All posts filed under: General

jumping

3 Ways to become more Holy

If it weren’t for all the fluorescent trainers, patterned running pants and fitness apps on my phone, I’d think I was unfit.  These are clearly markers of my physical health – therefore, I’m doing well. I don’t know about you, but I often live in an envy/failure/guilt/repeat cycle. I see someone with a figure I want, strength I want, ability I want (usually on social media). I try to achieve this, fail spectacularly, feel horrifically useless as a human being, before even broaching the negative emotions toward my body that got me in this place. Then I start all over again, as I see another stunning figure I want. Sound familiar? Unfortunately, we are a culture that claims the outward body is the sum of our identity. Although as Christians it’s probably a good idea to not root our identity in anything other than being fully loved and known by Jesus, we unfortunately do it. A lot. ‘The body’ within Christianity’s history has been pulled apart so much that it’s difficult to know where we stand. …

peers

Peers

Peers are my nemesis, slightly awkward being a single 30 something in London… I know. Who doesn’t have a few social faux pas in their closet right?! Or awkward social tendencies?! Socially awkward tendencies can potentially be hilarious, however they are more likely to be hilariously painful.  Along with that goes the pain of not being able to take our place at the table (metaphorically and physically).  Approaching an environment, pulling up a pew, embracing the community around the table can be difficult if we view the world in stereotypes, if we try to fit ourselves into that mould and if we, ultimately, view ourselves as different. We long to belong, we long to be loved and known, to have friends and companions around us who know us fully, and we feel fully alive with them.  Yet, why doesn’t my life look like this? Why can’t I reach this idillic image I have?  One problem is trying to fit in, as opposed to belonging. Brene Brown puts it like this, “Fitting in is assessing situations …

img_0519.jpg

Easy like Sunday morning

If you’ve been hanging around this blog for any amount if time, I’m sure you’re aware that I’ve had chronic fatigue for 7 years.  Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know we all get tired, but it’s a different kind of tired (check this out to know more).  I’ve been doing pretty well for a little while now, which can lead to an over excitement and a slippery slope into doing too much.  I thought I’d been balancing everything pretty well until yesterday. I’d woken up, at a good hour for me, had breakfast and was heading on a walk with my house mate.  Immediately I felt tired, and I know this kind of tired.  We arrived home from the walk and I instantly needed a nap.  I tried to fight it but within an hour I was out.  This proceeded two more times throughout the day.  What had gone wrong? Why was this happening? I’d been doing so well and now three naps in one day. The answer is, I don’t really know what happened.  There …

IMG_0495-0.jpg

How social issues affect your wellness more than you think

You can’t have helped but seen the utter madness ensuing around the world recently.  The Syrian civil war, subsequent refugee crisis, mass shootings, terror attacks, the great divide not only between the UK and Europe, but within UK borders, knife crime and increased racism. Go home 2016, you’re drunk!  All of this, however, probably affects you more than you think.  The one thing I haven’t been able to shake recently is how our health connects to social issues. Why? Because it all stems from the heart, it’s all about the heart. The heart is where health and wellness starts and ends, and it is where events like the former mentioned start and end. Maybe you think this is a big leap; maybe you’re offended by this… good! If we’re not offended by what is happening in the world around us and moved to a point of compassion then nothing will change. A heart that is full of pain needs healing, but this can only happen in the time said heart needs.  A heart full of pain …

IMG_0485-0.png

That’s not your identity

I wish when I was growing up someone had told me my identity was not in my floral patterned denim jacket (although to this day every time I walk into a charity shop, I have misty dream like visions of having an encounter with it), or that my identity wasn’t in the fact that I could eat and eat and not put weight on (I really wish someone had told me that, slight backfire – in more ways than one), or that my identity was not in the fact that I could run for miles and be ok with it. Identity, where do you get yours from? For years I placed my identity in my athleticism, in fact I even remember at school getting annoyed at a friend who also did particularly well in P.E.  “You’re too good at everything else, at least let me have this”. I should have realised that the end of lesson bell didn’t just signify home time. I’m all or nothing so when I started competing in triathlons and doing …

IMG_0271-0.jpg

How’s your love muscle?

Phew! I just got done an interval and weights training session which I haven’t done in a very, very long time. It felt so good to get the old love muscle working, to get that blood pumping through my veins.  It also happened to be the start of Lent last week.  You know, that time of year when it seems that everyone gives up chocolate or cake, or chocolate cake, or alcohol – depending on how dry January went – for 40 days but no one knows why.  It also happened to be Valentines Day on Sunday.  It seems to me that last week was love muscle week.  That’s right, your old ticker, the old ‘strawberry’, the old “your heart is the size of a fist so fight with it”. Our hearts are muscles which need to be tested in many different ways to grow.  Just like any other muscle your heart needs working, perhaps even more so than others. Hearts are synonymous with love but how many of us actually look after and take note …

IMG_0248-0.jpg

I’ve got my Tight Pants on

In my room I’ve got my favourite pair of jeans hanging up, nope not in the cupboard, but hanging from a shelf. They don’t fit me anymore. Sure I haven’t tried them on in a while but the last I did I couldn’t pull them over my legs. I distinctly remember when I thought the washing machine was shrinking them, turns out it was just my legs growing, in the wrong direction. I’ve kept them as a reminder, and goal, of where I used to be and where I’d like to get back to. One fitness tip which people always suggest for weight loss is keeping old clothes. If you get rid of all your old clothes you won’t remember, or realise, how much weight you have put on. Makes sense right?! In a way it’s like a frog in boiling water, if a frog is placed in boiling water it jumps out. If I try and put these old jeans on I just won’t fit. If a frog is placed in cold water which …

