5 healthier options to Easter Eggs

How many different easter eggs do the supermarkets stock! There is so much choice it sends my head spinning, but this year I wanted to give some lovely different ideas you could give to those you love rather than a chocolate hollow egg, or alternatively things you could alternatively ask for.

I am aware a lot of my readers/clients struggle with chronic illness so I wanted to give some other options to be able to avoid  sugar this easter. Sit your family/friends down and explain your trying to stay away from sugar to aid your recovery and you would appreciate their help to not buy you any sugar and maybe to think of some alternatives…

I love Easter eggs by the way but its the sheer amount we buy, why do I need 5-6 easter eggs? I don’t. I love the Greens and Blacks dark chocolate easter egg, that is my egg of choice but there are loads of alternatives especially when you are committed to your  recovery and health.

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  1. Flowers – tulips are so beautiful in spring, I would be thrilled if someone bought me a bunch of tulips rather than a chocolate egg which will give me bad side effects and make me feel lame. I would love to buy someone a bunch of flowers. Knowing that I am bringing them joy and not inhibiting their health.
  2. Deliciously Ella ball – I am loving the almond and cacao one. Dream.
  3. A tub of coconut oil – well thats always an amazing gift right?
  4. A new book or cook book
  5. Some beautiful beauty care – Origins, Neals Yard I love, as well as Burts Bees lip sticks

 

Let me know what you think, otherwise enjoy this Easter time.

Enjoy family time, Easter is so much more than eating our body weight in chocolate right.

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The Day I Gave Up on the NHS

I have found myself having a lot of conversations with my parents recently about when I first became ill. I don’t remember most of it, I think it was such a horrible time my brain has wiped a lot of the information and memories. But I feel naturally alot of our conversations have drifted into why they chose to go down an alternative route and how they made those difficult decisions, how it felt to have a very poorly child and how they dealt with that.

For those who don’t know I became very very poorly aged 13 – up until then I was a pretty normal child, I was very bright, sociable and ‘normal’ I guess. Until I got a virus and basically never got better, a once happy child was confined to bed most of the day, in a wheelchair for part of the time and couldn’t attend school, my dad had to carry me up and down stairs and I couldn’t even dress myself.

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*By the way of a disclaimer I want to note here, I think the NHS is great* – But the problem is it was set up for broken bones and to have babies, the NHS wasn’t set up to deal with the complex illnesses a lot of people in the UK now suffer with in the 21st century. Alot of which I believe is down to our lifestyle and environments (but thats for another day).

In the beginning of my illness the NHS did all the necessary testing obviously they eradicated any more sinister problems for my symptoms and pulled me into hospital, sent me to a psychologist (was I just faking it), a pyhsio (was I really as weak as I was saying I was), ‘hospital school’ (was I able to study), they sent me to multiple specialists in the North West, but they just could not figure out what was wrong with me. After 6 months of this (which is pretty standard protocol) they labelled me with ME/CFS (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome).

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Now here is the big point… what is CFS? Seriously? Diabetes is a problem (in an incredibly simplistic form) with blood sugar and insulin. Heart disease is a heart issue but chronic fatigue? It is merely a label. It doesn’t mean anything. Because what is the cause of the fatigue? Why has a 13 year olds body just shut down? What is the root cause? And unfortunately the NHS does not have the funding to get to the root cause of this issue and they can’t help everyone.

Currently the protocol on the NHS is, if someone has CFS he/she is offered graded exercise (GET) or cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) – both good options which are really helpful but they aren’t going to do that much if your root cause is your digestion and you aren’t absorbing any food. Or your adrenals are exhausted so you have no stress hormones or adrenaline, or your body is so toxic it can’t function optimally. Do you see where this is going?

I remember in my teens going every 6 months to the CFS clinic, I used to beg my mum to not send me because every time they would say “keep doing what your doing and come back in 6 months” – what was I doing? Nothing. I wasn’t doing anything to help because I didn’t know what could help. I was lying on a sofa in my house, not at school, crying most of the day, a very very lonely, sad teenage girl. With no answers.

