Learning to Love Myself Pancakes (dairy free, wheat free, sugar free)

photo (24)

Makes approximately nine pancakes

Ingredients

¾ cup of wheat free flour

1/3 cup of rice milk

4 tbsp rice malt syrup

3 eggs

Pinch of sea salt (optional)

Blueberries and strawberries to serve

Method

Beat the eggs. Add the flour, salt and milk and mix well. Add the rice malt syrup and mix again. Heat a little coconut oil in a small omelette pan. Once the coconut oil has melted, pour in a small amount of the mixture, enough to coat the bottom of the pan. Cook until golden brown (not long) on the bottom and then flip, using a fish slice or spatula, to cook the other side. Leftover mixture can be stored in the fridge and used the next day. Make sure to give it a good stir again after taking it out of the fridge. Serve with blueberries and strawberries.

It’s not a diet. It’s a decision.

Before
After

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My experience with Clean 9.

Earlier this year I was diagnosed with M.E. / Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. After having problems with fatigue for over 20 years, since I was a teenager, I knew that I needed to change my lifestyle and start taking better care of myself. As it turns out the fatigue was caused by not being on the right medication for my hypothyroidism and not chronic fatigue at all. Although I am feeling better since being on different thyroid medication, I am still not quite right and I know that taking better care of myself will help.

I know from experience that dieting doesn’t work. I have only been able to stick to a diet once. I lost nearly three stone on weight watchers, but I put it all back on again and more. I used to binge eat and I turned to Overeaters Anonymous (OA) for support. I found OA helpful for a while, but ultimately, continually focusing on overeating and my problems (i.e. focusing on what I didn’t want) was counterproductive.

Over the last two or three years I have started to change the way I eat. My motivation was to improve my health and if I also lost weight it was a bonus. I cut right down on sugar, dairy and white flour and increased my intake of fruit and vegetables. I found some great recipes for sugar free, wheat free and dairy free chocolate and cakes.

One thing I did discover during my time in OA was that I associated food with love. For me they are the same. My parents weren’t very loving when I was a child and they showed love through food. My Mum, Grandma and step-Mum were all good cooks and were often baking cakes. My Mum wouldn’t let us have sweets, sugar or sugary drinks, but we were allowed chocolate. When we used to visit Dad on alternate weekends he would give us 50p each to buy sweets and we would buy two chocolate bars and a selection of penny chews with what was left over.

I thought that one way of ‘learning to love myself’ was to treat myself as I would want a lover to treat me and so I ‘wined and dined’ myself. I would have a kind of date night at home, which usually involved TV, pizza, a tub of ice cream and a bottle of wine. I thought I was loving myself, but actually I was just filling the void. When I realised that I associated food with love, I started to have more awareness around this behaviour. Now I have a date night where I cook myself and my inner child something healthy and delicious and really nurture the two of us.

Despite all of this, I still find it hard to stick to eating healthily. I am definitely getting better all the time, it’s just taking a bit longer than I expected. Earlier this year I asked the universe for a way to help me to get motivated to improve my lifestyle and shortly afterwards I started training for a boxing match, which was just the incentive I needed. I loved the training. It was great fun and with the help of my awesome coach, I achieved things I never thought possible. Unfortunately, I had to pull out after about 8 weeks or so, as I fractured my ankle. As soon as my ankle is better I will be back at the gym.

One of the other things that has helped me tremendously is starting my new health and wellness business and discovering the power of Aloe Vera. I drink Aloe Vera everyday and take supplements that help with my energy levels. I recently tried the ‘Clean 9’ programme to clean out my digestive system and improve my health even more, hopefully with the added bonus of weight and inch loss.

I couldn’t do the Clean 9 exactly as per the instructions as I am intolerant to soya and was unable to drink the shakes, so I bought all the other products separately. For the first two days all I ate was fruit and vegetables, along with a whole lot of aloe vera and supplements. The natural supplements are designed to help you recognise when you’re full and boost your metabolism. I was surprised to find that I didn’t feel hungry and when I did, I filled up on grapes. In the first two days I lost three pounds. Unfortunately I didn’t stick to the programme properly and I put that three pounds back on by the end of the nine days. The mistakes I made was that I ate too many carbs, went over my calories and didn’t do enough exercise. I also didn’t prepare well enough for it. As I’ve been eating healthily for sometime I thought I could get away without doing the pre-cleanse and I was wrong. Having said all that, by the end of the nine days I felt amazing. I have learnt from my mistakes and I will be doing the Clean 9 again soon and this time I will be doing it properly, because I deserve it.

Since I changed my eating habits two years ago I have lost one and a half stone, one stone of which has been since July 2014, when I started my boxing training. I am passionate about continuing to improve my health and getting slimmer. I would also like to help others do the same.

Please click here to join our group on Facebook to share ideas, support and ask questions.

