Healthy Weight Loss

HealthyWeightLoss-pin

If you’ve ever strolled round a lovingly kept garden, whether it’s full of fruit, vegetables, herbs or flowers, you may have experienced a sense of wonder, a sense of being at one with nature and an incredible feeling of being in touch with reality.

Rushing round a supermarket grabbing packaged fruits and vegetables and all manner of processed ‘foods’ just doesn’t create that warm fuzzy feeling!

A high percentage of medical conditions are a direct result of our diet; we are what we eat, as the saying goes. Personally I’d rather be seen as an exotic fruit than a burger but hey, each to their own 🙂

But it’s really important to acknowledge that what we eat has an effect on our bodies. Every action causes a reaction after all. The problem is, although we know all this stuff about diet and healthy eating, we don’t always put what we learn into practice for all sorts of reasons.

So I became my own guinea pig and experimented on myself with a healthy weight loss plan.

I have a sweet tooth and could possibly be classified as a chocoholic so I decided to give myself 30 days to re-tune my body and perhaps lose those extra pounds and it worked! I watched everything I consumed over a month and only ate fresh foods – nothing processed. I limited my carbs after breakfast and lost 14lbs. I have to admit to being a bit irritable for the first couple of days but after that I was fine and felt better with each passing day.

I’m not promoting unhealthy or fast weight loss here. I needed to lose those pounds and although I’ve slipped a bit recently, I know that a quick month – and they do go by quickly after all – of being nice to me will sort it all out again.

One tip that I find works well is refusing to go down the unhealthy aisles in the supermarkets. Try that if you can. It makes you feel so good. I tell everyone who will listen that I avoid the ‘bad-for-you-stuff’ (Smug face)

Also, with the state of the planet and our need to cut out plastic packaging, you can kill two birds with one stone – so to speak. Hm not a very nice expression but you get the gist.

Look after your body – it’s the only one you have after all!

Linda x

fbk-regular-bonus2P.S. I just found a fabulous package of great information for healthy weight loss – check it out.

Over $70 worth of healthy eating tips, great information and solid ideas for only $10. Not sure how long the offer is on for so it’s probably worth grabbing it now so you don’t miss out.

Rain or Shine

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Yesterday, it rained. After a few glorious weeks – or was it days 🙂 – of sunshine, the heavens opened, the universe threw some wind into the mix and suddenly it felt like Autumn.

The perfect moment to get on our whinge-mobiles and moan about the weather. But yesterday I had a moment in the rain and enjoyed the smell of the grass and the washing of the path and literally blissed out in the whole nature experience.

Sure there is much concern about climate change, and of course it needs our attention, but I’m not convinced we should spend too much time and energy arguing and fighting about it. What is, is, after all.

And I do hold a belief that the law of attraction will respond to the energy we put out there. I’ve no idea how the climate change will all pan out in the future. I don’t have the scientific background and understanding. But I do know I can do my bit for the environment wherever possible, and I believe that the more often we can enjoy the moment, the more refined and positive our thoughts and feelings are, the more chance we have of securing the planet for ourselves and future generations.

And then I had a sign!

Nick Polizzi of the Sacred Science shared a Sanskrit poem by Kalidasa (4th-5th century AD) that just goes to show this ‘being in the moment’ stuff isn’t a new idea, although maybe we haven’t been listening very carefully for the last few centuries?! Anyway, here it is:

Look to this day,
for it is life, the very breath of life.
In its brief course lie
all the realities of your existence;
the bliss of growth,
the glory of action,
the splendor of beauty.
For yesterday is only a dream,
and tomorrow is but a vision.
But today, well lived,
makes every yesterday a dream of happiness,
and every tomorrow
a vision of hope.
Look well, therefore, to this day.

Enjoy the moment 🙂

Linda x

Ditch the Brave Face

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Do you show your brave face to the outside world but are brutally honest with yourself?

