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The focus of this very special event is complete holistic self-care focusing on health, food and wellness from the inside out and the outside in

Kildare Village

I will help you to join the dots with your health and well-being through a series of interactive workshop segments, looking at mind, body and spirit, environment and relationships. Join me in Kildare Village on Sunday, 4th March.

You will be shown how to achieve feeling and looking better, by making small changes that will result in big differences to your overall lifestyle, health and daily wellbeing. There will be talks on meditation, mindfulness, gratitude, healthy eating tips, stress reduction techniques and much more.

I will be joined by food writer Domini Kemp – of Joe’s Coffee at Kildare Village – and you will be taken through their ethos on food, healthy eating and receive a juicing demonstration.

Tickets are priced at €50 and are fully redeemable via a Kildare Village gift card, which you will receive on arrival. All guests will receive a goodie bag a booklet of exclusive offers only available on the day.

The event will take place at the Guest Lounge in Kildare Village (opposite Starbucks) at 11am. A delicious healthy lunch comprising a selection of salads, juices and platters will be served and the event will end at 2:30pm – allowing you lots of time to shop Kildare Village following the event.

Living a healthier lifestyle is the greatest gift you can give to yourself this New Year

Sponsored by

Small lifestyle changes can make a big difference to our overall health and wellbeing. It’s usually only when we become ill we realise how important our health is.
With the new year comes a new frame of mind. January is the perfect month to make positive lifestyle changes towards a happier, healthier you.

While we all have good intentions, but it can be hard to make lasting changes with many people struggling a few weeks in to their new year’s resolutions.

According to new research conducted by LloydsPharmacy, more than half of Irish people plan on making a New Year’s resolutions, despite nearly a third breaking last year’s resolution within a month.

What I have learned as a heath coach is that small sustainable changes over time have the greatest effect. It’s about developing a relationship with yourself and working on it. Your relationship with yourself is not only the most important one you have but also it is the only relationship you are guaranteed to have from birth till death. All other relationships with parents, partners, children and friends will come and go so does it not make sense to work on yourself first?

As most of us struggle with self-motivation, LloydsPharmacy have developed an 8-week Change Your Health Direction programme. You will get a health check up with a health coach and discuss your goals. A personalised plan will be set out for you. Over the 8 weeks, you will be supported and each week you will check in with your health coach where they will track your progress and review your programme.

At the end of the eight weeks you will receive a full report on your progress and you will have a very clear picture of your true health and wellbeing giving you the knowledge to build and sustain a healthy lifestyle.

fHere are my top seven tips for making positive lasting changes in 2018:

 

  1. Take time for you – Taking time to go within and have quiet time each day is an essential ingredient for good health. If you feel you don’t have the time then you are the person who needs it the most. When you give to yourself you get your life back. You are less stressed, more creative; you sleep better, make better decisions and are better able to listen to your intuition. There are many ways to do this including mindfulness, meditation, gratitude, and journaling, taking a walk in nature or by simply having a quiet cup of tea alone. Carving out this time even for 10 minutes a day is a game changer for a happy home.

 

  1. Watch your thoughts – negative thinking can be a default mode for many of us unless we become aware of our thoughts and consciously try and change them. Starting your day with a positive intention and affirmation can help. I use my Stop- Catch – Change method to help which entails:
  2. Stopping the thought;
  3. Catching it;
  4. Changing it to a more positive one.

Over time you can and will break the habit of negative thinking after all what you think you become. Negative thinking is a bad habit however one that we are actually predisposed to as human beings. Rick Hanson coined the phrase- “Our brains are like Velcro for negative experiences and Teflon for positive ones” meaning that we lean towards the negative and have to work hard at making good experiences stick which brings me to number 3.

 

  1. Get a coach – as part of the LloydsPharmacy 8-week Change Your Health Direction programme you will get a free health coach who will work with you over the eight weeks to create a personalised plan to help you achieve your health and wellness goals for 2018. Your coach will track your progress each week to help you make a lasting change for 2018.

