It’s time to experience skincare that works as hard as you do.

It’s time to experience skincare that works as hard as you do.
— next event on 27 October at Diego’s in Southampton RSVP

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Work hard, play hard, fuel right

What do pro athletes and professional parents have in common? Dreams and passion to do well in all they do, and the hard work it takes to show up no matter what. Such dedication can take its toll on our immune system.

What surprises me as a health coach is that while we take it for granted that athletes owe it to themselves to feed right, there seems to be an acceptance that professional working adults don’t take their body as seriously. Yet the demands are so similar… The relentless running around school drop off and/or pick up, clubs, running a house, leading a successful career comes with its share of challenges.

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Athletes testimonials video

The change of seasons are particularly demanding on our immune system, and we see an increase of colds (man flu, because guys do tend to have worse).

Yet there are so many ways to prevent not only the fatigue but also dips in immunity.

Sarah’s 10 tips of the day to keep well

  1. Hydrate, it’s somewhat more difficult when it’s colder or humid outside
  2. Know your limits, and respect them
  3. Move your body, you’re a human, not a sloth
  4. Know your essential macros (natural carbs of the green type, protein of the lean type, fats of the mean type). I fancied a rhyme, just avoid processed crap at least.
  5. Know your essential micros (look for independently verified quality). See here to cover the basic needs whether you’re a sport athlete or a corporate pro parent.
  6. Rest and sleep
  7. Surround yourself with people who lift you up
  8. Follow your dreams, make a difference,
  9. Be “selfish” in your responsibilities, no one is coming to save you, you know what makes you happy, so get on to it.
  10. Be kind to yourself. Remember it’s about progression not perfection. Aim for the above, don’t beat yourself up if you slip up.

My passion is to build a better world and fill it with healthy people. If I can make it easy for you or you want to know more about how holistic health coaching can help, do get in touch.

12 Tips to Survive Thesis, Reports, Case Studies and Other Big Writing Projects

One of my Facebook friends asked for tips on writing her thesis. As three and a half years of research (and with that sweat, existential crisis stress, fears, tears…) come to a close, now a potentially more daunting task begins. Writing a thesis, a final year report, or just any type of big writing exercise summarising a major piece of work is a huge undertaking. The output will be all that’s left of it, it is life defining and a learning opportunity in itself. I’ve got years of experience whether through my studies or work life, and every single time I have to write on a significant project there’s yet a new journey. Here’s the 12 tips I’ve come up with. Please comment with yours, they will help.

  1. Facts. Facts. Facts
  2. You actually know more than you think.
  3. Take breaks. Loo breaks. Screen breaks. Food breaks. Hug breaks (Partner, best buddy, be weary of random strangers). Schedule some regular breaks.
  4. CTRL+S every 5-10 minutes
  5. Work on the cloud, and/or evolve the versions
  6. Some days will be tough, especially just before a breakthrough of thoughts. It’s ok. Part of the process. You need a step back before you leap forward.
  7. Sometimes, especially towards the end, you may feel like giving up. Don’t. See points 2, 3 and 6.
  8. If you haven’t done so already, build your support network. Call someone who will lift you up.
  9. Nutrition is everything. Feed your brain (protein, greens, fats) as a human being. Supplement with omega 3 (check the shop for Biomega, but register first as a preferred customer for discounts!)
  10. Sleep. Unless you’re inspired, then indulge in a few more hours, but then have naps.
  11. Probably should be number 1, hydrate. With water, obviously.
  12. ENJOY! Every. Single. Moment. Of. It. The rough and the smooth.
Biomega
Biomega recommendation by freespirit.usana.com

Let’s talk skincare, shall we?

Sleep, hydrate, exercise, feed, supplement, repeatTips for a healthy glow

Hands up who’s got skin, AND who wants their skin to feel sooo good they don’t even need to think about it anymore.

Gosh do I love wearing little to no make up! I was never super keen on slapping the war paint on, but for the past 20 years i was feeling it was necessary. Except that every morning, as I was putting on the foundation, then the powder, and the blush, and the eye shadows, and the highlighter, and the bronzer… every layer, every brush stroke was reinforcing “I have imperfections I want to hide to the outside world” and it never felt right.

It’s quite a powerfully negative message when you think about it. It spells out “not good enough”. And we all fall for it. The make up industry is built on these insecurities.

Then there’s the whole issue about what we put on our skin, which is the largest absorbing organ in our body. Ever thought about that? A decade or so ago (ok 15+) I noticed how certain cosmetics were better than others for my skin. It was well worth the expense I thought. Rhetorical question, but how many people can afford lugging £500 worth of war paints around, to hide their skin, plus the regular expense in a bid to solve the concerns?

