PEN & PAPER TO MANAGE STRESS

Some of my journals

Ever had one of those days when you have so much to do that you don’t even know where to begin? Or when you have so many thoughts and emotions swimming in your head that you don’t know which end is up? Or you have no clue what, when or where your time and effort is being spent? I know what it’s like…

When you’re stressed out or something is bothering you, sit down and write. Getting your thoughts on paper helps to identify stressors and to come up with solutions. Plus, it just feels good to get it all out!

If you don’t do so already, I recommend keeping a journal and writing in it regularly. Writing for just 10 to 15 minutes a day can make a huge difference in your stress level and your mind-set. Many people do it online, but also consider it doing it the old-fashion way, pen and paper. Get yourself a notebook and write away.

Need some ideas to get started?

  • Your day. Simply writing down a play-by-play of your day can get your thoughts flowing and steer you to other topics.
  • Your goals. Writing about the person you want to be and the life you want to live can help you visualize your dreams and come up with a plan for making them real.
  • Food & Exercise. Here’s a perfect opportunity for you to monitor and see how much and what you eat and exercise during the days. It can be a way for you to find out if you’re really putting in the effort that you think you are, or just keeping track of it to see what works and what doesn’t.
  • Specific problems or worries. Write about the things that stress you out or events that have upset you in the past. Describe how these things make you feel, and why, and brainstorm a list of actions you can take to counter these problems and feel better.
  • Priorities and to-do lists. This is a must for all us multitaskers and responsibility jugglers! When you feel overwhelmed, write down all the things you have to do and prioritise them.
  • What you’re thankful for. This might sound cheesy, but trust me, it can help you think more positively. Your life will always have room for improvement, of course, but taking time out to acknowledge and appreciate the good things can help you put everything else in perspective.

When you’re writing, resist any perfectionist urges. Don’t edit yourself, and don’t worry about spelling or how your prose sounds. You’re not writing for posterity, or for anyone else’s sake, you’re doing it for youself.
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#1 WORKOUT TIP

What’s the #1 tip to make your workout the most successful you can possibly make it. Well, it’s clearer than what you might believe. HYDRATE: Drink plenty, plenty of water! Not only does it help pull your big guns out when working out and make you sustain and burn more calories, but it also helps with with digestion as well as making your skin, hair and nails, well your whole body, feel better.

So reach for at least 8-10 glasses of water each day. If you lose count or don’t know how much it is, fill a 2-3 litre jug up with water and keep it in the fridge. By the end of the day that jug should be empty and you feeling great as a result. 🙂

EGG YOLK USES

If you’re like me, using loads of egg whites to bump up your protein intake and keep your calorie count down, and on top of that have run out of options on how to use up all those egg yolks instead of dumping them down the drain, then here’s a great tip in boosting your hair health.

Egg yolk acts as a natural moisturizer for dry, damaged hair. Egg yolk contains vitamins A, E and D—all nutrients that nourish hair. Vitamins A and E prevent hair loss, including thinning of hair. Vitamin D helps improve the health, texture and luster of your hair. And all three vitamins protect hair from harmful UV rays, chlorine and pollution. Egg yolk can also help you prevent dandruff and maintain a healthy scalp.

For an all natural and nourishing hair mask, mix or whisk egg yolks together with olive oil and apply on newly washed, towel-dried hair. Put a shower cap or dry towel around your head to trap heat inside and keep it on for a minimum of 10 minutes. Rinse hair thoroughly with luke warm water and finish off with cold water to close hair follicles. And voilá, shiny, healthy hair and no egg yolks thrown away in the rubbish. Win-win situation! 🙂

Other egg yolk uses:
– Feed 1 egg yolk/day (for large dogs) to promote shiny and healthy fur.

– Beat egg yolk and apply on face as a vitamin rich mask. Helps acne prone faces.

DARE TO CHANGE

Personal training is the stuff to be doing if you love fitness as much as I do. But what about myself? It’s so easy to take care of others when you have a caretaker personality, and in that spin it’s easy to forget about yourself because you live vicariously through others and fulfilling their dreams while yours is put on the shelf.

