My desk is literally surrounded by Louise Hay books. Even the thought of her puts a smile on my face. When I think of authentic selfcare I think of Louise Hay.

Louise Hay’s compassion and understanding of the human condition enabled her to communicate a message of change and open the hearts of many who felt alone and forgotten.

Her movie You Can Heal Your Life inspired me to take control of my own emotional, spiritual, and professional life. Through her own journey she inspired hope in others.

Today she transitioned at 90 years of ago and according to her Facebook Page she died peacefully surrounded by loved ones.

Her light will keep shining bright as Hay House continues to inspire thousands worldwide.

Here is the message to her fans on her Facebook page

louise hay quotes, louise hay passes away august 30th“Our beloved friend and founder Louise Hay transitioned this morning, August 30, 2017, of natural causes at age 90. She passed peacefully surrounded by loved ones.

Louise was an incredible visionary and advocate. Everyone who had the privilege to meet her, either in person, or through her words, felt her passion for serving others.

“Meeting Louise changed the direction of my life,” said Reid Tracy, President and CEO of Hay House, Inc. “Her passion for serving others translated into everything she did. Simply by working alongside her, an analytical accountant like me transformed into someone who became aware of the power of affirmations and self-love. Being able to learn from her has been one of my life’s greatest blessings. The beauty of Louise was that you didn’t have to work alongside her to learn from her, you felt like you were there with her, with every word you read or heard.”

Hay House will carry on Louise’s legacy and continue to publish products and online learning courses that align with her message of self-improvement and self-love.

Louise Hay’s estate, as well as all future royalties, will be donated to The Hay Foundation, a non-profit organization established by Louise that financially supports diverse organizations which supply food, shelter, counseling, hospice care and funds to those in need.

We invite you to share your Louise stories with us in the comments below. Together, we honor her through our memories and the continuing of her unforgettable legacy.

We love you, LuLu.

In the infinity of life where I am, all is perfect, whole, and complete. – Louise L. Hay

Read more at http://www.hayhouse.com/louise-hay-legacy

louise hay quotes, louise hay passes away august 30thWe need Louise’s work now more than ever and we trust she will still be working from where she is. RIP to the true pioneer of selfhelp

Consciously practicing gratitude has been a huge part of my healing journey.

My journey to discovering gratitude was interesting. I was never ungrateful as such, but I did have a tendency to see all the things that were going wrong in my life quite easily and I could probably have listed 10 things or more in 10 seconds that I perceived to be missing from my life when things weren’t going my way.

Consistent and constant gratitude practice means that I find it difficult to focus on any negatives nowadays but like everything it takes work.

If you would like to begin writing a gratitude journal simply follow these steps and build on them as you become more comfortable with the practice.

NUMBER 1: BUY A GRATITUDE JOURNAL

It’s nice to have a dedicated journal for your daily gratitude list. I also love checking back on how many wonderful things happen to me every day that we can easily forget. Any notepad will do.

NUMBER 2: START

Start each day with gratitude by writing down 3 things you are grateful for. These can be anything so for example:

  • I’m grateful I can nourish my body with good food
  • I’m grateful for my beautiful son
  • I’m grateful it’s a beautiful day
  • I’m grateful for my job
  • I’m grateful for all the opportunities I have each day
  • Download sample page here

Gratitude diary, gratitude practise, being grateful, gratitude, gratitude diary, being thankfulTHEN

When you are comfortable with that list take it one step further and explore why you are grateful so for example:

  • I’m grateful for my son because he teaches me to be present and being a parent has taught me about the power and meaning of unconditional love
  • I’m so thankful for the good food available to me that I can choose to nourish my body with as good food helps to keep me health in both body and mind
  • I’m grateful for my job because I love what I do and I feel fulfilled and energized after a good days work.
  • I’m so grateful to wake up in good health everyday and for my family’s health and wellbeing. It is something we all value and cherish.

NUMBER 3 GRATITUDE STONE

gratitude stonesEvery night before I go to sleep I pick up my gratitude stone (choose a stone from a garden, park or beach that has meaning for you. Mine is from Dzogchen Beara which holds a very special place in my heart) and I think of what I am most grateful for each day. I absolutely love this part of my day and it means I always go to sleep with a positive thought and a smile on my face.

Remember if you are practicing gratitude it is very hard to have negative thoughts. Saying thank you mindlessly and really feeling grateful are two very different things so try and really feel it in your body and sit into that feeling. The more you do this the easier it will become and I promise gratitude makes life easier even on tough days!

Try it for 3 weeks and let me know how you get on. I would love to hear from you

Comment below

Shine Bright,

Ali xxx

For this weeks #WellnessWednesday I’m super excited to be chatting to a very inspirational lady. I know Melissa Wood-Tepperberg from my time in New York and she is a truly beautiful soul.

She lives with authenticity and presence and if you follow her on social media you can’t help but be inspired. Her stories always leave you invigorated and motivated to live better and take some space for yourself. Here she tells us how she unwinds and copes with daily stress by meditating.

melissa wood health, health and wellness coach melissa wood, fitner app, juicing, benjamin tepperberg, meditation, destress, wellness wednesday, lifestyle quiz, plant based diet,

  1. How would you describe your lifestyle?

I have a very fun and healthy approach to everything I do. Whether it’s making food in the kitchen, working out, taking Benjamin to a class or working in the office. Living by my 3 M’s (meditation, mindful eating and movement) has allowed me to cultivate habits that no matter where I am or what I am doing; I find balance incorporating these three things.