I toyed around with many things, wearing no make up wasn’t really great and pamper sessions are nice. Anyway back in 2016, when my eldest started playing with essential oils, we started making lotions and potions. Fun activities for the kids, brilliant use for mum, here I was making my own skincare (and teaching the children some good life skills!). The improvements were noticeable. That’s due to using natural products from reliable sources. No more rubbish on my skin. Within a few weeks, I had somewhat of a Botox effect, and I finally started going without makeup. It was fab, a good start. My skin tone still wasn’t super even, and my skin could feel raw at times. It just wasn’t ideal, and I’d have to reach for Bobbi’s support every so often. It was progress, but I was still looking to optimise the wellbeing of my skin.

If you know me, then you know that I tend to dig to the core of an issue and I will always look for a holistic solution. That healthy skin glow is the reflection of your total health, therefore achieving the glow starts deeper. It takes care from both inside and out

Tips for a healthy glow from inside:

  1. Sleep – 7 to 8 hours and practice relaxation. One may be able to survive or even function on less, but to thrive and get that healthy glow, that’s non-negotiable.
  2. Hydrate – drink for your bodyweight and activity level. (Papa, I mean water!) Think 2 litres a day for your average human.
  3. Exercise – move about, do something that you enjoy, use that body of yours, it doesn’t have to be in a gym or even sports, but move that bum about.
  4. Eat real food – stick to a human diet preferably, it’s bad enough that our vegetables don’t quite bring all the vitamins they did 50 years ago, please use common sense before depriving your body of nourishment.
  5. Supplement – Food: not that rubbish from so H&B, or worse the supermarket. If you value your health truly, then please use the real stuff that’s pharmaceutical grade, with a guaranteed manufacturing standard. Do your research, do the tests yourself.
  6. Repeat – daily action is required. The cumulative effect of daily action is what yields results.

The finishing touches

That’s not where the story ends. The tips above are simple, but they are not easy for everyone. We need to look at the external care better… In March 2018, something else came along. A skincare that’s not only clean, made with natural ingredients but also boosted with the latest advances in cellular health science. Eeek!!! That’s my boxes ticked straight away. A few of my “health friends” had been trying it out, in particular Joyce, whose cheeks had turned baby-bottom-soft in the space of a few months really made me want to try this regimen out.

Oh the bliss. Here I was, at my sink, and my skin was feeling like I’d spent an hour at the spa. The freshness from the gentle cleanse, the plumpness from the hydration, the overall wow… just that from washing my face, apply a toner, serum and face cream?! At home?! Say whaaat?

Fast forward 4 weeks, the only makeup I’m wearing is mascara and lipstick. The big win is that my husband’s wrinkles are reducing, his rosacea is nowhere to be seen, heck he looks younger! Ok it’s easier to see the difference on him since he’s a smoker and likes a drink. The only thing he changed that month was his skincare regimen. It’s kind of striking.

The difference in my pics is more subtle, in the “I am happy having a selfie taken without makeup now” kind of way. For me it means the world. Sorry Bobbi, I think we’ve just parted, my bank account is happier already (it isn’t, I now spend the money on massage or reiki, it’s awesome!!!

So… who is keen on luscious skin with no makeup?

As I was saying earlier, hands up who’s got skin, and wants it to feel good by making a simple swap in their skincare? If you know anyone fitting the description, send them my way. If they’re in Southampton or London, I’ll happily give them a live demo, let’s have a party!

From A to K: Your Complete Vitamin Guide – Ask The Scientists

Photo by askthescientists.com

An introduction to the basics of vitamins and how they help your health provided by my favourite bunch of PhDs.

Discover more about the vitamins your body needs. The explain everything you need to know — Read on askthescientists.com/qa/vitamins/

The topics covered include:

1 A Crash-Course in Vitamin Basics

2 The Two Main Categories of Vitamins

3 VITAMIN A

4 VITAMIN B1 (THIAMIN)

5 VITAMIN B2 (RIBOFLAVIN)

6 VITAMIN B3 (NIACIN)

7 VITAMIN B5 (PANTOTHENIC ACID)

8 VITAMIN B6

9 VITAMIN B7 (BIOTIN)

10 VITAMIN B9 (FOLATE)

11 VITAMIN B12 (COBALAMIN)

12 VITAMIN C (ASCORBIC ACID)

13 VITAMIN D (CALCIFEROL)

14 VITAMIN E (TOCOPHEROLS and TOCOTRIENOLS)

15 VITAMIN K (PHYLLOQUINONE, MENADIONE)

16 Time to Meet Vitamin’s Nutritional Companion—Minerals

— Read on askthescientists.com/qa/vitamins/

Healthy home

Spring is here! It’s time to prepare for summer.

Our house is surrounded by ants nests. We don’t mind the little blithers, but we don’t want them in our home either.

Last year we did lots of research on natural and essential oil recipes. Some worked better than others. There are three to that were outstanding to manage our neighbours the ants: ant powder to spread as a barrier to the front garden, and a couple of sprays for inside habitable areas. One is ready made, which is great, but not as much fun obviously since the whole point was to have a “useful activity”.

