When people go vegan, but do not feel the health benefits, I am devastated. Your health should improve when you cut out animal products and if not: I hope this article helps you.
If you are really wanting to THRIVE and succeed on this lifestyle - I beg you to take your diet seriously.
Of course, human beings can survive on anything. We can digest white, refined carbohydrates, we can digest deep-fried crap, we can even digest dead animals. I know I can digest cardboard and cockroaches (thank you childhood).
But, we do not want to just survive, do we? We want to THRIVE.
We want an abundance of energy that makes us burst out of bed and be a bright, shinning person for everyone around us. We want to feel present in our jobs, we want to be able to exercise, we want to be able to think clearly and brilliantly, but most of all: we want to FEEL GOOD.
It's incredible the role that food plays. Good food does have the power to make you FEEL good. Bad food absolutely has the power to make you feel lousy. There are various factors to wellness, but food is an enormous part. YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT, what you absorb. Your body is a machine and it will only be as powerful and smooth as the fuel you put in.
When people go vegan, they are likely to panic a little, do some googling, read a lot of conflicting articles with lots of different information and get confused. Then they may settle on - if it doesn't have an animal product: let's eat it!
This isn't a bad place to start. Begin by eliminating the animal products.
The next stage for many people is experimenting with fun vegan replacements (all the fake stuff). The fake cheeses, meats, giant vegan sub sandwiches, vegan desserts.... ice cream! Don't get me wrong, this stuff has a place in my life and I love a vegan desert now and then, but if these are making up the bulk of your diet, start examining your energy levels and where most of your nutrients are coming from.
You know where this is headed (I'm a broken record) the emphasis for everyone, vegan or not, should be WHOLE FOODS. That is fresh, ripe, organic, wholesome fruits and vegetables. They are the star, the leading lady, the hero of all meals. Fresh fruits and vegetables contain nearly EVERYTHING you need to be happy, healthy and thriving. I didn't believe this for a long time, but like with anything we naturally rebel against, you get a bit afraid of the truth. Fruits and vegetables are all my body requires to function? But when will I eat cake and sandwiches? NOOO! We must need to eat bread!
You can eat bread, of course you can (I do!) but make the hero of most of your meals fresh fruits and vegetables. And guess what? You'll be bloody ace. Imagine if everything you put into your body gave you something? If every morsel of food had a purpose? A nutrient? A protein? A mineral?
The majority of peoples diets are highly acidic (high in animal products, refined carbohydrates, sodas, sugar, processed crap, caffeine) meaning their bodies are working hard to digest these foods and function in spite of them. Food is meant to HELP your body... help it repair cells, rejuvenate.... thrive. Try flipping the ratio to beneficial foods and notice how your energy levels soar.
When you want to succeed and thrive - the best thing to do is look at the people getting the results you want. Who are the people that look the way you want to look? But also have the energy you want? The lifestyle you respect? BUT, make sure they aren't a con-artist. The most comical thing about a lot of fad diets (and the diet industry in general) is that so many "experts" and "gurus" are actually quite overweight or unhealthy.
Look at people who are genuinely succeeding. People who live this way all year around. People who are honest, bright, thriving and happy. In the vegan world, there are some who I respect above all others. They are healthy LONG TERM and, (funnily enough!) a lot of their advice overlaps. Funny that, isn't it?
Matt Frazier (The "No Meat Athlete"), Colin Campbell (The China Study) Dr Neal Barnard (Author of various books on reversing Diabetes), Harley Johnston ("DurianRider", ace vegan athlete and health activist) John McDougall MD (The McDougall Plan, Forks Over Knives) and many others including my beloved "Skinny Bitch" ladies all are remarkably healthy, happy long-term vegans who have a lot of the same advice.
So, where are the areas they all agree on? And the areas I KNOW have helped me thrive?
YES!! You heard me!! I said the blasphemous words!!
HIGH CARB HIGH CARB HIGH CARB!!! Get Carbs in ya!! (or as DurianRider says: Carb the Fuck Up!)
Nothing terrifies me more than hearing about "low carb" diets. Carbohydrates are literally energy. What your body RUNS on. Which is why they get a bad "rep", as it's easy to just call them "sugar" and if you stop eating them (like the Atkins diet) your body will start to eat itself and yes, you'll definitely lose weight. But at what cost? And how sustainable is that? Do you want to be a skinny zombie?!?! Or would you rather be a skinny ninja? Carbs can make you skinny too, ladies. I promise.