My parents did a lot of soul searching and decided to find someone who can help in an alternative way. They had to pay. But they decided they would do what it took to get me better even if it meant paying with their own money. Yes the NHS is free at the point of access and yes it is amazing and yes they save lives but… they can’t help everyone. And when you have a complex illness we sometimes have to look elsewhere for answers if we are determined and committed to recovery.

When I started working on my health outside of the NHS I started to find the root cause, I had a lot a lot alot of different things going on. But I also had Lyme Disease, an infection in my blood. Boom... that was the main root cause. You see someone can have severe fatigue but why? We have to ask why… and when you work on that then there is no reason why we can’t fully recover.

There is a financial cost but even now, I will go without other things to make sure I can pay for my supplements and to ensure I have a lifestyle where I stay well. I eat good food, I do spend alot on food but it keeps me well. I have adapted my lifestyle to spend less on other things and I spend alot on the things I know help me and keep me well.

I really don’t want this to be a post on being negative about our NHS, as I said they are amazing. They save lives and we are so fortunate to have the NHS in this country. What I am saying is if you are suffering with chronic illness, maybe it is time to look elsewhere if you are passionate to get better. Do your research, there is alot of free information out there. Do some soul searching. Ask for help. Acknowledge they can’t help everyone but you are going to recover and take control and today is day one…

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Read:

The China Study by Colin Campbell

Why Cant I Get Better by Richard Horowitz

http://www.drmyhill.co.uk 

Weddings, Spring + Self Employment

It’s spring yay. I love it, I absolute love the lighter nights (as does Fudge, we love our 6pm strolls) and I just love how happier I feel people are. Soon the clocks will be going forwards, then its Easter, then it’s summer which I love and then whats happening? Oh yes… I’m getting married.

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I’ve not blogged about this or featured it on my social media all that much to be honest but it’s such a huge part of my life right now I thought I would do a nice little update for you all.

The wedding date is 2nd September (less than 6 months) and wow time is just going so quickly. I have always been worried for when it came to planning a wedding, I would always say to my mum “Well how will I do that, the stress will obviously make me ill” and here we are in the throws of wedding planning. OK so I did have a dip when we first got engaged I was so overwhelmed and we were venue shopping and budgeting and we had an engagement party plus it was a super busy time at work and I just got my new job with CNM and arghh it all came at once, which is always the way right. But we made a decision to plan the simplest wedding ever. Which, well… has kind of happened, apart from my one bridesmaid turning into four. Oops. But seriously, we have kept it simple. I’m trying to keep the stress to an absolute minimum because for Joe and I it isn’t about the wedding, or our ‘one perfect day’ it is about our lives together, the marriage itself

We are also Christians, so it’s not just the wedding to look forward to, we are also looking for a home to move into after the wedding and furniture and registering for gifts (I cannot wait to go around John Lewis with the beeper thing – hello best day ever) and then moving in together, oh and did I mention my fiancé is finishing his degree. Yeah, we don’t do things by halves.

The dress is chosen (absolutely in love) the bridesmaids have chosen their dresses, the venue is sorted, church is booked, photographer and videographer booked, honeymoon sorted, it’s all going well. Next up, invites, flowers and bridal shower (nobody was keen on my yoga, healthy eating, food demo idea – I clearly need new friends).

I have days of feeling completely overwhelmed – I am abit of a worrier and I try to avoid stress at all costs because I know what it does to me, but most days I’m OK. This is a huge thing for me, I’ve never done anything as big as this and my health can’t always be relied on… but thankfully I know what to do to stay on track and I have amazing people to keep me grounded.

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The biggest question… Fudge the flower girl?

I just can’t believe it really. Often I will ask him are you sure about this. I’m not offering him any guarantees. I could relapse anytime (there shouldn’t be a reason why I would but you never know with Lyme Disease). Surely he wants to marry a girl who doesn’t make him eat kale everyday (for detox benefits – which he doesn’t appreciate my fun facts) and who’s idea of fun is sitting in watching Netflix food documentaries with a herbal tea and my Cockapoo?

I really never ever thought I’d ever be planning a wedding. Ever. I never thought I would find someone who would want me for life. I feel very very blessed.

