Thursday, 29 May 2014

Meditation: Everything Already Is Okay.

I've simply got to share this with you. It's beautiful. It's out of this world. It'll keep you together, when life feels like it's getting in the way of everything.

Sit comfortably, take a deep breath, and delve into another world:

Thank you, Positive Magazine! Also check out their whole range of unbelievably good meditation videos -  they're all just ten minutes long! (C'mon, you have time for one). I've gotten into the habit of playing one or two every evening; a practice that is wholly centring and cleansing.

I've written about diet. I've written about exercise and body image. I've written about beauty. But wellness does not, by a very, very long shot, stop at the physical.

If there's one practice that the whole world can benefit from, it's meditation. And I get it - it's not easy to simply make yourself meditate; to decide to just sit there and clear your mind (or whatever your version of meditation is). A guided meditation, however, is pure bliss. Someone is taking care of your wayward thoughts for you, guiding you to pure peace. 

Everything already is okay. Practice as you will. Transform your being.

Saturday, 17 May 2014

Beauty, naturally.

Dr. Hauschka, I have to say, is a god send.

If you're not familiar with that name, you may be picturing a greying German man in a white doctor's coat. But no.

This German brand delivers natural, effective skin care and beauty products. And by natural, I mean, the ingredients lists are BEAUTIFUL, yet the product itself resembles luxury, top quality brands, not a kitchen cupboard concoction, or, an 'I made this myself' Lush tub of something wittily named.

A fusion of plant science, raw materials from their own medicinal herb garden and a passion for natural beauty, let me tell you: I am in love. Honestly, for using their Quince Day Cream, my skin has never looked or felt better; this cream sinks in like a dream, and gives a smooth, clean appearance. And, with the most divine fragrances, every facet of their products will make you feel healthy, beautiful and amazing.

My recommendation for the summer: lighten up your chemical load, and look fabulous.

I'm a fanatic ingredient reader. Ever since I was a teenager and I made the connection between what I put in my body and how I felt/looked, I've been obsessed with knowing and understanding these sometimes scary and lengthy lists. If you want to be healthy, this is a must. Many people still overlook this, don't know or simply don't care, which is why so many products out there are still so full of artificial crap. This is not good for our bodies, ravaging our health and our looks.

This ingredient reading habit isn't so unusual in a supermarket. In a drug-store, however, you can get quite a few strange side eyes, or bewildered comments from friends, "what are you doing?" It's not always easy when society is rolling it's eyes at you, but read anything on this (for starters) and you'll wonder why these horrific concoctions, sold to us as health and beauty care, haven't been banned - or at least plastered with warning labels (I'll give you a hint, and it's to do with profit). Descriptions such as 'penetrates deep into the skin' should send chills of terror down your spine.

It ain't cheap living the natural life, however (unless you're not a compulsive beauty addict), so, if you can't afford to have a whole arsenal of quality, divine natural products (I have my fantasy bathroom all planned out in my head.... oh, one day...), I employ this rule: if it sinks into your skin, then invest!

Knowledge is power: moisturiser, foundation, liquid eye-liner... next time you're shopping for these, read their ingredients. How many of these ingredients do you recognise? How many don't you? Take three. Google them.

I dare you.

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Magic Brew

Next time you're stressed, put the kettle on.

No, really! I'm not just saying this because I'm British.

If you're anything like me, then stress and anxiety are your go to emotions. They can be overcome, but it does take a fair bit of work and conscious thought/action, at times, to keep yourself together.

So, what if I told you that there are two drinks, in particular, you can sip on all day to get your zen on? Best of all, these drinks are proven to work by altering your biochemistry to fight stress and anxiety, demonstrated in scientific studies. There's (almost) nothing I like more than good, solid scientific proof that natural is not only healthier, but powerfully so.

So, what are these magic drinks? Rooibos and Camellia Sinensis, otherwise known as, tea.

Want the proof? Thanks to Dr Greger on, you can find the information beautifully and succinctly presented, here:

Camellia Sinesis

In short, Rooibos, a deep, reddish and comforting tea, lowers the production of cortisol (produced by your adrenal glands; yes, you know, it's that stress hormone, that turns you into a wreck and makes you gain abdominal fat). Seriously, not a drug, but an herbal tea, significantly lowers cortisol production. Drinking this lessens the physical effect of stress on your body. Needless to say, I have been drinking this stuff constantly.

Camellia Sinesis, on the other hand - the most popular drink in the world - (good old black tea, or green tea, to you and me) is number one for a reason: you are, essentially, drinking a big, relaxing cup of deep meditation. Deep meditation increases alpha wave production in your brain; that alert but intensely calm feeling. However, it increases alpha wave production only slightly. Tea, on the other hand, contains L-theanine, a chemical compound that enters your brain and floods it with the production of alpha waves. Hence the world's love affair with this wonderful drink. Need more proof? Try matcha green tea.

In the past, whenever I've drunk matcha (1/4 tea spoon of matcha being equivalent to 15 cups of green tea), I've been overcome with the most beautiful sense of tranquillity, my body and my mind instantaneously transforming into a clean, blissful calm... I put it down to some kind of intense superfood chlorophyll magic, but now I know better....

My current anti-anxiety, anti-stress motto?

Practice yoga. Eat well. Drink tea.

Trust me, it makes life sweet.