Tag Archives: Wellbeing

Why You Cant Neglect Your Inner Wellbeing

Hey lovelies!

First of all I want to shout out a huge THANK YOU to everyone who showed their support through my last post.

You have no idea how much your comments and kind words mean to me.

Lately I have been a little extremely slack on my blog posts, and today’s post will shed light as to why I haven’t been as frequent as what I would like to be.

One of the things I am currently working on is getting shit done.

Let me explain…

I am a fantastic procrastinator. When there is something that I know needs to be done but I don’t want to do it, I simply put it off.

Apart from the issue that some things never get done, the real problem is that I get so much anxiety about the tasks not getting done. I then create multiple problems within that one task which could have been rectified before any other problems could occur if I didn’t put it off in the first place!

When I’m stressed about certain tasks and issues I tend to change my focus away from it and head towards something much worse; body image.

It’s extremely common for people who suffer/suffered from an eating disorder to slip into unhealthy habits when times are tough.

Usually when you are in a stressful situation, you don’t have much control over it. By listening to ED’s voice and becoming strict with your diet makes you feel like you have at least some control within your life.

It’s important to know that it’s the eating disorder that gives you the false idea that controlling what you eat will help control other areas within your life.

For the past couple of months I have focused a lot more time and effort into my physical health, and haven’t spent enough time on my inner wellbeing.

Don’t get me wrong, I am extremely proud that I have finally reached my goal weight and got my period (you can read about it here) but I found that neglecting the inner health, there is now a build up of emotional work to catch up on so I don’t fall back into ED’s habits.

I am a huge believer that your inner wellbeing is the most important factor when it comes to over-all health. Too often people think that disease and illness come from external factors, but I truly believe that your mind is the biggest influence.

When I write on The Raw Serenity, I feel as though I am brought back to reality. I focus on how I am feeling and what is authentic to me. I tend to respect and listen to what my body is telling me and appreciate everything it has done for me. That is what The Raw Serenity it all about.

If you are a regular reader, you would be aware that at the end of last year I quite all drama in my life.

Only happy and positive people and experiences were welcome in my life. By manifesting this desire I now have a very positive network of friends that help keep negative thoughts at bay but I also find that when I need an instant hit of positivity I go straight to my Pinterest boards.

I find by just looking at my boards that I have created helps bring me back to reality and stops the negativity. I also find some pictures of animals impossible not to laugh at!

My next post is a delicious salad I recently created. It is packed full of flavours, textures and superfoods to support your mind and body.

Be kind to yourself,

Lisa

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Black is the New Green Smoothie

Hi lovelies,

Hope you are all well!

I went to an Ethical Nutrient seminar last night for work, so I’m a little tired today but it was worth it.

I will be talking about this in a future post as I want to let you in on some new research but also the marketingbehind health products.

Today I’ll share with you my favourite “green” smoothie blend.

Green smoothies have really taken off, and for good reason!

They boost your daily green intake, they are high in fiber, packed with anti-oxidants, vitamins and minerals from the raw ingredients. And lets also not forget how damn amazing they taste!

So Green Smoothies pretty much rock, but why limit yourself to green when you can have black!

Ingredients
(serves 1)

Large handful of Baby Spinach leaves

1 small frozen Banana (or half large)

½ cup of frozen Blueberries

1 tsp Spirulina

5 drops of Stevia (or to taste)

20ml Aloe Vera juice

400ml chilled water

So it doesn’t look all that pretty but this smoothie is one seriously tasty superfood blend.

I drink this every single day.

It is a perfect after workout drink as it is high in protein from the Spirulina. Plus you get all the vitamins and minerals to keep you fighting fit.

Drinking a green Black smoothie daily is non-negotiable for me.

Because I don’t drink coffee or have any caffeine this gives me loads of energy and doesn’t give me the slump within 30 mins like coffee does.

Do you currently drink green smoothies?

 

Be kind to yourself,

Lisa x

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Filed under Raw, Recipes, Snacks

All The Little Things

Last week I came across two blogs that I haven’t read before. The two posts I read from these bloggers got me thinking about how little we acknowledge our achievements and our greatness.

We have been brought up in a society where we don’t like to talk about and be proud of our achievements that we make in our everyday lives, in fear of seeming full-of-ourselves.