Lucid Dreaming – part two

I had difficulty going to sleep, which is unusual for me lately. I’ve been in the habit of listening to the Silva method evening meditation and that sends me to sleep pretty quickly. I ate a large meal and too much dark chocolate right before bed and I’ve got quite a lot on my mind, including the fact that I have to be up at 6 am to go to training that I don’t really want to go to, for a new job that I don’t really want to do. So I lay there tossing and turning, feeling sick, trying various tricks to help me sleep and berating myself for eating so much chocolate. I felt sick, hot and thirsty. I tried some of my lucid dream techniques.

Eventually I fell into a deep sleep. Too deep, it was uncomfortable. I’ve had that happen before and I can’t wake up. It scares me. It’s kind of like I’m suffocating under a thick, heavy duvet of sleep and I’m struggling to get out from underneath or like I’m underwater and I’m trying to pull my way to the surface.

I was dreaming about trying to wake up and trying to wake my Mum up. I have that dream a lot. I try and scream to try and get my Mum’s attention that I need help and to try and wake myself up. I’ve been having that dream for as long as I can remember, even though I haven’t lived with my Mum for many years.

I dreamt that I was stumbling around trying to turn the light on, trying to scream and trying to wake myself up. I remembered that my bedside light was broken and so I was trying to reach the light switch on the wall. I can’t remember much else of what I was dreaming about. I know my cat Charlie was there and I dreamt that I had a mouthful of cat hair. I think there was something to do with a radio.

Then I found myself dreaming about a man in my life and I think I might have been lucid dreaming. If not, I was dreaming about lucid dreaming. I said to myself “I recognise that I am dreaming.” I dreamt that I was sucking this guy’s toes and I had a vague recollection of him telling me that he had a foot fetish. I wondered if he was having the same dream. I decided to text him when I awoke, but then I decided it would be inappropriate.

Then I was back to the whirlwind of struggling to wake up again. Suddenly I found myself in my car. I looked up and a woman that I recognized was pouring water into my car from a watering can. She was a wise woman. I think I recognised her from the telly, although she also reminded me of a wise Sufi woman that I knew in Cairo.

She smiled at me.

“I forgot that you always wait for me and fill my car up with your watering can,” I said. “It is such a hot day and I’m so thirsty.”

I excitedly told her about my dream. I heard some birds crowing and I looked up to the roof of a nearby house and saw two black birds, maybe rooks or crows, talking to me but they were calling me Karen instead of Sam.

“They’re telling you that you’re still there,” said the wise woman. “You need to get back down to Earth. You need to ground yourself.”

I felt myself slipping away.

“I feel like I’m half asleep,” I said. “I feel as though I’m going to pass out.” And then I was sucked into the whirlwind again. Looking for the light switch, trying to scream and trying to wake up. It was quite frightening. I asked my guides and angels to help me and then I woke up and I was screaming.

I was very hot and sweaty. I lay there trying to calm down and wondered what it all meant. I knew I had to write it down straight away, even though I have to be up at 6 am or earlier and have a big day ahead. The clock display read 2:22, which means ‘you’re nearly there, don’t quit’ in angel numbers.

I’m not sure what the dream meant. Maybe ‘don’t dabble in lucid dreaming’ or ‘don’t eat so much dark chocolate before bed’. I’m intrigued to know why the birds were calling me Karen. Maybe I was Karen in a past life. Or maybe I’m Karen ‘on the other side.’

I’d love people’s thoughts and comments.

Super-Duper Courtesy Car and Lucid Dreaming

I’ve got a super duper courtesy Fiesta from Chips Away, Martlesham, while they fix my car. It’s a smooth ride (apart from the brakes, which are really sharp) and it’s got loads of cool gadgets. The dashboard lights up like a space ship. The key has some kind of mechanism that prevents you from driving over 80 mph. I have to admit to having mixed feelings about that one.

As I left the gym in the dark earlier this evening, I chuckled to myself and observed that the lights probably came on automatically and that maybe the car had some kind of special sensor that could tell when it was dark.  Unfortunately, I couldn’t work out how to put the lights on.  I sat in the car trying various things, but none of them worked. In the end, I decided that the car DID have sensors and that the lights must come on automatically. I fiddled around, testing the theory out and decided that the evidence was supportive. However, as I drove home along the A12 I had reason to doubt, as I was repeatedly flashed by other drivers.

I pulled over, put my hazard lights on, turned the engine off and rooted around for the manual.  As I finally managed to find the switch for the lights and turn them on, the car switched itself back on, making me jump slightly. As I continued my drive home, I pondered on the strangeness of this and observed that it was like a dream. “Maybe I was dreaming”, I suddenly thought to myself and laughed out loud. I’ve recently been reading about lucid dreaming and repeating the affirmation, “I will remember to recognize that I’m dreaming.” The idea is that if you recognize  you’re dreaming, you can control the dream and design your own adventure.

