Category Archives: Food

January Diet Tips

In the UK, today is known as Blue Monday. Statistically it’s the most depressing day of the year. The weather is cold and the sky is grey. Everyone is broke from Christmas (and waiting for their January pay). All those new years resolutions (like dieting and getting fit) are feeling impossible. Or to put it another way, things are feeling a bit rubbish.

It’s also the day most people are likely to give up on those New Years resolutions. Instead of thinking about their healthy food choices, they are calling for take out, shopping for cake and drinking the sugary and often alcoholic drinks. Coincidence? I think not.

So how do you stay on track when all around you are running for the sweet stuff?

  1. Remember why you started

When you told yourself that this was going to be the year that you got control of your diet, you meant it. Has anything changed? Have you suddenly decided that you want to be overweight? Probably not. So think about what you want to achieve, how you’re going to do it and feel the motivation. Why do you want to lose weight? Is it important to you? How will you feel when you reach your ideal weight?

2. Give yourself a treat (that’s not food/drink related)

When life is a bit tough, it’s only natural to want to make yourself feel better, but it doesn’t need to be related to food or drink. Pamper yourself. Get your hair cut, have a facial, get your nails done – whatever works for you. Then again maybe it’s a day out, booking a trip or getting tickets to an event. Possibly it’s just organising a catch up with friends or calling someone you like a chat with. There are millions of calorie free treats out there – find one that works for you.

3. Think about how you’ll feel tomorrow.

Lots of people with weight issues live in the past or the present, but rarely the future. Let me explain. When faced with a high calorie treat they are focussed only on the treat. About how they will feel when they are eating it and the few moments that follow. They rarely think about how they will feel tomorrow when they stand on the scales and the number has gone up. How they will feel in 2 months when they haven’t achieved the weight loss they were hoping for. When you want to indulge, use your imagination to project into the future and think how you will feel.

4. Be nice to yourself

Life can be hard sometimes and when it is we could all do with our own personal cheerleader to get us through the day. Someone who believes in us, someone who will help and motivate us, someone who cares about us. The great news is, you can do that for yourself. That little voice in your head can be a bully or a cheerleader – it’s up to you. If you have a natural bully, make the decision to not listen to that voice anymore and ask yourself what your inner cheerleader would say to you – listen to that voice instead.

5. Forgive yourself

If all else fails and you buckle to the sweet treat – forgive yourself. A moment of madness need not ruin your whole eating plan. Diets don’t work by the hour or the day or even the week. One bad moment shouldn’t ruin your day, One bad day shouldn’t affect the rest of the week. Forgive your little moment and get back on with making the choices that will make you feel great.


If you’re having trouble getting your eating under control hypnosis is a great tool to help get your head into the right space to make the changes you want.

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Crack your cravings

crack-cravings

If you live in the western world, the odds are that you are carrying (at least) a few extra pounds. We should all know by now that being overweight increases the risks of a lot of the major killers – heart disease, stroke, cancer and Type 2 Diabetes. That combined with the time of year, a time of new years resolutions and promising to do something after the excess of Christmas, means you may well be on some sort of diet.

There are many different types of diet available. Atkins, Hollywood, Dukan, cabbage soup, food combining, portion control, sugar-free, paleo and clean eating to name just a few. They all have one thing in common. They mean you will have to give up on some foods that you have been previously eating, or at least, cut down on them.

This can lead to cravings, and cravings can ruin the best of intentions.

You may want to be thinner, you may want to be healthier, but if that ‘naughty treat’ is calling your name, that can all be forgotten in an instant.

Dealing with sweet cravings

A big part of the problem with the western diet is that it contains too much sugar. Many of us have a sweet tooth, often a seemingly uncontrollable one. In some ways it’s a little bit like a craving for a cigarette. You only get the craving if you are a user. Non smokers do not crave tobacco. People who don’t eat sugar don’t crave it.

The fastest way to get rid of your sugar craving is to stop eating sugar. Don’t cut back, don’t wean yourself off. Stop.

