A Charmed Life


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we’re all in this together

These words are directed at the predator-in-chief in the Oval Office.

“A reader on this blog once challenged me to say five nice things about you. I tried. I promise I really tried but there is nothing. There ought to be something. Everyone has a saving grace don’t they? Even the other deplorables I find as morally reprehensible as you – your fellow reality show alumni – that family that starts with a k, even they have their hustle, no other way to explain their journey from sex tape to world domination. But you do not even have that. You have never hustled for anything in your life. You wouldn’t know a hard day’s graft if it hit you on the head. You were born into privilege and you have been coasting ever since. Damn the consequences.

That is what has made these words spill out today – consequences. You see I spend far too much of my precious time thinking about you; about what motivates you to get out of bed every day, about how someone like you can be reasoned with. Often I fine myself constructing these missives to you in my head. Today’s missive needed to come out my head, you see you make me so angry. So angry that expletives leave my mouth, c*#t and motherf*@ker seem like they were created for you. But anger is not a good look on me. And I certainly do not like thinking about you. And yet there you are, always there stirring the pot, bullying, stoking fires, and oh how you love taking credit for everything. Today I found myself waiting for that tweet of you taking credit for New Zealand’s progress in the America’s Cup.

And now you have made the ultimate dumb arse move, in a long line of dumb arse moves since January 20th – pulling your country out of the Paris Climate Accord. I believe you have done this because the first word is Paris not Pittsburgh. I believe this because you might believe climate change is real, but your action demonstrates you have no understanding what climate change is. I have got to admit I took a while to get there too. I was rubbish at science at school, every year it was a miracle I managed to pass for I never learnt Newton’s Laws, I lacked patience to grow watercress, I skipped class anytime something was being dissected and I still do not know what is means to split an atom. No science never held my interest, that gene went to my brother who practically from the cradle had this innate grasp of how everything in the universe is interconnected and how vital it was to protect the lives of all creatures.

For me it was the green revolution, that picked up momentum during my last years at college, that got me thinking about my place on this planet of ours. It is now some twenty years hence and there is no escaping climate change is happening and we do not have the luxury of time to fix the consequences of stupid decisions. We all know the only person you care about is you, so as you think your vapid thoughts sitting in the Oval Office do you ever look out into the rose garden or up at the clear blue sky or how about when you are at Mar-a-Lago playing golf as you putt do you ever appreciate the verdant landscape. No of course you don’t. If you did you would understand that the rose garden, the clear blue sky, the green grass are not givens.

How about your children! Got to say I am not a fan. They just seem like five versions of you and anyway I will never be able to erase the image of your boys holding the dead cheetah they killed from my memory nor will I forgive it. You are a fan of your children yes? Do you want them to be healthy and live well? Rising temperatures due to climate change (known as global warming) will bring more disease which will affect, if not you, your progeny. Count on it. This is Fact. A Real Fact. So you see, you have made a stupid mistake by pulling America out of the Paris Climate Accord – We’re All In This Together; Parisians, Pittsburghers, me, your family and the only person who matters to you  –  you.

I am not delusional I know you will not read this. But I also know this – as I vibrate love peace compassion respect everything you are not, you will feel my energy and the energy of the tsunami of stakeholders who have since stepped up. You see amazing things can happen when people come together, this is how rEVOLutions begin. One Planet. One People. Be careful donnie: When you stand for nothing. You get nothing.”

