So I had a moment last night…

The moment we all know and hate, that one when every dark and self-deprecating feeling you’ve ever buried comes rising up like a tidal wave and paralyses you with pain. All of a sudden, everything that is going right for you vanishes and it feels like all life wants to do is hurt you. Even facts that you know are completely unquestionable become twisted in your brain’s determination to reduce you to a blubbering wreck.

These are the times when you need people. It may be a friendly word or a cup of tea, or just a hug while you let it all out. This is why, even when you are lost in the pain, you must not push everyone away; they are the ones who can look into your feelings and go “hang on, this isn’t true and you know it” and help you come back into yourself. It’s the most valuable thing anyone can do for you in that moment, and the most valuable thing you can do for anyone else who is stuck in that moment.

It’s a bad habit of myself, personally, to try and hide the dark feelings from the people around me, and I bet most other people do it too. As people in a modern society we’re encouraged to not rely on anyone for anything, when in fact trusting and relying on people is the way to get the best out of ourselves.

Don’t be afraid to tell people that you’re Not OK, because chances are they will want to help you through it, and they will probably need you to help them through something similar at some point. If you don’t have anyone physically there then reach out via phone and social media. Even complete strangers can be exactly what you need!

If you ever do need to reach out, feel free to message me on any of the following social media platforms (the Facebook page isn’t completely developed yet but it’s there if you want to contact me!) :

Twitter: @yoginiwishes

Instagram: @yoginiwishes

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Yoginiwishes/

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Sometimes You Need To Know When To Call It Quits… 

… And just take the time to look after yourself. The other day, I learned that lesson very well. 

I’ve been on some new medication for the past month or so that has really screwed with my hormone levels: it’s exhausting trying to maintain a normal attitude at work when inside I want to simultaneously laugh, cry, and curl up in a ball to sleep. I’ve done pretty well so far but it’s both mentally and emotionally taxing, but I refused to let it have its way because it would impact my ability to work. That was mistake number one. 

Mistake number two was letting myself get dragged into worries right before bed. Money, family, work etc so normal worries, but when paired with my anxiety they set off a chain of nightmares all the way through the night. I stayed asleep but it was definitely not a quality sleep. 

Mistake number three was trying to go to work the next day. Bear in mind that I overslept by 2 hours, which has never happened before. I should have paid attention to my body and mind and called in sick for my own sake as well as that of everyone who would have had to deal with me. 

I knew I was in a fragile place, but thought I could power through like I have been doing and went in to work anyway despite being an hour late (thankfully it’s just a 10 minute drive down the road nowadays). Walked in and said hello to the receptionist as always, intending to work my day as normal. I have a reputation at work for always being there at the same time, so understandably she asked if I was OK. 

That was it. That was all it took for me to burst into tears and realise that I’d run myself into the ground trying to fight my own body and mind. A few minutes later, after talking to my boss (and I think I scared him by bursting into tears again), I was on my way home. 

A day of rest and I’m almost back to normal. I barely left my bed for that day from sheer exhaustion. My moods and emotions are still back and forth like a pendulum but now when I feel myself dropping into a negative I pop to the loo, have a cry if I need to, and just take a few minutes to deal with the swing and get back to normal. 

Sometimes you have to know when to call it quits, it just took me a mini breakdown to realise it. 

It’s better to take a couple minutes here and there to check in with yourself than run yourself into the ground trying to pretend everything is OK. 

Look after yourself, you’re more important than your job/project or what people think of you. 

Walk in beauty, 

Namaste x

Detox Smoothie

I tried a green detox smoothie the other day. Not gonna lie, it definitely didn’t tickle my taste buds. It wasn’t unbearable, but no matter what I put in it I just couldn’t get rid of the bitter taste from the greens; I even tried using my Strawberry Delight Body Sculpt Diet Whey powder! 

If you want to try it then be my guest, but this one won’t be joining my regular mixed berry or newly discovered grasshopper I’m afraid. 

