Archive of ‘Blog’ category

xmas blog post One of the red flags for adrenal fatigue is ‘overwhelm’ – the smallest thing sends you into a snowball of overwhelm, and it all just feels too much.

This is when I KNEW I had adrenal fatigue. I just had to think ‘what are we having for dinner tonight’ and I’d be in a frenzy of overwhelm.

This is going back 3 years now but it’s still a familiar feeling to me. For example, if I don’t take good care of myself all those familiar and exhaustive feelings come back.

So, I’ve literally made it my business to help others avoid those feelings of overwhelm, and if there’s one time of year when we feel overwhelm the most, it’s Christmas!

I love all the festive excitement that comes with Christmas, but as a mum there’s definitely an element of stress.

That’s because we’re SO good at making sure everyone else is taken care of, and Christmas is no exception.

So here are some of my top tips for reducing the o-v-e-r-w-h-e-l-m:

  1. Take time out to breeeathe. I know this sounds simple but seriously, we forget to breathe properly and this takes a toll on our stress levels. So if it means taking yourself to the bathroom to have a moment to yourself, then do it. Take a deep breath. Let it out. Take another (I love to have my essential oils handy to support me in these moments.) As lovely as the buzz of children and family can be at this time of year, we need our space to re-centre.
  2. Keep it simple. If you’re taking a platter to a Christmas gathering then keep it super simple and don’t let perfectionism take over! We all want to have the winning Martha Stewart style platter, but really, with all the stodge, sugar and alcohol at this time of year, keep it healthy and simple! Why not take a platter of fruit – it’ll make a welcome addition to all the heaviness, I promise!
  3. Limit your alcohol consumption. Instead of having a full glass of wine why not mix it with some sparkling water to dilute (add some berries for a touch of Xmas!) – your head will thank you for it the next day.
  4. Remove ONE thing from your Xmas to-do list. Go through your list and I bet there’s ONE thing you could remove from it? If you haven’t yet got around to doing those Xmas cards, do you really think anyone will notice or think any less of you? I don’t think so.
  5. Don’t fuss over wrapping. Children really don’t care for fancy wrapping, they just want to dive inside, plus the floor will be covered in wrapping paper before you know it so just cover those presents and tape em up!
  6. Say no.  Are you a people pleaser? I used to say ‘yes’ to everything and everyone! I just kept saying YES thinking I could manage it all but we can’t, and especially not at Christmas. So think before you say ‘yes’. Does it feel good to you and does it feel manageable? If not then respond with a polite ‘no’. Feel the lightness that comes afterwards, it’s bliss!

SO, take less on, cut corners, keep it simple, and remember to breathe…

Christmas only happens once a year so make sure you enjoy it! And remember, the more relaxed and joyful you are, the more relaxed and joyful your family will be.

Much love &… a very MERRY CHRISTMAS to you!
signature

 

 

Grab your FREE eBook “5 Easy Steps To Boost Your Energy & Get Your Hormones Humming” by clicking the book!
5e2.png - maroon

 



How to reap the benefits of running AND enjoy it!

I must have attempted more than fifty runs in my not so sporty life, but I didn’t enjoy a single one. Getting the motivation up to get my running shoes on and get out the door took me AGES, in fact the motivation never came, I would just force myself out the door, argh.

Then I’d pound the pavement and pant to the point where I’d nearly collapse on the pavement – crazy huh?

Then I discovered a way to enjoy it… when I trained in integrative nutrition we were basically encouraged to find an exercise we enjoyed doing. Because if we don’t enjoy it then what’s the point, right?

Brooklyn Bridge

Out of all the different exercises available, there has to be one for everyone, surely? But I was still determined to pursue running, given my past experience it felt crazy, but it was true… I guess because the preparation was easy – you put your shoes on and away you go.

Then somewhere on my healthy travels I stumbled across ChiRunning – the tagline was something like ‘run with ease, and enjoy it’ – I was sold! I was especially sold when I read all the high praise for this running technique.

