Five things from Chia seeds to chocolate making

stella

 

Good morning readers – here are my five things that have featured this week…..

  1. The right and wrong way to eat Chia seeds

right way chia

I don’t know why this tickled me so much…. I have a bit of an aversion to the whole ‘superfood’ idea.  There are tons of foods out there that could be labelled superfood I mean my burrito from Wholefoods today could be included.

The fact that someone has actually taken the time to write a whole article about the right and wrong way to eat them made me giggle.  It seems now that we need a guide for everything?

Soon we will see:

a) The guide to correct pavement walking.

b) The right and wrong way to get out of bed in the morning.

c) The correct way to shop in Waitrose.

2. Deliciously Stella

stella

Thank you Lisa for introducing me to yet another social media parody.  This one is a corker.  By her own admission she is the filthy antidote to the clean-eating parade on Instagram.

Her daily account makes me howl with laughter and she is a wonderful reminder that we shouldn’t take ourselves too seriously.  I need it.

Avocado on sourdough toast anyone?

3. Rachel Brathen’s Kickstarter campaign

rachel brathen

Rachel Brathen a.k.a. Yoga Girl was one of the first people that I followed on Instagram.  She has a huge following – 1.6 million at the last count.  I really love that she doesn’t just put pristine photos and videos, edited reality, online.  She DOES live in Aruba which makes for a stunning backdrop, but she is real.  She shares her her wins and triumphs but she also shares her battles and her fails.  This makes for one inspiring lady to follow.

She is soon launching oneoeight.tv and put her project on kickstarter to raise funds.  She smashed her target within 24 hours of launch and I believe that the platform will be a massive value add for people looking for yoga, spirituality and meaning to life.   What a role model for young people to follow – she is smart, dedicated and always learning how to improve her craft.  I can’t wait to see how her journey unfolds.

For more information on her kickstarter campaign, click here

4. Why Normal Isn’t Healthy Dr Bowen White

why normal isn't healthy

I love reading.  I like both fiction and non-fiction and at the moment I am putting into practice the lessons learnt from this great book.  As with anything, it isn’t enough just to read a book and expect the changes to happen so I like to put down key points in a notebook to take away and get stuck in to.

What I love about this self-development book is Dr White approaches many topics with a twinkle in his eye.   Humour is essential when considering a passionate and fulfilling life and any book that takes itself too seriously leaves me yawning and fidgety.   I genuinely believe the author loves people, it shows.  Inspired now!

5. Chocolate making

Closeup of chocolate truffles top view

Our chocolate season has started and I am learning how to make chocolates (on a bigger scale that for friends at a dinner party).

My lovely new chocolate tempering machine is almost laughing at my inability to not get both myself and it completely covered in warm melted chocolate splatters.

Just like when I started making ice cream, I had no idea just how tricky it would be but in the spirit of being entrepreneurial I have thrown myself into it 100% and at full throttle.  Chocolate is quite temperamental.  If you don’t know how to work it, it either seizes up (quite literally) and throws a teenage strop, refusing to do what you want it to.  It is both fascinating and infuriating and a great lesson in the word PATIENCE.

I am planning on doing all my best-selling ice cream flavours as chocolates so watch this space….. I am sure there will be a full-on melt down blog post about it very soon.

Whatever you are up to, I hope you are having a great week.

 

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Five things – from Barbie to Box sets

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In the spirit of my new page category I want to get started with the five things I have enjoyed in the last week.

So here goes:

  1. Hipster Barbie

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Hipster Barbie has changed my week for the better.  It is an example of genius creativity – also known as Socality Barbie, it is a parody of every annoying instagram account that exists…. from perfectly posed ‘authentic me’ shots to what people are prepared to do (and edit) just to get the perfect shot.  It is pure genius.  The owner of the account is a female photographer from Oregon who wishes to remain anonymous.  Well, whoever she is, she gets a big Bridget high-five for the funniest social media account of the year.

Hipster Barbie

2. Netflix – Damages

Damages_S1_DVD_early

After Chiara and I finished watching The Good Wife we had to mourn the end of it for quite a while.  No more popcorn, cashmere socks and staying up far too late.  We needed a replacement.  Then we discovered Damages.

Now we are binge-watching it every single day.  Glenn Close is absolutely superb – terrifying and yet a part of me wants to have the balls she has.  She takes no prisoners.  We haven’t even finished series one yet (so if she turns out to be a serial killer I may have to rewrite this section).