Because we don’t acknowledge and celebrate our achievements, it has created a society in which people feel that they can never be good enough and can never achieve.

Cait from Cait Plus Ate created a post suggesting that we write down all the amazing things about ourselves.
I did this exercise and while it felt strange listing the reasons why I’m amazing, when I read over my list I felt pretty damn proud.

Some points on my list were the small things I do, such as reading books and some points were life changing such as eating a vegan diet and living a toxic free lifestyle.

Even though not all of my points were life changing and dramatic, it doesn’t make them any less important compared to the others.

Meg from A Dash of Meg supports this wonderfully in her HFF (High Five Friday).

As I was reading through the High Fives that went out, I was thinking that there are some achievements on the list that I have accomplished, yet I have never acknowledged those achievements or patted myself on the back.

It was heart warming to see High Fives going out for everyday achievements and it is something that I will now incorporate into my everyday life.

When we allow ourselves to appreciate our greatness, our outlook on our day changes dramatically for the better.

Today I went to the gym and increased my dumb-bell weight by 1kg. As I left the gym I realised my achievement and allowed myself to feel proud.  It may be only 1kg heavier but its 1kg more than what I could have lifted last week and that needs celebrating!

My day instantly became brighter and more satisfying once I allowed myself to recognise and feel proud of myself.

We don’t need to break a record or compare our achievements to others, to allow ourselves to feel proud of what we have achieved. We are living our own authentic lives and every new experience and challenge we come up against, makes us a stronger and wiser person.

At the end of each day, sit down and think about what you have achieved that day. Perhaps you finished your work on time or got up early and went to the gym instead of sleeping in. Allow yourself to feel proud of what you have accomplished.

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Brain Food – Soulful Pudding

 

After my last post I now think it is an appropriate time to introduce you to something close to my heart and I have 100% confidence that it will change your life.

If you have read my journey you would be aware that I believe food can act as medicine and people often neglect this most important factor of health and wellbeing.

Most people focus on the physical benefits of food such as low fat, high protein, low carb, no sugar etc and although some of these factors can be healthy (and others damn right dangerous) we aren’t supporting the one thing that has control over bodies: the mind!

Feeding the mind should be our first priority. When we feed our mind we are in a healthy and thoughtful state to be able to make conscious choices that support our overall wellbeing.

There are many foods that are great “brain fuel” but today I want to stress the importance of Omega-3.

There have been several studies that support omega-3 consumption to help fight mood disorders such as depression.Omega-3 influences the production of “neurotrophic factors” which regulate brain cells and can affect gene expression in the brain.

Most people think of fish when they hear Omega 3 and aren’t aware that there are healthier ways to include these important essential fatty acids in their diet.

Some fish contain high levels of methyl-mercury which can lead to ingestion of acceptably high levels of contaminants in large amounts, so you aren’t necessarily doing yourself the world of good by swallowing those pricey fish oil tablets.

Fish contain omega-3 because they eat sea vegetables which include seaweed and algae such as Spirulina. Spirulina is the richest source of nutrients of all foods and also just to put in a fun fact, it is the most protein dense food there is worldwide!

Although many aren’t too happy about jumping into the spirulina (just yet) there is another delicious source that will bring you many benefits other than the satisfying taste: Chia seeds.

Chia seeds are rich in omega-3 and just 25 grams per day is enough to receive the right amount of omega-3 to have a healthy mind and body. These little beauties are also high in protein, calcium, fibre, iron and other vitamins and minerals that chia seeds have to offer, hence why they are called a superfood.

Chia seeds expand 11 times their size when soaked in liquid for as little as 20 minutes. These super seeds also make a perfect pudding so I’m excited to share with you my favourite pudding;

Soulful Pudding

Ingredients:
Serves 1

2 Tbsp Chia seeds (I use white)

2/3 cup almond milk (unsweetened)

1 medium size frozen banana (slightly defrosted)

1.5-2 Tbsp raw cacao

3 raspberries (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Blend Banana , milk and cacao together and pour into a bowl
  2. Add chia seeds and stir into the mix
  3. Set aside for 30 mins, stirring occasionally
  4. Enjoy!

This is the easiest, most delicious and nutritious pudding there is. I am loving dessert and I bet you will too when you try it.