So I bought the book written by Danny Dreyer (the founder of ChiRunning), and I never even finished it, I just read it until I understood the basic principles – so I’m no expert, but that was enough for me. I now REALLY look forward to my runs. Unbelievable when you look at my history with running.  And since I adopted this technique 2 years ago, I now run 10k each year (to raise awareness around the tragedy that is factory farming), this is me before the West London Vitality 10k Run last week:

run

When I get to that 10k mark I can never quite believe I’ve done it…

Two great bonus tips on ChiRunning:

  1. If like me, you’re prone to high cortisol levels and/or you’ve experienced some form of adrenal fatigue, then high impact exercise like running, can be detrimental to your health. However, when you adopt the ChiRunning technique, you’re less likely to raise your cortisol.
  2. If you’re prone to injuries whilst running, then ChiRunning is perfect for you!

The basic principles of ChiRunning are:

  • Making sure your body is in a relaxed state
  • Correct body alignment and posture
  • Breathe from your belly
  • Ensuring your foot lands with a midfoot strike
  • Using a ‘gravity-assisted’ forward lean
  • Engaging your core strength
  • Making that connection between mind and body – this helps to prevent injury.

So if your relationship with running is what mine used to be then I encourage you to give ChiRunning a go! Here’s a link to Danny Dreyer’s website if you’d like more information: http://www.chirunning.com/

(By the way, I’m not affiliated in any way, I’m just very pro this style of running.)

If you test out this technique then let me know how you get on, I’d love to know what your experience of it is.

Bridget xo

Grab your FREE eBook “5 Easy Steps To Boost Your Energy & Get Your Hormones Humming” by clicking the book!
5e2.png - maroon



The Health Risks of Candles & My Favourite Alternatives

When I started my holistic journey 3 years ago after being misdiagnosed with depression (which was actually just a symptom of a hormonal imbalance – you can read my story here), there was one thing that kept popping up for me in this world of wellness, and that’s how fragrance can disrupt our endocrine system (our endocrine system basically controls our hormones and other bodily functions).

It was a huge eye opener for me when it comes to the ‘integrative approach’ to healing. I used to believe that so long as we ate well and exercised then this was a healthy lifestyle. But these days in our modern-day fast-paced, toxic and chemicalised world we live in, it takes much more than that.

There are a number of fragrances and perfumes as well as household cleaning products that pose potential health risks for us, but given the time of year I want to talk about candles.

candle4

Candles – they look pretty, and they seem safe, but…

We love to light candles, especially at this time of year, they add warmth to the atmosphere and can add a fragrance to the room. But the cost to your health could outweigh adding warmth or fragrance to your living area.

Most candles contain paraffin with is a petroleum waste product that has to be deodorised and chemically bleached before it can be made into wax.

When a candle containing paraffin wax is burning it releases toxins the same as those found in diesel fuel fumes. No, they might not smell like diesel but the toxins released are the same. There are other toxic chemicals that can be found in candles that are also found in paint and varnish remover (it doesn’t get more toxic than that!)

“Petro-soot from paraffin candles gives off the same soot as the exhaust of a diesel engine, and is considered just as dangerous as second hand smoke, causing problems from headaches to lung cancer. Paraffin fumes have been found to cause tumours in the kidneys and liver of lab animals.” [Source.] 

Many candles also contain artificial scents and dyes, which release additional chemicals when burned.

And don’t even get me started on those air fresheners. They’re incredibly toxic, they smell awful, and they’ve been linked to lifelong health issues like asthma. And in the 2013 International Journal of Public Health, researchers found that pregnant women who had used air fresheners were “significantly more likely to have babies that suffered from wheezing and lung infections.”

When I made these discoveries about candles my heart sank because I LOVE candles!