 Sat Nam

And... one human I am absolutely grateful exists in my orbit is David Lynch for he is the man who gave me Twin Peaks and Transcendental Meditation. April 1991 is when this brilliant man came into my life when his Twin Peaks aired on newbie channel tv3 in New Zealand. I am dreamer with an expansive imagination and before Twin Peaks the only other dreamer I could relate to was David Bowie so Twin Peaks was a moment for me. It was weird, freaky and brilliant And there had been nothing like it ever. Can you think of another show where a lady talks to a log and thinks it talks back! David Lynch manages to capture our dreams the way they actually happen in our minds. Dreams are weird. And David Lynch gets that. That mind of his – much like that of Bowie come to think of it – is a fertile marvel; so much so that looking for literal answers to anything he does defeats the point of his output entirely. I mean have you ever tried to describe something he has created, you can’t, his work requires you to be present. It is about the experience. So I am thick into the Twin Peaks experience once again after 25 years. It has been the longest wait of my life and its so damn fine to be back.Watching these new episodes, catching up with the old characters, getting my head around the newer ones, trying to make sense of where the plot is going – its all a completely damn fine mindfuck and I wouldn’t have it any other way ♥ So Thursday is the election and neither leader of the two main parties enthuses much confidence; Theresa May is one cold fish and Jeremy Corbyn has never felt like a leader to me. Oh well what will be will be I suppose. One thing is certain I do not envy them one bit, a rocky road lies ahead #RockYourVote  And finally it has been a shocking few weeks, so much senseless loss. There is no making sense to be done. As the one year anniversary of Orlando approaches this kiwi girl sends love and blessings to all those affected by that tragedy and by the recent atrocities that have occurred in Manchester, Portland, Kabul and London. May our tears deliver us to wisdom #OneLove #PeaceLove

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this kiwi girl muses about… decision making

I suffer from anxiety.
Its newish.
The residual from some shit that went down a few years ago.
I have gotten used to it.
Maybe too much.

For the most part its manageable. Except when it’s not. I find there is a very fine line between me controlling it and it controlling me. Like when it comes to making decisions. I used to be someone who would just DO, jump right in and think later. It might not sound like the smartest way to be but for the most part it was. Now life has become this myriad of thought processes. I fret about the what ifs. I wrestle with the whys. I ponder the hows. And I hate it. Its crippling and it gets in the way of the DO-ing.

In the last few months my life has been in a state of flux and I have found myself overwhelmed by the decisions that have to be made. I hear you saying ‘but sometimes decisions can be overwhelming for everyone…’ and I feel ya but I’ll raise ya, for my kind of overwhelming manifests into acute chest pain, shortness of breath and nausea and these are symptoms I am okay admitting to, there are others… I can’t be doing with it anymore. I want to get back to being a DOer with this mind here’s what is working for me right now:

Just Dance. When I was a teen my number one stress buster was to dance. I don’t mean ballet or any other professional dance although I did do that, I mean I would close my room door, crank up some tunes and dance my little butt off. As an adult, dancing has been limited to clubs or gigs but I have reintroduced dancing into my life and it just feels so damn good sometimes it’s hard to stop. So once dancing has got me all calm and happy…
I’m starting with the man girl in the mirror. Taking a long hard look at myself, with my objective hat on, I visualise the situation, my role and desired outcome. I hold this vision until I can feel it and then…
It’s the things we didn’t do that we regret later in life. I ask myself will this matter in one week, one month, one year? Will this take me closer or further away from the future I envision. This litmus test always gives me the dose of perspective I need to make the best call but ultimately…
Go with your gut. Before anxiety became my bag, I was very well acquainted with my gut. It’s why I was able to do all the DO-ing. And it is when I stopped listening to it I got myself into all kinds of trouble which resulted in my anxiety. Oh what a tangle web we weave!
Being in an anxious state makes it difficult to see the decision with clarity, so you procrastinate, deflect or ignore making a decision. The gut is the collection of all your subconscious experiences, and it always has your back so if I wanted to get back to being a DOer I had to get reacquainted with my gut. We are still getting to know each other again at this point but when I question why I have been questioning a situation at all… my gut ultimately makes the final decision for me.

Moral of my story – become besties with your gut, listen to it, trust it and follow it.

Sat Nam

Also… Prince. Marvel. Legend. Visionary. Funkmiester. Gone too soon. Another light switched off, I say another with such a heavy heart, this year has been an awful year of loss and its only May. Please stop… my heart can’t take much more. Seeing him perform at Madison Square Garden is one of my favourite gigs – the acoustics, the musicality, the vibe – he had it all going on which is why it royally pisses me off that it looks like he died a drugs related death. This was a man who was vegan, athletic, devout in his faith, principled – that a man who fought so vehemently for creative control over his work should succumb to something so friggin basic! No its not how it should have been, he wasn’t of the same pathetic ilk as Michael or Whitney. It’s all wrong. And yet it’s all true, he is gone, the man named Prince Rogers Nelson. Gone. Be still my heart. Long May He Reign. Nothing Compares.


