Add some fruits and vegetables to your family’s sandwiches (ideally on wholemeal bread).
You can add some banana, sliced apples or strawberry slices to a peanut butter sandwich.
Top a turkey sandwich with lettuce, tomato, cucumber and anything else they will eat.
You can even make a Subway style vegetable sandwich by combining several different vegetables with some light mayonnaise and cheese on bread.
(Don't be too heavy handed with the mayo though )
Dried fruit makes an excellent snack any time of the day.
Add some small cartons of raisins to your child’s lunch box, pack some yogurt-covered raisins in your husband’s briefcase and keep some trail mix sitting around for snacking.
You can also add dried fruit to oatmeal and cereal in the morning.
My family loves banana chips in their breakfast cereal.
Start the day with a breakfast smoothie.
All you have to do is throw some fruits, low-fat yogurt and ice in a blender.
You may also want to add a scoop of protein powder in there for good measure.
Just blend for a few seconds and you have the perfect breakfast ready to go.
I like to drink mine out of my fancy skull shaped mason jar.
To make it even more appealing for your kids, use some frozen yogurt or a scoop of ice cream in the smoothie.
They won’t believe that you are letting them have ice cream for breakfast!
We all know by now that we should be eating at least five servings of fruits and vegetables each day.
But knowing and doing are two different things, aren’t they?
Sometimes it is just not easy to get them all in there.
We are constantly tempted to fill up on convenience and junk food.
If your family is anything like mine, they’d much rather fill up on a bag of crisps or a sausage roll or a bowl of pasta, instead of trying an apple or a plate of steamed broccoli.
So we’ll have to get creative.
Over the next two weeks, I will be sharing TEN ideas to “sneak” some extra vegetables and fruits in your family’s diet.
Planning your meals wisely is key to not only staying physically fit and healthy, but also to staying mentally strong and being able to best manage your levels of stress.
Knowing which foods to avoid and which are the best to reach for to snack on when you’re feeling worried and anxious is important to helping you get control over your emotions and fears.
When you’re feeling stressed, you may be tempted to reach for classic ‘comfort foods’ – usually foods which are laden with sugar, very starchy, or greasy.
However, although these foods can make you feel momentarily better, they will actually make you feel worse in the long run.
Having stress-busting snacks such as fresh berries, dark chocolate, yogurt, walnuts or pistachios, or even a fruit smoothie with avocado and leafy greens in it can help you to feel better in both the short and long term when it comes to stress.
When it comes to combating and dealing with stress in the long run, it’s important to make sure that for the most part, you are eating a diet which is healthy and balanced.
In order to stay on track, it’s a good idea to make a meal plan for your week and plan ahead to make sure that you have a good selection of these stress-busting foods in your kitchen to make meals and snacks from when you’re feeling like stress-eating.
Making sure that the majority of your meals include foods such as lean proteins and leafy green vegetables will not only make you feel healthier overall, but can improve your mental health and stress levels, too.
A good example of a healthy, stress-busting menu would be:
Breakfast: Oatmeal with berries or a fruit smoothie with avocado and berries
Mid-morning snack: Natural yogurt with fruit or a handful of pistachio nuts
Lunch: A whole-grain pasta salad filled with plenty of leafy greens
Afternoon snack: Dark chocolate
Dinner: Grass-fed beef with vegetables
Before bed: Chamomile tea
Of course, you don’t need to stick to this menu – but it gives you a good idea!
Remember to exercise good portion control when eating foods such as nuts, chocolate, yogurt or avocado!
As the saying goes, you are what you eat – so make sure that first and foremost, you’re filling yourself up with foods which are good for your mental health.
If you have enjoyed this series, come back at 9am tomorrow, to find out what next week's series is going to be about!
DAY 10 - FERMENTED FOODS
Last but not least, eating fermented foods such as yogurt can help to keep your gut healthy, which actually in turn will help to improve your mental health and reduce stress levels.