 

  1. Gratitude – Keeping a gratitude journal is a practice I have done daily for over 6 years now. Every morning I wake up I write down 3 things I am grateful for and why. This is brain training and it helps me to focus on what I have instead of obsessing about what I don’t have. Most of place out happiness in the future thinking that when we become… or when we have… then we will be happy. The truth is that if you are not happy with what you have right now you will never be happy with what you want.

 

  1. Eat real food – My ethos around food is simple- Keep it real! Try not to focus on how much you eat but rather on what you eat. If you eat less from a box and more from the earth, cook more and include lots of colour you are on the right road. Remember to keep hydrated also even in the winter!

 

  1. 6. Sleep – sleep is when the magic happens. It when our bodies get a chance to renew and repair. Good quality sleep is so important so keep your phone out of the bedroom. Reduce caffeine after lunch and dump your day. By this I mean let go of what happened during the day because the energy you go to sleep in is the energy you wake up in. Try some meditation, deep breathing and gratitude. Scan through your day and choose the one thing you are most grateful for that happened that day.

 

  1. Have fun- Last but not least: exercise your fun muscle. Connect with friends, dance, sing and travel. Enjoy the journey and not the destination.

Change Your Health Direction 001For more information on how to transform your health visit www.lloydspharmacy.ie/change-your-health-direction Get supported and get started at a Lloyds pharmacy near you.

Oily skin isn’t always a bad thing. It can give you occasional breakouts, but it doesn’t mean that it can’t do anything good for your skin.

Having oily skin can slow down the rate of skin aging. One good reason is the protection the oils provide for your skin.

They form a barrier to combat pollutants, UV rays and other environmental stressors. Apart from that, having oils on your skin can also mean constant moisture.

You’ll look glowing, too.

These benefits, however, are only possible if your skin is well taken cared of. Oily skin can cause mayhem without the right products or proper skin care routine.

When there’s too much oil, your pores can easily get clogged, especially if it gets mixed with dirt, makeup residue and dead skin cells.

So, to make sure that doesn’t happen, you need to cleanse it, preferably twice a day. This is to make sure that there’s no dirt or makeup residues that can clog your pores.

Toning and moisturizing are important as well. These two steps can bring back the moisture your skin loses each time you cleanse.

Although your skin is capable of restoring moisture by itself, it can actually take quite awhile. By toning, you’ll be bringing back that lost moisture quickly.

Sun protection is important, too. A good sunscreen can help you combat excessive oil production while making sure your skin stays protected against the sun’s harmful rays.

And if your skin is already suffering from the consequences of not doing any of these skin care steps, such as acne, acne spots and dull skin, you may need to use something more potent to bring back your skin’s healthy complexion.

This includes investing in the top vitamin c serum for face. Vitamin C serums have the ability to brighten the skin, including any dark spots you may have.

They can also tighten up pores and even out your skin tone. In addition to that, they also have anti-aging benefits by boosting your skin’s collagen production.

The more collagen there is in your skin, the more supple, elastic and younger-looking it will become.

Now, if these steps overwhelmed you- don’t fret. Here’s an infographic to guide you in getting rid of oily skin.

6 Easy Things You Can Do To Get Rid Of Oily SKin

Sponsored by 

Beauty Salon Wicklow - Eden Beauty Group Wicklow Town, Laser Hair Removal, Buy Gift Vouchers Online, Facials, Waxing, Microderma

Last week I headed out to see Susan Fox in Eden Beauty group for an ocean miracle treatment using Casmara skincare.

When Susan and I decided to collaborate she sent me out some of the Casmara products to try. I started using them at the same time as I gave up coffee and sugar. This meant that I was detoxing so the products would really be put to the test.