I was pretty sure that I wasn’t dreaming but I tried to create my own adventure just in case. I couldn’t decide what I wanted to do. I considered making the car fly, but I decided that would be a bit scary. I found it quite difficult to think of anything I wanted to do, which is odd considering I have lots of lists of intentions and things I’d like to achieve. I thought fleetingly of a bedroom scene, but couldn’t think of anyone I’d like to join me. After trying a couple of things out, nothing happened, so I decided I must be awake after all. I still had a lot of fun, made myself laugh and realised that I am starting to truly love myself. (I love people that can make me laugh).

Before anyone asks, yes, I am sober and no, I haven’t been taking LSD.

How to Get What You Want – 30 day challenge

Last year a friend of mine gave me a recording of Earl Nightingale’s “The Strangest Secret”. I listened to it again this morning and it’s inspired me to take Earl’s 30 day challenge. Maybe you’d like to join me. Start by listening to the recording on YouTube by clicking here. Once you’ve listened to it, follow the steps below to get what you want.

1. Write one goal on a piece of card and look at it throughout the day. On one side write your goal and on the other side write “Ask and it is given, seek and you will find, knock and it shall be opened.”

2. Save 10% of everything you receive.

3. Tithe 10% of everything you receive.

4. Only think positive thoughts. Avoid complaining and putting yourself down.

5. Give whatever you’re doing 100% and more.

6. Give to others. Be of service.

7. If you find yourself in a negative mindset, start the 30 days again.

8. Keep your vibration high by dancing, singing, meditating and doing things you love and make you feel good.

9. Let go of attachment to the outcome. Let go of the need to know how it will happen. Trust in a power greater than yourself.

10. Be grateful for all the wonderful things you already have.

11. Join our Facebook group “How to Get What You Want – 30 day challenge” to share experiences and give and receive support.

The Health Experiment – Part Two

2013 was a tough year for me. I was physically and emotionally exhausted and endured a steep learning curve. In 2014, I have completely turned my life around. I attribute this to the help I have received from my Nicherin Buddism practice, 12 step programmes, TFT with Val Chater, White Light healing from Robina Hearle, life coaching with Katrina Love, business coaching with Suzanne MacDonald Carr, drinking Forever Freedom aloe gel and most importantly, through my own determinations.

After having problems with fatigue since I was a teenager, I was finally able to see a specialist earlier this year, who diagnosed me with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, also known as ME. Ironically, due to all the personal development work and spiritual practices I’d been doing, coupled with healthy eating and exercise, I felt better than I had for a long time. I was convinced I was on the wrong thyroid medication and when I was diagnosed with ME, I was scared the doctors would use the diagnosis to fob me off and I would never get my thyroid sorted out. As it turned out though, this caused the doctors to investigate my thyroid further – I’d been asking them to do this for many years. As a result of these investigations, I was put on T3 as well as T4, which was something else I’d been asking the doctors to do for some time.  The ME doctor later decided I had Chronic Stress Syndrome rather than Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. I had a tendency to get tired due to excessive stress and worry, trauma from an unhappy childhood, and being estranged from my family as an adult.

Although I was beginning to feel a lot better, I was still prone to bouts of fatigue and I knew my eating and exercise habits still left a lot to be desired. I found it difficult to get motivated to eat healthily and exercise and so I used my Nicherin Buddism practice and chanted for inspiration. Within a short space of time, I began life coaching with Katrina Love, who worked with me on improving my self-esteem. She also asked me to complete a food diary. At about this same time, I saw a Facebook advert for complete beginners to train to take part in a charity boxing match, placed by fitness coach and owner of Suffolk Punch Boxing Club, Matt Brennan, whom I’d met previously through my business coach, Suzanne MacDonald Carr.

I have always been against boxing due to my passion for peace and non-violence, but when I saw the ad, excitement stirred inside me. I knew this was something I had to pursue and was the incentive I needed. As I said to Matt, “If I can do it, anyone can do it!”

I had to attend a trial and I half-expected to be unsuccessful due to being overweight and extremely unfit. To my delight, the first exercise we had to do was skipping. I loved skipping as a child and I thought it would be easy. Unfortunately, it wasn’t as easy as I remembered and I couldn’t do it at first, but I was determined and soon got the hang of it. The trial was hard, although not as hard as I expected. Later in the week, Matt told me I had been accepted for the training and my fitness would be monitored to ensure I was fit enough to fight.

The first class was demanding and after a few minutes of skipping, we had to do what trainer Rob Hodgkins called ‘The Magic 600.’ To my horror, this consisted of 300 jumping jacks, 200 thigh burners and 100 push-ups! This was tough and I nearly walked out. I didn’t manage to do the magic 600, but I have completed them every time we’ve done them since.

