By learning to tune more into our own body and pay attention to it, you can learn to read your body’s signals. Then you know what your body is trying to tell you, then you can figure out what to give it to get better.
Learning to read your body’s signals can help you immensely. Because when you know what your body is trying to tell you, you can start to figure out what to do about it to get better. There can be a lot of trial and error in terms of finding out what your body is trying to tell you, but overall there are some major things that can easily be read.
If you are experiencing a headache, perhaps you either have not drunk enough water during the day, so try to reach out and drink some water and hydrate your body. It might also be that you have been doing too much and need some relaxing. If you have been sitting at the computer all day, get away from it a bit. Look outside, or close your eyes, and take some deep breaths and relax.
If you are feeling stomach ache, perhaps you have eaten something that doesn’t work for your body. For some people this is fx dairy, wheat, coffee. Try to pay attention to how you feel after eating certain foods. Then over time you can try to cut out a specific food, and see if this makes you feel better.
If you are experiencing dry skin, your body might try to tell you that it needs more healthy fats. Try to add more healthy fats into your diet; avocados, nuts, seeds etc.
These were just a few examples, but our bodies are telling us things all the time. We just need to slow down and listen to it. If you need a break, take a break. If you feel like using your body, go for a run or do a yoga session. Tune into yourself and read your body’s signals – and then do what it tells you to do.
Blue Zones are places in the world where people live longer compared to the rest of the world and are healthy for the majority of their lives. Here are what some lessons from the blue zones.
The other day one of the lectures on my education was about the Blue Zones given by one of the researchers Dan Buettner. If you have never heard about this concept before, it is 5 places in the world where people live longer and do not suffer from major diseases during their lives. These places are; Sardinia (Italy), Okinawa (Japan), Loma Linda (California), Nicoya (Costa Rica) and Ikaria (Greece).
Scientists went to these places to study what these people do that makes them live longer, and here are what they found out:
Move Naturally These people do not participate in crazy hard exercising, but are rather focused on more natural movement. They walk a lot, do garden work or have physical work in fields etc.
Right Outlook They pray, meditate, take naps etc. Tuning in, quiet time, and relaxing.
Know your sense of Purpose Many of these people know their ‘purpose’ in life. Fx in Okinawa, Japan, they don’t even have a word for ‘retirement’, rather they have the word “Ikigai” which means ‘sense of purpose’
Eat wisely Eat only till you are full, do not overeat
Eat a mainly plantbased diet These people live mainly on vegetables, legumes, beans, nuts, seeds. They also eat around a handful of nuts each day.
The 80 % rule Eat big meals in the beginning of the day, and little or no food towards the end of the day.
Connect Connect with other people, especially loved ones. Spend time with your friends and family, and connect.
Belonging to a Faith Many of these communities belong to a faith, and either go regularly to Church or have a spiritual practice
Right Tribe Think about who you hang out with, your social network. Those closest to you, are what you become similar to. Surround yourself with people who uplift you, and who makes you happy and feel loved
Question for you: Have you heard about the Blue Zones before? If not, what do you take from this? Is there one area where you can start to work on it in your own life?
Most of us are well aware of what to do to be healthier, the problem is actually doing it. Sometimes we tend to overthink ‘health’, when in all reality in order to be healthier, all we need is to implement some simple healthy habits. It’s all about going back to basics.
So today I want to share some simple healthy habits with you, which I’m pretty sure you already know about, but sometimes it’s just about getting reminded about the simple things in life.
Drink more water
Our bodies consist of around 60% of water, and our cells need water in order to function. Remember to drink plenty of water during the day to stay well-hydrated.
Eat more vegetables & whole foods
We can often overthink and complicate the concept of health, but one part of it is about getting way more veggies and whole foods into your body, and minimise the amount of processed food you put into your body. Remember the saying “you are what you eat?“. Every thing you put into your body either has the option to support your body and how it functions. It can either fuel your cells, and make your body work perfectly for you, or it can slow down everything and clog things up. I’m all about balance and enjoying life, but look at the majority of the food that you eat, and see if this does your body good.
Get a good amount of sleep
Sleep is SO important. And I guess you already know. Because haven’t we all tried having a bad night’s sleep, and then felt like a complete mess the next day and not had the energy to do anything? Sleep is vital for our health. Sleep is where the body relaxes, recovers and rebuilds. So don’t skip on sleep, it’s so important for your health and your mental state.
