Rethinking a Few Daily Habits
This week we are going to be building on the habits you learnt in Week One, so you’ll be:
- Continuing with your breathing and visualisation exercise on waking
- Leaving that coffee until later in the day
- Body brushing every morning
- Enjoying your breakfasts free from junk, gluten, sugar and dairy.
Getting into a few more easy and healthy habits can free up precious energy and so actually make extra time in your day for the stuff that matters. This week you will be:
- Taking a daily hour-long break (or more if you like!) from reading or hearing any news and from checking or interacting with social media.
- Further decreasing your window for consuming caffeine
- Eating some really tasty snacks – as many and as much as you like!
- Soaking in the bath for twenty minutes twice a week!
Who knew detoxing could be so easy?
News and Social Media
As we become more connected via the internet, from being bombarded with global news and hearing about other people’s dissatisfactions to being taken on a rollercoaster ride of visual and conversational input that distracts from our own reality; we are, in many ways, becoming less connected to ourselves and to our immediate environments.
Either with a smartphone app or by willpower alone I’d like you to commit to one waking hour of each day when you don’t touch your phone or computer to access either the news or social media (during work hours doesn’t count!) Find something else to do instead. Read a book, take a walk or prepare some Creamy Nut Butter (recipe below!) Fill in a colouring in book, have a snooze, knit, do yoga or just stare out of the window. It’s just an hour. The world will carry on regardless and you won’t miss out on anything that truly benefits you.
I also recommend turning off all smartphone notifications except for essential ones until the end of this course. I prefer to be alerted when I get a direct text message but I don’t like to be distracted by group messages, tweets, Instagram “likes” or even emails. I check up on those only when I’m good and ready. Do note that it can take some people a while to adapt to not receiving immediate notifications. If you find yourself getting extra twitchy and continually checking “just to make sure” please rest assured that this reaction will pass.
Tea, Coffee and “Energy Drinks”
How are you managing with putting off your first caffeinated drink of the day? Can you manage to put it off by just one more hour? Yeah you can! I know you can do it. I also know that if you stop drinking any caffeinated drinks by 2pm each day the quality of your sleep will start to improve (more on this in week four). Replace these drinks with water, green tea, herbal tea or redbush tea.
If you have a fizzy drink habit try adding a pinch of sea salt and five or six drops of stevia to a pint glass of fizzy water. Close your eyes, imagine it to be some lurid colour and that it came out of a can. You can drink this as much as you like!
A good tea or coffee substitute for any time of day.
Simmer 5 cardamom pods, two thin slices of ginger, ¼ teaspoon cinnamon, two cloves, two peppercorns and a pinch of fennel seeds in 300mls water for fifteen minutes. Sweeten with a drop or two of stevia if you like and then strain into a mug.
Warm 100mls unsweetened nut milk, whisk to a froth and pour it over your spiced “tea”. Then enjoy at leisure!
Many people find meeting their ideal level of water intake difficult. Others drink too much water! I would like you to make sure that you drink a minimum of 500ml daily of water this week. Increase this to 1 litre daily in week three and then a minimum of 1.5 litres daily in week four. Try and avoid drinking large quantities of water with your meal and never drink more than 500ml in one hour.
I am happy to discuss your individual requirements with you if you let me know that you would like this advice in your next email.
If you are somebody who gets dizzy or easily fatigued during the day then consider dissolving a pinch of sea salt into each glass of water that you drink – particularly first thing in the morning or after exercise. This will also help lessen any carb cravings.
But, for now, and if nothing else, drink a glass of water mid morning and another mid afternoon.
I’d like for you to make sure that you have access to a few healthy snacks at all times so that you are prepared if and when cravings or sudden fatigue strike. But you may be surprised by what I mean by healthy! We are looking for snack foods that
- Nourish and sustain
- Don’t test your willpower by being highly unappetising
- Won’t raise your blood sugar temporarily, only to cause a crash in an hour or two.
Let’s start with a list of snack foods I want you to avoid like the plague, and then I’ll give you some ideas that you can have ready at all times for when you need them.
