READING YOUR BODY’S POSTURE

tashabe25

I recently wrote an Instagram post about how being super physically flexible isn’t necessarily always a good thing. In it, I wanted to express how there is an absolute connection and continuity between your physical, mental, emotional, social, spiritual and environmental worlds.

Bringing awareness to our posture or physicality can tell us a lot about our approach to life – the way we respond to stress or threats, what kind of company we keep, how our upbringing was, why we experience certain illnesses, what habits we have, and so on. Thus, decoding and making positive changes to our posture will help optimize our quality of life and ability to thrive.

CUES YOU CAN GLEAN FROM YOUR BODY:

Continue reading

Advertisements

WHAT TO DO IF YOU GET GLUTEN-ED

loaves-of-bread

 

Those of us with food allergies know all too well the side effects from accidentally consuming foods that don’t agree with us.

Despite loathing the instant painful feedback my stomach gives me after consuming something that does not agree with me, I am grateful as many other symptoms people experience require a bit more awareness or detective work. Some people can experience eczema, asthma, brain fog, acne, depression, all of which you wouldn’t immediately associate with what you’ve eaten. This is why it is so important to cultivate body and self awareness and to make changes slowly: my action plan below will help kick start your healing and better direct you towards what is and isn’t working.

THE ACTION PLAN

FOODS TO OMIT

All the obvious ones – gluten, dairy, soya and sugar. Also omit onion, garlic, leeks, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, potatoes, sweet potatoes, fruit and dried fruit.

FOODS TO CONSUME

SUPPLEMENTS

DRINK

  • Filtered water – consume plenty of fresh water to help clean out
  • Organic nettle tea- drink throughout the day

MOVEMENT

Belly massage – massage clockwise in a circular motion around your belly 5 times. Then massage in downward strokes from between your front ribs to your belly button, 5 times. Then massage in downward strokes from underneath your the right side of your ribs (liver)to your belly button, 5 times, Then massage in downward strokes from underneath the left side of your ribs (stomach) to your belly button, 5 times. Then repeat the whole cycle twice more.

Breathing with deep squeezing exhales – Breathe in through the nose allowing the belly to rise, breathe out through the mouth allowing the belly to soften down towards the spine, blow every last bit of air out of your mouth so you can feel your abdominals naturally tightening and your ribs gently squeezing inwards and breast bone dropping. On the inhale visualise the six pack (rectus abdominis) rising, on the exhale visualise the length of the six pack sinking, the deep corset muscle wrapping from the back around your sides and knitting together at the front (like wrapping a dressing gown around your middle) and feel your lower abs drawing upwards fro behind your pubic bone to up out through the crown of your head.

Stretching and twisting – It is especially useful to stretch and massage down the inside and outside of your thigh muscles. This stimulates the blood flow (and therefore healing) to your belly. Using a foam roller is best, but a tennis ball or spiky ball is also great.

Twist, scissors and cobra are three great exercises to help bring healing to your system – find all the cues and descriptions here.

MEDITATION / MINDFULNESS for 1-5 minutes daily

Sit with crossed legs and a long spine, or lie on your back with legs long and arms beside you with palms facing upwards. Simply follow your breath in and out – don’t change your breath pattern, just watch it. Let stillness and calm wash over you by taking your attention inwards. When your mind wanders, when thoughts, emotions, sounds, or physical feelings occur just acknowledge them and let them pass without getting involved and come back to your breath.

 

(IMG)

BEAT HAY FEVER & ALLERGIES


IMG_4115

Our immune system is housed in our gut, and is made up of trillions of different types of bacteria. It’s important to remember that all disease begins in the gut – be it dermatitis, hay fever, Alzheimer’s or ADD. When these bacterias are in balance we are at optimum health. Poor diet, exercise and sleep habits, high stress levels and toxic environments deplete our good bacteria which gives bad bacteria the ruling power. When this happens our ability to fight off colds and viruses, in addition to grass, flower and plant pollens is seriously compromised.

With our gut flora as a major regulator of our immune system, it is of utmost importance that we keep it balanced. Hay fever is not something to get angry at the plants or grasses about, but more a gentle warning by the body that the immune system needs some help. Ignoring this will only invite more advanced autoimmune problems in time, and swallowing back allergy medication (one of the top five best selling drugs) will only speed up this journey to more serious illnesses.