Recipe: http://cellajane.com/2014/01/slimming-detox-smoothie-victoria-secre.html

Grasshopper Smoothie and Blender

This one has changed my morning routine. It’s delicious! The mint chocolate combination is so nice you wouldn’t even know it’s full of Spinach. I did tweak the quantities a little, using more eyeball measuring than specific quantities, but it’s still awesome and makes the perfect amount for my 600ml bottle. 

I used 2 handfuls of baby Spinach, 2 slightly heaped dessert spoons of Cadbury hot chocolate powder, approx 10 garden mint leaves, 1 tsp of chia seeds, 1 tsp of Maca powder, approx 10g of protein powder, then filled the bottle with almond milk until all the ingredients were covered, gave it a good shake and left it in the fridge overnight. Come the next morning, I chucked a few ice cubes in the top, blitzed and left.

Dessert for breakfast, yay! 

Also, for anyone thinking of getting a personal size smoothie maker, I really can’t recommend better than the Breville Blend-Active my mum bought me for my birthday. It handles everything I throw at it without issue and came with 2 bottles, so I can chuck one in the dishwasher at work and still have tomorrow’s prepped in the fridge, then just swap them over the next day. I will be getting some of the smaller 300ml bottles for making an afternoon mix eventually, but for now the 600ml is perfect. 

If you have any smoothie recommendations please feel free to let me know! I’d love to hear your thoughts 😊 

Walk in beauty, 

Namaste x

Original grasshopper recipe here: http://www.delish.com/cooking/recipe-ideas/recipes/a33/grasshopper-pie-smoothie-recipe-del0115/

Anxiety

At some point almost everyone will suffer some form of anxiety. In the high-stress society we live in it’s almost inevitable that eventually you will get overwhelmed, whether by a culmination of little things or one huge life screw-up. What determines how we cope is what we choose to do to handle it. Some people choose to take the medicated route, and if it works for them then great, but some people don’t want to rely on medicine to fix the problem and would rather do it themselves. 

For those people, I have a few hints:

  • Speak to someone. It could be a close friend, old acquaintance, anxiety helpline or a random stranger from the Web. Talking through your issues will help you rationalise them, realise how you got to where you are and probably how to get back to where you want to be
  • If you don’t want to speak to a person, speak to a pet or a plant (I prefer aloe Vera because I kill most other plants). Just the act of talking it out will help you make sense of what’s going on
  • Make use of your garden. Certain herbs have excellent anti-anxiety effects; try drying some lavender and putting it into a small sachet to keep with you – the smell can really help bring you back to earth in an unpleasant moment. Another favorite of mine is a perky cup of tea, such as matcha with lemon balm and garden mint. Cinnamon and ginger are also excellently scented and flavoured – they’re brilliant for bringing your thoughts back under control and grounding yourself
  • Avoid high levels of caffeine and sugar. They give you a semi-unnatural high and you’ll end up feeling worse once you crash, not to mention the other adverse effects they have on your health. Both are fine in moderation, but you might want to skip the Coke every now and then
  • Keep a plant in your bedroom and your window open. Plants turn carbon dioxide into oxygen, purifying the air in the room, and keeping the window open lets the fresh air circulate; this extra oxygen can give you a boost of energy and positivity all day long
  • Get some sleep! The more run down and tired you are, the worse you’ll feel. Cut out all caffeine after 4pm, and put the phone, TV, tablet, games etc away at least an hour before bed. Try to keep your room nice and cool, and as a place for quiet time only. If your TV is in your room find a cloth to throw over it or turn it around at night; it’ll help your brain recognise that this is now a sleeping space. Maybe get a lavender pillow spray, the smell is amazing. Also, if you have an eye mask, pop it in the fridge for a bit before bed so it’s nice and cold – it’ll soothe the irritation in your eyes caused by tech, tiredness etc
  • Do some yin yoga. This style focuses on being kind to the body, giving yourself a bit of love, restoring,  and calming you rather than a more intense normal session; there are plenty of tutorials on youtube, don’t worry! 
  • Try meditation. It isn’t for everyone, but if you can find what works it  can really help you calm down and face your anxiety without getting stressed out. I like to put shamanic drumming chants or binaural music on while I meditate because silence is the most distracting thing ever for me
  • Create your safe place. For those familiar with the TV show Sherlock, the safe place is like a mind palace for happy memories, hopeful thoughts, and inner peace. Your safe place could be anywhere, from a desert island to a luxury hotel to an underground cave filled with beautiful plants. It’s somewhere you can hide your mind from the damaging thoughts and tackle them as and when you can. I like to visit my safe place before bed so I can tackle any stresses from the day before trying to sleep
  • Do something you enjoy. Whether alone or work a friend, get out of the house and do something. It can be as small as sitting in the sun and reading a book, or as big as going rock climbing with a group of friends. Just find something to do that makes you happy