No fruit except berries (no dried fruit either.) No fruit juice or fruit based smoothies or even vegetable juices (all of which are high in sugar.) No biscuits, cake, pastries or toast (whether low fat, low carb, gluten free… whatever. Just no!) No milk chocolate or flavoured yoghurts. No crisps, crackers or other questionable “snack pack” items. I think that pretty much covers the list but if you’re in doubt don’t eat it until you’ve checked with me!
But don’t panic. I’m not going to deprive you of your morning, afternoon or evening pick-me-up. I wouldn’t do that to you! Try some of the following, experiment making sugar, gluten, dairy and soya free substitutions with your own recipes and tell me if you still feel like you’re missing out.
Creamy Nut Butter
A lovely alternative to peanut butter. Use to top celery sticks, oatcakes or dark chocolate (at least 85% cocoa solids.) You can even spoon it directly into your mouth!, I’m not judging!
Roast approximately 125g almonds and 100g macadamias on a baking tray for five minutes at 180⁰C.
Then spread a second baking tray with around 75g unsweetened coconut chips and pop that in the oven too.
After another five minutes take both trays out of the oven to cool.
Blitz the nuts and coconut chips in a food processor with ½ teaspoon sea salt and any spices you like (cinnamon and ginger is lovely, or you can add cocoa powder and stevia to taste) until smooth. You can also add a tablespoon of coconut oil at this point if you like. Scoop out into a jar and refrigerate.
Toasted Spiced Nuts
These are a bit moreish so put a handful in a bowl for now and the rest in a jar in the fridge out of temptation’s way!
Cover a baking tray with a single layer of your favourite nuts and bake for around ten to fifteen minutes, or until they are lightly browned (Don’t burn them!)
While they are still warm melt a teaspoon of butter on the tray and quickly combine, together with a pinch or two of sea salt and a couple of choice spices. I like rosemary and sweet smoked paprika. But you could use cinnamon, cumin or any premixed combinations instead.
Vegetable crudités or shop bought vegetable crisps with hummus.
Deli meats and antipasti vegetables (peppers, artichokes, olives etc.)
Cold slices of Spanish omelette (check the ingredients if shop bought).
Oatcakes with butter (don’t skip the butter!)
Hard boiled eggs.
Pork crackling – but only so long as it’s made from pastured pigs and doesn’t contain any other ingredient except for sea salt.
Live, unsweetened yoghurt or plain coconut yoghurt with or without stevia drops.
Try my site florenceneville.com for further snack ideas.
Epsom Salts (also known as Magnesium Sulphate) make for fabulous bath salts. They relieve aching muscles, calm tension headaches, help to relieve insomnia and enhance the body’s natural detoxification abilities.
From now until the end of the course I would like you to take at least two evening baths a week with Epsom Salts. Just run a reasonably hot bath, dissolve 500g of salts in and relax for fifteen to twenty minutes. You can add essential oils (lavender and rosemary is lovely) and a handful of sea salt, Dead Sea salts and/or bicarbonate of soda if you like but please leave out any bubbles, bath oils or shampoo.
If you suffer from any light-headedness or can feel your heart pounding by the end of your twenty minutes either take out the plug and turn the cold tap on until you are cool or shower off in cool water.
If you don’t have access to a bath don’t worry! Dissolve a couple of handfuls of Epsom Salts into a bucket or washing-up bowl of hot water and soak your feet in it until the water has gone cold. Add essential oils if you like and, if you can reach, soak your hands in too. Do this as often as you like, preferably in the evenings. Don’t forget to have a towel handy for afterwards!
Starting from next week you will be:
- Learning how to create and practise using your own, personal affirmation
- Removing sugar, gluten, dairy, soya and damaged fat sources from your midday meal
- Starting a daily short walk practice
- Cutting out some of the toxins from your self-care routine
End of Week Two Feedback
Next Saturday I will send you your week three worksheet. On Sunday I will need you to send me a nice, long email with the following information:
- What you have noticed about any changes in your energy levels, your sleep, your overall mood, your skin, any headaches, your digestion, your stress levels, your sinuses and your pain levels this week.
- What you are enjoying about the course so far.
- What you are finding difficult about the course so far.
- What questions you have so far or about the week(s) ahead.
And then the following Monday morning I will send you a personal email in reply to your feedback.
If you have any immediate questions or concerns about this week then please feel free to email me. I will normally be able to get back to you within 24 hours.