I expected to be a long way behind everyone else and to my surprise, although I am at the bottom of the class, I am not far behind. The only explanation I can think of is I’ve been drinking Forever Freedom aloe gel for a few months now, which helps improve stamina and has other health benefits.

I absolutely love the training. Although it is hard work, it is incredibly fun. Rob is a good laugh and keeps us entertained, while at the same time pushes us to our limits. The other members are friendly and supportive. The classes usually involve lots of well-intentioned banter. I still have a long way to go, but I am the fittest I have ever been after only a few weeks of training. I am even fitter now than when I completed a 10K run seven years ago.

The toughest class so far was last week when Rob pushed me to my limits. Although I’m glad he pushed me hard, I got overwhelmed by a mixture of adrenaline and exhaustion and ended the class in a heap on the floor, sobbing my heart out.

Overall, I am having the time of my life and people keep telling me I am glowing. I am determined to be fit enough to take part in the match. I don’t care about winning. For me, just taking part is a huge victory.

Tickets will be on sale soon.

To sponsor me please click here.

As It is in Heaven

Many believe that when Jesus prayed that “God’s will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven” he was talking about the times we’re living in now. The time when a ‘Golden Age’ will come to the Earth.

The energy around us is changing and has been for some time.  Mother Earth is also evolving, as is mankind. It is time for humanity to wake up and smell the coffee and I believe that is what is happening. The people have been subdued for too long and now people are standing up and questioning the powers that be. In my previous article, 2012 – End of the World or Golden Age of Peace?, I wrote, “for too long the world has been controlled by governments, religions and multi-national banks and corporations. The time has come when people are refusing to continue being repressed and are taking things into their own hands. Prime examples of this are the revolutions in the Middle East, Occupy Wall Street and websites such as Wikileaks andDemand Progress.”  Internet TV channel ‘The People’s Voice’ gives people the opportunity to express views and opinions that would not otherwise be broadcast by the mainstream media.

These are exhilarating times as more and more people are becoming spiritually awakened. Actor and comedian, Russell Brand, is calling for what he calls a ‘spiritual revolution’.  Brand says that “politics just needs to be the administration of certain spiritual principles… We are all one. We’re all together and every individual’s rights need to be respected… Oneness, togetherness, tolerance of one another and making sure that everyone is taken care of.” Another exciting development is that spiritual author  Marianne Williamson is running for Congress in the US.

People are starting to become more altruistic and are taking things into their own hands by making positive changes. A prime example of this is Tangelo Park, where self-made millionaire, Harris Rosen, reduced crime by 50% and increased the high school graduation rate by 100% by offering free day care and scholarships for all graduates.

As I mentioned in another previous article, 2012 – The End of the World as We Know It, “I believe we are witnessing… the end of a world fuelled by greed, hatred and fear; the beginning of a Golden Age of peace, love and happiness.”

I am often criticised for being an idealist and I reply, “I am proud to be an idealist. If everyone in the World was an idealist, it would be a much better place.”

Another Beautiful Day

It’s a beautiful day again. It may be cold and grey outside but it’s always a beautiful day in recovery. Always a beautiful day when you’re connected to Divine source energy. 

How to Get What You Want – Change the Subject

Change the subject or as Abraham Hicks puts it, “get off the subject.” When we have problems we seem to be addicted to talking about them. It’s as if we think that if we talk our problems enough we will find a magical solution or someone will wave a magic wand. In fact, the opposite is true. When we keep talking about our problems, we are focusing on what we don’t want and the message we give to our unconscious mind and the universe is that we want more of the same. The answer is to hand our problems over to a higher power, trust and surrender. I have found that this has two benefits. Firstly I have the serenity that comes from trusting and knowing that everything is going to be OK. Secondly, the quicker I do this, the faster the solution comes.

Having said all that, it is important to acknowledge our problems and notice the feelings they bring up. It can be healing to talk about them with a trusted friend or advisor. There is a difference between acknowledging our problems and repeatedly complaining about them. This is a lesson that I am still learning. The more I practice, the easier it gets.

Exercise

Notice when you are talking about your problems. Ask yourself if you’re acknowledging your problems in a healthy way or repeatedly complaining about them.

Acceptance is the Answer

“And acceptance is the answer to all my problems today. When I am disturbed, it it because I find some person, place, thing or situation – some fact of my life unacceptable to me, and I can find no serenity until I accept that person, place, thing or situation as being exactly the way it is supposed to be at this moment. Nothing, absolutely nothing, happens in God’s world by mistake. Until I could accept my alcoholism, I could not stay sober; unless I accept life completely on life’s terms, I cannot be happy. I need to concentrate not so much on what needs to be changed in the world as on what needs to be changed in me and my attitudes.” – The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous