring choices as well. 

Have the courage to stand up for yourself, believe in yourself and make the choices you know you need to make. “If you don’t stand for something, you may fall for anything.”

You will always be glad you did… and know that whatever choice you end up making will be exactly the right one for you at this moment and for this circumstance.

Deep down you know exactly what it is you want and need  … trust that.

Categories : Celebrating Life
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Aaah… comfort eating. The sheer enwrapment and mm-mmm-mmm of snuggling up under the doona on a cold winter’s evening in front a fabulous chick flick with a cup of milo and a timtam. Dunking a Tim Tam

You nip off the ends and dunk the tim tam into the mug of hot milky liquid and suck deeply, oooh, the decadent ooze of warm soft slightly granular chocolately middle floods into your mouth.

Heavenly, quickly before it drops into your mug you shove the rest into your mouth and the chocolate explosion is so gorgeous, you close your eyes near purring. You stare ahead at the screen and savour the last of the experience licking the chocolate off each one of your fingers…
mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

Delicious, blissful… addictive even… You reach for another, then another… ooh, it is so rich, you are nearly feeling ill, just one last one. But your need is insatiable. Physically you couldn’t possibly have another, but psychological, oh yes you could!

Certainly you have at least one comfort food you reach for when you are feeling anxious, stressed, down, tired, frustrated, bored or just wanting a little “pick me up and make me feel better”…

Here are some of other peoples choices…

  • Cheese toastie
  • Apple pie
  • Macaroni cheese
  • Baked beans on toast
  • Chocolate
  • Ice-cream
  • Milk and cookies
  • Tea and biscuits
  • Tea and toast
  • Chicken Soup
  • Pizza
  • Mashed potato
  • Potato Chips
  • Peanut butter and honey or jam sandwich
  • Junket
  • Bread dipped in balsamic and olive oil
  • Pavlova
  • Roast dinner

It is interesting to note they typically have one very telling thing in common: they are high in refined carbohydrates. So what is it that makes us choose to eat certain foods over others, and why is it these foods can make you feel better when you are feeling down, you might be wondering…

It may come as a surprise to learn that your comfort food of choice has a lot to do with your upbringing.  Generally background culture tends to affect comfort food trends: for example one the most popular comfort food in the UK is boiled egg and soldiers (toast cut into strips for dipping into the soft yolk) where in Ireland Irish stews are popular.  So comfort foods are not necessarily unhealthy and are often far from gourmet.  Being male or female also seems to affect your comfort food of choice. Men are more likely to choose meals and the ladies are more likely to choose snacky foods.

What did your parents give you to cheer you up when you were growing up? Did you have a favourite meal request? Were certain foods associated with special occasions?

You may find your kids will request certain favourite foods (similar to how you used to request your certain favourite dishes from your mother, grandmother or even your father) … lentil soup or macaroni cheese, that will for the rest of their lives be imprinted in their brain as mom’s recipe (in my case, my dad makes the most glorious soup).  Fresh pawpaw always reminds me of my mom and being a little girl, we had these gorgeous honeygold pawpaws and she would get home from work, pick one, cut it in half, scoop out the seeds and hand me a spoon, then we would sit on the back step and dig in.  I still love to sit outside in the sun and eat fresh pawpaw. 

The attachment to the food is much less about the food than about the feelings of nurturing, giving, and unconditional love and safety that come with feeding. The sense of home, love and belonging. Not to mention the feel good reward, as mom is able to provide for her little darlings something that they like to eat and nourishes them, and the little darlings get the positive warm feedback overflow from this.

Why do we comfort eat?

Any sort of emotional eating is usually an attempt to offset negative emotions.  Triggers include stress, anxiety, boredom, anger, loneliness, frustration and sadness.   There seems to be a couple of explanations for comfort eating, the reason is pretty simple, it makes us feel better, temporarily at least. 

One possible explanation from a study in October 2007 Nature revealed that the brain releases a key signaling hormone associated with pleasure when our stomach becomes full.  So chemically, comfort eating makes us feel better.

Another explanation is psychologically, comfort eating makes us feel better. Comfort foods tend to be described as foods that soothe the psyche, they typically relate back to pleasant memories and associations from your childhood, giving you a sense of nostalgia, safety and security when eaten. 

