What if I told you that I could help you change your life in 30 days? Do you want better health, more energy, greater peace of mind or increased levels of happiness? How about more harmonious relationships or increased abundance?
The 30-day ‘Change Your Life’ challenge will change your life and challenge the way you live it. If your daily habits aren’t supporting a healthy and dynamic lifestyle then how can you expect to live a life that feels good?
This challenge is a blueprint for change and a blueprint for greater success, in ALL areas of your life!
Each day you will receive an email from me outlining what I want you to do the following day. I will offer you the red pill, or you can just keep taking the blue pill. Life is all about choices.
If you want to be in better shape - physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually - but you keep making excuses, or you just need to be guided in the right direction again, come join me for 30 days of higher living!
The 30-day 'Change Your Life' challenge starts on Monday September 11th and you can join at any stage of the challenge. It's free to participate and all you need to do is register your interest in the comments section or click on the 'contact us' button and leave your details.
It’s as simple as that!
What have you got lose?
As technology advances and our lives become seemingly easier, depression and anxiety have become more prevalent than ever. More and more people feel unsatisfied in their jobs and unhappy in their relationships. We want bigger homes, nicer cars, slimmer bodies and more money. No matter what we have, there always seems to be more that we want in the hope that it will enable us to feel better. As a consumerist society, happiness will always elude us.
Globally, depression is growing at an alarming rate. It is estimated that 300 million people of all ages suffer from depression, and the number of people diagnosed with depression increases by approximately 20% every year.
There are many factors that can contribute to our unhappiness. Unemployment, divorce, gender-related issues, old age, failing finances and poor health can all contribute to an unhappy life. Does this mean that circumstances beyond our control are preventing us from living a happy and satisfying life? Definitely not! Science has proven that what we do and how we think on a daily basis can have a significant impact on our happiness levels.
About six months ago, I started writing a book which so far has a working title called "THE HAPPINESS PROJECT". The idea for the book came about one day when I was writing my own list of things that I felt I needed to do on a regular basis to help keep myself positive and optimistic. It had then occurred to me that I needed to share these twenty-one principles with others in the hope that it would also help others cope with whatever mental health issues or mood disorders they were faced with.
Most of our problems tend to stem from our negative thoughts about the present, past and future, as well as certain lifestyle factors. Eating too many processed foods, spending too much time indoors, failing to nurture close relationships, allowing stress to accumulate and not making enough time for ourselves, are just some of the things that can contribute to our increased feelings of depression and anxiety.
There's plenty that we can do that doesn't involve prescription medication or spending hours on a psychologist's couch. If my book can help even just ONE person to feel happier and more optimistic, then I'm happy to say that I've achieved my goal in making a difference.
Here's a excerpt from my new book...
We often unconsciously and unwittingly become caught up in our daily roles. Whether you’re a mother, a father, a schoolteacher or a business owner, no matter what roles we play in life, there are certain responsibilities we need to take on. If you are a mother, you are most likely the one responsible for making sure your kids don’t go to school hungry or that they have completed their homework. As an employee, there are specific responsibilities you must carry out and roles you must fulfill in order to keep your job, and therefore continue to pay your bills. For the vast majority of people, life can often be described as a boring, monotonous repeat of yesterday.
For millions of years, we evolved as a human race under the warmth and love of the sun. The Ancient Greeks understood that the sun could heal and bring vibrancy to health, which is why they used sunlight therapy, known as heliosis. These days, while the dangers of excessive sun exposure are well recognized, the benefits of safe exposure to sunlight on your health and mood are hard to ignore.
Exposure to the sun is your number one source of Vitamin D, an important vitamin needed to assist in the growth of virtually every cell of your body. It also accounts for over 90% of your vitamin D requirement. A deficiency in this vitamin has been linked to depression and a condition known as seasonal affective disorder (SAD). SAD is a form of depression that is more common in winter months, but also common in people who work long hours in office buildings. When we spend too much of our time indoors, under artificial lighting, we are literally depriving ourselves of the healing power of nature.
Sunlight has long been known to help cure depression and other mood disorders, such as anxiety. A study led by Gavin Lambert of the Baker Research Institute in Melbourne, Australia, measured serotonin levels in the blood vessels leading directly from the brain. Serotonin, a neurotransmitter known as the ‘feel good’ chemical, is responsible for regulating mood, appetite, sleep, and dreaming. Low levels of this important hormone have been linked to depression and sleep disorders, including insomnia.
In the study, samples were taken from 101 healthy men during each of the four seasons and compared with various weather factors, such as temperature, rainfall, hours of bright sunlight, and atmospheric pressure. Researchers found that regardless of the season, levels of serotonin in the brain were affected by the amount of sunlight on any given day. The levels of serotonin were higher on bright days compared to overcast or cloudy ones. In fact, the rate of serotonin production in the brain was proven to be directly related to the duration of bright sunlight. The researchers say their study shows that the prevailing amount of sunlight clearly affects serotonin levels in healthy individuals.
