BRIDGING YOUR PRESENT STATE WITH YOUR DESIRED STATE

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The Tasha Be movement practise is my primary tool for helping myself and my clients better organise our physical bodies in order to find balance and clarity within every aspect of our lives. When you’re working physically on your body there is no way you are not also affecting other aspects of your life. For example gaining strength through your pelvis and legs will invariably have you feeling more grounded and self assured, which may then gift you the courage to make big decisions such as changing jobs, leaving a relationship, or signing up to study something you’re passionate about but have never given attention to.

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Recipe: VEGETABLE FRITTATA (grain & gluten free, paleo)

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This is one of my staple meals and is super versatile – great for dinner, and equally good as leftovers for breakfast or lunch. Despite being quick and easy, it is a nutritious, filling and fully balanced meal. Packed with nutrient dense, antioxidant vegetables, connective-tissue-strengthening protein and brain feeding fats (eggs and coconut oil), this dish will sustain you throughout the day without any energy slumps.

As always, I urge you to choose organic or free range eggs, not only for a healthier omega balance for you, but to also support independent farmers and the positive treatment of the animals and environment.

Ingredients

  • 6 large eggs or 8 small eggs
  • 1 TBSP coconut oil / butter / ghee
  • 1 courgette
  • 1/2 small head of brocolli
  • 1/2 red pepper
  • 4 mushrooms
  • 2 spring onions
  • good quality salt

Directions

  • Pre-heat the oven to 160 deg
  • Slice all the vegetables into small chunks.
  • Heat the coconut oil in a pan and stir-fry the vegetables and salt on a medium heat for 5 minutes (occasionally stirring)
  • In a bowl break the eggs then mix in the fried veg.
  • Pour the mixture into an oven safe dish and bake for 15-20 mins on 160 deg.
  • Done!

Variations

  • Cheesy top – remove the frittata from the oven a few minutes early and cover with your favourite grated cheese before returning to the oven. For a crispy top turn the oven to grill for the last few minutes.
  • Sprinkle toasted seeds on top once it’s out of the oven
  • Serve with a simple salad of fresh rocket, dressed with lemon juice and olive oil
  • Serve with butternut squash fries

WHAT TO DO IF YOU GET GLUTEN-ED

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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.

 

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BEAT HAY FEVER & ALLERGIES


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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.

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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.

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‘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

ROAST SALMON & VEG (grain, gluten & dairy free, paleo)

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This is one of my weekly go-to meals because it is so delicious, simple and quick. It is low in starches and carbs (sugars), so is great if you’re wanting to cleanse and energise your system without starving yourself or turning to short-lived things like juice fasts (which only serve to slow your metabolism and upset your sugar and insulin levels over time). Remember the best way to “detox” is to eat clean, fresh food with a high ratio of low-sugar vegetables, good quality protein, clean fats and plenty of medicinal fresh herbs.

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Ingredients (serves 2)

  • 2 pieces of wild, or responsibly farmed organic salmon
  • 2 courgettes
  • 10 button mushrooms (or 5 medium sized mushrooms sliced in to halves)
  • 1 small head of broccoli
  • 2 spring onions
  • 1 thumb of ginger
  • Juice of ½ a lemon, or a few teaspoons of apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil or butter
  • 1 tsp of good quality salt – Himalayan, rock or sea

Optional:

  • 4 handfuls fresh seasonal greens (spinach, kale, chard etc)
  • 1 bunch of fresh coriander
  • Coconut liquid aminos or organic gluten-free soya sauce

Preparation

  • Pre-heat the oven 180°C on bake and grill
  • Slice the courgettes in half length ways, then into rounds about 1cm thick
  • Slice the broccoli into medium sliced florets, and cut up the stalk into half rounds (don’t discard the stalk – it’s delicious!)
  • Finely slice the spring onions and ginger
  • Roughly cut up the fresh greens and/or coriander

Directions

  • Put the courgettes, broccoli and mushrooms in a bowl and massage the coconut oil into them then spread them onto a baking tray
  • Place the salmon in the middle of the tray with the skin side up. Place the spring onion and ginger over and around the salmon
  • Sprinkle salt over everything on the tray
  • Place in the oven and cook for 20-25 minutes
  • Five minutes before the salmon and veg are done take them out of the oven and sprinkle with coriander, and pour the lemon juice and soya sauce over the salmon before returning the tray to the oven. At this time also put the seasonal veg on to steam or gently boil
  •  In five minutes check the salmon is cooked through and if so, serve up and enjoy 🙂

CLEAN UP YOUR HOUSEHOLD PRODUCTS

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Anything that makes contact with our skin ends up inside our body, and everything that goes into our body has to be processed and expelled.

