I know I am an affiliate for Exante but oh… my… god! Do I love their new product? The answer is a resounding yes… yes… yes! Well done Exante I bloody love these. I seriously advise you to get them while they are in stock. This post is all about how you can quench your thirst with Exante Burst drink. As a lot of you already know I’m a lover of their Cranberry water enhancer already but this has gone up to another level.
Quench Your Thirst With Exante Burst Drink
Exante Bursk drink is a low-calorie multivitamin energy drink with added collagen and green tea extract and caffeine. As some of you may already know I did a blog post about collagen recently and how it can help make you feel fuller for longer and also has a lot of other positive effects that you can read about here .
Benefits Of Strawberry And Lime Exante Burst
With 1000mg collagen and added green tea extract, this is the perfect healthy alternative to high-sugar drinks that may hinder your weight loss journey. Vitamins and minerals included within this drink such as Biotin and Zinc can promote healthy hair, skin, and nails, and Iron and Vitamin B12 can reduce everyday tiredness.
Biotin contributes to the maintenance of normal hair, and skin. Zinc contributes to the maintenance of normal hair, skin, and nails. Iron and Vitamin B12 contributes to the reduction of tiredness and fatigue.
Safety: High caffeine content. Not recommended for children or pregnant or breast-feeding women (16.6mg/100ml)
Made with real fruit
With added green tea extract
With added collagen
Supports energy & focus, hair skin & nails, and metabolism
With 3 great flavours to choose from you can’t go wrong. You just need 500ml cold water (you can use sparkling too) and one sachet and stir until dissolved and it is ready.
In fact, it’s that good my daughter has nicked mine so will need to order some more… the first time she has done that. I will have to get a lock on the cupboard I think.
Please find the evidence below of this with the cheeky selfie I just received… How very dare she!
Please remember to use my discount code of TRACEY35 which can be used for the Exante meal replacements.
I hope you all have a lovely weekend wherever you may be and whatever you may be doing. Happy VE Day!
So life is different right now… no shit Sherlock! Losing weight is never easy and some of you may be finding it even harder right now. Weight loss is a constant battle for me but a big part of being successful is changing your mindset. I hooked up yesterday with a group of Exante Ambassadors and together we are going to support each other to help you guys. So this morning I have come up with 15 questions for coaching yourself through weight loss.
15 Questions For Coaching Yourself Through Weight Loss
Below you will find the 15 questions for coaching yourself through weight loss. I want you to read each one but not just glance at it but to get a pen and paper and write as much as you can and be as detailed as possible. Read your answers several times and visualise your responses.
Where do you most want to see a change in your life?
When do you want to have achieved this by?
If you achieved this what would it mean?
What do you really want in an ideal world?
How could you say your goal in just a few words? – words that make it exciting for you.
How will you know when you have achieved it?
What’s your gut telling you about this?
Reflect on the times in your past when you’ve felt the most content. What was happening?
What does “success” mean to you?
What do you need the most right now?
What do you think is missing from your life? Is there anything you yearn for?
What are three things that would make the most difference in your life right now?
What would your life look like if other people’s opinions wouldn’t matter?
What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail?
What would you do if money was no object?
Other Areas Of Your Life
Now you can use these questions for other areas of your life because as I said there is more to losing weight than just reducing calories. You need to tackle it from every angle. For me, I’m a comfort eater so finding it difficult through these scary times. One coping mechanism for me is support from other people in the same situation. I will be going through lots of coping mechanisms moving forward. So please feel free to subscribe so that you can read the posts as they get published.
The Exante Meal Replacement Diet
For me, the Exante diet meal replacement shakes and bars are the easiest to use out there. You can just grab a bar and go. Shakes are so easy too as you just need to fill a shaker beaker with 200-300ml of cold water (out of the fridge – it makes a difference!) and shake. The reason I have used 2 measurements is that some people prefer thinner shakes. When I started my Exante journey I would use 300ml as I didn’t like thicker shakes, but now I’m at 200-250 ml and it is perfect. So experiment until you find the right consistency for yourself.
There are various flavours so please don’t be put off by trying one and not liking it so you then give up. I hated it to start with but that was using tap water. The next one I used cold water from the fridge and it tasted like a different product – it was delicious. Don’t buy 100 of something unless you have tasted it first. I now have my handful of favourites and I’m more than happy with those.
I’d suggest if you are new to Exante that you buy a couple of each flavour so you can find your favourites and do the same with the bars. People’s tastes are so different so much so just because someone said that they love the peanut butter bar and its the bee’s knees; you might not think the same – I know I didn’t!
Another good thing to consider the products contain all of the vitamins and minerals that your body needs which to me is a plus considering the current pandemic.