Gripping legal drama that includes 2 dogs (always a bonus) and is set in NYC (perfect).

Block out the diary and get it on Netflix or order the box-set.  You know you want to!

3. The 30 days app

30

 

I love downloading apps and trying them out and this is a great app for those of us who want to create quick exercise habits.  It is easy to use – just set a new challenge that you do every day for 30 days…… I am up to 60 reps on a squat challenge and it’s only day 6.

I will either get a booty like Beyonce or not be able to walk after week 2.  I will keep you updated.

30 day app

 

4. Buddhist Bootcamp

buddhist bootcamp

 

This is one of my top ten books of all time.  I am now reading it for the 4th time and I simply love the simplicity of the messages within the covers.

It is not an ‘up it’s own backside’ kinda book – I must admit when I read it was by a chap named Timber Hawkeye I was a bit concerned.

Then I happened to stumble upon his TED talk and so ordered the book.  It is no-nonsense lessons in life, messages so simple yet so hard to practice.  It has become my own ‘rules to live by’ and I have recommended it to so many friends that I am considering ordering 10 of them for Christmas.

Listen to Timber here 

5.  Poppy Loves Blog

 

poppy-loves21

 

I consider myself to be a novice blogger and get really inspired when I read successful bloggers.  One of my favourite blogs that I discovered recently was Poppy Loves.

Poppy is a Londoner with a lifestyle blog that is informative, inviting and inspirational all rolled together (and dusted in the softest icing sugar).  Her reviews of books get me ordering straight away, her craft ideas send me into a frenzied Pinterest trail and her tips on where to visit and what to do make me want to pack up a Cath Kidston suitcase and just follow her everywhere (!)

Follow her if you want to improve your blogging or simply if you want to live the London life in every mouth-watering way.

Emotional Detox

emotions word handwritten on chalkboard with heart symbol instead of O

A few months back I had a lovely breakfast meeting with the wonderful Michelle Zelli, I skipped along to meet her thinking we would be chatting about the latest Zadig and Voltaire summer collection, books we had read, places to visit…. you know the kind of stuff friends chat about…..

I should have known that it wasn’t to be one of those meet-ups.  You see I have known Michelle for a while now.  Not only is she my “Go to coach” but she has become a friend too and when she insisted on seeing me my twitchy radar should have gone off, it didn’t.

After talking about fashion and frolics she looked me in the eye and (without boring you with the entire conversation) told me that my mouth was uttering words that weren’t reflected in my body language.

BUSTED.

There is one person in this world I cannot fool with “I’m fine”.  That person is Michelle.

Not by chance I had the opportunity to appear in a video, to be interviewed about my life and my work.  I didn’t really want to do it but actually it was the most beautiful gift I could have received….

You see, I didn’t want to watch it.

I couldn’t bear to look at myself.

When Michelle gently encouraged me to take a look I felt sick to the stomach at what I saw unfold.

I had done (or so I thought) a great job at presenting to the outside world, what I wanted it to see.

But sitting in my PJs staring at the screen it was like I was viewing someone who was so disconnected to both herself and the outside world that I didn’t recognise her, as me.

I saw someone so scared of her own truth that she felt the need to talk her way through all the fluff, to present a polished example of someone who really had it all going right.

Enough was enough.

For years the Universe has been sending me subtle nudges that something needed to change, little snippets of information that my shut down state had chosen to ignore.  Often it came in the form of physical problems – a broken foot, a kidney infection or simply a bad cold.  At other times it came in the form of a row with a loved one, a tricky employee or a customer letting off steam.

My reaction to them was either to avoid completely or it was to let out rage.

Michelle invited me onto the Emotional Detox Intensive two-day workshop.

I am not going to lie, I was so apprehensive as to what I was going to uncover that I had a hard time not pressing some of my old destruct buttons.  What got me to the front door that day was the absolute belief that I was in safe hands.  If there was one person in the world that I would trust with my demons, it was Michelle.

The moment I stepped through the door I felt enormous relief.   Meeting her business partner Chris John was like being embraced and accepted by the kindest gentlest man I have ever met.

Words cannot really describe what the following two days did for me, but I will have a go.

Imagine two mountains with a tightrope in-between them.

Now imagine that underneath the tightrope are the softest pillows to land on.

Now imagine that you have a pair of wings on your back that you flap as you are taking the first steps.

Now imagine that on the opposite mountain are your EDI colleagues cheering you on and encouraging you to join them.

Now imagine that two expert pairs of hands are walking alongside you as you take each step to the other side.

