Life

When life happens, and you fall off the wagon.

 

As a Nutritionist, there is frequently and expectation that you are perfect. Somehow just able to be super healthy all the time.  Now don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of health professionals out there that are, but what happens too many when life happens?

Take my story for instance:

I used to suffer crushing panic attacks coupled with anxiety. I was a hectic party girl, frequently spending day after day in the pub or club, I’m still very social but then my dad became ill, I watched him have a heart attack due to bad health choices and a stressful job and I wanted to make a change.  My dad, he’s a very stubborn man (sorry Dad) but I thought, if I learned enough, he would listen to me and make better life choices. Longs story short, pan forward almost a decade and I had trained to be a fitness professional and spent 7 years picking up a further 2 diplomas in Nutrition and a degree in Nutritional Science. Surely he would listen??  Nope! But even still, surely I at least must have it all in the bag?  Surely I should be able to concur any difficult life situation and keep along that straight and narrow.  Wrong!  Why?  I’m a human being.

Just like anyone else, I have periods of my life where I find life hard, I fall off the wagon and go back to bad habits. I have a husband in a different country (USA) . I’m living in between my sisters and my friend’s house here in the UK.  I don’t have access to cooking what I want when I want so have to grab things here and there, I have no anchor as my good friend Mark put it.  I’m working long hours building up a busy business from someone’s sofa, or a spare room. So, yeah sometimes I reach for a pizza or a glass of wine. Just like you.

Here’s the difference, though.  Here is what keeps me from spiralling out of control as seen with me previously.  Historically when a bad spell hits me, I would have periods of time where I would go off the rails! Just abandon all good intensions and return to months of drinking too much, eating the wrong things and generally not taking care of myself.  Stress is a pain in the butt when it comes to your health. Now, however, I may have a day where I eat white bread (and instantly regret it) or a few glasses of wine one evening (I don’t instantly regret it, but I do the next day) when times get hard. But sometimes, and more often I go for a walk, spend some time away from all the noise and get myself together.  I wake up in the morning and make a super food smoothie after a good night’s sleep. I plan my meals, or if I know I may not easily be able to put something together, I am aware of the other healthy choices I have available to me, where ever my working day takes me. How did I do this?  How did I achieve such a massive turn around in my behaviour (can I just say, I no longer suffer panic or anxiety)? Because I got help.

I have a history of self-sabotage, where things might go well then I will do something silly to make life more difficult.   Thankfully I noticed this is myself long ago so it never got to crazy but I still do it to a certain extent, for instance when I’m scared of making a positive good move in life or I have a challenge, that should I push through will see me in really god stead at the other side, but I see the challenge as too big for me.  Noticing that there were areas in my life, things about me that were holding me back from being a better person, I got help.  I hired a coach, I went to see a counsellor and I stopped making excuses as to why I couldn’t be better and I started working towards a new improved version of me.  See, this isn’t something that happens over one visit to the counsellor, or one session with a coach, it takes time.  You have to relearn absolutely everything about you, understand why you make these changes and learn ways to make better ones.  Life is always going to throw you a grenade from time to time but if you have someone standing by your side, encouraging you through bad times, telling you can do it and here is how you do THEN you get through it, what can touch you going forward?

It’s about now I’d like to thank my coach Liz Hancock and my group who constantly support me and help me through the rough times, lend me an ear and keep me going. Without them, I would not be where I am today, of that I am completely certain.

Throughout this, I know it is possible for you to do the same. It’s so much easier when you are not on your own when you have people around you that can shine a light down the path you should follow when you struggle to see it.

I hope you find your light too.

Amy xx

Amy has put together programs to help those who resonate, find their shining light. Click here for a free wellness session

8 Most Common Mistakes People Make When Trying to Lose Weight

  • Not eating breakfast. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.  Breakfast kick-starts your metabolism and prevents you from grabbing calorific snacks when ravenous a few hours later.
  • Skipping meals. Skipping meals confuses your metabolism and can cause you to store calories.
  • Drinking too much caffeine. Caffeine causes and insulin response, similar to the response you have when consuming sugar. This can add to weight gain.
  • Not getting enough sleep. Tiredness causes blood sugar dips and greater temptation to reach for high energy, sugary foods.
  • Cutting out fats. Not all fats are bad for us.  Fats that come from oily fish such as salmon, mackerel and sardines are essential.  In fact, they are called essential fats! Our body cannot manifest these by itself so we need to eat them. They play a HUGE part in cell health and elevated mood.  Vegetarian sources include avocados, nuts and seeds.
  • Portion size. Getting your portion size right is paramount.  Too frequently we consume too much in a sitting.
  • Consuming simple carbohydrates. Simple carbohydrates such as white pasta and white bread causes and insulin response which in turn may cause weight gain. Instead opt for wholegrains such as brown rice.
  • Drink Water. Dehydration can often be confused as hunger. Stay well hydrated.
health survey weight loss

Results of Reader Health Survey

The Survey Results Are In!  And The Winner Is….

Recently I asked my Wellness Sessions Subscribers what their biggest health challenges were. Once again, a big thanks to all of you that took the time out to complete the survey. This will ensure I can deliver relevant content to you all and not fill up your mailbox with aspects of health you may not resinate with. Its really appreciated!