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I’m feeling super grateful at the moment aswell to be self employed, I am loving work. I have such lovely clients, I enjoy my days off at the moment and being able to go on holiday when I want. No day is ever the same, today I went to the city to meet with a prospective student for CNM, did lots of client protocols in a coffee shop, enjoyed the sunshine in the garden and took Fudge for a walk.

At the moment in the background I am going through a rebranding and a new website with loads of great useful content for you all, I am binge listening to the Minimalist podcasts, spring cleaning all my stuff to move out, trying to find new funky retreat venues as well as finding a breakfast club venue, whilst also debating youtube? Cringe? And looking forward to the Paris ILADS conference. It’s all go over here. I need a team. Seriously, who wants to work for me…

Thats it for now folks, lots happening. Counting my blessings everyday.

Keep doing what you doing to be the best version of you everyday.

Go grab a glass of water

Make double your evening meal for lunch tomorrow

Eat an avocado… seriously. Well why not?

Amchara – Retreat Review

Last week I was lucky enough to go over to Gozo to Amchara’s juicing retreat. They very kindly invited me to spend the week with them and to do some education for their clients, I was thrilled to accept (and I dragged my mum along for a small girls holiday and a week of healing).

I was really keen to go obviously and work with them but also for my own health. I have been very open with the fact I have Lyme Disease and I wondered how a full detox would help me, and plus it’s also great to do a detox 2x per year anyway so I was very excited. And hello… it’s Malta.

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The Retreat

Amchara have a retreat over here down in Somerset but there also have a retreat over in Gozo, which is an island just off Malta.

We arrived in Malta and one of their drivers picked us up and drove us to the shore where we hopped on a quick ferry ride (45mins) to Gozo. Gozo is just beautiful, it is a tiny island, and I loved it because it is a very slow way of life over there. I cannot tell you how many Brits we came into contact with on Gozo, they all seem to be moving there for the calmness and slower pace of life – very tempting.

Amchara is like a hotel, they own it all and they have people coming in and going all through the week. It isn’t a retreat where they hire it for one week and you have to go for that one week, it’s a dip in and out kind of place.

They have a purpose built yoga studio (with yoga space on the roof with amazing views) and a health centre with a spa. They have an outside pool with sea water, a jacuzzi, an infra red sauna, steam room, fire pit for the summer nights, cinema room, talk room, it is all absolutely gorgeous.

A typical day would be:

8am: Yoga

9am: Juice

11am: Walk for an hour

12pm: Juice

12:30pm: Talk of the day

3pm: Juice and sometimes a food demo

4pm: Yoga

5pm: Meditation

6pm: Soup
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 There are breaks in the day where you can go off and explore but to be honest I was really boring and I sat by the pool and relaxed and read my book and my mum had some treatments in the spa. At the end of the day some of the guests went and watched films in the movie room but I love sleep, I was in bed every night at 8:30 (I told you I was boring).

Education

The education part was my realm, I am so passionate about teaching people the ‘why’s’… why should we eat well, how does it really impact our digestion and our brain, why do you feel sluggish, why can’t you sleep at night etc etc. and people loved it, a lot came to me and said thank you and have emailed me since. Finally they understand the ‘WHY’S’ and I think when we understand exactly why and how, we can then be motivated to stay away from that food. A small example is 4pm tiredness, if you have regular snacks though the day which have protein in them you can avoid that 4pm slump, no energy, cravings, headaches etc. it is actually incredibly simple, when you have the education behind it.

Your Retreat

Honestly, stress doesn’t exist at Amchara. I spoke to some of the guests who had been to other juicing retreats all over the world and they agreed Amchara was definitely the best for full relaxation and the care you receive. Everyone is very calm, there is no shouting and hustle and bustle, it’s all very laid back. When I was there, there was only about 10 people, so it was a nice number to be able to chat to people and share your health experiences.

When you arrive at the retreat you have for a health consultation and thats to discuss your health conditions and how you want the detox to go, they formulate you a plan, take your weight, blood pressure etc. and then throughout the week they are always asking how you are doing, you can check in with the staff members and they were all so lovely.

