Overcoming Obstacles to Happiness

Having high and often unrealistic expectations of yourself is a common human experience, and is something that can be difficult to overcome. Placing this level of expectation upon yourself is especially easily done when you are seeking genuine happiness and positivity. Continue reading Overcoming Obstacles to Happiness

Fighting Fatigue for Endless Energy

If you came crashing into 2018 already working towards your goals and instigating big positive changes then you may find now that your energy and enthusiasm is lacking a little! The same might also be true of your energy levels at the moment if you had a slow start to the year, and have found it difficult to get motivated. Continue reading Fighting Fatigue for Endless Energy

Positivity and Progress for 2018

With the New Year just a few days away, the time to contemplate the positive changes that you want to make in 2018 is now!

You may already be aware of the changes you wish to make in the year ahead, as well as the goals that you wish to work towards. However, if you do not have a solid idea yet then it is a good idea to take a moment to assess the year that has just passed.

What do you feel went well in 2017? What did you achieve? What do you wish you had done differently or given more importance and attention to? Perhaps you had an ambition for this year that you weren’t able to accomplish. It’s a great idea to reassess your intentions in regards to these things, and then decide if further action should be taken.

Big Goals

The large goals that you wish to accomplish may stay the same for you this year. Perhaps you are studying or working towards a difficult career change. Think about how you have progressed with these things in the last 12 months, and then determine if there’s anything you can do to enhance your progress in the 12 months that now lay ahead of you.

Healthy Living

Positive changes can also take a different form, such as making adjustments and improvements to your diet and lifestyle. Will this be the year that you find an exercise that you enjoy and can partake in regularly? Will it be the year that you kick your food cravings to the curb and embrace a healthier diet? Maybe this is the year that you truly embrace self-love and self-care, and in doing so boost your happiness!

Relationships

The way that you interact and engage with other people – especially those who are closest to you – is also perhaps something that you wish to pay attention to this coming year. If you feel like you have been neglecting your relationships recently, or that you have drifted apart from certain people, then the New Year is a wonderful opportunity to reach out to these people again.

Wellness for 2018

However you wish to move into the New Year, I believe it is super important to do so with kindness for yourself and those around you. Be sure to express gratitude to the people that you appreciate, and extend forgiveness to those who you believe to be in need of it. The New Year is a chance for a new start – both for you and everyone around you!

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 into the New Year!

Exercise and Weight Loss

Losing weight is a common health and fitness goal for many people for a variety of reasons. There are many ways to go about achieving this fitness goal, but there is also a lot of misleading information that can actually sabotage weight loss efforts!

If you are trying to lose weight then it is likely that you have adjusted your diet and that you are also regularly engaging in some kind of exercise. The following points are things that you should bear in mind when you are exercising and try to incorporate into your existing efforts!

Cardio

Cardio is known to be a great way to lose weight, but it has to be approached in a sensible way. If you overdo it with your cardio workouts then you are going to be causing harm to your body, and this can have an impact on your weight loss. This is because excessive amounts of cardio can cause inflammation.

Overdoing it when it comes to cardio can also mean that you end up eating more as you have used up a great deal of your energy stores! When you do too much cardio you will also be allowing your body to release excess levels of stress hormones into your body. These hormones can not only disrupt your sleep pattern, but can also cause your body to store more fat.

Mixing up the types of cardio that you engage in, and the amount that you do, is key to success here. Team sports and dancing are exciting alternatives to a 5km on the treadmill!

Ab Exercises

Exercising your abs is a great way to tone these muscles for definition. Also, the strength of your core is an important component of your overall optimum health. However, when you over-do it with the ab exercises when you are trying to lose weight, you could hinder your efforts. This is because exercises that develop the abs will help to build a layer of muscle in this area, and this can go against the slimming down of your waistline!

During the first few months of your weight loss attempt, I would advise that you mostly utilise short periods of cardio – around 20 minutes max – and then engage in weight training exercises that work the larger muscle groups. As you move towards your desired weight, you can then begin to include exercises that target the smaller muscles in order to improve overall muscle tone.

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!

Fruit & Fructose

If you have been following my blog for a while then the chances are you will have often heard me speak of the dangers of consuming refined sugars!

It is widely acknowledged that too much of the sweet stuff can lead to weight gain, heart disease, disruption of the hormones, fluctuating energy levels, premature ageing of the skin and more! What’s more, is that refined sugar is added in excess to many of the processed and packaged foods that are easily available in the supermarket!

One of the most contentious points up for discussion when it comes to sugar is whether the natural sugars from fruit should be considered ‘bad’ as well!