So how are you going to warm the atmosphere and safely fragrant the air in your living area this Xmas? Here are some of my favourites for adding warmth and atmosphere to the home at Xmas…

  1. Lighting some natural candles free of harmful ingredients.: Soy-based candles or beeswax candles are the best alternative. They cost a bit more but your health is worth investing in.
  2. Put fairy lights everywhere: Fairy lights look gorgeous and they really add to the atmosphere in a room. Drape them over mirrors (you can get plugless ones with batteries), twist them round stairs, or put them over doorways – fairy lights pretty much go anywhere and everywhere!
  3. My favourite way to add scent: essential oils that are certified pure therapeutic grade (i.e. they contain no harmful fillers or synthetics), not only smell incredible but they are A-mazing for our health. Our minds and body reap the health benefits of these incredible oils on so many levels. I diffuse essential oils all year round, not just at Xmas. However, specifically for Xmas, these are some of my favourites:

White Fir, Wild Orange, Clove, Ginger, Cassia, Holiday Joy blend, and Cinnamon Bark.

holiday oils

These essential oils not only create an incredible smell but you can breathe and inhale them safe in the knowledge that they’re 100% safe for your health. Just add 5-6 drops of your preferred oil to your diffuser (if you don’t have a diffuser I can recommend these) and diffuse away and fill your room with the beautiful aroma.

If you’d like to know how you can get some of these essential oils and learn different ways to use them, then just follow this link and if you have any questions I’d be more than happy to help!

Bridget xo

Grab your FREE eBook “5 Easy Steps To Boost Your Energy & Get Your Hormones Humming” by clicking the book!
5e2.png - maroon



10 Great Reasons to Start Bouncing for Your Health & Hormones

Are you feeling uninspired with your exercise routine?

The key to success with exercise is finding something you enjoy doing. So if you find yourself hauling yourself out of bed early to get to the gym but you’re really not enjoying it, then try something different!

I used to hate running, it felt like such a wrench to get those Nikes out and hit the pavement. Then I discovered a technique that made it more enjoyable (check out Chi Running http://www.chirunning.com/).

Occasionally though, I like to change things up a bit, so I recently introduced bouncing on a rebounder to my routine – did you know that jumping on a rebounder can be the best physical movement you can do for your body?

“Rebounding strengthens every organ in the body. Take time to pursue this life-enhancing form of exercise.” – Anthony Robbins

rebound

We all need to exercise but when it comes to our hormones, exercise is essential! To ensure our hormones are in top-notch working order, we need to get things moving through our lymphatic system, and jumping on a rebounder is the BEST way to do this.

By jumping, your cells are forced together at the bottom of the bounce. Toxins are then squeezed out from around the cellular tissue, making it possible for the lymph glands to clean and cleanse the body.

Here’s 10 great reasons to start jumping:

  1. Flushes our toxins out
  2. Increases our circulation
  3. Strengthens our tendons and ligaments
  4. Helps reduces inflammation
  5. Helps us lose weight
  6. Helps improve digestion
  7. Boosts your immunity
  8. Improves mental activity
  9. Improves memory
  10. It’s fun!

A gentle bounce for 2-3 minutes a day is all you need – that’s nothing!

AND, you don’t even have to go outside for it, you can do it in the comfort of your home while listening to an inspiring podcast (that’s what I do anyway).

You can get one on Amazon for as little as £30.

I can’t think of anything else that’s this easy, that achieves so many incredible results.

So what are you waiting for? Get bouncing!

Grab your FREE eBook “5 Easy Steps To Boost Your Energy & Get Your Hormones Humming” by clicking the book!
5e2.png - maroon



balance

Balance is a tricky subject among many people. We have careers, partners, children, family commitments, charity work, classes, hobbies—plus, big desires to improve our health. How can one possibly balance so many things?

I’m going to let you in on a little secret here: You can’t.

Balance. Is It A Myth?

“Harmony” is an easier goal than balance.

Harmony means everything is co-existing in togetherness. But whatever you want to call it —harmony, balance, or “fitting it all in”— there is a secret to doing more of what you want and less of what you don’t want.

Want to hear it?

I just need to warn you that although it sounds simple, it actually takes massive willpower to execute. It also requires that you get absolutely clear on what you want your life to look like, and what you do not want in your life.

Work-life balance was a mistake from the start. Because we don’t really want balance. We want satisfaction.”—Matthew Kelly, author

Ready? Okay, here’s the secret:

  1. First ask yourself what isn’t serving you. What doesn’t need to be in your life? What is dragging you down and not making you feel good? What’s keeping you awake at night?
  2. Have you identified a few things? Now get rid of them. (Or fix them. Now.)
  3. Next, ask yourself what you want in your life—or in this week or day? What do you want to accomplish? What do you want to do? Who do you want to be with? Focus your energy on these things. Anything that doesn’t fit into this larger scheme… let it go (or learn how to say “no”).