In the kitchen we had juice 3x per day and soup in an evening but into the detox on day 3 I began to feel very very poorly (which is normal it happens to everyone and you come out the other side, usually it is fatigue and migraines etc) however I was working on the retreat so I couldn’t be too ill! So again, the staff checked in with me and I went onto raw food and oh
wow! Oh wow is all I can say, absolutely beautiful raw food. Chia pudding, courgette with tomato sauce and cashew cream sauce (dairy free), sushi veggie rolls it was amazing! I swear there are little Deliciously Ella chefs in that kitchen. Beautiful beautiful food, all natural, gluten free, dairy free, sugar free AKA REAL FOOD.

Even though I was working through the week I fully amerced myself in the detox experience and get involved with the other clients there and it was brilliant.

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Why should I go to Amchara?

If you want to switch off, unwind, gain some perspective, shut off the world for a week, heal your body, learn about health, swim, have spa treatments, explore, sleep, relax, be looked after – Amchara is the place.

I felt different coming home, I really felt relaxed and ready to face the world and life and it’s very inevitable stressors. I felt equipped. I personally wanted to come home and do more yoga and I have, and I wanted to eat a vegetarian diet and I have. Doing a detox really has kicked me into being motivated and equipped.

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One negative… turned into a positive

My only feedback to them was the aftercare, I think they would benefit from having some type of aftercare already in place for people when they return to the UK. For example, you go on a detox, you feel amazing after a week, your skin has cleared up you have more energy, digestion has calmed down, your stress levels have reduced, your concentration is better but then… you go back home, everyone thinks your abit odd for drinking juice all week and doing yoga all week, you go back to work and your old diet. People were abit worried about returning to the ‘real world’ and how they would feel.

But… that is where people like me step in. Lets be honest unless we educate ourselves or invest in getting help it is hard to ‘go on a diet’ or ‘eat healthy’ and even harder when we have no clue what that actually is or what it looks like. ‘Diet starts on Monday’ – why? Why is this Monday any different? Investing in a fully trained Nutritional Therapist is money well spend if you are serious about achieving those goals, they help you, support you, tailor a plan to you which is realistic to your life right now, they give you recipes, meal ideas etc. and support. I think thats the main thing people need right?

So here is the opportunity to work with both myself and Amchara, if you book to go to Amchara in Gozo (which by the way you absolutely should) I can offer you the before and after care.

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Initial consultation and one follow up appointment 20% off 

FREE TREATMENT AT AMCHARA 

Book your Nutritional Consultation before you fly off for when you get home to stay motivated and achieve your long-term goals.

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From start to finish they really looked after us, it’s the small details, we even got a little goody bag to go home with to avoid rubbish airport food (kale chips, crudités, homemade humous, raw brownies and fruit) – I never recommend brands or companies I don’t completely love or believe in or agree with and I love Amchara. Their ethos is the same as mine, their approach is the same as mine. Thank you for creating such a gorgeous space and experience, I’ll be back soon.

A big thank you to Nay, Kirstie, Rhiannon, David, Emily, Victoria and last but not least Danielle who made me fall in love with yoga (twice a day) and now I can do it back in the UK and have some ‘me time’ everyday.

www.amchara.com

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January Favourites

 Hello lovelies, I have decided to start to do a monthly favourites blog because I am always finding new recipes and new products and beauty products which I love to share with people and I thought well this seems like the perfect obvious platform!

January is such a dark gloomy month, I really struggle with January I am made to live in warmth not dark nights and cold days. However, my favourites have made it better and have pulled me through. (Also if you have a SAD lamp please let me know if they work on not I am wondering if to get one).

 

Book: Life After Life by Kate Atkinson

I love to read and this book is so amazing I couldn’t put it down. I joined *cough* co-founded *cough* a book club with some friends last year and I LOVE it. We meet on the first weekend of the month for breakfast and chat about life and the book we read and share recommendations. It has really opened my mind to different authors and genres so yes def join a book club or def join your local library. There is something I love about an actual book rather than a kindle, to hold and book, tea and a book – perfection.

This one is about a woman who keeps reliving her life from birth, thats all I will say I don’t want to ruin it. A perfect book if you like to not know how it will end.