Part of the problem is that we often don’t know when we’re eating sugar. Not only is it added to many premade foods, like barbecue sauce or tomato soup, but it’s very prevalent in foods that claim to be ‘low fat alternatives’ or in drinks like flavoured water.

The way you can be sure that no one has added sugar to your food is either to carefully read every food label or to make it yourself. Buy ingredients and get cooking!

But what if you hate the idea of giving up the sweet stuff? You can still controll how much of it you eat if you want to. One popular technique is to think about the food you are craving. Close your eyes and imagine it. Thinks what it smells like, what it will feel like in your mouth, how you’ll feel when your eating it. Then think about getting a salt shaker. Take the lid off it and imagine pouring all of the salt out onto the food. Again, think about what that would look like, what it would taste like if you tried to eat it, how it would feel and how you would feel. Still want to eat it? Probably not!

Dealing with general food cravings

Another way you can manage food cravings is to think about the food you are craving in detail again, but this time I want you to mentally change the image. Firstly make the picture in your mind postcard sized. Make the picture black and white, maybe even a little fuzzy. Remove yurself from the picture (assuming you were in it) and make it a little smaller. Now move the picture to the top left corner of your minds eye, so you can barely see it. You should notice a distinct drop in cravings for that food/drink.

The main thing with both of these techniques is that you have to make the decision to do them. After practicing for a while you may notice that it gets easier and more effective, and eventually your brain will use the new pathways so that you find you don’t even need to try any more.

Once you have your cravings under control, making healthy food choice will become easier and easier and you will be on top of your eating in no time.


 

Many people struggle with their weight. Almost without exception the way you think about yourself and food is at the heart of it. Hypnotherapy is a great tool to help put you back in charge of your eating.

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Eat the rainbow, feel over the rainbow.

eat-the-rainbow

How do you feel about Veggies? I’m not talking about vegetarians, I’m talking about what they eat – lovely, crunchy, colourful veggies.

I see lots of people in my hypnotherapy practice who struggle to eat them. I must admit I still find it surprising as I absolutely love them.

Personally I blame the parents, and honestly I think it should be thought of as neglect.

You are literally what you eat. It is the building blocks of your body. Your amazing body takes in food, breaks it down and uses it. Part of it for fuel, part of it for growth and renewal. Your skin is constantly replacing itself, so is your blood, your bones and your organs. About once every 7 years you are practically a different person. How cool is that? But if all the fuel you are giving your body is a bit rubbish, then it struggles to do this. It prematurely ages you, both in appearance and by actually reducing how long you will live.

Whatever you believe about how humans came to walk on the earth, by divine creation or by evolution (maybe both) our bodies work best when given a ‘natural diet’. A natural diet does NOT consist of processed foods. It consists of things that grow in the ground and things that eat things that grow in the ground. Quite simply speaking, if you can’t pick it or kill it, you probably shouldn’t be eating it.

So let’s think about some of the worst processed foods. Bacon, sausages and ham tend to be high on the danger list. Some scientists say that eating them is as dangerous as smoking. Then there are other things like processed and refined grains. Yes, wheat is natural and grows, but bread does not. White rice is not how it comes – it has to be processed, and don’t get me started on sugar, soda and energy drinks (or even fruit juices for that matter – when did you last eat 9 oranges in a row? That what goes into a normal glass of orange juice!). All of these things put our bodies into a bad place.

Things that put our bodies into a positive place should be enjoyed, not endured, and this is why I tend to blame the parents. I discovered veggies later in life (into my thirties) as when I was growing up I hated them. This may have been because I grew up in the UK in the 70’s and veggies were boiled to a soft mush. Every time. It was sad for all concerned. Consequently I thought I didn’t like veggies. They were tasteless and mushy.