    These are just a few hints for natural anxiety management. For those taking the medicated route, you might find that incorporating some of these techniques into your daily routine along with your tablets gives you an extra boost. I’d love to hear other people’s suggestions, or feedback if you’ve tried any of these! 

    We will fight anxiety, and we will fight it together. 

    Walk in beauty, 

    Namaste x

    Be Brave – The Lesson I’ve Learned

    It’s been 2 months since I begun documenting my wellbeing journey, and probably past time I did a little personal review!

    When I begun this journey I weighed 10st 7lbs, had had 3 emotional breakdowns in 4 months, and my Tourettes was ridiculously active due to my stress and anxiety levels. I decided enough was enough. My priority became getting myself out of that stressful situation so that I could concentrate on healing my body and spirit – I pushed like crazy and got my own little rented house on a quiet estate not far from work, I allowed myself to depend on others (such as my boyfriend Nick and best friend from work Emma, not to mention the wonderful support from my family and friends around my parents’ end) and gave up trying to hide my struggles. I stood up and faced my difficulties head on, and it’s probably the best decision I ever made.

    2 months on, I’m doing so much better. My finances are stable despite the extra monthly outgoings, my house is coming together really well (other than the poor garden, but that needs extra love!), although I’m not as vigilant as I should be with home practise I ensure to attend a yoga class at the local gym every week, I’m emotionally a lot more stable, my Tourettes symptoms have almost disappeared because my stress levels have fallen so much, I don’t stress out anywhere near as easily as I used to, I’m sleeping a lot better, and in myself I can feel that I’m on the path to physical, mental, and spiritual wellbeing. I feel healthier and more grounded, and have a much more positive outlook on situations. I’m nearly always smiling – apparently a smile suits me!

    It was scary, giving up what I knew to move out on my own. It was hard, getting the motivation together to fight the good fight. It was worth it, because not only can I tell that I’m in a much better place but so can everyone around me.

    If you’re struggling with personal situations or mental health, take a minute to take stock. How do you feel? Can you feel the pressures of what’s going on dragging you down as a person? Can you recognise your body giving up because you’ve lost the will to fight?

    If your answer to these questions is yes, then you have two options. 1) give up. Stop trying. Let yourself fail. Or 2) stand up. Try harder. Have the courage and the strength to push forwards and become the person you know you deserve to be. The journey will be hard, and at times some obstacles will seem insurmountable. But allow yourself to flow like the water. It takes effort but you can find a way around every roadblock you come across. Sometimes, we have to open ourselves to what we thought was impossible; sometimes we just have to learn to share the load.

    If you need a little bit of help getting your journey started, reach out to others who’ve made their own. It may be me, it may be a friend or member of the family, or it may be a complete stranger. The hardest part is recognising that you need the help, admitting it to both yourself and others, and then actually going and finding the help. Be brave, and be honest with yourself; you may find potential within yourself that you never knew existed.