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Beauty: Origins

So Origins was recommended to me ages ago by a family member but it took me ages to trust a new brand (I stick to what I know don’t know about you). But I was hearing more and more people LOVING their products and this range especially so I got it for a Christmas present and I love every single product. My self conscious area is definitely my skin, I struggled with acne a lot in the past and this is so brilliant for my skin. This set has a moisturiser, a serum, a light exfoliated and a face mask (wearing whilst typing). Definitely my new favourite skin brand, my whole wish list is full – hello charcoal mask.

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Podcast: Modern Love

I found Modern Love a while ago but January I have just binge listened to them all (consciously trying to watch less TV) and I love it. They are all short stories written by people on lots of different topics around love def go and check it out. I love to have it on in the background as I get ready in a morning.

Modern Love – iTunes

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Food: Deliciously Ella Balls

I have been eating these since literally the first week they hit Waitrose but I am getting more and more obsessed. I love Ellas whole ethos, it is def something we share. The fact there are great healthy products on the market and in our supermarket is something which makes me jump around. I was shopping in Topshop recently and so starving and thought ohhh no what to eat… went to Starbucks and yay there was a DE ball (well done Starbucks) *happy dance happy dance*. They come in 3 different flavours, I’m obsessed with the almond and cacao one right now.

Naturally gluten, dairy and refined sugar free. Perfect for the handbag for a snack attack.

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Results Are In

So if you follow me on social media I have been slightly absent in recent months and abit sporadic and not really around much and there has been a reason.

I started to feel a dip in my health in about November but carried on and put it down to stress but it has only gotten worse so I decided to put my NT hat on do some testing (yes I also do the lovely stool testing I ask my clients to do).

I pretty much knew what it was going to say but the results are in, I have a candida infection in my gut which I am pretty gutted about.

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What is Candida?

Candida is a fungal infection which can grow in our gut and cause symptoms like fatigue, brain fog, poor concentration, acne, bloating etc.

It can be caused by a low immune system, sugar, alcohol, mould in the environment and high use of antibiotics.

 

I was gutted because I have known my Lyme Disease symptoms have been creeping in since November and obviously it has pulled my immune system down so much it has allowed this infection to grow.

 

Whats the answer?

So the answer is a strict anti-candida diet so no chocolate or prosecco (even as a cheat) and to be really strict with myself. Ensuring my home is free from any type of damp so I have invested in a de-humidifying which I am loving (it is amazing how much moisture is in the air which can then grow as dampness in the home).

Focusing on fueling myself with the absolute best I can.

No sugar at all even in the form of fruit and dates (goodbye protein balls).

I have begun some strong anti fungal supplements.

CoYo is my new best friend again (coconut is amazing as an anti fungal) and tons of coconut oil.

I’m also working behind the scenes on optimising my immune system, it will always be an issue but there are things to improve it.

Lots of self care and minimising stress and I’m back on making myself the priority.

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I see the good and the bad, I have Lyme disease. Thats bad. But I am educated to know what to do about it, which is a huge huge blessing which I am so thankful for so I know what steps to take before it has time to take it hold over me.

My main priority is to be a healthy bride, I have been very low in energy over the last few months and looking very pale, which lets be honest who wants to see a NT who doesn’t look well. But I think it is also about being honest. I’m not perfect. I have a condition which is life long which I am bound to struggle with but I never ever take for granted where I came from or the journey I am on.

I will continue to keep you all in the loop and monitor my progress.

Rebecca

 

 

Get to know me

Hello everyone I thought I would do a nice little intro for 2017 as I have some new followers and, well you know, it’s nice isn’t it.

My name is Rebecca, I am a fully qualified Nutritional Therapist, I studied with CNM (College of Naturopathic Medicine) in Manchester.

I love my job, I get to meet lovely like minded people who want to improve their health. I get to be my own boss and work the days/hours I want, take holidays when I like – it’s awesome. And the best part is my little cockapoo Fudge gets to come to work with me everyday and be stroked to death by my clients (who pay more attention to her than our consultation).