I found the Casmara products gentle and lightweight which was perfect for the hot weather we have been experiencing. I used the 3 n 1 marine cleanser (€20), the hydra lifting serum (€40) and the hydra lifting firming moisturising cream.(€36)

Beauty Salon Wicklow - Eden Beauty Group Wicklow Town, Laser Hair Removal, Buy Gift Vouchers Online, Facials, Waxing, Microderma

Casmara was developed in Valencia in Spain and they develop and manufacturer all of their products in house which is very rare these day’s.  They invented the worlds first peel off algae masks in the 70’s and are very innovative bringing out new products regularly.

FREE FROM…

The Ocean Miracle range is silicone, paraban and alcohol free. It has no animal or egg derivatives and has an Eco Cert, which means it’s ingredients are organic, natural and not tested on animals. The products and facial contain Sea plasma where the salt is removed from seawater and you are left with a plasma that is incredibly rich in nutrients. Sea plasma contains 72 of the 91 elements on the table. It also contain Wakame kelp which is the main ingredient in miso soup and scientist who studied the longevity and ageing of the Japanese people believe the reason the live to such advanced age and have such beautiful skin is their high intake of wakame.

THE SALON

When I arrived at the salon the entrance was just off The Main Street in Wicklow but as soon as you walked sown the entrance lane you felt a sense of peace. The salon has eight treatment rooms offering everything from facials to LED Light Therapy Mask.  At Eden beauty group they will always tailor their treatments to the needs of the client.

THE TREATMENT

I have been suffering breakouts recently as my body and mind has been going through changes. I had quite a few blocked pores and I was delighted when Susan suggested extraction. There are only a few exceptional beauticians that can do extractions well and Susan is one of them.

casmara, eden beauty group, susan fox, facial, ocean miracle treatment, cleansing, natural skincare, skin health, beauty, natural products, skincare, health, wellness, holisitic health, wicklow townBefore starting the Casmara Ocean Miracle treatment Susan did a deep cleanse and then straight into the extraction! There was minimal pain and I felt quite excited at the prospect of my blocked pores being freed!! After the pain was sheer pleasure and their was a foaming mask, wakame kelp and green tea to ensure a sensory delight.

STEPS OF CASMARA OCEAN MIRACLE TREATMENT

  1. Cleansed with Green Tea Cleanser. This is a fabulous product as it contains green tea and silk proteins so it hydrates while cleansing. It is 3 products in 1. A cleanser when used on wet skin and then an exfoliator when used on dry skin with a cloth or brush. It also is an eye make up remover and you do not need a toner!

 

  1. Extraction. (Needs no description lol)

 

  1. Applied Oxygenating foaming mask. This felt amazing as it foamed on y skin. It is a fabulous treatment for stimulating cell activity and infuses the cells with pure oxygen with stimulates cell activity and makes them more responsive and better able to absorb the products applied after it.

 

  1. Susan applied an enzymatic peel; this is a peel that does not scrub or overwork the skin but rather gently melts off dead skin cells. It contains fucogel which is extremely hydrating, it contains olive oil and stops you getting that tight dry feeling you sometimes get after a peel or scrub.

 

  1. After stripping and peeling the skin you need to feed it so Susan massaged in an ampoule with Sea plasma and Threalose, which is a seaweed that holds it’s moisture for hours when the tide goes out and it is exposed on the rocks. It keeps moisture locked into your skin.

 

  1. A serum was applied that has Juvenessence in it. This slows down the cells in your body changing laminine (which is a protein) to Progerin, which is what causes cells to age. This means that this facial actually works at cell level to slow down the ageing process.

 

  1. A cream with more Wakame was applied. Wakame has been proven in clinical studies to activate 14 genes stimulating collagen, Elastin and HA (firming) in the skin.
  1. casmara, eden beauty group, susan fox, facial, ocean miracle treatment, cleansing, natural skincare, skin health, beauty, natural products, skincare, health, wellness, holisitic health, wicklow townLast but not least was the mask. It is made up of pure Wakame Kelp it lowers your body temperature by 6-8 degrees and dries from the outside in pushing products deeper into the skin. It also helps reduces any inflammation and sooth the skin. I loved this part and as you can see it also covered my eyes and I felt a deep feeling of rest at this stage of the treatment.
  1. At the end a moisturizer was applied, which had a combination of all the key ingredients in the facial. My skin felt fresh and not a sign of the extraction anywhere.

