As I write this I am actually in tears. I’ve just cancelled the first day of photo shoots for my new cookbook because today the pictures were going to be of me. There is no team of people here to help me choose something to wear or to do my hair & make-up. There’s just me, worrying about what I look like. Worrying about putting myself out there. Worrying if you’ll like what I have for you.
Its been a roller coaster over the past 4 years, changing the way I eat, move and think. Somedays it feels like someone is constantly holding a mirror in front of my face, asking me to look deeply at who I think I am, its hard. And of course there will always be that inner bullshit voice that is trying to tell me I’m not good enough. You see I’m the same as you. I have doubts and fears too.
In the past 4 years I have had 2 periods of complete crash and burn, I really thought I was going mad. Someone said this is the “Dark night of the Soul” I like to call it the “Dark Night of the Arsehole” Because it is. Everything is shifting and you don’t know where is safe anymore, your just holding on for dear life, wondering which way is up. Reality seeming like a distant friend.
And there lies the problem – holding on. Through all the things I practice yoga, meditation, clean eating and mindful thinking, I’ve learnt that its when we “Let Go” that we create space for amazing things to rush in. When the walls are all around us we have to surrender. But this can feel scarier and darker than anything else.
Which is why I am here. I have so much to give you. I’ve been through some serious shit to get where I am and I want to continue moving, flowing with the turbulent river of life so that I can share with you the ways of Letting Go. And when your life feels like its in the depth of Winter, I’ll be here to remind you that Spring will come, it has to, its the law of nature.
So tomorrow is another day. Tomorrow I’m gonna pick myself up, surround myself with some friends, pop open some champagne, celebrate and get my photo taken. For you. Please don’t pity me, use me as an example, think of me when your nights draw in, because I’ll be thinking of you and I’ll be putting the champagne in the fridge ready to help you welcome the lighter nights that will follow.
We’re all in this together and knowing that has helped my tears dry away.
Have you got someone in your life that might benefit from a this kind of openess? Then share this with them, flash it around on Facebook or Tweet tweet tweet. I’d also love to hear your thoughts. Tell me, ask me and remember ”We’re all in this together”
I have been procrastinating over whether to do video on my website for months now. In fact I’ve just been putting off, putting myself out there for a while. Simple because I’m overweight & I look like my mother (who I haven’t had a relationship with for the past 6 years and I don’t like her – no apology)
I’m a vegan cook & a yoga teacher for crying out loud, I’m supposed to be all shiny and beautiful, right? Wrong, I’m normal (ish) I’m a UK size 14-16 and my stomach is always bloated. Sometimes I have one chin to many and this really pisses me off. Partly due to the fact that I eat a plant based whole foods diet, drink alcohol maybe once a week and do my very best to stay away from the evil white stuff – sugar – not cocaine silly, but sugar is considered to be the cocaine of the food world.
This procrastination led to a great conversation with the husband. We talked about the fact that if I was going to lose loads of weight before I showed up on this world wide web then I would be perpetuating the myth that only skinny is healthy. Well that’s bullshit.
I have a personal trainer, I drink green juice, I take supplements, I go see an acupuncturist, I get loads of exercise, I’m super flexible, I sleep well, I drink herbal tea, I use non toxic products and my sex life ain’t bad either. I just happen to be a curvy woman and I am learning to embrace the shape I’m in.
This subject really hit home last week when I posted this image on my Be Bountiful Facebook page. Facebook lets you know how many people see each post and up until this image, my most popular post was a recipe for Sweet Potato juice (its flipping delicious, don’t knock it till you’ve tried it) 611 people saw this recipe.
This image was seen by 1752 people had 13 shares & 27 likes. You really resonated with the message of this image and sent out the signal that
”Everybodys body is beautiful”
How awesome is that? Which brings me to another thought
“Love your body, because you can’t look after something you hate”
I’m going to share a funny little story that I hope the people involved don’t kill me for Whilst having lunch in a friends garden recently, we got to talking about being naked. I talked about how I had never seen my mother naked and this had an effect on how I feel about my own body. One of the girls told stories of dancing naked at festivals and we generally shared thoughts feelings & insecurities. Then some bright spark, ok it was me, decided we should all get topless right there & then. So we did and we giggled and hoped that the neighbours weren’t watching. But it had a deeper effect on me, it felt great to have the fresh air on my skin, it felt great to be with 3 women, who I love, and just be natural and it helped to reinforce the feeling of acceptance of my body.
So whether your tall, short, skinny, curvy, got big boobs or nothing at all and one leg is shorter than the other, I would just like to say here and now
“Your fucking gorgeous”
And I highly recommend getting naked in front of your friends at least once. If your looking after yourself with great food & moving your body regularly, then you have nothing to worry about. If your not doing these things, snap to it sister, all the time embracing the shape your in and radiate from the inside out.
Written with love, whilst in my underwear!
Got someone in your life that might benefit from a this kind of openess? Then share this with them, flash it around on Facebook or Tweet tweet tweet. I’d also love to hear your thoughts. Tell me, ask me and remember ”Love your body, because you can’t look after something you hate”
Back in the early days I was like “Yeah broccoli is a superfood, why do I need all that other crazy shit” but now I get it, but only after starting to feel less that 100%.