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this kiwi girl muses about… life, death, resolutions among other things

This past week – oh vey! Yucky does not begin to describe it.

There really ought to be pause button on life when you are visited by loss… but then again I suppose we need the confronting nature of life in all her perplexities and idiosyncrasies to remind us to get out of bed and live.

The death of David Bowie has had a profound effect on me, more than I could have imagined – not that I ever imagined this possible for David appeared to exist in an aura of timelessness that seemed to transcend death only it didn’t and he is gone and it is a loss that will be felt for the rest of my life I know this to be true; but his was not the only passing that darkened my door in the last week – many – not one, not two, not even three – many beautiful souls lost their brave battles with that bloody cancer beast.

I know to a certain extent from my own experience how debilitating cancer can be; so to know how in health these souls were so completely present and vital then to have to imagine them in their sick state, reduced to living a lesser life feels wrong and hurts more than their passing does. To that end, in amongst the sorrow I find solace in the knowledge that these souls – finally emancipated from their diseased bodies – are free. To those who have transitioned thank you and to those of us left behind always the love. 

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The following words were written before death darkened my door, when I had that gusto the promise of a new year brings; I don’t feel like that today but there you have it ladies and gentlemen – life in all her ebbs and flows – funk to funky. So without further ado… this week’s post:

Firstly can I start by wishing you a very Happy New Year. May each and every day of yours be draped in happiness, warmth, peace and love.

So a new year hey! New resolutions! Have you made any? Have you already given up? It is said that 25% of resolutions are broken in the first week alone. Then within six months, over half of resolvers will have given up. Not for me though, once I get an idea in my head I find it quite seamless to follow through – the right mix of stubborn and discipline with a dash of guilt I suppose. To that end in the past I have been able to successfully complete:

  • no alcohol for a year – thrice,
  • learn to ride a horse,
  • no ice cream for a year – it’s harder than you think when you are a kiwi girl brought up on loving all things dairy,
  • read minimum two books a month for a year – that one very nearly failed when I decided to read War and Peace, have you read it? It is quite possibly the longest book ever written (okay its not but it felt like it at the time). Thankfully just as Natasha entered into the story a bad bout of flu kept me bedridden allowing me the time to finish it in a timely manner,
  • learn how to fence (the epee kind)

Some resolutions like the above list I have made just because I enjoy a challenge. Others are made for the greater good like when I introduced lemon water to my morning routine to boost my immune system, a habit I continue with today. Exercise is always a good one when it comes to resolutions – to gym or not to gym being the common question. I am not a gym junkie so I wouldn’t dare go there but I like to stay fit so through resolutions I have established a regular fitness routine sans the gym that keeps me ticking over.

And it was the greater good I was pondering, when one night last September feeling disgustingly gluttonous – after chomping my way through a humongous bowl okay it was a bucket, a bucket of sweet and salty popcorn for dinner – I decided to wage war on refined sugar. Only, as I savoured the last morsel of popcorn I had no clue what refined sugar was so what I actually said was ‘fuck you sugar, I’m not going to eat you anymore.’

Turns out I didn’t know jack, for in sugar I have met my Waterloo. It’s not enough to cut out sweets and cake, sugar exists in this whole other stealth world. To understand the mammoth battle ahead I have had to study the history of sugar, the science and its health implications and it has been no Tuesdays with Morrie let me tell you BUT the more I know the more resolute I am to not eat it – this coming from a girl who once stated bubble gum as her favourite food. Oh la – it’s an interesting time to be me.