THE AFTERMATH

Over the next few days I felt my skin brighten. I had a few breakouts, which I expected as my chin in particular had been very badly clogged and needed a deep cleanse. I headed to a movie premiere with James on Sunday and as you can see from the photo below my skin looked fresh and everyone was asking had I had Botox??? The answer is no I have never had any treatment like that.

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This facial is super effective, clean, environmentally friendly and uses the latest advances in science to deliver totally natural ingredients deeply into the skin. It is also safe for even the most sensitive skin.

To avail of a 10% discount on online orders. Go to the online store here and then use the code Ali10.

For more information contact Susan at Eden Beauty Group Reception + 353 (0)404 61295

This powerhouse salmon salad is versatile and tasty while also wedged full of vitamins and minerals.

Salmon itself is one of the most nutritious fish, packed full of iron, zinc, niacin, vitamin B6 and 12 along with a whole host of other nutrients for good health. As well as the mixed grain salad this dish is superb for heart and brain health, bone health and improving thyroid function. Grains such as buckwheat, quinoa and cous cous are high in protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals. We named this the Powerhouse Salad because it would be hard to find a vitamin or mineral that’s not in this dish!

It’s a very adaptable dish. If you don’t like salmon just simply change your meat or skip the meat altogether. It is super filling and my kids love it so it’s a family favourite. If you don’t fancy making it yourself just pop into The Lo-cal Kitchen and give it a try, you can get the salad without the salmon if you wish too.

lo cal kitchen, healthy food, nutrition,fitness,yoga,health,wellness,recipes,meditation,mindfulness,eat,move,live,breathe,love,revitalize,jenny connolly, food, nutrition, wellness,POWERHOUSE SALMON

You’ll need:

  • 150g fillet of salmon
  • 1 tbsp buckwheat
  • 1 tbsp red quinoa
  • 1 tbsp giant cous cous
  • ½ cup of kale
  • ½ cup mixed salad leaves
  • 1 tbsp pomegranate seeds
  • ¼ avocado
  • 1 tbsp pearl barley

for the dressing:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ¼ tbsp. lemon juice
  • ¼ tbsp. maple syrup

 

Ovens vary so this is just a guide: Preheat the oven to 180c Place the salmon on an oven proof dish skin side up and cook in oven for 10 minutes, then turn and cook for a further 8-10 minutes until cooked through but juicy and not dry.

 

With the grains I will often make a larger batch as is done in the Lo-cal Kitchen. Cook buckwheat, quinoa, cous cous and barley according to package instructions. This usually means simmer or soak in warm water but products vary. Once cooked allow the grains to cool and combine.

 

Whisk the dressing ingredients and toss with the grains and chopped kale, making sure to coat the kale well to help it soften slightly. Top with sliced avocado and salmon before sprinkling with pomegranate seeds.

One salad portion with salmon 492 calories 24g fat, 36g carbs, 37g protein

One salad dressing: 131 calories 13g fat, 2g carbs, 0g protein

 

So why should you choose a natural cosmetic. In this article Dearbhla looks at what is actually in our products to help you make more informed choices.

If you had the choice of drinking a glass of tap water, recycled and filtered with added minerals such as chlorine and fluoride or drinking a glass of alpine water, rich in essential minerals from the earth, which would you choose?