 

  1. What’s your favorite food? Naughty or nice.

My ultimate favorite food is definitely avocado toast on manna bread with sea salt, nutritional yeast with squeezed lemon. I was told for years to stay away from carbs because they make you fat and this way of thinking created a laundry list of issues for me. Now, I eat this almost every day and tell myself that I am nourishing my body and my soul and I’m living my best life- so don’t always believe what everyone tells you. Carbs are not all created equal. At the end of the day you have to find what works for you.

 

  1. Do you exercise and if so what do you do to keep fit?

I work out on average 4-5 days per week and now that I’m sharing all of my workouts on the Fitner app this has become an even bigger part of my routine. Even 15 minutes of movement a day can change your entire mood. I’ve created 15-45 minute flows, so no matter what you can get something in.

 

  1. How do you find balance in your day-to- day life?

I read my daily lesson in A Course In Miracles and meditating everyday morning for 20. This has changed me as a person. I look at both my life and myself in such a positive light now.

 

  1. How do you manage stress in your life? Do you meditate?

Meditation all the way.

 

  1. People often set goals or intentions as they go through life. Is this something you do?

I don’t necessarily write down goals and intentions. At the end of every meditation I close with a prayer to help connect me to my highest power and open up the energy in every area of my life, “What would you have me do? Where would you have me go? What would you have me say? To whom?”

 

  1. How do you unwind after a busy day?

melissa wood health, health and wellness coach melissa wood, fitner app, juicing, benjamin tepperberg, meditation, destress, wellness wednesday, lifestyle quiz, plant based diet,I take Benjamin to the park and go for a walk almost every night after work. No matter how much stress I have from the day, it’s all washed away as soon as I’m with him. He brings a whole new meaning to happiness.

 

  1. It’s the weekend, what do you do for fun?

I take a yoga or Pilates class, go to the park with my family, have dinner with my husband, go out dancing with my girls and let Benjamin stay up late one of the nights and watch television in my bed.

 

  1. What’s your top health tip for our readers?

My top health tip for everyone would be to find stillness in your day by creating some space to sit with yourself and connect to the truth of who you really are and what matters most to you.

 

  1. Finish the sentence – Being complete for me means…

…Loving and accepting myself no matter what the situation is.

 

Melissa shares great easy to follow daily workouts on the fitner app

Check out her new website and you can follow her on

INSTAGRAM

FACEBOOK

**Melissa Wood-Tepperberg is a mom, certified health and wellness coach, meditator, Yoga and Pilates teacher and thriving on a plant-based diet. Her three pillars of focus are: meditation, mindful eating, and movement. Melissa Wood Health is a platform for sharing all of the wellness tips that she swears by – from food, fitness, beauty, fashion, baby and overall lifestyle – to help achieve your best self.

For this weeks Wellness Wednesday I’m chatting to Jennifer Rock AKA The Skin Nerd. I love Jen, her energy and enthusiasm for all things skin related is infectious.

I first met her when we shot some videos for Yonka about a year and a half ago (you can see them here) and have been an avid fan ever since. Her approach to skincare is refreshing, knowledgeable and honest.

But I wanted to know a little more, like how does she balance work and play and what her favourite foods are? You are going to love her answers as they prove her honesty is more than just skin deep….

  1. How would you describe your lifestyle?

At present quite hectic. I just recently switched from being employed to self-employed, which is very different. I rebranded my product, hired nerds for my team and I also have a new business launching in the summer.

In the last quarter of this year I am launching some new products so it is busy!

As much as I love being busy and my brain to buzz and pivot, I have been ill of late and the unexpected time in a hospital bed has allowed me to place a lot in perspective. The past few weeks have highlighted key factors that have to change for me both personally and within my family.

 

  1. What’s your favorite food? Naughty or nice.

Nice – Well I adore salmon, quinoa, spinach with balsamic vinegar with a few sweet potatoes and ketchup – do the tomatoes count as healthy Alison?

I have a very black and white approach towards food. It really a case of all or nothing in the health department! I wish that wasn’t the case but I cannot lie to you!

My guilty pleasure is ice cream – with raspberry sauce, flakes and ferrero rocher sauce. I love visiting scrumdiddly’s in Donabate and Dun Laoghaire. It’s simply heaven!

THE SKIN NERD, Scrumdiddly's, WELLNESS WEDNESDAY, CLEANSE OFF MITT, THE SKIN NERD, lifestyle quiz, no more wipes, balance, health, wellness, becomplete, alison canavan

  1. Do you exercise and if so what do you do to keep fit?

 Unfortunately at present I am housebound and so exercise is not allowed for 4 more weeks. It is ironic how much I want to do it now that I cannot. To be honest it had been lacking due to my work /life balance pre operation as well. I used to be a gym bunny but during the transition from employee to self-employed I was working 19-20 hours a day for the best part of 8 months – exercise simply did not happen. I lost the physical mojo, gained three stone and have not returned since.

 

  1. How do you find balance in your day-to-day life?

I have to have me time or I am highly irritable! No phone, no TV, just time to chill and think, take a walk on the beach or sit out the back door with my shoes off for 10 minutes. It’s these small moments that count. I physically crave fresh air and time out. If I do that I am productive and nice again! I ALWAYS NEED MY SHOES OFF, ALWAYS! Unless of course I’m at a work event!

 

  1. How do you manage stress in your life? Do you meditate? Have you ever tried it?

We did meditation in school when I was younger. An ex partner of mine was hugely involved in mindfulness, yoga and self-appreciation yet it was lost on me at that stage of my life in my twenties. It is an area I have started to read up on now. I try to not think, allow my brain to rest and I believe it is a skill I will become better at, however I try not to over think it and just be! For me there is something hugely medicinal when watching and listening to the waves – that’s my downtime!