    Namaste 🙂 x

     

    Featured image with credit to Clic Par Hasard, Tumblr

    Want To Know A Secret?

    I lost weight!

    The bigger secret?

    I didn’t even try.

    I weighed myself February 12th and came in at 10st 7lbs. At that time I was living in a stressful environment, doing no exercise and just cooking things that both myself and my housemate would eat. Since then, I’ve moved into my own place (which has set me back quite a bit financially but was definitely the right move), started doing yoga, and now only cook for myself or occasionally visitors. My weight has dropped to 9st 7lbs. It may not sound like much, 1 stone in 3 months, but I didn’t even try. All that changed were small lifestyle things e.g. less stress at home, tech curfew from 9.30pm, doing yoga (even though I’m not very diligent, I’m ashamed to admit!), and doing just my own cooking. I couldn’t figure out why I’d lost quite so much with so few changes, until I properly examined my eating habits. Obviously the yoga has helped but the biggest changes are in my diet. Since I moved out, I’ve been snacking less during the day and my evening meals are far more generous in terms of vegetables and yummy goodness, plus on a whole my portions are smaller. A prime example of a week’s evening meals:

    Monday – Chicken pasta (1-2 chicken breasts, bog standard home-brand pasta, 1 red pepper, 1 yellow pepper, 1 jar of pasta sauce, 3 cloves of garlic)

    Tuesday – Fish and chips (1 breaded cod fillet, 1 small portion of chips, ½ small tin of salt free Green Giant sweetcorn, 1 egg fried in coconut spray-lite)

    Wednesday – Sausage dinner (3 sausages oven-cooked, a small portion of some potato product, a handful of sugarsnap peas, a handful of baby corn and a pint of gravy made from granules)

    Thursday – Chicken burritos/fajita bowls (1 chicken breast, 1 red pepper, 1 yellow pepper, 1 sachet of fajita seasoning, approx. 200g of white rice boiled, and in the case of burritos 2 plain flour wraps)

    Friday – Pepperoni pizza (because everyone needs a cheat day! I like to get the fresh ones from the local Morrisons)

    Saturday – Some form of stew (a decent portion of meat – be it beef or chicken, 2 carrots, 2 small bags of new potatoes, 1 onion, half a pack of mushrooms or a full pack of button mushrooms, 1 litre of stock to which I add gravy granules later in the process, a small baguette sliced and buttered. I also add any other vegetables that I’ve got lying around)

    Sunday – Mixed meat lasagne (a few lasagne sheets, 1 jar of lasagne tomato sauce, ½ jar of lasagne béchamel sauce, 1-2 red peppers, 1 yellow pepper, a generous helping of cheese – because I’m a sucker for it! – and whatever meat I’ve got in. A personal favourite is chicken, bacon lardons and Mexican chipolatas)

    Even though I don’t eat particularly “healthily”, and I definitely don’t get my “5-a-day”, I never go hungry and I certainly can’t be doing bad because I’ve lost weight. Almost every meal I make has leftovers (depending on the meals, up to 5 portions!) so I just freeze them and then I have healthy, quick, and easy lunches for weeks by the time I’ve done that for a week.

    My conclusion is that it’s not necessarily required to diet to lose weight, but rather small lifestyle changes highly benefit people like me who don’t like change and definitely can’t diet. I don’t have caffeine other than the occasional chai tea and I rarely consume more than a unit of alcohol in a day, so simply by tweaking what I eat to include more vegetables I’ve managed to improve my health to the point where I notice my jeans slipping down slightly and that I have more energy without sugar or caffeine.

    I must admit, I’m getting a smoothie blender soon to hopefully make up breakfast smoothies and cut my snacking down even more – there’ll be a review up once I’ve had it for a week or so.

    Don’t give up on losing weight just because you struggle to diet! Instead, try adjusting your daily routine in a way that is still more than manageable and see if you get any benefits from that approach. Goodness knows I did!