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Break Free From Stress Generated Urges

The past couple of weeks have been filled with anxiety and stress, which has led me to be more fixated on my weight.
Although I have been stressed about having to put on a little more weight to be healthy, I haven’t given into the urges to fall back into my old habits.

People deal with stress differently; some people drink, eat, smoke, panic, yell, shop or focus their attention on their weight.

Now that I am aware of these triggers I can check back into reality and recognise that what I have been stressed about has nothing to do with my body image and focusing on something else doesn’t necessarily make the original stressful situation go away.

Like me, so many people fall into unhealthy habits to deal with stress without recognising why they feel the urge. We need to be mindful of the urges we feel when the triggers go off.

This is not a time to judge yourself or others over how stress is dealt with. The way you deal with stress may be completely different from anyone in your family or circle of friends. You may not understand why others cope with stress the way they do, or why they give into stress generated urges, but we all have to be mindful that there is always an underlying problem that needs to be addressed. Giving support and advising healthier options on how to handle stress will make a big impact to your loved one’s well-being.

When you feel stress related urges ask two honest questions of yourself:
What is the real reason why I am feeling this urge?
Does it serve me?

Most of the time stress generated urges don’t serve us at all. They defer the original stress to a bad habit, which leads you to feel guilt.

Healthy options for dealing with stress are:
Going for a stroll
Exercising
Meditating
Reading an enjoyable book
Listening to calming / positive music
Having a warm bath
Sitting out in the sun
Playing with your pet
Journaling
Calling a positive friend

I find it difficult to jump into meditation because I haven’t had enough practice, so I find the best way to deal with stress is by sitting out in the sun, closing my eyes while focusing on my breathing. The sun increases your serotonin level, which is a mood lifting chemical and by focusing on your breathing it will help bring down your heart rate to fight away the stress.

When I find my breath is calm and even, I start to check in with myself, ask questions and reason with myself over why I am stressed.

Nothing external can make us stressed unless we allow it. The feeling of being stressed is caused internally; it is our choice to create it.

Lisa

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A Month That Will Be Remembered

To anyone who has taken the pledge to be involved in Dry July I give a big high five to you!

I am behind you and this cause 100%. For anyone who isn’t familiar with Dry July, It’s a month of being completely sober for a good cause (2 including your own health benefits from taking a month off the booze).

There are 2 main reasons why I back Dry July:

1) It helps raise money for adult cancer patients and their families
2) Personal reasons

Alcohol and I haven’t had a good history. I have never enjoyed drinking but I gave into peer pressure as I had a group of girlfriends that always went out and drank hard, I had a very social job that included a lot of nights out and a voice in my head telling me that if I didn’t drink like everyone else I’d be the girl that everyone thought was boring and I’d be talked about behind closed doors.

Every time I drank I’d regret it; so many terrible decisions I’ve made through being intoxicated and most were just dam straight stupid dangerous.

A couple of years ago I jumped at the idea of doing Dry July. “The best excuse ever for not drinking for a whole month!”. I thought everyone would comment on how thoughtful and inspiring my decision was to commit to Dry July and I also hoped others would follow.

Friends and colleagues certainly comment on my decision about being sober for a month but it wasn’t the response I expected. It was all negative comments about how boring I was being and that if I decided to go out and not drink I’d be embarrassing myself. My friends would say “Who comes out and just drinks water or soda, what are you, 12?”.

This is the part where I would love to tell you I was a hero and that I stood up for myself but instead I stood with a bunch of intoxicated people with a vino in my hand.

When it got to the point where I was so unhappy with myself and also because of the effects that drinking has on my mood, I realised I had hit rock bottom and I was destroying myself by trying to be someone who I wasn’t. I didn’t want to be known as the party girl anymore, I didn’t want any regrets or hangovers I just wanted to be my own authentic self.

I had to get completely honest with myself and the situation I was in by writing out the solutions to the problems.

Peer Pressure: If anyone puts pressure on you to drink or doesn’t respect your decision, they aren’t true friends and your better off finding new friends that support you.
Most of the time when people pressure you into something such as drinking, they do it because they are insecure about their own drinking habits. You do not have to be a part of someone else’s insecurities.

