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3 Ways of Coping with Anxiety

Anxiety is on the increase

Life has changed immeasurably in the past few weeks and months.  We are all dealing with uncertainty.  Fear, doubt, financial concerns, and family stresses sow the seeds of anxiety.  As Donna Booth explains, our need to contribute, combined with a growing sense of helplessness, often causes anxiety to spiral.  It’s essential to take a moment or two for yourself to get everything back under control.  So today I am going to share with you 3 ways of coping with anxiety.

3 ways of coping with anxiety

Deep Breathing

Deep breathing is excellent for bringing your attention out of your head and into your body and helping you to manage emotions.  You can do it anywhere, at any time, without people noticing.

Sit comfortably and place one hand on your belly.  Imagine there is a balloon in your belly and imagine filling the balloon with your inhalation.  You should notice the hand on your belly rise.  Don’t worry if it is your chest that rises first, the more you practice, the easier it will be.  Hold the air in your lungs, and then exhale slowly.  The secret is to go slow:  Time the inhalation (4 seconds), pause (2 seconds), and exhalation (6 seconds).  Practice this for 3-5 minutes.

Progressive muscle relaxation

By tensing and relaxing the muscles throughout your body, you can achieve a deep feeling of relaxation.  This exercise helps you recognise where in your body you are holding tension.

Sit back or lie down in a comfortable position.  Follow the instructions below, tensing each body part for about 10 seconds.  Notice how the feeling of relaxation differs from the feeling of tension.

Feet – Curl your toes tightly into your fee, then release.

Calves – Point then flex your feet, then relax.

Thighs – Squeeze your thighs together tightly, then relax.

Torso – Suck in your tummy as if you were trying to touch your spine, then relax.

Back – Squeeze your shoulder blades together, then relax.

Shoulders – Scrunch your shoulders up to your ears, then drop them.

Arms – make fists and squeeze to your shoulders, then drop them.

Hands – Make a fist by curling your fingers into your palm, then stretch your fingers wide and relax.

Face – Scrunch your facial features as if you were trying to get them to meet in the middle of your face, then relax.

Full body – Squeeze all muscles together, then release the tension.  Deep breath in, deep breath out.

Using Your Senses

This exercise brings you back into the moment.  It can be done very quickly, or you can take a little more time on each sense.

  1. Notice five things that you can see.  Look all around to take in all your surroundings.  Look for small details you would usually miss.
  2. Notice four sounds that you can hear.  Listen closely to everything around you and further away.
  3. Now three things that you can feel.  Think of how the air feels on your skin, and how your clothes feel on your body.
  4. Notice two things you can smell.  What scents are present?  What does the air smell like?  Take some time to appreciate the sents.
  5. And finally, one thing you can taste.  Do you have something you can eat or can you taste the air or the inside of your mouth?Above all, make sure you take time for yourself, don’t feel you must use this time to do ‘all the things’.  Pause, breathe, take care of yourself, be with your loved ones, and give yourself time to consider the parts of your life that you want to carry forward into your new future.

    I hope you enjoyed this blog post, 3 ways of coping with anxiety and I will be writing about many others in the future so make sure you hit subscribe so that you don’t miss any of them.  Thank you for reading.

Love and Light

Tracey xXx

Using the power of mindfulness to alleviate depression

The Universe

When Antidepressants Aren’t Enough

I read an extremely interesting article by Dr. Stuart J. Eisendrath, which I am going to share with you today about using the power of mindfulness to alleviate depression.  Stuart Eisendrath is the founder of the University of California San Francisco Depression Center.  Dr  Eisendrath pioneered research into the therapeutic effects of mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) on people experiencing clinical depression.  In his new book, he outlines an easy-to-implement MBCT program that has been scientifically proven in a US National Institute of Health study to bring relief to chronic sufferers of depression by helping them realise that their thoughts are not their reality.

Treatment-Resistant Depression

A 2018 article in the British Medical Journal suggested that between 10% and 30% of those in the UK who suffer depression – which could mean as many as 2.7 million people – have treatment-resistant depression.  Those with TRD will have tried at least two antidepressant drugs without a positive outcome.  Yet, there are non-drug treatments that can be equally, or more effective than antidepressants and do not carry these risks associated with withdrawal.

Our minds are particularly good at thinking, problem-solving, worrying, judging, and analysing.  Yet, when it comes to depression these skills are often not in your best interest.  If you suffer from depression, memories and thoughts tend to be biased toward the negative, which diminishes your problem-solving abilities.  This may lead to misinterpretations, inaccurate assessments, and inappropriate decision making.

For example…

Take Carol, who was walking down the street and waved to her friend across the road.  Her friend didn’t wave back and Carol felt rejected, worried she’d offended her friend, and was depressed.  Actually, her friend has been studying an important business e-mail on her phone and hadn’t even noticed Carol.

Sam thought of refusing a promotion because he thought his boss was setting him up to fail rather than having confidence in his ability to handle the new position.  Such an approach could have severe consequences for his career.

Using the power of mindfulness to alleviate depression

A key step in coping with such thoughts is trying to decide if such situations are facts or just thoughts.  Mindfulness gives you the space to look at the situation from multiple perspectives and without judgment.  Then you can decide how to respond to the situation skillfully.  You can evaluate your thoughts in several ways.  One is to hold back on acting on a thought while you gather more data to assess whether the thought is a valid one.  Another way of assessing a thought is to ask yourself how you feel in thinking it.  If you feel more depressed, there is a very good chance the thought is being driven by depression.

The critical voice of depression

Once, I was teaching a beginner’s class in meditation.  One woman said, “I can’t meditate as well as everybody else here.”  This is one of the most common thoughts of beginning meditators.  Then several other members of the group expressed a similar idea about themselves.  I asked them how they knew this, and as we assessed the situation, it became clear that such a thought was based more in the critical voice of depression rather than being a fact.  Since none of the members had had any prior experience with meditation, it would be unreasonable to expect anyone to be better than anybody else.  Moreover, meditation is not competitive.  It’s about being present, not about doing something better or worse than someone else.

