bread_baked_bread_food

I love bread. I also love chocolate and all things containing sugar. This poses a huge problem for someone like me who, after having a baby several years ago, still has a slight problem losing the baby weight. I have, in the past, followed diets which only restricted calories. This included Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig. Yes, I lost the weight and I felt great afterwards but the weight inevitably found me. And usually in the middle of ordering a donut.

I’d like to say that since my daughter was born I’ve tried everything to get fit and healthy. That would be a lie. I spent a large part of her first two years of life studying and balancing my new life as a mother/wife/student in her late 30s. I didn’t spend a lot of time or energy on what I was eating or on jogging, weight training or Pilates. So I pretended that it was fine that my old clothes still didn’t fit or that I was usually the heaviest of the moms at the playground. I mean, I felt fine and I didn’t necessarily think that I needed to lose weight immediately. I could still run around with my daughter and not feel winded. I was tired but that was expected. Then, my husband and I discussed the idea of trying for another baby. Would we try then and there despite me being larger than I was when we got pregnant the first time or would I try to lose 20 pounds and then try? Well, despite my wanting to get pregnant again, for some reason, I did nothing. I didn’t attempt to lose any weight despite my desire to have another baby. Of course, you don’t have to be slim to be fertile but it helps to be healthier. So yes, I didn’t do anything and you’re probably wondering why. To be honest, I really don’t know. Chalk it up to laziness or the fact that I still couldn’t figure out how to be organised about my food intake or that I just couldn’t get up before my daughter to put in that much needed workout. Or maybe I was just really, really tired. I think the answer is all of the above. I was fine with not trying because it was easy.

As a friend and as a reflexologist, I will be the first person to give encouraging advice. I will also be the one to excitedly research and then send loads of information to someone wanting to make a change to their health and wellbeing. Unfortunately, like most of us, I don’t take my own advice.

Well times are a changin’. I have fallen off the sugar-free wagon many times (my recent birthday for example) but now I am serious. I am really, really serious about cutting the crap and boosting my fertility. But how, you ask?

  1. Based on the title of this post, I’m starting with losing refined carbs.
  2. Then what? Eating and drinking clean.
  3. And still, what else? Although most the changes will be involving my food and drink intake, I still need to move and sweat and tone. As a mother, I can’t really afford to spend too much money or time on a workout so I thought of something I could do that will not cost a fortune, that will allow me to do it at home and also will only take a short time. And the answer is, stair climbing! It will make me sweat, I can do it without leaving my building and even if it rains, I can still do it without getting drenched.

Believe it or not, I actually attempted all of the above not long ago (the shock!) but again, I hit a wall. Not an actual wall, a figurative wall, a wall covered in chocolate and cans of Coke actually. But you can’t change the past, you can only impact NOW. And now I am starting again. Wish me luck.

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Merry Christmas to you all!

Here’s to a new year of love, laughter and positive changes…plus more blog posts!

xxx

It’s no surprise that most of us don’t drink as much water as we should. I have asked friends and family…and most of them agree that although they are meant to drink those 8 recommended glasses a day, they barely hit the halfway mark.

I am just as guilty of this as anyone, even more so. I remember when I had first moved to London and was living in Brixton, I would always buy a 6 pack of 1 litre bottles of water from the local grocery store determined to carry one around with me throughout the day. My flatmate would comment at how much water I would drink but I was only consuming one glass a day despite appearances. I was really good at holding it…but not so great about drinking from it. It was like my magazine addiction. I would buy a fitness magazine and read it front to back a few times (while sitting watching CSI) and I’d feel so proud of myself and feel like I’d instantly lost 10 pounds just because I read it. Who needs to actually work out or eat better?! I can just read the magazine…or hold the enormous bottle…all the while looking like a super healthy person…from the outside only.

Recently my lack of water intake has become very obvious. I have low energy, I feel dizzy and overall I just feel plain lousy. The fact that I’m still having difficulty removing the refined carbohydrates and sugars from my diet is also responsible for this but so is my lack of water.

