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!
September kick starts our 30 day juicing challenge. To add in one juice a day (or more if you like) for a day for a month. It really is that easy.
And if you haven't got a juicer (ask around - lots of people have one then store it in the back of a cupboard somewhere, check out second hand pages - or maybe treat yourself) you could always try out green smoothies for a month.
I've some recipes on my site (Nutrition/Recipes/Juices) and there's loads about now online and in books but what I love people to do is gain their confidence in making their own. Start simple - 2 or 3 ingredients and maybe add in a few once you've worked out what you like. We're all different too - what I like may not be what you like. I stopped at a street juicer the other day and asked for my favourite juice (of the moment, at that time... I'm now craving green juices!) - carrot, beetroot and orange. He suggested swapping the carrot for apple as thought it'd be too sharp. Both done loads of juicing, both like different things. Obviously. So don't take my word for any of it, play, adapt and discover for yourself.
And come join us in September for a juicy month :) Join the facebook page if you want to take part here.
Love and sunshine,
Two juicers. Half a kilo of carrots. One woman. One amazing camera assistant. What would the verdict be?
So... dropping the Hollywood voice over, and getting back to Fruity HQ realities :)
Btw did anyone else used to do the Hollywood voice over with the credits of films...? We used to love it. OK, really moving on this time.
I'd decided after my juicer broke to treat myself to a new machine and as I'm helping out a client at the moment thought I'd look to avoid aluminium, get the maximum out of the juice and have a less oxidised, slower juiced version.
All credit to the Philips to be fair - it's not been a bad machine to have - it's been a real workhorse, many times making 4-6 juices a day and used plentifully over the last 4-5 years. It's reasonably priced, now a fair bit more than back when we got ours but I guess people have jumped onto the fact juicing is popular now. It does use an aluminium mesh which I'd not thought about til recently when a friend questioned me on it. And does oxidise the juice more as is a much faster process, working as a centrifugal juicer, which means ideally you should drink it sooner as it's already exposed to the air and losing nutrients faster.
After a LOT of deliberation, and very nearly purchasing a Hurom masticating juicer, I (with the Hurom in the shopping cart online) I went off to look at the Kuvings Whole Fruit Juicer. Attracted as I was mainly to the size of the chute. It's important to me! I'm currently making 5 juices a day and make them in my 7-8.30am breakfast stretch whilst I'm getting up and ready for the day, making (vegan of course) pancakes or porridge for Isla, smoothies for another client, lunch for my daughter, breakfast for me and my lunch if I'm to be away from home that day. Chopping a load of veg to get into the juicer is something I can really happily live without on a morning. So after reading reviews, asking around, I plumped for the Kuvings. And I'm so happy that I did!
The subtle differences are big for me too. It's easier to take apart. Not totally sure if it's easier to clean (should have done a timed take apart and clean. Next time...) but it's definately not harder. It's smaller, or at least feels it although may just be the different shape. It's quieter. There is a handy tap on the chute. So if you're occasionally dopey like yours truly, there's a cut off tap for you!
The juice on the left is the Philips - the centrifugal juicer and the right is the shiny new Kuvings. The jugs are different sizes so it's not about the yield here but you can see the separation of juice and the froth due to the faster process.
The yield for the Kuvings is advertised as being up to 35% more than a centrifugal juicer. I'm not sure it's that much but it was more. This was pure carrots in my juice here. I have a feeling that softer fruits you may get even more too - the pulp is much drier than the pulp I used to get from the Philips.
A friend was around for dinner and was a great taster. She felt the Philips juice (on the left) was somehow creamier - maybe as a result of the froth on the top. The Kuvings she thought tasted fresher and liked the Kuvings one more. It's pulp-ier and for me this makes quite a refreshing juice. It's somehow more filling and there's something to chew on instead of being really easy to just swallow it down. And if you want less pulp then you just need to sieve.
On the whole - I think buy what you can best afford. If you've never juiced before, are the type of person who gathers gadgets then the gadgets gather dust then I'd probably not run out for a masticating juicer just yet. If you love your juicing and are looking to upgrade then I think the Kuvings is a great machine.
then give me a shout, come along tomorrow to my Valentine's Raw Chocolate Workshop at Studio Pilates in Ilkley. It's running from 11am - 1pm and is only £20 per person.
We'll be making strawberries dipped in chocolate, raw chocolate hearts and some yummy goji and chocolate treats. And there'll be some to try and also enough to take some home for your loved one. Whether that be to treat yourself, your girl, your man (just don't give them to the dog!)...
Speaking of which I'm off to make some samples now!
