Tag Archives: nutrition

Smoothie Bowl

www.talktherapies.co.uk

Have you seen the brightest new kid on the block?

Smoothie bowls have arrived!

If you’re a regular reader of the blog you’ll know I’m a big believer in food as medicine and the new trend of Smoothie Bowls is a fantastic way to take your medicine.

Different colour foods contain different nutrients and the deeper the colour the richer the source.

Not only that, but these delicious, healthy bowls are definitely instagram ready!

Personally I have the artistic flair of a dead slug, but even I can make one of these look reasonably attractive.

Choose brightly coloured fruits, nuts and seeds on a naturally coloured smoothie of your choice – from vibrant beetroot to cool blueberry, the rainbow is yours to play with. And if you want to go pastel, try freezing the fruit. You can even bejewel your creation with pomegranate seeds, redcurrants or citrus segments.

I’ve added a couple of my latest pics, but I’d love to see yours if you give them a go.

www.talktherapies.co.uk

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How do I help a fussy eater?

Hello beautiful people!

It’s May already. A third of the way through the year? How’s it going? Are you getting closer to your goals? Have you given up on them? Maybe they’ve just changed as your priorities have.

In January I decided that May would be a good month to talk about food. So, here goes.

Food – I love food. That’s not quite right – I LOVE food. I’m one of those people who wake up in the morning thinking about what they are going to eat today. I enjoy eating it, I enjoy cooking it, I enjoy shopping for it, I enjoy trying new things and revisiting old familiar things.

I like exploring food – if there is a new taste, a new texture, a new sensation to be had – I want it. My partner recently tried miracle berries. They were on my bucket list to try, so I was very excited to give them a go.

Miracle berries have a strange property. They stop you from tasting sour. So we lined up a load of foods which you normally think of as sour or sharp. We cut up lemons, limes, grapefruit and cooking apples. We got sharp tasting liquids like lemon juice, and vinegar. We got pickled things like onions and cabbage. We even got some guinness – not a classically sharp taste, but suggested as part of our little experiment. We got them all lined up and sucked on our miracle berries.

You have to keep them in your mouth for about 5 minutes. They don’t have a particular taste and there was no real sensation so I was a little doubtful that they would work. We were both a little nervous going for our first sharp flavour, but figured in for a penny, in for a pound, so grabbed a wedge of lemon and bit in….

….and it was delicious! It had the sweetest, loveliest flavour ever! We were so thrilled with the effect we blatted through the rest of the foods, amazed with their varying flavours. It was a really good fun half an hour. The effect started to wear off towards the end, but it was a gradual fade, so the sharpness just crept in slowly, and was kind of great too.

As part of my practice I’ve worked with a few people with food phobias. Generally these are adults, as for some reason, people think it’s perfectly OK for their kids to be fussy eaters. They let their kids get away with a restricted diet which then leads to issues for them as adults. As well as obvious problems like malnutrition, poor skin, poor eyesight and generally poor health, being a fussy eater can make it more difficult for people to socialise, to be around others, to train and to manage their weight. For me, eating new things is such a joy, I love helping people discover that joy for themselves.

A couple of quick tricks you can try if you are trying to eat new things.

First – don’t force it! All you are doing is building resistance if you try to force yourself to eat something. Try getting yourself in a position where you can be relaxed and comfortable before you try a new food.

Secondly – make it a really small amount. What ever food you are trying, cut a really small amount of it up. I mean really small. Then put that tiny piece in your mouth. Notice what it feels like, what tasted you notice, what thoughts it makes you think of. Do this every day for a month. Always try a small piece, but if you feel more confident, you can make it a bit bigger each time.

Finally – cook it in a different way. Don’t like boiled carrots? Try roasting them…or poaching them in sugar water with star anise, or grating them on a salad, or grating them into a bolognaise sauce, or just try them raw! Just because you don’t like them the way that you’ve tried them before, doesn’t mean you won’t like them a different way.