Dearbhla Brennan, Natural cosmetic, couleur caramel, headshot, natural beauty, organic beauty, toxin free beauty, beauty, skincare, health, wellness, holistic wellness

It is not always possible to have the purest alternative at our fingertips because we live in a world of mass industrial industries where ingredients can become the least important part of a product and marketing along with gross takings become the top priority. But what happens when you do have the choice: when certified products created as naturally as possible are offered alongside the marketing monsters? You then hold the power, an effortless gesture of turning around these products and reading the ingredients lists to compare:

OPTION 1

Aqua / Water, PEG-8, Glycerin, PEG-60, Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Poloxamer 124, Citric Acid, Chlorohexidine Digluconate, Parfum / Fragrance

OPTION 2

Citrus aurantium amara (Bitter Orange) leaf/twig extract*, Aqua/Water/Eau, Sodium Chloride (sea salt), Potassium sulfate, Citrus aurantium amara (Bitter Orange) leaf/twig oil*, Lippia citriodora (Verbena) flower/leaf/stem extract*, Malva sylvestris (Mallow) flower extract*, Lotus corniculatus (Birdsfoot-trefoil) flower extract*, Equisetum arvense (Horsetail) leaf extract*, Medicago sativa (Alfalfa) extract*, Viscum album (Mistletoe) extract*, citral°, geraniol°, limonene°, linalool°

*Organically farmed ingredients, °naturally preservatives occurring in essential oils

 

The above are two toners, option 1 being a generic cosmetic brand (pharmacies), option 2 an organic, 100% natural and certified brand called PHYT’S which is considered a natural cosmetic (beauty salons, health stores).

Dearbhla Brennan, Natural cosmetic, couleur caramel, headshot, natural beauty, organic beauty, toxin free beauty, beauty, skincare, health, wellness, PHYTS organic toner, holistic wellnessThe price difference of only a few euro higher for the natural cosmetic option presented in a clouded glass bottle. This is so UV light will not affect the plant extracts versus a clear plastic bottle for the first option. The main reason that interests us in option 2 is the results the skin will receive from these ingredients: improved circulation, hydrated skin through pH balance, reinforced connective tissue. Every ingredient has a beneficial effect.

WHEN DID THE IDEA FOR PLANT BASED COSMETICS START?

The idea of using a plant based natural cosmetic is not new, as for thousands of years skincare and makeup have been used by men and women alike through the power of herbs, vegetable oils, and pigments from both plants and the earth. Unfortunately with industrial revolution and petro-chemical developments, we lost touch with our roots through the 1900s: products became more about a promise through synthetically created components which mimicked the natural of times before. Thankfully, at home and internationally, there has been a revival of tradition: plant extracts from sustainable, organic and fair trade farming; certifications of purity and quality obtained by companies to guarantee their ingredients; strict criteria that disallows synthetic fertilizers in farming, or strong chemicals used to clean equipment in labs; and absolutely no testing on animals.

 

At V.Claire Natural Cosmetics we work with PHYT’S organic skincare, Couleur Caramel natural makeup and Acorelle natural perfumes and professional waxing. We are beauty and skin therapists; we are passionate to bring out the best in every skin; loyal to the purist and most professional ranges we can find; and obsessed with every cosmetic and ingredient we work with and provide to you.

 

Maybe the simple question is: why choose synthetic, when you can choose a natural cosmetic? We would love to hear from you so comment below with any questions or comments you have!!

 

Dearbhla Lyons

Training & Development

V.Claire Natural Cosmetics

Makes 24 Brownies

When you need to supercharge your poker skills, try chia. These
weenchy seeds have finally become mainstream in Ireland, having
enjoyed some spectacular adulation across the Atlantic. Everyone from
Jessica Alba to Ross O’Carroll Kelly is tapping into chia mania. Seems
like a much more seductive way to get those brain-pumping omega-3s
without having to neck fish oil.

YOU WILL NEED:

160ml almond or other milk
3 tablespoons milled chia seeds1 block (200g) creamed coconut
225g 70–85% dark chocolate
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups (210g) coconut sugar
2 teaspoons gluten-free baking powder

Fresh homemade almond milk

FRESH ALMOND MILK

First up, make a chia ‘egg’ by mixing together the almond milk and
milled chia in a small bowl. Rest for 10 mins.

Firs up the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/350°F. Line a 20cm x 20cm square
brownie tin with baking parchment.

In the meantime, slowly melt the solid block of coconut cream
(including the oil on top of the block) with just 200g of the dark
chocolate in a small saucepan.