It’s almost gone a week since the first training session with my “victim” and I think it’s going really good. When exercising hard, don’t be surprised if you get overwhlemed with emotions of all sorts, as hardcore pushing yourself to your limits triggers all kind of mechanisms in your body and can also trigger emotions you didnt know you had. Just go with it, dust yourself off and up you go again.

I’m entering a new phase again. I feel like a snake that sheds its skin during the year. It feels good. Feels uncertain. And it feels a bit scary. But if you never go out of your comfort zone, then how the heck are you suppose to grow and develop new sides of yourself. I say go for change! Go for doing something you never do. I say break free from your own personal chains. In true Wallace spirit: FREEDOM! haha 🙂

Nite nite. Peace out.

DIZZINESS WHILE WORKING OUT

Are you like me one of the many people who suffer from dizzy spells or light headedness during exercise? Many people seem to suffer from dizzy spells either during exercise or afterwards. If you are one of these people then check the list below to see where you may be going wrong:

1. Running on empty – if you exercise in the morning after maybe 10 hours since your last meal then your body is low on many of the nutrients and energy required to get you through your workout. If your carbohydrate stores (glycogen) levels are low then your body will use your muscles and fat for energy and this can be a strain on your system. Consider eating muesli, fruit, porridge about 1-2 hours before exercise depending on exercise.

2. Lack of fluids – our body’s natural equilibrium of water is very crucial – as you perspire you lose water and this can tip you over the edge. Drink water before, during and after exercise but don’t overindulge.

3. Low blood pressure – fast movements from standing to lying can cause dizziness in people suffering from low blood pressure. Take your time between transitions or better still perform all your standing exercise and then all your floor exercises.

4. Blood pooling – after heavy leg exercises (squats, deadlifts) blood rushes to your legs in order to fuel your muscles. Ensure you take time to recover after these exercise and give the blood chance to recirculate. Don’t sit down, moving around on your feet will help you return back to normal quicker.

5. Anaemia (iron deficiency) – because you have a lack of red blood cells you have less carriers for your oxygen and so can make it harder when exerted to return oxygen back to your brain.

6. Correct breathing – starving your body of oxygen by shallow breathing or holding your breath during exercise is a definate no-no. Concentrate on your breathing and this will not only get you through your exercise session but can improve your lung capacity and control your heart rate too.

7. Too much too soon – if you have been away from exercise for sometime or are trying something new then the shock to your body can cause spells of dizziness.

If after following this advice, or you still feel concerned about your dizzy spells, then consult a doctor.

MINT SUPERFOOD HEALTH BENEFITS

Peppermint tea is one of the most popular herbal infusions. It’s refreshing, the flavor is clean and sweet, and it feels good to drink after a heavy meal. But did you know that mint holds some of the best health benefits?! Recent studies have even showed that if exposed to the peppermint scent a few times a day, it actually lowers your appetite and in return makes you consume less calories per day.

Soothe Your Tummy With Peppermint
In the world of health research, trials have repeatedly shown the ability of peppermint oil to relieve symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, including indigestion, dyspepsia, and colonic muscle spasms. These healing properties of peppermint are apparently related to its smooth muscle relaxing ability. Once the smooth muscles surrounding the intestine are relaxed, there is less chance of spasm and the indigestion that can accompany it. The menthol contained in peppermint may be a key reason for this bowel-comforting effect.

Potential Anti-Cancer Agent
Interest in peppermint has extended well beyond the digestive tract, however. Perillyl alcohol is a phytonutrient called a monoterpene, and it is plentiful in peppermint oil. In animal studies, this phytonutrient has been shown to stop the growth of pancreatic, mammary, and liver tumors. It has also been shown to protect against cancer formation in the colon, skin, and lungs. These animal-based studies have yet to be matched by equally sound human studies, however.

An Anti-Microbial Oil
Esssential oil of peppermint also stops the growth of many different bacteria. These bacteria include Helicobacter pylori, Salmonella enteritidis, Escherichia coli O157:H7, and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). It has also be found to inhibit the growth of certain types of fungus as well.

