Healthy Butternut Squash Chocolate Bread, that you can feel good about eating!

 

‘Tis the time of year for baking some yummy treats! For those of you who follow me on Instagram, you will have noticed by now that I like to bake with butternut squash! 🙂

It’s the perfect ingredient in my opinion to create yummy yet nutritious treats for you and your family.

Issey (my 4-year-old) loves butternut squash desserts and she will happily choose this over something store-bought, which is a mom win 🙂 I like to use butternut squash because it’s a great filling substitute and you’re also getting more nutrients into your diet. For example, butternut squash is loaded with vitamin A, contains half your recommended daily intake of vitamin C – which is good for your skin, so will keep us moms looking young and healthy!  And what I find amazing is that a protein found in butternut squash has been found to inhibit the growth of melanoma (skin cancer) cells, making it a potential anticancer agent. 

Overall, butternut squash is high in antioxidants, it’s immune-boosting and can lower inflammation! (and you know what I always say about inflammation…. it is the root of all disease…)

And, lastly why I love this recipe so much is that you can just throw all ingredients into one bowl and you’re done, this is how I like to bake!! This bread is super allergy friendly, vegan and shred-friendly (for those moms in our shred group), gluten and dairy free!! 

So I know you need to have this recipe asap! so here it is:

Ingredients

Wet Ingredients
  • 1 medium butternut squash (previously baked in the oven and cooled)
  • Âź cup melted coconut oil
  • Âź cup + 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1 flax egg (1 tablespoon ground flax + 3 tablespoons water, whisk together, set for 10-15 mins)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Dry Ingredients
  • 1 ½ cups gluten-free oat flour*
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ cup almond meal (I just blend almonds in my ninja blender)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Âź teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup vegan chocolate chips or 1 bar of 85% dark chocolate (Green and Blacks)
* gluten-free oat flour can be bought in your local health store
 
 
Method 
 
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line an 8-inch bread tin with parchment paper or grease your tin with coconut oil.
  2. Add the wet ingredients to a large bowl: butternut squash, coconut oil, maple syrup, sugar, flax egg, and vanilla. Whisk until well incorporated.
  3. Add the dry ingredients: oat flour, cocoa powder, almond meal, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and salt. Whisk together until difficult to stir.
  4. Fold in chocolate chips or chopped pieces of chocolate.
  5. Pour batter evenly into prepared tin.
  6. Sprinkle chocolate chips on top of the loaf. Lightly press chips down into the mixture.
  7. Bake for 50 -60 minutes (I normally check it at 45 mins and then see how it is by inserting a toothpick in the centre). 
  8. Allow to cool on a rack for 2-3 hours (note, the first time I made this recipe I tried to take the bread out of the tin way to soon!!!  And it ended up broken in half on my counter ;0 still tasted great though ha!)
That’s it! I’d love to know what you think about this recipe, so please post in the comments below…
Wishing you all a very happy Christmas with your families and sincere thanks for taking the time to read my blogs all year, it means so much to me. 

Love Lisa XX

PS: if you’re not already in our free private facebook group then I’d love you to join (we are an encouraging and friendly group of moms) so head over via this link here

 

Credits:

Beaming Baker

References

Butternut squash benefits 1 

Butternut squash benefits 2

 

 

 

Natural Remedies for Prevention and Cure

Hey Moms,

I’ve tried to finish this blog for a few weeks now!! 🙂 However we have had lots of family commitments and I had to give social media a little break, such is ‘mom life’. However, I am pleased that I am finally getting to release this blog, because it has some of my favourite natural remedies for prevention and cure, and it’s timely as we enter into the winter months.

I thought it would be good to start with my natural ‘go to’ remedies when sick and then highlight what we use for prevention all year round.

Natural Remedies for when feeling poorly

Before I had Issey I would reach for the standard over the counter remedies when either myself or Rok got sick, however, when I started looking after myself more and paying more attention to the ingredients label, I was a bit taken back with all the ingredients that were in these medications. Rok and I started researching and we were surprised that there are a number of alternatives that we can reach for when we are sick.