I am coming from my own experience, but also would only pass on information that was well-researched and based people who are THRIVING . When I started trying to get healthy, I listened to any kind of "popular" advice, so thought I had to eat less (around 1200 calories a day) and cut carbohydrates out. I started to lose weight (fucking up my metabolism in the process), but was I anywhere near as happy as I am now? God, no. Going high-carb (and eating healthy food till I feel satisfied) is the most liberating feeling.
Do not put white bread and a potato in the same category. Please. The experts are far better at explaining than I, (video below!) but guess what? The "experts" that are THRIVING are eating carbohydrates! They are not doing a quick fix cleanse or just going vegan for their photo shoot next week. They are long term, thriving vegans who eliminated animal products for health purposes, many coming from biological or scientific backgrounds and they eat fucking potatoes. Eat potatoes.
Obviously, we are talking about GOOD carbohydrates. Fruits and Vegetables are all in the "carbohydrate" family!
Bananas are a carbohydrate. If anyone tells you to be wary of eating bananas - shove one up their A**. Bananas are packed full of nutrition and GIVE YOU ENERGY. Do you want to be a zombie wafting through life?
And... enjoy the "controversy" of one of my favorite people alive (I haven't ever met).
Oil is not going to kill you... but it is not going to help you thrive. I'm sorry people. I do still use oil, but I use it sparingly and do no longer drown my salads in it or use a butt-load to fry onion.
Being aware of how much oil and "fat" I was consuming made a HUGE difference in my figure and energy. I hate saying things like "low fat" because it sounds faddy and weird... but genuinely, be aware that oil is 100% a refined food that has no real place in nature or our bodies. The "nutrion" many claim comes from oil is pretty easy to debunk and is far easier digested just from a real olive. Or from a real coconut. Or from real seeds.
See what I mean?
Use it if you want to - life is for living and olive oil is delicious - but just be aware. Little things like this can honestly make the difference between your vegan diet working for you and not. Examine how much oil and fats you are eating (vegan butters... nut butters.... dressings... sauces....) and see if you can cut back anywhere. Replace fatty dressings with blended tomato dressings or just have a bit less. See if your energy improves :)
Eat when you're hungry.
Stop when you're full.
You can eat A LOT of "good food" guilt free, before you'll be full. It's bloody satisfying and you feel almost glutenous.
DurianRider says "go to bed like Buddha, wake up like Gandhi".
Picture above is one of my favorites! Zucchini noodles (made with a spiralizer) cherry tomatoes and a lemon Tahini sauce served on a bed of spinach.
Check out the full recipe here on Vilda Magazine.
It's Not Just about Food....
What goes into making us happy is so much more than just the food on our plate.
Logically, most people know this - but it's good to be reminded now and then. Loved ones, getting outside in the sunshine, moving our bodies, fulfillment from our creative minds, our professional minds.... it all counts.
Food will help. It will help us be the best, but focus on all the elements of "wellness".
Understand Veganism - KNOW IT WILL WORK!!
The power of positive thinking people! If you believe this will be a fantastic change in your life - IT WILL BE!! If you let every meat-eater get into your mind and challenge you and threaten your opinion - you will probably panic and let their opinion change yours. Do as much research as you can - understand veganism - believe in it :)
To finish off - here is a brilliant article I just found on Happy Herbivore (a great resource site - though I don't know if you need to invest in any of their cleanses) that may explain things better than I can!
Love and Sweet Potatoes :) xxxx
Well... firstly... Thanks everyone.
I posted about things being a bit negative and have been inundated with LOVE left, right and center. Now of course, life suddenly feels rich with love, friendship, potential and excitement. I ready to SEIZE! All these people and opportunities I have and need to savor every day.
I'm ready to get back to being the best version of myself.
That woman I want to be. The woman I know is in there... she is real, she's often here... but she's been forgotten about.
How do I get her back? How do we all get it back?
I have a simple formula to try and will let you know how it goes.
Remember what works....
When are you at your most relaxed and happy?
The last few days I've been trying to remember. When do I feel like myself? When do I not question things? When am I relaxed?
Think about spaces that make you happy... environments... people.
I will not feel guilty that sitting in a cafe makes me feel happy. It does. (It's also when I'm my most productive!)
See people. Make the time.
Not just anyone. The special people. The ones who make you feel like yourself. The ones who know you inside out and know in just a look that something isn't right. This usually also means you will be talking more, being honest more and therefore: minimal repression. It's genius.