Sat Nam

Also in the news: My girl Hills campaign to the White House is going gangbusters, I hope this really is the year of a female president #Hillary16 ♥ Sean Penn – he makes me smile. I love him and not just for who he was married to but for his intelligent movies, his unwavering commitment to rebuilding Haiti and his fuck you’s to authority and the media – never before have we needed more people like him, people who question governments, media, industry and disrupt the status quo so Sean if you want to interview the most notorious drug dealer in the world kudos to you #Madonna+SeanPenn4eva ♥ I consider myself an activist, it is a title I wear with pride because it is my privilege to help my fellow brothers and sisters in their hour of need where I can. I don’t know how but the refugee crisis has affected me like no other tragedy ever has. It has become nestled deep within my heart and I feel strongly I must be part of the solution so in this coming year I will use whatever means I have to continue to shine a light. As I keep repeating; this – the worst humanitarian crisis we have known – is not going to just go away, it’s on track to get keep getting worse. I pray in 2016 we see an universal melting of hearts that leads to getting the job done – because it is in all our best interests, as Katniss says “Fire is catching! And if we burn, you burn with us!” #OneLove ♥ Another tragedy that has touched me is the plight of Saudi Arabian Ali Mohammed Baqir al-Nimr, I wrote of him a few months back. He is currently imprisoned awaiting execution for taking part in protests during the Arab Spring when he just 16 years old. Since I wrote I have been unable to obtain news on his status that is until New Year’s day when his uncle and 46 others were executed by beheading for so called terrorism. Mercifully al-Nimr was not on the list of the dead. I think of this young man everyday. He haunts me. Can you imagine being arrested for wanting democracy? How is this terrorism? Western and regional countries need to get their priorities sorted; Oil vs Human life – it’s really that simple #KarmasABitch ♥ If you haven’t already, listen/read Idris Elba’s keynote speech to Parliament on diversity and imagination – it’s really quite something. Bravo Luther! #let’sMASHtheBox ♥ And finally some lightish relief… over on Eastenders, I’ve waited ten years to say this, Grant Mitchell is coming back. Sadly it coincides with Peggy’s death but I just want the Mitchell brothers back together so I’ll take any storyline. Cue the doof doof.


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one size fits all

Do you think you breathe properly? I’m here to tell you, chances are you probably don’t, most likely you are a ‘shallow’ breather (as in you only use your chest). Unless you specifically seek it out, learning to breathe properly is not a life skill we are taught, mores the pity for breathing properly creates a positive domino effect in every aspect of your life and who’s saying no to that right?

I say this from experience for, it wasn’t until I took up meditation that I discovered a) just how lousey a breather I was b) the benefits gained in getting this breathing gig right; and as someone who suffers from anxiety I can’t tell you enough how this – to be able to apply a breathing technique to counterbalance any threat of a panic attack – has changed my confidence and all round mental health. The reason for this, as Yogis have always known and the medical profession finally agrees with, is because breathing is intimately connected to the autonomic nervous system and the mind. Don’t worry I’m not going to go into the science of why you should be using your diaphragm when you breathe or why breathing through your nose is much better for your health, that would be too much for a science dunce like me to explain, I’ll leave that for you to GOOGLE, instead I am just going to share my go-to breathing practice for anxiety.

Here goes:
♠Close your mouth. Breathe in through your nose counting to four as you inhale.
♠Hold your breath again counting to four.
♠Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound to a count of four.
♠Pause for four.

This is one breath. Repeat the cycle as the practice gains in power with repetition. Continuing this breathing for one minute or for four full breaths is good start for a beginner. As you improve you can increase your counts to six then eight and your body will tell you when you are ready to stop.

This one size fits all tool has served me well. It’s easy once you get the hang of it AND it really works in alleviating stress and restoring calm AND it is so handy to have up your sleeve, ready to use whenever wherever you are aware of any internal tension.