Night Life: Just because you don’t drink alcohol doesn’t mean you can’t go out and have a great time or feel like an outcast for not drinking. You would be surprised by how many people go out and choose not to drink. (Hint, they’re usually the fresher faced people that aren’t slobbering over the DJ for him to play a 90’s hit). These days a lot of bars have mocktails on their menus and if they don’t, most places are more than happy to whip you up an alcohol free cocktail.

Excuses: You should never feel like you have to give an excuse as to why you aren’t drinking.
Respect your decision and be proud that you are taking control of your health and wellbeing.
When you tell people that you don’t drink with a confident tone and body language people don’t question your decision. If you aren’t confident or make up an excuse on the spot they see that as an opportunity to pressure you into having just one drink (which usually means one bottle).

Strength: When you feel like giving in remind yourself of all the reasons why you gave up alcohol in the first place. Think about how drinking makes you feel at the time and also the next day.
The internet is a great way to start building a network of people that are feeling the same way you are and to reassure you that you are not alone.

I haven’t had a drink for nearly one year now it was the most rewarding decision I have made.

By giving alcohol up I have gained so much more in return.

I have met more friends that follow the same interests as me, I have gained more self confidence, my health and wellbeing has improved significantly, I have saved money by not having expensive nights out and having weekends to enjoy outside rather than in bed nursing a hangover.

Being the 1st of July gives you the opportunity to take on the challenge of going alcohol free for a month.

You don’t need to sign up to Dry July, you can just make the decision to do this for your own health and wellbeing.

Question: What has been the longest period of time that you have given up alcohol for?

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The Only Trend Is Happiness

One part of my job role as a makeup artist was to read fashion magazines to keep up to date with the latest trends around the world.

I loved researching the latest trends and what was “hot” for that season.  It didn’t feel like a job or chore, I could do it endlessly and even when I started to move on from makeup I still bought all the magazines to read, as they were something I enjoyed. I also thought they were beneficial by giving advice and tips on self love, fashion, exercise, beauty, relationships and more.

These magazines weren’t benefiting me at all; they were robbing me of my self esteem and influencing me to judge others.

Every single time I saw an image in a magazine I would immediately compare the picture of a photo shopped woman to myself.

I have read many helpful articles in magazines that promote a healthy body image but pictures say more than words, so when an image that accompanies the article is of an unrealistically thin, flawless woman, the article has lost all meaning, I am already distracted and defeated.

Magazines also create body image issues by manufacturing problems that you never once had.
I remember reading an article about a new trend that models were getting done through plastic surgery. It was to remove fat in a certain area, an area that you would never have considered. After I finished reading the article I realised how ridiculous the procedure is, but I still started to be conscious of the area.

I used to thrive on the gossip section, reading all about the stars’ lives and the dramas that went on. It was a time when I could focus on other people’s dramas rather than my own.
This had negativity all over it. Not once did I feel great about reading made up claims and rumours about the stars that drag you in with headlines such as “STARS WITHOUT MAKEUP” and “ CELEBRITY CELLULITE “.

Talking negatively about someone because they have cellulite as if it is forbidden and offensive to be seen with it in public is nothing more than appalling. The majority of women have cellulite regardless of how much they weigh; it’s natural and it’s not something that any of us should feel excluded and unworthy over.

This is the same with showing stars without makeup. It gives you the impression that it’s a crime to be seen without makeup. Some women these days literally refuse to walk out of the door without makeup. The thought of it is overwhelming and stressful to some and the magazines are just feeding this fear.

I thought these magazines were helping me by giving me fashion advice, but they were just making me feel unworthy and unfashionable if I didn’t own a certain item of clothing or not living a life that is cool enough.

Everything was materialistic and I didn’t appreciate the things I had and know what my own personal style really was.

Since January 2012 I have not bought any magazines, I haven’t read them in waiting rooms and I have not even looked at them while lining up to buy groceries.

If one thing has helped me connect more with myself, this would be it:
Not having unrealistic images to compare myself to; not having the pressure of looking a certain way in order to be considered fashionable and focusing on my own authentic life rather than someone else’s life that has been dramatised.

Until there is a magazine that is 100% photo shop free and truly promotes a healthy body image and self confidence, I will not support magazine companies by buying them.

I don’t expect you to give up reading magazines but next time you do be aware of how they are making you feel.

As always, I would love to hear your thoughts on this.

Lisa

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