As the beginners discovered, this is a valuable lesson about how our minds generate negative and unduly critical thoughts.  We need to label them as such and bring the attention back to a neutral object like our breath.  When we can recognise such thoughts for what they were, we don’t feel compelled to act on them by doing something such as dropping the class.

Rely on your observing self

The observing self can help you see what is being generated by your mind and assess how you feel, both physically and emotionally.  You then become capable of extending compassion to yourself and others.

If we expect that we can stop our minds from generating negative thoughts through meditation, we will be disappointed by our limitations.  Our minds wander on their own, and our trying to control them makes them want to wander even more.  In fact, experiments have shown that efforts to suppress thoughts actually intensify them.  If you want to suppress a thought, you actually have to push off against the thought, which intensifies the thought you are trying to suppress.

Our minds are always trying to explain events.  That is what our minds do and are built for:  trying to organise and understand information.  We have the need to try to conceptualise what is happening and to build hypotheses from an early age.  Initially, an infant sees patterns of black and white on a page, then becomes able to organise the black and white areas and recognise letters and words.

Similarly, we all organise events and pieces of information into stories we create and construct.  When we do not understand something, we still try to organise it to fill in the blanks.  We create stories, plots, and themes.  In depression, this is often based on how we are feeling.  Our emotional state can generate negative thoughts just as much as negative thoughts can generate a depressive state.  You can actually step back and observe yourself generating thoughts.

Try This:  Observing Yourself think

  • Close your eyes and focus on your breath for a minute or so.
  • Once your mind has steadied, take note of the thoughts that emerge over the next few minutes that tend to distract you from your breath.  Ask yourself, “What is (fill in your name) thinking?”  Notice what thoughts are emerging.
  • Ask again:  “What is (fill in your name) thinking?”  See what thoughts come up.  Then bring your attention back to the room.
  • The observing self was the self who was taking note of your thoughts.  That self was watching your thoughts emerge.  The observing self notices what you are thinking and feeling.  Afterward, you might say, “I noticed my mind having a thought about (fill in the subject).”  You might also say, “I noticed my mind producing depressive thoughts that then shifted my mood.”

There are some great apps you can use for mindfulness and the best two that jump to mind are, “Calm” and “Headspace”.   These are also great for beginners to meditation and mindfulness and have free versions.

I will be doing physical guided meditation sessions very soon so watch this space.

Love and Light

Tracey xXx

How Can We Make The World A Kinder Place?

It’s easier than you think

So how can we make the world a kinder place?  The answer is definitely easier than you think.  There’s a comfort in knowing that people are there for you and willing to help.  Little acts of kindness mean we have a caring community and everyone has a better day.  Kindness is reciprocal.  One kind act tends to lead to another, which has a cumulative effect on wellbeing and happiness.

Kindness is not something we often think about, or really value as a society.  Sometimes altruism is seen as weakness, when, in fact, there’s a strength and resilience in kindness.  Nor is it about smug, self-satisfied do-gooders.  Kind people reach out and touch the lives of others.  In an increasingly harsh world, filled with criticism, pressures to conform to an unachievable standard, and online trolling, we all need to try to be a little kinder to ourselves and those around us.  Kindness is its own reward.

How can we make the world a better place?

Here are some ideas for little acts of kindness that may lift the spirits of those on the receiving end and boost your own wellbeing.

Be kind at work

  • Volunteer an hour of your time to help a colleague who is running behind once a month.
  • Bring in cake, coffee, or some healthy snacks once a month, or go out for a meal or drinks with your colleagues.
  • Send an e-mail letting a colleague or a supplier know what a great job they’re doing.
  • Make an effort to learn something new about a co-worker.
  • Assume the best in others.  If someone is running late or has cancelled an appointment, don’t assume they’re trying to get out of something or annoy you.
  • If you can know a great therapist, tradesperson, designer, accountant etc recommend them to others and provide referrals.

    10 Ways To Grow Your Own Happiness
    Help Someone Who Needs It

Be kind to those around you

  • Compliment someone on their shoes, hair, smile, anything really.
  • Let someone out into traffic, or stop so a pedestrian can cross the road ahead of you.
  • Hold the door open for someone or make the lift wait for them.
  • If you have things you no longer want, offer them for free on a local recycling group, or donate them to a charity shop so someone else can benefit from them.
  • If someone gives you good service, write to the company praising them.
  • If you’ve always wanted to learn something, look for a local skill-sharing organisation.
  • If you’re popping to the shops, check if an elderly neighbour needs anything.
  • Give up your seat on the bus, underground, or train to someone who looks like they need it more.
  • Do nice things and don’t tell anyone about it.
  • Help a lost tourist or give someone directions.
  • If your parking ticket is still valid, leave it on the machine for someone else to use.

Be kind to your friends

  • Write and send a handwritten thank-you note when you receive a gift or someone does something you appreciate.
  • Don’t just text.  Pick up the phone and arrange to meet up for a chat over lunch or a coffee.
  • Send a copy of an old photo and reminisce about old times.
  • Try to find some good in a friend’s partner you dislike.
  • Bake a birthday cake.
  • Comment positively on social media.
  • If a friend is organising an event, make a point of going to support them.

    Be kind to your family

  • If you have the space and time, adopt a rescue animal from a charity.  It’s great for wellbeing, fabulous for kids too.  If you live in the city, cats who’ve previously had cat flu can be a good option as they need to stay indoors.  Rescue centers have everything from snakes and lizards to rabbits, guinea pigs, hens, and horses.
  • Pause before speaking angrily to someone and consider what you’re really angry about.  Try to reframe your comments in a positive way.
  • Tell your parents that you love them and appreciate all they have done for you.
  • Take a tip from Frozen and just Let it Go.
  • Create a family happy book.  Gather all your good memories and thoughts into one place.
  • Catch up with nieces or nephews over Skype or FaceTime.
  • Have people over for lunch or dinner once a month.