 

 

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Everyone said

Here’s my weekly poem – I hope you enjoy it

It Couldn’t Be Done

BY EDGAR ALBERT GUEST

Somebody said that it couldn’t be done
      But he with a chuckle replied
That “maybe it couldn’t,” but he would be one
      Who wouldn’t say so till he’d tried.
So he buckled right in with the trace of a grin
      On his face. If he worried he hid it.
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
      That couldn’t be done, and he did it!
Somebody scoffed: “Oh, you’ll never do that;
      At least no one ever has done it;”
But he took off his coat and he took off his hat
      And the first thing we knew he’d begun it.
With a lift of his chin and a bit of a grin,
      Without any doubting or quiddit,
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
      That couldn’t be done, and he did it.
There are thousands to tell you it cannot be done,
      There are thousands to prophesy failure,
There are thousands to point out to you one by one,
      The dangers that wait to assail you.
But just buckle in with a bit of a grin,
      Just take off your coat and go to it;
Just start in to sing as you tackle the thing
      That “cannot be done,” and you’ll do it.

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Word of the Month – Persistence

hypnotherapy coventry

Persistence

Lets be honest – this is where most of us fall down.

We start off with good intentions, full of enthusiasm for what we are about to do, the mountains we’ll climb, the heights we will reach, the success we’ll achieve.

Then we start to get a bit bored.

It starts to seem like a bit too much work.

We forget what we wanted to achieve in the first place and start to think about what we want to do right at this particular moment.

Maybe a few obstacles have got in our way.

Maybe someone has said something that has demotivated us.

Maybe those mountains seem a bit too high right now.

You haven’t failed until you’ve stopped trying.

Persistence is King

It’s said that experts in a field have failed at it more times than most people have even tried.

Persistence

Mastering a skill – really mastering it – takes about 10,000 hours of practice.

Persistence

So, think back to the start of this year – what did you want to achieve?

Are you still on track?

If not, maybe it’s time to remember why you wanted to do it in the first place.

Pick yourself up, forgive yourself for not being as amazing as you had hoped you would be and get back on it.

Persistence

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The Blogging Habit

making habits hypnotherapy

Most of the people reading this will be bloggers.

There are many reasons for people to blog. Some want to shout into empty space, some want to unload to a place where no one knows who they are, some just want to share their stories, but most of us want followers.

So why do we want followers?

For some people it may be affirmation that what they are saying is interesting. For others it may be a boost to their egos. Others are using their blog to promote or sell something. Some may be trying to launch a writing career. What ever your personal reason to blog, if you want followers then you have to get into the habit of blogging regularly.

I know. I started this blog about 18 months ago and I had this silly idea that if I blogged once a month or so, somehow, people would magically find me and my stuff and would all want to know what was coming next. Some did, and for that I am genuinely grateful, but numbers were low. In retrospect, that wasn’t really very surprising. Firstly, there just wasn’t enough material there for people to get what they needed from my blog. Secondly, how were they supposed to know it was there?

In August last year I set myself a little blogging challenge. I decided that I was going to blog every day for 90 days. I didn’t have a goal for how may new followers or likes I wanted. I just knew I wanted to start a new blogging habit of writing EVERY DAY.

To start with it was relatively easy. I was full of enthusiasm and ideas that came pouring out. About 3 weeks in it started to get a little harder. I struggled to think what I would write about, I was worried about repeating myself, I started to make excuses for why I shouldn’t complete my 90 days.

Then I made a plan.

I wrote down a little blogging plan. I thought about topics that I could add to each week. I thought about big ideas that could run and run. I thought about fun things that I liked writing about. All of a sudden I had mapped out the next couple of months topics and I was back to feeling excited about it.

I’m not saying I always stuck to the plan. Sometimes a new and exciting idea would come along or maybe something would happen in the news that inspired me, but I always had something to write about.

Before I knew it my 90 days were up, and do you know what I did to celebrate this milestone? I blogged about it!

Blogging had become my new habit and I enjoyed it.

This works for blogging, but it also works for any other thing you might be wanting to change in your life. What we do is generally a matter of habit. So whether you are trying to make new habits or change old ones, make a plan, make it achievable and get on with it. Before you now it, it will just be something you do.

Then you get to reap the rewards.

If your habits change your body you’ll see it, If they change your mind, you’ll feel it, and if they change your wealth you’ll notice it.

