Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Healthy Eating Patterns

Healthy Eating Patterns

So, here we are in the post New Year haze of too much eating and drinking considering the coming year ahead of us, personally I like to think of these feast times as necessary – our gut bacteria must have a ball!

Thankfully there are seasons to eat, drink and make merry, and there are spaces in between to eat normally just as there are times it is best to fast and let our digestive systems empty out, rest and repair.

Many of us are busy getting back to our usual meals and portions right about now and feeling all the better for it. A new year is a great time to create better ways of feeding ourselves, as always, small changes pay large dividends diet wise. 

However, I know for myself, making the transition back to healthy eating after indulgence was always a struggle. I am hearing from people already about how difficult it is to switch off from the 2 weeks of feasting and get back into a normal pattern.

It has got me thinking, exactly what is a healthy eating pattern and why are so many people struggling with food the way it is presented and the typical diet as we have come to believe it should be.

I remember sharing the way I eat with some of my professional colleagues a couple of years ago, only to be shot down and nearly shouted down – so outrageous was my suggestion. For myself. I was only referring to myself in the conversation, yet there was such a fearful response as if they couldn’t run fast enough to get away from what I was saying.

I have been thinking about it ever since.

Many of you know that a few years ago, I had spent several years intermittent fasting and found a much more suitable approach to food for myself and my family. A lot of change came from that time for me, certainly the least of which had to do with food.

It also set me thinking, exactly what is a healthy eating pattern and why are so many people struggling with food the way it is presented and the 'typical diet', the way we are informed is a normal way to eat, doesn’t appear to fit with health?

I mean, the only ones who are to gain from all of us eating 3 meals and 3 snacks a day are the multi national food producers. And of course the illness industry because all of that food is making us sick. We are eating too much, too often, mostly of the same things. 

Enough already, you are thinking – what way do you eat?

So, I eat one meal a day and once a month I fast for 3 days on juice.

Typically, every day I prepare one meal, unless it’s my birthday or a special occasion or a holiday. Even this past holiday season, we generally ate one large celebratory meal a day, but had snacks or late desserts because it was a special time with special treats.

There was NO big transition back to normal eating. And there hasn’t been when I am eating this way, because I still have the one meal in the middle of the day (give or take). I can eat what I want, as much as I want and have dessert at the end, if I want.

The only difference after Christmas is the really rich desserts and late evening snacks are gone, but so are the late nights – so my routines are back to normal as well.

I have been eating this way for about 2 ½ years and here is what I have found;

I tend to eat less than I would if I was eating 3 meals a day.
I have more energy, as less time is spent digesting food.
I sleep better, because I eat earlier in the day.
I get far more done!
Cooking is simple – one 4 course meal a day, everyone pitches in.
Incorporating a 3 day juice fast is very easy.
Adding in exercise is easier, because my tummy isn’t full am or pm.
I eat a wider variety of foods.

For quite some time I have been talking to anyone who will listen, about the way we have been trained to eat, because it has seemed to be all wrong, at least for many of us. If 3 meals and 3 snacks a day suit you and you feel fantastic eating that way – wonderful!

However, if I ate breakfast, I would be snacking all evening. If I skipped breakfast, no snacking and not as hungry the rest of the day, that was my absolute first clue that the three meals a day thingy was no good for me.

It was only a few days ago that I realized I remember being vegan, eating extremely healthfully (no sugar, no gluten) and feeling tired after my main meal, back then I was eating 3 meals a day. Now, I can jump up from my dinner with the same energy as my children and run up to the gardens to get some work in before it gets dark.

Eating this way has made a huge difference to my health, my lifestyle and my time.

Todays’ meal was all prepared by me in ½ hour to 45 minutes except oven time (I had the sourdough started in the early morning)

Sourdough pizza topped with artichoke pate, mushrooms, red onion, goats cheese, Bonita tuna & olives
Brown rice cooked with cinnamon & turmeric with stir fry vegetables of beans, carrots, onions, fennel, broccoli, mushrooms and fish
Sourdough toast with peanut butter & jam
Kombucha to drink & sesame honey almond treats for dessert.