These are tried and tested over the years and I am highlighting my top three…  we have found the following remedies really help cut the severity and duration of our symptoms with any illness that you can catch:

altrient-c-liposomal-vitamin-c-by-livon-labs

Vitamin C – Altrient Vitamin C

There are lots of benefits of vitamin C as an antioxidant it can stop free radicals in our body, thereby reducing oxidative stress in our body. This is important as oxidative stress leads to inflammation and inflammation can eventually lead to disease.

So, I got researching and came across not any sort of vitamin C but a ‘liposomal’ vitamin C, from a brand called Altrient. Ideally, we should get our vitamins and minerals from our food, however when we are already sick, and in order to help our body, we have found this particular vitamin C helped us feel better when we caught a cold, sore throat or tummy bug,

What’s interesting about this brand is that it can deliver up to 98% of vitamin C to your cells due its liposomes technology, it comes in a liquid form to be taken with water and it has 1000mg per sachet. What I’ve learned about other vitamin C is if taken just in pill form then not a lot of that gets absorbed into our bodies. Check this brand out in the references below.

allertrex

AllerTrex Natural Respiratory Spray

This little beauty is amazing, it stops that throat tickle in a flash! You know that annoying cough that keeps you up all night? A spray of this and you’re all set, it has also helped a lot of my family members who get a barking cough during the winter. What I love about this spray is that it’s all natural, the AllerTrex product is made up of herbs and essential oils and focuses on keeping the lung, sinus and respiratory tract healthy.  From more info see references below.

 Oil of oregnano

Oregano Oil

Yes, talking about this essential oil again! This packs a punch so you do have to be careful with it. When feeling poorly, we use one or two drops mixed with a carrier oil (olive or coconut oil) and rub on the soles of our feet especially going to bed at night. It’s also good to use in your essential oil diffuser 🙂

It’s important to also make sure you are buying it from a reputable company/brand and that it’s organic, as not all essential oils are created equally. What I love about Oregano oil is that it’s not only antibacterial but also antiviral and antifungal, It truly is nature’s antibiotic!  Please see references below.

Prevention

I think it’s important to also discuss prevention and as they say prevention is better than cure, myself Rok and Issey use the following to ensure we stay healthy all year long. Prevention is so important to me now, having experienced chronic sickness I never want to go back so I put my health as a priority and since I made this decision we have thrived as a family.

Our food and drink 

I believe food matters for staying healthy and therefore we are very conscious of what we eat and try our best to eat a rainbow of fruits and vegetables. I am also on the lookout for new tasty recipes to expand our palette so that’s why when I find a delicious and nutritious recipe I have to share it with you.  Trying out new recipes has become a joy for me, only a few years ago I wouldn’t have had the energy to cook a nutritious meal from scratch, the irony is that now that I eat so well, I have the energy to cook all our meals. I love that I have control over what goes into my body rather than having no clue what might be in some prepared supermarket meal.

Also, in order to stay hydrated, I love using the Pukka brand of tea, my favourites are the cleanse, camomile range and their three tulsi (not to be used if pregnant or breastfeeding). Rok and I drink these throughout the day and it’s a way of getting extra herbs into our bodies.

Berkey

We also drink lots of filtered water from our Berkey Water filter. This has been one of the best investments we have made, as the Berkey filter removes chemicals from our drinking water including fluoride.

 

Juice Plus capsules, shakes and most recently omegas

I came across this brand and way of life from my beautiful friend AmyBrooke and have discussed these products with you on several occasions. (check out my other blogs here) I can’t recommend enough as if taken regularly can really help out the whole family. We take the trio capsules daily together with the Juice Plus shakes (Issey takes the chewies via the healthy starts programme) and now just incorporated the omegas.

juice plus

Also, for the last 3 months have started to safely detox our bodies with ‘Shredding’ and the results have been amazing. This is a monthly programme that focuses on adding as many whole foods to your body over 10 days and taking a break from some of the things that can be taxing such as gluten, dairy, refined sugar, alcohol and caffeine. I considered myself healthy before I started Juice Plus however now I am thriving, and I am so very grateful.