In a large bowl, beat the eggs and coconut sugar together until
frothy. Stir through the baking powder. Chop up the remaining 25g of
chocolate and add it in. Now let the melted chocolate coconut ganache
party with the batter. Finally, drop in your chia egg. Spoon this
glossy gorgeousness into the lined brownie tin.

Bake in the oven for 30 minutes, until you see cracks along the top.
Remove, and cool in the tin. Best served cold or at room temperature.

WE’D LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU COMMENT BELOW IF YOU ARE A BROWNIE FAN…
#TastyTuesday

A delicious green smoothie is an integral part of my wellness plan. As most of us are full of empty calories and nutrient poor, a green goddess smoothie is quick and versatile and adds that extra nutrient boost most of us are craving.

I’m not an advocate of replacing food with smoothies but they make a great snack or brekkie on the run. I used to skip breakfast but now I just whip up a quick smoothie to take with me instead.

INGREDIENTS:

Small handful of kale and/or spinach

1 inch of cucumber

1 broccoli floret

Handful of frozen blueberries (organic if possible)

1 frozen banana

Half an avocado

Tablespoon of coconut oil

Fill to the line with Almond milk/coconut water or filtered water

Optional boosters: 1 spoon of maca powder – an adaptogen that contains natural fatty acids found in food and B6 which makes it a superfood for mood. Maca is a great addition for people struggling with depression and/or anxiety. It has also been known to boost energy, fertility and even menopause symptoms.

Another great booster is spirulina powder – The incredibly powerful blue/green powder is a natural “algae” (cyanbacteria) that is incredibly high in protein and a good source of antioxidants, B-vitamins and other nutrients. It’s health benefits are endless from helping to detoxify heavy metals, boosting energy and helping to alleviate sinus issues.

Having a green smoothie helps me to stay on track with my healthy eating. You need to find what works for you but for me personally its hard to get a nice variety of veg into my diet each day. The boosters I add depend on how I feel. If I’m stressed I add spirulina as I find it helps and if I’m feeling down I reach for the maca. When you start to live more mindfully you can tune into your food and feed your mood, sleep and overall health and wellbeing in a more connected and conscious way.

Shine Bright

Ali xxx

I like trying new and different exercise classes, primarily because I get bored and my body does too. Recently I have been trying lots of new and interesting exercise classes and styles in London. Here are two of my recent favourites Calisthenics and TRX Yoga Core.

BLOK LONDON

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I had heard a lot about Blok London and met them at the Jack Wills press morning back in January so I was eager to get down there and try a class.

I decided to try a Calisthenics class, primarily because I had never heard of it and before I took the class I had absolutely no idea what to expect. As you can see I like the element of surprise and boy was I surprised but in a good way. Calisthenics is a Greek word meaning beauty and strength and it has four components basics, conditioning, strengthening and freestyle!

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It’s a full body workout using your own body weight. It was a very interesting class for me personally as I learnt a lot about how I feel in my body in a very different way to yoga and Pilates. Some fears crept up and even though I tried to push through I realized I have some body confidence work to do.

One of the reasons I like to add variety into my life and not just stick to the same routine is because I find when you get used to something it becomes boring and mundane. Also when you challenge yourself and switch things up you learn something new about yourself and we never stop learning, growing and evolving in this lifetime. It’s like a little shake up to keep things interesting.

 

blok london, fitness, classes, london fit fam, be complete, feelgood, wellness, wellbeing, alison canavan, gyms london, ethos, calisthenics, TRX, yoga

BLOK CAFE

I really tuned into my body in the class and noticed areas of weakness and pain and felt motivated to work on different things and push myself that bit harder.

The Calisthenics class really brought me into the space of mindset and how limiting it can be for us. Getting our body and mind to work together is so important and understanding that our mind can be a limiting factor in our growth and potential is the first step towards understanding that we can change it.