Dieting During Lockdown
One of the great things about starting your diet now with Exante you won’t be queuing up at the supermarket. Everything gets delivered straight to your door; it doesn’t get easier than that. I will talk more about the different products moving forward.
Wow… I’m not really where to start with this one. I feel as I guess many of you do that everything right now is a bit surreal. Feeling as if you are part of some horror movie or you are just waiting for someone to jump out and shout. “surprise it was just a joke”.
The thing is our lives now will never be the same. Today’s post in part is about also how to make the most of Covid-19 Self-Isolation plus my rantings.
Watching what is happening in Europe and the escalation of it I’m convinced it will get to the stage where we will all lose someone that we know. Personally, I feel we should have been put on lockdown 7 or 8 weeks ago. But now is not the time to point fingers now is the time to pull together and become the community that has been seriously lacking in this country for too many years.
I remember growing up as a child everyone knew everyone. Everyone was an “aunt” or an “uncle” even though they weren’t. People would watch out for each other; fetch peoples washing in when it rained.
The shopkeepers knew my grandmother by name. The butcher would put aside bits that he knew she would like. It was a real community. You felt safe going outside. It was safe to let your kids go to the park on their own. We would go out on our pushbikes all the time and only come back when the street lights came on.
This lack of community really needs to stop now; this is our opportunity to pull it back. Be kind not just to our family and friends but to everyone. War, famine, poverty, there is no need for any of this to exist. Not if we all work for the common good.
Baby formula selling for £300 what the fuck is going on in people’s heads just fucking stop it! Be kind. Do you really need 200 toilet rolls? Be kind. Do you really need 10 bottles of anti-bacterial gel? Be kind. Do you really need to buy every single loaf of bread on the shelf? Be kind. For god’s sake, people be kind!
What is the name of your next-door neighbour? What are the names of the kids you see playing across the road? How many people on your street do you actually stop and talk to? I’m just as guilty of this somehow we have all managed to become something or someone that doesn’t rest easy with me. We can change this now; we can do things right. Not just for us but everyone else.
These are scary times. People who struggle with anxiety and depression will be going through hell right now and so will many more. These are people who don’t usually struggle with their emotions. People are losing their jobs. My daughter was made redundant last Friday because of the virus. Other people are losing their jobs, their businesses including myself. I have not had a client for weeks.
I have just set up a “not for profit” limited by guarantee community interest company. This was so that I can provide free complementary therapies to people in an emotional crisis and on a low income. If you want to follow my progress with the CIC please visit my webpage here and I will be updating it.
There has never been such a time that needs it more than right now yet there is nothing I can do. I am unable to raise funds. The profit from private clients was going to provide free treatment but without clients, there is nothing I can do.
Due to underlying conditions, I am now in self-isolation. The easy way to react is; now what? Try and utilise the time the best you can, decorate, clean, tidy, garden, take up new hobbies, paint, draw, sew, crochet the list is endless.
When your grandchild turns around to you in 20 years time and say. “Grandad what did you do during the virus – be the person that said I helped my neighbours not I went to the supermarket so buy 200 toilet rolls.
Try not to put people at risk; don’t think that maybe you just have a cold. It’s not worth it and you could pass it on or just be a carrier. Don’t take the risk. I’m not going to the supermarkets I can’t help but think of the sneeze covered hands on the trolly handle but that’s just me.
I’m lucky I have quite a few Exante sachets and bars left which I’m more than happy to live on. A good time to diet; there’s always a silver cloud of some sort. I’m also not going to the shops to get tempted by all the chocolate or “comfort food” as I see it. So for me there’s never been a better time and if you decide to do the same and do shop online use my code TRACEY35 and you will get 35% off your bill. I do get a little bit of money for suggesting that but not life-changing and I only recommend things that I use myself. But it does contain all the daily vitamins and minerals you need so you could supplement your normal food with a shake a day too.
When we get through this and we will we should have a street party on every single street on the same day. Come together and celebrate a new era of compassion, empathy, kindness and unconditional love.
Please everyone take care; and we will get through this.
So how is everyone going? Here we are in the early days of a new diet. The first day is usually not too bad as you are usually quite motivated. Although I find the novelty wears off by early evening. Last night at 6 pm I was thinking about spaghetti hoops on toast. Yep followed by chocolate but there you go that’s me. Fortunately, though I didn’t give in to temptation. There is a reason for this and that is the subject of today’s blog post which is what is the best supplement to take on a diet.
What Is The Best Supplement To Take On A Diet
Now I do stick to the four shakes but I have found that after the first Exante diet meal replacement shake and the last shake I need to feel fuller so at those times I make my shake but I add a scoop of collagen powder.
What is Collagen?
The skin-firming ingredient is actually created in the human body, making up a huge 90% of the bone mass and a third of all proteins produced. It is the connective tissue for the heart, lungs, muscles, joints, blood cells, arteries, etc – just to name a few.