What I love most is that although our diet is very clean, we can’t get all that nutrition that Juice Plus is giving us which is up to 45 nutrients (inc. the shakes); also there are some days for instance like when we travel where we don’t eat as many fruits and vegetables as I would like but I know I have my Juice Plus and that is peace of mind. The added bonus is that we also get the nutrition from the fruit peels/skins which I wouldn’t eat such as pineapple, oranges and lemons. Interestingly the peel contains so many wonderful nutrients, so I am delighted we are also receiving these. I feel good that I am protecting my family every day.

The best thing is that since taken the Juice Plus I have had not one sick day (so need for my remedies this year ha!), this is huge for me as a mom, as it’s not pleasant looking after a child when you are feeling poorly. For more information see references below.

So, Moms, as always, I love hearing from you, please share your natural remedies or things you like to do for prevention.  If you have any questions please feel free to post in the comments below.

Best wishes and Love,

Lisa XX

References & Further Reading

Vitamin C 

Altrient Vit C 

About Liposomal 

Healthline: Vitamin C & Colds 

Dr Axe Vitamin C benefits 

AllterTrex:

AllerTrex Global Healing Center info

Allertrex UK purchase

Oregano:

Oregano oil

Dr Axe Oregano oil benefits 

Healthline Oregano oil 

Pukka Tea

Pukka Three Tulsi 

Berkey Filter

Berkey Water System

Juice Plus Info

Juice Plus 

 

 

 

How I learnt to build resilience

Hi Moms,

I’m back writing after a few weeks of a break (spending lots of time with my Issey) and truth be told since having the break it has taken me a bit of time to get back into the swing of things ;0 (however have really enjoyed the slow pace and just having fun with my little one).

So this week, I wanted to write about a practice that has really helped me and still does to this day.

This practice is meditation. I stumbled across this when I was quite ill after having Issey and was searching online for something to help me and I came across many testimonials explaining how much meditation had helped.

Initially, I was sceptical as anyone is when they first learn about something new. I had a  belief that meditation was for people that were enlightened beings, like monks, or those who spent time in ashrams, not for little old me 🙂

However, I’m a great believer in trying things for myself and making up my own mind. So I purchased a guided meditation programme online and started listening to the 12 min audio morning and night.

After a couple of days, I started to notice subtle changes initially, feeling less stressed and anxious about my situation and noticed that I was sleeping better.  Over the next couple of weeks, the body pain was reducing and my overall mood was much lighter.  I was starting to feel that it was possible for me to get well and was feeling much more positive.

So after noticing all these benefits I got fascinated and started researching all about it and found that the experiences I was having were in fact backed up by science, for example:

  1. Lowers stress: In an eight-week study, a meditation style called “mindfulness meditation” reduced the inflammation response caused by stress. Another study revealed that meditation literally reduces the density of brain tissue associated with anxiety and worrying.  Before finding meditation I used to be a constant worrier and dare I say a control freak, however since meditating I don’t find myself doing either of these things anymore. If I happen to find myself heading down this path, I’m much more aware and observe the thoughts/feelings that are occurring and then reach for good thoughts/feelings instead.
  2. Reduces pain: One study looked at the effects of meditation on 3,500 participants. It found that meditation was associated with decreased complaints of chronic or intermittent pain. Meditation definitely helped me with my chronic pain and I can report that this ailment is thankfully gone – giving me back my quality of life!
  3. Better sleep: Another study found that participants who meditated fell asleep sooner and stayed asleep longer, compared to those who didn’t meditate.  We all need a good nights sleep right?!! – especially us moms, (even though that can be hard sometimes, with little ones) so my intention is always to meditate before sleep, sometimes I get to do this and other times it’s not possible. But I always try at some point during the day even if it’s just 5 – 10 mins.
  4. Better health: meditation appears to control blood pressure by relaxing the nerve signals that coordinate heart function, tension in blood vessels and the “fight-or-flight” response that increases alertness in stressful situations,

Note the above is just a small list of the myriad of benefits – there are so many more!

As I love meditation so much, over the years I have sought out teachers to learn more about it. I have bought online courses from Dr Joe Dispenza and have attended one of his progressive workshops when he visited Dublin back in 2017. I also have learnt a lot from Dr Sue Morter. Both Dr Joe & Dr Sue share similarities such as their breath work but that’s perhaps for another blog post.

As for now, the purpose of this post is to share how meditation has helped me so that it may pique an interest in you?