Be Kind to Yourself
Use the language inside your own mind that you would use for the person you love most. Your mother... your best friend? Who ever it is. Give yourself that same love, care and admiration. Don't speak to yourself how you wouldn't speak of others.
None of us are superheros. We can't be perfect all the time. But we can give ourselves the best damn shot and that will involve some kind words. Some trust. Some love.
The List of Good Moments
Yes I'm a genius and one day I will dedicate an entire post to this and how it has impacted me... but the essential point is - sit down with a lovely piece of paper and write down a list of all the best things that have happened to you or moments that have made you happy.
It can be a complement someone paid you (I know the best one I ever got!), validation from someone you respect, being told "I Love You", whatever it may be. Write a list and look at it when you feel like shit. Deep stuff.
Love My Space.... Get the Zen
I am so guilty of this....I am happier when I put love into my home.
So do it! Your home, your bedroom, whatever your personal space.
If you're lucky enough to have your own place, make sure you are NESTING in it. Love it. Make it a sanctuary where you feel zen-like and comfortable. Have your own little private happy place. Cushions, candles, pretty pictures, mattress in the living room... .whatever floats your boat.
Respect My Body
If there's one thing I know about myself - I'm happier when I respect my body.
Love it. Respect it. Try to put good things in....
What's Your Mountain? Are you on it?
Don't feel shitty if you don't know what your mountain is, but if you know what it is: are you on it? I know my mountain is Acting and being so far way from it was putting me down in the dumps.
Even just today I've made changes to turn it around; simple ones, but it makes all the difference!
Even if you aren't climbing the mountain fast.... just getting on it in any way, even emotionally, helps :)
Use Your DAY! SEIZE it!
I have spent spectacular days sitting around doing nothing, but I can't pretend it makes me overjoyed long-term. I need to ACHIEVE. I know myself now and I just need to own this. I am happiest when I have achievements to show for my day, even if it's just a blog post! When I've been at work all day, I still want to have something to show for the last 12 hours... even if it's aching muscles from having done a gym class? Or perhaps a plate of brownies on the worktop?
Best is completing a full day of rehearsals or doing some writing :) Seize the day, make them all count!
Don't Look Back
Speaks for itself. What's done is done. All we can do is look forward. My divine friend, Jasmine, was talking about this earlier and hit it spot on. It's one of those things we know, but never really embrace.
A lot of the "cliches" are cliches for a reason, people! Because they're damn good advice that we don't embrace!
Stop dwelling on what's past. If you are holding negative feelings about things that have happened, stressing about them, stewing over them, you will only keep that negativity with you going forward.
Try to let go :)
An enormous "thank you" to everyone who contacted me after the last post. I truly am the luckiest person alive....
"Love and Sweet Potatoes" ;) xx
I can't lie.
It's a bit of a weird time at the moment. Lots of things are uncertain and there are changes on the horizon.
I don't know if they're good or bad.
As usual in the life of a "first world problems" kinda gal, when I break it down, nothing is really wrong. I am ridiculously blessed, happy and loved. That goes without saying. BUT, sometimes it is just that little bit harder to smile widely and jump out of bed enthusiastically and care enormously about every single thing other people say because, honestly, things may be just a little bit shit right now.
Usually, I am the most bubbly person alive. It gets comments. I have an abundance of energy and genuine care for everyone around me (well, nearly everyone, I'm not a saint) but lately, as my own life takes uncertain turns, it's harder to keep the veil high and pretend everything is peachy when it isn't.
Which, begs the question: why pretend?
Because we are SO lucky in comparison to most of the world, I think we feel slightly guilty when feeling out of sorts or "depressed", for lack of a better word. If we feel a bit sad and low for no reason, it's automatically - "oh my God, pull yourself together, some people have it SO much worse!" Which is a great attitude, but, sometimes I do think we need to commit to our emotions and just let them be.
Let them be.
If you don't feel great today - don't pretend you do, at least not with the people who know you and care about you. Especially not to yourself. I've spent a lot of time inside my own mind battling these "low" feelings over the last few weeks and in the end, you have to give yourself a different kind of slap around. "Seriously, Hannah, just BE SAD for a little bit and then, when it passes, you'll be back to your old self! All is fine."
Let it be.
You may be wondering what is wrong at this point? (Or you may not care.)