From this, you’d wonder why your skin wouldn’t automatically reap the tightening and strengthening benefits as a by-product of producing the popular molecule?
The answer is simple – collagen is considered a fibrous protein, and just like any protein, it is made up of amino acids. Collagen protein will break down without the nine essential amino acids, which can only be obtained through consuming a protein (amino) rich diet.
For example, consuming dairy, eggs, lean meats, and soy can supply your body with these amino acids, enough so to combine and form enough collagen to benefit your body. Alternatively, without it – joints can weaken, muscles can break down, skin can sag… it’s pretty important!
Benefits of Taking Collagen
The side effects of taking collagen can be a feeling of fullness and for some heartburn. Regardless, these supplements appear to be safe for most people. I do find I feel fuller from adding collagen protein powder to my first and last shake.
Collagen for Weight-loss
The purified, high-protein content of hydrolysed collagen is known to be an effective, natural appetite suppressant, in which many clinical studies have proven the satiating effect to promote weight-loss.
Additionally, unlike some weight-loss-promoting products, there are no fillers, hormones, acids and it’s not produced with any forms of harsh processing that may affect the normal functioning of your body. Hydrolysed collagen is also proven to show a decrease in fats, avoiding clogging of the arteries and increased organ support.
Individuals can, therefore, benefit from losing weight by consuming edible collagen, due to a lessened desire to snack and helping the body feel naturally fuller for longer… without the nasty side effects!
Consuming collagen protein may reduce both the elasticity of loose skin and the visible appearance of cellulite during your weight-loss journey. This is due to the molecule being responsible for making the connective tissue in your skin, therefore able to thicken the skin and camouflage any irregularities!
Muscle Growth and Performance
Collagen is a powerful molecule that promotes a multitude of benefits to assist the needs and demands for athletes, bodybuilders, and everyday gym-goers.
Consuming hydrolysed collagen in the form of smoothies, protein shakes, and pancakes aid the promotion of a natural source of creatine in the body.
How Does it Work?
Your muscles rely on a direct energy source to maintain a regular function in the body – this is provided through the breakdown of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) in your cells. The amino acids glycine, arginine, and methionine form the creatine molecule.
Where Does Collagen Come In?
Collagen peptides contain two of the three amino acids needed to form a natural, energy-boosting creatine source in the body. The glycine and arginine duo in collagen may aid the production of creatine, helping to increase physical performance through repeated bouts of exercise. Arginine also helps promote increased muscle growth and maintain muscle mass.
Joint And Bone Strength
The high percentage of our bone mass, that’s made up of collagen, has significant control of how strong or weak our joints will be going about everyday life – especially those with an active lifestyle. Not providing your body with the necessary essential amino acids it needs to build up the proteins required for support, will result in the breakdown of proteins in the body. Not what you need when you’re trying to gain strength.
On the other hand, nourishing your body with the amino acids needed will build up proteins needed to strengthen many parts of your body, allowing for:
fewer aches and pains that could prevent any form of exercise.
an increased range of motion when lifting weights
the strength to be able to increase the intensity of exercise/lift more
Collagen For Sleep
A decent sleeping pattern can do miraculous things for your body. Besides the obvious factor of making you feel less tired and lethargic during the day, more sleep can increase the quality of your health, improve your everyday mood and your sex life.
Plus, not getting enough sleep could be the reason you’re not losing weight too.
Multi=tasking amino acid Glycerine has the ability to help individuals who struggle to sleep or suffer from insomnia.
A study analysing the effects of consuming glycerine, in comparison to a placebo before bed, clearly shown the amino acid to reduce fatigue and have a tendency toward reduced sleepiness.
Collagen For Digestion
A healthy digestive system is a great base for a happy and energetic lifestyle. Alternatively, a weak digestive system can result in feeling sluggish and lethargic, make you feel demotivated and it can additionally cause stomach pains – in other words, you definitely won’t feel like exercising. Does this sound like you?
Collagen can contribute to a healthier, less agitated digestive system due to the soothing properties of one of the amino acids glycine.
Just in case you’re interested in the sciencey bit..
When meat is consumed, amino acids cysteine and tryptophan are released into the bloodstream, which can suppress normal thyroid functioning. This can lead to the brain receiving signals to break down muscle rather than fat for energy also having a potential domino effect causing fatigue, inflammatory conditions, and a weakened immune system.
Glycine from collagen can help even out the absorption of these amino acids, building a smoother, ‘protective-like’ guard in the digestive tract.
So by taking collagen peptides you can improve your joint health, support bone strength, promote healthy aging, boost skin beauty, support connective tissues and prevent injuries. Some other potential things that collagen may help with include: maintaining a healthy gut, maintaining a healthy weight, reducing anxiety, improving mood, and promoting healthy nail and hair growth. As I have already mentioned I use one scoop in the morning and one at night in my last shake.