Ready to dive in and make a few changes? Give these tips a try and see how much more harmonious your life can be. No balance required.


ARE YOU CURIOUS ABOUT HOW TO HARMONISE YOUR HEALTH GOALS?  HOW TO FIT WELLNESS INTO YOUR BUSY SCHEDULE?   

jump start

Click the image to book your FREE 30 minute call – I can’t wait to connect with you!



5 Foods to Make Your Skin Glow!

When I was growing up I didn’t have the best skin, in fact I would hide away from social occasions if I was having a ‘bad skin day’. I believed that it was chocolate that gave me spots so I NEVER ate chocolate and it’s one of my favourite foods!

If only I knew then what I know now…

get your glow on

So because of this built in insecurity about my skin I became obsessed with eating and drinking healthy stuff – yes, that’s where it all started.

So over the years I’ve made it my business to make sure I was truly feeding my skin with the right foods and here are some of my favourites:

Sunflower Seeds
These are a great source of vitamin E, a protective antioxidant that helps skin glow. They also contain zinc which is essential for keeping skin, hair, and eyes healthy, and it’s critical for wound healing and scar prevention. I love sunflower seed butter for spreading on toast or adding to smoothies – plus, when any nut or seed is ground up into a butter our body is going to absorb so much more!

Think about it, if you’re eating seeds then you’re never going to chew them enough for your body to fully absorb them so the more ground up the better.

Brazil Nuts
Brazil nuts are a great source of selenium which helps increase the number of infection-fighting white blood cells in the body, as well as protect against cellular damage. For skin care, selenium’s antioxidant properties regenerate vitamins E and C, thereby decreasing the ageing of skin.

I love adding them to a chocolate milk shake, just add: almond milk, 4 brazil nuts, 2 dates, tablespoon of cacao nibs, and tablespoon cacao and whizz until smooth – my kids love this too!

Avocados
This is one of my favourite good fats and they’re great for preventing dry skin and brittle hair & nails. For super hydrated skin eat plenty of them and/or use it topically as a face mask.

Beans
Have you ever noticed that vegans have great skin? Because they eat a lot of beans! Beans are not only a wonderful source of protein but the protein breaks down into amino acids, which help speed up the repair and regeneration of skin cells and collagen = good skin!

Beetroot
This gloriously red vegetable is amazing for widening our blood vessels, lowering our blood pressure, and helps the blood flow to the skin and we can’t have good skin without the blood getting a good flow through it.

So what are you going to add to your next shopping list?

Go get your glow on!

Grab your FREE eBook “5 Easy Steps To Boost Your Energy & Get Your Hormones Humming” by clicking the book!
5e2.png - maroon

 



From Darkness To Light

As I stood on our local green watching our twin boys laughing their way down the slide at the fun fair I could not stop the flow of tears. It wasn’t the first time I asked myself “what’s happened to me?”

I prefer to call it a ‘mood disorder’.  When did it start?  It’s hard to say as all the days, months and years became a haze of what happened when but it started roughly around the time I entered motherhood – just as I was ready as ever to embrace my new role with all the love and joy I could muster, something else started to take over.

pic 1

I knew that life with twins was going to be busy, so I wasn’t expecting much rest, but my perfectionist side took over. My ever-supportive husband would tell me “take a rest”, “have a massage”, but there was always something else I needed to do.

The perfectionism wore through me, I became so exhausted and tired I developed adrenal fatigue. To fully recuperate from this condition required, amongst other things, plenty of rest. The perfectionist side of me said ‘this was out of the question, I had twins, I had things to do,’ so I just learnt to manage it.

The way I was feeling got progressively worse and I wanted a way out, I wanted to feel ‘whole’ again, when I just felt broken.

At my lowest I would have tried any remedy, natural or unnatural, so I pretty much did… I just wanted JOY back in my life and to feel WHOLE again!

There seems to be an unspoken rule around ‘mood disorders’ in our society so I became an expert at putting on a facade around family and friends.