I’m voting to flip that on its head – we don’t have to moan and whinge to all and sundry on social media but a little honesty can be truly liberating and will undoubtedly create a feeling of community, and help others realize they are not alone.

When you scroll through your timeline, whichever social media platform you are on, often it’s all about how wonderful things are going for everyone, or conversely about how awful everything is in the world.

But most of this is illusion.

Yes, the world needs our care and many adjustments to help support our children and their children, but really, nature is pure in it’s beauty and has been around a lot longer than we have!

And, all the smiles and success stories can often be a result of vanity or business promotions.

I sound slightly cynical here, but I don’t mean to be. There are tons of amazing things going on and some truly inspiring folk out there who share ideas and thoughts to help us all live happier healthier lifestyles.

My take on all this is that we can discern the wheat from the chaff if we first get in touch with our own inner being, our own dreams and our own integrity. Then somehow it all becomes a lot easier to deal with.

When you’re really feeling great, the message comes through clearly, because you tapped into the energy of the Universe. We all have those moments, they may be just a second or two in an otherwise stressful day, but sometimes they last longer and the gratitude and joy shines through.

So, ultimately, we want to extend and expand on those few seconds so that we can share our wisdom and joy with the world, whether on or offline. Those positive feelings allow us to share practical help that will protect ourselves, our loved ones and our world.

No more fake brave faces and no more whinging.

So how do we do this? When you’re stressed, worried, anxious or depressed, it feels impossible to climb out of the dark shadows but honestly, anything is possible.

Slightly glib statement there. I know that it would not be possible for me to be a brain surgeon for example, but actually I don’t want to be a brain surgeon. So maybe anything is possible if you truly desire it from the bottom of your heart.

And it’s not about material gains. A few hundred/thousand pounds could change your life right now perhaps, but when we want something it’s always because we know in the having of it, we will feel better. So it’s the feeling you’re aiming for at the end of the day.

Who doesn’t want to go to sleep without worry or stress?
Who doesn’t want to wake in the morning feeling gratitude and joy for a brand new day?

The answer I believe lies in meditation. And yes, I have a monkey mind that has regular parties at my expense, but having given it my best shot and thought it would never work for me unless I lock myself away in an ashram for years (something I don’t want to do!) – I have finally come to understand that meditation is NOT about becoming mind-free but is about becoming mindful of the present moment.

Enjoy the moment, be present. While washing your hands, feel the water and soap on your skin. Take a moment or two to be aware of your breath – the air that keeps you alive. Meditation takes many forms and those few seconds of presence will boost your inner peace and encourage feelings of gratitude that will be impossible not to share with your world.

Don’t put on a brave face if you feel like crap, just allow yourself to remember you are worthy, you are loved and have so much to offer this world, just simply by being yourself.

Have a wonderful day,

Linda x

 

Take a Break

takeabreak-pinIf you’re working from home, there can be days when pjs are the only option. It’s not always easy to motivate yourself especially if you’re self-employed and can’t guarantee that what you’re doing will produce any feedback, financial or otherwise.

So, I say embrace those days. Relax. Don’t beat yourself up and remember you are worthy of a break, at least.

My recent spell of working like an idiot from dawn until midnight caught me out and I had to spend a day in hospital – I felt incredibly stupid and embarrassed when I could see that our wonderful NHS doctors and nurses had patients to attend to that hadn’t necessarily been ignoring their own well-being.

So I think I’ve learned my lesson and wanted to share because I’ve finally realized – in my seventh decade on earth – that I’m not Superwoman and if I have any super powers, I haven’t actually learned to tap into them yet.

Take a break – you are worthy and you deserve to feel good!

Have a great day.