Sat Nam

Also this week: My favourite instagram follow HUMANSOFNY is currently sharing stories from refugees in Europe/Middle East. I urge you to read/follow if you haven’t already, en masse the crisis feels daunting and impersonal but reading these individual stories provides context – feel your stomach clench in knots and the tears roll down your cheeks – its hard to digest but it’s real and if it projects you into doing something proactive to help PLEASE DO #HealtheWorld #MakeItABetterPlace • As a rule I am anti religion, spiritual yes but religion can go do one as far I’m concerned but this Pope Francis he seems a bit alright; progressive and remorseful in all the right places #ImaStMarysOldGirl • And at the very other end of the progressive spectrum – this Putin guy, I don’t get his motivation at all. If I ruled a country I would push my country to thrive in all areas. Putin has done the opposite over and over; LGBT rights, freedom of the Press, Ukraine, Syria and okay you hate America but learn to communicate in English effectively – seriously you’ve been around too long not to, surely that must be a prerequisite for world domination 101.  #WhatWouldTolstoyThink • RWC15 the All Blacks are through to the quarter finals, no surprises there. I won’t say anything about England except that I was gutted #ImaFauxBrit but #aRealProperKiwi #goABs


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drink – carrot lime juice

carrotsToday I’m going gaga for carrots. Did you know carrots come in purple, red, white, and yellow? In fact, purple, red and yellow carrots were the only colour varieties of carrots to be cultivated before the 15th/16th century. Makes me wonder why that had to change, I reckon any of those colours are a damn sight improvement than the odious colour we associate them with now (I really really do not like orange and I’m in good company either do Nicole Kidman or Sarah Jessica Parker). That said I read recently that eating more deeply coloured orange vegetables like carrots decreases the risk of cardiovascular disease, especially in adult women so ignoring my dislike of that awful colour I embarked on a mini mission to find the perfect carrot based drink. After much experimentation, this simple one – carrot lime juice –  came up trumps so here is my current yum, a bit of zing and a bit of tang.

carrot lime juice
ingredients
(makes 1 glass)
3-4 carrots
1 cm fresh ginger (zing)
1/2 lime (tang)
stevia (optional)

preparation
1.Peel the carrots and the ginger.
2.Place the carrot and ginger in the juicer/blender (medium speed).
3.Serve immediately with lime juice (and stevia) to taste.

Carrots are good for you, I know talk about stating the obvious. Of course they are, they are a vegetable and therefore part of our ‘5 A Day’ BUT do you know why they are beneficial for you? Let me enlighten you. Carrots are good for you because they are loaded with something called beta-Carotene which is a source of vitamin A which we need to aid with the following:

  • Maintaining Oral Health
  • Rich source of antioxidants
  • Helps protect against all kinds of ailments: Stroke, Cancer and as mentioned above Heart Disease.
  • Useful for the management of cognitive dysfunctions
  • You all know this one – Vision health (especially night vision)

Nothing else left to say except… if you haven’t already – embrace them carrots!

Also this week: Jen married! Ohlalala What will the gossip mags do now #JustiferForever • England win the Ashes whop whop #ImafauxBrit • And how about that arse Donald Trump, all I really have to say is keep it up DT, the more vulgar and inappropriate you get, the easier my girl Hillary’s ride to the White House #Hillary16 • Google to restructure into new holding company called Alphabet #AlphabetIt hmm its not the same • Robin Williams one year today, still hurts ‘You’re only given a little spark of madness. You mustn’t lose it.’ #myfavquote #DepressionisReal

Sat Nam


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eat – chilled asparagus and almond soup

soupfordaysI don’t gush over food very often but today I am sharing my current favourite recipe – chilled asparagus and almond soup – created by the Hemsley sisters. I love asparagus so I am always on the lookout for new asparagus recipes and I found this gem in their cookbook The Art of Eating Well (great book for those who love healthy flavoursome meals and also for those reluctant cooks like moi).

This is an ideal summer dish, but to really get the full benefit of the flavours I would recommend teaming it with a glass of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc.

