Yoga Flow at Dusk

Practicing yoga in the evening is a fantastic way to reset your stress levels and invite some peace and relaxation into your mind.

Any of us may have a bad day for any number of reasons and it is important to accept that this is going to happen from time to time. The important thing is how you choose to deal with this negativity, and whether you allow it to follow you into the next day.

Ending each day by hitting the yoga mat is an incredible way to release negativity. Doing so can set you up for a good night’s sleep followed by a peaceful and positive morning.

Yoga for Relaxation

When you engage in a regular yoga practice you are likely to notice that your stress levels decrease, anxiety is experienced less frequently (or to a lesser degree) and also that you generally feel more at peace during your days. But, why is this?

As you flow through a yoga session you are going to naturally clear your mind of worries and concerns as you concentrate on the activity at hand. Also, as you move through the poses, you will be encouraging the flow of blood around your body and releasing tension from the muscles.

The deliberate and conscious way in which you breathe whilst practicing yoga is key to the relaxation benefits that you will enjoy! So, be sure to pay attention to your breath, especially during the moments when you are holding each pose.

Meditation

A normal yoga session will often involve periods of meditation, which has been shown to seriously aid stress release and support a positive frame of mind. When you make time to meditate daily – even for a short amount of time – then you are giving yourself permission to solely focus on yourself and your emotions. This is an incredibly powerful thing to do and can help you to connect to yourself.

The following video demonstrates a sequence I created to guide you through a 30 minute daily flow. You can really practice this at any time of the day, but I believe it is especially useful in the evenings! If you enjoy this video then be sure to head over to my YouTube channel for more!

If you have seen my new wellness for women membership site – Truly Julie – then you will know that I am on a mission to inspire and motivate women to become healthier and happier – and I would love it if you would join me on this journey as we move towards the end of 2017!

Self-Care Sunday – What’s Your Passion?

The latest topic in my Self-Care Sunday series is all about discovering for yourself what your passions are! This is the sixth week in the series and you can check out the previous videos below.

What’s Your Passion?

Knowing what it is you want to do with yourself, with your time, and with your life, can be quite an overwhelming thought process.

The first step is to find out what you are passionate about and to begin exploring these ideas. You may find that several things come to mind, or that you have to spend some time contemplating what these things are. This is something that there is no need to rush through, and it’s fine to let this evolve naturally over time.

Once you have a clearer idea of the things that you enjoy, the things that you love, and the things you take pleasure in, then you can find ways to make these things a more integral part of your life.

The Power of Positivity

Creating and maintaining a positive mindset is a fantastic step in working towards finding, believing in and building your passions. An optimistic outlook will help you to stay focused on the goals that you set for yourself. This itself is a difficult concept for some people! 

There is no one quick fix when it comes to embracing positivity. It is something that has to be developed in a number of different ways and considered regularly. Ask yourself often if the decisions that you are making are going to serve to enhance your happiness and your positivity, and if not then it’s time to re-evaluate your choices.

Find, Believe, Build

In the following video I talk more on the topic of finding, believing in and building your passions! Don’t forget to subscribe to my channel whilst you’re there so you can be automatically alerted about future videos in my Self-Care Sunday series!

If you have seen my new wellness for women membership site – Truly Julie – then you will know that I am on a mission to inspire and motivate women to become healthier and happier – and I would love it if you would join me on this journey as we move towards the end of 2017!

Self-Care Sunday – Alleviating Anxiety

The latest topic in my Self-Care Sunday series is all about alleviating anxiety. This is the fifth week and you can check out the previous videos below!

Causes of Anxiety

There are many reasons why you may experience anxiety – and the degree to which it prevents you from going about your day can also vary. Addressing underlying issues and past negative experiences can be extremely helpful for working to resolve the sources of anxiety, and it can also be helpful to look to your diet.

Caffeine

Caffeine is one of the most prominent dietary contributors to feelings of anxiety. As a stimulant it can quickly cause feelings of anxiety, or exacerbate existing feelings of anxiety. Also, it can sometimes be easy to mistake the way that caffeine makes you feel for anxiety – as it may increase your heart rate and cause feelings of restlessness.