 

  1. People often set goals or intentions as they go through life. Is this something you do?

Yes I live by goals and challenges however they change regularly and I do not stress myself out by watching the dates pass and the target is not reached- unless it is work! I am 32 and used to so desperately want to be married by 28. Now that 28 has passed and two partners later I realize that I am happier single right now than when I was either relationship. This is by no means a reflection of the relationships but rather my own mental space. My mam used to always say ‘you cannot love someone until you love yourself’ I thought she was wrong, in fact she was wrong as I loved both my partners immensely and with every part of my being (as I do with all I give attention to – son and career included) BUT if you do not know yourself, your true self, you become lost in a couple. That is my personal musings!

 

  1. How do you unwind after a busy day?

Time with my son Matt; once he walks in the door I automatically change. That email I HAD to reply to suddenly takes a back seat till he’s at soccer hours later! I try to be with him not serve him or talk at him. Easier said than done while trying to do the chores while he sits looking at me!!

 

THE SKIN NERD, Scrumdiddly's, WELLNESS WEDNESDAY, CLEANSE OFF MITT, THE SKIN NERD, lifestyle quiz, no more wipes, balance, health, wellness, becomplete, alison canavan

  1. It’s the weekend, what do you do for fun?

Walks on the beach are a must, watching Matt play soccer, as it’s his passion. I love to read, potter and visit friends. My home is the home many come to and I love the open door attitude we have. Matt’s friends typically stay over on a Saturday night and we have big breakfasts on a Sunday with teenage kids “go Leor”. Memory making days are what I like to call them! Essentially I mortify my son just by being me!

 

  1. What’s your top health tip for our readers?

Be yourself, stop trying to struggle and juggle all while trying to please other people. Say NO. Learn your boundaries, be proud of you and don’t change for anyone. People are so happy to criticize others, so don’t get sucked in. The negative energy will affect you more than anyone else! What you put out is what you get back so move on, breath and live! Or as I say ‘be alive..don’t just live’

 

  1. Finish the sentence – Being complete for me means…

Having my health, my son Matthew’s health, planning holidays, laughing out loud regularly and being somewhat content with where I am rather than dreaming aimlessly about where I’d like to be.

Is this always the case? No, but this is what I aim for and know to be my truth. I spent all my life wanting what was next, the next goal and challenge but have since realized that NOW is the reality and all we really have.

Check out Jennifer’s award winning cleanse off mitt 

THE SKIN NERD, WELLNESS WEDNESDAY, CLEANSE OFF MITT, THE SKIN NERD, lifestyle quiz, no more wipes, balance, health, wellness, becomplete, alison canavan*******************************************************************************************************************************

Jennifer Rock is a keen skin enthusiast, a multi-award winning aesthetician, dermal facialist and international skin lecturer in the USA, London, Paris, Melbourne, Glasgow, and Dublin, and for brands and professional bodies such as ITECX and CIDESCO.

She’s attended skin conferences around the world with plastic surgeons, aesthetic doctors, dieticians, nutritionists, and nurses. She’s had the pleasure of lecturing alongside luminaries such as IMAGE Skincare certified plastic surgeon Dr Marc Ronert and the co-creator of London Harley Street Medical Hospital Dr Ahmar Khan, to name a few.

She’s been seen in U Magazine, Irish Country Magazine, Xposé, IMAGE Magazine, Sunday Business Post, Sunday Independent, Woman’s Way, Professional Beauty Magazine, BABTAC and The Irish Times, and as heard on 4fM, Today FM, Q102 and Sunshine Radio. She has her own website, the skinnerd.ie, filled with a panel of industry experts, dedicated to teaching her followers unbiased and factual skin truths along with the dos and do not’s of skin care.

However, most people simply know her as “The Skin Nerd”. Check out her amazing website 

Till next week,

Shine Bright

Ali xx

#wellnesswednesday

 

Its Monday, a day where the blues can seem all too real. Fear not because there are a lot of things you can do to avoid feeling blue primarily practicing self-care. One aspect of this means really caring about what you put into your body.

Forget fad diets and temporary fixes if you choose deeply nourishing foods instead of depriving yourself of a list of foods you can’t have you will feel fulfilled in every way helping to alleviate the cravings and avoid the pitfalls that come with a poor diet and lifestyle.

What you eat also affects your immunity, your mood, your sleep patterns and of course your weight. So even though it can be tempting to indulge in processed, high carb and sugary foods on dark cold nights it will only lead to dark days because your body needs good nutrition to be happy and every cell counts!

So what do we need to do during colder months? Well we need to eat more cooked and warming foods, include more soups and stews in our diets, use more spices, eat seasonal veggies and fruits, eat a rainbow, have more wholegrains and of course get more rest. I’ll be sharing some recipes over the next couple of weeks so keep an eye out.

There is another major reason though for cravings and overeating, which is outside of our control and that is we have less sunlight in winter. This can cause some people to suffer from SAD or seasonal affective disorder. It is said that up to 20% of people can suffer from seasonal depression or mood change so lets look at ways that we can help ourselves fell better naturally with diet and lifestyle choices.

probiotics, terranova, selfcare, winter, nutrition, BLUE MONDAY, SPIRULINAGET OUTDOORS

Making sure you get some natural light during the day is really important during the winter months. A lot of people leave their houses when it’s dark and return after work when it’s dark. If you are working in an office environment, stores, hospitals etc with artificial lights you might go all day in the winter with no natural light of any kind. For this reason it’s really important that you get outside during your breaks for a short walk. Wrap up warm and take a short walk at lunchtime when the sun (if we have it) is brightest.

probiotics, terranova, selfcare, winter, nutrition, BLUE MONDAY, SPIRULINA, meditation, mindfulness, kids meditationsMEDITATE

Taking as little as 5 minutes to work on your inner world each day can have an enormous difference on your health. Meditation has so many benefits including stress reduction, better mood, better sleep. It boost immunity, helps with craving and personally I find it gives an overall feeling of inner peace. Check out my guided meditations here or if you are a mum join my Minding Mum group for weekly live meditations and don’t forget that kids can join in too!!