Fruit contains glucose and fructose – both of which are simple sugars. Glucose can be used by the majority of the cells in your body, but only your liver is able to metabolise fructose.

If you are eating large amounts of fruit, and therefore consuming high levels of fructose, then your liver may have a hard time working through it all. This can then lead to excess fructose being stored as fat in the body. Furthermore, this can also lead to the onset of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

Eating fruit provides a wealth of health benefits thanks to the delicious amounts of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients contained within. However, because of the natural sugars that are present, many fruits should be enjoyed in moderation.

There are some fruits that you can enjoy without worrying too much about the fructose content, such as avocados, kiwis, pears and berries. However, fruits that are especially high in sugars, such as grapes and mangoes, should be included only in small amounts.

It should be noted that if you are a very physically active person then you have much less to worry about when it comes to fructose in fruit. This is because when the body is active, it is much better equipped to handle simple sugars. So, if you want to continue to enjoy the fruits that you love without being overly concerned about fructose, then be sure to engage in an ample amount of exercise!

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!

How to Rebuild Your Confidence

There are many reasons why your confidence and your self-esteem may have been negatively affected. It may have been the result of several small incidents, or perhaps even one ongoing situation. Regardless of the reason for your low confidence, the effects that it can have on your life can be difficult to overcome.

When you don’t believe in yourself or in your abilities, it can be tricky to motivate and encourage yourself to do the things that you truly want to do. It can seem impossible to actually give yourself the push you need to work towards your goals and ambitions.

So, how can you overcome this issue with your confidence and self esteem in order to lead a more fulfilling and ambitious life?

Taking care of your own needs is the first step, and in doing this you will be moving self-care to the top of your list of priorities! Self-care can take many forms, and essentially means you are recognising your own needs and taking productive and active steps to meet these needs.

I would encourage you to make a physical list of the things that make you happy, such as exercise, socialising, travelling, listening to music etc, and then ask yourself how often you actually do these things. I would then ask you to commit to finding the time to do these things often, and you can then notice how your perception of yourself changes and your confidence grows.

Next, try to establish what your negative views of yourself are – by this I mean the reasons for your low confidence levels. Do you perhaps think that you are not doing great at your job? Or, do you believe you aren’t taking care of your family well enough? Perhaps you don’t like the way that you look and would like to change your appearance in some way?

All of these negative views about yourself will have their roots in fear – a fear of change, a fear of failure, a fear of being judged. Whatever your fears are, it is important to recognise that these fears come from within you, and therefore you have the power to silence these thoughts and to kick them out of your mind!

Combatting negativity with positivity is key to a happy life, full of confidence. And, we all have the potential to enhance the positivity within us so that less and less space exists to allow the negativity in!

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!

Yoga and Mental Health

It is an unfortunate fact that the importance of your physical health is often placed above your mental health. This is a damaging attitude that is sadly quite prevalent in our society today! Taking the time to care for yourself in emotional and spiritual ways can often bring more benefits to your life then that gym session that you always prioritise!

The great thing about practicing yoga is that doing so can boost both your physical and mental health, strengthening the body whilst it also soothes the mind. With a regular yoga practice, especially one that incorporates aspects of meditation, you will soon notice that you are better equipped to heal yourself emotionally and to enhance your self-esteem and confidence.

Alleviating Anxiety

One of the most exciting ways that yoga can benefit your mental health is by helping to alleviate anxiety. When you practice yoga regularly you will notice that you are in a more relaxed state during your day to day activities. This will make you less prone to anxiety, and will also enable you to deal with it better in the moments when it does present itself. This is largely concerned with the breathing techniques that you will engage with during each yoga session.

Love Yourself

Your relationship with yourself is the most important relationship you will ever be a part of. When you embrace yoga as a regular feature in your life, you will naturally pay greater attention to this relationship, and begin to address any issues that may be present. As yoga goes hand in hand with healthy eating and additional exercise and relaxation practices, you will also naturally begin to place a greater emphasis on treating your body with more love and respect.

Become Aware of Yourself

During a relaxing yoga practice you will be guided through the process of becoming more aware of your physical presence. This can quickly help you to recognise areas of tension where energy may be blocked in your body. Only when you are aware of this can you truly work to resolve it and allow the flow of energy through your body to improve. As well as benefiting your emotional well-being, this can also help your body to function better, thereby improving your physical health.

This month on my wellness for women community website we are talking about the best ways to avert anxiety! You can click here to join us now and start on your journey to a happier, healthier version of yourself!