Linda x

P.S. Meditation moments are a good idea. Finish a task then allow yourself five or ten minutes enjoying the peace or watching the sky, or youtube a quick guided meditation that suits you. (There are loads of them)

I am not a Noun, I am a Free Verb

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A few days ago -or it could have been weeks or even months – time flies ay? – anyway, I digress as usual. A while ago, I saw a short video clip of Stephen Fry (one of my absolute favourite people) talking about being verbs and not nouns…

For example I am not just a ‘writer’ but I do write, I am not just a mother, but I do a lot of mothering stuff, same as grandmother, knitter, designer, cleaner, cook, armchair therapist … and the list goes on.

So every person who asks me what I do, tends to get a different answer depending on the conversation, the questioner and sometimes my own mood. Honestly, if you’ve done half a dozen wash-loads today, do you not feel like a laundry woman?!

Maybe the answer to the dreaded ‘what do you do?’ question should be “shall I make a list?” or “where do I start?” and see where we go from there. 🙂

Busy folk everywhere take heart, you are so much more than you think or say you are!

Have a Great Day!
Linda x

P.S. Just realized this is my hundredth blogpost!

Choosing your Path

Choosing your Path

 

A while ago I watched a Wayne Dyer talk and as usual was blown away by his words. He told a story of author Porsche Nelson who had gone to, if I remember correctly, a writers workshop where the students were given five index cards and asked to write their life story. This is what she wrote:

 

Chapter One:
I walk down the street. There’s a deep hole in the sidewalk. I fall in. I’m lost. I’m helpless. It isn’t my fault and it takes forever to find a way out.

Chapter Two:
I walk down the same street. There’s a deep hole in the sidewalk. I pretend I don’t see it. I fall in again. I can’t believe I’m in the same place. It isn’t my fault. It still takes a long time for me to get out.

Chapter Three:
I walk down the same street. There’s a deep hole in the sidewalk. I see it there. I still fall in. It’s a habit but my eyes are open. I know where I am and it’s my own fault and I get out immediately.

Chapter Four:
I walk down the same street. There’s a deep hole in the sidewalk. I walk around it.

Chapter Five:
Finally, I walk down another street.

Powerful stuff ay?

To your well-being 🙂

Linda x

Celery Juicing

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Celery Juicing is big news! My daughter is a fan and turned me onto it the other day. Although it’s probably best to drink it first thing in the morning to get the full benefits, I tried it later in the day and after a good nights sleep, had the most productive day I’ve had for ages!

Yes, it could have been coincidence but there are a lot of healthy vitamins and other stuff in celery so it’s definitely worth a try.

Celery stalks and leaves can be used and you should allow a whole bunch for a couple of small glasses. I used to grow a lot of celery when I lived in France but didn’t have a juicer back then and I doubt if I would have thought about juicing celery anyway!

Celery juice is said to reduce blood pressure and sugar levels among other things.
NB: Google health benefits of celery or celery juice and always double check with your doctor if you are self medicating.

Because celery has been considered to be a herb for centuries I included it one of my herb books. The following text is the intro to growing celery and you’ll find tips on growing this superfood as a herb or as a ‘juicing’ vegetable. 🙂

About Celery

Although we consider it to be a vegetable, celery has been used as a herb for centuries. It was very important in Roman cuisine and also used medicinally. Celery was developed and cultivated into the vegetable we know today during the 17th century in Italy and later became popular in other parts of Europe.

Celery herb grows wild in many parts of Europe, Africa, South and North America, but will not develop the blanched stalk unless cultivated. Grown as a vegetable in the kitchen garden, a few leaves can be picked and used in the kitchen for flavouring before the stalks have matured.

Wild celery, apium graveolens, is more resistant to pests and diseases than cultivated varieties.

Medicinal uses for Celery

Celery is used in Ayurvedic medicine for bronchial problems, including asthma, wind and as a nerve tonic. Seeds collected when ripe are used to distill into oil and dried into powders. Seed sold for cultivation shouldn’t be used medicinally.

Text taken from Growing 20 Everyday Herbs

20EverydayHerbs

 

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To your good health!