The truth is exactly as I said above - there isn't anything seriously wrong when I break it down, which is why I felt compelled to write this post. I can analyze why I feel out of sorts and understand all the different reasons, but then I judge them! I judge myself for feeling low! So I have to give myself the slap around and say: "it's okay to feel sad for no reason."
I know that the catalyst was going home for Christmas. I went home for Christmas, saw all my loved ones, glimpsed the life I said "good-bye" to, felt wonderfully happy and healthy, lived in sunshine, talked with my friends into the wee hours, assessed my life, went for walks... It was bliss.
Then, at 7am I touched down in depressing, wet, FREEZING Manchester, where there was not a single cafe open for my wonderful UK friends and I to go sit together, so we were forced to crack the door to my equally depressing, freezing flat that hasn't had the boiler on for 2 weeks and sit there eating porridge in our jackets.
Yes, that has it's own brilliance and of course, I loved it on many levels. How lucky am I that I have phenomenal UK friends to make this experience bearable and sit in my freezing flat with me? How lucky am I that I had a freezing flat to sit in? How lucky am I....etc...
And this is what we do. It's okay to just say "it was a bit shit. It made me homesick. I wanted to cry."
I think I skyped with Mum non-stop for those first few days. I felt in Limbo. Why did I move here again? Oh, right... to act.... yeah. But, can't I do that in Australia where I feel happy? Why do I live in England?
To all readers: Acting and Theatre is an amazing profession to pursue, but it's a lot easier when things are going well. When things aren't going so well (even if it's NOT RELATED to theatre. Even if things just aren't going well at home) it can be really hard to drum up the motivation, passion and confidence to put yourself out there, find auditions and create work for yourself. Really bloody hard.
Also - blogging has become a bit hard. Hard because I'm financially stressed..... it's not easy to go out and buy hemp seeds when I can barely afford porridge oats, so my blogs are becoming a bit samey. I swear - if I post one more picture of sweet potato I'll have no followers left!
So, what do we do? What do we do when we are in a bit of a spiral?
EMBRACE. If my blog has to become a blog about how you can be vegan and broke - so be it. That will be what my blog is about. If my blog has to be "101 Things to Do with a Sweet Potato" (minds out of the gutter, folks) than so be it.
I know the challenge isn't the money, it's the emotional investment. I want to write about happy things and a wonderful life.... but it's not easy sitting down to write about a wonderful life that isn't quite happening at the moment.
I always want to be honest and truthful... why bother otherwise? We are all just people, doing our best, navigating our way through this really weird world full of disappointment and doubt. Sometimes we get it wrong and sometimes we have no bloody idea.
Either way, that's okay.
Did I make a mistake moving to Manchester? Even writing that sentence I know it's not true. I absolutely did not. Moving here was the best decision I ever made and I know that in my gut. So, I think that means it's okay to doubt it every now and then. You can stumble on your way up the mountain, as long as you keep going up.
So, what do I promise?
I promise to stay honest. If I literally am eating sweet potato and nothing else that week - that is what my pictures will be :) If things aren't so bright and happy - that is what I will say. Equally - this time tomorrow, or perhaps even after hitting "Publish" on this post, I know that I will feel better already. Because I've committed to the slump and that's the only way to get out of it.
I don't even know why I'm posting this to be honest....I think I want to say "I'm still alive, sorry I haven't posted for a while.... this is why.... now, hopefully some money will fall out of the sky (it's been known to happen) some motivation will hit me in the face (often happens) and this blog will get back on track. "
Maybe I'll re-title it "Life of a Broke, Cold, Dramatic Vegan". Get many readers do you think?
The worst thing, I think, is when we are going down this "what am i doing with my liiiiifffeeeeeee??" spiral. It's hard to get off and it's obviously a total waste of time. Unless you are sitting down, motivated, pen in hand, going "what am I doing with my life?" ready to make conscious plans, it's a question best avoided.
Do what makes you happy, have a plan if you know what it is, try and smile, have amazing friends and try to be the person you want to be.
I haven't felt like myself lately, but she's coming back. I know the woman I want to be, and I'm lucky to be able to say that. I'm lucky to be able to say I know what I want to do with my life and I know how to achieve it.
How lucky am I? Seriously.
I'm also lucky that I love sweet potato.
This "meal" cost me two pounds. Two pounds, people.
I know, there are no shortage of internet pages boasting how amazing Coconut Oil is... but...just in case you didn't know....