My first real departure from this was when I started cooking for myself. In my twenties I cooked, but there were quite a lot of microwave meals and takeouts. I didn’t have the skills or experience (and more importantly the confidence) to try cooking real food. After I moved in with my partner I started cooking a little more – things like fajitas and roasts started happening. I tried steaming and roasting veggies, and found that I really like them. I tried different varieties and types (fennel and courgettes), I tried different colours (purple carrots and yellow radishes) I tries different ways of cooking them (mixing them with garlic or lemon juice) and I fell in love.

I’m not a vegetarian, but I do eat a mostly plant-based diet. It makes me feel healthy, and I love the tastes. A salad made with rocket and watercress, with red onions pickled in red wine vinegar, baby corn, sweet peppers, radishes, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, pomegranate and avocado is the best thing ever. Seriously – try it! As well as tasting great (and it really does) it has the benefit of being properly colourful. That means that it looks brilliant, but it also means that I’m getting lots of different types of building blocks to play with. Dark green gives me riboflavins and iron, Yellow gives me vitamin C, Orange gives me beta carotene that helps keep my eyes healthy. The red tomatoes re chock full of lycopene that protects against skin cancer and the purple in the onion has anthocyanin which helps reduce blood pressure.

It is a common buddhist practice to make sure that every meal has at least 5 different colour fruits or vegetable in it. Assuming you want to keep your sugar content down (as almost everyone in the western world is eating too much of the stuff) try to keep it to the veggies (and some protein) and you will be giving you body the best building materials you can.

Stop being beige – be brilliant!

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Blog Plans for 2017

Happy New Year!

Well, after a lovely Christmas break, I’m back to the blogosphere….How are you all doing?

Personally I love January, because I love new starts. They are full of opportunities, possibilities and potential. They also scare me a bit because of this – when everything is a possibility it can all be a bit overwhelming – there’s just too much to choose from, and in my humble opinion, you do have to choose. Anyone that tells you that this year is the one where they will eat healthy, exercise regularly, look amazing every day, make a million dollars, have the perfect relationship with their friends and family, start a new business and find inner peace is expecting a little bit much, don’t you think?

Even if all you’re planning on doing is growing your blog audience or blogging every day, it can still be a big expectation. There are so many things to blog about, but how to choose? Sometimes there is so much possibility I can’t narrow it down, sometimes I can’t think of a single thing. What to do?

For me it starts with a plan. Plans don’t have to be set in stone, they are a starting point. Write yourself a plan, but know that it can and probably will change.

The next thing I do is think about what I want to talk about – broadly speaking. As my blog here is all about happiness, health and hypnosis that needs to be at the fore of my planning – what large topics fall under that remit?

So this year I’ve decided to dedicate a month to a topic. I started last year. December was all about self care, and I wrote it like an advent calendar with a different post every day from 1 to 25. It worked quite well for me and those that follow my blog. It gave me structure and motivation to write (I’d promised after all) and it gave my followers a reason to check in – they knew what to expect. If it wasn’t something they were interested in they could take a pass, but if it was, they knew to come back every day for more.

In the same vein here are my ideas for Blogs I will be writing each month for 2017.

January – Diet

February – Relationships

March – Addictions

April – Happiness

May – Food

June – Anxiety

July – Exercise

August – Depression

Sept – Different therapy techniques

Oct – Dec TBD – I’m open to suggestions here, if you would like me to cover a topic that falls under the title of Happiness, Health and Hypnosis, this is your chance to put forward an idea! Just leave me a comment.

See anything there that you think you may be interested in – make sure you click follow to get them when they come out!

Once I’ve narrowed it down to topic areas, I find it easier to think about topics related to each big theme. Take diet for example. I can look at nutrition, staying satisfied, types of food that keep you feeling fuller for longer, diet myths, healthy goals, body image, small changes to make a big difference etc etc. So now we both know what to expect 🙂

Starting tomorrow the rest of my January blogs will be dedicated to diet. Getting right and making it easy. If you want to make sure you see them, you know what to do.

See you soon – let’s make January an awesome start!

 

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Self Care Advent Calendar Day 24

It’s the day before the day!!!! Happy Christmas Eve!

Todays Self care idea is quite a simple one. Remember why you started.