Alcohol

Some people use alcohol in order to alleviate feelings of anxiety, but doing so can actually become a difficult cycle to get out of. Although drinking alcohol can temporarily soothe these feelings, they will likely surface again once the alcohol leaves your system – causing increased levels of anxiety to return.

When you drink alcohol you are disrupting the natural balance of chemicals in your brain, and this can lead to depression and addiction.

Sugar

Studies have suggested that the presence of sugar in your system can affect how well your body and brain can cope with stress. Although sugar itself does not seem to cause the onset of anxiety, it can make symptoms worse and cause you to feel worse than you would otherwise during an anxious moment.

Furthermore, if you regularly consume sugar and then go without it, your body can actually experience withdrawal which may involve feelings of anxiety.

Your Diet

Taking a close look at your diet and making the conscious decision to remove problem foods can go a long way to helping alleviate your anxiety.

In the following video I talk more on the topic of Alleviating Anxiety! Don’t forget to subscribe to my channel whilst you’re there so you can be automatically alerted about future videos in my Self-Care Sunday series!

Also, if you have seen my new wellness for women membership site – Truly Julie – then you will know that I am on a mission to inspire and motivate women to become healthier and happier – and I would love it if you would join me on this journey as we move towards the end of 2017!

Self-Care Sunday – Rebuilding Self-Esteem

I can’t believe we are in week four of my Self-Care Sunday series already! If you haven’t caught my videos from the previous weeks yet then you can check them out below:

The latest topic in my Self-Care Sunday series is all about Rebuilding Self-Esteem and Becoming More Optimistic.

This can be a difficult topic for many people – myself included. It is often something that we try not to think about because it can be a scary thing to explore – but it is super important to do so if you want to live your happiest life as your best self!

Toxic Relationships

When I took the time to figure out what was causing the most harm to my self-esteem, I discovered that my toxic relationships were at the top of the list!

Although identifying this as a leading reason for your low self-esteem might not be a difficult process, actually working to resolve the negativity in these relationships – or walking away from them entirely – is not always so simple.

The chances are that if you have been dealing with toxic relationships for a long time that you are also probably not used to putting yourself first. However, this is something that you absolutely have to do if you are to rebuild your self-esteem and become more optimistic.

Resolving Negativity

Attempting to resolve negativity in your toxic relationships can sometimes be achieved through open and honest communication. Express your unhappiness to the person in question, let them know how their behaviour makes you feel, and express what your boundaries and needs are. If this person can’t understand or respect what you are asking of them, then it might be time to walk away from this relationship.

In the following video I talk more on the topic of Rebuilding Your Self-Esteem! Don’t forget to subscribe to my channel whilst you’re there so you can be automatically alerted about future videos in my Self-Care Sunday series!

I have put together a downloadable PDF for you to look at alongside this video, and you can click here to enter your email address and receive this download.

Also, if you have seen my new wellness for women membership site – Truly Julie – then you will know that I am on a mission to inspire and motivate women to become healthier and happier – and I would love it if you would join me on this journey as we move towards the end of 2017!

Self-Care Sunday – Digital Detox

The latest topic in my Self-Care Sunday series is that of learning to digitally detox! This is something that is becoming increasingly necessary in the age of social media domination in which we live.

Studies have shown that the average digital device user can check theirs as many as 85 times a day. This can often add up to an unbelievable daily amount of five hours! Often we use our devices for short bursts of time, such as sending a message, making a phone call or searching for information. However, many people also often spend extended periods of time browsing the internet on their devices, playing online games, and engaging in other digital activities. Although this can sometimes seem relaxing, we are really increasing our dependence on our devices and paying less attention to our real life relationships, pursuits and responsibilities. 