At this point I want to say I am not a nutritionist, I’m not an expert on supplements. All I can say is that I have learned these things from my own research and trial and error over the past couple of years. The best supplements including Collagen I have found is by My Protein (also recommended to me by the PHD nutritionist that worked with us on The Fast Fix alongside the Exante meal replacement meals). I use the unflavoured version and it comes with a scoop inside the packet. To look at this product please click here.
Improve Your Skin From Within
A doctor once told me that all these face creams etc that contain collagen are a waste of time; you need to ingest it which makes perfect sense to me. So if you want to feel fuller and look and feel younger at the same time I’d give some a go and decide for yourself. Each scoop contains 90 calories and 22g protein.
The take-home message is that by adding collagen protein to your diet might just be the answer to your problems. (Laura Bowden)
If you decide to try some please let me and the readers know how you get on.
As I started my diet yesterday my weigh-in dates will be every Wednesday so watch this space.
I’d love to know how many people make this as one of their New Year Resolutions. I’ve lost count how many years I’ve said that and stuck to it. The only time I reached that goal was when I took part in The Fast Fix using Exante meal replacement products. As said in my previous post I’ve had a bit of a break from dieting, counting calories, etc over the past six months for various reasons.
To be honest, I’m sick to death of chocolate and the indulgences you have over Christmas; I feel yuck, bloated, sluggish actually I feel like a slug! I actually can’t wait until New Years Day to get stuck in with my shakes – I’ve actually really missed them. If it was up to me I’d start them now but I know readers are taking part from New Years Day so I will be joining them with their journey.
I will be doing a variety of posts to help motivate. I had a lot on my old website but because of the computer hacker, I lost so much work. But I’m going to think of it as a fresh start. So if you want to join me please do. If you are doing the Exante diet please click here to visit their site. They have various offers on and there is also my exclusive code of TRACEY35 to get 35% off your shop.
2. Walking The Dog For Longer
My second resolution is to take Harvey Houdini, my trusty canine sidekick, on longer walks. This is for two reasons it’s good for him and it will be good for me. Exercise even 30 minutes a day (which can even be two lots of 15 minutes) It’s the total that is important. So if you have a dog and you walk him or her once change it to twice. If you already do it twice do each one for 5 minutes longer etc.
Those minutes quickly add up and also being out in nature and some sun or fresh air works wonders. If you did watch The Fast Fix you might remember the effect of 5 minutes gentle walking every hour had absolutely amazing effects on lowering our blood sugar.
2. Successful Business
I decided to change my direction in life in 2018. Sick and tired of working in an office for someone else I decided to re-train and work for myself. This is one of the best decisions I have ever made. I’m doing what I love every single day and also get to meet some amazing people along the way.
So hopefully by this time next year, I will have a full client list. I am now a qualified complementary therapist so I provide Reiki treatments, reflexology, aromatherapy, and massage. I am also currently on a Level 3 nail technician course so that I can provide manicures, pedicures and nail enhancements.
I have a business website which you can find here. My daughter has also taken her first step into her business and has become a micro-blading technician and you can find her business page here. One day it would be nice to have our own clinic to work from. Maybe that can be next year’s resolution.
3. House De-Clutter
As if I’ve not got enough to do already I need to add de-clutter the house on the list definitely. I can’t believe how much junk I seem to collect and struggle to throw away. I need a serious de-clutter. The last time I did it I felt as if I had a great weight lifted off my shoulders. It might be easier with a flame thrower but it needs doing. I’d hire a skip but I know the cheeky bastards on my street would fill it when I was asleep so it might be a man and a van job. Either way, it’s getting done. Then next it will be re-decorating; can’t wait for that (not).
4. Publish the Poetry Anthology
I am in the process of putting together an anthology; a collection of poems written by people who suffer from mental health and also by the loved ones of people that suffer. This is to raise awareness. The title of the book will be called “A Darker Shade of Blue”. I would also like to set up a social enterprise or not-for-profit organisation to provide complementary therapies to people in emotional crisis.
God this list could go on forever. Maybe my next post will be a 2020 “to-do list”.
For everyone who has made some resolutions good luck and please feel free to share some with us.
As my regular readers know my weight loss journey with Exante started 2 years ago. Taking part in the groundbreaking documentary; ITV’s The Fast Fix: Diabetes. I along with 4 others lost weight (a lot of weight), reduced our liver fat considerably and reversed our type 2 diabetes. All this was done in a short space of time also. We were looked after by 2 professors, a nutritionist, and doctors. I can guarantee if you follow the diet to the letter you will and can accomplish the same results as we did. Exante diet meal replacements are one of the safest and cheapest ways and they will show you how to lose weight fast and safely.