Be kind to your significant other

  • Tell them you love them and why you think they are so special.
  • Pick up their chores every now and again if you know they are stressed.
  • Be a good listener, rather than an advisor.
  • Don’t nag, but work together to find another way to get something done.
  • Give them a big hug at least once a day.
  • Tell them you missed them.
  • Have a regular date night.
  • Made a special day for them, filled with their favourite food, activities, and tickets to a concert or the cinema. (COVID permitting).
  • Snuggle on the couch while watching TV.
  • Respect them and don’t make decisions that should have their input without consulting them.

    Be kind to yourself

  • Make time for yourself each day.  Self-care is important.
  • Treat yourself to a day off and spend it doing things you love, but never have time to do.  Visit a gallery, have a long lie, watch an old movie, read a book, be creative, a walk-in nature…
  • Forgive yourself for past mistakes and make amends to those you have hurt.
  • Be an optimist.
  • Get a plant for your office or buy yourself some flowers.

    Now think of the ripple effect these little actions would have on the community?  Join me and start that ripple today…

Love

Tracey xXx

 

The Diet Starts Monday

What A Weekend

The diet starts Monday, just how many of us have said this?  I’ll start it on Monday; I’ve lost count how many times I have said that.  And guess what?  I’m saying it again.  I was really stressed over the weekend and the reason being was that my beautiful younger sister had her first chemo on Friday and I couldn’t handle it.  It was a dreadful day and obviously even more so for her.  Someone at the hospital had messed up and forgot to give her an ECG and as a result, they were telling her she couldn’t have the chemo for another week.

Waiting Game

When you have already been waiting 4 weeks being told one more week, well they may as well have said a year.  The waiting is unreal it just drags and drags.   Thankfully my mum and dad are with her and a wonderful nurse pushed some buttons and she finally got her treatment late Friday.   I just had a complete stress meltdown and ended up putting whatever edible items I could find into my mouth.  Just goes to show yet again I am only human.  It’s difficult I think because it hasn’t sunk in yet with us all.

As for my sister she was being violently ill all weekend.  I need to be strong for her and the rest of my family and that’s what I need to keep telling myself.  If she is having to endure what she is enduring then me giving up a biscuit is nothing or as she would say “a piece of piss” (ex RAF).  Sorry for swearing Mum.

 

Find A Distraction

I admit I was a mess this weekend and was feeling very emotional and that I need to stop beating myself up about it because it’s going to be a tough journey right now.  But as the days go by it will get easier.  I just need to change my mindset and my reaction process in the meantime.  I have to accept that there are going to be bad days in my sister’s journey and me stuffing my face every time isn’t going to help anyone.

Walk The Dog

So I have been thinking this morning about what I can do differently.  The thought that popped into my head is when I am thinking about reaching for food reach for the lead and take the dog for a walk.  Being outside I hope will put me back on track.  So that’s what I’m going to do.  Harvey is going to love it.

However, he is terrible to walk though as he can’t do straight lines; it’s literally zig-zags and I’m not over-reacting.  In fact, I think I’m going to video him so you can see for yourself.  So that might not work; there’s a thought I might end up coming in more stressed than when I was when I left the house.  Hmm.. this will be interesting might have to think of a new distraction.  So what are your distraction go tos?

Coping Mechanisms

There are a lot of things you could do to distract yourself actually.  One of my others is art or being creative, whether that is drawing, painting, or making jewellery, knitting, etc.  I will write about these and other coping mechanisms in a lot more detail in a future post.  In the meantime please feel free to share your coping mechanisms at the bottom of this post as it might help others as well as just me.

The Diet Starts Monday

So as the blog post title says, the diet starts Monday.  I’ve given myself a huge talking to and I am back at it.  So far today 2 bars and 1 shake down and one more left to have tonight when I get home.  I am not just doing this for me but my sister.  Because she has no choice and I do.  She also needs me healthy so I can give her 100%.  If that’s not enough incentive I don’t know what is.

So the diet starts Monday… Let’s do it….

Tracey xXx

For anyone joining me on the Exante 100 days to Christmas challenge remember that you can get 35% off your shop by using my code TRACEY35.

How To Lose Weight Quickly And Safely

Exante Day 3 of 100 days to Christmas Challenge

So here we are on day 3 of 100 days to Christmas Exante Challenge.  Drum roll…. I’m feeling ok considering I’ve probably dropped my calorie intake by 1000 calories a day.    Yep, it shocked me too.  This is coming from the woman who wrote “it’s not rocket science”.  To be honest I’m kind of glad I’m in this position again as it shows I’m only human but we can make a difference when we put in the effort.

Yo-Yo Dieting

How many people have lost weight to gain it again?  We are all guilty of this.  I know where I have gone wrong so that is half the problem won.  I also know the right and wrong foods but I chose the wrong foods.  I mentioned in my last post the horrible things that have happened this year which has had an absolutely negative effect on my health.  You have to make lifelong changes.  You can not go on a diet lose all the weight then go back to eating the way you did before.  You have to make a serious change to your lifestyle.

The Secret Of Why Exante and VLCD diets work the best

The first reason Exante for me works better than the others such as Slimming World and Weight Watchers is that you get results fast and that seriously affects your motivation in a positive way.  Usually, with all diets on week one weigh-in, you lose a lot but the 7 days leading up to that is the most difficult.  But as soon as you see that lower number on the scales it becomes a whole lot easier.

6 Things To Do Before You Begin Your Diet

Take a photo – The first thing I suggest you do is to take a before photo.  Yes, it is going to look bloody awful (you wait until you see mine).  Do one from the front and one from the side preferably in your underwear or the same clothes every time.  For my challenge, I am taking a photo every day so that at the end of the 100 days I will post a timelapse video so you can watch me shrink before your eyes.  How lucky are you?