So, when asking what your main struggles were, the clear winner was Weight Loss!

health survey graph

Here’s a reminder of the selections:

  • Brain fog
  • Unsure where to begin
  • Unsure what you should be eating to help
  • Start taking care of yourself then quit when you reach a hurdle
  • Feeling alone/like no one understands
  • Find it hard, despite best efforts to switch mood
  • Struggling to lose weight
  • Anxiety/Panic attacks
  • Low Mood
  • Other

Stress, poor sleep and an imbalance of blood sugar levels all play a huge part in weight gain. We all know that when life doesn’t go too great or we are not sleeping well we can tend to reach for the wrong food to give us that lift. These foods are known as High GL foods and provide us with a quick energy kick.  This however is not as great as it sounds.  Too much sugar (for example) in the blood stream is dangerous and can damage the blood vessels. Insulin is then released from the pancreas to drag the sugar away from the blood stream and into adipose tissue (fat cells) where it is stored and if not used converts into fat.  One the Insulin has done its work, you will experience a dip in energy (otherwise known as food coma) which then may instigate another sugar food choice and the pattern repeats. Too long at this and the pancreas becomes tired thus less insulin is produced causing diabetes.

The key is to give the body what it wants, when it wants it, in the quantity it need and choose Low GL foods such as wholegrains to regulate blood sugar levels. This is paramount for maintaining a healthy weight. Many of my readers are also unsure what to eat or where to begin to change their health patterns and improve their health and wellbeing. I can help with that…grab a FREE wellness health chat with me to get you going on the right path. BOOK YOUR HEALTH CHAT HERE.

I will be writing further on this subject in later articles. In the meantime- if you missed my Wellness Sessions Summit…I have picked three interviews I believe you will find interesting. GO HERE to listen to them.

Happy Hormones- What are they?

The Happy Hormones

We all love to be happy, don’t we? Well, I hope we do! I certainly do!

Laughing is one of my favourite things to do and I’m pretty good at it! I’m confident you can be too.

What can we do when our happy hormones run away? What are our happy hormones? Naturally we need to find the source of what is upsetting us and work to remedy that but in addition we need to give a little love to our internal chemistry. Today let’s focus on Serotonin and Dopamine.

Serotonin is the hormone most of us will be familiar with. It carries signals along and between nerves – a neurotransmitter. It is mainly found in the brain, bowels and blood platelets. Serotonin is thought to be especially active in constricting smooth muscles, transmitting impulses between nerve cells, regulating cyclic body processes and contributing to wellbeing and happiness.

Yes, it truly does make us happy.  Too little of it or poor protein conversion can make us feel depressed.  Tryptophan is the building block or ‘precursor’ to serotonin and comes from proteins such as chicken.  It is particularly plentiful in chocolate, oats, dried dates, milk, yogurt, cottage cheese, red meat, eggs, fish, poultry, sesame, chickpeas, almonds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, buckwheat, spirulina, bananas, and peanuts. Oh yes, the idea that chocolate makes you feel happy has some scientific basis! However, dont forget that chocolate is also high in sugar which can cause all sorts of other health related problems. (I talk about some of these in my reader health survey article).

Dopamine when decreased may cause depression and in too great a quantity, mania so it’s super important we get the balance right. The precursor to dopamine are phenylalanine and tyrosine, also found in a variety of foods and proteins. Dopamine is also released as a result of our perception of reward- it is that feel good rush when we achieve something positive or someone praises us. In the case of dopamine we need to be careful about our mental health as well as our physical health and make sure we have an overall balance of wellbeing. Everyone is individual so there is no ‘one size fits all’ where health is concerned, so it is important to seek the assistance of a qualified health and wellness professional.

Boosting our neurotransmitters is all well and good, however, before we can focus on working to build the above, we first need to balance blood sugar levels, boost vitamin and mineral intake and absorption.  We need to create a solid, strong platform then boost the areas required to balance the brain chemistry.

I am offering a free 40 minute Wellness Assessment to help all readers on a path to a happier you! Let 2017 be your year!

Introducing Body Mechanics

Do you suffer muscular soreness from……

  • Taking  part in sport?
  • Sitting at a desk, in front of a computer on a frequent basis?
  • Stress
  • A recent or passed injury?

I would like to take time to introduce you to and personally recommend Body Mechanics.

“Body Mechanics is a friendly and professional on-site massage therapy company, offering a range of massage types. We also provide postural and joint assessments looking for any imbalance or impaired range of movement, highlighting any areas susceptible to increased stresses or strains.   Injury Taping and Strapping is also provided to assist with joint and postural integrity.

CORE I Bodywork as developed by Noah Karrasch, is a new service offered by Body Mechanics, which looks to release any tension in the body’s connective tissue and muscles located in the core.

Body Mechanics delivers high quality treatments in the convenience of your own home or premises. We provide all the necessary equipment, meaning you just have to supply the treatment space. We work primarily throughout London and the Home Counties, however other locations will be considered in relation to your requirements.”

For further informaton, please visit http://www.bodymechanics.co.uk/