Thursday, 11 September 2014

A Kind Approach

Do you recognise this lady?

If you've ever been into 90s pop culture, then you probably have, but you'll remember her as being this:

(Cult 90s film Clueless, encase you're of a different generation...)

Wide eyed, shallow Cher bears no resemblance in person to the kind hearted, intelligent actress and author Alicia Silverstone, who's popularised being vegan (for both health and compassionate reasons) through her book, The Kind Diet: A Simple Way to Losing Weight, Feeling Great, and Saving the Planet.

This is not, absolutely not, a celebrity lifestyle book, but truly something that the actress is passionate about. A plant-based lifestyle is presented in a gentle and informative way; the reader does not have veganism forced upon them, but is offered suggestions on everything from 'flirting' with veganism (and hey, no pressure! But your health will improve, and you'll be benefiting animals and the planet. And yay! New foods!) to being a 'Superhero' (close to a macrobiotic diet; oh boy, you will glow, and you're positively saving farm loads of animals from suffering.... you truly area dietary superhero...)

I've read many, many health books and articles in my time, especially those that promote a plant-based way of eating, but The Kind Diet sticks out in my mind for its wonderful, earthy recipes, the beautiful imagery that shows me of the gentleness and loveliness of the animals we exploit for food (which, I should state, health is my motivating force for eating plant based, but this book compassionately takes me out of this self-absorbed 'just for health zone', reminding me of living creatures that are affected by my actions), and its engaging, informative chapters. I've read health/lifestyle books in the past, only to become infused with a vaguely anxious feeling, as my current lifestyle/diet was 'failing' their suggestions. But with the Kind Diet? Absolutely not. Silverstone is not selling you recipes and bizarre fads to turn you into an airbrushed A-lister look-a-like, she simply informs you that looking good is a wonderful side effect of eating plant-based. You don't need to stress out. The reader is left enlightened and itching for change, without anxiety, only passion infused from Silverstone herself.

When it comes to the recipes, there's certainly a Japanese influence seen in the book, from mochi waffles and umeboshi plum for breakfast to nori wraps for lunch, but the book also features hearty stews, plenty of healthy greens recipes and wonderful healthified treats such as chocolate peanut butter cups...

(Mmm, could you try not wanting these? Impossible...)

So, be kind. Feel and look fabulous as a side effect. Oh, and save the planet, and animals from suffering.

I see why she calls it being a superhero...

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Beautiful Ways to Start the Day

September is the time for new beginnings, and what better make to start afresh than...

... first thing in the morning!

So,  I just had to share this wonderful Tone It UP post with you...

I thoroughly agree with the message of this post: starting your morning in a positive way sets you up for the rest of the day. Continue this, day after day, and you create an affirmative action filled, positive life. And all you have to do is start your day in a beautiful way. Why wouldn't you want that?!

For me, there is a clear correlation for how good my day seems to go, with how/what I did first thing. My best days start with anything from 15 minutes (I aim for 30/35 minutes average) to an hour of yoga or other exercise (this also depends upon my work schedule), an 'I am Graceful Green Smoothie', and a satisfying oat breakfast while checking my emails and, ideally, writing on here.....

The beauty of having a morning routine, or pattern, is, according to Sarah Wilson, that you take the ambiguity out of your day, and as a consequence, achieve much more. For instance, instead of deciding whether or not you're going to make your bed each morning, if it becomes a habit, you just do it. No energy wasted on deciding. No days where you don't make it, come back later, and feel bad because your room looks like a tip. Same goes for exercise. Since transferring my exercise routine to the morning, I'm truly amazed at how much more time and space I have for the rest of the day. I don't need to schedule to make room for my exercise, worrying that I might miss it, or have to push something else important out the way - it's already done! My body feels longer and stronger the rest of the day; as I walk, my legs feel powerful and my core pulled in, lifting me higher, my mind calmer, clearer.

And that's a damn good feeling.

Bliss. For the whole day, everyday...