So how much time do you need to spend in the sun to boost your levels of vitamin D? Spending as little as 10-15 minutes in the midday sun will supply your body with about 10,000 international units of vitamin D. This is well over the recommended daily intake, however, many experts believe that these recommendations are far too low to maintain healthful levels. This is especially true during the winter period and if you are elderly and/or are dark-skinned.
Apart from helping you to feel happier, the sunshine vitamin may also protect you against many diseases, including osteoporosis, heart disease, and cancers of the breast, prostate, and colon.
Another benefit of spending time outside in the sunshine is the increase in your body’s production of melatonin. Melatonin, which is produced by your pineal gland, is a powerful antioxidant and free radical scavenger that helps combat inflammation. It is a hormone that plays a key role in the wake-sleep cycle, the chemical signal that orchestrates the transition from awake to asleep to back awake again. Your body produces melatonin at night, however, like vitamin D, it is regulated by exposure to sunlight during the day. Producing adequate melatonin is crucial to getting a good night's sleep, and getting good quality sleep is crucial to your overall sense of happiness and wellbeing.
If you have two or more of the following symptoms, your body may be low in vitamin D.
Consult with a health care professional to see if supplementing your diet with this important vitamin may be necessary.
Meditation as a pathway to healing both the body and mind, came from the Hindu traditions of Vedantism at around 1500 BCE. These days, it has become a common practice used to help combat the devastating effects of stress. In such a fast-paced world, learning to quieten our minds and relax our bodies has become a bit of a lost art.
Many people feel quite overwhelmed at the prospect of sitting still and being alone with their thoughts. We often feel the need to surround ourselves with the constant buzz of background noise or activities that take our minds off of our problems, at least that's what we think. The issue this presents is that it also cuts us off from connecting with our higher selves. Overthinking is the number one reason why we tend to experience negative emotions such as regret, sadness, fear and anxiety. We avoid the present moment, either living with past regrets or anticipating what may or may not happen in the future. Learning to embrace the present moment in silence allows us the opportunity to also fully embrace what is happening right in this moment. In reality, the present moment is the only moment that really exists. The past is gone and tomorrow never comes.
Learning to quieten your mind through the process of meditation is actually quite a simple practice. All it takes is a small amount of focus. You don't need to join a Buddhist monastery or walk around wearing a robe, unless you feel the need to. Focus on the number one grounding activity, breathing. The act of breathing is an involuntary action that we don't need to control. However, whenever you take a deep breath you immediately bring yourself back into the moment. The present moment is where all your power lies.
Sit somewhere quiet and close your eyes. Slowly breath in from your nose and feel the warm air travelling down deep into your diaphragm. Once your stomach has fully expanded, slowly expel the air through your mouth. Thoughts will come and go, however, always bring your attention back to your breathing. There's no need to try to fight it. As simple as this exercise sounds, many people find it quite challenging. We're so used to the constant chatter of our inner self-talk that learning to quieten our minds requires some practise. There's no need to force it or fight hard to avoid your thoughts, just focus on your breathing. If you can only do this for a few minutes then that's ok. We all need to start somewhere! Aim to increase the length of time you meditate naturally, don't force yourself to sit there for 20 minutes if it feels uncomfortable.
Closing your eyes is the best way to meditate as it removes all visual stimuli. However, you can keep your eyes open and focus on an object as well. Any object will do, it could be a candle, a flower or your tv remote control! Experiment and find a method that works for you and that feels good. Meditation is all about focusing and quietening your mind, how you achieve this is all up to you! Start with a few minutes a day and slowly build up to thirty minutes a day. The longer you can meditate, the more you will benefit from the practice. Best of luck!!
If you have already gotten into the habit of activating nuts and/or seeds yourself, you are most likely well aware of the health benefits of doing so. Nuts and seeds contain enzyme inhibitors, which as you may have guessed, prevent their proper digestion and absorption. Enzyme inhibitors act by binding to enzymes and therefore decrease and/or block their actions. The result is often a feeling of heaviness, bloating and/or discomfort. Grains and legumes also contain these enzyme inhibitors and benefit from receiving the same treatment. Grains, nuts and seeds also contain what's known as phytates. Phytates are antioxidants that bind to important minerals such as magnesium, iron, zinc and calcium, and often lead to nutrient deficiencies.
Soaking nuts and seeds allows them to sprout, and as a result, reduces their levels of phytic acid while also increasing their digestibility. This process is simple. Cover the nuts or seeds with water and allow them to sprout overnight (typically about 12 hours). Cashews only need to be soaked for about 3-4 hours as they tend to go slimy if left in water for too long. Once they are drained and rinsed, transfer them onto an oven tray and allow them to slowly dehydrate in an oven set at about 50-60 degrees celsius. The process of dehydrating ensures that the nuts and seeds won't turn rancid or go mouldy. Make sure that they are completely dry and crunchy. I have some great ideas in the recipe section on how you can add some extra flavour to your activated nuts and seeds. 😋