Tomorrow ( and tonight ) may be full of tasks that you are doing on behalf of other people. Maybe it’s travelling with small children, maybe cooking for the family, maybe putting together toys. All of these can can be a little frustrating – especially if we don’t feel appreciated for it. If that happens, try to remember why you did it in the first place.

The chances are that the reason you were doing it, was to make that other person happy, not to get appreciation. So, appreciate yourself for doing something nice and leave it at that. If you get appreciation (or reciprocation) from the other person then you should be thrilled, but not expect it.

Another reason you should remember why you started is if you are trying to stick to an exercise plan or diet over the next few days. Nobody’s saying you can’t enjoy yourself, just don’t go crazy and undo all the good work you’ve been doing up until now.

Have an amazing Christmas everyone x

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Self Care Advent Calendar Day 20

Oh my goodness – just 5 days to go!

Yesterday I started looking at the senses and your hearing got a little TLC.

Today can I suggest that you pay a little attention to your tastebuds?

For many of us one of the greatest joys in life is our sense of taste. Personally I just love to eat beautiful foods and drink amazing drinks. I very rarely drink alcohol, but when I do it’s an excuse to try a cocktail with some new flavours.

What sort of tastes stimulate you? Some have a sweet tooth, some prefer things more savoury. Some like it hot, others mild. For me the combination of sweet, sour, salt, chilli and oumami that you tend to get in Thai foods really works.

One of the greatest gifts I ever gave myself was to enjoy the taste of foods that are good for me. I used to hate salmon – all fish in fact. I did like chilli, so in order to be able to eat a piece of salmon (which you are recommended to eat twice a week to get all the lovely healthy oils from)  I used to make salmon fish cakes with enough chilli in to mask the taste of the fish. I can’t say as I really enjoyed them to start with, but I did get used to them. There is a theory that if you eat any food every day for 3 weeks then you will start to like the taste. I didn’t eat it every day – just a couple of times a week. Slowly, over time, I began to enjoy it. I started changing up the recipe, less chilli, more salmon. Then I started cooking salmon in the pan and eating it with salads, or baking it in the oven and eating it with some steamed veggies. Now I actively look forward to eating it. I don’t eat it just because I should, but because I want to.

Self care is a balance. It’s balancing what’s good for you with a little of what you like. Sometimes that’s eating healthy, nutritious food. Sometimes it’s giving yourself a treat (just make sure it is a treat and doesn’t become the norm – if you’re doing it more than twice a week it’s getting a bit routine!). The ultimate win is when you find something that is both healthy and that you look forward to.

So my challenge for you today is a choice. I’d like you to eat/drink something that you find yummy – really yummy – but if you’re up for it I would also like you to choose a food that you think you should eat more of (fish, vegetables,whole grains, nuts etc) and work on ways of incorporating them into your diet. Clearly you shouldn’t eat anything that you are allergic to, or even if you just have a reaction to, but a mixed healthy diet is one of the best ways I know to take care of yourself.


Changing your diet can be difficult on your own. If you are looking for ways to release yourself from fussy eating habits, or just from eating too much junk, then you don’t have to do it on your own. There are people out there – like hypnotherapists – who can make it a lot easier for you.

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Self Care Advent Calendar Day 14

Two weeks into December – it’s going fast.

Hopefully you’re feeling a little more organised after our day yesterday – I know I am.

I feel like I did something good – maybe I need a reward? Maybe you do to?

Today – treat yourself.

Part of self care is rewarding yourself for a job well done. If you’ve been following this months posts and completing them as you go, then you’ve done a good job. If you’ve not read any of them (yet) then you may well have done other things that need a little reward. Then again, maybe you haven’t done anything that needs a treat….but maybe you deserve one anyway? Only you know that.

What constitutes a treat?

For me there are a couple of rules.

  1. It must not be something you do every day. That’s not a treat, that’s a routine.
  2. It should be a little indulgent.
  3. You should enjoy it.