I have lived with chronic Lyme Disease since 2003 – I was housebound and sometimes in a wheelchair. My parents had to cook and feed me and my mum had to bath me. I missed two full years of secondary school and was told I was too severe to improve and recovery may never happen. (Just what you want to hear as a teenager).

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Nutrition is powerful guys, seriously. I found the root cause of my problems and worked very very hard to put them right, with a huge amount of determination and commitment to healing.

I whole-heartedly believe recovery is possible.

I went on to study nutrition and graduated in June 2015 and Hello Healing was born in August 2015 (I don’t mess around). I now also work for CNM enrolling new students and I love it, I also work in their students clinic supervising the students with their cases.

In my free time my favourite thing to do is walk Fudge my Cockapoo, I binge watch Netflix or the Kardashians. I love to cook and bake for my friends and family. I am a Christian so I give a lot of my time to kids work or bible studies, it is the foundation for how I live my life and I may not have all the answers but growing up with a chronic illness at age 21 I decided Jesus was the one I wanted to follow for the rest of my life.

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I would say I am a very positive person (I used to suffer with a very deep depression and suicidal thoughts) but again it took a lot of work on mindset. I am a very happy person, and I believe the most important thing we can have is our health. Without that we have nothing, and if we take health for granted and abuse our bodies with stress, bad food choices and poor exercise we may run into problems.

I aim to live a simple life, to enjoy work and family and friends, good food and country walks.

In November 2016 my gorgeous boyfriend got down on one knee so I am currently also planning a wedding for September this year when we will begin our lives together (cut to a full Pinterest board).

I have a slight obsession for coconut oil and avocado.

I may run a business but I am not a business woman, you will never see me on the Apprentice but I get to help people, do what I enjoy and earn money, what more can I ask for.

Follow me on social media for more updates and healthy ideas: hellohealing

 

Retreat Day – October

Hello lovelies

Well that was awesome, our first retreat done and it was amazing! Myself and Trisha have been so overwhelmed with the lovely  comments and emails and love we have received since. Thank you all who came along and enjoyed.

I like to think of it as a healthy service station, taking a day out to focus on you, readjust your direction in life, get some clarity and continue refreshed. They went away with meal plans, recipes, knowledge and focus. It was beautiful to wear no shoes all day, it was such a great atmosphere all day of love and calming down from the day to day stresses.

We started the morning with a really gentle yoga practice for all levels and some meditation to calm us all down. A big thanks to Emily Walker @emilylove_11 on Instagram who was great, we loved it.

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(I can absolutely get used to going to work so dressed down!) – with my lovely Retreat partner Trisha Barker.

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During the coaching workshop we looked at our goals and wants in life. Nothing worth having will fall into your lap so how do we MAKE it happen?…

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Avocado. Every. Single Day.

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We all enjoyed a beautiful lunch – all whole foods. Naturally gluten and dairy free. Just real food people! And it was gorgeous, we even got a picture through the day after of one amazing lady who went home and recreated it.

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Nutrition workshop – I walked them through the main things to focus on. We are so spoilt with knowledge around nutrition at the moment but who do we listen to and what should we start with?

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A HUGE thank you to the lovely companies and brands who contributed to our goodie bag. We only chose companies we wanted to get into our clients hands!

– Deliciouslly Ella

– The Happy Newspaper by Emily Coxhead

-Emily Fruit Crisps

-TeaPigs

-Really Healthy Pasta

-Pip and Nut

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We are now taking bookings for our second retreat on Saturday 10th December. This is the same retreat, we added another date because the first got booked up so fast, so book now folks. It will sell out.

At the Sanctuary of Healing, Llangho, Blackburn

£69

(including yoga, meditation, healthy lunch and snacks and drinks all day)

*see the events page*

 

rebecca@hellohealing.co.uk

How to listen to your body

So how do we listen to our body? Lots of ‘health gurus’ say this but the question is what does this even mean?

Let alone how do you do it?

OK so lets focus on some areas you can learn to ‘listen to your body’. Sleep. Food. Exercise.

Your body is awesome. It is amazing we are even here, with the biology within all of us and how our body even functions day to day is nothing short of a miracle. The human body has the ability to heal, it keeps us alive even when we sleep and it even continues to work when we feed and treat it like a trash can.