But has this changed?  Nowadays comfort foods tend to come in boxes or in packages, they are not the homemade comforts of old necessarily… and actually some children have never even tasted their parents home cooking! However the association and happy memory can still be there.  For example one client reported being taken to McDonalds everytime after a doctors appointment, therefore she connected eating McDonalds with feeling better.

Interestingly though, there is some physiological sense attached to some of the more unhealthy high sugar, high fat comfort foods that are reached for in times of stress particularly later in life, when mom isn’t around to make the comfort food, you might reach for another…

There are a few possible explanations for this… one is that some of these carbohydrate foods contain an amino acid: tryptophan, which is used to make serotonin, commonly recognised as the happy hormone. Tryptophan utilisation is aided by the presence of glucose… so these sugary foods, chocolate is a good example, it contains both tryptophan and sugar, which means that you get a bit of a tryptophan kick, making more serotonin available. Chocolate also contains other chemicals that make you feel good… which is why it’s such a popular choice.  And it’s also why if you are low in serotonin or feeling a little down, chocolate actually can make you feel a bit better.

In addition, the sugar rush to your brain, can feel good, its a little druglike!

Another chemical dopamine is also involved in this pleasurable endevour.  Dopamine is your pleasure seeking or pleasure controlling neurotransmitter.  (And therefore is largely connected to motivation.) 

The cells in the dopamine system in the brain are active when we are taking or anticipating pleasure in some activity.  Tests in monkeys have found cells fire up in response to taste of pleasant food.  It seems that the dopamine levels contribute to this wanting, acting as a primary motivator to seek out things we believe we want or will get pleasure from.   Interestingly studies conducted on rats found that when dopamine blocking drugs were used to shut the system down, rats would starve even when surrounded by mountains of tasty food.     

The dopamine system also interacts with a class of brain chemicals called opiods (because of their similarity to opium).  Opiods seem to be directly involved in pleasure.  What is especially interesting about this is that in some people casein (a protein) found in milk can actually act like an opiate in the brain, due to a metabolism problem.  These people will generally feel a very strong attachment or enjoyment to milk as a comfort food. 

The injection of opiates (chemical form) into wide areas of a rat brain resulted in both more eating and more positive behaviours towards foods.  So these compounds can actually trigger you to eat more, which consequently can contribute to regular overindulgence and weight gain. The reverse is also true, taking an opioid-blocking drug makes things that are usually delicious seem less so!  

Is there a cure for comfort eating?  No and there needn’t be!  

What can you enjoy that isn’t going to become problematic to your waist line and still give you comfort? Or how can you let comfort eating serve you and not sabotage you?

Firstly, try to connect with what is stirring you emotionally?  Are you upset, bored, anxious, nervous…

Then you can try some tactics: like distraction… delay the gratification, don’t give in immediately, wait 15 minutes, nurture yourself another way or find an alternative way to give yourself pleasure or comfort. 

Break the habit of comfort eating…

 Try calling a friend, go for a walk, run a bath, go shopping… if that doesn’t work, seek out the best quality version of your comfort food (definitely don’t keep them at home, or keep a stock of healthy comfort foods) and sit and give it all of your attention, don’t do anything else other than eat and enjoy in your comfort food.  Eat it slowly, one mouth full at a time and savour each bite.  This way you are less likely to overdo it, soon you realise it isn’t really about the food its about the “vibe” and association, whatever you do enjoy the treat and DEFINITELY don’t feel guilty. 

And remember really any food can become a comfort food, with enough positive association around it:  a Chai Soy Latte has become one for me, raisin toast with cinnamon and a thin spread of my butter and olive oil mix, a couple of pieces of dark chocolate with almonds or hazelnuts, a big bowl of minestrone or pumpkin soup, and polenta and tomato relish because it reminds me of South Africa. 

It is also useful to consider and take advantage of other ways to nurture candlelit-bathyourself when you are needing comfort. A good long soaking candlelit bath with essential oils like rose geranium and ylang ylang also brings me great comfort, I feel like I am getting a great big warm hug by the water and the glow of the candles. Getting a foot rub or a reflexology treatment or a relaxing massage can be tremendously therapeutic.  

Because the mechanisms that control the wanting for things are not the same as those that control the mechanism for liking them, you can crave something very much and take little or no pleasure in it once you have it… so be sure you do take all the pleasure you can from the experience, and if you aren’t enjoying it, stop.  Find something else that will give you some level of pleasure.