The beneficial bacteria which are found in fermented foods such as yogurt actually have a direct effect on your brain chemistry and transmit positive mood and behavior regulating signals to your brain via the vagus nerve.
I hope you have enjoyed the Stress Reducing Food Tips that I have shared over the last couple of weeks.
If you pop back tomorrow at 9am, I'll have bonus post to share with you all.
DAY 9 - GREEN LEAFY VEGETABLES
Leafy, green vegetables should be a pivotal part of anyone’s diet.
Along with helping to combat stress, leafy greens are full of nutrients and antioxidants which help to fight off disease and leave your body feeling healthier and more energized.
Dark leafy greens, for example spinach, are especially good for you since they are rich in folate, which helps your body to produce more mood-regulating neurotransmitters such as serotonin, which is a ‘feel-good’ chemical.
Making leafy greens a part of your diet will help you to feel happier and less stressed out overall.
DAY 8 - PISTACHIOS
Another food which is great for snacking on and can also help to combat stress and anxiety in the long term is pistachios.
Studies have found that simply eating two small, snack-size portions of pistachios per day can lower vascular constriction when you are stressed, putting less pressure on your heart by further dilating your arteries.
Along with this, the rhythmic, repetitive act of shelling pistachios can actually be quite therapeutic!
DAY 7 - WALNUTS
If you’re looking for a healthy snacking option which will help you to stay better in control of your stress levels, walnuts are a great choice.
There is no denying the sweet, pleasant flavor of walnuts and they can be a tasty snack for in-between meals or as part of a dessert.
A versatile nut, walnuts are great for salads, or add them to a sweet treat such as coffee and walnut cake.
DAY 6 - OATMEAL
Oatmeal is great in that it can be a filling comfort food, but also has a large number of healthy properties to actually make you feel better from the inside out.
A complex carbohydrate, eating oatmeal causes your brain to produce higher levels of the feel-good chemical serotonin, helping you to feel calmer and less stressed.
Studies have shown that kids who choose oatmeal for breakfast tend to be much sharper throughout the morning in school compared to kids who had alternative morning meals.
DAY 5 - BEEF
I know not all of you eat meat, but for those of you that do, this tip is worth bearing in mind.
Grass-fed beef is not only kinder to the planet and to animals, it’s also good for people, too.
Grass-fed beef has a huge range of antioxidants, including beta-carotene and Vitamins C and E, which can help your body to fight stress and anxiety.
If you’re looking for more reasons to spend a little more money on organic, grass-fed beef, it’s also lower in fat than grain-fed beef whilst being higher in omega-3.
DAY 4 - DARK CHOCOLATE
Although it’s usually seen as an unhealthy treat, there is an undeniable link between chocolate and our mood.
Studies have shown that eating chocolate can actually make you happier.
However, that doesn’t mean that you can start munching on chocolate bars every time you're stressed out – chocolate works best as a de-stressor when eaten in moderation and as part of a healthy and balanced diet.
Dark chocolate in particular is best for you, as it contains more flavonols and polyphenols, two hugely important antioxidants which can help combat stress, more than many fruit juices.
Remember, everything in MODERATION!
DAY 3 - CHAMOMILE TEA
Of course, it’s not all about what you’re eating when it comes to managing stress; what you’re drinking can also alleviate or worsen the stress you're feeling.
Drinking liquids which are high in sugars and caffeine, such as coffee, energy drinks or soda, can actually increase your stress levels if consumed regularly.
Chamomile tea has long been used as a natural bedtime soother, and it has also been used in clinical trials, which determined that chamomile tea is effective in reducing the symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder.
DAY 2 - BLUEBERRIES
If you’re feeling stressed out and reaching for the snacks, swapping chocolate or chips for one of the best super foods is a great way to help you deal with your stress levels and achieve a higher level of calm.
Blueberries have some of the highest levels of antioxidants, especially anthocyanin, which means that this berry has been linked to a wide range of health benefits including sharper cognition, better focus, and a clearer mind – all of which can help you to better deal with stress.