There was enough for everyone with loads left over for another meal tomorrow. This meal fed 5 people today - everyone had seconds.

If you find your digestion is over burdened with too much food, perhaps skipping a meal now and then might be the way to get started towards a healthier new you. 

April





Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Taking the Time....

It’s early in the morning and I am listening to the sounds in the house…..all are very familiar to me, yet I am hearing them for the first time all over again. I think I am having a ‘moment’.

It’s about time.

Most of the time my life is in a constant state of rush. I motor through my day trying to get as much done as possible, only half listening, sort of hearing, kind of paying attention. Then I hurry off to bed when I can do no more and my mind needs a rest.

Thankfully, our entire body is able to take in and capture all the events of the day, so even when we are not fully conscious of all that is taking place within us, around us and for us; our cells are tuned in allowing our minds to accomplish other things.

This is a busy season for many and a weird one – the energy shifts and changes constantly from one of great hope to lows of bad news and strange happenings in the world, emotional triggers that can leave us exhausted.

As a result, I am doing a couple things differently this year…..well, probably not that different but maybe I’m just more aware of doing them. This year I am taking time out to breathe, stop and look around me.

You may have heard me referring to this as ‘taking in the day’ or going outside first thing in the morning to ‘smell the day’. Believe it or not, doing this always gives me the greatest sense of what is going on in my life.

The second thing I am finding myself drawn to is taking more time for me.

One of the most difficult things to do at any time of the year is to spend time with my own well-being in mind. Usually all my time is taken up with caring for others, thinking about how to help, heal or feed everyone around me and generally loving every part of that J

And none of that has changed.

These two aspects of my thinking are quite different from each other as well. Taking time to notice more of the natural world is always incorporated into what I am doing, as I am doing it. My work and life are focused on nature and what it can do for us.

Perhaps it is because I am paying more attention I am taking better care of myself.

I feel as if I have finally incorporated more of ‘me’ into the care part of my life and it feels great. My down time this Solstice & Christmas will involve even more activity that soothes the soul – walks in the woods, digging in the tunnel, exercise and long seaweed baths.
As we move from the darkest time of the year and into the light, where will it find us and what will be illuminated? We create our world, we are the designers of our destiny and we choose the path with each decision we make.

Take some time to be with who you really are and the light will find you.

So….for the coming weeks…..


Happy Solstice, Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays – Blessed Be



Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Fermentation Master Class - 5 December West Cork

Wild Fermentation Master Class

5th December 2016

If you really want to know what life is all about, you've got to learn how to ferment your food! We all require living, real and clean food now more than ever. On offer is a little more in-depth class for the more serious foodie....if you are ready to take your life (inside & out) to the next level, this class is for you.

We will begin with a fermented food lunch....then cover all the basic fermentation techniques including sourdough bread, kombucha, apple cider vinegar & sauerkraut while going into detail on nutrition, probiotics, recipes, equipment, health and nature. We might even get some time to discuss wild fermented wine & beer....either way, it will be a wild time!

Time: 1pm to 4:45 ish
When: 5 December (Monday)
Where: near Drimoleague West Cork
Cost: €85.00

To book your place text 0872361616, email info@aprildanann.com or stop by my market stall in Clonakilty, Skibbereen or Herbert Park in Dublin.
  




Friday, 18 November 2016

Elevate the Mind, Heal the Body - Closing the Energy Leaks(c)

I cannot say enough about this technique Closing the Energy Leaks…..if you are like me, then you might often find your very busy mind off on several tangents and not always as focused on the tasks at hand. This little thought or action can help you begin the process of working with your mind on a whole new level.

Especially when it comes to healing.

Because we have all been through multiple traumas, are full of toxins and are generally often in survival mode – much more than our body has been affected. What I have seen repeatedly in my clinical practice is how the mind-body connection is weak or broken down, and otherwise non-functioning.

Your mind is an integral function of healing your physical body.

