Well 2016 was an eventful year wasn’t it? Many of us may have been looking forward to a fresh start in 2017 and yet also apprehensive about what might be in store for us but the Time for Change is Now. One thing is certain – personal empowerment is on the rise and The Women’s March is evidence of the scale and the support for change Worldwide. There is much talk about us being ‘disconnected’ with our environment and what is happening around us – technology is wonderful but we need to use it for our individual benefit and not as a distraction from life.
So how have you been feeling? Insecure, less in control, dissatisfied, confused, overwhelmed, helpless even? Change is always unsettling and the best way of dealing with it is to take action yourself. All big change starts with small collective action.
I used to make New Year Resolutions like ‘Get Fit’ or ‘Lose weight’ but now I set out positive Intentions for the year ahead. This year I feel inspired and have made far more than usual. As a Functional Medicine Ambassador and Health Coach I am excited by the change happening in our attitudes to Health and Wellbeing. As conventional medicine fails to deal with chronic illnesses, Functional Medicine is rising to the challenge by looking at the whole person and their environment. The demand for Functional Medicine Practitioners far outstrips the supply at the moment but change of attitude and self-education can reap really great results. You do not have to do it alone. Connect with like-minded people, websites, YouTube, Groups, share your experiences and ask questions – there is support everywhere and much of it is free.
First ask yourself what you would like to achieve this year and then work out how you can work towards those goals. My main interests are health and our environment and I think the two are totally connected. If you follow me on twitter @GutHealthHelp you will know that I am passionate about both. Focus on people or actions that you find inspirational. Use positive language not negative and reinforce it with stating the time for change is now!
This is my list of positive intentions – a work in progress!
Learn how to use technology and Social media for my own advantage.
- Get emails down to a manageable level
- prioritize what I want to achieve each day – putting twitter, Facebook and non-personal emails last.
- Use the internet to further my knowledge, access relevant information and initiate my own ‘quality control’ asking “do I really need to know this/participate in this?”
- Make time for the people and activities that are important to me.
- Read to further my knowledge, strengthen my beliefs and for pure escapism and enjoyment. My books so far this year are –
- ‘Our Earth, Our Species, Our selves’, How to thrive while creating a sustainable World by Ellen Moyer
- ‘One Spirit Medicine’ by Alberto Villoldo
- ‘The Pinch: How the baby boomers took their children’s future.’ by David Willetts
- re-read ‘A Thousand Splendid Suns’ by Khaled Hosseini – my favourite book….
ENERGY & EXERCISE
I feel we all need to increase our vitality and therefore be able to achieve more each day. As well as creating energy we need to be aware of where we waste energy. On a bad day I have spent most of the morning on my iPad and then felt depleted and unmotivated so by relegating it to lower down my list of to do’s I achieve much more.
So much is written about sleep lately and I will not repeat the usual recommendations but reveal how I have improved my sleep quality. Sleep is so important for detoxing our brains and helping to prevent Dementia therefore improving sleep should be a priority.
I have felt that I often didn’t sleep well for quite a few years now. I have tried Meditation and relaxation recordings and many natural sleep aids like 5-htp, Melatonin, Herbs, L-Theanine etc. My main problem was an over-active mind and therefore not getting off to sleep.
Recently I have been using an App that helps me analyze what lifestyle factors affect my sleep and it was not chocolate or wine – which I had assumed were a problem.
The App is ‘Sleep Cycle’ and is used by over 260,000 people. An intelligent alarm clock that analyzes your sleep and wakes you up gently in the lightest phase of sleep. Although I am against having electrical devices in my bedroom, this has to be plugged in but you can use Airplane mode to disconnect wi-fi. I also use Night shift on my iPad to limit blue light exposure. Upgrade for under £8 a year to be able to access more analytical tools, add notes and play a timed amount of soothing sounds to help you relax into sleep. I love it and my sleep is now much improved.
- My LCHF diet is the best I can afford and the high quality fats have improved my brain and energy.
- I already buy my meat from a good source that supplies organic and grass-fed meat as well as sustainably caught wild fish.
- I have now ordered a weekly organic veg box delivery
- we are increasing our oily fish each week – including tinned sardines, pilchards and salmon to keep overall costs down.
- In the Spring I am planning on growing more herbs and vegetables/fruit. I attempted this last year but discovered some were incompatible with a healthy squirrel population! This year herbs, tomatoes,beets, rainbow chard and strawberries – plus more netting!
- Doing all I can to combat food waste. This even included buying a new, larger Fridge/freezer so that I can shop less often but keep everything fresh for longer plus freeze any excess produce. This is working well and I freeze herbs, ginger, spinach, gluten free bread and wraps and I can also do a batch cook up when the mood takes me or in preparation for visitors.
ACTION ON OUR ENVIRONMENT
This is one I have always been aware of but it is easy to get complacent and feel things are out of your control.
- I am very inspired by Sky for setting up the Ocean Rescue program this week so I have signed up. Info here Sky Ocean Rescue
- Decreasing our use of plastic is something where we can all have a huge impact. Reduce our use on all disposable plastics – cotton buds, straws, stirrer, plastic cutlery, microbeads in toiletries etc.
- Educate as many as possible about not using plastic lids on disposable cups as they contain a carcinogen called BPA. More coffee shops are encouraging people to bring their own mugs/flasks.
- Recycle where possible. Upcycle. Donate to charity anything other than just bin it!
- Plus my ongoing program to support organic farming and spread the word about soil degradation and how it affects our health. ‘Sugar Free Farm‘ on ITV on has done a good job of raising awareness of the importance of getting away from Intensive farming and improving the quality of our soil, our food and our health while at the same time reconnecting us to nature. We cannot be healthy if our food and environment are not healthy. See my post on the importance of this to our immune system here
I hope you find and follow your own passions and reconnect with the things that matter to you this year. Let me know in Comments below. Your actions could impact many lives.
Wishing you abundant health and Vitality this year.
featured image Public Domain from pixabay