As always, my tips are the same: following a natural anti-inflammatory way of eating and incorporating movement and mindfulness into our lives is following suit with what has allowed humankind to survive and evolve for millennia. I have witnessed friends and clients beat hayfever all together by incorporating these changes. Like all positive, long lasting change the protocol takes patience and persistence, but the long-lasting results are worth it.

 ______________

MY SIX TIPS FOR BEATING SEASONAL (AND ANIMAL) ALLERGIES – (if possible begin these steps 2-3 months before hay fever season.)

  1. AVOID GLUTEN, DAIRY, SUGAR, BEER & WINE – these are all inflammatory on your system and take up too much immune system power. For inspiration search through my recipes which are all free from these food groups.
  2. RHYTHMICAL DIET – eat 3 meals a day without any snacks to give your body plenty of rest and repair time
  3. CONSUME BONE BROTH, COURGETTES AND GOOD QUALITY SALT – all are rich in easily absorbed minerals which support and boost the immune system response.
  4. TAKE 2 TBSP DAILY OF RAW LOCAL HONEY OR RAW MULTI-FLORA HONEY – Consuming raw honey desensitizes the body to local pollen so that the pollen does not trigger allergic reactions come hay fever season. If you are allergic to honey then of course omit this step.
  5. TAKE PROBIOTICS – these are the only supplement I take every single day. Made from billions of good bacteria they are an absolute must. My favourite brands are Biokult and Energetix
  6. TAKE VITAMIN C – this vitamin is of utmost importance when it comes to optimal wellness. The problem with most vitamin C supplements is that it is mainly made from ascorbic acid – a lab synthesized version not found anywhere in nature. So look for brands that are additive free and contain vitamin c from real whole foods such as camu camu, Amla berries and so on. Radiant Life is a great brand.

BONUS TIPS:

– TAKE PYCNOGENOL 100 MG

– OMIT shellfish, fish, tomatoes, spinach, strawberries, bananas, cacao/chocolate, vinegar, fermented vegetables.

______________

‘With everything that has happened to you, you can either feel sorry for yourself or treat what has happened as a gift. Everything is either an opportunity to grow or an obstacle to keep you from growing. You get to choose’  – Dr Wayne Dyer

UNRAVELLING THE LAYERS

2014-08-01_Tasha-Be_0489 (1)

Live The Process, recently published my most personal writing to date, ‘Unravelling The Layers’.

Live The Process inspired me to share some of the details of my own personal health journey when I was captivated by the stories their writers shared; I experienced first hand how powerful their honest tellings were in educating, and building trust and connection. It is a rich, beautifully intentioned place to immerse yourself in, so do venture over.

In the article, I share a snippet of my process, and of how I learned to heed the “whispers” of my body. I explain that through my own research, self study and with the help of various alternative therapists I have healed my Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) and overcome the myriad of symptoms that go along with this hormonal disorder. I also share that, despite the natural on-going nature of my journey, I have been buoyed by the incredible shifts that have taken place physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

Oh and as an aside – I still very much idolise my beautiful sister and want to follow her everywhere, and I would absolutely tolerate a rollocking from my old ballet mistress just to take one more class with her! I am grateful for every opportunity, as I believe there is something to learn from everyone and everything.

Read my full article here.

BONE BROTH: A REMINDER TO CONSUME!

tumblr_lxxi5ax4UT1qdei8m

I wrote about the benefits of consuming bone broth here two years ago now. Fortunately since that post, bone broth has received much warranted attention through recipes and information shared by the likes of the Hemsley + Hemsley sisters and nutritional therapist Ameila Freer.

Bone broth continues to be my number one go-to immune booster and healing potion. I recommend all adults and children comfortable with eating animal products get sipping!

Why?

Because bone broth is one of the most nutrient dense soups available on the planet. Made from boiling animal bones, broth is supremely rich in calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, sulfur, sodium and potassium, proteinaceous gelatine, cartilage, collagen, hyaluronic acid and chondrition sulphate.

By drinking bone broth you are helping to heal and seal your gut – your gut being the place where you house the majority of your immune system. With a strong immune system we are less likely to get ill, have allergic reactions, digestive complains, joint pain, muscle fatigue, learning difficulties, anxiety, depression and other mental health-related issues.

How do you make it?

I have written recipes here or you can watch the wonderful Amelia Freer making chicken broth here

Can you buy it?

  • My number one go-to if I don’t have any fresh stock brewed is Great Lakes grass-fed beef gelatine powder – it is tasteless so if you want you can just add it to water and glug it down, or else it is a useful thickener in soups and smoothies. You can even make healthy marshmallows with it!
  • Some good quality restaurants, organic butcheries and health stores sell bone broth. Just be sure to check their ingredients are free from gluten, added preservatives and sugars.
  • Here in London Laverstock Farm lamb stock from Ocado is great
  • New Yorkers can buy a cup of hot broth to takeaway from Brodo in the East Village

Want to learn more?

Check out Sally Fallon Morell’s latest book: Nourishing Broth: An Old Fashioned Remedy for the Modern World.

MINDFUL EATING FOR THE HOLIDAYS

IMG_0432

Not only are the holidays a lovely time to celebrate and have a change of scenery, they also provide the opportunity to have a shift in gear. As I outlined in my previous post, this is a time of year when emotions run high, so it really is worth taking a moment to decide how you’d like things to unfold. Make sure you look after and nourish your body, as well as your mind along the way.

Looking after yourself does not mean you have to behave like a saint – what it means is avoiding any opportunities to beat yourself up, to feel guilty, anxious, unwell or regretful. Because so many people punish themselves by either over-indulging, or over-restricting during this period, I’ve dedicated this post to helping choose the best way to eat and drink for you.

SIX TIPS

1. Get clear about how and what you want to eat and drink, and if you want to consume alcohol or not. If you adhere to a specific diet for health reasons decide if you want to stick to it, or if you’re happy to deviate. Be honest and make these decisions from a place of love and compassion, rather than fear and control.

2. Commit to your intentions. Once you’re clear about what you want to consume, then commit to that decision. Associate good feelings with your decision and remind yourself of these regularly. If you decide to stick to your dietary needs then the next two points are key:

3. Research and take time to find out what’s on the menu, be it at someone’s house or at a restaurant.

4. Communicate your dietary requirements before the event – I spent years needlessly suffering for fear of upsetting people and being polite. If people make you feel uncomfortable about your needs that is definitely their problem. Do not make your decisions based on what will make other people happy, this will never turn out well – lies, pain, resentment and irritability will likely ensue. You owe it to yourself and to your host to communicate clearly what exactly it is you need so as to not upset any plans on the day.

My food choice suggestions:

  • Fill up on the vegetables and proteins. If you’re a meat eater choose meat close to the bone. Skip the gravy unless it’s gluten-free. If you’re wanting a sweet treat for dessert then choose fresh fruit, dark chocolate or cheese. If you opt to skip dessert then you can go straight to the coffee or green tea to help aid digestion and curb the sugar cravings
  • My beverage suggestions: drink a decent amount of still water with a squeeze of lemon before and after your meal. If you’re not drinking alcohol then honour your decision and stick to it! (any peer pressure to drink comes from insecurity and selfishness). Sparkling water, green tea or freshly brewed black coffee can be good options for a booze free buzz.

5. Avoid the post-booze blues by following my tips on this blog. The main points:

  • Never drink to forget, to hurt, to manipulate, to cope. It’s a better idea to take a sip after you’ve tuned in and found something to smile about and celebrate
  • Choose gluten and sugar-free drink options
  • Drink a glass of water between each alcoholic drink
  • Eat nutrient dense food before and after

6. Supplement to support your digestive, immune and detoxification systems. Here are my recommendations

Bonus tip: MOVE!

One of the best things we can do for our bodies is to MOVE. When we move we stimulate and pump the fluids around our body that manage, feed and clean our organs, muscles, skin, nerves, hormones and bones. However you are feeling, go for a walk, do a few stretches, put on your favourite music and dance! Choose whatever you most enjoy – sometimes that’s all you need to do to perk up.

To help you along your way here are 5 exercises to help beat the bloat!

And for a daily and weekly movement guide read more here.

__________________________

I hope these tips hold you in good stead over the holiday period. Please take note and put your needs first! Happy holidays! 🙂

 

Photo credit Matthew Valdr

BE AT BUCKLEY’S MENU! 7/10/14

tashabe23

Be at Buckley’s is back by popular demand! Find the fabulous new menu below for the next Tasha/Be and Mr. Buckley’s collaborative night!

Be At Buckley’s is a one-night, monthly dining event with a three-course menu that emphasizes the importance of eating seasonal, local and organic produce that is served in a modern and healthful manner.

Once agin the menu is curated by myself, and masterfully prepared by head chef Daryll Wilson. Expect organic grass-fed meats, wild fish, organic vegetables, fresh salads and inventive desserts that are free from refined sugars, pasteurised dairy and grains.

