Monthly Archives: February 2014

Self forgiveness … open the door

824

February is the month of love … But as we cherish our loved ones with hearts, cards, and roses, it is also time to pay attention to our most important relationship: the one we have with our own body.

We have to begin to love our body unconditionally as we create permanent, positive results… and they key is self-forgiveness!

As we embark upon our healthy journey, we can be relentless when it comes to self-criticism and contempt for ourself and our body.   We must let go of guilt and shame about our appearance or how we have not looked after our body, it is only by embracing a world of love and positivity that helps us create the healthy body we want and deserve.  And for anyone who has started this journey they will endorse this, it is not about looking like a magazine cover model, it is about recognizing that each one of us is beautiful, different and wonderful.  There are no ‘standardized’ beauty heros or heroines in this world, we are who we are and it is our own time to shine.  An unhealthy routine is given rise to from a myriad of issues, where food has been used to substitute a feeling of ‘wellbeing’ and as we get a small high from that food or habit (smoking etc) so we feel lifted and the vicious cycle is created.  Step 1, no more fad diets or crazy routines instead we need to establish ourselves in a pattern whereby healthy food choices and exercise can slot into our timetable on an ongoing basis that is a permanent feature.  Yes we may desire the occasional unhealthy snack or meal, yes we may desire to skip the odd workout, these exceptions to the rule are absolutely fine.  Life is for living, find something that works for you and stick with it, change up the meals and the workouts for variation, after all it is the spice of life that keeps us vibrant.

A self-forgiving state of mind helps us more easily release negative judgments of ourself. We are then less likely to act on those feelings by hurting ourself and our body. Resulting in ourselves naturally wanting to take better care of our body hence we are likely to eat healthier foods, give our body the movement it needs, and treat ourself with greater compassion.

On the other hand, when we fill our minds and bodies with the poisonous energies of self-contempt (and we are all capable of doing this), we are more likely to turn to food for comfort or self-punishment. The negative feelings can quickly lead to a very old and familiar sense of being out of control or a victim.  Or even worse feeling that ‘wellbeing’ again, which actually is the complete reverse.

Creating and forging a habit of self forgiveness causes us to notice significant changes in our physical health and in your ability to no longer rely on food for comfort. And with these feelings of strength and positivity we want to exercise and tone up our bodies it is a natural progression.

Self forgiveness requires patience and persistence. Below are some exercises to help you on your way.

1. Be Willing to Forgive Yourself

Release guilt, shame and self-hatred. Open the space for this healing energy to enter your mind and body by setting the intention to do so.

Simply say to yourself right now: “I want to forgive myself.”

Additionally, write these words down on paper several times:

“I want to forgive myself. I want to love myself fully and treat myself with loving kindness.”

This may seem like a very simple process. It is. Don’t equate simple with ineffective. A sincere and deliberate intention to stop berating yourself, and to forgive yourself when you do, helps you take charge of your life, feel less like a victim, and stop the cycle of emotional eating.

2. Wrap Negative Thoughts in Love

We all fall into old patterns. So the next time you slip back into less than healthy eating or exercise habits and berate yourself with unkind words, turn to your heart for comfort.

For example, instead of dwelling on those negative thoughts and feelings, remind yourself you can stop. Take a deep breath. Then, focus your attention on your heart and at the same time think of a beautiful memory or someone you love. I learned this exercise and it helps you feel calm very quickly. Then, say this affirmation to yourself or out loud while keeping your attention on your heart:

“I release these thoughts and feelings (or shame and guilt, etc.) into the Love and I open myself to loving and forgiving myself.”

Directing your attention to your heart infuses your words with calming, heart-based energy. It is as if you are wrapping your self-contempt in a blanket of love.

3. Connect to Your Heart, Literally

Become quiet. Place your hand on your heart. Feel your heart beat. Now, while keeping your hand on your heart, say to yourself:

“I totally and completely love and accept myself with all my problems and all my limitations.”

Feel into this process. Repeat several times daily.

This exercise helps you connect with the loving energy of your heart. Your heart doesn’t judge you for overeating or for talking harshly to yourself. It simply keeps beating on. Feel that beautiful, consistent heartbeat and know that you are loved by the pure energy within it.

Practice the above steps faithfully and you’ll begin to create a lightness of spirit within you.