Manmade chemicals are foreign to the human body and thus require huge amounts of energy to deal with. Because our immune system is expending energy getting rid of these chemicals to protect our vital organs, it has less time to do its other daily chores such as fighting bugs, viruses, allergens, and clearing out old cellular debris. It is therefore no coincidence that cases of allergies linked to food, animals, dust, plants, and grasses are on the increase.

As I have written before, a weakened immune system switches on any genetic weaknesses you may have. On a personal level, my weakened immune system upset my hormonal balance causing digestive pain, anxiety, skin issues and PCOS. “Cleaning up” the household and beauty products I use has played an integral role in healing all the issues mentioned above.

Can you pronounce all the ingredients of your toothpaste? Hand soap? Shampoo? Deodorant? If you can’t, throw it out! It’s hideous for your health and terrible for our environment. Chemical exposure causes huge amounts of disruption to your body, stress levels, sleep patterns and general health. People can experience anything from low energy levels, eczema and asthma to hormonal imbalances, weight issues and mood disorders. Children are particularly at risk, so please choose wisely for them.

As always we need to think holistically – so food, movement and mindfulness practises are massively important in bringing better health. For tips on how to better these areas of your life read here and here.

Here are three places to start “cleaning up”:

TOOTHPASTE

Home-made options

  • Coconut oil
  • Baking soda
  • A mix of coconut oil, baking soda and peppermint essential oil (google search exact measurements)

Store bought options

  • Look for natural and/or organic brands that are free from sodium laurel sulfate (SLS), fluoride, sorbitol, parabens, methylisothiazolinone, methylchloroisothiazolinone, phthalates, artificial sweeteners, petrochemicals and colourants (and free from any other ingredients you can’t pronounce)
  • Look for the ‘cruelty-free’ or ‘not tested on animals’ certification
  • I like Green People and Toms

DEODORANT

This one is super important. We are supposed to sweat – it is one of the major ways we get rid of our toxins. Antiperspirant deodorant contains a mix of chemicals to stop you from sweating, meaning that those toxins have nowhere to go but back into your body. For women this is most often stored in the fatty breast tissue. Antiperspirant deodorant is linked to breast cancer – PLEASE stop using it!

Home-made options

  • A mix of coconut oil, baking soda, arrowroot powder or organic corn starch powder and your choice of essential oils (google search exact measurements)

Store bought options

  • Look for natural and/or organic brands that are free from aluminum, zinc salts, propylene glycol, butylene glycol, parabens, phthalates, fragrances, triclosan, talc, steareth-n, silica, silicones and dyes (and free from any other ingredients you can’t pronounce)
  • Look for the ‘cruelty-free’ or ‘not tested on animals’ certification
  • I like Aubrey Organics

SOAP

Home-made options

  • A mix of coconut oil, olive oil, lye and your choice of essential oils  (google search exact measurements)

Store bought options

  • Look for natural and/or organic brands that are free from ammonia, chlorine, glycol solvents, parabens, phthalates, formaldehyde, artificial colorants, phosphates or petroleum distillates (and free from any other ingredients you can’t pronounce)
  • Look for the ‘cruelty-free’ or ‘not tested on animals’ certification
  • I like Dr Bronners and Oliva

Once you’ve cleaned up these three then move on to your shampoo and conditioner, body moisturiser and perfume. After that you can look into your face creams, sunscreens and all your household cleaning products.

Making these choices will not only have you feeling better, but they will also be helping to better care and support the people sourcing, manufacturing and selling these items…and don’t forget about the positive impact they will also have on the environment and animal welfare. Good choices!

DRESS AND FLAVOUR UP YOUR GREENS (gluten, grain & dairy free)

IMG_2958I am a massive advocate of making your diet primarily plant-based – by which I mean loads of vegetables not loads of grains. Often times, eating good quality animal products and fats are necessary as a way to help heal and rebuild your system, but once healed a diet heavy on veges is hugely health enhancing. To learn more about how to heal and seal your gut (and therefore your immune system and ability to switch off genetic weaknesses) go to Dr Natasha Campbell McBride’s work with the GAPS diet.

Below are my really simple recipes for sauces, dips and dressings that enhance any vegetable dish.  For those of you who struggle to digest raw vegetables, stick with the lightly cooked vegetable options, these require far less digestive energy, and contrary to popular belief are still nutrient-dense.