Move your body
Moving is essential for making things flow inside our bodies. If we don’t move, things stay stagnant. We need some circulation in our bodies for everything to function. Go for a walk, bike to work, take a yoga class. Make sure to move your body.
Breathing is essential for humans. If we don’t breathe, we die. Yet, so many of us don’t fully breathe. We only breathe superficially. Just try to pay attention to how you breathe during the day. I know that when I am caught up in things, and feeling busy, my breath is almost none existent. Take a few minutes each day to fully breathe. Fill your lungs completely with air, and breathe it out. Feel your stomach and chest getting completely filled with fresh air.
Just as we can forget to breathe properly, many of us also forget to relax. I am guilty of this myself, because I always feel like I have a thousand things I want to work on. Whether that be house chores, wanting to catch up with friends and family, or working on my own projects. But as much as I want to do all these things, we all need to remember to unplug for some time each day. Remember to recharge yourself. Relax and just be, and you’ll find you have way more energy for all the other things you want to do.
Health is way more than just the food we eat, the water we drink, and how much exercise and sleep we get. I look at health in a holistic way. If you are not happy, you can eat all the vegetables and exercise etc., and you will still not be healthy. Health is just as much about your mental state. So make sure to enjoy life. Do things you love. Journal and talk about things when you have a though time. Be okay with whatever you are feeling. Know that life is all about balance, and that in order to experience the highs we also need the lows. Take care of yourself and your mental health as much as you take care of your physical body.
Question for you: Do you tend to overthink ‘health’? Which one of these simple healthy habits can you focus more on the next week?
We spend many hours in our home, and why come home to a space that does not make you feel good & happy? Here are some of my tips for how to create a better home environment.
Fresh air is one of the best tips to get a healthier home environment. Us humans we need to breathe, and we need to let air in and out. Think of your home in the same way. If you never let air out, the air inside your home gets filtered with dust, dirt from cooking etc. Do yourself a favour and open your windows for at least a few minutes every day and get some fresh air inside. This is especially good to do in your bedroom, since a colder bedroom with fresh air is also helping you to get a better sleep.
We spend many hours in our home, so why come home and not feel happy, uplifted or calm? If you come home everyday and just feel like ‘eh’, then why not change things? Sell the things you do not like. Paint a wall. Surround yourself with things that really makes you feel happy & home, and create a home environment that you just love. We get affected by our environment, not just our friends and families, but also our home – and this is something we can do something about. So create a space that makes you feel good!
In connection to creating a space that makes you feel good, it’s vital to mention decluttering. Too many of us, including myself from time to time, tend to pile things together, so it can become too chaotic and overwhelming. “Messy house equals messy mind” as the quote goes. If you are ever feeling too overwhelmed, try to declutter your space. Tidy up, throw things are (or donate to charity if they are in a fine state) that you don’t need or like any more. Getting a space cleared can clear your mind as well.
These were some of my tips for creating a better home environment, do you have any other good ones? Then please share them in the comments!
Are you happy with your home situation? Or is there any of the above things you think that you could start implementing that would make you feel happier about your home?
Your genes do not determine your life, how you live your life does! Today I want to talk about the concept of epigenetic, which is a concept that is getting more and more recognition today.
Earlier on we thought that genes affected our lives and how we were, which diseases we got etc. And they do to a point, because our bodies do carry the genes we’ve got from our mother / grandmother etc. However, more recent science have found that it is our lifestyle and our environment that affects whether the gene actually gets activated.
So if your grandmother had a specific disease, you might have inherited the gene to getting that disease. BUT, if you live differently from your grandmother, meaning that you; don’t eat the same food, live in a different environment, have another mindset, exercise more etc. compared to what your grandmother did, this means that the gene might not get activated.
You have the power over your own life
We have a lot more power over our own lives than we have previously thought. Epigenetic is about how signals from our surroundings modifies and regulates the genes activities. Our genes are constantly getting recreated as a reaction to our experiences in life.