I’m sure you’re familiar with Sarah Wilson and her I Quit Sugar series of books. If not, I definitely recommend them and her blog. She includes great information about living without sugar  as well as recipes and general information about nutrition. I recently came upon an illustration on her Instagram account about the symptoms of dehydration and it was very clear: I am one dehydrated lady! Sarah recently wrote a piece on her blog about ways to drink more water if you’re bored by it (as I am!) so I think her advice is great…and there a few suggestions that I had never considered, such as:

  • Adding apple cider vinegar to your water to make it taste sweet which can help curb cravings;
  • To drink water warm, rather than cold (as I usually do) which is the best way to drink it according to Ayurvedic thinking;
  • To also drink from the tap, not bottled water (as I always do), because the fluoride in tap water is great for your teeth as well as many other reasons (click on the link to learn more)

That’s a lot to think about and a lot of water to drink…but warm from the tap? Along with my nutella obsession, that will be a hard habit to break. Watch this space.

Since qualifying in December as a reflexologist, I’ve been spending most of my time either trying to find new clients or with my daughter, trying not to fall asleep while feeding her lunch! To say that motherhood is exhausting is an understatement. You spend all of your energy making sure your kid is safe, happy, healthy and not running into oncoming traffic. The other week, another mum friend mentioned that she was attending a one hour class on eating for energy directed specifically at mothers in our local area of North London. Of course I jumped (or rather nodded…due to the exhaustion) at the idea of attending a session around such a relevant topic and one that could also inform my reflexology practice.

It is an obvious connection – the whole point of food is to give us energy and to nourish us. Of course, if we consume the wrong types of food, this backfires and instead of energising us, it simply puts us to sleep!

I attended the session last Friday while my amazing husband looked after my daughter and I was pleasantly surprised. The session was organised by Sorting Self which provides expert talks for busy mums in the Muswell Hill, East Finchley, Highgate and Crouch End area. For this specific talk, they had a Nutritional Therapist there from Nourish to Flourish who spoke mostly about blood sugar and how to regulate it so that your energy levels stay relatively the same throughout the day without any major dips. For example, as you can see from the image below, if you have a high carb breakfast liek cereal followed by a coffee at 11am by the time lunch comes along, chances are you’ll be starving…and more likely to go for the high carb/high sugar lunch versus the healthier protein packed option.

Blood Sugar

I know it sounds like the talk was all about the low carb lifestyle but it actually wasn’t at all. It was more about removing the bad sugars from your diet and trying more of a Paleo approach – fresh lean proteins and vegetables but still including whole grains as well. It may seem like common sense but even so, sometimes it takes a professional to really make the idea stick. And she did! I found the entire session really informative and I left feeling that I could really implement her suggestions.

Her tips included:

  • Drop and swap the sugar
  • Always add protein and/or fat
  • Go whole with your carbs
  • Add B complex and magnesium into your diet

Attending the class really made me determined to improve my practice. I’m in the process of completing a Healthy Eating and Well-being course for the Complementary Therapies and I really think it will dramatically improve my skills.

All in all, I left feeling really pumped and positive. And I’m happy to say that, although I left with an intense craving for cake (due to my poor choice in breakfasts!) I did not run to the nearest cafe to get a slice. Instead I met my family and went to the park. Not a bad way to spend a Friday afternoon.

Hello!

I have now qualified as a reflexologist, hurray! I plan to use the skills and knowledge cultivated during my course in 2014 to make 2015 my best year yet!

Keep an eye out for upcoming posts about healthy living, fitness and how holistic therapies can make a huge difference in your life and well-being.

In the meantime, check out this really great article about how reflexology can help with a variety of health issues.

To your health & happiness

J x

Hi, I’m Jane and welcome to my blog!

I am a soon-to-be qualified Reflexologist based in North London. I will soon be sharing loads of interesting, informative and inspiring information and advice about reflexology plus all things health and wellness in this new blog. I’m very excited to start my blogging adventure with you all.

In the meantime, please visit my website: http://www.reflexologybyjane.com.

Happy thoughts 🙂

Jane