DAY 1 - AVOCADOS
Avocados are a creamy and versatile fruit which can be eaten in a range of different ways whether you enjoy it raw, made into sauces, dressings and dips, or in a smoothie.
These nutrient-dense fruits have the properties to stress-proof your body, thanks to their high glutathione content which specifically blocks the intestinal absorption of certain fats which cause oxidative damage.
Avocados also contain higher levels of vitamin E, folate, and beta-carotene than any other fruit, which boosts their stress-busting properties.
However, be careful with portion control when eating avocado, as it is high in fat.
EAT YOUR STRESS GOODBYE!
When you’re stressed out, the foods that you’re turning to are most likely going to be traditional ‘comfort’ foods – think big meals, take-out, fatty foods, sweet foods, and alcohol.
Let’s face it – we’ve all found some comfort in a tasty meal and a bottle of beer or glass of wine when we’ve been stressed out or upset about something.
However, this isn’t a good permanent solution. When you’re turning to unhealthy foods you can feel better temporarily, but in the long run, you will feel worse.
When your body isn’t getting the right nutrition, you can begin to feel less energetic, more lethargic, and in some cases less able to concentrate and focus.
All of this can lead to even more stress.
FOODS THAT FIGHT STRESS!💪
If you’ve been feeling more stressed out than usual lately, it’s important to know which foods are best to choose and which to avoid when it comes to combating stress and helping you to deal with feelings of stress and anxiety.
The best way to fight stress is to have a healthy, balanced diet which includes a moderate amount of each of the different food groups.
Filling up on foods such as whole grains, leafy vegetables, and lean proteins as the basic staples of the diet is the best way to ensure that your body gets the optimum amounts of nutrients to fight both physical and mental health problems.
When it comes to choosing the foods to eat, some have a range of great properties which help the body to combat stress.
Choosing these stress-busting foods will help to heal and calm your mind permanently, rather than providing a temporary fix.
If you are interested in finding out more about which foods specifically are good at reducing stress, comment below and I'll send you the link to the new group that I have created.
Join the group and tomorrow I will be sharing the first in a 10 day mini series on
BUSTING STRESS THROUGH FOOD!👈
Hello everyone! I'm Amy.
Officially, I am a Clinical Hypnotherapy Practitioner, who specializes in Weight Loss and Addictions BUT this weekend I am busy busy creating a brand new fb group that I will be filling with lots of valuable info, hints and tips, to help you get fit, healthy and maybe even lose a few pounds... without even having to book a session with me!
I want to be able to support people on a conscious level, as well as subconsciously.
So if you'd like to join the free group, feel free!
We kick off on Monday with a 10 day series on Stress Busting Through Food!
In the gaming world, a Boss is a significant computer-controlled enemy.
A fight with a Boss character is usually called a Boss Battle.
Bosses are generally far stronger than other opponents faced up to that point and winning the battle requires a greater knowledge of how the game works and the use of skills acquired thus far.
It can sometimes take a few attempts to beat the Boss, but the Boss must be overcome if you want to progress on to further levels within the game.
In real life, we too have many Boss Battles to face.
We are used to the everyday, more mundane, mini challenges that we deal with and whilst they may not be much fun to contend with, we are used to them and tend to just get on with it.
However, every now and again, something will happen that is akin to a Boss Level Challenge.
It will call upon all our resources… take everything we’ve got…
It may require recently acquired skills…
But it is NOT impossible.
And if we want to move on and progress in this game of life, we must be prepared to face the Boss.
If you are trying to lose weight, the Boss you must face might be your LIMITING BELIEFS.
They can often be the hardest thing to face or overcome (consciously anyway!)
It can take time, effort and commitment, but it IS possible.
You can OVERCOME those limiting beliefs that are keeping you stuck and once you do…
BOSS LEVEL COMPLETE! 😎
You can then move on with the next level of life!