Sending love to everyone,
I've not shared a case before on my blog and thought that this was a lovely one to illustrate the beauty and grace of a remedy that worked well for a client. Details are shared with full permission of the client.
Client first sought treatment for heartburn in November 2013 and requested I do food intolerance testing using kinesiology. It didn’t matter what she did, if she ate or didn’t eat, it was there all the time. There was no regular pattern to it although some foods do seem to exacerbate the problem – alcohol, spices, tomatoes, chocolate and cake aggravate. Mint doesn’t help. She drinks a freshly made juice every morning and always eats melon or fruit before instead of after a meal if she’s eating them. Generally sticks to alkaline foods. Has the occasional dairy in cheese and quite a few eggs.
She tried taking Nux Vom from a first aid kit for a while but didn’t ease.
Food testing using kinesiology showed some sensitivity to: corn flour, buckwheat, millet, cashew, sunflower seeds, green lentils, chickpeas, green pepper, chilli, cocoa, pineapple, cod, prawns and house dust.
Client returned in December 2013 having cut out all the foods we’d mentioned and did feel better for it, but still found the heartburn comes and goes. Mostly though now what’s left is a burning, acidic taste in the back of her throat. Stomach feels a bit not normal – upside down – sometimes feel could be quite sick, quite nauseous really.
The acid reflux is felt in the back of throat, less of a sensation in chest than previously. Seems to settle and then for no reason start up again – no pattern at all.
At this point I suggested we look further at it from a homeopathic approach – some improvement is good but I felt there was more room for greater health here.
When it all started I was having to sort out selling mum’s house. I find it very difficult to go and see my mum – I go two to three weekly, my sister goes more often. I find it hard to deal with seeing how she is (mum has dementia and is now in a nursing home).
Before then I was a lot better – mum was living at home although that was a stressful period of life. I was up and down the road 2-3 times a day – desperate phone calls from her. Now she’s in the home she’s not mum anymore. That’s the only stress I’ve got.
Mum had dementia but they wouldn’t give the diagnosis then my husband went bankrupt at a similar time. It probably all goes back to then. Maybe coming now as can deal with it all.
I had IBS many years ago after having the children and had to be careful what I ate to sort it out. Every now and again stomach went. Stomach would ‘flip’, a sickly feeling, and feeling at the back of my throat. Probably no worse than others but is frustrating and I want to be well.
I think everyone thinks I’m a bit quirky, bit eccentric, veggie. Probably quite selfish, look after number one. Care about family, very family orientated, I adore my grandchildren, all 3 of them.
What would husband complain about? That I’m argumentative, always right. I’m very much an outdoor person, get claustrophobic if inside. Like outdoor spaces. If I travel it’s always to the sea, the Scorpio in me – I need to be by the sea. Some place where I can walk the dogs.
What’s the Scorpio like for you? Determined – if somebody does something to me will forgive but always remember. Don’t like falling out. Have a temper although I’ve calmed as got older. I do play things close to my chest – probably don’t talk about things as much as I should. I couldn’t go to see a counsellor and pour my heart out. If I cry I like to be on my own – if ill I like to be alone, don’t like people fussing around me.
Fears? Ending up with Alzheimer’s at mo. If memory taken away. Fear old age and ending up like mum.
Had tinnitus for donkey’s years – in 70s saw Status Quo and was right at the front. Couldn’t hear! Seen too many bands. Ears get clogged up with wax too.
I enjoy life – what I have I spend. Lost 3 friends this year, it makes you think. Nursing was all I ever wanted to do – now I won’t go near hospital and doctors. If I had to I would but don’t unless need to.
I have the usual aches and pains – back pain between shoulders, right shoulder a knot in at the back too. Massage and Bowen therapy helps. My throat is better for eating and cold water and worse for hot water. I sometimes get a cough for no reason at all – a tickle in the back of my throat and once start I can’t stop.
Warm person – occasional hot flushes from time to time. Quite happy in own company – not like to be completely on own. Enjoy own space as book club and friends, quite happy on own too. Very rarely sit and do nothing, usually find something to do. Food preferences – eat loads of fruit, snack on nuts. Did like chocolate although not had since here last.
Rx Nat Mur 200C split dose. This remedy was prescribed for the individual client based on both her symptoms and other descriptions as told within the case.
Follow up 9th January 2014
Well it’s been brilliant! I knew homeopathy worked but even I’ve been quite taken aback. Over Christmas I’ve been appalling with food and it’s been fine, although wine and ginger have set it off. Excess fruit does seem to start it off at times.