Coconut Oil may actually be magical. The stuff of unicorn tears. In my old life, I would see it in shops as just another cooking oil that probably makes everything taste like coconut.
What a fool I was....
I discovered the oil's real powers on the night I ran out of literally ANYTHING that could remove my make up. I've been known to get inventive... I'm not exactly the most organized girl in the world, especially when it comes to beauty products. Sometimes a good old damp tissue is all I have access to in my "well stocked" bathroom.
I made the leap to using Coconut Oil around my eyes at night about six months ago and have never looked back. A lovely, small amount around the eyes before bed has become a complete "beauty routine" that is cheap and I SWEAR makes me feel beautiful. Whether in my head or not.
So, stood there in my bathroom, with literally nothing (save the wet tissue last resort) to remove my mascara, I saw my handy jar of Coconut Oil staring at me and thought: what the hell....
I applied it around my eyes and.... and.... the make up started coming off! Yes! Easily. Effortlessly. After then removing the, now blacked, oil with a tissue, all my make up was gone. GONE.
COCONUT OIL IS MAKEUP REMOVER!
I swear I haven't read about this before! I've read about it's cooking uses.... even conditioner.... all sorts, but never has anyone told me to use it as make up remover. IT WORKS. I'm not kidding.
So this begs the question - is Coconut Oil nearly all we need? Is it in fact, Unicorn tears? The stuff dreams are made of?
Here is the list of ways I currently use Coconut Oil in my life. This list will grow I have no doubt!
No. I'm not going there....
Shall we just say good massage oil?
What Others Say.....
It seems there is no shortage of uses if you tap "Coconut Oil" into Google. Whether these are all true or not, some are quite exciting!
Here are just some of the ideas people have come up with!
Ingredient in home-made tooth paste! (Say whaaa?)
Prevent stretch marks during preganacy
Great addition to thicken up your smoothies
Used for diaper rash on your precious little ones
Can be used to help with eczema and other skin conditions, even acne.
What do you use Coconut Oil for?
Enormous shout out the the amazing Mary Naylor for her original art work in this post. We are beginning a very exciting working relationship and I am honored to use her designs. She's pretty talented huh? Check out her amazing work here: http://www.marynaylor.com/
Wow. This opinion is crazy controversial and I don't think it should be.
Which, I suppose is why I'm biting the bullet and posting this.
Flooding my Facebook News Feed yesterday were various posts slamming (the seemingly universally hated) Gwyneth Paltrow.
Gwyneth? Really? What's she up to now? I haven't heard anything about her since her stint on Glee (apart from when she became the face of a vegetarian meals company, despite eating meat herself. Slightly weird, but whatever.)
People really do seem to hate her. They hate her website, her long legs, her famous parents, her Oscar win (agree on that one!), but mostly her efforts to help people be "healthy". Obviously not everyone can hate her, or she wouldn't have this kind of success, but from what I've been Googling over the last dew days (and getting weirdly obsessed by) is the name calling, the ignorance, the misquoting and the judgement that I believe would NOT be lumped on a different person promoting the exact same advice.
I may be wrong, of course. It has been known to happen. But let me tell you - I've read a lot of diets, eating plans, detoxes and a f*** load of cleanses in my time and .... as far as cleanses go, why is everyone suddenly screaming that Gwyneth Paltrow is crazy and should be "silenced" as one woman put it?
If you aren't in the loop Gwyneth launched her New Years cleanse on her website, Goop, a few days ago and boy, is it getting SLAMMED.
I love slamming diets. Love it. So I was only too eager to click on the link entitled "Thinking of Trying Gwyneth Paltrow's Detox Diet? Don't!" waiting for me on Facebook and was ready for a good laugh and to probably share it with my friends.
Imagine my surprise, when reading, as I felt more and more confused and pissed off at the girl writing the article, not the diet.
I won't go into chapter and verse, you can read it yourself (you'll probably love it) it's funny and well-written... BUT.... let's be real. YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT A CLEANSE. A CLEANSE. The girl writing this article admits blatantly she's annoyed the cleanse doesn't involve any junk food or bread or her other favorite foods. Um... hello? Do you know what a cleanse is?
She then complains that it's mostly liquids.... um... HELLO?! DO YOU KNOW WHAT A CLEANSE IS?
Don't misunderstand me - I am not a fan of liquid cleanses, but to write an article slamming someone for promoting a liquid-heavy cleanse is like slamming someone for saying "go for five mile runs every day". It may not be the best advice for everyone, but it ain't new, love.