Linda x

 

 

 

Happy Days

HappyDays

A couple of weeks ago I wrote a post about finding your passion and I’ve had some more thoughts about this. In the entrepreneur and business world we often hear that you should do what you love and while I’ve always gone along with that idea, something came up recently that kind of shifted my thinking.
I watched the incredible Seth Godin interviewed by the equally incredible Marie Forleo and Seth said something that turned my mind upside down!

He said that instead of doing the work you love, you should love the work you do.

I mean, how many of us really get to do the work we love? But if you turn that on its head and choose to love the work you do, it puts a whole new spin on enjoying life.

So how can we love a job that bores us or offers no chance of promotion or significant wage increase?

It has to start in the mind. Our beautiful, complex and sometimes self-sabotaging minds. Our minds want to keep us safe and will repeat familiar thoughts over and over because change triggers unsafe thoughts. Positive thinking is a classic response but telling yourself to have positive thoughts when you’re feeling stressed, worried or fearful is just too far away from the present reality.

There are so many wonderful teachings that can help us through those moments of stress. Energy healing, hypnotherapy and meditation techniques can all help us be more present, and when you feel present in this moment, scary thoughts or frustrations tend to melt away.

One of the best books ever written, in my humble opinion, is The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle. I’ll put a link below, if you haven’t yet read it, I would recommend it as a book that could honestly change your life.

We only have this present moment. The next moment is also the present moment, so when we think thoughts like ‘I’ll be happy when ……(fill in the blank)’ we are confirming that our present moment is unhappy. And we can all probably relate to the fact that it’s the journey that counts, not the result or end goal, because when we get to that end goal, we will always want more. That’s the nature of the beast called ‘human being’. We have to grow and evolve.

So, getting back to loving the work you do, bring yourself back to the present moment whenever you can and give it your best shot. Doing the best you can in any moment makes you feel so much better and ready for the next moment.

If you are doing a boring job or task, give it your best and if you don’t even have to think about the actual task in hand, enjoy the environment. Cleaning the house can give you an incredible sense of achievement, which encourages the mind to find other things to feel good about.

And if the job you are doing requires a lot of focus and concentration, give yourself to the task and create the best possible outcome – not to impress anyone else (although the best work will no doubt get the attention of the boss) but to make yourself feel good.

Even if you are doing a job you love or building your dream business, there are always going to be tasks that aren’t particularly enjoyable. Personally I always put off doing my tax return but when I’ve done it, I feel great! So thank you Seth Godin, the wisdom in those words ‘love the work you do’ will resonate with me and I hope they will help you make a difference to your daily tasks and enjoy as many moments as you can. After all, life isn’t a dress rehearsal and we are supposed to be enjoying it 🙂

Have a great day!
Linda x

powerofnow

The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment

Amazon US , Amazon UK ,

Find Your Passion

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What’s Your Passion?
Did you ever wonder how some people manage to find time for ‘hobbies’ and ‘pastimes’ when you are only just fitting in everything you HAVE to do in the space of each 24 hours? The answer is passion.

It’s been said many times before, but the phrase ‘ if you want something badly enough you’ll get it’ is 110% relevant to our everyday lives.

Are you passionately committed to keeping a clean and tidy house? Then I would hazard a guess that your house is clean and tidy most of the time.

Are you passionately committed to your job and promotion prospects? The chances are you are on your way up that ladder right now.

However, the majority of us live our lives according to the passions and sometimes the whims of everyone around us. Why? Because we never stop to think what we actually WANT, what we actually LOVE or what we are passionate about.

Do you really, deep down in your soul, believe that the world will fall apart and no-one will like you if you don’t keep your house clean? If so, then take a few tiny baby steps out of that box and remember the dust will be there tomorrow… your friends or your dreams may not. Phew.. Now there’s a kick in the teeth.

I often imagine I would like a clean and tidy house fit for a royal visit. But I’m never able to commit myself to the time and energy it requires – Why? Because I’m NOT passionate about housework. Never have been, never will be. I would rather spend time with my family and friends, chatting on the phone, going for long walks or dancing the night away. And guess what – a member of the royal household has yet to turn up on my doorstep un-announced!