Epigenetic = means ‘next to the genes’
Perhaps diabetes runs in your family, but maybe it is due to the overload of processed food and lack of exercise. So know that you can change that. Your genes do not determine how your life is going to be like, you can change the environment for your genes and make sure they do not get activated. Eat an abundance of vegetables, move your body, spend time doing what you love and you create an entirely different environment for your genes, and your life will unfold in another way!
In recent years scientists have started to learn much more about the gut and how important the state of the gut is for our overall health. Today I want to share what you can do to get a healthier gut, as well as an overall healthier body.
“All disease begins in the gut” – Hippocrates
In the gut we have our ‘micro biome’. Microbiome refers to our collection of microbes and their genes. Your micro biome consists of an environment of bacteria. Bacteria are not just bad, more than 95% of the world’s bacteria are harmless to humans, many are actually extremely beneficial. But in order to have a healthy micro biome, we need an overweight of the ‘good bacteria’, otherwise you can get bacteria overgrowth (‘bad bacteria’) which can affect your micro biome, gut, digestive system and your entire body – including your skin. 2/3 of the immune system is located in the gut, and 99% of bacteria are found in the gut.
Change your micro biome by changing the food you eat
The good news is, that you can change your micro biome by changing the food you eat. With everything you put into your body, you have a change of feeding either the good or the bad bacteria. The good bacteria needs greens, vegetables, fibers to survive, whereas the bad bacteria needs processed foods and sugar.
But, food is not the only thing affecting our gut health. Also things such as getting enough sleep, exercising, relaxing is beneficial for our good bacteria. Whereas stress, lack of sleep and exercise, too harsh cleaning products and pesticides kills the good bacteria.
“Almost nothing influences our gut bacteria as much as the food we eat” – Gut – Giulia Enders
How to get a healthier micro biome?
Eat a diet high in fiber, this is good for your digestion (fruits, vegetables, especially green ones like kale, cabbage, broccoli, quinoa, oats)
Avoid a too sterile environment, too harsh cleaning products
Relax. Stress allows for more bad bacteria to survive in the gut
Go for organic food, avoid pesticides
Eat probiotic foods regularly (sauerkraut, kombucha, miso soup, kimchi), you can also take a probiotic supplement to get more good bacteria to your gut
Eat prebiotics even more often (artichoke, asparagus, bananas, garlic, onion, parsnips, wholegrain, rye, oats, leeks)
Eat healthy fats; avocados, nuts, seeds
Get a good amount of sleep each night
*ExtraTips for mothers
If possible, giving a vaginal birth is the best. This way the child gets a protective layer of bacteria which gives it a healthy gut from the beginning of life
Another good idea for moms is to breastfeed for a long time, this gives lots of good bacteria to your newborn
– Brain Maker – David Perlmutter – The Beauty of Dirty Skin – Whitney Bowe – Gut – Giulia Enders
Sometimes we can become very overwhelmed and feeling stressed by having too many things going on. At these points in time, it can be very helpful to have some practices to help you relax & tune into yourself, which can help calm your mind and nervous system. So today I want to share 3 of these practices with you, which I personally use to help to tune into myself, relax and calm my mind.
Yoga is an amazing way to help you to tune into yourself. Sometimes we spend too much time in our head, worrying, stressing, overthinking etc. And then it can be so helpful to come from our heads and into our bodies instead. Yoga is a form of practice which can definitely help you to connect your mind and body, and to help you calm down and help you to tune more into yourself.
If you want to calm down I can recommend some more restorative yoga, or Yin Yoga, which are very calming practices. However, sometimes moving your body some more can be exactly what you need, and when that is the case, you can look into trying some Hatha or Vinyasa yoga.
One of the easiest ways to tune into yourself is to meditate. You can literally meditate wherever you are. All you need to do is to close your eyes and breathe and just let your thoughts come and go. Just focus on your breath, tune into yourself and relax. You can also practice mindfulness, which is being present wherever you are – whether that be doing the dishes, cleaning the house, driving in train or anything else. Just be present, breathe and be where you are.
Be in Nature
Sometimes, one of the best ways to relax and tune into yourself, is to go for a walk, or just be, in nature. Just feeling the sun on your skin, feeling the fresh air in your hair, listening to the birds sing, feeling the ground beneath you. Just getting grounded and being present in the now.
Do you have any practices that always help you to relax & tune into yourself? Feel free to share them in the comments, and let us all inspire each other.