If like me you gave yourself time off from diets over Christmas and enjoyed yourself a bit too much (like me). New Year is a good time to shift those few extra pounds we have put on. I for the last month have been following a vegan diet which I have to say I have enjoyed; however, I will be changing to vegetarian now as opposed to vegan. This also means I can enjoy a lot more of the Exante diet meal replacement products. However, if there are any vegans looking to go on this diet Exante does have Vegan shakes.
Time To Get Stocked Up Before The Rush
Believe me, if you are wanting to do this diet you need to get your orders in before the rush. I have a discount code of TRACEY35 which gives you 35% off all meal replacement products. Exante’s codes vary so please bear this in mind when placing your order.
New Year – New Me – New You
So for anyone wanting to shift a few pounds please feel free to follow my new Exante journey. You can also find information on my blog when you are needing a bit of a helping hand and motivation.
Firstly, I need to apolgise I have been away far too long. I have been extremely busy with so many different things. That is no excuse I know but I’m back. I went through a bit of a “for fucks sake” period after the hacking when I lost everything and kind of gave up in all sorts of ways for a period of time.
However, my life has changed so much since my last post. I’m now a qualified complementary therapist. For those of you who don’t know what that is I am a reflexologist, aromatherapist, massage therapist and a Reiki practitioner; and I absolutely love it. This is the work I was meant to do definitely. Took me 50 years to find out but it is worth it I promise you. For anyone who wants to follow me on the complementary side of things please visit my website and sign up on the blog. That is the blog where I will be concentrating on health, wellness, mindfulness, etc.
Anyway along this journey I was pretty much out of my comfort zone and the old demon in disguise of biscuits and chocolate sneaked back in and took over while I’ve been studying.
It all came to a head, quite literally, when I recently had a bad fall and banged my head quite hard. When the ambulance came they did my vitals, my heart rate at that point was 142, my blood sugar was far too high and blood pressure was also on the high side. That bump to the head woke me up most definitely.
Light Bulb Moment
I got home from the hospital and had definitely had a kick up the backside. I’d let myself go and was so angry with myself. So much guilt, let my family down, let my fast-fix team down but most importantly let myself down. It had to stop.
The Fast Fix Documentary
So last week I watched The Fast Fix Diabetes again. The first time since last June. Something clicked big time inside me and watching it took me straight back to last January with my fast-fix friends, the whole team in fact and the people we met that were not shown in the documentary. I’ll admit I shed a few tears watching it but afterwards my head was right back to where it was back then and I’m now feeling empowered.
Back On It
The past 4 days I have been back on the Exante Shakes (Yes.. cherries and Berries Steve and Luke). I have not been following the Exante to the letter I’ve been doing my own thing which consists of 2 or 3 Exante shakes throughout the day but with a healthy dinner at night.
Mainly the dinner has consisted of chicken and vegetable soup with a slice of homemade wholemeal bread or bought bread with real butter. It has been working for me. In fact I will be making a lot of healthy soups moving forward. The one I have been having this week contains 11 different types of vegetables and is bloody gorgeous and extremely filling and I will share the recipe with you.
If you want to try the shakes and bars which are also fab (especially the lemon and the strawberry) or to read my story on the Exante website click here from there you can also find the shakes, bars etc. You can also use my money off code TRACEY35 which will give you 35% off your basket.
No More Guilt
I’ve noticed a difference already and it is only day 5. It has also got me thinking that there will be some others out there who have also fallen off the wagon too. So the reason for this post is to hold my hands up and say I’ve had a bit of a life “fart” but it’s ok. And this goes for all of us… Stop with the guilt… Stop with the biscuits, the chocolate and anything else that is on that bad list. But most importantly stop the food being in control of your life. You need to change your mindset because I am now in control of my food and what enters my body and that is how it is staying.
The Power Is Within
I’m at the point during week one usually around day 5, where we find it’s a bit hard but whenever my thoughts turn to the twix that I know is in the fridge I remind myself I am boss not the twix.
Over To You Guys
So I would love to hear from anyone else is cross with themselves, fell off the wagon or even want to lose a few more pounds. You can start this journey with me.
First of all, I seriously can not believe that it was one year ago this week that The Fast Fix was broadcast on ITV. It has gone so quick but so much has happened in that time also. So one year on from The Fast Fix and what has happened?
First of all, I am still not on Metformin to control my blood sugar which is fantastic. I’m still in touch with some of my Fast Fix friends which is also wonderful; definitely friends for life. One of which is currently strutting his stuff around a swimming pool abroad; lucky bugger!
The Fast Fix experience started back in January 2018 and for 4 weeks I lived with 4 strangers in a gorgeous house down South. We were put on a very low-calorie diet of 800 calories a day using Exante products. For more information about the Fast Fix and the products, we used please click here.