When I first made the decision to go plant powered (vegan) in 2011 and I cut out dreadful dairy etc, I immediately started to feel amazing. And when people asked was the transition easy, I always reply “hell yes” but what takes work is maintaining that feeling. There are some days when I’m on the go and maybe my diet is not fully wholefoods based, crisps being a vegan nemesis! And have to remind myself of this…
“It’s not what we do once in a while that shapes our lives. It’s what we do consistently.”thanks Anthony Robbins
And believe me when I say “I’m human” and its a practice to do something everyday, but what I’d like to share with you is the ideal stuff to do for your God Pod on a daily basis. You might already be doing some of this, it might all be completely new and seem a little bit freaky. But hang in there, remember the quote and practice. Just start and keep doing it until you’ve got a routine down that Beyonce would be proud of. Hell dance around whilst your doing it, that will help a truck load too.
So here goes … 11 things to do everyday to stay fucking awesome…..
1) WAKE UP
This is the most important step. Don’t do this and all the other stuff means nada.
2) BE GRATEFUL THAT YOU WOKE UP AND THAT YOU HAVE THIS AMAZING BODY
Right, when you’ve woken up seriously the next thing to do is to say silently or really flipping loudly, THANK YOU! People die in their sleep. Be grateful that you didn’t, I mean it.
3) HOT WATER WITH LEMON
Fire up your system with some warm water & a squeeze of lemon. WHY? Well because it .. Aids digestion, cleanses your system / is a diuretic, boosts your immune system, balances pH levels, clears skin, energises you and enhances your mood, promotes healing, freshens breath, hydrates your lymph system and aids in weight loss. MAGIC
I like to do Yoga and it can be as simple as 5 mins. My absolute all time favourite posture is the Miracle Bend. Stand up with feet about hip width apart, hands in prayer position at the heart, eyes closed. Start by feeling really rooted and grounded, feel that at your feet. Then slowly bring your attention all the way up the body. Breathe all the way up. Then inhale & open the hands, bringing the arms round in a big circle reaching above your head. Stretch. With a flat back, exhale & fold all the way down until your fingers reach the floor. Inhale deeply and bring the arms around again, big circle until you reach the top. Stretch. Repeat, 26 times.. No mat required, no fancy yoga clothes, you can do this one in your pants.
5) DRY SKIN BRUSH
Remember Baloo in the Jungle Book giving himself a nice dry brush against a tree? Well its a bit like that and like he says “Oh man, this is really living” HOW – Use a natural fibre brush on dry skin (not a tree ha ha). Use circular motions always towards the heart. Start on the soles of your feet moving up. Don’t brush to hard. Always do it before showering. Do it once a day for a few minutes. WHY – because it stimulates your lymphatic system, detoxifies your skin, reduces cellulite, strengthens the immune system, stimulates your nervous system & gets your skin glowing.
6) HOT & COLD SHOWER
A natural high to start your day? Hydrotherapy has a golden rule of 3′s: 3 minutes hot, 30 seconds cold, repeat 3 times always ending on cold to get your blood and lymph moving and give you an energy boost. Top tip, DON’T put your head under the cold water and you try shouting WARRIOR to get you through the 30 seconds of cold. This was a tip given to me by my first Yoga teacher and it works a treat. Who cares whose listening.
7) GREEN JUICE
Oh yeah baby, get some liquid sunshine in your veins. This is a whole post by itself but for now just believe me when I say DO IT.
I don’t want to hear any complaining about how much a juicer or the vegetables cost, how much do you spend on an average night out, chocolate, crisps or rubbish beauty magazines? This shit will improve everything. Start out with a simply juice, cucumber, celery, green apple, spinach & a bit of ginger. BAM. I will do a full write up on this because, well, it deserves it and so do you. Just go get juicy juicy juicing and drink it slowly.
Some people don’t eat breakfast, I, on the other hand have to eat breakfast. Although since I’ve been chugging down my green juice I don’t need it as soon as I wake up. Just take a look at the word itself BREAK – FAST. So we want to let our body know we’re gonna give it some kick ass fuel for the day and not weigh it down with loads of crap, we are breaking the fast of the last 8 hours. If your inclined to have a couple of pieces of fruit that might be all you need. If you need something a little more filling, especially if you do lots of exercise try some almond milk and chia seed bircher muesli. A small handful of gluten free oats, a cup of non-dairy milk and 2 tablespoons of chia seeds, grate in an apple and leave to soak overnight. The chia seeds really soak up all the excess liquid and thicken up the porridge. The texture of the bircher muesli is delicious and incredibly filling because its so nutritious. Chuck in some nuts, seeds & fruit of your choice. Yummers. Must try. And as bonus you can make a bigger batch and it will last a couple of days. BINGO.