I really wish we were taught this from an early age as I do believe that meditation is a tool that we can all use to enhance our lives and help us face our challenges much more mindfully, ultimately building resilience! However, unfortunately, we haven’t been made aware of it…. thankfully it seems to be gaining more attention and it’s my hope that meditation starts to be taught in schools so that it helps our children have richer and much more peaceful lives.

Lastly, I’d also like to point out that it hasn’t always been easy for me to meditate and some days it still isn’t, however, on the days where my body is fighting me to stay still I just give myself some extra time and extra grace and before I know it I’m in the ‘zone’ (also known as the sweet spot!!)  The key is to keep showing up until its just becomes a habit and part of your day.

So Moms, as always I love hearing from you – do you meditate and if so what benefits does it provide you? Or perhaps you’ve wanted to but never tried, maybe this will be a sign to get going… and if you do please let me know how you get on.

Love and best wishes,

Lisa X

PS: there are lots of free meditations out there especially on YouTube, however, there is one app that I love and use from time to time and that’s insight timer and it’s also free ;0

References

Science-backed benefits of meditation 1

Science-backed benefits of meditation 2

Dr Sue Morter 

Dr Joe Dispenza

Insight Timer

 

Getting ready to Shred!

Dear Moms,

This week I wanted to share with you my plans to do a shred for 10 days starting this Monday. I hear you say first of all what’s a shred and let me tell you I asked the same thing once I first heard about it!!

For me, the word shred initially conjured up images of small pieces of shredded lettuce and shredding my food into tiny pieces. However, this is not the case at all ;0)

What I learned about the shred 10 programme

Firstly, the shred runs for a 10 day period and it’s a time to jump-start your health and ‘shred’ certain foods and habits and focus on cleaner healthier foods thereby flooding our bodies with whole food nutrition.

We use this time to become more mindful of what we are eating and allow our body to have a break and a time to rejuvenate.

It’s part of the healthy living revolution that Juice Plus has rolled out and invites us ‘shredders’ to participate so we can ultimately achieve better health and energy whilst allowing our bodies to safely detox.

Also, this is not a programme that counts calories, there is no deprivation so you can eat as much as you like as you are only consuming whole foods.

Preparation

shakes image

In preparation for this, I’ve purchased the Juice Plus complete shakes (plant-based protein) to try them out before I started the shred. I’ve since purchased another set of shakes as we love them so much. Rok, Issey and I have either a chocolate or vanilla shake every morning for our breakfast. I’m also enjoying one in the afternoon or just before bedtime.

I’ve mentioned before in a previous blog post that I’ve started using the Juice Plus premium blend capsules which is a trio of fruit, vegetables and berry blends. Together with the shakes, my body is taking in over 45 fruits, vegetables and berries! So ensuring only whole foods, eliminating processed food and removing dairy, gluten, alcohol, artificial and refined sugars and caffeine for 10 days, I think my body will be very grateful!

And what I love is that I am getting all this for just €5.80/day (based on 30 days of capsules and shakes) and replacing my breakfast! How amazing is that?!! You know what’s interesting to me is that I used to pay €3.50 for a Starbucks back in my corporate days and sometimes would have two! So I think this option is a no-brainer for me.

juice plus trio

This January I took on a 7-day juice cleanse which was very challenging however this one seems far more achievable to me as I’m still eating food, I’ve also got more support as we have an online community that checks in with one another every day. Also, there is an amazing recipe book with tasty ‘shred approved’ recipes and I’ve also got my whole food capsules and shakes this time.  So I’m confident I’ll make it the whole way through the 10 days.  The only thing that may be difficult for me will be my morning small cup of coffee, so I plan on weaning myself off this slowly.

The key for me will be ensuring that I’ve stocked up on an array of pantry staples, fruits and vegetables and plan out what I will cook every day during the shred for lunch and dinner. This weekend I will be sitting down with Rok to plan this out and ensure we get off to a great start! So please watch this space, I’ll be reporting back soon on how I’m getting on. I’m actually very excited as I do love a challenge however also nervous of which habits might try and get the better of me, however, I’m so grateful that I got my Shred 10 community to check in with.

