What is Mindfulness?

What is Mindfulness

What is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness is one of the most over used word of the last few years. We equate it with meditation and being quiet and on our own. Most of us think about mindfulness with dread and guilt because we know we should be doing it but it seems like something we just don’t have time for right now, life is just too hectic. However, mindfulness is simply being in the moment.

We can be in the moment whilst surrounded by others, eating, drinking, socialising, before sleep, whilst exercising, with the kids and of course in stressful situations like work, driving, travelling and basically anywhere at anytime!

There are so many studies, articles, blog posts, books and classes about mindfulness, but what are we looking for and how do we find it and make time for it? It is my wish to try and help you through the minefield!

The whole point of mindfulness, I believe, is to access and switch on the body’s rest and recovery mode. Have a look at my post on how the immune system works here. Most people (especially children) are wired into the fight or flight response long term. This has a massive impact on the body’s ability to repair and heal. Inflammation CANNOT we switched off when in fight or flight. How many of you can list some kind of inflammation (digestive weakness, skin issues, muscle aches and pains, back issues, immune weakness, hormone disruption, fatigue and energy issues, lack of libido, sleep issues and brain fog) among their symptoms of unease. Without even having a diagnosis, you can assume we all have inflammation and these symptoms from time to time, we need inflammation to survive and repair. the real problems come when these symptoms become the new normal, when we adjust to thinking that this is how life is. 

Mindfulness insta

Being mindful is first and foremost re-connecting to your body and listening and learning to what all of these symptoms are telling us- AND ACTUALLY RESPONDING.

So many of us think that there has to be a huge change to heal these symptoms, that a strict and impossible diet change has to happen, that a ‘detox’ needs to be done, that a radical upheaval of how we live our lives must be undertaken. So we make small term promises to ourselves to make changes tomorrow or next week, after New Years, in the Spring etc. However you can make a change right here and now.

  1. Feel your body sitting/standing/lying right now, nothing changes you are just checking in.

  2. Listen to your breath naturally and without effort coming in and out.

  3. Say ‘Thank you” to your body and repeat “I am safe”

Welcome to mindfulness, welcome to stopping everything for a second and being in the moment. Even just for a that short time. It is as simple as that. Be mindful as to how you feel, did anything change in that moment. Those tiny changes have a big ripple effect. You may have awakened your intuition a little, did your body prompt you to adjust your position spontaneously or to remember to do, say, take care of something in that moment? Your body will begin to let you know what it is you need to do if you take the time to listen, even for a second.

Once your body begins to return to rest and recovery and you change your beliefs slowly but surely towards self care and nourishment rather than punishment, guilt and shame for not doing more for your body, life will become easy.

In rest and recovery so much healing can begin. When you feel safe in your body and in your environment you can feel energy, motivation, hope, gratitude, faith and happiness. Mindfulness is simply the route to seeing your life for what it already is, wonderful and full of possibility. Not what it has been prior to this moment or even what it will be beyond right now. It is the ability to accept the past and release control over the future by being here now. Subconsciously if you believe life is hard, full of danger and work, where does joy fit in? If there is no joy how can there be health? Maybe it is hard to see life as wonderful, bring mindful can simply be the belief that there can and will be change, that you are open to finding joy, even if it is not in front of you right now.

Mindfulness is accepting that you actually have the ability to be happy even if it is not how you are feeling in this moment. That it is ok to feel what you feel now, that you can thank your body for the chance and opportunity to accept and therefore move forward. It is only when you feel your presence in the here and now that you can make changes. This is true for all ages and I have been teaching my kids mindfulness skills since they were babies so they have lifetime methods to adapt and react to their day to day lives. To try to build core beliefs based on the ability to change and have the responsibility to choose their own paths. Now I have co-written Inner Rainbow Mindfulness as a 7 week course directed at specific ages groups and adaptable for all. Soon to become an online course too.

Inner Rainbow logo (1)

What is Mindfulness pin

Bach Flower Remedies

 

I am a fully qualified Naturopath and I use Bach Flower Remedies in my professional and personal life. These views are my own and not written to impose views on you, but rather to empower and encourage you to take responsibility for your own health and your own choices. If you are interested to seek out professional help to discover what works for you, I am happy to try and help you. This said, I do not advocate that any of the information here be taken as medical guidance or advice, but act as a platform for exploring ways of looking at health and your own individual needs.

 

Think about the last time you felt angry, shocked, sad or alone. When you just think about these emotions you can feel them in your body. You have a physical reaction. This is the same when you think about the last time you felt joy, hope, confidence and motivation. Your physical body actually changes, you feel different.

bach quote

Dr Edward Bach (a renowned bacteriologist in the 1880-1900’s) was not alone in thinking that the route to physical health and healing was rooted in emotional health. How and what you think, dictates the choices you make, the way your body works and how you act and react. The placebo affect has time after time proved immeasurably valuable to the patient’s outcome. Being able to find the emotions and change them can be tricky. Some of our beliefs and reactions are so deep rooted and subconscious, we believe them to be unchangeable. This is where Bach Flower Remedies are so unbelievably powerful.