There are many reasons why it may be super necessary for you to go on an extended digital  detox, but also it is something that you can do regularly for short periods of time. Leaving your devices alone for a whole day is a great way to disconnect and get your time back, but you can also try scheduling periods during the day where you go without them. This could be 30 minutes, an hour, two hours or maybe more…the point is that you are disconnecting from technology and focusing your time and attention on other things. 

In the following video I share a tried and tested method for encouraging yourself and those around you to detox regularly from digital devices. You can do the activity that I discuss at home when you are with your family, and also when you are out with friends or co-workers.

I have put together a downloadable PDF for you to look at alongside this video, and you can click here to enter your email address and receive this download!

Also, if you have seen my new wellness for women membership site – Truly Julie – then you will know that I am on a mission to inspire and motivate women to become healthier and happier – and I would love it if you would join me on this journey as we move towards the end of 2017!

Self-Care Sunday – Managing Stress

As I shared with you last week, self-care is one of my favourite things to talk about AND is also something that I consistently work to make a part of my own life. In fact, I’m so sure about the power of self-care that it’s the focus of my upcoming book – Recharge: A Year of Self-Care to Focus on You.

In order to celebrate the launch of my book I am going to be sharing one topic from the book every Sunday for 12 weeks. This is something that I got started with two weeks ago, and you may have caught the first video on YouTube!

Last week as part of my Self-Care Sunday series I was talking about Managing Stress.

Managing your stress levels is an imperative part of living a happy and healthy life. When you let stress get the better of you then your health can suffer the knock on effect and your happiness will also be harder to maintain. You may find that your ability to focus and concentrate is impeded, and that your relationships with other people become more difficult to manage. It is also normal that your anxiety levels will increase!

An important part of overcoming your stress is to create the positive mindset that you want for yourself. So, instead of telling yourself and everyone else that you are stressed out, try to say that you are powering through and that you are getting on top of all that you need to do!

In the following video I share some of my insights into living a stress-free life and also talk you through a super simple breathing technique that you can do to combat present moment stress! You can do this anytime, anywhere AND nobody around you even needs to know that you are doing it! This means that you can bring back some calm into your mind and into your day regardless of the situation that you are currently in.

I have put together a downloadable PDF for you to look at alongside this video, and you can click here to enter your email address and receive this download!

Also, if you have seen my new wellness for women membership site – Truly Julie – then you will know that I am on a mission to inspire and motivate women to become healthier and happier – and I would love it if you would join me on this journey as we move towards the end of 2017!

Self-Care Sunday – Emotional Eating

As you all know, self-care is one of my favourite things to talk about AND is also something that I consistently work to make a part of my own life. In fact, I’m so sure about the power of self-care that it’s the focus of my upcoming book – Recharge: A Year of Self-Care to Focus on You.

In order to celebrate the launch of my book I am going to be sharing one topic from the book every Sunday for 12 weeks. This is something that I got started with last week, and you may have caught the video on YouTube!

For those of you who missed it, the first topic that I wanted to explore with you was Emotional Eating.

Emotional eating is something that we are all surely sometimes guilty of! Everyone does it – myself included – but it is important that we recognise this behaviour in ourselves and that we work to overcome the source of our issues.

The way in which many of us live, with packed out schedules, stressful jobs and so many things to keep on top of, means that turning to food for comfort is often easy to do. It can feel as though food is the only thing that will fill the void after a long day, and most of us will know already which our go-to foods are!

As I discussed in my first video in my Self-Care Sunday series, the most important thing when it comes to emotional eating is to acknowledge your feelings. When you know that you are eating to soothe your emotions, make a conscious effort to understand your feelings in this moment. Listen to these thoughts and don’t beat yourself up for feeling this way. This can help you to develop a deeper understanding as to why you are engaging in this behaviour.

Creating healthy habits in regards to your eating, and breaking away from any negativity that exists within your relationship to food, is the best way to move forwards and away from emotional eating.

I have put together a downloadable PDF for you to look at alongside this video, and you can click here to enter your email address and receive this download!

Also, if you have seen my new wellness for women membership site – Truly Julie – then you will know that I am on a mission to inspire and motivate women to become healthier and happier – and I would love it if you would join me on this journey as we move towards the end of 2017!