Most cleanses revolve around bloody liquids! In fact, I would say nearly every one I've ever read does.
What baffles me more is the ignorance of everyone else! I couldn't wait to read the comments on this article - desperately hoping that anyone felt the same way as me, which is basically "hey, hilarious article, but do you realize that what Gwyneth has knocked up isn't actually that different from most cleanses? It's a THREE DAY plan, not a recommendation for long term eating....." etc.
But... no. Nearly every single comment was "you go girl!" "woo!" etc etc. I was so confused and ready to think.... okay, people hate cleanses, kind of the same as me, guess that's cool.... but ...
I can't help but feel kind of bad for Gwyneth.
I know it's weird... but I can't help it. Imagine having all these people talk so badly about you in such a misleading and uneducated way? For someone who knows NOTHING about detoxing/cleansing, yeah, reading Gwyneth's plan may sound bonkers, but if you have read other cleanses, you'll know it's not that crazy. In fact, it's kind of rebellious in some ways! She let's you have almond butter in your milkshakes! She let's you eat meat! She let's you eat solid food AT ALL... most cleanses don't do that, folks. Especially the three-day ones.
When enlightened Buddhists publish books about how to do Juice Fasts and Cleanses (there's a lot of 'em) they do not receive this kind of treatment.
There is also a lot of misinformation being spread, the main lie being the diet is only 300 calories a day. This seems to be what everyone is yelling about and passionately against. And that is bloody great! 300 calories a day is absolutely not good. That will send you into starvation and is highly unsustainable.
But I'm not sure that figure is accurate..... 1 tablespoon of almond butter alone is 100 calories and from the little snippet I could find online, there's 2 tablespoons of almond butter in just one of her daily milkshakes. So already, you have at least 200 calories in that one meal, which also contains coconut milk so that clocks you up a few more. On that same day you have a chickpea soup, a vegetable pate and a butternut squash fancy sounding thing for dinner.
Now, I'm no mathematician, but I do know food. That is raking up well over 300 calories for your day. That's four (yes, bloody small, but very real) meals in a day.
Also - there's no portion control on a cleanse people. NONE. And definitely none on what I read in Gwyneth's plan. You can eat as much of that chickpea soup as you freaking want. Sure, it's gonna be low calorie - but you've got a pate coming up as a snack. AND you have a butternut squash thingy for dinner... . which again has no portion control.
Eat six squashes if you like! Guess what - that's over 600 calories. BOOM.
People just seem very eager to HATE. And very eager to hear good things about their bad habits. Everyone feels like they've overindulged at Christmas, so they want to feel better... but then they read an article ranting about diets, telling them why it's stupid and they are so fast to agree, without applying any critical thinking. "Yeah! This bitch is CRAZY!" Woo hoo, now they can go straight back to cheese toasties for breakfast and feel good about it. "Healthy People" are bloody crazy and they now have the proof.
You know what - that's fine. Do whatever you want. But don't LIE. Don't rant about things you don't understand.
Please remember - I am NOT PROMOTING THIS CLEANSE. not at all.
But do I think it's the devil like everyone is saying?
Well, no. Not at all. Reading the small part I could find online, it sounded pretty low-calorie for my liking (I rake in 2000 a day minimum) and if I was going to cleanse I would probably do it with raw foods or something like that. But is this diet going to HURT you if you do it for three days? Apart from slowing down your metabolism big time, no way! I have read so many scarier diets than this one (and even done a few!) In high school I did the famous "cabbage soup diet". No joking. It was crazy and stupid but I didn't bloody die! It probably even did me a tiny bit of good. Of course, now in hindsight i know any kind of quick-fix cleanse or diet isn't going to do you anyone good in the long-term unless you have overall healthy practices that will keep your body low in toxins and relatively well.
In my humble opinion: cheese toasties are going to be far worse for you than three days of almond shakes, soups, root vegetables and herbal teas.
Am I crazy?
I say, read the facts and leave this poor woman alone. If you don't want to do her cleanse - don't do it. I certainly won't! But don't misquote it or yell about her children, suddenly pretend she looks disgusting or say anything awful. It's not called for and it also is spreading bad information to people who may be genuinely seeking information.
If you want to go on a new years cleanse - I've got a great idea. Eat food that's good for you. Bam.
Cut the junk, cut the alcohol and eat whenever you're hungry.
I know. I'm crazy.