    If this post has helped you please share it around and if you have any questions or feedback pop it in the comments: I’ll do my best to reply 😊

    Namaste x

    I Am A Yogini, I Am Me

    I am a yogini. I try my hardest to do half an hour of yoga a day.

    I am me. Sometimes, I don’t get out of bed until 11, and then play video games all day!

    I am a yogini. I try to make sure my body gets all the nutrients it needs.

    I am me. I sometimes order takeout pizza and chill for the evening with a glass of wine.

    I am a yogini. I believe in the value of life, and that it all should be treated with respect.

    I am me. I know full well that I could never become Vegan or Vegetarian, so I look for sustainable sources of meat and fish when I do purchase them.

    I am a yogini. I own expensive yoga gear, funky leggings, a good sports bra and suitably ass-lifting undies.

    I am me. I’m just as comfortable doing yoga in my PJs, with no make-up, even when my boyfriend is over.

    I am a yogini. I do yoga in a proper studio, with a class, and I really enjoy it.

    I am me. I equally enjoy doing my yoga at home in my living room, having a laugh with a friend at the same time.

    I am a yogini. I can reach places of incredible peace and serenity, places that soothe my soul.

    I am me. I am also still perfectly capable of blowing up over the smallest things.

    I am a yogini. I aim to have my best control over my body and demonstrate grace and poise.

    I am me. I have Tourettes, causing me sometimes severe facial twitches. I don’t care, and refuse to be embarrassed by it.

    I am a yogini. I have met people who judge me based on my flexibility, on my size, on my diet, on my Tourettes, and on what I wear.

    I am me. I don’t care what these people think, because it doesn’t matter if someone looks right, has perfect posture, is 100% vegan and has never had a lazy day in their life. There is one truth that makes a yogini a yogini. And it is this:

     

    I am proud of who I am; all negatives, positives, and grey areas included.

     

    I am a Yogini.

    I am me.

    I am happy.

    Happy Pasta! 

    Making happy pasta in the Sunday sunshine 😀 I love this dish because it’s super quick and easy, and really yummy! Growing up I acquired a tendency to make invention food (it became a family staple at one point) and this is one of my favourites because it’s also really healthy. Today I’ve gone for traffic light peppers, sweetcorn, spinach, slow cooked ham joint, penne pasta and a tomato and garlic passata for the sauce – normally I make my own but I don’t have a food processor yet. 

    Simply boil up your pan of water with a small chunk of butter (a trick I learned from my American neighbour to stop the pasta sticking together) and a little himalayan rock salt, then add your pasta. Add the meat accordingly (some meats only take a minute to go hot and soft, some take foreeeever!). When your pasta is about 5 minutes off done, add all your veg and turn down the heat, but cover the pan. When it’s all done drain and add the sauce, along with any extra seasoning, and return to the hob for 5-10 minutes until it’s hot all the way through then serve with garlic bread and maybe a side salad 🙂 

    It’s such an easy way to get all those lovely nutrients into the picky eaters (you know who you are) that it’s perfect for most group meals. I generally make a large pan at a weekend then split it into portions for lunches at work during the week, or choose and freeze a slightly larger tub then defrost and reheat it in a pan if I get a surprise visitor. 

    I purposefully use lots of different colours in the veg to make it bright and cheerful, hence the name happy pasta! 

    Comment with your own happy pasta ideas 🙂 

    Fruit and Nut Energy Bars – Yum!

    YW Fruit and Nut Energy BarsHi all,

    I got my baking hat on last night before yoga and made these awesome fruit and nut energy bars.

    I have a terrible habit of snacking my way through the morning but I had one of these beauties at half past 8 today and wasn’t hungry until nearly lunchtime! They’re really easy to make, cheap to get the ingredients for, and pretty healthy. I get around 12 bars per batch and each of those comes to just under 200 calories each, which is less than I used to snack through in 2 hours let alone all morning.

    The recipe can be found here if you fancy giving them a go yourself 🙂

    Namaste x