Then I saw the pattern, and I shudder to think why I didn’t see it earlier, but I saw that my mood was purely hormonal. The 2 weeks leading up to my menstrual cycle were the worst weeks. The other two weeks were, I suppose, a hangover from those weeks, so although my mood was relatively normal during that time, I was still left thinking ‘what’s going on?’

I came to believe that… if I was once a ‘whole’ person, then I could be WHOLE again.

Cleansing my body, reducing my toxic load, using medicinal aromatherapy, taking exceptional care of myself, and dropping perfectionism for ‘pretty perfect’, were all things that contributed to the whole and joyful life I experience now.

What I have now feels like a true gift but it’s how all of us should feel all of the time!  Spending time with my family without being grouchy but feeling happy and fully present is one of the biggest gifts.  With a mood disorder it’s very hard to open your heart up to people but now I feel full of love and that’s a joyful feeling in itself.

As women we wear many hats and we deserve to feel our absolute best!

My mission is to empower other women who are feeling less than whole and happy to find a way out, because if we don’t, our role as mums, wives, and/or business owners becomes that much harder.

Grab your FREE eBook “5 Easy Steps To Boost Your Energy & Get Your Hormones Humming” by clicking the book!
5e2.png - maroon



One of the biggest pitfalls when it comes to weight-loss

Most women approach a weight-loss program with gusto.  We’re spurred on with visualisations of ourselves at the end of the program strutting our stuff in our slinky new outfit – then bam!

You reach the end of the program and find you haven’t reached your target weight – you start to internalise and sabotage yourself for possible reasons why.

More often than not, the answer boils down to one thing (and it has nothing to do with weakness or lack of willpower)…

Body shame.

We get caught up in the self-sabotage pattern and don’t allow ourselves to love our bodies.

Untitled

Why do SO many women do this?   When you hate your body, then no one else can hurt you.  As unkind as we are to ourselves, this way of being ‘keeps us safe’. Because if you don’t love yourself then there is nothing anyone can take away from you.

You think you are protecting yourself, but really you keep yourself trapped and avoid any chance of loving the skin you are in and accepting yourself just as you are.

Don’t let negative thought patterns sabotage your goals – you deserve to live in a body you love!

Swapping out negative thought patterns for more compassionate ones might feel vulnerable to start with, but I can promise you this: when you let go, when you start showing you and your body compassion, you start to experience the feeling you’ve been searching for in diets: love & self-acceptance.

So the next time you approach a weight-loss plan, make sure your mind-set is in check as this can make all the difference – because to reach your destination, you need to start loving your body just as it is right now.

Grab your FREE eBook “5 Easy Steps To Boost Your Energy & Get Your Hormones Humming” by clicking the book!
5e2.png - maroon



6 signs you’re using food as an emotional crutch and what you can do about it

When we have a difficult day and things haven’t quite gone to plan, or perhaps a work colleague says something we take a bit personally, it leaves us feeling a bit crappy.  Some of us ‘get over it’, or some of us head for the fridge or biscuit tin and scarf down a small mountain of food.

So why do some of us turn to food for comfort?  We want to ‘numb out’, we want to be feeling anything than what’s going on in our head and this drives us to the food.  In the moment it feels bliss.  But when the moment is over what are we left with?  Those feelings that led us to the food in the first place, AND now we’re also feeling guilty for the indulgence?
foodiesfeed.com_pancakes-hot-caramel-ice-cream1

Here are 6 signs you’re using food as an emotional crutch:

  1. You eat when you’re stressed.
  2. You think about food ALL of the time.  You dream about your next meal.
  3. You eat when you’re sad, happy, bored, tired, frustrated, angry, or anxious.  (For some, this pattern has been around for so long they don’t even realise they’re doing it.)
  4. You have random cravings and will do ANYTHING to get your hands on it.
  5. Your desire to eat has taken on a life of its own.  You continue to eat even when you know you’ve had enough.
  6. You use emotionally-charged words to describe eating, for example: “indulgent”, “tempting”, and “sinful”.

Our emotions might lead us to the food, but the food only offers a very brief relief from what’s really going on.  The food will soothe us momentarily, but when the moment is over, we’re not only left with the unresolved emotions, but then we sabotage ourselves for our ‘food raid.’