BE-at-Buckley's-Menu----OCTOBER

As I’m sure you all know, I’m extremely passionate about this healthful and healing way of eating, and have seen first-hand the amazingly positive effects it has had on myself and numerous clients.

If you suffer with food allergies, or often leave a meal out feeling bloated/wired/tired, or feel ratty the following day, then this night is a must. Of course for those already super fit, healthy and well, your bellies will simply love our nutrient dense, organic, local and seasonal fare!

Bookings: Mr. Buckley’s 020 3664 0033

277 Hackney Rd, London E2 8NA, United Kingdom

Press Enquiries: press@luxandnoah.com

In keeping with the grain-free, pre-industrial or paleolithic influence of the Be At Buckley’s menu, I wanted to highlight an earlier post of mine on the benefits of this way of eating. Get the full scoop, and if you’re not already eating this way, try slowly incorporating aspects of it into your everyday diet: LET FOOD BE THY MEDICINE

BEAT THE BLOAT: MOVEMENTS TO AID DIGESTION

tasha38

Given the standard diet, lack of physical activity and stress level of the general population, feelings of being bloated or constipated are an increasingly common complaint. It is so important that you visit the bathroom (for number twos!) at least once a day – ideally after each meal. If this isn’t the case and you’ve already worked on the obvious areas – taken out all processed food from your diet, increased your exercise, reduced your stress levels and optimised your sleep – then add these 5 easy movement patterns into your daily routine.

How these movements help digestion:

  • They stimulate fluid flow around the whole body, but in particular the gut. This helps stagnant food waste move speedily through your large intestine, meaning your stool won’t be dry and dehydrated from waiting in your bowel for so long
  • They encourage you to breathe! Increasing the depth of your breath and properly utilising all respiratory muscles regulates peristalsis or the wavelike movement that propels food through the gut. This means better nutrient absorption and quicker evacuation of digestive waste
  • They rebalance irregular tissue tension. Releasing tension in a tight lower back and the back of the legs allows the abdominal tissue to more readily engage which releases intra-abdomial pressure; addressing hunched shoulders and a compressed chest opens up the front of the body giving the gut far better space to go more smoothly about its business

____________________

1) BELLY BREATHS

INSTRUCTIONS: Breathe in through the nose allowing the belly to fill, breathe out through the mouth allowing the belly to soften back towards the spine.

CUES: On the inhale, visualise filling your whole body with fresh, clean air; on the exhale sigh out old stale air and any emotions that are no longer serving you. Imagine breathing into the back, front and sides of the body – making space and releasing tension in every joint.

Breathe in for 5 counts, pause for 5 counts, breathe out for 5 counts – repeat for 1 minute.

____

2) TWIST

IMG_7226

INSTRUCTIONS: Lie on your back with your legs bent and ‘glued’ to each other – beginners keep your feet on the floor, others take them up in the air, arms wide out to the sides. Exhale – take legs to one side and head to the opposite side, inhale – bring your legs and head back to centre, exhale – go to the opposite side.

CUES: Every time you exhale make sure you gently sink, wrap and lift your abdominals – your shirt should get baggier! Gently massage the spine into the floor as you go from side to side (i.e. no arching the back).

Take the legs from side to side for 1 full minute.

____

3) PILATES SCISSORS

IMG_7218

INSTRUCTIONS:

Lie on your back, stretch both legs up in the air, curl upper body forward, exhale – pull one leg towards you and stretch the other one away, exhale – swap to other side, repeat.

CUES:

Really emphasise the exhale – you should hear the breath being blown out through your mouth and see your belly sinking back towards your spine. Keep shoulders soft and collarbones wide. Feel the middle to lower spine gently massaging into the floor, stretch open through the back of the leg that is pulled towards you and the front of the hip of the leg stretching away. Think of the reaching the crown of your head and your toes up to the ceiling – always think of making space throughout every joint, avoid compressing and tensing.

Scissor the legs for 30-60 seconds

____

4) YOGA COBRA

IMG_7216

INSTRUCTIONS:

Lie on your front, forehead resting on the floor, arms bent hands at shoulder height, palms down. On an exhale gently roll your shoulders back, press lightly through your hands and pull your breast bone forward so that you lift your upper body away from the floor. Inhale to bring the spine back to the floor. Repeat.