Our body knows what it wants. However, we are so busy on this treadmill of life, and we just eat without being aware of what we are doing that its just second nature, we don’t even think about what we do or eat these days. Our bodies will function and we take it for granted, and especially if we are well, why do we need to give it a second thought right?

Well maybe not. We know all too well, our bodies can give up on us. We can get diagnosed with a serious illness or maybe it is general fatigue or bloating or aches and pains, well maybe it is time for you to ‘listen to your body’ and to what it really wants and needs.

 

SLEEP: This is an easy one right. Sleep. Our body wants sleep and it is so important. I aim for 9 hours per night, thats how I work best. I aim to be in bed by 10pm and wake about 7-8am. We all have busy lives but if we are falling asleep on the sofa at the end of the day, go to bed! If you can and your tired, go to bed at 8 or 9pm, why are you fighting your body? It is wanting sleep! Sometimes it is good to sleep till 11am on a weekend! Your body wants that sleep, let it have it. This doesn’t mean folks, that we never get out of bed and our alarm goes off and we don’t want to get up so we say “Oh well Rebecca says listen to your body so I’ll stay in bed and call in sick” come on, maybe not we all have responsibilities.

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FOOD: Food. Well this is a biggie. A typical example of listening to your body with food are the seasons, we enjoy salads in the summer, we feel naturally drawn to stews in the winter. We are all listening to our bodies with the change in seasons, great, our bodies thank us. Sometimes we fancy only a light meal, thats ok. Sometimes we want to drink a lot of water one day, do it. Sometimes we fancy some chocolate, do it. Again this is not a get out clause to eat pizza every day, if you say your body wants pizza everyday I may argue your not really listening to your body. Do you really want that food or is it just habit? Do you really need a dessert or is it habit? Do you really need coffee to wake you up or is it just what you have done for years? We fall into habits, some are unique to us, some are typically British, some fit in with society, but watch your habits and figure it out, is it needed or is it routine?

Our bodies want veg, salads, beautiful fish, lots of fresh water. When we eat rubbish food we feel rubbish. A prime example is this week I don’t know, I just wasn’t feeling like eating meat, so I have been eating alot of salmon and beans and tons of veggies and my body has said thanks for that. It’s just about feeling what do you want, and how much do you want? We have been programmed as a child to finish all the food on our plate or it is rude or what about the starving children in Africa. Well we are adults now and we know both those arguments are flawed, yet it doesn’t stop us eating until we can burst and it’s uncomfortable otherwise its ‘rude’. Eat until your full. Eat what you know to be a normal amount. Don’t overeat. The children in Africa are starving, I have met them, but you finishing your food isn’t helping them, heck send them money if you want to help.

Be in tune people with your body and listen to what it wants and the things that will nourish it.

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EXERCISE: Your going to the gym 3-4 times per week for an hour? You hate it? Like literally hate it? How is that listening to your body? Your actually doing yourself a disservice by doing that, the negative emotions you are feeling because you are forcing yourself to a gym every other day and dreading it. Take the dog for a stroll, get on youtube and do a yoga class, go for a cycle, do what you want to do! Exercise absolutely, but don’t hate it, find something you love to do. Join a class maybe.

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I whole heartedly believe if you listen to your body on sleep, food and exercise things will fall into place. Stop putting ‘rules’ onto things and just do what feels right. Skip the gym and go to bed early and see how you feel the day after!

If you eat well, exercise how you like and sleep more trust me, you will feel better and be a better person. Try it for a week and let me know how you feel.

Is It Time for Doctors to Apologise to ME Patients? – Telegraph Review

One of my lovely lovely clients sent me a link today from the Telegraph.

Telegraph Article – click here

The title read “It’s time for doctors to apologise to their ME patients” – OK so abit of background on me. When I was fairly new to this illness, in my teens I would scour the internet looking for articles like this, or the new ‘wonder drug’ or whatever new ideas people were coming up with for ME treatment, or how ME patients are swept under the carpet and I felt empowered. It’s in the public eye, we are all treated unfairly by the medical community, please understand. Or there is a new drug being made, they have found a link between A and B, I feel a cure coming on here… rubbish. Absolute rubbish. I’ve been waiting for these ‘so called wonder drugs’ for 12 years now. But the annoying thing is, I think people are sat waiting… GET UP AND ACT. We can’t wait around forever, we have our lives to take back! Anyway (rant over) basically I’m saying if you do suffer with ME then save your precious energy, there are articles out there but we don’t need to cling onto them for dear life friends.