Closing the Energy Leaks © is all about knitting the bridge back together between body and mind. Uncovering some of the patterns that have kept us from healing, shifting or changing our lives so we can move in the directions we are seeking is an integral part of walking this path.

Over the years of Closing Windows (energy leaks) I have witnessed everything from instant relief from migraines, redness and swelling reducing, ear inflammation calming completely, slowed bleeding in cuts, coughing fits settling in under a minute, infections receding, pain and discomfort of all sorts reversing, relationships changing, to delivering a baby at home without any assistance (ask me about it J).

And this is only the beginning of what I’ve seen over these past two decades of Closing the Energy Leaks.

Once we tune into our bodies and actually ‘listen’, using our minds to connect, we re-enter into the conscious healing capacity all of us are capable of.  Our body already knows how to heal, often the blocks are as much in our mind (the mind being an inherent part of our body) and can be worked on just like any other aspect of us.

It’s time to take your healing ability to a new level.

Understanding how your mind-body works together by learning to hear, then listen and understand what your body needs you to know is perhaps the most significant step in moving your life forward.

This is life-altering work.

Our minds are a pretty amazing part of our body! When we are able to actually harness even a tiny amount of that power and potential we can begin to take control of our health, purpose, path and momentum in a new and more meaningful way.

 So, just how does one work with the mind? Closing the windows is a brilliant beginning because, this technique allows you to train your focus, which for so many of us is an issue J, settle back into your body and to get to know yourself on an entire new level.

There are ways and means to get back into your body, mind and spirit; for instance we have plants on the earth that not only help us heal, they are all about helping us access parts of our bodies that we have been pushed out of.

The single biggest part of our body we have been removed from is our mind.

What’s more, we are encouraged to shut down our mind, to exit, to get it to be quiet, to allow it to float away from us and otherwise to remove ourselves from it’s deepest workings.

Your mind exists everywhere, in all dimensions, in all aspects of who you are, who you were and who you can be. It is in every single cell in your body. Not sure about dimensions? What part of you dreams, experiences synchronicities, déjà vu and intuition?

Your mind plays an integral part in all of that. It must be linked with the body and spirit in order to fully access the power contained within.

I personally have found and seen over the years how the more you are in tune with and ‘in’ your mind, the better you feel, the more you are able to focus and the calmer your life is.

The most important aspect of being in your mind and keeping it firmly attached to your body is that you are able to use this energy to direct your own healing.


Our minds are pure potential, so much so that when you Elevate the mind – you heal the body.


Thursday, 10 November 2016

Workshop - Closing Energy Leaks - Intuition & Your Body

Closing Energy Leaks©, Intuition & Your Body
15th November 2pm West Cork

Going deeper into how to look after, heal, fix and change your life by uncovering layers of ‘whatever life has thrown your way’ and finding yourself. This workshop will focus on patterns that we have all revolved in – poverty, fear, worry, illness and not getting the things we ask for or need!

We will look more closely at how energy works, what the Universe expects of us and what comes next in our adventure towards using our own intuition to work with, heal, change and open up to the wonderful potential within our own body.

If you have been feeling stuck, unwell, overwhelmed, under-utilizing your skills, and generally disappointed with how things are – but are seeking change – this is your opportunity to focus on body, mind and spirit like never before!

We will be once again looking at the Energy of the Human body through Closing the Energy Leaks© or Windows and finding more ways to listen to our intuition. Listening to your body’s voice is vital for a better, healthier, more productive life.

                                   If you are ready for change, this workshop is for you.

15 November Tuesday afternoon at 2pm to 5pm
Caheragh, Drimoleague West Cork
€55
To book: email info@aprildanann.com or text 0872361616
includes notes and organic refreshments


Of course I could go on about this work.....Closing the Energy Leaks is all about bringing our minds back into the change, healing and well-being of our bodies. We need all of us to be available and present in order to fully accomplish what we are here to do. Part of our journey towards fulfilling our purpose is getting back into a healthy, strong body. We do that many ways - it is often a good idea to change our minds as we work at changing our lives....