Thoughts on the world, homeopathy, mindfulness and food...
A collection of blog posts - feel free to respond with your thoughts and comments - I love to have feedback - thank you!
It's funny how it starts so young. You hear 'They're winding me up'; 'they made me do it' and lots more. What I find even funnier though is how it carries on for so long. 'You're making me feel (insert word of choice)' isn't an uncommon phrase to hear. And yet how can 'they', 'it', 'he', 'she' or 'them' really, really honest make us feel any which way? The situation may more often lend itself to a certain way of behaving but we do have the ability to choose our response within that.
Nelson Mandela famously demonstrated this and is summed up in the simple quote “As I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew if I didn't leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I'd still be in prison.” I believe we can choose prison or freedom daily. And it makes a big difference to the joy I feel. Or don't. My choice.
Listening to Byron Katie talking in London helped to affirm this for me. She responded to one question with the example that even whilst falling, we could enjoy the momentary flight through the air, we don't know if it's going to hurt or not until we find out. So why anticipate it, tense against it and lose the ability to enjoy the moment? Why decide something is good or bad if we don't really, can't really know?
Maybe it's a very human trait, to pre-judge. I think on some levels it's vital for survival, and yet often it no longer serves us in many ways. So my challenge this week is not to pre-judge. To give myself up to not knowing until I know. To discovering. To turning to face situations with love and wonder.
I wish you a very happy week of discoveries and love, em x
New month, new challenge. This one is a 50 stomach crunches, 50 squats a day challenge for me and so far so good! I do the crunches once up and dressed usually and then race Isla to see whether I can get through 50 squats before she gets dressed... She's beating me at the moment but only just. I doubt I'll get out of doing the squats for the rest of the month now we're onto this contest.
Which put me in mind of making exercise fun. I ran and walked today with a friend - we covered 3 miles and whilst I might not have gone as fast as by myself (she's just getting started running), it was lovely, sociable and good for my soul. I cycled 10 miles later, and, this time with my dad, I learned about stopping in time for kerbs, the neurobiology of the baby's brain and how it relates to the onset of labour, and that it was even colder when travelling fast on a bike than walking.
Monday I ran 5 miles with a dog, a camera and a smile. Camera in terms of iphone. At times a much needed beat on the iPod (I don't want to make out I'm any kind of sporting miracle - I needed the music to spur me on).
I don't think it matters how or what you do - just get out there and start somewhere. Whether it be walking a friend's dog, heading into town on foot instead of the bus, digging out an old bicycle and cycling round the block or whatever does it for you.
Smile, sweat a bit and enjoy!
I've written this blog several times, or at least started it, in my head and I'm struggling to get beyond 'No shit, Sherlock' to be honest. Unless you're going to blend up a load of lettuce, the chances are that you're going to have way more calories in your fruity green smoothie than in a coca cola.
A can of 'full fat' coke contains 140 calories according to Cron-o-meter. But not much in there that's going to be a benefit to your body. And possibly, if the information around using it to clean your toilet is correct, it may actively harm your body, stripping it of vital nutrients.
So what do you want out of your green smoothie? Me, I want a meal replacement for when I don't fancy chewing through a pile of fruit, for when I'm out at work, driving to appointments or the like. I don't want an additional 650 calorie drink during my day, extra to my meals. And if you want it as an additional drink then just make it smaller.
Today I ran 3.5 miles, cycled 9.5 miles then got back and had my green smoothie for my lunch. It was delicious, and I felt it wasn't inappropriately filled with chemicals. It was purely mango, 2 blood oranges, 2 large handfuls of spinach and 3 large bananas. Breakfast had been a beautifully hydrating piel de caso melon that I lustfully eyed up and got on our midnight shopping trip last night.
I guess what I'm saying is yes, more calories. Definitely. But more goodness? Infinitely.
Go forth, drink green, move your body and be happy.
With love x
And if you want tips, guidance, ideas, inspiration then feel free to come along and join the Green Smoothie/Juice A Day facebook group. It's a group of lovely women - (so far no men - please feel free to be the first!), sharing their love for green juices and smoothies.