The teacher Jermaine Hunter has an amazing approach to fitness and wellbeing. He looks at everything through a 360 lens, which I love. He reads the class and pushes you to your own individual potential. I’ll definitely be back and I look forward to the day when I can do a handstand too!!

ETHOS

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The next morning the sun was shining and I was up bright and early to try out a TRX Yoga Core class at Ethos in Spitalfields market in East London with Lisa Hood. I was intrigued at how yoga and TRX could be merged or if it was even really a possibility. I absolutely loved it though and I was pleasantly surprised at the nice flow I managed throughout most of the class.

Again I tuned in to stronger and weaker aspects of my strength, which leaves me encouraged to keep working on my upper body strength. I struggled a lot at the end of the class with core work and exercises that moved us towards a headstand. Hopefully one day soon I will blog about finally managing to do a great headstand!

blok london, fitness, classes, london fit fam, be complete, feelgood, wellness, wellbeing, alison canavan, gyms london, ethos, calisthenics, TRX, yoga

Just like the Calisthenics class the TRX/Yoga mix really worked your entire body. I

always try and work with my breath to go deeper with any exercise I do. I used to hold my breath a lot, which I only realized when a teacher pointed it out to me. Your body moves easier with your breath. Think of yourself as one big team: mind, body and spirit and your breath is like the glue that ties it all together. So use your breath wisely both in and out of exercise class!

I try and push my body a little further each time I exercise but I have learnt that it’s about beating my personal best and not looking around the room like I used to. Like anything in life there will always be people better and worse than you. When you make yourself the competition it’s a game changer.

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The Ethos at Ethos – I love the last one!

Both gyms have great juice and smoothie bars. After my class at Blok I had some bone broth which is rich in mineral that support the immune system and a green detox smoothie full of yummy goodies like spirulina, pineapple – apple – spinach – kale – ginger – lemon – chlorella – wheatgrass and barleygrass. I topped that off with a turmeric latte, which is my new hot drink obsession.

blok london, fitness, classes, london fit fam, be complete, feelgood, wellness, wellbeing, alison canavan, gyms london, ethos, calisthenics, TRX, yoga

Cafe at Ethos

At ethos I had a wake up shake up (it was 7AM!), which was so tasty. It had bananas, strawberries, oats, almond milk and vanilla protein.

blok london, fitness, classes, london fit fam, be complete, feelgood, wellness, wellbeing, alison canavan, gyms london, ethos, calisthenics, TRX, yogaI’m really enjoying my little exercise ventures! Next up Reformer Pilates and Barre, I can’t wait!

 

Keep Moving and Shining Bright

 

Ali xxx

In my opinion meditation is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself and a very powerful tool to have in your wellness toolbox. I have been meditating for many years and have a daily practice, which enables me to reconnect with myself each day. Most of us are distracted and live too much in our heads. Very rarely do we check in and come into our bodies and notice how we are feeling. For years I focused on external things like money, career and boyfriends to bring me happiness but I’ve learnt that true happiness and contentment actually comes from creating peace from the inside out.

MEDITATION, growth, space, inner being, spiritual growth, alison canavan, mindfulness, be completeIt’s almost like reversing everything we have been told in our western culture and truly understanding that we actually have everything we need to be happy within us already, we just need to tap into it and work with it. This takes time, patience and practice but with some consistency and work its one of the most worthwhile and rewarding practices to include in your daily life.

It has been said if you want more wellbeing, inner peace, happiness and less stress in your life then learn how to meditate. Researchers at Harvard University even found that during the practice of meditation the body has what they call ‘the relaxation response’ that gives the body deep rest, which is actually deeper than the rest we get from sleep.

[bctt tweet=” Meditation is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself” username=”alicanavan”]

Now I know that beginning a meditation practice can seem intimidating and often confusing because there are so many different types and trends out there today. Trying to quiet your mind can also seem like an impossible task or if you are anything like me when I first began I thought I had to stop my own thoughts! The good news is that not only do you not have to stop your thoughts but you can let them come and go with ease during your practice after all its impossible to stop your thoughts unless your are enlightened or indeed dead.