What habits do you want to make or break that will leave you feeling better for 2015?

Here are some ideas.

Diet – eat 7 portions of fresh fruit and vegetables a day

Exercise – 30 minutes a day

Meditation – meditate daily

Blogging – blog daily

Business – build your online profile

Relationships – speak to at least one friend a day

Partner – compliment your partner at least once a day

Mindfulness – practice being in the moment daily

Hobby – spend some time each week doing something you enjoy

Experiences – try something new every week

Learning – learn a new skill

Little changes make large differences – where do you want to be in 2016? What are you doing to get there?

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Word of the month

word of the month

My word of the month for January is …

Habit

January is a time when a lot of people are trying to make new habits or break old ones. It’s that New Year, New Me stuff.

We are fast approaching the time when most New years resolutions fall by the wayside.

According to studies most people give up on their resolution by the 22nd of January. If you’re still going for it, well done, but if you’ve already let old habits slip back in, don’t feel to bad about it – these things happen.

In some ways I was surprised to find that the resolutions were broken after 3 weeks. We are often told that it takes between 2 and 3 weeks to make a break a habit, which would suggest that by the 22nd we should have that habit firmly established. So, what get’s in our way?

I think part of the problem is that we still have the habit of thinking about whatever it is we are trying to change.

Whether you are trying to diet or exercise, study more or worry less you eill find yourself thinking about ‘how it used to be’. This is a habit you are creating too.

What can you do about this?

The main thing you can do is notice that you are doing it. When you notice these thoughts popping into your head, think about what you are saying to yourself. Are you saying things like ‘I’d rather be doing…’ or ‘I’m missing out on…..’ or ‘I’d normally be eating….’ All of these are really tempting difficult thought patterns for you to deal with.

Imagine being on a diet and you have a best friend who was constantly with you. Every time you get hungry they say ‘some cake would be lovely around now’ or ‘that salad is rubbish compared to the takeaway we normally have on a Friday’ or ‘wouldn’t you rather have a biscuit?’

That would be really hard to deal with, and you’d probably fall of the wagon.

Now imagine that best friend was really supporting you. Instead of all that unhelpful talk they were saying things like ‘You are looking and feeling better every day’ or ‘That healthy choice you’ve made for dinner is helping you to get into those jeans you want’ or ‘I’m so proud of you sticking to your diet, even when it’s tricky’.

That friend is going to help you to achieve your goals.

Make a new habit to be your own best friend and think about what you are saying to yourself. Support yourself as you would a true friend and you’ll be surprised what you can do.

Sometimes it can be difficult to deal with negative thought patterns and this is where therapy and in particular CBT and Hypnotherapy can be very useful. With CBT you work on changing the negative thought patterns into positive ones by completing exercises to challenge your thoughts. With Hypnotherapy we use access to the subconscious to change these thought patterns in an easy way. There’s no reason not to get help with these things if you find them too difficult to do on your own. You used an instructor to teach you how to drive, why not use one to help you think in a productive, fulfilling way?

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Lettuce – Rabbit food? Gorilla food!

lettuces

Some people refer to lettuce as rabbit food, and that belittles it’s amazing value as a low fat, low calorie sources of vitamins and minerals that are essential parts of out diet. When people think of veggies in general they have a tendency to think of small cute animals eating them, but change your frame of reference – gorillas are vegetarian and you wouldn’t want to get on the wrong side of one! There’s an old joke – what does a 400lb Gorilla eat at the salad bar? …. Anything he wants 🙂

Some things to remember about lettuce

1. It’s Low in Calories and has almost Zero Fat.

That makes it a great filler in a meal – whether you use it to bulk up a sandwich or to fill a plate of chicken or fish, it can help to give you a satisfying meal experience without overloading you with calories.

2. It helps Weight Loss

Lettuce contains fiber and cellulose. Besides filling you up, fibre improves your digestion.

3. Heart Healthy

Lettuce’s vitamin C and beta-carotene work together to prevent the oxidation of cholesterol. This prevents the build up of plaque.

4. Omega-3 Fatty acids.

Romaine lettuce has a two to one ratio of omega-3 to omega-6. That’s a great ratio.
The fat content in lettuce is not significant UNLESS you eat a lot–but we actually suggest you do!