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chilled asparagus and almond soup

ingredients
4 servings

for the soup
100g flaked almonds. For NF version, substitute with pumpkin and/or sunflower seeds.
1 small onion, roughly diced
1 large leek, roughly diced
1 tsp ghee
1 large garlic clove (crushed)
2½ tsp fresh tarragon, chopped (or 1 tsp dried)
600g asparagus, trimmed (about 12 spears)
1¼ litres vegetable stock (or homemade chicken bone broth)
2½ tsp fresh lemon juice
salt and black pepper (chilli powder optional)

for the topping
½ tsp lemon zest
½ tbsp extra virgin olive oil

preparation

1. Toast 25g of the almonds in a dry, large saucepan and set aside for garnishing later.
2. In the same pan gently fry the onion and leek in ghee for 5 minutes until softened, but not browned. Add the garlic and tarragon to the pan and fry for another minute.
3. Prepare the asparagus by snapping off the woody ends. Add the spears and remaining 75g almonds to the pan. Stir, add a pinch of salt and black pepper, then add the stock.
4. Simmer gently for 5 minutes, with the lid on, until the asparagus is tender.
5. Remove from the heat and add the lemon juice. Blend carefully, in batches if necessary. Taste and adjust the seasoning (I like to add a pinch of chilli here).
6. Chill and remove from the fridge just before serving, then garnish with the toasted almonds, lemon zest and a swirl of extra virgin olive oil (can be eaten hot as well).

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The Greeks spoke of it in love poetry, the Kama Sutra advises drinking it as a paste, it is said the French once dined on three meals of asparagus the day before their wedding in hopes of increasing their libido for the big night ahead. Did you know that asparagus is considered an aphrodisiac? Aside from its obvious phallic shape, asparagus is also packed with vitamin E, calcium and potassium, which aid in cleansing the kidneys and urinary tract as well as increasing sex drive and the production of sex hormones in both men and women. The aspartic acid found in asparagus helps to neutralize excess ammonia in our bodies, and that’s important because excess ammonia can lead to fatigue and sexual disinterest, and where’s the fun in that?

Sat Nam


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i’m going to tell you a secret

secret.jpg
Do you have a secret, one you have had for most of your life? One you have never discussed with anyone – no I don’t suppose you do, lucky you. For most of my life I’ve harboured a secret, one that brought me deep shame whenever I thought of it and restricted the way I conducted my life.

Still better late than never, I am a true believer that the universe always has my back so in my past year – my year of magical thinking as I have come to call it – I was given the opportunity to address this shame and work through it, and hey it must have worked because here I am today ready to share it with the whole world, well the blogosphere which is tantamount to the same thing these days.

Hi my name is Reena and I have suffered from a food phobia for most of my life.’ My specific manifestation was a phobia of fruit, more accurately a fear of the texture and smell of fruit. You know in Star Wars Part IV when Luke, Leia and Han Solo are stuck in the garbage compactor, I think of that as my worst nightmare only with it being packed with fruit.

Now, I know that for you the reader this revelation will hold some element of disbelief even sound completely laughable, but to me it has been debilitating to an extent. Most phobias have a backstory I don’t know mine because for as long as I can remember I’ve had it, as a child I remember crying and – drama queen that I am – threatening to jump over the balcony on being told I had to eat a piece of fruit. I’m not entirely sure there is a moment in time that started it all because as I got older I came to know that two other family members (one of whom is my brother) suffer their own food phobias.

I grew up with this ‘secret’ and it was a secret in that I never told anyone not even family, obviously they knew I wouldn’t eat it but they attributed that to me not liking it. No one has ever known that for me to touch fruit gives me great anxiety and leads me to washing make that scrubbing my hands immediately. Even the smell or being in the same room as it could cause panic in my mind. To make it more bizarre not all fruits were equal. Some I am even okay to eat – as long as I never touched it with my hands – I could happily eat diced watermelon or apple pie with a fork. I won’t go into a breakdown of every fruit and the degree with which it freaked me out but the absolutely worst for me (still) is an orange, I am unable to look at it, smell it let alone touch it or put it in my mouth (the colour has only recently become bearable to look at). But lemons are totally fine in fact they are my favourite fruit. Not making sense – welcome to my world.

With eating being such a social activity, my phobia has restricted me when it came to cooking for others, eating out and even food conversations. Of course I never admitted my problem, for admitting would for all intents and purposes make me the object of ridicule, saying I was scared of spiders (which I’m not) is more preferable than saying I am scared of fruit but also how could I admit to something I didn’t understand myself; so to make life easier on occasion I would say I was allergic but mostly especially with my close friends and family I was just known as a fussy eater. One of my oldest friends told me recently I was always a nightmare to eat out with. Not the nicest thing to hear even if it is true.