For all discounts on essential oils things, click here (external site redirect, register for free to access discounts).

Ant 🐜 powder

Ingredients

1kg cinnamon powder

500ml Epsom salts

200g talcum powder

50drops YL* peppermint essential oil

*these are pure and non-toxic (most essential oils are not suitable for skin application or let alone ingestion, therefore not recommended around children and animals). They also take very little to be effective. Other brands will differ.

Wear gloves or use a spoon.

Blend the powders, add the essential oils, mix some more.

Spread in the desired areas.

We made a physical barrier in our border (it was the kids’ project) and it worked well.

Ant 🐜 spray

Young Living’s Thieves mix and house cleaner (go to products, search “Thieves”) work wonders, but they’re not as much fun, especially when we want to have a “useful activity”.

Homemade ant spray

In a glass spray bottle (essential oils will degrade most plastics), add and shake:

1/4 cup purified water or boiled water, salted

1/4 cup vodka to suspend the oil in water

15d peppermint essential oil

15d tea tree oil EO

7d of citrus (orange, lemon, grapefruit etc…) EO

3d cinnamon EO

Spray where needed.

Happy making!

For all discounts on essential oils things, click here (external site redirect, register for free to access discounts).

Hair serum for kids (and teachers too)

They’ve been back to school for a few weeks. You’ve sorted the clothes, the stationary, the schedules are filled with activities, you’re back in the meal prep routine and if you’re on of our health tribe you’ve even sussed the optimised them with their Body Rox.

The dreaded head lice are about to make their come back. Both my boys had three bugs crawling in their hair this time last year. There was no way I was going the chemical route.

There are various shampoos and treatments on the market, personally I endeavour to avoid all unnecessary chemicals when I can.

When affected, it’s good to give the hair a rinse with a vinegar, white wine vinegar or ACV are best in my opinion.

A serum that works well is:

  • 3 parts tea tree oil
  • 1 part lavender
  • 1 part peppermint
  • 1 part rosemary

For a 5ml bottle 1 part = 10 drops.

Top with olive/almond/defragmented coconut oil for the first pass. (Change to witch hazel after the head is clear)

Rub on the hair and scalp.

The nit comb (#NittyGritty) pictured here is absolutely amazing on fine hair. Well worth the money.

In my experience we get an all clear within 48hrs. l keep monitoring with the nitty gritty and rub precautionary witch hazel based potion for a couple of weeks as incubation time is given as 10 days.

Naughty but o so good for you pancakes

Are you one of these people who is afraid to make the changes to optimise your health because let’s face it, some foods are just so symbolic of indulgence and awake the senses like nothing else? Then read on, because I might just have something for you…

One of most frequent questions I’m being asked since first going gluten free years ago is a variation of “Don’t you miss <insert person’s favourite unhealthy food seen as a treat here>?”

Well no, of course not, I don’t miss feeling bloated, the head fog, and love the abundance of energy! Putting aside that yoga teaches moderation and control, and that’s something I can work on in my practice, let’s be real, I enjoy yummy food as much as the next person. My take on the situation is to seek and create ways to make naughty dishes actually good for you.

In this post, I introduce my all time favourite: pancakes!

These pancakes are nutritionally balanced, full of goodness and yummylicious.

The Recipes

Chocolate pancakes

2 scoops USANA MySmart whey protein

2 scoops wheat grass (I used BulkPowder here, but as long as it’s pure, any brand will do)

1 tsp raw cacao powder

1 egg

1/2 banana

1 cup water (approx, I went for consistency rather than measure, and that will depend on the size of your egg and the ripeness of your banana)

Mix, cook over a medium heat, try to resist the urge of eating them as you go so you can stack them.

It makes 4-6 small pancakes, I normally have them with a sliver of almond butter, and cashew works well too.

Hulk-ish pancakes

2 scoops USANA MySmart plant protein

1 egg

4 blocks of frozen spinach or broccoli, smoothied

1 cup water

Optional:

1 tsp raw cacao powder

2 tsp wheatgrass/spirulina/super greens/macha etc depending on your nutritional objectives

Blitz your spinach or broccoli with water.

Mix your protein and egg, if you take up the options as them in now, finally add in the smoothie.

Cook over a medium heat, note that because of using frozen veg, it’ll take longer to cook.

They splat if taken off too early!

Enjoy with a nut butter of your choice.

Extra tips:

  • These are a great way to hide the kids’ multivitamins and give them a super healthy breakfast without the fuss.
  • Usana proteins powders are my go to because of their guaranteed commitment to purity and quality. Besides if it’s good for Olympians, NFL athletes, and premiership footballers, it’s great for a busy mum like me.
  • Add in vanilla, cinnamon, ginger to experience different taste.
  • For the veggie pancakes, plant protein is best.
  • The egg is essential to bind the mix, so can’t go vegan on this one.
  • One stack per person is plenty (it’s not because it’s healthy and nutritional that it’s a free pass for excess!)