I knew it would work. It really has, been away with friends and although pretty careful but couldn’t believe how good it was – even the odd glass of wine was absolutely fine. Nothing like I’d had previously. It was about 10 days after taking the remedy it started to ease off.
My cough settled as well. I haven’t felt as well as this for ages. Even had a piece of Christmas cake last night that went down fine. My aches – I’ve been walking every single day up into the fells and been absolutely fine.
One occasional it couldn’t seem to clear up – I took some Nat Mur 30 and it settled. Dreams – had quite a few vivid ones but can’t remember just now. And the tinnitus although still there it’s not quite as bad as before and I’ve lived with it for years.
Rx no remedy prescribed - return if needed.
I contacted the client to see if I could write up the case to share and she told me things are still great – if she has junk food it occasionally sets things off but generally all is well and she’s feeling good.
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.
Which was a rather sweepingly bold (or so I thought) statement I overhead recently. Not surprisingly coming from someone who works for a company that appears to make a lot of their income from selling supplements. Having had a year where the majority of my food intake has been fruits, veggies, nuts and seeds I would have to say that maybe this isn't quite true. Yes, food quality may have decreased somewhat since the 1950s which did seem to be a large part of his argument, but no, for me, so far so good and whilst I do supplement with Vitamin B12 and Vitamin D, this wasn't quite what he was referring to. But the good thing was that you could get yourself a shake that had everything you needed to kick start your day and get your system raring to go. And they even came in chocolate, strawberry, toffee apple or coffee flavours. Mmmmm. I think I'll stick to my fruity breakfast. That tastes like fruit for the simplest reason there is. Yup. It is fruit. What a revelation.
I also heard a lot about protein and how our body requires lots of protein to function properly. The main problem (aside obviously from the absolute lack of nutrients and need to substitute them with a chocolate flavoured mix of dehydrated, extracted vitamins and minerals in a non optimised format (I say that as struggle to believe that we can beat nature at her own game - where is the natural fibre in it please for starters?)) is that none of us have enough protein. I'm aware this may be a contentious issue but even the World Health Organisation suggests that we require approximately 5% of our calorific intake to be from protein. Not a fact that the protein pushers would have us know. A banana has around 5% of it's calorific value which is protein. Milk, by which I mean the milk humans are designed to drink, breastmilk, has around 3% protein. This is the time we are growing the most, that we need the most protein. Fully formed, grown ups, I don't believe that we need the 30% protein that many of us ingest on a daily basis.
Studies would suggest that maybe we don't, and that in some instances an excess of protein (in particular from animal sources) may be a negative thing for us, leading us down the track of obesity, heart disease, diabetes, autoimmune illnesses and more. But back to the supplements, I think I'll take my chances, know what I'm getting (as much as you can these days!) in my actual food and leave the science fiction out of my diet for now.
With peace and acceptance that there's a million ways to do anything and nothing means my way is the 'right' one either!
PS I did want to say that should you have deficiences in a diet that I believe supplements can be great - however as a matter of course and on a daily basis my view is that we can gain the majority of what we need from a whole food plant based diet with no struggle. Sadly there is no sunshine. Yet. So we continue with the VitD through the winter...
I'm aware that really we can only ever speak for ourselves. I find the idea of eating meat now repulsive. Someone would have to pay me a lot to put something that had lived and breathed on my fork and raise it to my mouth, to chew it and swallow. It would be like being on I'm a celebrity eating some form of inedible insect. And yet, two years ago I was eating it believing that I needed it (or at least, my growing child did). So things change.
It struck me very recently that the process that an animal goes through from field to fork is simply barbaric. It's brought into the world to be sacrificed for someone who may not even appreciate that act. Who may joke about how it's really an evil mastermind, how it wants to sell drugs to your kids - really? No really?! If you're going to do it then at least respect it. But for me, I recognise that the amount of adrenaline, stress hormones and sheer energetic terror pumping through that animal as it faces it's inevitable fate - well that's something that I no longer want to be responsible for, let alone consume and allow to become part of my body.
So no surprises for my number one food that drains me! I'm staying firmly away from meat.
Fish likewise to be honest. It's experience of drowning in air, of panicking as it could no longer get what it needed to survive is again something I can live without. Aside from the radioactivity in the oceans, the mercury, the accumulation of heavy metals and the wiping out of the ocean due to farming and fishing methods. Just not all that appetising anymore!
Milk is another that once my eyes were opened - most significantly by The China Study but other texts along the way, just not all that tasty once you know the truth.
Salt is one that I'm battling my personal demons with - I love the taste of it but I know it's really not good for me and it really is all in my head. I'm fine without it - far less dehydrated, bouncier, lighter and possibly even happier!