So, relish in your comforts, treat yourself often, be kind to yourself absolutely, but do consider… are you guilty of being a comfort pig? ;o)
10 Ways to know for sure if you are a Comfort Pig…

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Jun
04

Life Lessons

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Written By Regina Brett, 90 years old, of The Plain Dealer, Cleveland , Ohio
 
“To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 45 lessons life taught me. It is the most-requested column I’ve ever written.”
 
My odometer rolled over to 90 in August, so here is the column once more:
 
1. Life isn’t fair, but it’s still good.
2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.
3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.
4. Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and parents will. Stay in touch.
5. Pay off your credit cards every month.
6. You don’t have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
7. Cry with someone. It’s more healing than crying alone.
8. It’s OK to get angry with God. He can take it.
9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.
10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.
11. Make peace with your past so it won’t screw up the present.
12. It’s OK to let your children see you cry.
13. Don’t compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn’t be in it.
15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don’t worry; God never blinks.
16. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.
17. Get rid of anything that isn’t useful, beautiful or joyful.
18. Whatever doesn’t kill you really does make you stronger.
19. It’s never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.
20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don’t take no for an answer.
21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don’t save it for a special occasion. Today is special.
22. Over prepare, then go with the flow.
23. Be eccentric now. Don’t wait for old age to wear purple.
24. The most important sex organ is the brain.
25. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.
26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words ‘In five years, will this matter?’
27. Always choose life.
28. Forgive everyone everything.
29. What other people think of you is none of your business.
30. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.
31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
32. Don’t take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
33. Believe in miracles.
34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn’t do.
35. Don’t audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.
36. Growing old beats the alternative — dying young.
37. Your children get only one childhood.
38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.
39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.
40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s,we’d grab ours back.
41. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
42. The best is yet to come.
43. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
44. Yield.
45. Life isn’t tied with a bow, but it’s still a gift.”

Carpe Diem!

Carpe Diem!

 

Thanks for sharing Ros!

Categories : Celebrating Life
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May
15

Making time to Relax!

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Taking a break!

With the busy lives we lead and the sense of time moving faster and faster and this increased efficiency of this modern world that allows us to do more and more, it is crucial to make time to relax: to SET ASIDE TIME to stop and just be!

So, give yourself permission to take a break. Set aside some down time this week, schedule it in to your diary, especially all you executives, business owners, health care workers, mums and workaholics out there… stop… chill… for as long as you can.

If you are worried that you don’t have the time to do it, rest assured that the time off will leave you feeling refreshed and regenerated and ready to go, you will be much more motivated to get stuck in and get back into your work!

Categories : Celebrating Life
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May
11

Happiness

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Happiness

Happiness

“Happiness, not in another place but this place… not for another hour, but this hour!” Walt Whitman

It is interesting how so many of us seek out happiness like it is something elusive and out of reach. Like it is something that has to be found, or strived for, and seems to be craved for above all else. It seems time and time again when I ask the questions: What do you want out of life, or what is important to you? Most will declare: “Happiness” or “to be happy”.

So, how one might come upon this happiness? This state of being?

Some might say: “Some pursue happiness, others create it”.

Find out more about my course on Happiness: If there is a way to learn how to be happy, or find out why you aren’t happy, this course covers it!!!

Ooh now that's exciting!

Ooh now that's exciting!

I would love to find out more about this workshop:
Ask us about: The Course of Happiness:

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Or please call Lisa on 0 400 325 341

Categories : Celebrating Life
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100 % Health With 10 % Effort

100 % Health With 10 % Effort

Imagine! You wake up in the morning without your alarm clock, as the sun comes up, feeling perfectly rested. You jump out of bed straight away and actually look forward to your routinely morning exercise, which you perform with a bounce in your step. You are excited about the day ahead, you’re organized, effective, you get results, you excel. When you get home in the evening you don’t need a glass of wine or a stiffer drink to unwind, you are easily able to relax. You settle in for a nice evening, in good cheer with good food, which you have the energy and inclination to prepare. You are at peace with the world and in control of your life, nothing feels like a burden or too much effort. After an enjoyable evening you get into bed, your mind is at ease and you fall straight to sleep.

Wow! Imagine the possibilities of feeling this GREAT!