Do you really want a clean and tidy house for YOU or is it just so the neighbours won’t say bad things about you when they drop in for coffee? If you are using your precious time to keep on the ‘good’ side of other people, pause for a moment and remember that those other people are definitely NOT perfect. There will be areas of their lives you will not resonate with – guaranteed!

Most of us are committed to spending a certain number of hours every day working, often for someone else, just to earn enough money to get through to the next paycheck. Does this sound like you?

At the end of the working day, we need to find something to make us feel good, to enable us to endure the next day’s hard graft. Governments are wise to this formula and have enabled the average working man/woman to be able to afford entertainment in their homes.

Television helps us wind down – or does it?

I don’t watch television. I’ve always felt, although there are some great programmes and lots of learning to be gained, the television companies are determining WHAT we watch and WHEN we watch it. I want to decide those things for myself.

I had a cold sales call one evening. While trying to sell me a phone package deal, the sales person referred to a TV advert. I told her I was unaware of this advert because I don’t watch TV. She kept me talking for 10 minutes during which time she referred to this particular TV advert a further 4 times, and each time I assured her I had not seen it because I don’t watch television. She didn’t believe me at all.

So everyone in our region watches the same adverts, the same programmes, the same news stories every single day or night? Yep, I guess that’s what’s happening. We are all thinking the same thoughts. Our brainwaves are tuned to the exact same brand of fish fingers being the best thing for our kids since sliced bread – a highly debatable point! And we have no time left for ourselves.

So coming back to passion…

Find your passions in life. Make a list and seriously consider each thing you write down. Is it what you want or is it what you think other people want from you. Remember your life is yours alone.

You may be responsible for the care of others, children, parents, the sick or needy. But ultimately this is YOUR life. You only get one shot at it.

Don’t waste another minute watching those adverts – you can watch the exact same ones tomorrow if you so wish. Believe me they won’t go away! Television is one of the biggest time-consumers. And every moment you are watching, could be spent enjoying one of the passions in your life.

Try this experiment to find time for YOU in your life…

1. Make a list of your passions – remember they must be YOUR passions, no-one else’s

2. Pick one and find time for it.

That’s it!

Many years ago I learned to knit. Knitting has often had a fairly dull press.

-Knitting’s for grannies
-Knitting is boring and time consuming.

But I enjoy the challenge. New yarns and stylish pattern designs make knitting fun and fast, and I can knit even if I am watching a film. Knitting can be picked up during the adverts and worked at for 5 or 10 minutes at a time. The equipment takes up very little space. It’s cheap – often costing nothing – to set up.

Knitting is one of my passions, and over the years I have learned to design my own clothes, toys and many practical household items. And, although at moments in my life I have had to live within an incredibly tight budget, I have always found the materials needed to be able to continue with my hobby.

Knitting is MY passion….what’s yours?

Reading? Writing Poetry? Stamp collecting? Scrapbooking? or maybe your passions lie outside your four walls – Gardening? Tennis? Gym Club?

Find your passion and you WILL find the time AND the resources to carry it through. You may even turn your hobby into a thriving business. Many books have been written on the subject. I am on my way to creating a knitting empire at the moment!…. The Ekokids are teenage dolls who were created during a low budget moment and are now gaining a global audience! (Pop over to this page to see all the knitting patterns I’m developing Knits-U-Love)

Find time for your passion today – you deserve it!

Linda x

Meditation Made Easy

MeditationmadeEasy

I just realized I’ve written tons of posts relating to healthy living such as growing fruit and veg, healthy foods and recipes and even getting off the grid from time to time. But one thing that I’ve never really touched upon, which is one of the most important things we can do to live a healthy lifestyle, is meditation.