MEDITATION, growth, space, inner being, spiritual growth, alison canavan, mindfulness, be completeI have been trained in many different types of meditation and it’s important to find what works for you because we are all so different. There is plenty of support out there today in the form of apps, websites, online courses, books and more. I personally don’t believe that one type is more superior to another and in my own practice I use different supports like mantras, visualization and breathing techniques when I feel I need them. It’s important to note that you learn to meditate by meditating and you will grow with your practice.

[bctt tweet=”Meditation allows us the opportunity to work with our mind and understand that we are not our thoughts” username=”alicanavan”]

Meditation allows us the opportunity to work with our mind and understand that we are not our thoughts and that we can change them and in time even catch them before they catch us. In a study by The University of Wisconsin-Madison they found the first evidence of specific molecular changes in the body following a period of mindfulness meditation. This is truly amazing because it shows us that your genes do not automatically determine your future. This is called epigenetics and it is actually mainstream science and not on the fringe as you might think.

Basically how you live can have an effect on your genes almost like a volume control button. Based on your day-to-day experience the dial either gets turned up or down. By including meditation in your daily life it has been shown to have a positive effect on your gene expression and this expression can be passed down through generations if you have children, which means changing your lifestyle habits today can help the next generation become healthier too.

So not only can meditation change our brain activity and structure it can also have an effect on our genes too. But wait there’s more: because we know each aspect of us is interconnected recent research is also looking at the connection between meditation and our gut health too. Because meditation elicits a relaxation response it has been shown to have a significant impact on clinical symptoms of gastrointestinal disorders, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). 

I didn’t fully appreciate all the research until I started to experience the real benefits for myself. My life has been transformed through meditation and yours can too.

MEDITATION, growth, space, inner being, spiritual growth, alison canavan, mindfulness, be completeHere are some of my top tips and a over the next few weeks I’ll be sharing some meditations so sign up to my newsletter below if you’re interested.

TOP TIPS:

NO EXCUSES: The biggest obstacle to starting is YOU. The most frequent thing I hear is the excuse that we have no time. This is also the excuse I used for many years although I found time to do plenty of other wasteful things for hours on end! If you can scroll through Facebook for 10 minutes you can gift yourself the essential 10 minutes to meditate and practice self-care.

JUST DO IT: Don’t overthink it too much just begin. We all have to start somewhere so choose an app or a class or a guided online meditation or simply follow my easy guide below.

GOOD WEBSITES: www.10percenthappier.com www.zen12.com www.omharmonincs.com www.freemindfulness.org, www.chopra.com, www.fragrantheart.com, www.tarabrach.com

GREAT APPS: Sattva, Buddhify, Calm, Headspace, Take A Break, Mindbody Connect, Omvana, Relax Melodies, Smiling Mind

I also have weekly live meditations for mums on facebook (join here) every week and there are 3 meditations available free to download from my website in the resources section for my book.

START YOUR DAY THE RIGHT WAY: I meditate in the morning as I find it helps start my day in a positive and intentional way. It’s a great way to settle yourself before the madness begins and I find if you give yourself 5-10 minutes in the morning your ability to cope with stress and any obstacles you encounter during the day is much better.

SMALL STEPS EACH DAY: Real change happens when we are consistent with our habits. 5-10 minutes each day is far better and more beneficial than 2 hours once a week. Even though small changes might not feel like a lot, trust me they make a big difference and the kind of difference you are really looking for = REAL CHANGE.

BE EASY WITH YOURSELF: As you begin your journey into meditation be kind and compassionate with yourself. It’s too easy to beat yourself up for wandering thoughts or unwanted emotions arising but this is not the time for that, we do that too much anyway. Instead, this is your time to focus on the present in a non-judgmental way to increase awareness, which in turn helps to calm the body and mind.

MEDITATION, growth, space, inner being, spiritual growth, alison canavan, mindfulness, be complete

Please feel free to comment below with any meditation questions you have…

Shine Bright,

Ali xxx