PICK THE RIGHT CARBS

Less sun means a drop in your “feel-good” hormone serotonin, which can cause depression and food cravings. To help combat this you can boost your serotonin with healthy complex carbs like wholegrain breads, brown rice, veggies like sweet potato, corn and pumpkin, beans, lentils and peas. Your children will probably be craving carbs too so try and steer them away from the bad carbs like white breads, rice and sugar. These foods have little or no nutrients and they actually wipe your energy levels. They can also contribute to SAD and mood swings and can be a factor in brain fog and your ability to concentrate. Tryptophan also coverts to the neurotransmitter serotonin so increasing foods like eggs, nuts, turkey, banana, seeds and spirulina may improve depression symptoms too.

probiotics, terranova, selfcare, winter, nutrition, BLUE MONDAY, SPIRULINA

SPICE UP YOUR LIFE

You can thank the Far East for the sensory delight that spices bring. Spices not only introduce vibrance and colour into your diet but they also boost immunity and circulation during the winter months. Cook with onions, turmeric, cinnamon, chili peppers, cardamom, curry, cayenne pepper, ginger and garlic to add a little warmth to your meals and to help winter proof your body from the inside out.

probiotics, terranova, selfcare, winter, nutrition, BLUE MONDAY, organic turmeric powder, SPIRULINAEAT FOR IMMUNITY

The guys you need on your team here are vitamin C, Zinc and probiotics yes you heard me probiotics. Not all bacteria are bad in fact we have millions of bacteria in our gut that help us to stay healthy by stimulating the immune system and helping with the absorption of essential nutrients. To help these guys grow in numbers and keep your digestive system healthy feed them with foods like kimchi, live yogurt, kefir and kombucha or you can take a supplement too Terranova probiotics are great.

probiotics, terranova, selfcare, winter, nutrition

Another tip to help families boost their immune systems is to eat foods that are rich in antioxidants such as vitamin C and beta-carotene (vitamin A). So citrus fruits are fab as well as broccoli, sweet potato, spinach and cabbage, green leafy veg and frozen peas.

sweet-potato-1241696_1920I find frozen peas great for kids and they can be added to most meals. These foods are front line defense against colds and infections. Zinc is important too so again your green leafy veg, pumpkin and sesame seeds, lentils, tofu, almonds and wholegrains. Chicken, eggs, fish and dairy products also contain zinc. Zinc is responsible for 100’s of biochemical functions in the body and because of nutrient losses in the soil these days and in food processing deficiency or depletion can be common. Among its many important functions one in particular is that it is part of alcohol dehydrogenase, which helps the liver detoxify alcohols so post christmas this could be useful!

OMEGA 3 AND VITAMIN D

Recent research demonstrates that the consumption of omega 3 fatty acids and Vitamin D can play a role in reducing depression. Studies have found that people who consume fish frequently exhibit fewer depressive qualities than those who didn’t consume fish. Essential fatty acids EFA’s are a crucial part of a healthy diet, because our bodies cannot make them. When the word essential is used in a nutritional context it means that the body cannot synthesize (make) it itself and it must therefore be obtained from the diet.

If you eat oily fish twice a week it will provide a healthy dose of omega 3. However a massive 89% of Irish people are not consuming sufficient oily fish in their diet so there is often a need to take a good quality supplement such as *Eskimo Brain 3.6.9 which combines the unique stable fish oil, *Eskimo-3, high in DHA, with plant oils omega-6 and omega-9 along with Co-Q10 and vitamin D3.

eskimo_brain_caps vit dVitamin D is the sunshine vitamin so no prizes for guessing why we don’t have enough in Ireland. This sunshine vitamin is gaining a lot of attention recently (www.vitamindcouncil.org) and may be the most important “missing vitamin” for your brain and mood. It regulates the conversion of tryptophan into serotonin so as you can see nothing works in isolation in our bodies. It’s a proper team sport internally and for all our systems to function correctly they really need each other, which is why a large and varied diet is important. You can your vitamin D levels checked by your doctor but Irish people have been shown to be quite low especially during the winter months. Low levels have been connected with S.A.D and therefore supplementing can help ease symptoms and improve your mood.