It seems strange to think it's been a year. Seems like I've eaten this way for a long time, and other times feels like I'm still very much at the beginning of the journey. I think perhaps we always are at the beginning of the journey. It's just a step at a time, and what went before is gone, what's to come is so far away it's only ever about this step.
I've been reflecting a little recently on the year and my experiences and thought I'd share a few...
I love eating raw. I love the way I feel when I totally engage in it and don't nick the odd leftovers off Isla's plate. I can feel totally hungover if I have salty things or too much cooked food.
I totally absolutely love eating whole food plant based and completely feel right doing that.
I really don't like the term vegan. I don't think it describes much, I think it's so broad but narrowing at the same time and I think it has lots of attachment to it for lots of people. I eat whole food, plant based raw foods that enrich and support my body and mind.
It's all just a big experiment. One day I might listen to my body and feel totally great, another I might listen to my ego based mind that tells me I 'need' this or that - I might feel great or not the next day. It's OK. It's all just a big learning curve. Life.
It's just food. There's so much more to life than food. I think if food isn't doing you good then life can be hard but clean up the food and get out there enjoying life. I don't need to talk about it all the time. I am happy to, and to be honest can't talk about Eastenders or other soaps but there's lots more than just where the protein does or doesn't come from. That said, I am happy to engage and discuss it all on an intelligent level. I am totally disinterested in arguments that go along the lines of 'but animals like to be killed and eaten'. Tolerance has run a little low just there!
I love it - have I said that? I love I've explored new foods, that I actually love being in the kitchen, creating new dishes, sharing recipes and writing my raw food book.
I don't need people to agree with me to feel good. Which is probably a good job as I don't know many people who care to eat this way (but so appreciate my lovely friends who are happy to try things, taste stuff and play out raw from time to time). I have some opinions that some people disagree with. This isn't about me, it's their stuff - they can think their stuff and I can think mine. And that's perfect. Whether that be around vaccination, co-sleeping, food, work, whatever - it's all good.
I love life and feel more connected to life, the universe around me and the magic that's out there all the time.
I think that's enough for now. I'm sure I've learnt much much more but now it's time to go play on the guitar.
With thanks and so much love for reading, commenting, liking and sharing my blog posts, recipes and website information,
I thought I'd share a couple of things as I'd mentioned I would be water fasting. For 3 days. So... about that! More like 36 hours. Which was, in itself, an insightful and valuable 36hours. And, boy was I glad to see that watermelon for my break-fast!
Mostly I learnt how often I absentmindedly eat, tasting a bit of this, grabbing a bit of that, how much I eat on the go and don't appreciate my food fully. It was an interesting experiment, one that I'll repeat sometime and maybe for a little longer but for now will share my thoughts here as a result of it, and around weight loss in general.
I've for a long time intended to stop and eat but realise how often I can get swept up in the things going on around me - making school lunches, dinners, washing up, study to do.... But now I aim to sit, give thanks and cherish the meal in front of me. Appreciating the food instead of distractedly reading, watching or planning. I want to think about what foods will nourish my body - and fully enjoy them. When I started my vegan lifestyle the biggest realisation that drove me was that if I'd been told I had compromised health I would want to eat better. Why wait til then? That would be crazy!! I know we are our own best nutritionalists, we know what we're doing. If we can just listen to ourselves.
I knew that I wouldn't want to be taking shakes, supplements or concocted manufactured powders or drinks. I'd want to know what I was eating and why. And so I began. My journey has taken me far and is still continuing to drag me into awareness as I study hard, watch, learn, comprehend on a daily basis. What I would want then I decided, as I know still now to be true, was minimally processed, whole foods which were kind to my body (and I realised that that equates to being kind to nature too - killing them to assist in killing me seemed totally illogical).
Animal based products, as do fats and oils, tend to enable and assist rapid growth of our bodies, so for anyone wishing to lose weight then dropping the milks, dairy products, meats (which includes fish - it's still muscle of another animal) and losing the oils should often see the pounds fall away too. Upping the greens, getting hold of some great cookbooks (I particularly recommend The China Study Cookbook and also a read of The China Study (which is not half as dry as it sounds) to fully understand the whys
Exercise too is an essential part of the equation - to do what you can whatever that may be. There's so much available that's free to us - walk, run, ride, swim, dance (even if it's just around the kitchen) and love your body. It's good to you so be good to it.