5. Complete Protein

Romaine lettuce’s calories are 20 percent protein. Like all whole foods, much of this protein is complete, but the amount can be increased by combining with balancing proteins.

6. Helps with Insomnia

The white fluid that you see when you break or cut lettuce leaves is called lactucarium.

This has relaxing and sleep inducing properties similar to opium but without the strong side effects. Simply eat a few leaves or drink some lettuce juice.

7. Lettuce is alkaline forming

The minerals in lettuce help remove toxins and keep your acid/alkaline balance in order. Once you are balanced on this level there are a host of benefits including greater energy, clearer thinking, deep restful sleep, and youthful skin.

8. Low Glycemic Index

Lettuce has an average glycemic index of 15, but because it has so few calories, its glycemic load is considered zero. Foods with low glycemic indexes are great for anyone watching their blood sugars for medical reasons, or for weight management.

9. Whole Life Food

Lettuce is almost always eaten raw, providing us with many micronutrients not found in cooked or processed food. Eating raw food also adds vital energies not recognized by nutritional science.

10. Lettuce Tastes Great.

Even though lettuce is very low in calories, many varieties still have a sweet taste. To maximize benefits from your food you should really WANT to eat it with your whole body–not just your mind saying it is good for you. If you like the bitter taste you can find more bitter lettuce options, too!

gorilla

So, if you’ve had a downer on salad, change the way you think about lettuce and boost your diet in a positive way.
If you need a hand to change your food habits, it’s worth giving Hypnotherapy a try. It’s an amazing way to have an easy and long lasting impact on your health.

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Eat your way to Happiness pt 2

tumeric

Turmeric is an amazing spice.

As well as being connected with cancer treatment, Turmeric has also been connected with improving your mood.

The spice gets it’s bright yellow colour from curcumin, a compound that has been shown to increase levels of serotonin and dopamine – brain chemicals necessary for positive moods. Studies have shown that taking extracts of cucumin as a food supplement have had significantly more positive results for those suffering from ‘major depressive disorders’ than those of a control group taking a placebo.

Interestingly, an active component in Pepper, called piperine, has been found to help the body absorb curcumin.

Next time you make a curry, soup or stew, you might want to consider adding a little Turmeric and Pepper to see if it helps to keep you positive and healthy…and it tastes really good too 🙂

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Today’s Nut is tomorrows Oak

oak tree

Don’t give up.

Every mighty oak was once just a nut that held it’s ground.

Dig deep, establish roots, reach for the sky and soak up the sun.

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Honey Dewlicious

H is for Honeydew.

This delightful melon is a refreshing treat on a hot summer’s day, but it’s also a low-calorie (about 60 calories a cup) and healthy choice (low fat and natural fibre source) any time you need to feed a craving for sweets.

Healthy skin and collagen rely on an adequate consumption of vitamin C and honeydew supplies you with a good dose. A 1-cup serving of honeydew will provide about half of your daily vitamin C requirements. Vitamin C can also boost your immune system so you can help prevent illness and infection. It strengthens your tissues, such as your blood vessels and bones, and promotes brain function. It’s also an important antioxidant, so if you live in a city and are surrounded by pollution, or if you smoke or drink, you should be making sure that you are getting plenty of fresh fruit and veg to try to counteract the oxidising effects of your lifestyle.

Copper is also essential for healthy skin because it helps aid in skin cell regeneration. Honeydew is a good fruit source of this trace mineral. Your body’s ability to repair its muscles and tissues also relies on a sufficient intake of copper and adding honeydew to your diet may help you increase your levels of this important mineral.

Honeydew melon has significant levels of B vitamins which help your body get rid of toxins that can cause illness and disease. B vitamins may also reduce your risk of heart disease and Alzheimer’s disease.

Melon make a great start to your day as part of a bowl of mixed fruit for breakfast or as a dessert for those with a craving for something sweet after a meal. They can make a fabulous smoothie or iced lolly and can even be added to a salad for a different taste and texture.

However you decide to enjoy yours, why not mix it up with a little Honeydew in your diet.

Stay young, beautiful, healthy and happy.

🙂

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