So, Moms, have you taken on a challenge like this before and if so how did you get on… as always I’d love to hear from you so please feel free to post in the comments below.

Wish me luck!

Love & Best wishes,

Lisa X

Resources

Shred 10 video

Learn more about Juice Plus 

The power of affirmations and how they’ve helped me

Dear Moms,

This week I wanted to talk about the topic of affirmations?!! I think the first time I stumbled upon affirmations was about 3 years ago when I watched a great movie on FMTV called ‘you can heal your life’ which is a Louise Hay film and speaks about how our thoughts and our language can hugely affect our lives. Shortly after that I downloaded some of her books to my kindle app and got straight to reading.

Firstly, I was amazed and humbled about all her work with Aids patients back in the 80s and that affirmation work was very popular back then however as I was merely a young child living in Ireland I hadn’t caught on to this great tool yet ;0

So now as a new mom, I was curious if affirmations could actually work for me. At this time, I was still recovering from chronic fatigue and peripheral neuropathy and was just about to go back to the corporate world full time. What I needed most was more energy and also less body pain so I started using affirmations and soon I found some favourites and here they are:

  • I say yes to life and life says yes to me (one of Louise Hay’s favourites)
  • I am willing to change and grow
  • I love myself just the way I am
  • I am enough
  • I forgive and set myself free
  • I listen with love to my body messages
  • All is well
  • I am in vibrant health
  • Only good lies before me
  • I am happy, calm and relaxed
  • I am always full of energy
  • I am the creator of my own life
  • I do the work I love

After a few weeks, I started to feel a bit lighter and had an increase in energy. I also started using affirmations if I was feeling a bit anxious about a situation and it helped me feel much calmer.  I did affirmation work in the shower, whilst I was driving, commuting on the train and found quite seriously that my mood was much better and also felt more energised.

What I discovered is that affirmations are simply replanting new seeds in our mind. It can be hard to do in the beginning as our mind is simply not believing what we are telling it…  So, from my research, a little trick that can help in this instance is to start with ‘wouldn’t it be nice’

For example,  wouldn’t it be nice if I am happy, calm and relaxed today… Wouldn’t it be nice if I could do the work I love…, wouldn’t it be nice if only good came into my life today? This statement will be accepted by our subconscious mind until we are able to use the ‘I am’ statement…

Where’s the reward?

So, for me, this took a least a month to feel some changes. You must ‘do the work’ and repeat your affirmations throughout the day (unfortunately, there are no shortcuts!) However, the reward is worth it. As Louise herself says ‘when you plant the seeds in the ground you don’t expect them to grow the very next day, you plant the seeds and then wait as you know they will grow in due time’  I know this can be hard, as some of us (including me) are conditioned to want results instantaneously, however, there is an element of trust and the planting the seeds analogy is a great reminder.

More than anything affirmations really helped me bring an awareness to what my daily self-talk was and what language I was speaking, for example, I became more aware/conscious of how I might put myself down, or how I would not accept a compliment. I was also more aware of my negative words and started to catch myself and be mindful of how I spoke about myself and others. Rok and I would try and hold each other accountable so that we didn’t fall into the negative talk trap/spiral.

Around this time, I gave up watching the news as I found it was so negative and energy draining, there was rarely any good news stories. So, I began to choose what information I wanted to hear and see myself. This was and still is very empowering.

Science has proven that affirmations do work by rewiring our brain! A study published in the journal Personality and Social Psychology in 2015 showed that affirmations helped people at work perform better and calm their nerves! So, it’s not ‘woo woo’ stuff, thankfully it’s becoming more mainstream ;0

Nowadays, I still use affirmations, however, l don’t feel the need to use them as much, which shows how mich I have changed my thoughts and beliefs.  I also regularly share Louise Hay’s affirmations in our Mom’s private Facebook group as her work has really helped me and therefore I want to share this with other moms too.

Also, it’s important to point out (and even Louise Hay says this herself), there is no one panacea – affirmations are part of an self-help toolbox, just another tool to help you with your life’s journey. For me I used affirmations in conjunction with many other things like nutrition, exercise, meditation and energy work, a holistic approach!

