Tag Archives: heart

A tasty, heart healthy, Valentine’s treat

February is Heart Awareness month. With that in mind, and also knowing the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach (and a women’s is through chocolate) I’ve put together a little sweet treat that’s a bit healthier than your standard brownie. The fat comes from Avocado and the sugar is mostly from maple syrup. It’s choc full of nuts (almonds and peanuts) and has a few sexy seeds thrown in for good measure. Most of all though, they taste absolutely fantastic. They are a treat, but one you shouldn’t feel too guilty about as the high protein content from the nuts and seeds will keep you feeling fuller for longer.

Ingredients

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1 ripe avocado                                                     60g smooth peanut butter

75g dark brown sugar                                       1 tsp vanilla essence

30g cocoa                                                              1 large egg

30g Raw cacao                                                     50g Dried Cherries (or goji berries or cranberries)

150 g ground almonds                                      A handful of whatever seeds you fancy (I’ve used

100 ml of maple syrup                                          pumpkin seeds and flax seeds in this one)

 

Preheat oven to 180C/160c Fan/Gas 4. Line a 20cm/20cm tin with grease proof paper

Scoop out the flesh of the avocado into a bowl and mash it up (discard the stone and skin)

Now this is the tricky bit….throw everything else in the bowl and mix. How simple is that? If it seems too thick add a few tablespoons of water and mix again until you have an even consistency (with dried fruit and seeds in).

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Spoon into the lined tin and try to level the top off as best you can – mine always looks a bit lumpy, but I’m OK with that.

Bake for 30 minutes or until a knife inserted into the middle comes out clean.

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Cut into squares and enjoy x

 

 

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Love is not enough

How many times have you heard ‘all you need is love’? or ‘Love conquers everything’?

It’s a cute idea, but unfortunately it’s nonsense.

In certain cultures people can get married without even having spent time together before the wedding day, yet they still go on to have beautiful, strong and often loving relationships. Others fall deeply in love with an abuser who destroys them.

Love is easy – you fall into it, you fall out of it, it just happens. A good relationship needs you to put in some effort.

In the example I gave above – falling in love with an abuser – there are some really important things missing.

Respect

A good relationship requires respect – from both parties. It doesn’t mean that you always have to agree, but you must respect each others feelings. If you dismiss how someone feels, or tell them they shouldn’t feel that way, it’s not respecting them. If you accept this behaviour from someone else – you’re not respecting yourself.

Trust

Trust can take time to build, especially if you’ve been hurt in the past. It can be destroyed in seconds. It’s one of the most fragile things in any relationship and must be handled with care. Whilst it’s obviously important to honour the trust someone gives you, it’s equally important to give that trust in the first place. Yes, you may have been hurt before, but if the hurt was caused by someone else, it’s deeply unfair to punish your partner for the behaviour of someone else.

Courtesy

Courtesy is the little things – the ‘pleases’ and ‘thankyous’. The ‘bless you’ when you sneeze, the ‘pardon me’ when you burp. It’s the small polite things that demonstrate that you are thinking about the other person all the time.

Caring and Kindness

Caring is kind of like Love light, but it’s just as important. Showing that you care about what sort of day they had. Caring about their sore foot. Caring if they are tired or want to talk. I’m not saying their feelings should always come first, but show them that you care about it. Be kind. It’s simple but if we all treated our partners with kindness we would end abuse immediately.

Reliable

To me one of the biggest things about any relationship I have is reliability. Doing what I said I would, when I said I’d do it. Showing up, every time. I can rely on my partner and they can rely on me.

Responsibility

Responsibility is about owning the obligations in the relationship and not giving excuses. I am responsible for my behaviour – no-one else. If I put myself in situations where I get drunk, take drugs, have other people influence me, that’s still my responsibility.

Honesty

I need to be honest with myself and my partner – all the time. I also expect that from them. This links back to the trust. If I want them to trust me, and I want to be happy trusting them, we need to be honest – even when it’s hard or it hurts.

Communication

Honesty is worthless if there is no communication. If someone doesn’t tell you something that’s bothering them, that’s a form of dishonesty. If you don’t tell me, how can I possibly do something about it. People seem to think that their partner should be able to read their mind. Unless you’re dating Derren Brown, that could be a little unfair.

Commitment

An here’s the big one. If I’m in a relationship with you, I’m committing to it. 100% There are no days off, there are no exceptions. All of the above, all of the time. As  I said at the beginning the love part is easy – it just happens. Maybe I’ll fall in love with someone else – I’m not in control of that. But what I am in control of is my thoughts and behaviours, and if I’m committed to the relationship, I will shut down any of the other stuff before it’s a problem.

Love just happens – a good relationship is much more beautiful than that.


Jealousy is a horrible destructive emotion. If you need help getting over negative emotions, you should consider a therapy like hypnotherapy or BWRT.

 

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How to be kind to yourself

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February is heart awareness month and as I wrote yesterday, I’m focussing on the relationship side of this subject.

I strongly believe that you will not have the best relationships you can if you don’t have a good relationship with yourself, and unfortunately, it’s one of the hardest ones to get right as we don’t get good feedback on it.

Some people are too hard on themselves – way harder than they are on other people. They persistently tell themselves that they aren’t good enough, that they’re stupid, that they’re lazy, that they don’t work hard enough, that they’re not pretty enough, that they’re fat, that they’re ugly. Can you imagine if you spoke like that to another person? I think, at the very least, you could expect them not to want to hang around with you.  Why would you spend time with someone who constantly abuses you?

Some people don’t care enough for themselves. As a hypnotherapist I see people all the time who smoke, who are overweight, who don’t exercise. When I ask them how they would feel if their kids smoked, ate rubbish or didn’t do any exercise they are horrified. They want the best for them, but don’t appear to want the best for themselves….