Alana Olivers is a very inspirering woman who I’m following on Instagram & Youtube. We have very similar interests, within health, skin, and the whole mind body connection. Alana works as a skin coach and is just such a positive person, and I am so happy to have created such a beautiful ‘online friendship’ with her, without even having met her in real life. I find Alana very inspirering, and she has so much knowledge within the field of skin & health, which she is going to share much more of in this interview.
Dear Alana, will you tell us a little bit about yourself? Who you are and what you do?
I was born and grew up in Switzerland but I now live all over the world. I am a skin coach (I help others to make their skin look and feel its best) and I run my own company in Switzerland where we produce 100% natural, personalized, cruelty free, vegan skin care. My passion is to empower and help others see how amazing their bodies’ healing abilities are and to show them how much modern medicine underestimates what the body and skin can do all by itself, without any pills, just by giving it the right ‘fuel’ and treating it as a whole.
I am an introvert who loves to read books about health, the skin, the brain, genetics, epigenetics, psychology and the mind, who didn’t have a social media account until 24 years old and now tries to figure out how it works while still feeling weird in front of a camera every time 🙂 .
I believe that our health is the biggest wealth we have in life and that we should appreciate and respect our body and trust in its abilities and I hope to inspire others to see that the same way.
You share lots of skincare tips on your Youtube and Instagram, what made you become interested in skin? And, how did you gain the knowledge that you’ve learned?
A couple of
years ago I was diagnosed with something which made me spend a lot of time in
the hospital getting treatments and surgery which ended up weakening my immune
system massively. Apart from my completely weakened body, I started to get skin
rashes and acne, my body overreacted to literally everything and no skin care
helped. I tried everything from affordable to extremely expensive skin care,
but somehow it just made things worse.
I started to look into the ingredient lists and I was shocked to find out how
many chemicals were in there. I knew that there had to be a better way. I
started to read all the books I could get my hands on about healing the skin
and the body. I cleaned up my diet and my lifestyle as well as making my skin
care myself to make sure I can control all the ingredients.
I decided to take courses in natural skin care, nutrition, holistic medicine,
holistic healing etc. and I used every free minute to read everything about the
skin and what influences its healing and wellbeing. Soon thereafter people
started to take notice that my skin got much better and became interested in
what I did, and I started to coach them with their own skin and through word of
mouth I got more and more clients. That’s when I decided to make a Youtube and
Instagram account to share what I love most with more people 🙂
What are your 5 best skincare tips?
The foods you consume far outweigh the skin care you are applying topically, so make sure to heal your skin from within before spending money on something which can only (in the best case) help with the symptoms of your problem.
NEVER be afraid of using oils on your skin. If you are choosing the right oil for your skin it will be the best thing you’ve ever done when it comes to skin care (and it won’t clog your pores)
Be as gentle as you can and don’t overdo it with products (9 steps skin care systems were created by companies which want to sell you a loooot of products). Your skin was built to protect you from the world, it is an awesome organ and it just needs your support (not you trying to take over its job 🙂 )
Never forget that your skin is just part of a whole organism, your body. You can never heal the skin without healing the body, and as soon as you heal your body, your skin will be healthy as well.
80% of what you apply to your skin will be absorbed directly into your bloodstream. So make sure that the skincare you apply only contains ingredients which you would also feel comfortable with if you would have to eat it.
What is 1 thing you have experienced that most people do not think about when they want to improve their skin, which actually has a huge impact on how your skin looks?
the gut health. The health of our digestive tract influences the health of our
skin directly. Many of my clients are a little surprised to say the least when
I ask them about their bowel movements since they booked a consultation which
should cover their skin problems. But your gut is an organ which is responsible
to eliminate (literally:P) everything your body doesn’t need and the digestive
tract also has the vital job when it comes to absorb nutrients and vitamins.
If your gut is overwhelmed or constipated it can happen that part of your
already digested food gets reabsorbed into your bloodstream which leads to
inflammation which in turn can lead to acne and/or rashes and eczema. It is so
important to take care of your gut health, to me it is the seat of our health,
If your gut isn’t healthy your whole body (including your skin) is out of
balance. So, make sure to eat enough pre- and probiotic foods, avoid processed
foods and junk foods and lower your sugar intake. After taking antibiotics make
sure to use probiotics to bring the “good bacteria” back into your digestive
Do you have some daily rituals that you do every single day?