Stress and Physical Health

This month within my wellness for women community – Truly Julie – we are talking about different sources of stress and how we can eliminate the impact these stresses have on our lives. This is of course an extensive concept, and one that surely affects all of us to some degree!! Continue reading Stress and Physical Health

Winter Immune System Health

As the winter season begins to settle in it becomes all the more important that we pay attention to the health of our immune systems. Consciously supporting your immune system should be seen as giving yourself a helping hand to stay healthy through the winter, and always close to the top of your priority list! 

There are several small things that you can do to give this aspect of your health a boost, and doing so can not only protect your body from illness, but will also help you to maintain your positive mood. When we begin to get ill our happiness can suffer, and this can lead to increased levels of stress as we struggle to find the energy and the motivation to get things done. This can become a cyclic problem as higher levels of stress can further compromise the immune system!

Get to Bed

Getting enough sleep can sometimes feel impossible. We all have our different reasons for not always getting an adequate amount of good quality sleep at night – but whatever your reason, it is important for the health of your immune system that you work to resolve the problem.

You can try going to bed earlier, avoiding caffeine or other dietary stimulants in the evening, meditating before bed and creating a more peaceful sleeping environment for yourself.

Eat for Digestive Health

The health of your digestive system is closely connected to your immune system function, and this is something I discussed in my previous article on Gut Health and your Diet.

Cutting out highly processed foods and those that are high in sugar is a great place to start. Additionally, taking a daily probiotic can help to encourage the presence of good bacteria in the gut.

Want to learn more about how eating more plant-based foods can enhance your health in other ways too? Click here now to check out my starter guide!

Pay Attention to Vitamin D

Vitamin D is most commonly known for its role is protecting bone health, but it is also important for the health of your immune system. Your body naturally creates vitamin D from the sun, and getting outside into the sunshine is a simple way to make sure you are producing enough. However, this can become a problem during the winter months due to the grey weather and shorter days.

Fortunately, many foods are fortified with vitamin D and it also occurs naturally in quite a range of foods. Therefore making the extra effort to include vitamin D rich produce during the colder months will help to keep your immune system functioning properly.

If you have seen my new wellness for women membership site – Truly Julie – then you will know that I am on a mission to inspire and motivate women to become healthier and happier – and I would love it if you would join me on this journey as we keep moving through 2017!

Ten Minute Rainbow Crudités

We are often told that in order to eat for optimum health we need to get the rainbow into our diets – and this is something I absolutely live by!

This dish is my twist on a popular traditional French appetiser. It is absolutely perfect to serve at any party, and can also be served as the starter before a dinner.

If you are interested in receiving a downloadable version of this recipe straight to your inbox then enter your email!

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My Rainbow Crudités is super easy to make and as with many of my recipes, you can make this one in ten minutes or less! Also, you will probably find that you already have the majority of these ingredients in your kitchen.

Ingredients:

For the crudités

  • 1 green pepper, deseeded and sliced
  • 1 red pepper, deseeded and sliced
  • 1 large carrot, cut into sticks
  • 1 gem lettuce, trimmed and pulled apart
  • A handful of raw green beans, trimmed and chopped
  • A handful of radishes, cut in half
  • 1 apple, sliced

For the dip

  • 1 cup of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 roasted red pepper
  • 2 spring onions, chopped (save one for garnish)
  • The juice of one lime
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of tahini
  • 1/2 a teaspoon of chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin
  • 1 teaspoon of chilli flakes

Method:

Once you have prepared the crudités then the next step is to make the dip. You can do this by simply adding all of the ingredients (except one spring onion and the chilli flakes) into your food processor for around one minute. You can then move your dip into a bowl and sprinkle it with the chopped spring onion that you put aside and the chilli flakes.

Serve your crudités on a large plate next to your dip and tuck in!

Want to learn more about how eating more plant-based foods can enhance your health? Click here now to check out my starter guide!