Measure – So following the photos find yourself a tape measure and take measurements.  This is because obviously when you reach your goal at the end of your weight loss journey you can see how many inches you have lost but also you will have weeks where you will lose inches and not weight which is completely normal.  So being able to see those losses and to look back can keep you on track.  This is so important believe me.

Write – I also suggest getting yourself a really nice A5 notebook or my Diet Journal which is on Amazon.co.uk.  Keep a record of what you eat each day, how you are feeling both emotionally and physically.  Put your weight and measurements in there.  I take my measurements every week just the once along with weighing.    Keeping a physical record is so very important to keep your motivation going.   You can also print off a photo of you at the beginning, 4 weeks, 8 weeks, 12 weeks etc and stick it in your book.  Don’t worry no one has to see it but you but again but when you have a bad week if you are a visual person it helps to see how far you have come.

Diet Journal

Drink – You can also keep an eye on how much water you are drinking by making a note also.  Drinking plenty of water is key.  We are so bad at not drinking enough.  I have set several reminders on my phone to go off during the day to remind me to drink 500ml of water.  It just seems easier to do it that way.

Goal Setting – choosing a goal is a game-changer too.  You are going to have bad days we all do but if you have a goal and you think about that at times of difficulty it will help.  In fact, write your goal in your notebook.  Do you want to be healthier?  Do you want to fit in the little black dress at Christmas?  Are you going on holiday and want to feel more confident by the side of the pool?  Now for me I want to be healthier, I want to feel better inside and I want to feel more confident and improve my self-esteem, fit into a pair of jeans without the muffin top.  I remember how I felt when I lost weight before and I miss feeling like that hugely.

Visualise – visualising goes along with goal setting too.  You need to imagine yourself at your goal weight.  For me, I will envisage myself wearing my size 12 jeans and looking at my reflection in the mirror.  Make the image bright and colourful and see how amazing you look then step into that image and see how it feels, how good you feel.  While doing that make the tip of your middle finger touch the tip of your thumb making a circle.  If you do that every time you visualise you will eventually make a connection so that when you are going to reach for that biscuit if you do the finger thumb circle it will trigger your visualisation image.  You need to do it every day though.  It might be easier to just start your day with a visualistaion then use it during the day.

exante diet meal replacement meals
Feel full longer

So I hope today’s post, how to lose weight quickly and safely helped to prepare you for weight loss or to even keep you motivated.

Any questions please just ask away and don’t forget you can save 35% on your shop with Exante by using my code TRACEY35.

Tracey xXx

Exante 100 Days To Christmas Challenge

For Exante products please click here

Bring It On…

What a year we have all had.  Lockdown with double pneumonia and COVID, sadly my sister has just been diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer and I have a lump and have been referred to gynecology.  So this year hasn’t been the best.  Like many people also there has been a lot of comfort eating during the lockdown and with everything else.  With regards to my health the chances are I may have to have a full hysterectomy so I need to get myself as healthy as I can before that happens.  So the Exante 100 days to Christmas challenge couldn’t have happened at a better time.

Exante 100 days to Christmas challenge

So as it is 100 days to Christmas (can’t believe it) I have to make a commitment for the challenge.  For me, it is dropping a dress size (or even 2) and getting healthier in readiness for surgery.  I have managed to put back on all the weight I had got rid of previously but I know I’m not the only one struggling with this.

We have all been under so much stress and anxiety and as a result a lot of us have reverted back to old eating habits and comfort eating in general.  So…  Exante 100 days to Christmas challenge is just what I need.  Also with 100 days left of this horrendous year, this is enough time to make a huge big change to your health ready for what will hopefully be a better year in 2021.

My Exante Diet Plan

So I am going back to my Fast Fix days because I know it works.  It means I will be on 4 Exante products a day for at least 100 days.  Not only will I lose inches and lbs but I will get back to my happy place and feel a lot healthier.  I will be drinking plenty of water and also the Exante burst products.  I will share with you my Exante journey but also the hysterectomy and also my extremely brave sister’s journey with Breast Cancer and hopefully, that will help people in similar situations.

So why not join me and get ready for 2021 and feeling and being a lot healthier. You can make such a huge difference in 100 days; so come on and hop onboard.  You lucky things will also get to see a timelapse video at the end of my 100-day journey so you can watch me shrink before your eyes.

Also, remember you can claim 35% off of your shop with my code TRACEY35.  Please click here to be forwarded to the Exante website.

Warmest wishes

Tracey xXx

 

I’ve Just Found A Lump

A Personal Post I Would Like To Share

First of all, don’t panic Captain Mannering.  Some of you will be wondering who the hell Captain Mannering is; showing my age now.  Anyway back to the post; I’ve just found a lump.  I’ve known for a couple of weeks now that I’ve got a lump.  To start with I thought I was imagining it.  You prod it and poke it from all directions.  I even got my old college anatomy and physiology workbook out to look at the location and decided it looked the approximate area where an ovary would be.

I’ve Just Found A Lump

Before I go any further; the lump I have found is in my lower abdomen; below the belly button and to the left.  I’ve known there was a hard area there for a while but thought nothing of it; there is also a pucker in the skin in that area that appeared about a year ago.

However, one night recently while in bed I turned over and consequently had a sharp pain in my tummy.  I immediately put my hand there and the pain subsided quite quickly.  Because this happened I started prodding and poking the area as you do; to try and work out what it was.  Dr Tracey – who was I kidding?  But what I did find out was that it wasn’t a flat hard area but it was an actual lump.

Who Do You Tell?

It left me feeling a bit scared I won’t lie and straight away I checked my armpits for swollen lymph nodes etc.  Thankfully I didn’t find any.  The following morning I filled in an online consultation form for my local GP.  I’d had some blood tests the previous week and I saw him yesterday so he could feel it and also get the blood results.