YEEEEEES 🙂 ! I am all about rituals, I believe that without creating small rituals around the things you want to improve in your life nothing really happens. The habits which made the biggest difference in my life are:
I always start my day with a 10-20 minutes Meditation and I usually also finish my day like this (it is one of the best rituals I have every implemented into my daily life).
The second thing I do is that I start every single day with lots of warm water (I either add lemon, ginger, turmeric, apple cider vinegar or some sort of tea to it, whatever I have on hand that day).
I also work out every single day since I believe that an active lifestyle is so important for a healthy body (and beautiful skinJ), I either run, go on a bicycle, go for a hike or do yoga.
Another ritual I have is that I read or listen to an audio book every day (usually before bedtime, and always when I commute) for at least 30min – 1 hour.
What is your skincare routine like?
My skin care routine is extremely simple. I use the oil cleansing method to cleanse my face in the evening. After that I always have a look at my skin and decide what it needs that day. That might just be some fresh Aloe Vera or a serum, or a mask, Vitamin C, or a product/DIY which contains AHA or BHA to exfoliate my skin (I only exfoliate my skin 1x a week). After that I just apply my 100% natural night cream and go to bed.
In the morning I usually don’t wash my face at all. I use some rice water toner (I have a recipe for that on my channel) and then I either apply some of my day cream (if my skin feels dry that day) or just leave it at that. Once to twice a week I go to the sauna and apply some manuka honey as a face mask. That’s basically it 🙂
You have also created your own skincare line. Can you tell us about the products you have created?
My Skin Care Company is based in Switzerland and is called “Natural Choices”. And this is exactly what the products are all about. They are 100% natural, cruelty free and vegan, they are free from chemicals and preservatives as well as silicones and parabens.
I think our skin is so different from everybody else’s. That’s why all the products are personalized (that means a person comes for a skin analysis or has a skin coaching session with me and after that we choose each ingredient for each product specifically for that person and then creates a unique product).
The benefit of that is first of all that we can address the specific skin problems with ingredients which matches the specific needs of our client, and also that we can change the formulation once the skin starts to get better (as well as making adjustments for Winter/Summer time).
Which books have changed your life?
Super Genes (Deepak Chopra M.D & Rudolph Tanzi Ph.D.)
The Four Agreements (Don Miguel Ruiz)
The Telomere Effect (Dr. Elizabeth Blackburn & Dr. Elissa Epel)
What is your best advice for people who are dealing with skin issues and are feeling insecure because of their skin?
For sure it
is always hard to deal with skin problems just because it is usually not
something you can easily cover up and everyone sees it so you feel exposed and
judged, at least that is how I felt.
The most important advice I can give is to try to shift your perspective about
it. It is not an easy thing to do, but it is truly life changing.
Don’t see the rashes or pimples or dry flakes as something your body does against you but as something it does FOR you. Try to see it as the language your body communicates with you. It tries to tell you that something is wrong, that for example your digestive tract or your liver is overwhelmed (breakouts, dull skin f.e.), or you don’t get enough sleep (dull skin, dark circles), or that your body is chronically inflamed (rashes, eczema, acne).
If you look at your skin problems from that perspective, then first of all you can figure out the cause for it and solve your problem at its root instead of just treating the symptoms, plus you enter into a much deeper relationship with your own body and will soon learn to read every sign it gives you and act accordingly.
Once you have been able to heal your skin you’ll be so much stronger and grateful for the process you had to go through because other people will never get the chance to learn this.
Which 3 people have inspired you most in your life?
He is one
of the leading figures when it comes to the body mind connection. His books
introduced me to Ayurveda, to mediation and taught me how important our mindset
is for the healing process of our body.
inspired my whole childhood into my adult life until now. Not him directly as a
person but his movies. I sometimes still find myself scrolling through Netflix
ending up watching Mulan or the Beauty and the Beast. I am a Disney Girl :p
and me went through a lot together and have an extremely strong relationship.
He unknowingly teaches me new lessons every single day but the most important
thing he taught me is probably that being yourself and to stand up for who you
are is certainly not always the easiest way but that it is always worth it, and
in the end the most rewarding.