Your beliefs are held in the subconscious mind, which just so happens to be the part of the mind that we work with when doing Hypnotherapy.
If you’d like some support to BEAT THE BOSS…
Send me a message and let’s chat.
When you play a computer game and are completing missions to advance through the levels, every now and again, you unlock achievements and receive rewards.
These rewards are incentives to continue playing and to keep putting in the effort.
In the game of REAL LIFE, it is important that you acknowledge your own achievements.
Your weight loss journey will be a long one, with many twists and turns and whilst you may have your eye firmly fixed on the prize (your long term goal), it is paramount that you notice and celebrate the smaller goals that you are achieving along the way.
These smaller celebrations, serve as motivation to keep going, much like the little rewards you unlock in a computer game.
If you are solely focusing on the number on the scales and nothing else, you may not notice that your clothes are actually getting looser, or you’ve stopped craving that fizzy juice as much or you haven’t actually had a takeaway for a few weeks.
Watch out for the little things, like deciding not to have biscuits with that cup of tea today, or choosing to walk that little bit further or faster, or maybe catching yourself saying something negative to yourself and actually stopping yourself and saying something positive instead.
When these things happen, ACKNOWLEDGE THEM!
Give yourself a pat on the back.
Keep a little achievements journal, where you can note down all the little things that are changing.
When you have a down day and feel like nothing has changed and consider throwing in the towel, you can have a flick through your journal and remind yourself of everything that HAS changed, no matter how small.
Another way of rewarding yourself for your accomplishments, might be to buy yourself a new pair of jeans or a new skirt, to replace the ones that are now getting baggy on you!
Be kind to yourself.
If you are in this for the long game, and you are serious about losing weight and achieving your long term goal, remember to motivate yourself by celebrating little victories along the way!
If you'd like some support in this game of life, with weight loss or something else, get in touch as I have just two spaces for one to one coaching left.
In a computer game, to move from one level to the next, you must complete certain missions and objectives.
You have to solve puzzles, find your way out of a maze, collect certain things or battle with baddies.
This isn’t too dissimilar to real life really.
We are constantly faced with puzzles to solve and choices to make.
We often feel lost, not knowing which way to turn.
We sometimes find ourselves facing unpleasant people or situations and need to make some difficult or uncomfortable decisions.
The important thing to remember though, is that you have the choice.
You can CHOOSE the path you take, the speed you go at and the battles you wish to fight.
If you want to progress through the game and level up, there are certain things that you need to do.
You need to solve the puzzles, make it through the maze, collect items and knowledge and negotiate undesirables on your way.
Perhaps for you, the puzzle might be why you aren’t losing weight.
The maze you are stuck in might be the overwhelming myriad of conflicting information about different diet options you have.
Maybe the items that will help you complete the level are healthy foods that you can stock your cupboards with or equipment that you can use to exercise.
As for the baddies that you have to face, they may be the opinions or words of those around you, or they may even be aspects of yourself – the parts that speak negatively about you, the parts that sabotage your efforts.
If you feel like you are stuck on a particular level and would appreciate some support to help you find answers, solve puzzles, collect knowledge and beat the baddies, then send me a message.
I have just opened up two more slots for working with me on a one to one basis and I would love to help you LEVEL UP YOUR LIFE!
When kids and adults alike, play computer games, one of the first things a lot of games ask you to do is choose/design your character.
You can not only change their appearance, but also influence their attributes.
These attributes often include strength, constitution, dexterity, intelligence, wisdom and character.
Some characters may also have other abilities such as magic or alchemy.
These “stats” can usually be improved as you progress through the game and the mixture or balance of these stats will influence the abilities of your character and therefore will define what you can do within the game and how your story plays out.
How is this similar to life in the real world?
Well, you get to choose what to wear and to a certain extent how to look, whether to work on building muscle to improve strength or to slim down to perhaps improve agility.
You can choose to work on building stamina by doing endurance training or boosting your wisdom and intelligence stats by spending time learning.