Firstly, observing our self-talk can really help us get started on the right path and this helps us with other key areas of our life too, like ensuring we eat healthily and work out our body. Starting with the right mindset means we are able to create more successful habits.  Using this approach really helped me change my life both physically and mentally.

So, Moms, have you used affirmations before and if so please let us know if and how they have helped you.  Maybe you have a favourite… please feel free to share 🙂

Love and best wishes,

Lisa X

PS: ‘All is well’

Resources: 

References

Pesto Courgetti with Cashew Cheese Sauce

Hello Moms,

This week I am sharing our Pesto Courgetti recipe that is so loved in our household, it’s so tasty and it’s also really perfect for Summer evenings. It is vegan-friendly, gluten and dairy free, however, this dish will leave you feeling fully satisfied without any heavy feeling.

It is packed with nutrients for example courgettes contain abundant levels of manganese and vitamin C that help to keep the heart strong.  It contains significant quantities of potassium, folate, and vitamin A all of which are important for maintaining good health.

The pesto is made from basil which contains high levels of antioxidants, magnesium and a range of vitamins, such as vitamin A, K and C.  Interestingly basil contains antimicrobial properties that fight viruses and also has DNA-protecting flavonoids!

The cashew cheese sauce is full of goodness too, cashews contain a powerhouse of proteins, essential minerals, including copper, calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, potassium, and zinc. Cashews also contain vitamins such as vitamin, B1, B2, B3, B6, folate, vitamin E and vitamin K.

So Moms, as I’ve said before this dish not only tastes great, but you can also rest assured in the knowledge that your family is getting a jam-packed nutrient dense meal!

So let me share this recipe with you:

To make the Pesto:

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups packed fresh basil (large stems removed)
  • 3 tbsp pine nuts (can also use walnuts, my preference though is pine nuts)
  • 3 large garlic cloves (add more garlic if you are like us ;0)
  • 2-3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 3-4 tbsp nutritional yeast (see link below)
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt and pepper
  • 2-3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 3-6 tbsp of water (more if needed)

Method:

  • Add all the ingredients to a food processor or blender except the olive oil and water
  • Blend on high until a loose paste forms
  • Then slowly add the olive oil as the machine is on and scrape downs the side as needed
  • Then add 1 tbsp water a time until you reached the desired consistency
  • Taste the pesto and season

To make the Cashew Cheese sauce:

Ingredients

  • 1 cup cashews (recommend you soak the cashews first (at least 3 hours) better for digestion and also removes phytic acid)
  • 1/4 cup of water (more water if you want it a thinner consistency.. whatever way you like it, experiment…)
  • 1/2 lemon juiced
  • 1 clove garlic crushed
  • 1/2 large red bell pepper (optional)
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp onion powder

Method

Blend all the ingredients together in a high-speed blender until you reach your desired consistency. For this recipe, I like to leave it a bit chunky (almost like a cottage cheese consistency) however that’s totally up to you.

To make Courgetti:

  • Simply take 2 washed courgettes and place them on a spiralizer, we use the Hemsley and Hemsley spiralizer (link below)

Voila! toss the courgetti in the basil pesto and add a dollop of cashew cheese on top and you have just created a healthy, delicious and beautiful meal. Issey loves this especially the courgetti ;0

As always moms  I’d love to hear from you, please let me know if you decide to make this dish and what you thought of it… :0

Love and Best wishes,

L X

 

Notes: Serves approx 4 portions

Credits:

Lovingitvegan 

Minimalist Baker

References:

Hemsley & Hemsley Spiraliser 

Nutritional Yeast  

Courgettes 

Basil 

Basil 

Cashews 

 

4 Keys to Break Free from Worry

Dear Moms,

This week I thought I’d share my story about how I used to be a chronic worrier and how I’ve found some very useful keys that really help when worrying strikes. I’m grateful to report that with these keys my worrying has become less frequent 🙂

I think unless you are extremely lucky or an enlightened being worry does visit us for time to time, however, I didn’t realise how bad it was for me until I started watching my thoughts and observing how a little worry could turn into the worst disaster! On a scale of 1-10, I probably was at an 8 or 9 especially after becoming a mom. Most days I would spend a lot of my energy worrying?! Finding some relief was really warranted 🙂

Dare I say it but looking back I thought worry was actually beneficial that if I worried enough I’d be able to prevent bad things from happening, plotting out every scenario in my head. However it wasn’t until I took a step back and started researching/reading and practicing Reiki that I realised that I didn’t need to live like that especially since the activity of chronic worrying is so bad for our well being. Worrying causes our brain to think we are in danger, this starts a cascade of events – our brain signals our body to release stress hormones, then our immune system gets suppressed which in turn leads to us becoming more susceptible to illness.