That is, for me what my EDI experience was.

I have a long way still to go, other tightropes to walk.

Give me that mountain… I am ready now.

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I have mentioned Michelle Zelli a lot in my blog.  Working with her is life-changing.  If you would like more information about how she can help you then check out her link

Comfort zone

multiple choice test with lifestyle decision: challenge or safety

 

I have been inspired to write today by some really lovely people and I am going to share a bit about some of them shortly.

I have wanted to sit down at my laptop and write again and have surfaced after four months of really heavy work.

As some of you know I have an ice cream company and we hit the ground running from May on-wards and I really have only just paused for breath.

In fact today I have lots of other work to be getting on with but I simply HAD TO sit at my laptop and get writing.

Why? Well grab a cuppa and let me explain….

I find a pattern in my life with two extremes – comfort and pain.  When I get comfortable in my work flow I don’t stretch myself, then will I think of doing it I feel fear that will lead to pain.

So this morning I was sitting down and thinking about the past couple of weeks and people who have cropped up and shown me what it takes to get out of a comfort zone and achieve something…..often it is a huge goal and sometimes it is a little weeny one that still has big impact.  So if you don’t mind, I would like to share with you some people who have really inspired me to get out of my comfort zone.

Alex Smith – Harrison’s Fund

harrison

Alex Smith really is an extraordinary human being, driven by a very personal desire to raise money for a fund that will help his son and other sufferers of a very specific disease.

Harrison’s Fund is named after his eldest son; a charming and cheeky little man. He’s single-minded when he’s set himself a goal: from cutting Daddy’s hair to being a perfect gentleman at Aunty Charlie’s wedding. Everyone who meets him loves his winning smile, his engaging character and the devilish twinkle in his eye.

To most people Harrison looks completely healthy. But on the inside, their powerful little boy is struggling. His muscles are deteriorating at an alarming rate. Because he has Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.

By the time he’s a teenager Harrison will lose the ability to walk. Eventually he’ll lose all muscle function in his body. Like all boys with Duchenne he’ll die in his late teens or early twenties from heart or respiratory failure.

Alex challenged the perceived limits of the human body by completing a full Iron Man (which is a mega challenge for most people) yet Alex chose to go one step further and complete it with his beautiful son.  He carried his 35 kg son the whole way – a 3.8 km swim, a 180 km bike ride and a 42.2 km run.  It moves me to tears when I think about this incredible family and their passion for change and awareness.

The Cast of Legally Blonde

legally

I am constantly inspired by the Arts world, especially in musical theatre.  To be in an industry where you are competing with thousands of other very talented people to get past the first round of auditions and sometimes for many more rounds until you finally get a part in a show.  Then you are often uprooted to go and perform away from home, with a grueling rehearsal schedule complete with blisters from hours of dancing, losing your voice from singing day after day and then putting on a show to packed audiences and giving it 100% day after day for weeks/months on end.

I was very fortunate to watch the cast of the musical Legally Blonde a few times this summer and just had to add them to this ‘comfort zone’ piece as watching them just adds weight to the evidence that if you put yourself out there and work at it….magic happens.

Special mention has to go to Kiara Jay – what a talent.

It is their last day of shows today Saturday 29th August) so get on Twitter and send them all some love with the hashtag #legallyblondeaber

Anu Niklasson 

linear

I became friends with Anu at my local yoga studio and we both share a love of books and spur each other on to write.  This summer she and her business partner decided to go to their home town in Finland and open up a pop up shop.  Their passion was for products from France – olives, oils, home linens etc and so they purchased a big lot of stock, shipped it to Finland and opened a pop up shop.  Knowing nothing about retail business they simply went with a passion for experience and adventure.  They sold all their stock, met a lot of interesting people and turned a summer business into a bunch of wonderful memories.

(It is partly thanks to Anu that I have written this blog post today…..thank you!)

 

Jean-Pierre de Villiers

JP

My great friend JP is not only an incredible trainer but he really is a fabulous motivational speaker and an all round great guy.

A few weeks ago I happened to see a post from him on my Facebook timeline that he had woken up and decided to spend the day (between meetings and clients sessions) to run a marathon.  I mean WHO DOES THAT??? Well JP does.  I was fortunate to go on a retreat that he was running in Thailand last year – he is a master at nudging people out of their comfort zones.  If you have never tried Thai Boxing, in Thailand then put it on your bucket list.  It is not comfortable in any way, it IS a life-changing experience.