B COMPLEX VITAMINS

B Complex vitamins help your body convert proteins from your diet into the neurotransmitters (serotonin, dopamine, etc.) needed for mood and energy.  B-complex vitamins also support heart health and improve your response to stress and help boost energy levels.  While most B vitamins have some benefits for mental health, in terms of depression, the most important B vitamins include vitamin B6, B9 (folic acid) and B12. Looking to supplement, check out Terranova B Complex.

probiotics, terranova, selfcare, winter, nutrition, BLUE MONDAY, organic turmeric powder, water, hydration, SPIRULINAHYDRATE

Did you know that it is just as easy to get dehydrated in the winter as it is in the summer? Staying hydrated is so important because we lose water all the time even through breathing. Just think of your breath in those frigid temperatures!! Some of the effects of dehydration are a slower metabolism, fatigue, muscle pain and dizziness. By the time you are actually thirsty your body is actually well on its way to being dehydrated. So here are my top tips:

  • Start each day with a glass of warm lemon water or  warm water to get your digestive system moving and rehydrate after a nights sleep
  • Always carry water in your bag, have it on your desk and in the car.
  • Set hydration reminders in your phone 3 times a day. This is just a gentle nudge!
  • During the winter months hug a mug of soothing and calming herbal teas, hot cocoa, warm apple cider and my winter warmer in the recipe section.
  • During exercise sweating releases potassium, sodium and calcium- which are known as electrolytes- these are not found in water so you need to replace these in winter months too; coconut water or ¼ of Himalayan salt in preworkout smoothies or juices is a good idea
  • Eat your water in soups, stews and hydrating fruits and veggies like cucumber, celery and pears

If you have any tips please comment below. I would love to hear from you,

Ali xxx

Any products with a star * beside them means that I am collaborating and working with them. I am the brand ambassador for Eskimo Omegas

It’s difficult to sum up 2016 because it was a year of contrast in so many ways. It’s a year that forced me to grow in ways I never thought possible but the route to growth involved deep pain at times, a lot of tears but I have to say a lot of laughter too.

I’m deeply spiritual and also have a lifelong interest in numerology and astrology. 2016 is a Universal ‘9’ Year in numerology terms (2+0+1+6=9), the number of completion & endings. Number 9 is said to represent an increase in universal awareness and a time where truth and information is to be revealed for the higher good. It is also said to represent endings and a time of clearing out the old so the new can emerge to get ready for a new 9 year cycle as we enter a 1 year in January (2+0+1+7=10 so 1+0=1).

So did you take the opportunity to grow this year and clear the path for new beginnings or will you take your old story of victimhood, anger and sadness into another 9-year cycle? The decision is up to you!

It has been a tough year for a lot of people and the world stage has been nothing short of bizarre at times with each new act bringing drama and disaster leading to disbelief and despair.

For me personally I got to witness both sides of humanity in every day life and the truth is we all have both a light and a dark side.

As the Cherokee legend says:

Inside each of us are two wolves

 

One is evil. It is anger, jealously, greed, resentment, inferiority, lies and ego.

 

The other is good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, humility, kindness, empathy and truth.

 

But the question is: Which wolf wins?

 

Simple: The one you feed.

I have watched both being fed this year and indeed I have to watch which one I feed myself because when you get hurt its easy to go down the rabbit hole. It’s also all too easy to compare and think the world owes you something. I know this because I used to do it. You sit on the sidelines and bitch and moan about what everyone has and how they don’t deserve it. However when you sit on the sidelines and moan and bitch about everything but do nothing in your own life to help your own personal and professional growth well then the world actually does owe you nothing.

This year I have learnt that being honest is risky and not something everyone wants to be associated with unless of course someone else they value approves and then they jump back on board.

I have learnt that certain friendships are fantastic when you are depressed, anxious and an alcoholic but when you get sober, strong and happy the tide turns.

At times I have felt like I was in the movie mean girls. I have been left out and let down by those closet to me. But on the flipside I have encountered the most incredible and refreshing honesty and support from people I have never even met.

I have felt loved and I have felt desperately lonely. I have cried tears of joy and many tears of sadness as I desperately tried to navigate the choppy waters that 2016 brought my way.

I have learnt that balance does not mean ticking off a to do list but rather being present more often in my everyday life.

I have learnt that true happiness comes from working on my inner world and if I do that my outer world will change to reflect this.

I have learnt that it is ok to feel angry, disappointed and sad and if I don’t feel I won’t heal.

I have learnt that there are miracles around every corner if we open our hearts and minds and choose to see them and that change is not only inevitable but also beautiful if we allow our fear to slip away and embrace it.

I lost my grandfather but discovered I have a brother who I know my dad and granddad would absolutely adore if they were still with us. I am one of five girls so this discovery has been such a beautiful blessing for us all in so many ways.

So as 2016 draws to a close ask yourself do I move forward as a victim or a victor? We all have this choice and the path you choose will lead you to freedom or imprisonment within yourself. A victim blames the world, their family, their childhood, their boss and anyone else or anything else that they can.

[bctt tweet=”the path you choose will lead you to freedom or imprisonment within yourself” username=””]

A victor chooses to learn and grow from their life lessons no matter how bad they are. No one gets through this life unscathed and no one knows the real pain in another person’s heart and mind. Healing can be hard but the rewards are worth it.

So in 2017 push through your fears and break down your own barriers and never give up even when times are tough. As Nelson Mandela said: “it always seems impossible till it’s done”

[bctt tweet=” As Nelson Mandela said: “it always seems impossible till it’s done”” username=””]

Having an attitude of gratitude is a daily habit that has literally changed my life. It’s a key player on my wellness team and got promoted to team captain early in its career. It works hard in the winter because lets face it that when I need it most.

The thing about gratitude is that it’s fun and easy to include in our daily lives. It gives us something tangible to work with that effects real change quite quickly and it works. Psychologist and best-selling author Shawn Achor has made a career out of studying the science of happiness and it just so happens he’s one of my favourite authors too having penned books like ‘Before Happiness’ and ‘The happiness advantage’ that make me smile before I even open their covers.