It started for me in secondary school when I put a lot of pressure on myself to ‘succeed’, to get good grades and get into university. And, then worrying about jobs and climbing the career ladder, and then that turned into worrying about what people thought of me, or worrying if I made a mistake how it could affect my career etc.  After Issey was born I worried about her health and then my health and how I was going to manage my career and being a mom. It was exhausting… It wasn’t until my health really suffered that I started to review all the areas of my life and realised that this chronic worrying was a bad habit that I needed to change as a priority.

So if you find yourself getting into a worry trap here are 4 proven keys that have really helped me.

  1. Observe – as mentioned above I’ve learnt that simply observing my worrisome thoughts as they start to come in I have the ability to quickly stop them turning into worst case scenarios. This takes practice (the more you practice you are literally re-wiring your brain with what’s called new neural pathways to stop the spiral happening) I am now amazed how quickly I can turn my thoughts around, I just simply say thank you for showing up worrisome thought however I am not going to engage in you. I also find that affirmations help change the nervous energy in my body to more of a calm energy. My favourite affirmations are ‘all is well’, ‘only good lies before me’, ‘I am happy, calm and relaxed’ and ‘just for today I will not worry’ (this beauty is one of the five Reiki principles). I’ve also observed that worry happens for me when I am extremely tired,  haven’t eaten well (although this is extremely rare) and/or watched some news that was extremely worrisome. So now I ensure I put my sleep and food as a priority and decide what I watch, for example, we never watch the news anymore (growing up it was the first thing we saw in the morning and the last thing we saw at night!). I’ve broken the habit of news watching and we have removed our TV from our home so we only watch content on our devices that we choose for ourselves. I’m not suggesting you give up your TV however maybe observe how you feel after you watch something especially the news…
  2. Meditate – yes I am talking about meditation again ha! I have to tell you that my meditation practice has literally changed my brain and my personality, I am no longer the person I used to be and therefore no longer a chronic worrier! I always feel relaxed, refreshed and calm after doing a 10 or 20-minute meditation and this stays with me throughout the day. I see this as a daily habit I will never give up.
  3. Take purposeful action and then let go – when the worry doesn’t seem to be going away or it is indeed a very big worry then sometimes action is warranted. This may be in the form of writing out the worry on paper and then reviewing it later. What I find is most of the time on relection it doesn’t seem so bad… Depending on the worry another action maybe simply contacting someone to find out some more information… However, once I have done all that I can then I let it go and simply hand it over to a greater power in my case I will ask the angels for help ;0
  4. Practice Gratitude – yes I am also mentioning gratitude again 🙂  if you follow my blog or are part of the moms speaking your truth private facebook group you will know I am always talking about the simple yet extremely powerful practice of gratitude. Two things to mention about gratitude, firstly, if you feel worried just start thinking about what you are grateful for this will stop the worry trap (your brain can’t be worried and grateful at the same time!!) Did you know that if you earn more than $10/day you are better off than 80% of the rest of the world. This statistic always brings me back to reality and grateful for my home and my running water! The second thing with gratitude is that if you genuinely start practising it you will find worry doesn’t come to you as often. This gem of a practice is so powerful and changes your energy for the better. In our household every night before we go to sleep with Issey we all take turns to list out the things we are grateful for, this is a practice we want to instil in Issey so that she will believe it’s the norm and becomes a great habit of hers.

So Moms, if you try the above out I’m confident that it will help you, as it has truly helped me. My advice is not to try and implement everything at once maybe try one key out and see how you get on.

As always love to hear from you so please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below…

Love and best wishes,

L X

References:

How worrying affects your body 

Stress and the immune system

Anxiety and the immune system

Neural Plasticity

Reiki Rays just for today

Statisitics