If people want to learn more about you, or support you in any kind of way, where can they do this?
It’s time for the first book recommendation of 2019! The first book I read this year was “Idiot’s Guides to Ayurveda” by Sahara Rose. It’s all about what Ayurveda is, the three doshas, it contains an ayurvedic dosha test and so much more.
Speaking of books and reading, I’ve joined the ‘goodreads‘ site, it’s a site where you can keep track of all the books you’ve read and want to read. You can also make the ‘2019 challenge’ and put in how many books you want to read for the year and then add to the list every time you’ve finished a new book. I already wrote down the books I’ve read in a word document, but this is a bit more fun, so I can definitely recommend that! And now I can tick off the first book of the year: ‘Idiot’s Guides to Ayurveda’ by Sahara Rose.
You might remember the name Sahara Rose, because I already recommended her podcast ‘The Higher Self‘ in here. But Sahara is also the author behind the book ‘Idiot’s Guides to Ayurveda‘, if you are not familiar with the ‘idiot’s guides’ books, they are simply books explaining things in a very easy and understandable way.
So what’s it about?
Idiot’s Guides to Ayurveda is the perfect book if you are new to the concept of Ayurveda. Perhaps you’ve never even heard about this word before? Or maybe you just want to dive deeper into learning about your own dosha and how to balance it.
This book covers the basics of Ayurveda, the three doshas (vata, pitta and kapha), and Ayurvedic dosha test so you can find out of your primary and secondary doshas (I’m primarily vata, and my secondary dosha is pitta, but definitely most vata), how to balance your dosha both when it comes to food and lifestyle tips, ayurvedic self-care practices, all about the 5 koshas and the 7 chakras, good morning and night rituals, all about digestion according to ayurveda, ayurvedic home remedies and so much more!
I already knew a bit about Ayurveda and which dosha was my primary, but I’ve definitely learn a lot of new things by reading this book as well, so I will definitely recommend it if you are into holistic health, self development, growth, self-care practices and spirituality!
I’m currently doing a 30 day yoga challenge. That does not need much explanation, it’s simply yoga each day for 30 days straight. But, I want to tell a little bit more about my experience with it!
I was inspired by Cecilie Blaksted and her weekly challenges, where she does something for an entire week which I found really inspirering. Cecilie also recommended this inspirering TED talk about trying something new for 30 days. I really wanted to get back into my yoga practice again, and saw this as a perfect opportunity for doing just that. Therefore, I decided to do a 30 days yoga challenge (because clever people say that it takes around 30 days (more precisely, 21 days) to establish a new habit).
I am now on day 28 (I started November 1st), and I’ve only skipped 1 day because I was simply too tired after work one Sunday. So because I skipped one day, I’ll instead just continue for 1 more day – luckily I have a Christmas yoga event with Cathrine on Saturday (1st of December), so that is just perfect!
So, how has it been?
It has really been great! I’m feeling way more motivated to move my body, and do things, and I just love the feeling of stretching my body. I guess I’ve always loved that, since I’ve been dancing for several years when I was younger, so it feels so good to do it regularly. And I’m for sure planning on doing yoga quiet regularly after this challenge is done.
What challenge did I follow?
I followed ‘Yoga with Adriene’s 30 days yoga challenge‘ (free on youtube), but in reality you could just choose whatever you want. Take a random yoga video each day, go to yoga classes in your local yoga center, or do freestyle yoga practice at home if you are more experienced. I really like Adriene’s challenge, since she is so down to Earth and gives several options if you do not feel like something hardcore and instead want a more chill pose, and her videos are very manageable since they range from 12-40 minutes, but they are not too long for everyday practice, which makes it much easier to keep it a daily routine.
I can for sure recommend a 30 days yoga challenge! Both if you are experienced with yoga and just want to get back into your practice again, but especially also if you are totally new to yoga, then this is a great way to get into it.
Have you tried a 30 day yoga challenge? Or, have you tried other challenges? I’m really hooked on trying new things for a week or a month. I’m considering a ‘no TV for a week’, ‘no sugar’, ‘go for a walk each day for a week’, ‘photo challenge’ etc. But I would love recommendations and inputs from you guys!