Having suffered from depression for most of my life I always placed my happiness on external factors like work, money and success but real happiness is an inside job and one that needs to be worked on daily and taken seriously. I never realized that I could choose to be happier as I always thought that you were either a happy or a sad person. I had written myself off and labeled myself until I discovered the world of positive psychology and neuroplasticity (rewiring the brain). The fact that the brain can rewire itself through experiences is a relatively new discovery but a very exciting one. It basically means that you can alter the structure and function of your brain through mental training. Working with many different therapies like CBT cognitive behavioural therapy and including some mindfulness, meditation and gratitude in my day I soon discovered that it’s possible to rewire your brain at any stage in your life. The thing is though just like exercising your muscles during exercise you do have to use it or you will lose it. So you need to be consistent with your happiness habits.

Gratitude, winter wellness, daily habits, feelgood, selfcare

(READ ABOUT GRATITUDE IN MY BOOK – MINDING MUM)

[bctt tweet=”Saying thank you mindlessly and practising gratitude mindfully are two completely different things: the latter will set you free” username=”alicanavan”]

Just think of gratitude as your psychological hot water bottle to get you through winter and its great fun for the family too. The health benefits include better sleep, less illness, better mood, increased empathy, improved self esteem and it has even been shown to have anti-aging benefits too! Every evening I ask my six-year-old son James to go through his day and pick the one thing he is most grateful for. This is my favourite part of the day as not only do I get an insight into his world but it’s also an important habit that encourages him to see the good things that happen each day. When I pick him up from school I always hear the negative stories about who is in trouble or what went wrong but this way I get to hear about the good things that happen too. It can be a fun game at dinner and a great way to start the morning too.


Psychologist and author of ‘Hardwiring Happiness’ Rick Hanson says “the brain is like Velcro for negative experiences and Teflon for positive ones”. I have found that working with my brain and on my happiness has brought contentment and an energy of appreciation into my life in a more natural way. Keeping a gratitude journal has also helped me to keep my life in perspective and see beyond the seemingly bad stuff. So why not give yourself a mindful break and try keeping a gratitude journal this winter.

MY TOP 5 TIPS:

  1. BUY A DEDICATED GRATITUDE JOURNAL– Having a thankful or gratitude journal makes the practice special and it’s a lovely way to read back on the good things in your life on bad days. My mantra: On days you feel blue have a read back through!
  2. GO FOR QUALITY RATHER THAN QUANTITY– Choose 3 things you are grateful for and then expand and write why in a journal. This way you get to create a deep energy of appreciation within
  3. GET UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL– research has shown that focusing on whom you are grateful for rather than what you are grateful for can have a bigger impact
  4. INCREASING AWARENESS – The key to personal growth is awareness and keeping a gratitude journal helps you to learn more about yourself
  5. ENJOY IT – Its for your eyes only so be personal and be true

09. MM_Gratitude_v2

I’m so excited to have snapchat star James Kavanagh for my first Wellness Wednesday on my new revamped website! James has been hurled into the public eye over the past six months due to his over-active, humorous Snapchat account (jamesksnaps) which consist of scare Snaps of his boyfriend William, cooking demos and appearances from his alter-ego Veronica Sachs. His energy is contagious and if you need a boost just jump on and watch his day! More recently he came to my attention when he chatted to his nephew Sean about autism. Sean was refreshing, articulate and definitely took a little piece of my heart that day where he will stay.

Here they are hiding out in one of James favourite plants!!!

 

As James’ life can seem like a bit of a whirlwind sometimes I wanted to know if or how he finds any balance in his day and as you’re about to find out this posh granny just loves food, flowers and destressing with baking. I just wish I realized his top health tip at 26!!

How would you describe your lifestyle?

Eclectic. It sounds so stereotypical and eye-roll inducing to say, but no two days are the same for me. I work with lots of deadly brands because of my Snapchat profile, I have just launched a food brand with my boyfriend called  Currabinny , I do freelance consultancy and I co-run a club-night once a month. So, my weeks are always all over the place!

What’s your favorite food? Naughty or nice.

It changes ALL the time. Right now I am obsessed with halloumi. I’ve been trying it in all sorts of things, but I mainly just like frying it in olive oil and eating it straight out of the pan. It’s heaven.

Do you exercise and if so what do you do to keep fit?

I run a lot. I would mostly run first thing in the morning – mainly to wake up. It’s such a great mood-boosting start to the day. Now, I don’t do marathons; more like 15 min runs around Phibsboro, like a madman, and then I fling myself into the shower when I get back. I try do a gym session at least once a week.

How do you find balance in your day-to-day life?

I always ‘switch off’ (or try to) at about 6pm and watch Netflix. I’m also mad about flowers and plants, so you’ll often catch me watering/ pruning my plants in the evening, or flower arranging and dispersing flowers throughout the house in vases. I am a posh old lady at heart.

How do you manage stress in your life? Do you meditate? Have you ever tried it?

As above, I like to garden a bit and I tend to bake when I’m stressed. I am obsessed with Lyric FM, so I often put that on and bake a cake. It’s heavenly. See, I am totally a posh granny.

People often set goals or intentions as they go through life. Is this something you do?

 Yes, I’m all about the goals. My goal is to have a café within two years. With things, I’m either completely uninterested or totally obsessed. So if I set a goal I think I can do, I’ll obsess about it and go hell for leather.

How do you unwind after a busy day?

As above; Netflix or flower arranging. I’m not a reader, but I’m mad for audio books. I’m currently listening to ‘You Must Remember This’ – it’s all about old Hollywood. It’s fascinating.

It’s the weekend, what do you do for fun?

Food markets. Myself and William are always looking out for new ones. I could spend my entire life rambling around food markets.

What’s your top health tip for our readers?

Totally simple, but moderation. Everything in moderation. Don’t overdo anything; work, food or exercise. Find a routine that suits YOU and ignore fad diets.