At this point, I hadn’t told my children as I didn’t want them to worry unnecessarily.  He had a good prod and feel and said he wasn’t sure what it was so he is sending me for an urgent scan; which I think will be sometime over the following 2 weeks.  I was a little relieved in some ways the fact that I wasn’t imagining it and also that he wanted to have it investigated.  At the moment I’m not too worried as it could be absolutely anything.  I told my children last night; I wasn’t going to but I thought it best in the end and I felt relieved doing it.

Why Am I Telling You This?

I could have kept this to myself but this morning I was thinking about the past couple of weeks; how stressed I’ve been, worried, how long it felt waiting to see the doctor, checking on Dr Google about all your symptoms, not being able to talk about it with your loved ones.  And just looking online to find someone who had a similar experience.

I was laying on my bed and it came to me; I had a lightbulb moment (they do happen sometimes) and I just wondered how many other people are like me right now; in this very same position.  I imagine it’s a lot so I thought the best thing that I could possibly do is to write about it so that it will help others going through the exact same thing.  I also know by sharing and talking about this it will definitely help others.  And as a result, I also think sharing this kind of thing with people can be cathartic for me as it helps to process your thoughts and on a deeper level.

Moving Forward…

I have to have a specific blood test next Tuesday which is a CA125 blood test. CA125 is produced by some ovarian cancer cells.  A high level suggests the presence of ovarian cancer but not always as sometimes it is higher than usual with people with endometriosis, fibroids, and pregnancy.  But it’s a good place to start.  Now I am definitely not pregnant, I do not have endometriosis but haven’t got a high level of knowledge about fibroids but don’t think I have those from what Dr Google said.

So as I said I will share this journey with you good and bad and hopefully it will help someone; even if it helps just one person it will be worth it.   If you are in the same place as me right now please remember that it could be absolutely anything.

If anyone would like to write to me or leave a comment or share with someone it might help please do.

Love & Light

Tracey xXx

Lose a Stone in 21 Days

How to lose weight following lockdown

A lot of people have been talking about how to lose weight following a comfort eating lockdown.  As shown on the Channel 4 program “How to lose a stone in 21 days” they mentioned the VLCD or very low-calorie diet.

Strawberry Lime Exante Burst

Very Low Calorie Diets

For my new readers, I took part in a TV documentary called The Fast Fix where we tried a VLCD over 3 months.  It works!   If this is the avenue you wish to take you can visit the website of the company whose products we used and also get 35% off all products (except 4-week plan boxes).

Getting ready for camera

Lose a stone in 21 days

Chocolate and Orange Bar

This means you can now claim 35% off not just the shakes, meals and bars but also the water enhancers (gorgeous), the sips, the fruit bursts the whole thing.  All you need is to use click here then use my exclusive code TRACEY35.

Give it a go you won’t regret it…

Tracey

How To Get Ready For The Second Wave Of Covid-19

Boost Your Immune System

Today’s post is about how to get ready for the second wave of Covid-19.  Because believe me it’s happening.  As some of you know I was in the hospital with Covid-19 and also double pneumonia.  As a result, I have never felt so ill in my life.   Therefore, the problem is you don’t just have it and it goes but you have it and it affects your whole body and the scary thing is we don’t know for how long.  (Discount code at the bottom of today’s post)

My Personal Journey

I started with COVID-19 the first week of lockdown and still am not well so we are talking 4-5 months here.  My daughter who had it at the same time however, can still not smell or taste anything. As a result, Covid is affecting my whole body.  I went to the doctors with what felt like MS or Parkinson’s symptoms I am getting shakes, tremors, confusion, extreme fatigue, my type 2 diabetes blood sugars are through the roof, sleep problems, constant nausea, dizziness, headaches, itching, burning sensations, the list goes on and on.

As a result, I’m being monitored and am having regular tests.  The doctors, however, who are doing their best don’t know how this is going to pan out.  Neither do I.  Meanwhile, my heart rate on waking in the morning is over 120.  I attempted to clean out the inside of my car last week and my heart rate went up to 161.

In addition, I am unable to return to work because of all these symptoms I have been left with.  To make matters worse no one knows if we can catch this virus again. My own feeling on this is we will.  If you look at the flu for example its a different type every year hence the yearly vaccine.  I personally think this is what we are up against.

Please click here to read why the Winter wave will be worse than the first.

Immune System

I was having a conversation with my daughter several days ago and we came to realise that with all of the daily government sessions and reminding us we need to wear masks and wash hands etc; not once have talked to us about our immune systems and how to improve it to try and prevent catching it or how to help your body fight it while we do have it.

We all know the importance of vegetables and fruits but during these times and from my experience we need more than this.   During the lockdown, we have not been going out and as a consequence, we are getting deficient in Vitamin D which is a crucial vitamin for our health, it improves muscle strength, the ability for nerves to relay messages, but most importantly it boosts the immune system in fighting foreign bodies.

Immune System Products

I have been doing a lot of research during my recovery and I have come across a product which I think is not only perfect for me but will help so many of you too.   It will help get your immune system in a lot better position to be able to prevent covid and to be able to fight it if like me you are one of the unlucky people to have caught it.

The Products I Am Using

I am currently using 2 products by the same company.  I take their morning supplement and an evening supplement.  Immune System Products are amazing and that is why I want to share this post with you.  They provide a range of health products designed to protect and support your immune system, including supplements and face masks.

All of their supplements are produced in the UK and they are fully compliant with all 6 governing agencies. They are a UK registered company based in Edinburgh, Scotland. Importantly for me they specialise in this one area, so they are far better able to research, evaluate, and manufacture the best immune system products for their customers.

Boost and Support your Immune System

This supplement provides extra immune system support – with a strong immune system boost during the day (AM formula) and another one during the afternoon and evening (PM formula). By boosting your immune system around the clock, you will be better protected.

Professional High-Strength Formula

All the ingredients used are supplied in clinical doses, making the formula highly effective.