 

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TOASTED NUTS AND SEEDS

Ingredients:

  • One cup of sunflower seeds / pumpkin seeds / almonds (or a mixture of all three)
  • Pinch of good quality salt

 

 

 

Directions:

Throw the seeds into a pan with some good quality salt and toast on a low heat until all the seeds are browned to your liking – stir every minute to toast evenly.

I sprinkle these seeds over salads, stir-fry vegetables and grilled salmon. The sweet variation below is delicious with full-fat yoghurt or coconut yoghurt, or simply sprinkled over a mashed banana!

Variations:

  • Crispy – add up to one tablespoon of health enhancing coconut oil to the pan and mix in the nuts and seeds then toast
  • Japanese style – after toasting, pour some tamari or coconut liquid aminos (soya and grain free) over the toasted seeds
  • Sweet – after toasting mix in up to 1 tbsp of raw honey / maple syrup / rice malt syrup (and for an energy booster also add in 1/2 tbsp raw cacao powder)
  • If you’re intolerant to nuts try toasting desiccated coconut – it’s delicious!

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SALAD DRESSING / STIR-FRY SAUCE

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp almond butter
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil or olive oil
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar or fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp of tamari or coconut liquid aminos (optional)
    • Pinch of good quality salt

 

Directions:

Depending on the temperature in your kitchen you may or may not need to melt down the almond butter and coconut oil before adding in the other ingredients and mixing very well.

Pour the mix over your salad leaves or prepared raw stir-fry vegetables then massage the mixture well into the salad or vegetables with your hands. Remember not use olive oil under high heats, so if stir-frying pour the olive oil over after the veges are cooked.

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IMG_1159SALAD DRESSING / DIP

Ingredients:

  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 1/2 TBSP olive oil
  • 2 tsp of apple cider vinegar or fresh lemon
  • Handful of finely chopped coriander
  • Pinch of good quality salt

 

 

Directions:

Mash the avocado and mix in the rest of the ingredients – stir very well – if you have a hand blender then throw all of the ingredients in and blend until smooth.

Either pour the mix into a bowl and use as a dip with vegetable batons OR massage the mix into your favourite salad leaves or grated courgette/courgetti (as shown in the photo). Again, use your hands to properly massage the dressing in so it hits every leaf!

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Enjoy eating your greens and nourishing your body with the foods it most loves!

UNRAVELLING THE LAYERS

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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.

THE IMPORTANCE OF CHOOSING NATURAL CANDLES

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Choosing the right type of candle is yet another way to help clean up in your home, your health and the environment. Candles can be a huge source of indoor pollution and thus another totally unnecessary toxic product around the average home.

WHAT’S WRONG?:

Most candles are made from paraffin wax (a white or colorless soft solid derivable from petroleum, coal or oil shale). When heated, this wax creates carcinogens (benzene and toluene) similar to those fumes that diesel cars emit. Wicks often contain lead (America is the only country with regulations against the use of lead), and the dyes used to colour the candles can also be chemically derived, adding to the cocktail of fumes entering your home (and body).

These toxins, heavy metals and chemicals are incredibly harmful to our health and our environment. They produce toxic petrol-carbon soot, which can blacken walls, furniture and ceilings, so you can only imagine what they might do to your health – breathing issues, allergies, hormone disruption, behavioural problems, learning difficulties and numerous other health problems.

So if you don’t fancy inhaling all of this inside your home when you light your lovely scented candles, then follow these tips below:

HOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST CANDLES: 

  • Candles should be made with 100% natural ingredients (ingredients you can pronounce and recognise). Ideally their ingredients are sourced from sustainable and renewable annual crops from long-established farms. This way you know you are supporting not only the health of the planet, but also those hard working humans who are doing their best to keep things green.
  • Candles should be made from soy (GM free) or bees wax (ethically sourced) – these also have a much longer burning time than petroleum candles
  • Candles should be scented with natural essential oils – these are health enhancing and a beautiful way to cleanse and bring a lovely feel to your home. Choose lavender for calming, citrus for uplifting, rose for comfort.
  • Candles should state they are petroleum and chemical free. Wicks should be made from natural products such as cotton, paper or hemp.
  • Natural candles are more expensive but for obvious but very good reasons – natural ingredients are more expensive to source, require more attention and time due to their temperamental nature and are often produced by people paying fair wages and against testing on animals.

The Soy Candle Company is my favourite brand, they tick all the boxes and more! Their candles have divine mood enhancing scents, burn cleanly and last much longer than regular candles (you can even use the leftover scented wax as a moisturiser!). They are beautifully packaged and presented too so look gorgeous in your home or make a perfect gift!