Be patient and have faith. Over time you’ll notice that the love you give to yourself on the inside will be reflected in the ways you care for yourself and look and feel on the outside.

 

 

 

 

Source: Diane Petrella, MSW

5 Foods That Fight Stress

walnuts

 

For any help with the recipe ingredients Google Nigella or similar…

Turning to food when you are stressed is a natural response to the pressures of life.  Choose natural stress-relieving foods to get you back on the happy track.
Walnuts
Good for: Lowers Blood Pressure

A Pennsylvania State University (PSU) study found that consuming walnut oil over a six-week period lowered both resting blood pressure as well as blood pressure responses to stress.  According to Sheila G. West, associate professor of bio-behavioural health at PSU, the study is the first to connect walnut oil consumption with reducing blood pressure during stress.  She adds, “This is important because we can’t avoid all of the stressors in our daily lives. This study shows that a dietary change could help our bodies better respond to stress.”  For those whose hearts are already working overtime thanks to high adrenaline levels this is welcomed news.   (recommended 1 ½ oz per day).
Try this Curried Walnut Chicken Recipe.

Curried Walnut Chicken Recipe

Submitted by christinavt

Makes 6 servings
Recipe Ingredients for Curried Walnut Chicken
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
14 1/2 ounce fat free or low fat chicken soup
3 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon curry powder
12 ounces cooked chicken breast, (or 1 pound fresh boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch cubes)
2 medium carrots, peeled and thinly sliced on the diagonal
1 small red bell pepper, seeded and sliced into thin strips
4 green onions, cut on the diagonal into 1 inch pieces
1 salt, to taste
3 cups (hot) cooked long-grain white rice

Recipe Directions for Curried Walnut Chicken

  1. Heat walnuts in a dry skillet over medium-high heat 1-2 minutes until walnuts are slightly toasted. Set aside and reserve. In a medium bowl whisk together broth, cornstarch and Curry powder. Set aside and reserve.
  2. Coat a 12-inch nonstick skillet with vegetable cooking spray and set over medium-high heat. Add chicken and saute, stirring occasionally, until chicken is seared and golden brown, about 5 minutes. Stir in carrots, bell pepper and green onions; saute, stirring occasionally, 2 minutes
  3. Stir in Curry mixture and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until sauce is thickened, chicken is cooked throughout and vegetables are crisp-tender, about 4 minutes. Season with salt. Spoon rice into individual warm serving bowls; top with chicken-Curry mixture and walnuts, dividing equally.
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 254.3g
Amount Per Serving
Calories

239
Calories from Fat

33
% Daily Value*
Total Fat

3.7g
6%
Saturated Fat

0.7g
4%
Trans Fat

0.0g
Cholesterol

44mg
15%
Sodium

208mg
9%
Total Carbohydrates

30.2g
10%
Dietary Fibre

1.9g
8%
Sugars

1.8g
Protein

19.8g
Vitamin A 78% Vitamin C 32%
Calcium 4% Iron 12%
* Based on a 2000 calorie dietNutritional details are an estimate and should only be used as a guide for approximation.
Legend

Fat
Protein
Carbs
Alcohol
Other

Calorie Breakdown
Nutrition Breakdown
Daily Values
Daily Values

Oatmeal
Good for:  Promotes Steady Serotonin Production

Low serotonin levels can mean headaches, loss of appetite and depressed feelings.  Raising serotonin levels can mean dealing with stress through increased energy levels and improved mood.  Complex carbohydrates promote steady serotonin production.  Alegent Health dietitian Toni Kuehneman explains, “When you drink sugar-sweetened beverages or have a sweetie, you start a vicious circle where tryptophan produces serotonin and blood sugar spikes then falls, so then you’re sleepy and go back to sweeties, and round and round.”  However the balanced serotonin production that the fibre from whole grains like oatmeal provides slows digestion and thus gives you long term support.  Kuehneman suggests combining carbohydrates with protein and fat for the perfect snack — such as whole-wheat crackers with cheese.
Try this Raspberry Oatmeal Pancakes Recipe.