Anyway, back to this piece from the Telegraph, I am writing this blog post because it raises some interesting points about CBT and GET (whilst completely contradicting what I just said above).

Basically it begins with how the medical community always believed there was no such thing as ME/CFS, it was all in the mind and people getting into negative thinking patterns (laughable).

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Currently, on the NHS patients are offered two things. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and Graded Exercise Therapy (GET).

OK so for those not in the know, CBT is basically talking therapy, (find me a person who suffers with ME/CFS and doesn’t have a level of depression/anxiety/low mood)… CBT is helpful to talk over whats going on in life currently, it teaches us new techniques of how we are to think in a more positive way. I’m not sure of the waiting list on the NHS at the moment or how many sessions you are allowed access to but I didn’t have time to wait, I was suicidal by this point so thankfully my parents paid for me to go private. I did CBT for years, I had ALOT to figure out and personally, I wouldn’t be here without CBT. I was literally life saving and it completely changed the way I see myself, the way I view this illness and the way I interact with the people around me who also have to deal with this illness and myself.

OK so GET wasn’t around when I was on the NHS (back in 2003) it was just called Pacing. Pacing/GET is such an engrained idea for me that I struggle to explain it. Basically lets think of everyone with a battery, most people have 100% battery and they go to work, look after their kids, exercise etc etc and then go to bed when their battery is probably about 20% and by the next morning they are back to 100% for their day. People with ME may only ever have 20% battery or 10% or even 5% so how are they going to use that battery? Going for a short walk will pull their battery from 20-10%, if they hit 0% battery they are in bed, unable to walk, eat, move or speak. So ME patients have to pace their lives, they may be able to go to a social gathering, but they may have to leave early, they may go to school but only for some lessons. They have to pick and choose very wisely on what they can and cannot manage.

Now thats what each of those are, however, a study has been done and apparently on the NHS neither of these approaches work. Literally, I was confused but also like oh ok maybe they are right.

Listen up, these approaches don’t work. IF this is all you are doing…

Firstly, if your having CBT, in order for it to work, you have to give your all. You HAVE to open up, you can’t tell your therapist 80% of what is going on. And you HAVE to do your homework. There is no point going to weekly sessions then not putting it into practice.

GET again is the same, there is no point seeing your physio then walking up a mountain and being in bed all week.

I 100% believe CBT and pacing are KEY in recovering from ME/CFS HOWEVER they will not ‘cure’ you. I think thats perhaps where this study has fallen down. No they won’t fix the issue but they help. Either we control the ME or the ME will control us. But we HAVE to look at diet!! The NHS has to look at diet, sure we can pace and look at the mind but whats the point if we are drinking diet coke all day and processed food!

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE don’t listen if your doctors has said ‘There is nothing we can do for ME, learn to live with it’ – excuse me? Live with it? Erm no thanks.

 

OK so you have ticked off GET and CBT. People that is only scraping the barrel when it comes to recovery:

  • GET – pacing ✔️
  • CBT – Talking therapies ✔️
  • Detoxing
  • Adrenal health
  • Gut function
  • Thyroid function
  • Vitamin d status
  • Chronic infections
  • Sleep
  • Yoga/mindfulness
  • Self worth
  • THE FOOD WE EAT (I feel like there is a huge elephant in the room with ME/CFS management. FOOD PEOPLE FOOD.)

 

As always with articles there are two sides to every story. I do hope in the future the NHS can address this illness but living with it for 12 years I’m not sure they can. The NHS was set up to have babies and for people with broken legs, they can’t fix everyone. But we can help ourselves. I am a walking, talking example of that.

Never loose hope. I was bed bound, I was the girl who was told to live with it, “it’s too serious for you now”.

I believe recovery is possible… with the right approaches.

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