Scientifically Proven, Triple-Checked Ingredients

They only use ingredients that are firmly backed by science. They check them for efficacy, safety and source, giving you peace of mind knowing that the product is safe to use as well as effective. All the ingredients are used in their most bioavailable forms and they have been chosen after double-blind (placebo-controlled) ingredient research.

Maximum Results with Minimum Effort

All 21 separate ingredients have been carefully researched, dosed and combined correctly, and added to the correct formula. They’ve done the research so you don’t have to: what to take, how much to take, when to take, including which ones to take together and which ones apart.

With ICF™ (Immunity Co-Factors) Compound

These cofactors allow Zinc to work more effectively, which means that the body is better supported to naturally resolve immune system issues.

With FSC™ (Full-Spectrum Curcumin) Compound

This compound helps the body deal with inflammation better, thus improving the immune system, with supported recovery if infection occurs.

UK (GMP) Manufacturing and Dispatch

Trust in the quality of manufacture and source of dispatch with all Immune System Booster supplements being made in their carefully controlled UK facilities. 

So Onto The Products…

How To Get Ready For The Second Wave Of Covid-19

Immune System Boost – AM Formula

This professional food-dietary supplement is made with a total of 21 active ingredients that are scientifically proven to support the immune system*.

  • Boost and Support your Immune System
  • Professional High-Strength Formula
  • Scientifically Proven, Triple-Checked Ingredients
  • Maximum Results with Minimum Effort
  • With ICF™ (Immunity Co-Factors) Compound
  • UK (GMP) Manufacturing and Dispatch
  • Optional Extra Support available
  • BUY NOW         (TRACEY10 will get you 10% off)

    High Strength Immune System Boost PM Formula

    This professional food-dietary supplement is made with a total of 12 active ingredients that are scientifically proven to support the immune system*.

    • Boost and Support your Immune System
    • Professional High-Strength Formula
    • Scientifically Proven, Triple-Checked Ingredients
    • Maximum Results with Minimum Effort
    • With FSC™ (Full-Spectrum Curcumin) Compound
    • UK (GMP) Manufacturing and Dispatch
    • Optional Extra Support available
    • BUY NOW       (“TRACEY10”  will get you 10% off your order)

The products come in 3 different amounts; 1, 3, or 6 month packs.  What I love about the packs too is the clever design.  They are a lot more practical than the usual supplement containers.  Slim discrete packaging can pop into your handbag or cupboards without taking up a lot of space.

Science and the Ingredients

Immune System Boost AM formula is a food/dietary supplement with 21 active ingredients*, including Zinc Picolinate, Vitamins D + K2, C, A, E, ICF Compound (Polyphenols, EGCG, Quercetin), Probiotic & Prebiotic, Astragalus, Ginger, Liquorice, Reishi and Essential Minerals (Selenium, Copper, Manganese). By supporting your immune system, this unique formula can help protect you from infections and support faster recovery.

With an impressive ingredient list using high-strength and high-quality inputs, the AM formula has been specifically formulated to be taken in the morning, as this allows the key essential minerals to work in the most optimised manner.

The AM formula not only supports the immune system, it also provides a smooth energy and nutrient boost with Vitamins D + K2, C, A and E – all with carefully dosed amounts that are as strong as possible whilst still being extremely safe (and within UK Department of Health’s Expert Committee’s Report on Safe Upper Limits).

It also contains a patent-pending ICF™ (Immunity Co-Factors) Compound (containing Polyphenols, EGCG & Quercetin) which acts as a beneficial partner to Zinc. Importantly, we only use Zinc Picolinate, which has been proven in a double-blind placebo-controlled trial to be the most bioavailable form actually increasing Zinc levels recorded in the body.

Further, the AM formula contains a Probiotic and Prebiotic together with organic Astragalus, Ginger, Liquorice and medicinal Reishi mushrooms, all of which have scientifically recorded beneficial effects on the body’s immune system.

  • Supports normal function of the immune system
  • Supports normal red blood cell formation
  • Protects cells from oxidative stress
  • Supports normal energy-yielding metabolism
  • Supports normal DNA synthesis

Also..

High Strength Immune System Boost

This food-dietary supplement is made with ingredients that are scientifically proven to support your immune system.

By supporting your immune system, this unique two-part formula can help protect you from infections and support faster recovery.

With an impressive ingredients list using high strength and high-quality inputs, together with it’s two-part (AM & PM) formula, we believe this is the strongest formula for immune system support available anywhere in the world.

This assertion is supported by the ingredient design of the two formulas (AM & PM) which provide complementary non-competing nutrient delivery, allowing key essential minerals to work in the most optimised manner.

For example, when taking Zinc and Iron separately, they do not compete with each other for the same receptor sites. (In comparison, most other brands put both of these minerals into the same tablet or capsule).

By not competing with each other, each mineral can be absorbed properly with a maximum beneficial effect on both the immune system and oxygen transport.

Also…

Two-Part Supplement: AM Formula

The AM formula not only supports the immune system, but it also provides a smooth energy and a nutrient boost with Vitamins D + K2, C, A and E – all with carefully dosed amounts that are as strong as possible whilst still being extremely safe (and within UK Department of Health’s Expert Committee’s Report on Safe Upper Limits).

It also contains a patent-pending ICF™ (Immunity Co-Factors) Compound (containing Polyphenols, EGCG & Quercetin) which acts as a beneficial partner to Zinc.

Importantly, they only use Zinc Picolinate, which has been proven in a double-blind placebo-controlled trial to be the most bioavailable form actually increasing Zinc levels recorded in the body.

Further, the AM formula contains a Probiotic and Prebiotic together with organic Astragalus, Ginger, Liquorice and medicinal Reishi mushrooms, all of which have scientifically recorded beneficial effects on the body’s immune response-ability.

Two-Part Supplement: PM Formula

The PM formula also supports the immune system and goes further to support the body’s response to inflammation via an FSC™ (Full-Spectrum Curcumin) Compound (containing Organic Turmeric, Pure Curcumin, & Piperine).