Breaking patterns that have become so familiar to us don’t happen overnight, but here are 4 things you can do to start:

  1. Get present with your feelings: I know, I know, this isn’t easy when all you want is food to soothe, but by truly feeling what’s going on is the first stage to long-term success in breaking this pattern.  So next time you feel like heading for the fridge, make a herbal tea and grab your journal.  Note down your thoughts and feelings in that moment – I promise you, doing this instead will help you release what’s really going on.  The only way to the ‘other side’ is to ‘feel’ what’s going on, only then can you make the shift.  
  2. Remove all temptation from the house: this is a really simple one – if it’s not available then it can’t be eaten.  Crowd out all the bad stuff with the good stuff, so if you do have a binge at least it was healthy right?  ‘Crowding out’ is a great way to get healthy, whether you’re an emotional eater or not.
  3. Change your biochemistry: if your body is used to those starchy carbs and sugar then when an emotion triggers that craving you’ll be hell bent on getting your ‘fix’.  So next time try having a tablespoon of coconut oil (this good fat is my favourite choice for knocking that craving on its head – you can read more about this amazing oil here), or add the coconut oil to a smoothie with some almond milk, raw cacao, dates, and a banana – I promise you will not need anything starchy or sugary after this.
  4. Nurture yourself: Ask yourself “What do I need right now?” And if the answer doesn’t come straightaway, take yourself off for a relaxing bath with some Epsom salts and essential oils. Light some candles. Make the moment really special. Let go and release. I guarantee you’ll feel better.

Emotional eating can show up in different ways for different people, but when we turn to food when we’re not truly hungry, then something deeper is going on – whether it’s a crappy day, poor body image, low self-esteem, or certain beliefs we hold about ourselves, these are all things that can be overcome, but it won’t be found in any fridge, packet or pantry.

Before you next find yourself feeding your emotions, know this: caring for yourself emotionally comes from a sincere desire to change your life – when you do this, food starts to lose its power over you, and a powerful shift takes place.

 

smaller size

Subscribe & Receive My FREE eBook ‘Simple Steps to Nourish + Nurture’

* indicates required





Why I can’t live without smoothies

Is there one thing you can’t live without?  Like your life wouldn’t be complete without it?  I’d love to hear what it is!

For me it is smoothies – yes, I LOVE them and couldn’t be without them.  Why?  Because not only are they delicious but they were a big contributor for helping me end the ‘fight’ I had with my body.

For a long time I carried weight around my middle, I had digestive issues, and I had an unsightly bloat that would develop throughout the day.  I hated it.  It made me miserable.

I was so unhappy with this part of my body that I I’d soothe my sorrow with diving into the fridge.  (You can read my full story by clicking here)

rainbow-smoothies-2pp_w649_h432

Smoothies quite literally changed my life (now I know that sounds dramatic, but it’s true!)

Here are 5 reasons why I love smoothies and how they contributed to banishing the part of my body I hated so much:

  1. You can get more than your 5-a-day: I’m not a huge fan of eating fruit and vege whole so smoothies allow me to get even more than my 5-a-day and actually enjoy it!
  2. Like many people I wasn’t chewing my food enough which meant I wasn’t digesting my food properly – nothing chews up our food like a blender.  Our gut loves it when it doesn’t have to work so hard to digest our food.
  3. You can cram in some super foods to make it extra nutritious.
  4. Have boundless energy that keeps you going all day.
  5. It diminishes those cravings (secret ingredients for this are: coconut oil, cacao or almond butter).

Smoothies are crammed with goodness and blended so smooth that our body assimilates it beautifully.

I dare you to start your day with a smoothie every day for 5 days and see how you feel.

I bet you’ll feel amazing!

p.s if you lack time to prep in the mornings try chopping up some fruit and veg in batches and placing into small plastic bags (like mine below) for the freezer so you can grab and go. Just had water or some almond milk and you’re good to go!
021

Grab your FREE eBook “5 Easy Steps To Boost Your Energy & Get Your Hormones Humming” by clicking the book!
5e2.png - maroon



1 2 3 4