Life Hacks for Optimum Health

If you are someone who finds it hard to keep their own health at the top of their priority list then you are certainly not alone. With busy schedules and limited time to get everything done, there is often simply not enough hours in the day to adequately meet our own needs when it comes to exercise, nutrition and self-care.

Finding simple and efficient ways to stay healthy can go a long way to making your days more manageable. Read on for my favourite three ways to do so! Embracing these concepts as a standard part of your life and your routine won’t take much effort or adjusting to, and could really help to boost your health! Which, in turn, can boost your happiness!

Get an App!

Using apps to track your health and fitness is an easy way to stay on top of your progress as well as your general health. This is a particularly good way to keep a food diary, or to record your activity in the gym. It is also simple and advisable to track your steps with a digital pedometer. This will help you to make sure that you get a decent amount of exercise during the day. 10,000 steps a day is a great goal!

Ditch the BPA!

Buying plastic disposable bottles for your water is not only bad for the environment, but can also be damaging to your health! BPA is found in hard plastics, such as those used for bottled water, and is also in some food packaging. When you are exposed to it regularly it can interact with the hormones in your body, causing disruption to their natural production and function. Get yourself a BPA-free bottle and keep refilling it during the day!

Walk, Run, Cycle!

Always driving from A to B is a surefire way to sabotage your own health. If it’s possible for you to walk everywhere during your day then do so! If the distance between the places you need to go are too great then get yourself a bike! There is such a wide variety of cycle gear available these days that you can keep yourself dry and comfortable regardless of the weather! You may think that you are not fit enough to cycle and to you I would say that this is not something to worry about! Start at your own pace and build up to cycling longer distances. You will more than likely be surprised at how quickly your fitness improves. 

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!

Top Perfect Sportswear Picks

As a yoga teacher, author, nutritionist and a parent I am constantly on the go! Cycling is one of my great loves and I always prefer to go by bike from A to B, whether I’m off to teach a class or go to a meeting!

Dressing appropriately is a must when you cycle a lot and you should always choose comfort and practically over style. However, I’ve found some great choices from Matalan that mean you don’t have to choose between these things and they are all super affordable, super comfortable and super cool!

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The Souluxe Sports Leggings are GREAT for cycling and also for teaching yoga in, meaning that I don’t have to get changed between cycling to a lesson and teaching one. This variety of Souluxe Sports Leggings with breathable mesh panels are also just as great and help your skin to breathe as you exercise.

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The Souluxe Double Layer Jacket is another favourite of mine from Matalan and has a super useful money pocket at the back. This jacket is a good choice for the colder seasons if you are into running. It will keep you warm but is lightweight enough that you won’t overheat. Also, it is designed to limit moisture! If you are into running then you should always choose a supportive and comfortable running shoe to help avoid injury.

When I’m teaching yoga outside then the Souluxe Zip Through Hoodie is always my first pick. It is super comfortable and not at all restricting, meaning I can keep it on for the entire lesson. This hoodie also has zip pockets at the front which is perfect for me as a lot of sportswear doesn’t have pockets!

Healthy Festive Food

Losing weight is one of the most popular New Year’s resolutions that people make. And, it is no coincidence that this is a common idea following the festive season! Many of us use this time of year as a great excuse to cast our healthy eating ambitions aside and indulge instead!

The burst of new diets and exercise regimes in January are of course great for improving health. However, if you want to avoid having to make a dramatic change to your eating habits or activity levels in the New Year, then the best idea is to eat healthily during the festive season. That way you will have no extra weight to contend with and can start 2017 with a more positive focus!

Although Christmas is undoubtedly a time of year when there is an abundance of high sugar and high calorie foods everywhere, it is also a great time of year to experiment with healthy cooking.

Plant-Based Alternatives

Keeping meat off the table is a good way to avoid the unhealthier aspects of the festive season. And, it is super simple to create plant-based alternatives to traditional meat dishes! If you have never made a Nut Roast at home before then you are definitely missing out on a delicious plant-based meal that is also incredibly good for you. There are several amazing recipes online that you can also customise yourself to make it more to your taste.

Eat Your Veggies

With all of the meals you cook or attend during the Christmas season, there is no excuse not to pile your plate high with veggies! If you are cooking yourself at home then make sure you grill or boil your vegetables in order to keep them as healthy as possible, and avoid using too much oil or salt. You can never cook too many vegetables at Christmas as anything left over can be used to make a vegetable mash the next day!

Healthy Desserts

Creating alternative healthy desserts, instead of snacking on pre-made mince pies and Christmas puddings, is a great way to avoid over-doing it. This is also a great way to sneak some superfoods into your dessert options, such as by making my Banoffee Pudding or my Lentil Brownies!

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 this Christmas!