This is a new one on me. I just wasn’t feeling 100% so took myself off to my acupuncturist, *Glorious. With the amazing healing and conversation, it soon became apparent that my body needed something my diet or lifestyle wasn’t giving me. I also have a 20 year old daughter who is also vegan and felt it was role to lead the way in healthy living. This is another one of those “I can’t afford it” moments. What you can’t afford to be healthy & happy? Um I think you bloody can. Prioritise yourself. Put your wellbeing before new shoes or a fancy bottle of wine. Life, I promise is much more awesome when you feel on top of the world. Supplements I take are a wholefoods multi vitamin, vitamin D, vitamin B12, evening primrose oil and a probiotic. Get down to your local health food shop (NOT Holland & Barrett) and have a chat with someone there. If you go to the right place these guys know there stuff.
10) DO A LITTLE DANCE
Just before you leave the house, you gotta have a little dance. Put on your favourite track, crank it up and dance your ass off whilst putting on your shoes, finding your keys or kissing the husband goodbye. (Blow yourself a kiss in the mirror if no husband available!) Your endorphins will love you for it and all the people you smile at down the road will get a bit of your inner buzz.
11) START YOUR DAY LIKE YOUR A FUCKING SUPERSTAR
Once at a yoga retreat on the first day, our teacher (a very wise man) sat there looking all serene, looked up and said to us “The fastest way to happiness, is stop complaining” HOLY SHIT! There was a gasp followed by silence. So simple yet so true. So lets take this opportunity to practice these simple tools, just for a week to start with and see how you feel. This might all sound like a lot to do but in reality its an hour, tops. What will happen then is that you’ll make better choices for yourself all day. You’ll be calmer, lighter, more fun and you’ll generally just be much more awesome. Go on be a superstar.
Got someone in your life that might benefit from a helpful kick up the toosh? Then share this with them, flash it around on Facebook or Tweet tweet tweet. I’d also love to hear your thoughts, is there something I’ve missed? Is it all too much? Tell me, ask me and remember “The fastest way to HAPPINESS is to STOP COMPLAINING”
Love & shizzle
PS I realise this is a mighty long post so over the coming weeks, I’ll break it down for you ♥
Do you have a burning question? Would you like to see clearer on an aspect of your life? Here’s your chance to ask. Over the coming weeks I will be starting a new project exploring these 3 areas, let me know what questions you have and lets start talking.
CHEW ON THIS …. Plant based eating & lifestyle
GET A LIFE ……….. Ask me anything and I’ll share with you my thoughts
YOGA BUDDY …….. I teach Kundalini Yoga, I practice other styles, what would you like to know?
I can’t wait to hear from you, just use the comments section.
Meatless Monday, meatless Tuesday, meatless Wednesday. Its meatless everyday around here, I’m one of those vegans. I’ve gone from a rare steak eating kinda girl to living a plant powered life in little over 5 years. Its been a process, but I can truthfully say its the best thing I’ve ever done for me and my family.
Cheese, that’s a killer, in more ways than one. Its full of shit that really isn’t good for you, creating mucus in the body and all kind of skin problems. But when you’ve been eating it for 35 years its also a killer to give up. Cheese on toast with a glass of port, Italian dishes with baked aubergine and cheese oozing out of the layers, pineapple and cheese on sticks at kids parties, they were all so tempting. These days I get my fix from nutritional yeast and the occasional soy cheeze.
Meat was the easiest for me. I’d attended a weekend seminar where we were shown videos of meat production and that was it (apart from the one time in Paris when I succumbed to a lamb cutlet) I carried on eating fish for a while, as a family we all enjoyed seafood and it seemed to give me a wider choice when eating out.
So what happened. Well yoga and meditation came into my life. It’s quite common for people who start connecting with their bodies more or start a regular spiritual practice to start looking at how they treat their bodies. I got completely opened up to the idea of what I put into my body reflected how my life was on the outside.
Back in my 20s when I was drinking lots of booze, taking drugs and eating burgers (ha ha I thought this was sexy) my life was pretty toxic too. I had shallow friendships, lived in a crappy flat and thought I wasn’t good enough to have a life that was meaningful. I always shopped for new outfits and lived my life very much on the outside. Now at 40, I drink occasionally (champagne being my downfall) I eat an amazing plant passionate diet, I exercise and meditate. My friends are awesome and supportive, they reflect back to me the way I want to feel. I live in a beautiful flat in a leafy part of London and fill my time do things I enjoy.
So little changes can really bring huge results. Try this …
Put your hands in front of you in prayer pose, open your hands about 2 inches, keeping the bottom of the palms together. Take a moment to look at the space you’ve created, breathe into it. Then slowly start raising your hands up into the air in the natural line that they follow, your hands will be moving away from each other. Creating a huge space. This is what it’s like when you start to introduce small changes into your life, big things happen. That space you’ve just created in this simple exercise is call peace. Peace of mind. It creates a vacuum for all the amazing things you want in your life to come rushing in. It doesn’t have to be filled, just nurtured.
As we are approaching Spring, its a time when most of us are looking at making changes to the way we eat or drink, why not just choose one. Choose one thing to change, stick to it, nurture it, don’t overload yourself. And you’ll see from the space this one change creates that others will follow with as much effort. When you succeed at things it sends a happy postcard to your brain saying “You can do it”