 

Raspberry Oatmeal Pancakes Recipe

Submitted by balletromanceMakes 16 serving

Recipe Ingredients for Raspberry Oatmeal Pancakes

1 1/2 cups rolled oats
1 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup fresh raspberries (rinsed)
1 butter

Recipe Directions for Raspberry Oatmeal Pancakes

  1. 1. In a bowl mix oats and buttermilk. Let stand at least 15 minutes, or up to 30 minutes.
  2. 2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  3. 3. In a large bowl, beat eggs, milk and vanilla. Stir in flour and oats mixture. Mix until evenly moistened, then fold in raspberries.
  4. 4. Place a nonstick griddle, or nonstick frying pan over medium heat. When hot, coat the pan with a few teaspoons of a light colored oil (you can eyeball the measurement).
  5. 5. Pour batter in 1/2 cup portions onto griddle and cook until pancakes are browned on the bottom and the edges begin to look dry, about 2 minutes. Turn with a spatula and cook another 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Coat pan with more oil as needed to coat remaining pancakes.
  6. 6. Serve the pancakes as cook or keep warm on a baking sheet, in a single layer n a 200 degree oven for 15 minutes, or until you?re able to serve them.
  7. 7. Stack and serve with fresh raspberries, powdered sugar and warm maple syrup.
Nutrition Facts
Amount Per Serving
Calories

122
Calories from Fat

21
% Daily Value*
Total Fat

2.3g
4%
Saturated Fat

0.8g
4%
Trans Fat

0.0g
Cholesterol

49mg
16%
Sodium

193mg
8%
Total Carbohydrates

20.2g
7%
Dietary Fibre

1.6g
6%
Sugars

5.6g
Protein

5.0g
Vitamin A 2% Vitamin C 4%
Calcium 7% Iron 7%
* Based on a 2000 calorie dietNutritional details are an estimate and should only be used as a guide for approximation.
Legend

Fat
Protein
Carbs
Alcohol
Other

Calorie Breakdown
Nutrition Breakdown
Daily Values
Daily Values

Health Information

Nutrition Grade
96% confidence
C+
Good points

Bad points

 

Salmon

Good for:  Suppresses Adrenaline Production

Extended periods of physical or psychological stress produces the fight or flight hormone adrenaline.  Research shows that omega-3 fatty acids can help suppress the production of adrenaline.  Too much adrenaline causes nervousness, mood swings, and aggression.  Lowering adrenaline is as simple as eating foods high in omega-3 fatty acids.  The American Heart Association recommends eating at least two 3 ½ oz servings of cooked fatty fish like salmon a week.
Try this Maple Glazed Salmon Recipe.

Maple Glazed Salmon Recipe

Submitted by kt145Makes 4 servings
Recipe Ingredients for maple glazed salmon
1 lb salmon
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 tbsp soy sauce

Recipe Directions for maple glazed salmon

  1. mix maple syrup and soy sauce
  2. marinate salmon for 30 min
  3. bake at 350 for 20-25 min or until opaque
  4. or grill until opaque
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 141.1g
Amount Per Serving
Calories

289
Calories from Fat

126
% Daily Value*
Total Fat

14.0g
22%
Saturated Fat

2.8g
14%
Trans Fat

0.0g
Cholesterol

71mg
24%
Sodium

522mg
22%
Total Carbohydrates

13.8g
5%
Sugars

11.8g
Protein

25.5g
Vitamin A 1% Vitamin C 7%
Calcium 3% Iron 4%
* Based on a 2000 calorie dietNutritional details are an estimate and should only be used as a guide for approximation.
Legend

Fat
Protein
Carbs
Alcohol
Other

Calorie Breakdown
Nutrition Breakdown
Daily Values
Daily Values

Health Information

Nutrition Grade
96% confidence
B
Good points

 

Tea
Good for:  Lowers Cortisol

University College London researchers found that daily cups of tea can help people recover from the stresses of everyday life quicker.  Published in the journal Psychopharmacologythe study’s participants were found to have lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol in their blood after a stressful event as compared to those who had taken a fake tea substitute.  Prolonged high levels of cortisol can lead to heart disease and other health problems.  Professor Andrew Steptoe, who conducted the study says: “Drinking tea has traditionally been associated with stress relief…[in the study]neither we nor the participants knew whether they were drinking real or fake tea. This means that any differences were due to the biological ingredients of tea…”

Spinach
Good for:  Regulates Blood Sugar Levels

Having too little magnesium can result in headaches, anxiety and fatigue.  Eating one cup of spinach provides up to 40% of the daily recommended value of magnesium, a mineral that helps regulate blood sugar levels.  Because type 2 diabetics typically have low magnesium levels, eating spinach could improve the effects of the disease.  Healthy adults stand to enjoy better eyesight, digestion and controlled appetite.  The additional vitamins and minerals that spinach provides, makes it worthwhile to eat up daily.
Try this Grecian Spinach Recipe.