I have to say I still use these products as they make staying on track so much easier. I always have one in my bag, one in the car and anywhere else I can think of. Also, cherries and berriesExante diet meal replacement shakes are still my favourite 18 months on.
Now yes it’s great that all the above happened but I wasn’t expecting it to change my life as much as it has done.
I have gone from being a recluse, behind closed curtains 24/7, not talking to anyone to going to college to study complementary therapies. I now have my own business Karma Times providing people with massage, aromatherapy and reflexology and I finally finish my course at the end of July. But it doesn’t stop there I am going to be doing level 4 Complementary Therapies in September; to take me to a more advanced level.
This is not just because I want to but I want to learn as much as I can about something I am very passionate about. The more I learn the better I can help my clients. I also have started wheels in motion to set up a social enterprise, a not-for-profit, charitable organisation. I want to be able to provide complementary therapies to people who really need it. People who are in emotional crisis, and/or on a very low income and struggling with a chronic health condition.
I have seen first hand the effects that therapies have on people struggling and it is life changing. I mean seriously life changing! Not only will this improve peoples emotional and physical wellbeing it will also ease the NHS considerably.
So I want you to look at this blog post as a sign that anything and everything is possible. If I can go from recluse to a passionate individual on a mission to change the world you can too. And – for me, it all started by going on a simple diet with a bunch of friends.
You can do anything you put your mind to… It is completely down to you!
Ask yourself what can you be doing one year from now?
Thank you to all my readers over the past year and a half and here’s to our futures.
It’s been far too long since my last post but I have been super busy; mainly with college related things. So thought I’d get the old trusty laptop out and now it is the perfect time for an update.
I have been working like mad on practising reflexology as I have 100 treatments to complete to become a qualified practitioner but it is going great guns. Also, I have also found a fantastic little treatment room to work from and to use to build up my clientele and to practice from.
I must say I thought I would hate working with feet. My initial view was that I would study it as it is part of the course but won’t use it very often. My views have now completely changed I actually really love it. It keeps surprising me as I learn new things. There is definitely a correlation between peoples feet and their physical health. As an example, this week I gave a mini reflexology to a lovely lady and there were so many crystals etc in the intestine and bowel area and nowhere else. As it turned out she is waiting for a bowel operation.
Aromatherapy is something else I am really excited by. We are learning how to do consultations and make products for individuals. The first product I made for myself and I absolutely fell in love with it. My daughter bought me a very expensive face moisturiser for Christmas but the one I made myself is far superior and the benefits have been incredible. I’m not buying any others I’m going to be making my own from now on.
Essential oils are something I’ve been using and interested in for absolutely years but it is great to now be studying to become a qualified aromatherapist and I love the thought of being able to make products for individuals.
As well as making my own products I have become a consultant for Neal’s Yard. The quality of their essential oils and ingredients are just outstanding. So I will be using their essential oils etc to make my products. They also sell ready-made products for people who don’t want to have a personal aromatherapy consultation and I can highly recommend them. In fact, if you click here it will take you to my Neal’s Yard Consultation page where you can see for yourself.
Not only have I nearly finished my level 3 which makes me qualified I have decided to study level 4 in September; that’s how much I enjoy it.
The changes I have seen in people when receiving therapies has been mindblowing. It is because of this I am wanting to invite corporate sponsorship to enable me to do this. I have an interview with a reporter on Monday to discuss this further as they will be running a story for me. I also have a story coming up in the FHT (Federation of Holistic Therapists) International Summer magazine which I’m really happy about. There will be a lot more coming out about this shortly. I might also have a launch night in the not too distant future and will write about this nearer the time.
Also, it is the BIG 50 this year and my daughter told me she is going to take me on holiday abroad; which will be my first in over 20 years. Because of this, I’m going back on The Fast Fix Exante dietto lose a few pounds before I go. I think I’ve put a stone on since Christmas so need to shift it ready for the beach as I don’t want Green Peace trying to throw me into the sea.
For anyone interested in knowing more about the therapies I do please click here.
I shall keep you up to date with postings from now on and let you know how the weight loss is going, how college is going, and how a lot of other things are going. Oh you lucky lucky people you ;o)
Today I am going to share with you 10 ways to grow your own happiness. Are you struggling to shake off that gloomy feeling, or constantly shifting between cheerful highs and sorrowful lows? In the past you may have looked for a distraction to snap you out of a bad mood, reached for the chocolate or, if all else had failed, resorted to antidepressants. But if you find it hard to feel positive about life, the good news is that you can train yourself to be happier.
New studies suggest happiness isn’t just a product of a stable childhood or a naturally sunny disposition – it’s closely linked with the physical structure of the brain, which is something that can be changed.