CUES: Keep your abdominals drawn gently up towards your spine. Use your lower abs to gently tuck the pelvis under to avoid compressing into your lower back – do not squeeze your butt! This movement is about opening the chest wide and getting your upper back to move; you shouldn’t feel any discomfort in the lower back. 

Cobra for 30- 60 seconds

____

5) THE MARVELLOUS MOVING CAT

All cues and tips here!

____________________

EXTRA HELPFUL TIPS

  • Sit upright when you’re eating! How can you expect your food to move through your system if you’re hunched forward over your plate squashing the life out of your guts? Sit tall, give your belly some space!
  • Wait an hour after eating to do these movements as you want your blood to go into your belly to get those intestinal contractions going, rather than into your heart and muscles
  • Avoid drinking at the same time as eating – save your sips for 30 minutes before, or an hour after eating to avoid diluting the digestive enzymes needed to help break down your food
  • Take probiotics after a meal or eat fermented foods with your meal to help balance out gut bacteria and encourage better breaking down and absorption of your food
  • Consider these emotional connections to constipation – “where are you holding on in your life and what would happen if you let go? What might happen to your work or relationships if you released control and let things happen spontaneously? What is needed for you to have a greater trust in the unknown?” Read more about the emotional / digestive connections in Deb Shapiro‘s Your Body Speaks Your Mind

WINE AS IT SHOULD BE

img_4315

I wanted to dedicate this post to explaining the difference between good and bad wines – what ingredients/additives are lurking in conventionally produced bottles, and why it’s so much better to choose organic, bio-dynamic varieties. Those of you who have read my blog on alcohol will already have a heads up on this, but I wanted to expound upon wine, particularly as many people have been asking about the many tasty varieties that are being served at the Be At Buckley’s evenings…

Just as there is a huge variance in the quality of meat you can buy (force-fed, chemically-laden, or free to roam on green, organic pastures) there is a huge range in the quality of wine you can buy too. The unnatural, sped-up nature of the industrialized food system is the cause so much of this bad practice – disregarding the important sowing, growing and fermenting processes that are vital to making natural and environmentally respectful wine. Most of us still think wine is made from grapes that are then fermented in a big barrel, with maybe a few preservatives added. However, if wine makers had to list the ingredients in their wine I think a lot of you would think twice…

Ingredients added to fast-made wine:

  • Fast-activating yeast (similar to what is added to bread and which makes our bellies bloat)
  • Manmade chemicals – pesticides, herbicides, fungicides
  • Sulphites/preservative #220-226 – these have been proven to cause most of the allergies experienced by wine drinkers. This chemical also gives off similar histamine reactions to seasonal allergies
  • High levels of tannins from the oak and wooden barrels – tannins are the natural astringent found in plants that are there to repel insects and grazing animals. Although natural, tannins do have strong chemical properties that affect those people who suffer from allergies.
  • The corks used to seal bottles of wine have been found to have absorbed chlorine-based pesticides (DDT, chlordane, and heptachlor). Although corks are traditional, it really is better health-wise that wines are bottled with screw tops – these offer a perfect seal and mean less sulphites added to your wine
  • Cane sugar – do we really need any more of this drug?
  • Also note: grapes are not washed before being made into wine – this means all the chemicals sprayed on the vines and on the soil also end up in your glass!

Why vintage/organic/biodynamic/natural wines are best:

  • No fast-activating yeast allowed! What allows the grapes to ferment is the naturally occurring yeast in the skin of the grape – this process takes much longer but means the quality of the wine is far richer. Your gut won’t be upset nor your immune system compromised.
  • The use of synthetic fungicides, herbicides and fertilisers is prohibited – this means we are less likely to suffer such horrendous hangovers, or even be hungover at all(!). Instead of using these man-made fertilisers the grower prefers to cultivate a healthy vine that is capable of defending itself naturally from anything that might harm it
  • The taste of the wine is authentic year after year as the timing of planting, fertilising and harvesting are governed not only by mother nature, but also by the lunar and cosmic cycles.
  • Biodiversity and producing wine this way means the land is respected. Allowing the population of worms and bacteria to build up in the ground promotes healthy soil and improves mineral absorption to the grapevine. This of course also improves the quality and taste of the wine.
  • The growers and viticulturists keep the art and passion of traditional wine making techniques alive
  • Interested? Learn more here

I hope this has cleared up any confusion you may have over the production of wine, and just why it’s important to spend a little bit more on quality – for your health, the environment and to support the creative passionate grower.