Grecian Spinach Recipe

Submitted by smythchMakes 2 servings
Recipe Ingredients for Grecian Spinach
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 red onion, sliced into thin rings
2 lbs. fresh baby spinach, washed & stemmed
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon peel
1 salt to taste
1 black pepper to taste
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese

Recipe Directions for Grecian Spinach

  1. Heat large pan with lid over med/high heat (if pan cannot hold all the spinach, cut recipe in half).
  2. Add oil and sliced red onion. Saute until onion starts to wilt.
  3. Add spinach and quickly saute for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Add lemon peel, salt and pepper.
  5. Cook a few seconds more to release flavours.
  6. Add crumbled feta cheese and stir to incorporate.
  7. Transfer to serving dish and serve immediately.
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 507.9g
Amount Per Serving
Calories

225
Calories from Fat

112
% Daily Value*
Total Fat

12.5g
19%
Saturated Fat

4.0g
20%
Trans Fat

0.0g
Cholesterol

17mg
6%
Sodium

646mg
27%
Total Carbohydrates

19.9g
7%
Dietary Fiber

10.5g
42%
Sugars

3.9g
Protein

16.0g
Vitamin A 852% Vitamin C 217%
Calcium 55% Iron 69%
* Based on a 2000 calorie dietNutritional details are an estimate and should only be used as a guide for approximation.
Legend

Fat
Protein
Carbs
Alcohol
Other

Calorie Breakdown
Nutrition Breakdown
Daily Values
Daily Values

 

Health Information

Nutrition Grade
96% confidence
A
Good points

 

 

Best Online Dating sites…

iStock_000000969962Small

 

 

 

 

 

 

1. Tastebuds

A similar taste in music can be a great indicator as to whether you’re compatible with someone, so the fine folks behind Tastebuds have struck gold with their music-based online dating site. Getting started is dead simple: pick three artists or bands that you’re interested in, the gender you’re looking to date and press ‘go’. It’s a fun and relaxed site, which can introduce you to new music, concert buddies and potentially even your own real-life Caleb Followill.

2. Doingsomething
Let’s face it, meeting up with a complete stranger for a first date can be awkward and hideously cringeworthy. But it’s less so when the date itself is a total riot. This is where Doingsomething.co.uk comes in. The site is all about the actual dating experience and let’s you pick a match based on the date idea they’ve suggested. And the more fun and unique the date the better. So, rather than nervously meeting someone for a luke warm coffee in a crowded chain, you could be trying out your culinary skills at a sushi-making masterclass or bonding over super-strong cocktails at a hipster speakeasy. It’s basically about finding someone who wants to do the same things as you at the end of the day, isn’t it?

3. Muddymatches
Set up by two friends, Emma and Lucy, in 2006, Muddy Matches is aimed at ‘muddies’, who by the girls’ definition is ‘any person who loves the countryside and is not afraid of a bit of mud’. The criteria is pretty relaxed and the site uses a Muddy-Townie ratio to match potential dates accordingly. So, someone who lives and breathes country air and despises all things concrete jungle would have a ratio of 100:0, but someone who lives in the city but loves to don their Hunters at the weekend might be a 30:70.

4. PlentyofFish
Plenty of Fish is one of the biggest dating sites in the world with over 40 millions users. It works by asking users to take a special POF Relationship Chemistry Predictor test, which measures self-confidence, family-orientation, self-control, social dependency and easygoingness. You’re then matched to those most compatible to you.

5. BeautifulPeople.com
This online dating site does exactly what it says on the tin and only people deemed beautiful enough will be allowed to join the dating site. To become a member, applicants are required to be voted in by existing members of the opposite sex. Members rate new applicants over a 48 hour period based on whether or not they find the applicant ‘beautiful’. It sounds harsh, but the site claims that by admitting people based on their looks they’re removing the first hurdle of dating, saying that because everyone on the site is a fitty members can concentrate on getting to know people’s character and personalities. Beautiful People also promises access to exclusive parties and top guest lists around the globe. Now for that brutal 48-hour wait…

6. Mysinglefriend.com
Mysinglefriend.com is the brainchild of TV presenter Sarah Beeny and it works by each member on the site being put forward and described by a friend. The site aims to get rid of the ‘cringe factor’ associated with having to big yourself up through your online profile and makes it more of a fun community, where likeminded people can chat, meet and potentially fall in lurve.