Having had a lovely morning so far and time to reflect on the start of a new year approaching I thought I'd put a few notes down here of my mental wanderings. Probably the biggest thing that comes to mind is all the New Year Resolution that get made. Each year people decide on new things that they're going to change - to eat better, to stop drinking, be more, do more. And each year it seems that within the first month many of those great intentions have fallen by the wayside.
Instead of radically changing ourselves, or at least intending to, how about growing to be ourselves more, accepting ourselves, getting to know ourselves even, and allowing that person to be and flourish. Judging ourselves harshly never allows us to be ourselves to our full capacity and yet how many of us do that? I know I've been in places where I've beaten myself up over things that have happened in the past - choices I may have made or not made. And ultimately, where is the value in that? Enough can happen around you to drag you down, we don't need to be doing that to ourselves. Homeopathy and mindfulness can both be invaluable in this process of letting go of the 'baggage' we don't need to take onwards with us.
Speaking of letting go, that's one of my intentions for the new year - to free myself more from the clutter of things I just really don't use or need. On both a mental and physical level. From frying pans to clothes I've not worn for years but are still there 'just in case' (except for the nice dresses - you never know when there might just be a ball you need to attend!) We've already started, with books first, clearing out clothes and I'm trying with a one in, one out policy. And mentally, continuing with my 'morning mind dump' is another great practice to start the day on a lighter note.
I do have aims for the new year so I'm not suggesting we do nothing, but maybe take time to think about the things we'd really like and make a plan instead of setting vague and nebulous goals. Learning guitar is high on my list, as is continuing to learn more around Natural Hygiene (the science of living according to our biological heritage), as well as studying and learning around whole food, plant based living and mindfulness. I've my big triathlon coming up, some amazing speakers I want to travel to see - and we're also off to WOMAD again. And I plan to do my first half marathon. All things that fit in with where I'm at at this point in my life - and that make sense to me. But if I do fancy having a go at burlesque for example - I'll make sure I get out there and try it.
Do try different things, have a laugh - don't do everything because it makes sense as sometimes the best things make no sense at all. Jump in with both feet and don't look back. We really have no idea how long we're here for and can sit on the sidelines waiting for a sign, waiting to start. Do it. Now!
So I guess I'm advocating reflection, thought and seeing where you want to be, how you want to be and moving towards that. Not thinking too much and getting trapped in a worry about doing it right, but a learning to accept and love yourself. Go do fun things for no reason, go jump in a river (with adequate preparation, people around you and an ability to swim of course), love, laugh and live for the moment and life to the full. We may come back (and I accept we all have different beliefs on this one), we may not, but it's unlikely we'll be here in this moment, in this body ever again. So let go of the self limiting beliefs, love it and be you. Because you can do that better than anyone else out there.
'History will surely judge us harshly if we do not respond with all the energy and resources that we can bring to bear in the fight against HIV/AIDS' Nelson Mandela
Not sure what it is at the moment but I'm incredibly conscious of what we can do as humans, people and empathetic beings. And it is so, so much. Really. I was sat knitting today whilst watching the nativity (my dad always laughs at me and says it reminds him of the women at hangings stood about knitting - he's a joyful soul!) and realised the enormity of it all. I'm creating a jumper for a friend which has a front, a back, two sleeves and a hood. As indeed many jumpers do. However being that I'm knitting this one it grows just one stitch at a time. There will be thousands already done and with just 17cm still to knit I reckon I've got approximately 2600 stitches to go. It would be easy to think I needed to do millions of stitches to create this garment and decide it was too much, and yet it's easy to do it too. Just one stitch at a time and now I'm so nearly there.