So I continued to live with this in silence until a few years ago, when late one night at work I heard a kerfuffle at the other end of the office and upon investigation I learnt that some co-workers were playing a trick on a colleague due to her phobia of fruit. Seeing the panic in her face was all I needed, to know that I had found a kindred spirit. That night for the first time ever I was able to speak freely about my fear. Until this night this person and I barely knew each other but since that night we have become friends, whenever we meet up we joke about our connection and I have to say she is one of my best eating out buddies. Knowing that there was someone else in this world like me made me braver at broaching it with others in my life. It was like ‘I’m not such a freak, there are others like me too’ and yet it still never occurred to me to seek help or even consult the internet until the opportunity fell into my lap when I was in therapy last year.

During my time in therapy I was introduced to an nutritionist and together we worked on helping me to conquer¹ my food aversion phobia – because that is what it is called. Many people suffer from a degree of food aversion phobia; I used to go out with someone who detested coriander, I know many people who won’t eat peas – sometimes these will be fads or like mine last a lifetime. It is when it affects the quality of life that it becomes a problem. I haven’t gone into health implications because it is only since I’ve understood my phobia that I have been able to start living a more healthier lifestyle. Before just hearing how I must eat five a day would make me cringe now I’m planning meals to include my five a day.

I have worked and am still working very hard to overcome this phobia, I must have I just wrote about it; and while I’m not ready to drink a glass of OJ just yet, I will quite happily dig into a bowl of cherries and that my friends is what you call progress.

Sat Nam

¹the programme I am on was especially designed for me (it involved goal setting, reprogramming my brain, visualisation and working to achieve those goals in a comfortable environment). It is on going.


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its all about the detox

LemonWater.jpg

So January is all about the detox according to the many headlines I’m seeing gracing the covers of magazines and in the lifestyle section of newspapers: Whether you buy into it or not, it is true that all that indulgent eating and drinking over the festive period can leave you feeling bloated, tired or just plain old unhealthy, so it’s important to take a moment to take stock and put some goodness back into the body. I actually started my new simple health kick a while back when one of my favourite Real Housewives Yolanda Foster tweeted about the merits of it. She made it sound so healthy, and best of all so easy – I had to try it and now because I love it and it being that time of year I feel the need to share it with you.

Every morning before I have breakfast, I now drink a glass of lemon water.

Not that big of a deal right? And that’s exactly the point. Read on.

So much goodness. The more I dig the more benefits I find:
1) I’m pretty confident that like me, you have known since you were a youngin’ that vitamin C is a good thing however what you may not know is that the level of vitamin C in your system is one of the first things to plummet when you’re stressed; this is why we are told to take extra vitamin C during stressful days or when we are starving off a cold – what better way to get a jump on this than by drinking lemon water regularly.
2) It helps flush out the toxins in your body by enhancing enzyme function and acts as a liver cleanser by assisting in detoxification. It purifies and stimulates the liver by encouraging the production of bile, an acid required for digestion. Lemon water can also help control excess bile flow, decrease the amount of phlegm produced by the body and assist in dissolving gallstones
3) Speaking of digestion, the digestive qualities of lemon juice help to relieve symptoms of indigestion like belching, bloating and heartburn AND If you’re having trouble pooping, drinking lemon water will help to get things going.
4) Your body needs to be slightly alkaline to be at its healthiest as disease states can only occur when the body pH is acidic. Drinking lemon water regularly can help to remove overall acidity in the body thus balance your pH level(acidic level). Yes lemons are acidic on their own but once they are inside our bodies like magic, they’re alkaline (the citric acid does not create acidity in the body once metabolized).
5) The vitamin C and other antioxidants in a lemon mean that drinking lemon water can help to keep skin blemish free and rejuvenated from within the body.
6) Lemons are an excellent source of potassium, which is good for heart health, as well as brain and nerve function meaning drinking lemon water provides your body with energy when it enters your digestive tract, and helps reduce anxiety and depression. I have even heard that the scent of lemons can have a calming effect on your nervous system.
7) Drinking lemon water combats the bacteria in your mouth thus lessens the potential for bad breath.
8) As well as vitamin C and potassium, it is also a great source of calcium, phosphorus and magnesium, all of which we need in our bodies to function normally.