Bach Flower Remedy Bottles

Our bodies are a whir of energy exchange, wavelengths and frequencies. Just like wifi or telecommunications, information is constantly transported and reported without much tangible, physical motion. Frequencies and wavelengths can be altered and distorted in many ways. Physical and emotional blocks can occur all the time. Energy medicine at its very essence is based in physics and in helping to realign and enhance these powerful seemingly invisible factors. By using water to hold and transport these wavelengths and frequencies and altering our own body of water’s memory, we can access subconscious, intangible blocks in our body and begin to correct our health at its very core.

Bach_zonnemethode_Cerato

The 38 remedies (most people have heard of Rescue Remedy which is a blend of 5 of them) in Bach’s system are rooted in nature. Using plants, trees, flowers and even a rock, by harnessing their energy and rooting it in water, their positive vibrations can alter our own. A system that is 100% kind, compassionate and simple, where the worst thing that can happen is nothing, means that these remedies can be used safely and effectively by all ages. For all symptoms, conditions and emotions these remedies can help us to understand how we feel and make changes in the layers of our emotions to help us to heal and return to joy.

 

Bach’s aim was to devise a simple, effective and accessible way to people to help themselves and to take responsibility for their body. The remedies are organised and categorised, each of them accessing a different negative state (emotion) and helping reverse the body to a more positive and therapeutic state. For example; Holly, which is fairly prickly and jealous in the negative, becomes giving, loving and accepting in the positive. By realising what you want to feel and allowing yourself to be being grounded in the present we can help to heal the wounds of the past and forge a stronger, brighter future.

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I use Bach Flower Remedies in almost every one to one session I have with clients as well as personally, at home, with my own family, pets and plants. When there is a world event or trauma locally, I try to make a small vibrational shift by adding rescue remedy to our environment (either in the atmosphere or adding it to a body of water). Every tiny shift in thinking can have a ripple of repercussion. By having your own kit and the confidence to use them, you can start to make small repercussions of your own, for you and the world around you.

Have a look at my class information here

Bach Flowers Class Pinterest

Picture attributions: Cerato flowers in bowl: By HennyGieles (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)

Kit bottles Louise Kane Buckley

 

Grain-Free Pizza

 

Grain Free Pizza Base

I have played with several grain free pizza bases over the years. We have been using this recipe for a year now and I am ready to share it with you all.

In my experience grain free bases are a faff to make and never taste like pizza most of the time! Traditional pizza base is very simple; flour (gluten and grain rich!), olive oil, yeast, water, sugar and salt. To recreate this without gluten and adding nutrients (which I always have to do!) is a tough thing.

Grain Free Pizza Loula Natural fb

I have really enjoyed my cauliflower crust however it was not nice cold and that is a must for lunchboxes! So I have been searching and playing for the right combination. I tried simply replacing the flour with a gluten free mix, but my need for nutrients was not being met! Then I decided that I actually wanted it grain free for the kids and my digestive needs. Thats when I turned to tapioca flour (see here for a great one to buy). Learning to use tapioca flour is an experience!!

The best starting point I found was in this book, Paleo Eats by Kelley Bejelly; (its a really great book)

paleo-eats-cover

I then went about filling it with nutrition, namely making sure it contained the amount of protein in it necessary to nourish and fill up my kids. Here is the result;

Grain Free, Nutrient Rich, Pizza Base
Serves 5
A delicious grain free crust which is great for kids and works well for leftovers in their lunchboxes
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Prep Time
20 min
Prep Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 cup of water
  2. 2/3 cup of olive oil (I have also used coconut oil)
  3. 1tsp of dried herbs (I like an italian mix- you can use what you like or sun-dried tomato flakes)
  4. 2 tsp garlic or dried onion powder
  5. 2 tsp salt
  6. 3 cups of tapioca flour
  7. 1tbsp collagen hydrolysate (gelatin)
  8. 2 beaten eggs
  9. 1tsp nutritional yeast (optional)
  10. 3tbsp coconut flour
  11. 2 tbsp almond flour (optional)
  12. dash of kefir (water or milk) (optional, you can also add a dash of apple cider vinegar)
Instructions
  1. Add the water, oil, herbs and garlic powder to a saucepan and bring to the boil.
  2. Add the tapioca flour and it will instantly become a sticky mess (I mean dough)
  3. Ensure it is all mixed in and allow to cool for 10-15 mins
  4. Heat your oven to 200 centigrade.
  5. Add in remaining ingredients until it is a dough that can be kneaded. You may need to adjust the dry ingredients. Coconut flour expands so be careful if you add more. The gelatin helps to make it more doughy.
  6. I roll the dough out in between two pieces of baking paper. It is then easier to get really thin and then move to a baking sheet or pizza stone.
  7. Roll your dough out to a couple of mm. It is a nice thin and crispy pizza, any thicker and it is a bit too chewy.
  8. I have frozen the bases at this point
  9. Put pizza in the oven to 20-30 mins to pre cook (longer if you have cooked from frozen)
  10. Add toppings. I add passata, and whatever I fancy (the kids eat ham, pineapple and olives!) we like bacon, artichokes, olives and peppers!
  11. Add cheese if you like and put back in the oven for another 10-15 mins.
  12. Enjoy
Notes
  1. The gelatin, almond flour and eggs add a good nutrient content to the pizza base so it is not so starch heavy. The oil adds a good fat content. We always serve with a nice crisp and colourful salad and it is very filling.
Adapted from Paleo Eats, Kelley Bejelly
Loula Natural http://loulanatural.com/
Grain Free Pizza Loula Natural pin 