This compound allows Curcumin to work most effectively couched within its source herb Turmeric and enhanced with Black Pepper Piperine for maximum absorption.

It further contains a strong Iron dose, perfect for tiredness, fatigue and oxygen transport support. Then follow carefully matched B-Vitamins for their immune-supporting and energy-producing roles.

Next is Choline for normal liver function support, which is helpful at times of immune body stress, and Alpha Lipoic Acid which helps ‘recycle’ Glutathione (often called the “Master Antioxidant”) within the body.

Finally, the enzyme Bromelain helps absorption, with Ashwagandha providing adaptogenic relief for mind and body stress, supporting mood.

INGREDIENTS – AM FORMULA

Zinc picolinate

This is the most bioavailable form of zinc, which is essential for the function of the immune system as it helps cells in the immune system grow and differentiate. It may also shorten the duration of cold symptoms.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is essential for immune system function and health. It affects the activity and number of white blood cells. Vitamin D deficiency, which many people suffer from, can negatively affect immune function.

Vitamin K2

Studies have shown that vitamin K2 has anti-inflammatory effects. It also has antioxidant properties, thus protecting cellular membranes from damage. When K2 is taken in conjunction with Vitamin D, the benefits from both are increased, as they work together synergistically.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is vital for immune health. It increases the production of white blood cells that fight off infections and may reduce the duration of cold symptoms.

Vitamin A

Beta carotene is converted into vitamin A, which is essential for a good immune system. It helps antibodies respond to foreign substances and toxins.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is one of the most effective nutrients known to modulate immune function. Supplementing vitamin E has been shown to enhance the function of the immune system and reduce the risk of infection.

ICF Compound (Polyphenols, EGCG, Quercetin)

The ICF™ compound (Immunity Co-Factors) featured in our AM formula allows Zinc to work more effectively in order to provide better viral protection. It includes high strength Camellia Sinensis Polyphenols, EGCG Catechins & Quercetin in a patent pending specialist compound.

L. Acidophilus

Probiotics build up your gut health, thus supporting the immune system.

Fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS)

These prebiotics act as food for probiotics like L. Acidophilus, helping good bacteria grow in your gut.

Astragalus Root

Astragalus is a herb that has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries. It has many purported health benefits, including immune-boosting, anti-ageing and anti-inflammatory effects.

Ginger Root

Ginger has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds which can help reduce inflammation and nausea.

Liquorice Root

Liquorice contains many substances that can protect against viral infections, as they have antiviral, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory activities.

Reishi Mushroom

Medicinal mushrooms can have immune-enhancing properties. In particular, the Reishi mushroom contains molecules which can increase the activity of a type of white blood cell called natural killer cells which fight infections in the body.

Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA)

ALA is an extremely powerful antioxidant, and it protects your body’s cells against damage. It is a special compound in that it helps to recycle glutathione, the “master antioxidant” that is naturally produced by the body.

Piper Nigrum Extract (PNE)

PNE has been reported to have antioxidant, anti-bacterial, anti-tumour, anti-mutagenic, anti-diabetic, and anti-inflammatory properties.

Vitamin B2

B vitamins aid in the conversion of food into energy. In addition, vitamin B2 has a key role in maintaining many aspects of your health. For instance, it has been shown to host resistance to bacterial infections.

Also included are essential minerals selenium, copper and manganese.

INGREDIENTS – PM FORMULA

FSC™ Compound

The FSC™ compound (Full Spectrum Curcumin) featured in our PM formula helps the body deal with inflammation. It includes Organic Turmeric, Pure Curcumin Extract (95%), and Black Pepper Extract: Piperine (95%) in a patent-pending specialist compound.

Turmeric contains bioactive compounds with powerful medicinal properties. Curcumin, which is the main compound in turmeric, has powerful anti-inflammatory abilities. Black pepper is useful in conjunction with curcumin because it contains piperine, a natural substance that enhances the absorption of curcumin by 2,000%.

Iron

Iron is an essential mineral crucial for red blood cell formation and oxygen transport.

Vitamin B6

Vitamin B6 has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It plays a role in modulating your immunity and a deficiency in B6 can result in the decreased production of antibodies, which fight infections.

Vitamin B9

Vitamin B9 has a crucial effect on the immune response, so inadequate levels of this vitamin can have a dramatic effect on your immune system. Vitamin B9 is required for the survival of regulatory T cells, which play a central role in the immune system.

Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 has an important role in the production of white blood cells, which are essential for the proper functioning of the immune system.

Choline Bitartrate

Adequate levels of choline are associated with a normal, healthy relationship between the immune system and the inflammatory response. Choline has also been shown to support normal liver function.

Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA)

ALA is an extremely powerful antioxidant, and it protects your body’s cells against damage. It is a special compound in that it helps to recycle glutathione, the “master antioxidant” that is naturally produced by the body.

Ashwagandha Root

Ashwagandha is an adaptogenic herb that has been shown to decrease anti-inflammation. It increases the activity of immune cells that fight infection and help you stay healthy, whilst supporting a positive mood.

Bromelain (Enzyme)

Bromelain has many health-improving properties, such as its anti-inflammatory, antithrombotic, fibrinolytic and immunomodulatory effects, in addition to being a wound healing and circulatory improvement agent.

Cinnamon Extract

Cinnamon is loaded with antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory properties, which helps your body fight infections and repair tissue damage.

Free Face Masks

For a limited time (while stocks last) they are distributing free high quality (N95 Equiv) face masks to customers, when purchasing Immune System Boost supplements.  I have received one of these masks and they are so much better than the ones you get from the supermarket.

  • 1 month’s supply = 1 mask
  • 3 month’s supply = 3 masks

In addition to the free masks you can claim a 10% discount by using my exclusive code “TRACEY10”.

As you know I only support products and organisations that I use personally and believe in.  Integrity is very much key for me.