Finish the sentence – Being complete for me means…

Always having access to delicious food.

CURRABINNY, james kavanagh, wellness wednesday, snapchat star, lifestylequiz, be complete, wellness, balance, AUTISM AWARENESSIf you are not on snapchat you can follow James on:

Facebook – Mr James Kavanagh

INSTAGRAM

TWITTER

James reaches and influences an audience of over 40,000 people daily. e has been a very welcome voice helping to raise awareness around mental health issues and often shares his feminist and anti-bullying views.

He’ll be selling food, alongside William, at various markets over the next year or so all with the goal of one day owning a cafe one day. I for one hope that’s sooner rather than later!!

CHECK OUT THEIR AWESOME NEW WEBSITE www.currabinny.ie

I’m so happy to have Niamh O’Donoghue as this weeks Wellness Wednesday guest. I met Niamh once before very briefly but recently I saw her being interviewed on The Ray D’Arcy show and she took my breath away. Her resilience, strength and outlook on life is something everyone can learn from. Her positivity is contagious and no matter what life throws at her she just keeps going.

Niamh has had to deal with three life-altering conditions: Severe Idiopathic Scoliosis, kidney disease, and thyroid cancer. Because of her scoliosis she’s fused from the base of her neck down into her pelvis, which means that she can’t bend forward, backward, left or right. She’s also had to have her kidney and entire thyroid removed. Below are some of Niamh’s scars and she is passionate about sharing her message of positive body image.

Niamh O'donoghue, body image, positive body promotion, inspiration, wellness wednesday, health, wellness, lifestyle, scars, body, operations, cancer, self care, be complete, alison canavanI don’t know about you but that sounds like an awful lot for one person to handle but in her own words Niamh says:

”I’m extremely lucky to have such a positive outlook on life and a good sense of humour: sure what doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger!”

I think we’re very lucky today to be inspired by such an incredible young lady. Niamh is a journalist, blogger and creative from Dublin and admits that she’s inquisitive, nosey and passionate about writing, collaborating with other creative people, and promoting positive body image as we have seen online.

I’m so happy to have Niamh O’Donoghue as this weeks Wellness Wednesday guest. I met Niamh once before very briefly but recently I saw her being interviewed on The Ray D’Arcy show and she took my breath away. Her resilience, strength and outlook on life is something everyone can learn from. Her positivity is contagious and no matter what life throws at her she just keeps going.  Niamh has had to deal with three life-altering conditions: Severe Idiopathic Scoliosis, kidney disease, and thyroid cancer. Because of her scoliosis she’s fused from the base of her neck down into her pelvis, which means that she can’t bend forward, backward, left or right. She’s also had to have her kidney and entire thyroid removed.   I don’t know about you but that sounds like an awful lot for one person to handle but in her own words Niamh says ”I’m extremely lucky to have such a positive outlook on life and a good sense of humour: sure what doesn't kill you only makes you stronger!”  I think we’re very lucky today to be inspired by such an incredible young lady. Niamh is a journalist, blogger and creative from Dublin and admits that she’s inquisitive, nosey and passionate about writing, collaborating with other creative people, and promoting positive body image online.    How would you describe your lifestyle?   I live quite a high-octane lifestyle and i’m normally on the go for 13-15 hours of the day. I’m currently completing my thesis so between being in college, freelancing, blogging, going to events, and looking after myself and seeing my friends it can be quite hectic!   What's your favorite food? Naughty or nice.   I’m naturally a clean eater and take care of my body. I don’t really enjoy eating fast-food or processed food. If i’m feeling a bit run-down my go-to snack would be egg, salmon, avocado and spinach on wholemeal bread or batch loaf!   Do you exercise and if so what do you do to keep fit?  Prior to losing my kidney and being diagnosed with cancer I was strength training 5-6 times a week, but now that i’m recovering i’ve brought that down to 2-3 times per week. I struggle to gain weight, especially after having so many surgeries, so it’s important that I eat the right food and do the right kind of exercise to suit my body. Working out and training can be difficult because of how much metal I have in my body, but over time (and with some good coaching) I’ve learned the correct procedures for lifting and have become a lot stronger. Strength training has also stopped me from relying on damaging pain-killers for back pain because I have built up good fat and muscle around my spine. I swim a lot too because your body becomes weightless in the water and it’s good to give your body a break from intense exercise,   Nutrition is very important to me too, and it took me a while to educate myself on which type of foods my body needs and why. Education is key when it comes to exercise. Remember: change is 80% diet and only 20% exercise, so start by eating the right kind of foods and your body will reward you!  How do you find balance in your day-to-day life?   It’s incredibly important to take time for yourself, but this is something that I have only recently learned. I love being busy and active, but I also get run-down very easily and sometimes don’t know when to stop. I’ve learned to listen to my body when it needs rest and some TLC.  How do you manage stress in your life? Do you meditate? Have you ever tried it?   I get stressed out very easily but I have found over time that exercise (healthy release of endorphins) or a hot bath are good ways to help me unwind. I have done pilates for over a year which focused a lot on breathing and I noticed a huge difference in my ability to sleep better. I haven't tried meditation yet, but I would definitely like to!   People often set goals or intentions as they go through life. Is this something you do?  After being through so many negative set-backs I think it’s fundamentally important to set personal goals - otherwise I would have given up a long time ago! During my illnesses there were days when I didn't want to, or couldn’t, get out of bed. But I have a very strong sense of will-power and i’m lucky enough that I know what I want to do and what I need to do to achieve it.   It can be hard to achieve anything when you’re body and mind are feeling lethargic and down, but by setting small goals you can help yourself to overcome this slump. But start small - even if that goal means getting out of bed and stretching. And remember to reward yourself when you’ve achieved something!  How do you unwind after a busy day?   Anything that involves being away from a computer screen or mobile phone! I spend up to 12+ hours a day online so it’s important be able to switch off. I have my own rule that I switch off my laptop and phone by 9pm at the latest: that gives me an hour or so to completely unwind and ensure i get a good nights sleep.   It’s the weekend, what do you do for fun?   I like working on creative projects and passion projects, trying new places to eat, and finding hidden gems around our city. I”m learning to work less on weekends and start enjoying time away from my laptop and mobile phone.   What's your top health tip for our readers?   Give your body the nourishment, love and rest that it needs, and listen when it’s trying to tell you when something is wrong! Never compare your body to others - you’re completely unique.   Finish the sentence - Being complete for me means...   Being complete for me means being healthy. Your health is your wealth and without it you can accomplish nothing.How would you describe your lifestyle?