Some people don’t protect themselves. They take stupid risks with their health. They starve themselves, or dramatically overeat. They take drugs. They put themselves in dangerous situations. Again, they would be really upset to think of someone they loved in that situation, but it’s OK for them….does that mean they don’t love themselves?

So how do you build a relationship with yourself?

Easy – the same way as with anyone else.

Start by being interested. Question yourself and your motives. Find out what is really important to you. Help yourself to achieve that.

Support yourself. Be kind, be understanding, but also be challenging. Stretch yourself without being mean to yourself.

Be a good friend to yourself. You can be your own inner bully or your own cheerleader. Think about what can go right, how brilliant things can be.

Stop being a hater. Don’t hate yourself – ever. Not any part of yourself. Hate is a horrible, destructive emotion and it doesn’t help anyone. I don’t care if you don’t love your thighs, or you skin. I don’t care if you don’t like the way you react in certain situations. I don’t care if you aren’t thrilled with your weight. Work out how to change it, but don’t hate it.

I believe that when you get this stuff right you attract people to you. Self confidence is attractive. That means you draw people towards you who enhance your life. It also means that you don’t need people to complete you so you stop hanging on to people who don’t add anything to your life.

So, whatever your relationship status, spend a little time thinking about your relationship with yourself. Are you being a good friend? How can you be better? What changes are you going to make? What positive effects could that have?

As ever, I would love to know your thoughts on this – why not drop me a comment?


If you’re interested, why not follow me in instagram, twitter, facebook or check out my website.

 

 

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February – Heart Awareness month

Are you taking care of your heart? When you hear that, what does it make you think?

Do you think about diet and exercise? Do you think about relationships? Do you think about Self Care?

I think it should be about all of those things. I spent December writing about self care, and January writing about diet, so this month I want to write about relationships, what they mean and why they are important. Also hopefully, you’ll get some ideas on how to improve your relationships, feel better in them and get more out of them.

Today’s post though, is how to deal with the pain of the end of a relationship.

Relationships ending can be incredibly painful. Whether the end of the relationship is caused by someone ending it, or by death, there is a grief process to go through.

In both cases there is a relationship that no longer exists and grieving is a natural reaction to that.

There are famously said to be 5 stages of grief and these need to be worked through with a relationship ending.

Often the most difficult phases is denial. I have seen a number of clients in my hypnotherapy practice who say they want to get over a relationship that’s ended, but when I speak to them, they tell me what they really want is for it to be back on again. Despite saying they want to be over it, they are still in denial that it is really over. This is a terrible limbo land that can be difficult to move forward from until they accept that it’s over.

Then comes anger. It’s only natural to lash out when we are in pain, but anger is best kept in check. Not only can it make situations much worse if the anger is taken out on another person, but it can be much more serious when the anger turns inwards and we start to blame ourselves for the situation. This way leads to self-confidence issues and has other mental health implications contributing to anxiety and depression.

Now we get to bargaining. Again it’s fairly normal to bargain with our ex in order to get things back on track again, but the best person to bargain with is yourself. You need to decide how you want to get through this and make deals with yourself to help you to achieve it.

Here comes the darkest part – the depression. You will sometimes feel sad. You will sometimes feel as though you will never feel anything other than sad again. That’s not true. You will get through this. You will be happy again. You will look back on this differently one day. And now is the time to think about the bargains you made with yourself. Hopefully you decided you wanted to get through this as best as you can and work to take care of yourself. Eat well, go out, keep clean, be around people. I know it can be tough, but it will get easier.

Eventually you will get to acceptance. You may never be happy about it – then again, you might, but even if you don’t, you will learn to accept it. If you’re clever you will learn lessons from it. Know what you want, what you are prepared to accept and what you might need to do in order to get that. Also know what you need to bring to a relationship? We often think about what we want from other people, but sometimes it pays to think what they might want from us….www.talktherapies.co.uk

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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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Quitting Smoking is Easy

MarkTwain1

“Quitting smoking is easy – I’ve done it thousands of times” – Mark Twain

In the UK the powers that be have decided to run a campaign to help people to stop smoking. They call it Stoptober.

As a Hypnotherapist I have helped lots of people become smoke free – and that’s how I like to refer to it – becoming smoke free. When you stop or give up something, there is a feeling of loss. When you are free from something, there is a feeling of relief.

I became smoke free after smoking for 17 years.

I had tried to stop smoking before that, but had always failed. I tried nicotine replacement with gums, and patches and even electronic vapes, but I always felt like it was a poor substitute for an actual cigarette.

You know why? – because it was.

I was still feeding my body with this pernicious drug, but not in the way it wanted it. By drip feeding it nicotine, I was keeping it hooked, but never satisfying it.

I used to think ‘If I could just have a cigarette I would feel so much better because I would get rid of the cravings’.

This was wrong – having a cigarette, or any kind of nicotine, is the only way to keep the cravings in place. You’re never getting rid of them, you’re just postponing them for a bit.

The only way to get rid of cravings is to not have any of the drug.

When I went cold turkey – no nicotine at all – it took 2 days for the drug to leave my system. I had done some work with hypnosis and so this was fairly easy to deal with. It was no worse than feeling a bit hungry. Honestly – that was as bad as it got. Then, 2 short days later, I was free.

Forever.

I cannot explain how good that makes me feel. Not only do I feel like I’ve conquered something that had tripped me up for years, but I also feel like I’ve taken control of a part of my life that I had felt was lost to me. I feel more positive about my health, I have more money and I no longer stink the place out!

I’m not here to tell you to quit smoking – only you can decide when it’s the right time for you.

I just want you to know that it’s going to be a lot easier than you think – especially if you get the right help.

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