How to drink:
If you weigh less than 70kgs to a 350ml glass of water* add the juice of half a lemon. If you weigh more than 70kgs, the same as above x 2 (to drink at different times of the day).
The quantity of water (350mls/approx 12oz) is important because our bodies can only metabolize this quantity of water at a time.
Optimal time to drink it is first thing in the morning that way you get the benefits of it throughout your day.
*Filtered water that is warm or room temperature will provide the most health benefits as it  allows for the full enzymatic and energetic properties of the lemon to do it’s magic. If you like a hot drink in the morning, warm lemon water is the best choice. The argument against drinking boiling hot lemon water is that whilst it is soothing when you are sick or in cold weather – the heat will destroy some of the enzymatic properties of the fresh lemon juice and on the opposite side of the spectrum the reason to avoid drinking ice cold lemon water is because it may hinder the digestive benefits of the lemon. In addition, even though your body will heat up the ice cold lemon water, it requires more energy and more work for the body.

Eyes Wide Open:
It feels quite ironic that one must be cautious when drinking lemon water BUT there are a few disclaimers to regular drinking you should know about before you start. As good as it is, citric acid from the lemon can eat away at the enamel on your teeth but as long as you are not using it like mouthwash your teeth will be fine. An alternative is to drink through a straw and/or use a baking powder toothpaste (I use Arm & Hammer Advance White) or rinse your mouth with plain water after drinking the lemon water. Secondly, and  this is more for me because I’m tend to be lazy and forgo the use of a strainer/juicer, you shouldn’t ingest the seeds of the lemon. They taste disgusting for one but more importantly they contain small amounts of salicylic acid which is the main ingredient in aspirin. Lastly (and obviously) if you are allergic to lemons this is not for you.

Results so far:
I initially started this as a fifteen day detox (as with any habit to notice a difference you need to keep it up for at least two weeks) but now in my fourth week I have decided to continue with it as it is just so easy to do and I do feel generally healthier, as in everything seems to be working as it should.

This one simple yet substantial action can make make such a difference to your entire well being, if you aren’t doing it get to it I say. Its a win win situation.

Hope your New Year has started happy. Sending much love.

Sat Nam


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good morning beautiful people

morning

My favourite time of day is first thing in the morning. I love waking to the idea of a new day with no mistakes on it yet and in order to start the day off on a positive vibe this what I do before I get out of bed:

My guru once told me if you have forgotten the language of gratitude you will never be on speaking terms with happiness. accordingly I have made an attitude of gratitude a focal point in my life. I start expressing gratitude the second I am conscious, I go through a mental dump of all the things I am grateful for. It’s a fun exercise I’m always finding the most peculiar things to be grateful for.

Forgive myself for yesterday’s mistakes. Through self forgiveness (and I’m all about forgiveness these days) I find I cleanse myself of any regret and/or baggage and hence forth set myself up to start the new day with just a focus on the present.

For no particular reason other than to flex the muscle I like to smile for about a minute.

To wake up my body up and for mental clarity I take five long deep saturating breaths in and out (the in through your nose, feel it in your lungs  and out through your mouth kind).

I like to give my eyes a bit of a workout so I do a little yoga for my eyes this involves blinking, near and far viewing, side to side viewing. I know this sounds a little woo woo but we live in the age of smart devices, and I already wear glasses for seeing long distances so I’m trying to limit further damage to my eyesight.

You know that saying start as you mean to go on that is why I like to set my intention for the day first thing in the morning, it helps to focus my mind.

And then it is time to meditate as the sun rises.

Tell me about your mornings: Are you a morning person? Do you have any kind of early morning routine?

Sat Nam