That’s it. It doesn’t have to cost money, it doesn’t have to take loads of time, it doesn’t have to involve giving up on other promises that you’ve made to yourself (like eating healthily) and it doesn’t have to involve anyone else – but it can if you want it to.

Some of the things I like to do include…

Turning off all the electronics, snuggling under a blanket and spending a few hours reading a book I like.

Doing my nails nicely. Maybe even cracking out the nail art and sticking a few sparkly bit on there.

Looking after my feet – the full pedicure experience. Soaking them in hot water with nice bath salts in, giving them a good scrub, filing the nails, lots of lovely foot cream and finishing with a lovely nail varnish.

Lighting candles or incense and making the house smell gorgeous.

Going out to a restaurant for a really amazing meal.

Having a box set binge – getting loads of episodes of a great series and watching them back to back (most recently Gilmore Girls – thank you Netflix!)

Putting on an album that I haven’t listened to for ages and have a crazy (private) dance to it.

Going to the beauty department at a local store and getting a free makeover.

Organising a catch up with friends.

Some of these things cost money, some do not. Some of them will appeal to you, some will not. The idea is not for you to do the things on my list, but to create one of your own. You should choose things that fit with what you want to do. How you want to indulge yourself.

If you think about traditional advent calendars, they tend to contain chocolate behind every door. I have a little problem with that. Apart from the fact that you probably shouldn’t be eating chocolate every day (it’s a treat not a staple food group) it’s so samie…the same thing every day just doesn’t cut it. Think of treats that you really want and use them sparingly, but make sure you use them…You’re worth it!

 

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Self Care Advent Calendar Day 11

How are you doing? Are you where you want to be? What would be different if you had started doing things differently a year ago?

Would you be thinner? Richer? Calmer? Fitter? Healthier? In a different job? In a relationship? Out of a relationship? In your own home? Running your own business? Selling your own book?

The thing is it’s not too late to do this….where could you be this time next year?

Do you have a dream? Well stop dreaming and make a plan.

That’s your task for today. Make a plan for something you want to happen in your life.

Start with a goal, then think of the three main things that need to happen to get you to your goal.

Then break down the three things you need to get done in the same way. Repeat until you have a good idea of the steps you need to take to get you to your goal. The more you break it down, the more detailed your plan will be.

Once you’ve written down the plan, assign some dates to when you will get things done by. Mark it on a calendar for next year so you know what you want to be doing. Hold yourself accountable for hitting your deadlines. You may not always make them, and that’s OK, but know what you’re aiming for.

Think about who you can involve to help you? Can they be part of keeping you on track?

What might get in your way? If you can think of anything that could derail your plan, you can probably think of a way of getting around it too. Good planning involves thinking about obstacles and how to bypass them. It also involves contingency plans for those things that you didn’t see coming.

I know making the first steps can be the hardest part when you are working towards a long term goal, but put a little faith in yourself and be brave.

Who knows where you’ll be or what you’ll be doing this time next year.

 

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Self Care Advent Calendar Day 9

Welcome my lovely troupe. We are currently ho ho ho ing our way through December and spending each day making sure we survive (and maybe even thrive) during the festive season.

A few of the previous posts have focused on creativity. Making things, making habits, making plans etc. So today, I want to flip that on it’s head and think about destroying something.

How can destroying something be a an act of self care? By destroying something that is negative.

We all have bad habits. Go on, admit it – you do too.

They might be habits that have a bad effect on our health, like smoking, drinking or eating junk food.

They might be habits that have a bad effect on our mental health, like worrying, putting ourselves down or listening to that negative voice.

They might be habits that have a bad effect on our relationships, like gossiping, ignoring phone calls or taking people for granted.

You get the idea.

Generally I prefer to work on creating positive habits, but breaking negative ones can be just as important. It’s difficult to lift yourself up if you are constantly being dragged back down by your behaviour.

You may think that it’s too difficult to change your bad habits – particularly if that habit is addictive – but it is possible to do it.