Meditation has been around since the beginning of humankind in one form or another although us western world folk tend to conjure up images of monks sitting cross legged on beautiful mountains for hours on end. And of course that is a reality, but for us to benefit from this amazing practice we do not have to sit for hours on a mountain top, although that kinda sounds appealing sometimes!

In recent years scientists, doctors, philosophers and self development teachers have all begun to share the benefits of ‘quieting your mind’. However, most of us live busy lives and tend to come up with a couple of excuses not to incorporate meditation in our lives.

The first excuse is that we don’t have time to sit and meditate – this I’m afraid to say, is a cop-out excuse. We can ALL find ten or fifteen minutes a day – it’s just a matter of prioritizing.

And the second excuse is, and this one has relevance, that we can’t STOP thinking.

We have thousands upon thousands of thoughts every day and to expect ourselves to be able to magically turn off this powerful stream of thought instantly is frankly absurd. But there are many ways to meditate and it’s also a ‘practice’, so that means if you do it consistently you will get better at it.

So I’m just as guilty as everyone else of making these excuses, especially the second one but having spent the last decade or more studying self development and self help teachings, strategies and philosophies, I’ve come up with a system that works for me and I’d like to share these ideas with you here and now…..

azalea

1. Allocate a time for yourself every day – yep, every day. It honestly doesn’t have to be longer than 15 or 20 minutes. First thing in the morning is perfect but whenever it suits you is important.

2. Decide on a comfortable space to meditate. If your household is forever busy, choose a room and tell the family to NOT disturb you. Don’t just rely on closing the door. We all know that the most reliable way to draw your children to you is to not be paying attention to them. (on the phone, taking a bath ring a bell?!) You may have to rope in the help of your partner or eldest child to help make this happen.

3. Eliminate other distractions. Turn your phone off, or if that’s too painful, leave it in another room where you won’t hear it. Don’t have your laptop with you either, unless you are choosing a guided meditation…

4. A guided meditation may be just what you need to encourage a moment of relaxation. There are literally hundreds of guided meditations online, youtube in particular. Do a little research beforehand and decide on a video that resonates with you. I recently found a very simple guided meditation by Marie Forleo (here) which is less than 15 minutes but really hits the spot – for me anyway. Choose something that suits you. Don’t attempt the hour long videos at first – work up to that if you want to, but honestly 15 minutes once or twice a day is really all you need to get into this.

5. Alternatively you may prefer simply to sit quietly in a quiet room. But if you have trouble with those pesky thoughts, try a simple mantra such as ‘So Hum’ Repeat silently to yourself – ‘So’ on the in breath and ‘hum’ on the exhale

6. Now you’re set up with a space, time and guided meditation if you’re using one, sit in a comfortable position with a straight back. Place your hands in your lap, and if it’s comfortable for you, have your palms facing slightly upwards and touch the tips of your thumbs and index fingers together.

7. Take a deep breath in, feeling the breath go right down to your belly and straighten your spine, then breathe out slowly relaxing your shoulders. Take a few long slow breaths and basically then you’re on your way…

You could focus on relaxing all parts of your body. But if you can just relax your forehead, eyes, jaw and shoulders, you’re probably much more relaxed than you usually are.

And when those thoughts and images drift into your mind, and they will, just be aware of them and gently bring your attention back to your breath or your mantra.

The most important thing here is to NOT beat yourself up about not getting it ‘right’. Sitting quietly is a great start and even if you can find just a few seconds of no-thought, you WILL benefit. Then do it every day. After a week or two you may find a minute or two of ‘no thought’ – the key here is consistency. Make it a daily practice for you.

Meditation is something that costs no money and little time and your resulting good feelings will ripple out to your family, friends and all beings right round the world.

This zen quote says it all really!
“Meditate for 20 minutes a day. If you don’t have time, then you need to meditate for an hour”

I’d love to know how you get on. Share your thoughts on my Facebook page. Otherwise, just share with friends and family who you know will benefit from a daily 15 minutes of ‘me’ time 🙂

Happy Meditating!

Linda x