IMG_0230.JPG

How to help minimise stress and fatigue at Christmas

Christmas is always a mixed bag. Most people are never quite sure what Christmas will bring. It brings excitement and joy, traditions, sugar filled coffees, lights, festivities, friends, family, gifts, and parties as well as too much food, alcohol and just too much of everything that comes with the season. The mere thought of Christmas can quickly elevate our stress levels. The holidays are filled with extra activities which we feel bound to take part in, not only so we don’t let other people down but so we don’t let ourselves down and we can say we had a ‘fun-filled’ Christmas.  By the time the Christmas break comes, most people are already tired, stressed, juggling overloaded schedules and finding little time for themselves. Add the holiday extras and there seems no space to breathe. Here are some small steps to help minimise stress and fatigue. 1. Go easy on yourself Part of the stress and fatigue at Christmas comes from high expectations. There are people to see, places to go, gifts to buy and parties …

image

Simple Raw Chocolate recipe

I’ve finally perfected my simple raw chocolate recipe.  After lots of trial and error (welcomed by me and friends) I think I have it. Ingredients: 70g of cocoa or cacao powder (no added sugar) 6 tbsp of melted coconut oil (I prefer Vitacoco Coconut Oil) Agave syrup/honey to taste ( I usually use less as I love dark chocolate) Method: Melt the coconut oil and mix with a little sweetener. Add in the cocoa, taste and add more sweetener if desired. Place some baking paper on a tray (depending on how chunky you want the chocolate will determine how big your tray is) Pour out your mixture and sprinkle on desired toppings.  Such as goji berries, cherries, raspberries, raw caramel sauce, desiccated coconut, almond flakes, bee pollen if you’re brave and fancy a digestive and immune system boost with a kick of protein. Place the tray in the freezer and leave for about 30 minutes.  If you can’t wait that long just leave it in the bowl, stir in the toppings and grab a spoon! …

image

Mood Foods

It’s true.  I get in moods.  There I said it.  I’m not always happy go lucky, smiley smiley, loving life, keeping to my routine or schedule.  I get angry, down, frustrated, irritable.  It happens to the best of us.  Lets be honest. What is interesting is the ongoing research linking our brains and gut .  What you eat really can affect your brain and subsequently emotions, feelings, thoughts and behaviour.  There is a lot bigger connection between our brain and our gut than we first thought and our gut is often referred to as “the second brain”. What you eat can cause reactions in your gut, for example; inflammation, ‘leaky gut syndrome’, ‘IBS’, abdominal pain, bloating, nausea.  Not only that, but psychological factors like stress, burn out, anxiety, worry, disappointment can also cause cramping and digestive pain, which in turn can affect the brain.  If then these physical and psychological factors can have a negative affect on the brain, then surely then can be a positive outcome as well.  Learning to manage stress, anxiety and …

image

How super are “Superfoods”?

In recent years the promotion of the “Superfood” has been evident not only in health circles but in wider spheres, reaching the general population. “Superfoods” are essentially foods which are deemed highly nutrient dense and they have recently become much more widely available.  The spotlight has turned suddenly to them and they’ve been paraded out in all their glory  to trample on the mere, less ‘superior’, everyday foods in a multi coloured display of anti-oxidants, vitamins, omega-3s and other bioactive compounds.  One might think they’d been hiding out together in an underground “super food” convention waiting to reveal themselves to the world.  Also of note is that most of them came emerged from some far off country which makes them even more “super”.  However, what wasn’t thought through before they emerged from this underground meeting was what really any of that means and why have they just become so prevalent?! There’s been a lot of controversy over said food group with many people stating that it is simply a marketing tool.  The effects of these …

help

I need your help….

As far as I see it, if you’re on this site and have been looking around, then you are now part of the rawroots community which means you get to input.  Although a lot of this comes from my story and experiences, and ongoing story and experiences and although I have a lot of ideas for posts I would love to hear if there is anything specific you would like to know.  It can be related to any aspect of your health, whether it be a workout theory, nutrition tips, to how our brain and digestive system have so much affect on our bodies, to can my emotions make me sick, does my spiritual life really affect me physically and emotionally, or simply what is spiritual health.  Then please drop me a line and I will do my best to post about these issues and thoughts and I look forward to the conversations that may begin.

letter-mail-mailbox-postbox-medium

12 Character Muscles // Social Awareness May

This month called on my social awareness muscle to get strengthened.  I’ll be honest, I’ve never really been on top of the news – watching it daily or reading the papers.  I haven’t been completely lost in my own world and unaware of events around me but I could definitely look outside of myself and my life a bit more.  I have, obviously, been aware of some things going on around me in my community, my country and the world but I’ve never particularly followed through on certain issues and I guess never really thought that I could make much of a difference.  That, I think is what Social Awareness May has taught me. It got me thinking again about a friend of mine who, with his wife and a team of people, runs a charity that tackles anti-trafficking and modern slavery.  I had the opportunity to visit them last year and was in absolute shock at some of the statistics and stories I heard.  This was all before actually meeting some of the girls …