You can boost or unlock other special skills such as alchemy by spending time in nature, meditating, cultivating your own ingredients and crops and honing your foraging skills.
The point is, in this game of life…
YOU get to CHOOSE who you want to be.
YOU get to CHOOSE what skills and attributes you have.
YOU get to CHOOSE how your story plays out.
You can think of your current situation and skill set, a bit like your character’s “default settings”.
This gives you a starting point, from which you can shape your character and destiny in any way you wish.
What skills and attributes are YOU going to work on?
How do you see YOUR story playing out?
I have two new spots opening up in the next couple of weeks for one to one coaching clients.
If you are interested in finding out more about designing your character, choosing your destiny and transforming your life, then send me a message and let's talk.
Once upon a time, long, long ago, a situation was experienced and thoughts were formed in response.
As time went by, those thoughts swirled around the mind and were even vocalized from time to time.
But every time each of those thoughts were thought or spoken aloud, they grew stronger.
I can't lose weight
I can't control my eating
I can't exercise
Whenever focused on, the belief in those thoughts grew ever more powerful.
I can't give up alcohol
I can't stop smoking
I can't find healthy foods I like
I can't give up cakes and biscuits
Once these thoughts had become solid beliefs, any time a similar experience was had, it just reinforced that thought and made it more compelling.
I've always struggled with my weight
I've always found losing weight hard
I've always been overweight
The more compelling the thoughts and beliefs became, the more potent they were. The more hold they had over the mind.
I always fail at dieting
I always end up sabotaging myself
I always struggle to sleep
I've always been like this
When potent beliefs are held, they have the power to keep the believer stuck. Stuck in a vicious cycle. Unable to make any progress.
The more these beliefs are treated as facts rather than stories, the more real they become. The more they can influence daily life.
This story does however have a hero/heroine, called CHOICE.
Choice is always there, ready to save the day.
If the choice is made to let go of destructive, limiting beliefs and they are replaced with healthy, positive, beneficial beliefs, then there really can be a happy ending.
You are the author of your own story and the creator of your own reality.
I have just TWO spots left this month for 1:1 support, so if you'd like help to banish the old stories, send me a message.
Do any of these thoughts sound familiar to you?
How many times have you told yourself or someone else that losing weight is hard or that you have always struggled to lose weight?
How many times have you jokingly quipped that you have no self-control or willpower when it comes to food or drink?
How many times have you thought to yourself that you are a failure? That nothing has worked in the past? That no-one could possibly help you?
What if I told you, that ALL of these statements are just STORIES?
None of these thoughts are fact, they are negative beliefs that we have conditioned ourselves with.
It does NOT have to be hard.
You do NOT have to struggle.
You do NOT have to give up all of your favourite foods forever more.
You DO deserve to be happy and healthy.
You CAN do it.
You DO have willpower.
There IS a solution!
If you continually tell yourself that losing weight is hard and you are going to struggle, guess what?
IT WILL BE AND YOU WILL.
You create your own reality, by the choices you make and the stories you tell yourself.
What if you are able to flip that story around and tell yourself that losing weight is easy and effortless?
Do you know what happens when you start believing that more positive story?
IT BECOMES EASY AND EFFORTLESS!
Hypnotherapy is the fastest and easiest way to let go of your deep-seated negative beliefs, and replace them with far more positive, beneficial ones.
Hypnotherapy works directly with the subconscious mind – the part of your mind that is home to your beliefs, your habits, your behaviours and your emotions, so it makes sense to go straight to source to tweak them.
That said, hypnotherapy is NOT magic and you have to be WILLING to let go of the old stories and OPEN-MINDED enough to be open to the possibility that THINGS CAN CHANGE, for you to really feel the full benefits of it.
If you can relate to any of this, why not SEND ME A MESSAGE, or comment below and let’s have a chat about what beliefs and stories are holding you back from reaching your potential and whether or not you would be a good fit for taking up one of the two spaces I currently have available this month for one to one support.