And so with AIDS - although I sit here wishing it were quite as simple as my jumper example. However it would be easy to be overwhelmed and decide that there was too much to do so do nothing. And yet people see there is far too much to do and still do something. A friend from my Dynamis course, Sandy, is out in Tanzania as I type, Jeremy and Camilla Sherr set up and run Homeopathy for Health in Africa - with an absolute awareness of the enormity of the task, and yet still do their stitch at a time, patient after patient, gradually helping more and more people. Other friends have visited the project, other friends regularly support the project. A little at a time, a stitch at a time, a patient at a time. We can help. We can start to create change. Even, and especially perhaps, if the task is enormous.
Thank you for reading,
1st December. World AIDS Day since 1991 when a group of 12 individuals brainstormed and came up with a simple idea. The red ribbon bow - a symbol of passion, a heart and love. 12 artists. One huge movement.
I was thinking this morning about how many of us can feel too small to do anything worthwhile. And so we do nothing. But how about the flip side - do something even though it may amount to nothing? How about giving the big issue seller a spare £1 even if you haven't time to read the magazine? Or 'dropping' a couple of 20ps on a street to be discovered by excited children. A kind word to someone you've never met before? My daughter has complimented a train conductor on his tie and it was lovely to watch his face light up. A tiny act that can do so much.
So today being World AIDS Day I'd love to suggest, well I'm going to suggest, that you help out a small but powerful organisation, working with tiny doses of life changing medicine. Life saving, life changing, status altering medication. I was so heartened to read the following from co-founder of Homeopathy for Health in Africa just recently:
'Aids prostitute for 15 years and a patient of ours since 2010, she just phoned me with the news that she has gone negative!! My weekend is fixed. And probably next week too — feeling wonderful.'
Working against huge disadvantages, Jeremy and Camilla Sherr and their team of volunteers in Tanzania are doing phenomenal work. We as homeopaths, I believe, have a duty to get behind them and support it. The boundaries of possibilities are being tested and pushed back and a new day is dawning. Donations can be one offs, monthly direct debits, gifts are available to purchase for elements of the project, our fabulous 2014 calendar is available to brighten up your months with some gorgeous calendar girls (and guys). Even if you just sponsor us £1 right now for our Santa Fun Run we're about to head out and do (you can do this by texting RYJQ35 £2/£5/£10 or other required amount to 70070 or online here) then we'd love it. It's so easy to make a little difference. Or not to.
With love and gratitude,
So worth doing - get out there and do something different. Go for a dawn run, hell stay up and have a dawn run before you go to bed. Enjoy. Appreciate. Love. Find joy in the little things.
So tempting to stay in bed this morning all snuggled up and cosy. But I got off my ass and went for a run. Which I'm going to have to do a bit more of too if I'm off half marathoning. I'm opting for Blackpool half marathon (it's supposed to be flat - and being in April gives me training time) - my friend who has inspired me to get on and do one is doing the Romeo and Juliet half marathon in Verona, Italy. If you'd like to sponsor her (I'm not fundraising for this one - although I am for the Santa Fun Run next week and my Olympic distance Tri later in the year) then please do so here.
Thanks for watching. What're you waiting for? Get off your ass and find out how beautiful it is. Your ass and the gorgeous world we live in.
Isla and I have decided that we're going to do the Skipton Santa Fun Run as a fundraising event for Homeopathy for Health in Africa. The date, co-incidentally, of the fun run is that of World AIDS Day and the Tanzanian NGO does most of it's work with people who have HIV and AIDS. So it felt to make sense to us.
I would love to raise £500 - Isla, who is sometimes a little more ambitious than me - would love to raise more than this. She's gone to sleep tonight full of fundraising ideas to help us to get more. We're apparently off around her school selling wristbands (we do have children's wristbands here so if you'd like one in return for your sponsorship please just let me know).
I would love it if you could sponsor us - even just a little makes a difference (I know it's over said but it's so true)...
Thanks so much,
I'm a Homeopath working in the Skipton (North Yorkshire) area. I am also able to offer food intolerance testing using Kinesiology and advice around diet and lifestyle.
Em Colley MARH, Practitioner of Classical Homeopathy
BSc(Hons) Psychology and Neuroscience
Laughter Yoga Leader
Focussed Mindfulness Practitioner
Dip (SNHS) Kinesiology
Dip (SNHS) Holistic Nutrition
Certificate in Whole Food, Plant Based Nutrition