Researchers from Kyoto University, Japan, have found those who rate themselves as happy have more grey matter in a part of the brain called the precuneus. Not only do these people experience happiness more strongly, they feel sadness less intensely and are able to find a deeper meaning in life. And previous research has found it’s possible to increase grey matter in this area of the brain – meaning that no matter what’s happening in your life, you can develop your own happiness, rather like strengthening a muscle.
If you’re wondering why you should bother, our mood can dictate everything in our lives, from whether we’re able to form good relationships to how healthy we are.
One key activity that has been shown to help change the brain is meditation. Studies have found that regular mediators alter the structure and function of their brains – an effect known as neuroplasticity. As a result of years of meditation practice, French Buddhist monk Matthieu Ricard was shown to have increased activity in the left prefrontal cortex area of the brain, which is linked to positive feelings.
Ricard, author of Happiness: A Guide To Developing Life’s Most Important Skill, recommends meditating for 20 minutes every day. ‘Start by simply paying attention to the sensations of your breath going in and out,’ he advises. ‘If your mind wanders, which it will, bring it back to your breath.’
As you get used to this, you can use the same principles throughout the day whenever your worries start to get on top of you. When you notice yourself drifting from the present moment, you focus instead on feelings of hot or cold, or sounds around you. It’s all about consistency, though. ‘Regular practice is needed – it’s like watering a plant,’ said Ricard.
While meditation is an essential happiness skill, building contentment is also about doing lots of small things each day to lift your mood and cultivate positive feelings. Of course this won’t guarantee permanent joy, but getting into the happiness habit can act as a buffer against life’s difficulties, helping you bounce back when things are tough and allowing you to enjoy the good times to the maximum.
Yuna Ferguson, assistant professor of psychology at Pennsylvania State University Shenango, USA, champions the idea of using meditation and other methods to enhance your mood. But she offers a word of caution about constantly asking yourself: ‘Am I happy yet?’ She says: ‘Rather than focusing on how much happiness they’ve gained and doing a kind of mental calculation, people could focus more on enjoying their experience of the journey towards happiness and not get hung up on the destination.’
To actively improve your mood, try out these 10 exercises, remembering to enjoy yourself on the your journey to thinking yourself happy.
10 Ways To Grow Your Own Happiness
Let Go Of Your Expectations
Often, the big things we think will make us happy actually don’t, argues Professor Paul Dolan, government wellbeing adviser and author of Happiness By Design. for example, parents report that bringing up children gives life more meaning, but it doesn’t actually lead to higher happiness levels. Similarly, money can’t buy you joy.
So forget about concentrating on what you believe will make you happier overall. Professor Dolan says it’s more about paying closer attention to what brings you pleasure in each moment. ‘We’re happier if we are focusing on the person we’re with, and the thing we’re doing right now.’
You could get the most out of family life by enjoying a Sunday afternoon out with the kids – and staying closely in the moment rather than worrying about the next week at work. If you’re playing with your pet, concentrate on the game instead of shaking a toy half-heartedly while watching TV. Whatever you’re doing, you’ll get more from it if you give it your full attention.
Turn Negatives Into Positives
Our thoughts control our moods, so it’s worth trying to transform a negative mindset into a positive one. ‘Positivity affects everything from how quickly we recover from an operation to how long we live – the positive among us live longer,’ says Rachel Kelly, who wrote Walking On Sunshine, to share the strategies that keep her upbeat after suffering from depression.
But how can you be more optimistic if you’re naturally a glass-half-empty type? According to Kelly, the first step to improving your mood is to simply notice your negative thoughts. It’s easy to allow them to spiral downwards, so make an effort to become more aware of any negative patterns.
‘Next realise these thoughts aren’t facts. It’s worth questioning them because many turn out to be false assumptions,’ she says. If you can’t successfully challenge a negative thought, accept it while breathing in. When you breathe out, try to find a more positive way of viewing the situation or issue. For example, if you’re feeling anxious that you’re going to argue again with your partner, tell yourself that if a row does kick off, you’re going to listen as well as talk calmly – the disagreement could actually end up being positive. Whenever you do this, the old neural pathways in the brain that process negative ways of thinking begin to fade and are replaced by positive ones.
One study found people who write down the things they’re grateful for on a regular basis feel more optimistic, exercise more and visit their GP less. The “three good things” exercise is a handy tool,’ says Rachel Kelly. “As you wind down for the night, think of three positive things that happened that day.
The more detailed and specific you can be, the better. Reflect on each one how it made you feel.’ Tell your partner how much you appreciate them too. Research shows that when people take time to express gratitude for their partner, they also feel more comfortable airing concerns and this can make the relationship healthier.