As a self-taught gardener come wannabe homesteader, I learn as I go. Some plants thrive and do well, some struggle and need extra care and some don't even seem to germinate or come to anything.
Earlier on in the year, we planted a number of sunflowers as the children all wanted one each and I knew they would brighten up our garden, however, none of them seemed to survive past small seedling stage... ☹️ Except for one.
I planted that one slightly larger seedling, that was really trying, in to one of our large planters, placing it against the fence, knowing that as it grew bigger, it would need some support.
I regularly fed and watered that sunflower, as I do all my plants and it continued to slowly but steadily grow over the next few months.
As the sunflower grew, so did the tomato plants that were planted around it... And the tomatoes took over. They grew faster and larger than the sunflower and I didn't hold out much hope for our little sunshine buddy.
But I didn't completely give up on it. I continued to feed it and regularly pruned the tomato plants, especially when they appeared to be overwhelming the sunflower. I knew the sunflower needed light, air, food and water etc.
We are now in October and most gardeners have had sunflowers in bloom and died off and have collected the seeds for next year already, so I really wasn't expecting anything to come of it this late in the year.
However, this morning, as I was tending to my garden, my heart sang when I discovered this real ray of sunshine out there (see image). This one, lonesome but very beautiful, small sunflower, defying the normal rules of nature and appearing in the autumn!
Despite all the odds, with support and continued care, even when I could have easily given up on it, this gorgeous sunflower bloomed!
Once the overgrown tomatoes were pruned and the overwhelm was let go of, it did all it knew... It grew and blossomed!
Sometimes in life, we have our own tomato plants overwhelming us. Our plants could be self-sabotage, stress, anxiety, fear... Whatever is stopping us from growing. Those old, negative stories that are keeping us stuck, hidden, in the shadows.
I told myself the story months ago that "I'm obviously just not good at growing sunflowers", but that was just a story. I continued to care for that sunflower regardless and I helped it to remove it's overwhelm. I helped it find the sunlight.
I do this for my clients too. I continue to care for them, even when they are doubting themselves. I help them to clear the debris that is keeping them stuck. I help them to let go of the stories that are preventing them from moving forward. My aim is to help my clients blossom, just like our sunflower did.
If you are interested in working with me one to one, to free yourself of old limiting beliefs, I have just two spots available, so drop me a PM and let's have a chat 💜🌻
Society seems to be like one big competition, especially now that social media plays such a big part in our everyday lives. From a young age the media feeds children a story of what is acceptable and what is not.
As children, we get brainwashed into believing that to be “pretty” or “handsome”, to be “normal”, to be “socially accepted”, we have to be a certain size, look a certain way, wear certain colours dictated by our gender, follow certain fashion trends, listen to certain bands, follow certain YouTubers or Instagrammers, because if we don’t we are an outcast, we are different, or there is something wrong with us.
This kind of behaviour is especially rife during the high school/secondary school years, which also coincides with most young people hitting puberty and already having to deal with raging hormones and their bodies changing.
Teenagers can be very opinionated and rather nasty, especially if you aren’t part of their clique. That said, teasing and bullying can easily begin much earlier. Whilst I personally have no memories of any such behaviour during my time at first school, when it came to my last year of middle school (equivalent of Year 7), I actually had to move schools due to bullies making my life a misery. At that time, I would have been 11 years old.
Sadly, the bullying continued at the new school anyway, but my point is, weight issues and body image are not just an issue that we as adults must face. The seeds are often sown much earlier in life.
The conditioning we receive as a child, will shape the beliefs we have and stories we tell ourselves when we are adults. Not all those stories and beliefs are true and as adults, we really need to let them go.
Were you bullied as a child because of the way you looked?
Did the effects of that bullying follow you into adulthood?
I would be really interested to hear your stories.
Please feel free to share them if you feel comfortable doing so.
Remember folks, this is a safe space. No judgement here. Only support.💜