I live quite a high-octane lifestyle and i’m normally on the go for 13-15 hours of the day. I’m currently completing my thesis so between being in college, freelancing, blogging, going to events, and looking after myself and seeing my friends it can be quite hectic! 

What’s your favorite food? Naughty or nice.

I’m naturally a clean eater and take care of my body. I don’t really enjoy eating fast-food or processed food. If i’m feeling a bit run-down my go-to snack would be egg, salmon, avocado and spinach on wholemeal bread or batch loaf!

Do you exercise and if so what do you do to keep fit?

Prior to losing my kidney and being diagnosed with cancer I was strength training 5-6 times a week, but now that i’m recovering i’ve brought that down to 2-3 times per week. I struggle to gain weight, especially after having so many surgeries, so it’s important that I eat the right food and do the right kind of exercise to suit my body. Working out and training can be difficult because of how much metal I have in my body, but over time (and with some good coaching) I’ve learned the correct procedures for lifting and have become a lot stronger. Strength training has also stopped me from relying on damaging pain-killers for back pain because I have built up good fat and muscle around my spine. I swim a lot too because your body becomes weightless in the water and it’s good to give your body a break from intense exercise,

Nutrition is very important to me too, and it took me a while to educate myself on which type of foods my body needs and why. Education is key when it comes to exercise. Remember: change is 80% diet and only 20% exercise, so start by eating the right kind of foods and your body will reward you!

How do you find balance in your day-to-day life?

It’s incredibly important to take time for yourself, but this is something that I have only recently learned. I love being busy and active, but I also get run-down very easily and sometimes don’t know when to stop. I’ve learned to listen to my body when it needs rest and some TLC.

How do you manage stress in your life? Do you meditate? Have you ever tried it?

I get stressed out very easily but I have found over time that exercise (healthy release of endorphins) or a hot bath are good ways to help me unwind. I have done pilates for over a year which focused a lot on breathing and I noticed a huge difference in my ability to sleep better. I haven’t tried meditation yet, but I would definitely like to!

People often set goals or intentions as they go through life. Is this something you do?

After being through so many negative set-backs I think it’s fundamentally important to set personal goals – otherwise I would have given up a long time ago! During my illnesses there were days when I didn’t want to, or couldn’t, get out of bed. But I have a very strong sense of will-power and i’m lucky enough that I know what I want to do and what I need to do to achieve it.

It can be hard to achieve anything when you’re body and mind are feeling lethargic and down, but by setting small goals you can help yourself to overcome this slump. But start small – even if that goal means getting out of bed and stretching. And remember to reward yourself when you’ve achieved something!

How do you unwind after a busy day?

Anything that involves being away from a computer screen or mobile phone! I spend up to 12+ hours a day online so it’s important be able to switch off. I have my own rule that I switch off my laptop and phone by 9pm at the latest: that gives me an hour or so to completely unwind and ensure i get a good nights sleep.

It’s the weekend, what do you do for fun?

I like working on creative projects and passion projects, trying new places to eat, and finding hidden gems around our city. I”m learning to work less on weekends and start enjoying time away from my laptop and mobile phone.

What’s your top health tip for our readers?

Give your body the nourishment, love and rest that it needs, and listen when it’s trying to tell you when something is wrong! Never compare your body to others – you’re completely unique.

Finish the sentence – Being complete for me means…

Being complete for me means being healthy. Your health is your wealth and without it you can accomplish nothing.

Niamh O'donoghue, body image, positive body promotion, inspiration, wellness wednesday, health, wellness, lifestyle, scars, body, operations, cancer, self care, be complete, alison canavanFollow Niamh on

TWITTER

INSTAGRAM

CULTUREDCUPPA.COM

enjoy the moment, lightning positivity, alison canavan, savid gilna, be complete, love life, life coach, write, playwright, the unsung hero,
Sometimes in life we work towards a goal . Nothing else’s matters to make that goal a reality .

But what I find is that people forget to  actually enjoy the moment .

So all I ask of you today is don’t forget to ‘enjoy the moment’

I said it to Ali regarding her book launch . All the hours of hard work and graft . To simply take in the moment & smile .

I’m in rehearsals with my third play ‘The Unsung Hero’ I’ve researched this for two years and now it’s a reality . But a friend reminded me to enjoy everyday of this process . That’s what I worked for & I forgot about my own enjoyment .

So now I’m having a coffee before rehearsals start and I’m watching the world go by & smiling to myself .

No matter what the end goal is , don’t ever forget to enjoy the moment because I nearly did.

Happy Wednesday Peeps