Do Something Kind
Doing something thoughtful for someone else is a proven way to boost your own happiness. The reason being it can help give your life meaning and purpose, and draw your focus away from your own problems. To get the most benefits, Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project, advises against random acts of kindness such as buying a coffee for the person behind you in the queue.
While you might get a short-lived kick out of this sort of act, doing something another person truly benefits from gives you a deeper feeling of contentment because it genuinely helps them. ‘Its more productive to target someone who’s in need of a little more help,’ says Rubin. ‘Help a colleague even when you’re rushing to meet a deadline yourself, or go out of your way to assist an overwhelmed parent who is juggling toddlers and shopping bags.’
If you can’t shrug off that bleak mood, act as if you feel cheerful. First, put on a smile – research has shown smiling, even when you’re faking it, helps you feel more relaxed. And the more you can perfect a genuine-looking smile, the better – that means grinning so the smile reaches your eyes. A study at the University of Kansas, USA, asked people to hold chopsticks horizontally in their mouths (try grinning and holding a pencil horizontally in your teeth), which resulted in them moving their facial muscles to mimic a smile. These people were better able to cope with challenging tasks afterwards. This is because your brain is constantly monitoring your body to see how you’re feeling, which includes scanning facial expressions.
As well as painting a smile on your face, Professor Sir Cary Cooper, a psychologist and wellbeing expert, suggests that you can trigger a good mood. He says, ‘wear your favourite clothes on ordinary days and don’t save them just for special occasions. Put on bright colours and talk about cheerful things. This can make a difference and help you feel more upbeat.’
Clear Your Clutter
It’s been proven that being surrounded by clutter has a powerfully negative effect on your mood, according to research by neuroscientists in the USA. The mistake many of us make, says Gretchen Rubin, is saving up for one big tidy. ‘Mess makes it harder to focus and can leave you irritable,’ she says. ‘Instead, you need to de-clutter on a regular basis. Whenever you have a spare minute, clear a shelf or a kitchen drawer.
If you’re standing around waiting for the kettle to boil or your toast to pop out use the time to see what you could clear up – even small things like a recycling of junk mail, putting away teabags or hanging up a coat can make a big difference. Get rid of anything that isn’t beautiful or useful, too’.
It can be tempting to stay in touch by email or social media, but it’s no replacement for seeing friends in person. Plenty of studies have shown the happiest people spend more time socialising. And that doesn’t just mean having nights out with lots of pals – spending quality time with your partner is also important. Make the effort to snuggle up, even if you’ve been together for years, because frequent hugs can boost levels of the love hormone oxytocin, which encourages feelings of intimacy and closeness.
Making small connections with others throughout the day is also beneficial, easing stress and boosting contentment, says Professor Cooper. ‘Smile at people in the street, chat to bus drivers and people who serve you in supermarkets,’ he says. ‘This kind of everyday interaction can give you a lift.’
Do What You Love
For me this is an obvious one to add to my 10 ways to grow your own happiness and have been saying this for so long. Having a hobby that absorbs you is an important way to get sources of stress into perspective and boost contentment,’ says Professor Cooper. A study at the University of British Columbia, Canada, found people who spent time pursuing their passions were happier than those who prioritised their job.
So leave work on time and do something you enjoy. ‘One of your hobbies should be an exercise you really like,’ says Rachel Kelly. ‘I feel more alive when I live in my body as well as my mind,’ she adds. So instead of focusing on what it is you can do to lose weight or get fit, find something you really look forward to, whether that’s dancing swimming or running.
Toast To Good News
We often see a harsher version of ourselves than is the reality. So to give yourself perspective, be more attentive to your good points. Notice your achievements – at the end of each day, note down what you’ve done well, whether that’s completing admin that has been hanging over you, getting to the gym despite feeling tired, or lending an ear to a friend who’s having a hard time. This will build you self-esteem so you feel more in control.
When it comes to the bigger bits of good news, like getting a promotion or plucking up the confidence to ask a friend out on a date, allow yourself to acknowledge it by telling others – research shows those who share good news are happier and more satisfied with life. By choosing the most enthusiastic friends to tell you’ll get a more positive response, which will reinforce your own satisfaction.
Listening to upbeat music you like really can life your spirits. Studies at the University of Missouri, USA , found listening to positive music daily for two weeks lightened people’s moods in the short-term and boosted their overall happiness. There’s no other stimulation like music to arouse the brain,’ says Professor Paul Dolan. Make music part of your daily life – put it on when you’re getting ready in the morning, exercising or whenever you need a lift. Having a musical soundtrack to your day will help you feel amazing.
I hope you found 10 ways to grow your happiness of interest. I’m going to start applying these to my life; let me know how you get on if you do the same but remember it won’t happen overnight. This is something to be worked on, on a daily basis.
If you would like to add your own items to my 10 ways to grow your happiness – please leave them below.