25 Aug

Relax, restore and revitalise – Digital detox, nutritional and lifestyle detox

Returning from a week in my husband’s home town, Picinisco in Italy prompted me to write about a well rested  break from stimulants be it either food related in the form of coffee, sugar, cigarettes or alcohol or be it lifestyle stimulants like social media, television, emails, whatsapp and texting (not so common now). I did not have Wi-Fi for a whole week. The children had no access to Instagram, Facebook or any other social media application they usually use to run and control their lives.

What did we do! We played a lot of cards, backgammon, walked, read, spent time with family, ate wonderful food and ate of the land, topped up our Vitamin D and chilled out for a week and it felt really good. So now I am back I want to adopt a bit of this slowing down. A break away from technology into my daily life is my goal. I often give this advice to clients but rarely follow, below are some useful tips to incorporate into your life. In adopting some or all of these techniques regularly you may find you start to feel better able to cope with life load, sleep better and feel more calm. Technology is the way of the world and a very useful addition to our lives, our plane tickets were on our phones, we were able to book a taxi using a fantastic app called Gettaxi instead of queuing in a massive queue in Edinburgh airport and social media is a great way to communicate with people far and wide but it is still good to be able to escape from it now and again.

A good morning routine for a lifestyle detox:

  • Do not switch on any electronic equipment until 1 hour after rising
  • Before breakfast drink a mug of warm water with ginger or lemon
  • Deep breathing for 5 minutes or 10 minute walk
  • Have breakfast
  • Dry skin body brush
  • Shower

 

  • Include gentle stretching once in the day to relax tight muscles.

 

  • Through out the day be mindful of how often you check your phone, emails, Facebook etc., try to limit once in the morning, once in the afternoon and once in the evening, switching technology off after 8pm.

 

  • Eat ‘clean’ food – whole grains such as oats, quinoa and buckwheat, nuts, seeds, beans, fish, lentils, vegetable juices, salads, soups and lots of vegetables.

 

  • Drink 8 glasses of water and or non-caffeinated herbal teas throughout the day.

 

  • Try to avoid stimulants – caffeine, sugar and fizzy drinks.

 

  • Reduce TV time at night and turn off all electronics 1 hour before bed. Play a game, read, chat, do a jigsaw, crossword or just chill.

 

  • Gratitude diary – write three things you are grateful for before you go to be, it can be something simple like a nice walk.

 

  • Treat yourself to a massage, Reiki session or something that helps you relax. Have an Epsom Salt bath before bed.

 

  • Adopt one or all of these strategies once or twice a week going forward.

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03 Aug

Arcobaleno Salad

I have been away for 2 and half weeks in the glorious sunshine, in the region of Puglia in Italy. I always feel inspired when I return from a holiday and today I have invented a salad recipe that represents sunshine and a rainbow in a bowl.  A dish my son had while we were away was a cumberland sausage served with peach, I am going to try this but in the meantime I thought it would be tasty to add a peach in a salad for lunch. Recipe below.

While on the topic of holidays….they are a good chance to relax. Rest, relaxation and rejuvenation is needed for the body and mind. At the top of our kidneys we have two glands called adrenals and they secrete our stress hormones like cortisol, adrenaline and noradrenaline when needed, the fast pace of life these days means we secrete cortisol more than we need to and this can exhaust our adrenal glands causing symptoms such as fatigue and low energy. Holidays are an ideal time to rest adrenals and help them recover. By being in a relaxed state, this gives them a well deserved break. The trick is to continue this relaxed state once we are home, taking small amounts of time out to yourself may be a way of achieving this. Meditation is also a good way to relax and encourage the body into this ‘rest and digest’ mode. We don’t want to be permanently in this state as we need to have get up and go to perform certain tasks like getting up in the morning but a balance is better for the body.

Flying can cause havoc on the body a good way to restore after flying is to eat foods rich in antioxidants. Foods that have colour are usually rich in antioxidants – beetroot, carrot, green salad leaves, green leafy vegetables, berries, peppers, peaches, plums, courgettes, aubergines, red onions and cabbages. Antioxidants may help restore any damage that may be caused by flying and also may help boost immunity.

Arcobaleno Salad

Serves 2-3

5-10 tomatoes depending on size – Heirloom ones if you can if not cherry tomatoes are good

1 tin of chickpeas (drained and rinsed)

1 carrot (finely chopped)

1 peach

1 small handful of  basil broken up into small pieces

2 tablespoon of balsamic

3 tablespoon of olive oil

season to taste

Chop tomatoes and peach into small pieces and add to a bowl with the rest of ingredients. Make a dressing with the olive oil and vinegar and pour on the tomato mixture and serve.

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