Honestly, I'm not a huge fan of resolutions. If there's something that I want to do or change in my life, there's no time like the present! As soon as I think: "God, I want to start going for walks", I'll (try!) to go for a morning walk the next day. Why wait until a new year?
Having said that, there is something exciting about a new year. A fresh start. I didn't think I would be this way inclined, but there is something weirdly fun about having everyone talk about their resolutions.
Here is a run down of some of the best resolutions I've heard people say over the last few days. Ones I plan on trying to implement myself. Some of them are more like "goals" I guess... Let's not get technical!
No "Devices" Time
Spending a set amount of time a day without any of our technological crap.
No computer, no phone, no Ipad, no TV.
My amazing manager dropped this one on me last night and I was wowed. The full resolution is very inspirational: as soon as she gets home each night, after a full day at work checking emails, being on Facebook, and having her phone glued to her, her resolution is to make home a device-free sanctuary. As soon as she walks in the door - devices are off.
Love it. Mine may be something like this:
Time Inside Our Own Mind
How much time do we actually spend a day just inside our own minds without any distractions?
On the bus, everyone is listening to music or Podcasts. In cafes, everyone is on their laptop or reading. At work, we are talking all day. And usually at home it's time to "turn my brain off" and watch TV.
How much time do we spend doing.... NOTHING?
This is a big resolution for me: I want to spend some time each day doing absolutely nothing. Like... sitting looking out the window, drinking a tea. How great does that sound? Almost like meditation!
Get Out of Hospitality
Don't we all have our own version of THIS resolution? A divine photographer I work with in Manchester has been waiting tables whilst taking incredible photos for, I believe, six years now. She is ready to make photography her income full time. And that is the resolution.
I have been Acting AND making coffee since I graduated University. Let's make this the year I make more money out of my art than my latte art (see what I did there?)
It's not an easy ask..... but I'm up for the challenge!
Better at Correspondence
I live away from those I love most and this resolution is a BIG one for me. And it's not just about "I want to have more Skype dates" (although that is true) - it's also about the less-obvious ways of keeping in touch with those I love.
I want to write letters... I want to drop random things in the post, I want to tag them in random photos that remind me of them.....
It's amazing how much effort writing a simple Facebook message can seem after a long days work, or even after a bloody lazy one! And I always feel worse off for it. I forget that seeing that persons face on the computer screen, or hearing that "ding" that they've replied to my email actually fills me with energy and makes me so happy.
So, this is my resolution: I want to stay as large a part of their lives as possible... even from the other side of the world. Know more, show how much I care and try to be a fantastic friend.
Take Time to Feel Beautiful
Anyone who knows me, knows I'm a "get up and GO" girl. This is something I both love and don't love about myself.
I like that I'm "low maintenance", I guess. I barely wear any make-up, most of my clothes are second-hand and my idea of a "Beauty Routine" is literally putting coconut oil on my eyes at night. BUT... I cannot deny how fun it is when I DO feel well "put together". If there is something I need to put in effort for, like a party or a performance, it does feel nice.
Even just that little bit of mascara, or having THOUGHT about the clothes I'm putting on, I know I'm a more attractive version of myself. I walk with my head a little higher, I feel like a capable adult.... It's a nice feeling.
So, maybe each day, even if it doesn't involve make-up or wearing high-heels, I'll just spend those extra few moments putting in some love and care....into myself :)
A Food Challenge?!
I've heard lots of food related resolutions from people! I've heard: "I want to try lots of different foods", "I want to go sugar-free", "I want to loose weight" etc.
For me - just because I find them fun, I want to do some sort of food challenge! Whether it's as simple as making sure I drink a green juice every morning, or as crazy as doing 30-days RAW, some kind of project is always fun!
Anyone got any suggestions? I've already done a gluten free challenge.... and I have gone raw briefly..... I'm thinking something like "cooking all my own dinners" or "how cheaply can I live for a month" or "trying a different fruit/vegetable every day".
Is there a food challenge you'd like me to take on?
Someone highly amusing suggested I go 30 days without eating any dates. Not funny.
Take Pleasure in Simple Things... and Count our Blessings
Just.... be happy.
Be bloody happy. How lucky are we? Spend time each day thinking about all the incredible and basic things you have..... Loved ones? A comfortable home? The option to just go and drink tea in a cafe? Walking around your neighborhood?.... Traveling the world?!
Revel in the wonder of life and the incredible possibilities open to you.
Take this year to not just dream.... but do.
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