To check out customer reviews plase click here.

So honestly give them a go and I hope they help you as much as they help me.  I’m ready for the second wave… are you?

Tracey xXx

Tips on how to stick to your diet while working at home

Diets During Lockdown

Understandably the past couple of months have changed so many things and in so many ways. For anyone following a diet plan it has proved to be a bit more difficult so this blog post is all about sharing some tips on how to stick to your diet while working at home or from being in isolation which I have borrowed from Aimee Heeran.

Tips on how to stick to your diet while working at home

Flexible working from home has become more and more popular in the last few years. Working from home can be convenient as there is no commute, no office attire, and no office distractions! However, working from home does mean you are closer to your kitchen cupboards, and the temptation to snack or binge eat can be very strong.

The Exante diet plan is a simple and convenient diet plan that is perfect for those people who do regularly work from home! Why?

  • It’s a simple and convenient diet plan
  • Delivered directly to your door
  • It’s affordable
  • All the meal replacements contain 27 vitamins and minerals


Here are some top tips on how to stay on your diet plan whilst working from home:

Start The Day Off Right

Often how you start your day, can dictate the tone and mood for the rest of the day. Start your day with a coffee and an Exante porridge pot perhaps? Not only are there meal replacements filling but they will then curb your appetite for any mid-morning snacks, not to mention – all Exante products are delicious!  I quite often have a carrot cake bar for breakfast in three pieces with a cup of black tea with fresh lemon and ginger.

Start Your Day The Right Way

As previously mentioned all Exante meal replacements contain 27 Vitamins and Minerals, like Vitamin D and Iron?  The Exante meal replacements contain 27 vitamins and minerals so that each product provides you with 1/3 of your daily  NVR (Nutrient Reference Value).   This for me is a big relief as I have some chronic health problems so at least I know I am getting the correct amount of vitamins and minerals.

Set Times For Exercise And Moving Your Body

Just because you are working from home doesn’t mean you must be chained to your desk for 8-9 hours a day!  Set times for moving around, or going for a quick walk and fresh air around the block to get your heart pumping and your mind reactivated.  More often than not, if you are sat at your desk for hours and hours, you can start to feel tired as your heart rate slows down to the calm and quiet environment around you.

As your body and mind slow, you may feel fatigued, and we all know that reaching for a bar of chocolate is one quick fix for energy and endorphins.  However, another way to increase the levels of endorphins in your brain is a quick pleasant walk.   Even a 5-minute walk can reduce your blood sugar levels dramatically.

Avoid Buying High-Calorie Snacks At The Supermarket

If you know you are working from home for the next week, avoid buying those convenient however very calorific snacks to keep in your cupboard. Knowing they are there, and easy to get in your kitchen cupboard is a recipe for an over-indulging disaster.  Here are some low-calorie snack suggestions:

  • Carrot sticks (156g) and reduced-fat hummus (50g) is typically 164 calories
  • Gouda cheese (30g) and a small average apple (75g) is typically 145 calories.
  • Honeydew Melon (160g) and Wafer Thin Ham (40g) is typically 84 calories.
  • 0% Fat Greek Yoghurt (150g) and blueberries (50g) is typically 110 calories

Cut Bars Into Smaller Pieces

If you are following an Exante very low-calorie diet plan, then many people enjoy cutting up their bars into small easy to eat bites. Cutting them into small bites will extend the time it takes to eat them, and so you will feel fuller quicker! Give it a try!  – I love this piece of advice as mentioned I do this every morning with my first bar.   Some of the denser bars I keep in the fridge for me personally they taste better that way. 

Get A Good Night’s Sleep

Ensuring you are getting enough sleep at night is really important as it will impact your productivity and mood the following day.  Sleep is super important because this is the time our bodies restore and repair.

A lack of sleep can really impact your mood and make you feel low.  We all know feeling low can often lead to emotional eating, so ensuring you are getting enough rest every night is very important when it comes to staying motivated on your diet plan!

Drink Water And Stay Hydrated

People can very often mistake thirst for hunger,  and so ensure that wherever you choose to work from at home, your own desk, dining room, kitchen table, etc, ensure you always have a bottle of water beside you and ensure you are making an effort to always stay hydrated.  If you don’t like the taste of water that much, why not try our Exante water enhancers?  I personally love the cranberry water enhancer.

Deep Breathing And Meditation

Throughout your day, try some deep breathing exercises and meditation to realign yourself.  Often by working from home, we face many different challenges, for example, maybe a colleague isn’t understanding something you are trying to communicate to them via email?

Building up any form of anxiety or stress isn’t good for your mental well-being, and it can often lead to you trying to snack or eat unhealthy food as you are feeling so low or down.  Avoiding stress by putting your mental wellbeing first, can also mean you are less likely to binge eat.  Even if it just means, every now and then, taking a break for yourself!

If you are new to meditation you can get help with the great phone app Headspace and Calm to name but a few.  Alternatively, I have my own guided mediation in my shop which is currently £4.99.

The Diet Product That Is So Convenient

Exante meal replacements are not only delicious, but they are really convenient if you want to follow a very low-calorie diet plan, especially for those who want to lose weight fast and safely.

Not only are the Exante 800 or Exante 1200 diet plans really convenient, but you can have the Exante products delivered directly to your door which can save you time and hassle too with the option of next day delivery!  What are you waiting for?  I’ve just placed my order for more carrot cake bars as I know as soon as people taste them the stock levels will drop big time.  I always keep an Exante product in various places too and I have them in my handbag, sports bag, work drawer, kitchen, car glove box.  

I hope you found these tips helpful.  Also you can claim 35% off your order by using my code TRACEY35 You can find more motivation on my other pages both on Publications, Exante, and Motivational Quotes.  My next post I will be talking about the Exante Sip and the burst drink and about collagen.

Have a fantastic weekend everyone.  Stay safe.

Love

Tracey xXx