7. Lovestruck
Lovestruck helps you target potential partners according to location and it covers many of the major cities across the world. It’s aimed at time-starved professionals, who due to busy work and social lives simply don’t have the time to date. Lovestruck helps put you in touch with people who are near you – be it where you work or live – to save you precious minutes or hours travelling to and from a date. The site also hosts regular events which are a fun, relaxed way to meet people.

8. Match.com
Match.com is probably the most widely-used dating site in the UK and works in the most traditional way. Create a profile, check out potential matches, send them a few messages and then arrange to meet for a date. There are also various off-shoots of Match.com with microsites for gay and lesbian dating, Asian dating, Christian dating and Polish dating.

9. DatingForParents.com
Getting back out there when you have a child can be hard and that’s where DatingForParents comes in. The dating service aims to unite likeminded single parents who will understand the unique pressures, challenges and joys of having children.

10. Personal Dating Agent
If all that sounds like a right pain, or you’re just too busy to be checking an online dating site every day/week, why not enlist the services of Personal Dating Agent? At a cost of £200 per month, all you have to do is provide some details and few photos, and then your Dating Agent will set up a profile for you and present you with 15 possible matches. You can pick whoever you fancy and a date will be set up for you. All you have to do is turn up.

Source: Marie Claire Jan 2014

Fitness DVDs That Actually Work

health club

Fitness DVDs are where we all turn to in the new year to try to claw back our pre-Christmas bodies. Instead of wasting money on a gym membership that you may never use, we’re going old school with some just-as-effective at home remedies.

Insanity available at BeachBody a truly rigorous programme for those of us who want a real challenge, it is body transforming as well as mind altering! YOU’VE BEEN WARNED!

T25 a fantastic programme also available from BeachBody – Shaun T puts you through your paces for 25mins (no water breaks and no rest breaks) and in that time you are guaranteed an amazing body and it is truly wonderful.

These two above mentioned programmes have been tried and tested by MaisonDuVann with incredible results.

Darcey Bussell Pilates For Life, £17.99 Darcey Bussell’s Pilates For Life reminds us of her ballet background while we get used to seeing her on the Strictly judging panel. This girl’s a pro, so listen up.

Yogalates 8 Dynamic Weight Loss, £6 – Yogalates’ is a new thing, combining the disciplines of yoga and pilates – try this DVD for twice the results.

Strong Body Fit Body: Burn Fat and Build Muscle, £8.50 – This fitness DVD is an unexpected front runner but a consistent customer favourite. Let Erin O’Brien lead you into a stronger, fitter body, and let weight loss come second.

15 Minute Fast Fitness with Jenny Pacey and Wayne Gordon: Body Transformation, £10.70 – Fitness training from actual Gladiators? This workout is rough and ready, and this dream team certainly don’t want to hear any excuses.

Davina Fit In 15, £14 – Davina McCall’s fitness DVDs fly off the shelves every January – everyone wants to look as fit.

Ministry Of Sound Pump It Up The Ultimate Dance Workout, £18.99 – Fitness DVDs with a dance element are fun and effective. If you love dancing, this is the easiest, most entertaining way to shift weight.

Addicted To Sweat DVD – Wet, Wet, Wild, £6.99 – If you’re looking for a fitness DVD to get you on your feet, the Addicted To Sweat DVD is the one to try. This DVD guarantees sweat, so get ready.

Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred, £5 – Any fitness DVD that claims to ‘shred’ body weight has got to be effective. Jillian Michaels is said to be America’s toughest trainer so she’s sure to work you hard.

Gareth Thomas: The 7 Day Fitness Plan, £9 – This fitness plan is designed to get you in shape over seven days, so if you’re looking for fast results, dedicate yourself to this DVD.

Josie Gibson’s 30 Second Slim, £8 – Weight loss is now Josie Gibson’s big thing. In 2013, we were all made very aware of her phenominal 6-stone weight loss, and we totally want to replicate it. You simply can’t argue with that ‘before’ and ‘after’ shot.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source: Marie Claire Magazine Jan 2014