Breathe Easier with Peppermint
Peppermint contains the substance rosmarinic acid, which has several actions that are beneficial in asthma. In addition to its antioxidant abilities to neutralize free radicals, rosmarinic acid has been shown to block the production of pro-inflammatory chemicals, such as leukotrienes. It also encourages cells to make substances called prostacyclins that keep the airways open for easy breathing. Extracts of peppermint have also been shown to help relieve the nasal symptoms of allergic rhinitis (colds related to allergy).

A Rich Source of Traditional Nutrients
Peppermint also delivers a wide range of traditional nutrients. Peppermint is an excellent source of manganese, vitamin C and vitamin A, the latter notably through its concentration of carotenoids, including beta-carotene. Both vitamin C and beta-carotene seem to play a role in decreasing colorectal cancer risk. Vitamin C, the main water-soluble antioxidant in the body is needed to decrease levels of free radicals that can cause damage to cells. Some studies have shown a link between increased vitamin C intake and a decreased risk for colon cancer, possibly by as much as 40%, while other studies have shown that vitamin C intake can help to decrease the incidence of colon tumors. Beta-carotene and other carotenoids have been shown in some studies to decrease the risks of developing both colon cancer and rectal cancer. Carotenoids have also been shown to increase cell differentiation and protect cells against carcinogenic chemicals that could damage DNA. Vitamin A, which is structurally similar to beta-carotene, may help to decrease risk by preventing excessive colon cell proliferation and tumor formation.

In addition to all of the above healing properties, peppermint is a very good source of dietary fiber, folate, iron, magnesium, and calcium, vitamin B2 (based on its few calories and high nutrient density). This high nutrient density and low calorie status qualified peppermint as a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins B2, potassium and copper.

Information taken from The World’s Healthiest Foods website.

HOW MUCH TO EXERCISE EACH DAY

You may have heard the U.S. Surgeon General’s recommendation of 30 minutes of physical activity a day. This is intended for people who want to maintain the most basic level of fitness — but not for people who want to lose weight. In a week, 30 minutes a day works out to an expenditure of about 1,000 calories, which is fine if you are looking to maintain your current weight. But if you want to lose, you’re going to have to be prepared for a bit more work.

I much prefer the World Health Organization’s recommendation of 60 minutes at a time as a starting point for my clients — an hour is ideal to get the most out of your workout and see significant results. Your 60-minute workout sessions should always include a 5-minute warm-up, followed by 50 minutes of your primary cardio or strength-training exercises, followed by at least 5 minutes of cooling down and stretching.

Of course, putting in more time will get you more results — but there’s a limit. Excessive intense physical activity releases stress hormones, such as cortisol, into the body. This can actually inhibit weight loss, causing your body to react by storing fat and retaining water out of self-protection. So, to reach your goal, I recommend limiting intense exercise to no more than two hours a session.

Taken from Losing It! with Jillian Michaels.

CHALLENGES PRODUCES RESULT

To strive for something in life, whether that be your career, health or fitness, it’s not always an easy task. No, it might actually come as a shock to you how hard you have to work in order to achieve something you really, really want. It might even frighten you how hard or exhausting the task at hand can or will be. Now, you have choices. Is it so hard, frightening and exhausting that you choose to quit the journey. OR… Or do you find your motivation, dedication for the desire of your goal, dig deep inside of you and keep the fight going. It is your choice!

After all, it’s your fight. Your desire. Your dream. Your goal. Your journey. People can help you walk down the path, but they can’t walk it for you. That is where your own strength will show itself. How much do you want it? How much are you willing to challenge yourself in order to produce the results you want?

Yes, it is YOUR choice!

FEEL ALIVE WITH EXERCISE

Me getting ready for my morning cardio run.

Amazing how much exercise can make you feel awake, feel alive, feel better in general. No it’s not fun when the alarm rings early in the morning and you have to drag your sorry ass out of bed, but once you’re out there, after the first couple of kilometres, your body wakes up, you get that rush of endorphines, and once you’ve completed more than what you set out to do during that run, THAT feeling is what we all strive for. Set goals, dig in, complete them and feel proud of yourself accomplishing yet one more thing in life.

FEEL ALIVE!