One of the ways I help people to change negative habits is to help them frame it positively in their mind. Let’s take smoking for example. It is more difficult to quit smoking than it is to be smoke free. Quitting has lots of negative connotations. Losers quit. I’m no quitter. What will I be missing out on? Freedom has lots of positive connotations. Free, costs nothing, escaping, choices. Just a simple word change can make the whole process so much easier.

Another way to make things easier is to think about what you will gain rather than what you will lose. Taking smoking as an example again. What will you gain by being smoke free? Peace of mind that you’re not actively causing health problems? A load of money? Fresher breath? Not having to worry about where you will be able to smoke? Not needing to think if you have enough cigarettes to see you through. What will you lose? Nothing? An addiction? Cravings (non smokers never crave a cigarette)?

As you may be able to tell from the fact that I’ve used smoking as the example, I think this is the number one habit people should be working on being free from, but you should work on what is important to you.

Make the changes you want to in your life – Imagine how fantastic you will feel a year from now when you look back at today – the day you made your life better.


Many people struggle with breaking habits on their own. If you’ve tried and failed, don’t worry. It doesn’t mean you can’t do it, it just means that you could do with a little help. The good news is Hypnotherapy is a great tool to help you to be free from those unwanted behaviours. If you want to ‘quit smoking‘ but struggle on your own, get the help you need.

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Self Care Advent Calendar Day 4

Hi there – welcome to the fourth day of our self care advent calendar. So now you should be dressed, clean, well fed and have ventured outside.

Keep it up – every day – yep, I said it, every day.

But here’s one that you can do for just one day (sort of). I want you to make a December/Christmas bucket list.

If you celebrate Christmas this is a great idea to make sure you are getting the most from the holiday season. If you don’t celebrate Christmas you can still join in by creating a list of all the things you want to do this December.

I want you to make your own, but I’m going to give you mine so that you can use it for inspiration.

Christmas Bucket List

  1. Decorate the house
  2. Make a Christmas tree ornament
  3. Watch a Christmas film (Elf for me)
  4. Donate to a food bank/homeless shelter
  5. Take silly Christmas photos
  6. Take a drive and look at the Christmas lights
  7. Write and send Christmas cards (with proper messages to those I care about)
  8. Make a drink Hot Chocolate with Marshmallows in
  9. Make a Gingerbread house
  10. Make some seed and nut fatballs to feed the birds
  11. Make the house smell like Christmas (baked apples, cinnamon, cloves, sandalwood and oranges)
  12. Take some stuff to the charity shop
  13. Sing loudly to Christmas songs
  14. Go for a long walk in the country
  15. Dry orange slices
  16. Make some Christmas cookies and give them to the neighbours
  17. Snuggle up by the fire with a good book
  18. Wear fluffy socks
  19. Drink some mulled cider
  20. Go Ice skating
  21. Kiss someone you love under the mistletoe
  22. Wear a Christmas jumper
  23. Have a pamper day – hair, nails and feet looking their best for Christmas parties
  24. Donate to an animal shelter – food, toys or bedding
  25. Eat a candy cane
  26. Decorate the table for Christmas dinner

 

So as I said – this one is a one off. You just need to do all the things on it, and that could take all month!

Only put things on the list that YOU want to do – don’t try to fit into anyone else’s expectation of what you should or shouldn’t be doing. It’s your list.

Also whilst I would love for you to do all the things on your list, you may not get them all done, and that’s OK – there’s always next year, or maybe you could just extend it into to January….it’s all flexible. It’s your list, your life and your experience – do it any way that works well for you. Having said that, it there is something that you’ve put on your list that you never get round to doing, ask yourself why. Is it because you didn’t really want to do it in the first place? Or maybe you do want to do it but can’t quite fund a way to make it happen…If that’s the case you need to make a plan and make it happen. Your Life if Your responsibility – make the things you want to happen happen.

So go forth and get on with your amazing Christmas Bucket List.


Sometimes we can all do with a little helping hand to get us moving. If you need help with motivation or planning, maybe you could use the help of a therapist or life coach. We’re out there and happy to get you where you want to be.

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