Weaning Recipes from Nurture Your Life

Untitled designWeaning Recipes Loula Natural fi

Weaning Recipes Loula Natural fb

Weaning Recipes

Have your read my new REAL FOOD way to wean your child? Its called Nurture Your Life (link here). These weaning recipes are all featured in the book. 

My new weaning book
My new weaning book

Here are all the recipes with their links from the book. Let me know your favourite!

First foods:

(4-8 months depending on child’s ability to sit up)

Fish eggs

Bone Broth

Coconut Yoghurt

Parsnip rice (steamed of stirfried in Ghee)

Sweet Potato/carrot Chips (cut into battons and lightly steamed or baked tossed in coconut oil.

Sweet Potato mash

Sweet potato Rosti

Steamed broccoli

Sliced avocado

Sliced pear

Scrambled egg yolks (separate the eggs and scramble the yolks in a little ghee)

Mashed banana

Water or coconut water kefir

Green smoothies (make with powdered greens and fresh coconut water or water kefir)

Fermented green beans

Apple Sauce

Rhubarb and ginger sauce

Oat milk/ Coconut milk

Miso soup

Seaweed snacks (ensure the ingredients contain healthy fats and no MSG)

 

6-12 months

Popcorn chicken

Cauliflower Crust Pizza

Falafel

Coconut and ginger chicken soup

Sweet Potato Falafel (use flax/chia as an egg replacer until 12 months or just use egg yolk)

Cauliflower Cheese nuggets (same advice as above for eggs)

Beef Jerky made with thinly sliced beef

Kefir/Kombucha gummies

Chia porridge (use breast, coconut or oat milk) with coconut yoghurt

Banana Flax Crackers or quinoa flatbreads serve with:

Salmon pate

Coconut butter/yoghurt

Hummus add some fermented garlic for an added fermented kick

Tahini and avocado

Rasperries/blackberries/watermelon/mango (mango seeds are great for kids to suck on)

Mango Chia jam

Fat banana custard (before 12 months only use the egg yolks)

Chocolate Avocado pudding

Homemade Chocolate

Balls of Energy (until 12months use only seeds)

 

12-18 months

based on elimination diet protocols can start to introduce egg white, nuts, raw honey. (Try to keep grains to a minimum or traditionally prepared and served with something fermented until 2years)

 

Blender Waffles/Blender pancakes

Egg Muffins

Grain free granola (until you have checked nuts you can just use a variety of seeds; pumpkin, sesame, sunflower, chia and ground flax. Try this salty cinnamon flavour

Breakfast in a glass smoothie

Slow cooked apple, rhubarb and ginger porridge (serve with coconut yoghurt)

Almond milk

Nate’s Kefir Blueberry Mawfins

Weaning Recipes Loula Natural 

Nurture Your Life- Your REAL FOOD weaning guide

articlesNurture Your Life Loula Natural fi

Nurture Your Life ebook Loula Natural

Nurture Your Life is the second in my series of books on natural health (the first was Culture Your Life published 2014). Children’s nutrition is a big passion of mine. As a Naturopath and Nutritional Therapist I see many children with chronic conditions like persistent illness, skin conditions, energy and growth issues and a staggering increase in children with allergies and intolerances. With two children of my own, I feel compelled to help these kids find their strength and return them to health to help prevent more serious conditions in their future.

Weaning a child onto food is a very powerful first step in a child’s relationship with food. A relationship which is of fundamental importance to health. Think of your own love/hate relationship with food. There are so many non-foods in our diets in the west, our supermarkets are sometimes almost 80% stocked with chemical, processed and unhealthy foods. Conventional avenues still persist that rice cereal (which may be hugely inflammatory to an immature digestive system) is the food we should be starting our kids on. This book does not recommend that route.

I hope you enjoy reading it and ask questions, keep reading, become informed as to how the body works. Change your own relationship to food if need be. Lets start our kids off the right way, with foods to nurture their life from the beginning.

 

Download here:

My new weaning book

My new weaning book

Here is a link to all the recipes I used when weaning.

Nurture Your Life pin

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