And lastly for me - larger amounts of nuts and seeds or oils really ground me - without them I feel bouncier, lighter and more energetic.
So to the foods that boost me - I love my fruits - water rich fruits in a morning such as a melon or two. Loving my melons ;)
Greens - greens are sooooo good and I've had mornings (might have been when I realised I definitely was a crunchy mama) when I've thought 'I need the spirulina' - and felt better for it. Placebo or not. Feeling better is good for me! I love my kale especially at the moment although we also go through lots of baby leaf spinach and in summer plenty of romaine lettuce too.
Tasty raw food dishes - it doesn't have to be boring! My favourite at the moment is a coconut curry with cauliflower (and kale sometimes) 'rice' or vegetable 'noodles'. Love wraps using a romaine leaf, tomato based dishes, raw soups (mango and cucumber is my current absolute favourite).
So check out your boost and drain lists - see how you feel after certain foods and others - experiment and enjoy!
Oh and lastly, ice cream. I love love love banana ice cream made from frozen bananas and blended. Nothing more. Such a fabulous and healthy treat. Speaking of which I think I'm off for the ice cream tub. Time to go do some studying. Bath. Ice cream. Lesson notes. Perfection.
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,
Within a relatively short space of time, two posts had come to my attention highlighting the naked body. One, a beautiful collection of images of yoga poses, done completely naked, and the other, a blog offering 5 reasons to get naked everyday.
For me, the most beautiful sentence in the blog, or at least the most thought provoking was:
'When was the last time you looked at your body in all its naked glory? I mean really looked at it. No squeaming at chubby thighs or grimacing at lanky arms. Just looking at, understanding, and accepting your body in all its perfectly imperfect brilliance'
How many of us think 'I'd like my body if...' I'm definitely not immune to it, although aspire often enough to elevating myself beyond this place. Elevating may be the wrong word - total acceptance of my body in all it's perfect imperfection is, I suppose what I'd like to aim for. And I have no doubt I'll get there. It's been a lifetime's work so far, and from a place of fairly intense food restriction to gain control in an uncontrollable part of my life story nearly 20 years ago, I've come a long way.
What saddens me though is how young this judgement starts. I hear my 7 year old tell me that 'friends' have told her she's fat and ugly. She's neither, but that's not really the issue here. What are we thinking that these gorgeous beings are calling each other these names? And, more importantly, how do we strengthen their inner knowledge that they too are, imperfectly perfect. People will, at various points, or at least may, knock our confidence in ourselves, in our bodies, in our beliefs. I just wasn't aware that the training starts so young.
For me, mindfulness comes in, self confidence in ourselves, taking time to get to know our bodies, accepting and giving thanks for the beauty that is within and without. Not to be ashamed of our own bodies in front of our daughters and sons and to work on our own stuff with the hope of releasing them from a similar place. I feel lucky I grew up in a house where we could all wander around in with nothing on (not that we often did - it wasn't quite that sort of house...) but there was no judgement - and still I fell into a self loathing trap of telling myself I was fat daily so I would have the resolve to restrict my food (and probably covered up more so no one was aware of my journey at that point). Beating myself up to get results didn't lead to happiness - although I suppose it did lead to an unhealthy level of weight loss at the time. And so now I see the BBC news around obesity suggesting that they use terrorising tactics and light stigma to assist in our obesity crisis.
I don't doubt the crisis - I would call it a health crisis, an overabundance of processed food crisis, and probably a shocking lack of foresight in people who are in government handing out watered down information in the hope that people could achieve it instead of trusting our intelligence and giving real, true information crisis.
Damn I've done it again. My blog was about the beauty of the naked body and it's becoming a food rant. But hear me out, there's a point to it all. If we eat well, we feel well. If we feel good about ourselves we are inspired to eat well and look after ourselves. Making people feel bad - whether it be in the playground, in the workplace, in the consultation space or even just sat at home watching an advert doling out some 'light stigma' tactics is unlikely to lead to an enhanced sense of wellbeing and ambition to give our bodies life enhancing foods.
Let's learn to love. Ourselves, others, our bodies. Our glorious naked bodies which do so much for us and get so little thanks. Today I stood in front of a mirror and thanked mine for being what it is. Doing what it does and helping me everyday.
So let's go naked now and again. Even if that's only naked, unprocessed food to start with. Imagine funding for subsidised fruits and vegetables (or even just buying more ourselves) and a campaign on TV for juicing, upping fruits and veggies, starting every meal with a large salad, increasing the greens, learning to love greens. And ourselves. Loving us for being imperfectly perfect. Just the way we are.
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.
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