What I love about him is that he never just sits back and says “That’s it, I have done it”.  He is always looking for an opportunity to grow, to experience and to inspire.  Well JP, consider me INSPIRED.

 

Now that I have started writing this I can think of about another 10,000 words I could write about people.  I simply have to mention a couple more in brief….

Lindsay Jay – you embrace everything about motherhood that is just beautiful.  After the traumatic birth of your gorgeous little boy you have helped others, you have got back into amazing shape, you have got your creative juices going and you haven’t chucked in your dream of having a business in sunny Ibiza – you went out of your comfort zone and are proving that everything is possible.

Katarzyna Kloczko – you took a passion for Zumba and your love of connecting with people and have created classes that are fast, fun and boy do you make us sweat.  You embrace everything that inspires people to want to work hard and create a healthy and balanced life.

ActressAnon and Sanchia Watson (via twitter) – you are responsible for me sitting down and opening the lid of my laptop…. thank you!

My staff at Gelateria Danieli – you work so hard, you all inspire me.  Thank you.

 

I would love to hear who or what has inspired you recently, let’s get out of our comfort zone and into growth and adventure.

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P.S. Harrison’s Fund are REALLY close to their £50,000 target check out their charity page for more info here

Diet disaster – why deprivation doesn’t work

Diets cause deprivation

 

Good afternoon from a very drizzly London….I am  sitting here in my office and I want to drink steaming hot cups of tea and eat cake. Copious amounts of cake.

Which leads me nicely into today’s blog post.  I would like to talk about deprivation.

For around 15 years I have been studying and practising nutrition.  I have seen lots of clients and helped them through my endless desire to have women (and some men) feel really comfortable in the skin they are in.

Most people find me because they have an overriding desire to be slim.  It is a common theme in around 90% of the people who contact me.

The usual pattern was that I would sit with a client and listen to their history and then ask them what they wanted.   Here were the most common responses:

“I want you to put me on a diet plan so that I can lose weight quickly”.

“I want you to tell me what to eat”.

“I don’t trust myself to not binge out on bad foods”.

“I have tried every diet and nothing works”.

“I have been dieting for 20 years”.

 

Wanting to listen to my client requests I would structure a diet that told them what to eat and when.  It would work for a while and then I would get a call asking for help again.  It niggled me, like REALLY niggled me.  I had unanswered questions that would go round and round in my head, bugging me.

You know when you have something that needs resolving but you don’t know what?  When you know that you need to address something but there is fear surrounding it?

Well I know what it is now – Dieting for weight loss doesn’t work long-term.

OUCH.

Let me explain how I came to discover this rather controversial epiphany…

I recently took on a coach to help me build an online business.  He is a wonderful person called Nick Loper and I have huge respect for him and his approach.  He is relentless in his desire to help people get a side hustle – a business that you can build on the side of your current work.  The first step to becoming an entrepreneur.

I had a coaching call because I was stuck.  I wanted to build online content and wanted someone to pull it out of me, to guide me.

After my first call with Nick we discussed writing another book/build a course on dieting.  He suggested a key sentence which began ‘Why 97% of diets don’t work, here is what DOES work’.

Sh*t.

I didn’t realise that for the last year or so the answer was so glaringly obvious in those first few key words that Nick came up with.

We all have in us a big question that we want to find the answer to.  Well ladies and gentlemen I have found mine.

Deprivation doesn’t work.

Our bodies and brains have a very good coping strategy for what happens when we deprive ourselves of something (usually food that we see as bad).  It taunts us with it all day long.

For years I have been helping people deprive themselves more.   They come to me asking me to deprive them even more, to tighten up the rules.

I spoke to a friend yesterday whom one would perceive as being naturally slim.  She has pretty much stayed the same size since I met her 20 or so years ago.  Her mantra?  I eat what I REALLY feel like, WHEN I like and stop when I am full.  Period.  No deprivation, no need to binge, she listens to her body and what it needs.

She has been agreed to be my ‘muse’ to add her learning about herself to my next book.

Interestingly my Six Pack Chick process works for a certain type of person (a lot of the time, men!) and now it is time I address the group that it doesn’t work for.

Are you someone who jumps from diet to diet?  Do you do really well on a diet only to give it up after a few weeks?  Do you obsess about food for a big chunk of your day?  I would LOVE to hear from you.  If you struggle with your relationship with food then I am building a course and a book just for you.

Whilst you are here check out Nick Loper and Side Hustle Nation I have a lot to thank him for.

I love epiphanies.  They rock.

 

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