Only a select few of you have ever felt this good, really enjoy your life and get a buzz each day with the level of excellence and desire you hold. Many of you don’t believe it’s even possible to live life like this, to feel energised and be productive and in good cheer all day!

What if I told you I had the magic recipe?

Eat lots of fruit and vegetables, eat whole grain foods, avoid saturated fats and eat more plant oils, eat less red meat and more chicken and fish, drink enough water, drink less alcohol and avoid stimulants, breath properly, maintain a positive attitude, be true to your self and exercise. Voila, healthy happy you!

(Now like any good recipe, it looks pretty simple, don’t be fooled by the simplicity, remember the magic is in the technique, not the ingredients!)

The magic:

The biggest reason for failing in health is usually procrastination, and the primary reason for procrastination is usually overwhelm. We don’t know where to start. So here’s a thought and a guaranteed method for success.

It’s called the 10 % Principle. The 10 % Principle is a philosophy or way of life. Simply it involves doing 10 % more of the things you know are good for you and move you towards your health and life goals and 10% less of the things that you know don’t serve you. Every day. If you just do 10% more today than you did yesterday, that’s an improvement. Keep that up and you have changed your life, in a habit forming sustainable way.

“What saves a man is to take a step. Then another step.”
Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Who would have believed scoring 1/10 could save your life?

Let’s look at some examples of where you could get started:

If you are relying on coffee to get you through the day, everyday. Then start by reducing coffee in your diet by 10%. Initially this could simply be, having one day without coffee every 10 days. Straight away that’s a 10% improvement, yet it is not incredibly difficult to implement. (You could apply this to alcohol too!)

If you don’t get enough exercise, start by including just 10% more physical activity into your day. Get up to change the channel, walk up the escalator instead of standing still. Choose a parking spot a little further away from the entrance.

If you battle with personal discipline, choose just one thing at the start of the day to achieve, and don’t go to bed until you have achieved it.

If chocolate is your weakness, start by not finishing the bar, make it your principle to only ever eat 90% of the chocolate bar, give a bite to a friend!

The 10 % Principle also works really well in reverse, you can plan to only eat junk or convenience foods 10 % of the time, but the rest of the time you take your own lunch to work or university. Keep “takeout” as an emergency or convenience option or a personal treat, but not a way of life.

If you keep taking small steps everyday, you can not help but move towards your goals, and it’s contagious, success breeds success, so as you start to achieve these small milestones on a day to day or weekly basis, you will feel more empowered to keep going.

”Great results cannot be achieved at once; and we must be satisfied to advance in life as we walk, step by step.” Samuel Smiles

Get started today, what will you do 10 % more or less of today to improve your life and empower yourself?

Here’s to health worth celebrating in 2009!

Love Your Heart!

I went for a full medical check up last week and got my blood tests back from the doctor yesterday, and “you are very healthy” she said, everything is normal and good, but, she said: “Your cholesterol is a bit low!”
My total cholesterol is 2.9! Normal range is 3.1 – 6.5!

Conclusion is my cholesterol lowering diet works TOO well!

My family has a history of heart disease and high cholesterol, so I must be doing something right if mine is so low!

Best I go get myself a big piece of cheesecake! ☺

Sign up for my Free Report:
7 Tips to Lower Cholesterol and Protect Your Heart

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Food after allergies!  Finally a Party Catering for People with Food sensitivities!

Cooking Party!

Get inspired with great allergen free recipes and stop feeling like you are missing out on all the good stuff! 

Lisa Vance, International Nutritionist with certificate in cordon Bleu

Cookery brings you “Food without the Pain and Discomfort!”

(Lisa will show you how to prepare delicious Gluten, dairy and egg free cooking).

Wheat, Dairy and Egg are amongst the top 10 most common allergens that plague people’s lives, you may be sensitive to these foods without even realising it. 

 How would you know?

o       Can’t lose weight

o       Sinusitis

o       Ringing in the ears

o       Indigestion

o       IBS

o       Bloating

o       Diarrhoea

o       Acne

o       ADD/ADHD

 Come along and enjoy an evening of fun, food, and inspiration:

Touch, taste and experience the pleasure of delicious and nutritious food!

Places limited so confirm your place today, by hitting reply!

Fri, 24 April, at 6.30pm, Brendale 

$35 per mouth

Don’t miss out, book your place today.

Click here if you would like to join us: Yes Please!

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