Week 20 – Gratitude Challenge – Health 

When I first started to write this blog post I felt I was probably not the best person to talk about health, with all the best intentions Delicious Ella and Eat Nourish Glow books sit in the kitchen unused for a while now. Pondering in and out of healthy eating and living I admit I am the worse. Due to my previous job I was running up and down plenty of stairs numerous times a day, certainly did not need a gym membership.

So, what is the point of this blog post during my Gratitude Challenge if I do not do anything healthy?

After just joining Neal’s Yard as a consultant, I realised that in most ways I am healthy, just not textbook healthy. When I have skin woes I am straight to Dr Stuart’s purity tea, I have a solution when I feel under the weather, focusing on repairing my immune system with either herbal remedies or vitamins. My diet is nearly adequate, enjoying eating healthy nonetheless cooking for one as Mr N is not home for dinner makes inspiration few and far between, unfortunately, I fall into that trap of pizza, crisps, sweets and chips (not together I might add). However, it is not every day and within moderation. I do focus on fruit, vegetables and fish in my diet.

Once again with you, I am sharing what I do that boosts my health in times of need, being a strong believer in self-care, it is something I do religiously, as Audrey Hepburn said ‘Happy Girls are the prettiest’ if you are happy it shows inside and out. This is also part of Neal’s Yards philosophy.

Everyday Life

I started to realise that our lives are full of chemicals a few years ago and how unhealthy it can be. I quit a large chunk of sugar out of my diet and became focused on products that did not have high quantities of sugar (however, sweets are my downfall). I learnt quickly that all the products that are labelled ‘low in fat’ or ‘lighter’ had more sugar in them than full-fat products on the market from that day onwards I did not purchase or fall into the trap of ‘lighter options’

Always maintaining that I did not want chemicals in my body I stayed away from unnecessary prescriptions but I did not realise what I am putting it into my body via beauty products such as facial washes, shampoos and perfumes being absorbed into my system. It became clearer when I joined Neal’s Yard, hearing others talking about this, it has been difficult to move away from certain things, like my perfume but my skin care routine was easier and it made a great difference, I am still working on the hair chemicals but I have happily given up dry shampoo.

Immune System – Turmeric Milk aka Indian Milk

I swear by this remedy when poorly with a cold, flu or generally under the weather. Nicknamed Indian milk in my house as it originated from India, it is easy to make and has great health benefits check them out here: http://m.huffingtonpost.in/entry/turmeric-health-benefits-curcumin_n_5978482

Ingredients:

  • Milk – I recommend soya milk or a dairy free option. When you have a cold dairy increases mucus in your system, so avoid for quicker recovery.
  • Turmeric
  • Raw Honey

Method:

  • Heat the milk in a small pan, adding the turmeric stirring until starting to boil.
  • Transfer into your favourite mug and stir in the raw Honey as desired.
  • Feet up and enjoy

I have not included any measurements as I just go with it. When I make it for myself, I use probably two teaspoons of the turmeric and one teaspoon of raw honey. When I have made it for family members I have had to add more Honey to make it sweeter but it is personal preference, make it work for you. Admittedly it does smell funky but try it, it works wonders.

Relax – How to achieve inner calm

For me it is home pampering, there is nothing quite like it. Here is my routine to achieve inner calm.

  • Light your favourite candles
  • Grab a book or iPad to watch Netflix
  • Run a warm bath with lovely essential oils – I recommend Neal’s Yard Lavender or Ylang Ylang.
  • Exfoliate your skin
  • Apply a nourishing hair mask – Neal’s Yard Nourishing mask is one I have used for years.
  • Take off your make up, cleanse thoroughly and pop on a face mask.
  • Sit back, relax and enjoy your book
  • When you get out of the bath wrap yourself in a warm towel
  • Moisturise with Beauty Sleep lotion from Neal’s Yard
  • Spitz your bed sheets with sleep mist and sleep for 10 hours – Amazing

Clearing the Mind

Now, I am not a huge expert on this as I am just learning to achieve the complete art of letting go of worry and stress, however, I have learnt a few tricks. Since leaving work to focus on my firstborn, I have been able to sit back and reflect I used to work hard, go in on my days off, stay up late planning or doing paperwork and worry myself, I was quite intense with my job, now I realise it was all too much to be that way and happy to be taking a back burner to enjoy life. I am obviously not telling you to quit your day job, but sit back and think about your situation and does it need to be this way? Find your balance.

In addition to that, I have always focused on burning essential oils or having some form of herbal remedy to help. A few years ago I invested in an aroma diffuser, it was mainly to help with my breathing at night as occasionally I suffer from stuffiness but I used it more to help clear my mind. Just popping in a few drops of lavender oil worked a trick on those sleepless nights and orange helped to awaken. It is great fun mixing new smells with the added bonus of your home smelling divine.

Happiness – Only you can achieve this

Happiness definitely makes you healthier and shows in your skin, as they say, ‘a glow’. I have realised that life is what you make it, it has taken me a while to learn but as my previous blogs during this challenge have mentioned I am grateful for the people around me who believe in me and helped through struggles, my happiness is my family.

My Cat

When it was just me and Bella the cat we would sit on the sofa for hours, it is said that stroking a pet has a calming effect and can help ease anxiety. Well, during tough times, my fluffy four-legged friend was there and I would not be without her.

Realistically maybe some of us do not have the motivation or time to live the perfect lifestyle (I realise some may disagree with that statement) or like me you try but find yourself failing at times, but health is extremely important for mind, body and soul and as long as we are giving it a good go, we are healthy. As I said I am no expert, I believe doing these modest things keep me healthy mentally and physically.

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