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?
Sometimes all we need is just to step outside and be one and connect with nature. So today I don’t want to write a lot, but I will rather post some lovely pictures I took on a wonderful walk in nature a little while ago.
“Nature itself is the best physician” – Hippocrates
Sometimes we tend to get too stuck inside our heads, and it’s all bubbled up with all the things we have to do, be etc. Whenever you start to feel like this, take a break and just get outside in nature and just BE.
Sit under the sun. Feel the fresh air on your skin. Feel the rain on your head. Sit under a giant tree. Feel the Earth beneath you. Listen to the birds sing. Just be there.
I use positive affirmations to change my life, and it has definitely improved my life in various aspects. By choosing to look at the positive things in life and feeling it, your life completely changes in the contrary to if you focus on the negative things in life and the things that you ‘lack’.
What is positive affirmations?
Positive affirmations, are words and sentences you can repeat to yourself, which can essentially change how you view life and thereby change your life for the better.
If you haven’t heard about the ‘Law of Attraction’, then I will definitely recommend looking into that. In all its essence, it is that ‘like attract like’, and by focusing on what we want – that is what we get more of. If you focus on the things you don’t want – then that is what you’ll get more of. Hereby, you can use positive affirmations as a way to enhance your focus on the positive things and the things you want more of in life.
“What you focus on grows”
How to use them?
If you saw my blogpost about my ‘morning routine’, you will have noticed that I’m doing a small meditation/positive affirmation exercise each morning. I do it short after wakening, and in that way I start my day with some positive thoughts and feelings right away, which makes me feel amazing!
I personally use the ‘I can!’ book my Louise Hay, which is filled with affirmations for all kind of areas in your life, whether that be health, relationships, wealth, selflove. I choose some random site each morning, set my timer on my phone for 5 minutes and breathe and focus on these affirmations.
Having a morning routine is a great way to start the day on a more calm and positive note, which can mean that the rest of your day turns out a lot better, than if you just jump out of bed and go straight to work. I’ve finally found a morning routine that is simple and easy, but also makes me feel so much better after I’ve done it, so today I want to share my morning routine with you.
If you are into self development, which you probably are if you are following along in here, then you might already know this, you will quiet possibly have discovered that many ‘successful people’ (read: successful in terms of reaching the goals they had sat for themselves, because we should not define success on X amount of money or anything like that, but rather on succeeding in reaching your own dreams) have morning routines. A morning routine sets you up for a great start to the day, and that great start has an amazing influence on how the rest of your day turns out – because if you start of well, you’ll fell happier and more at peace, and you’ll be ready for whatever the day brings you!
I’ve been trying for years to create a morning routine that I could stick to, but as a ‘vata’ person (read my blogposts about ayurveda if you don’t know what I’m talking about), I have a hard time sticking to routines – but, routines are actually what is really good for people like me, because it helps to keep me grounded and make sure that I actually get things done. And now I’ve finally found a morning routine which is simple, easy and manageable, and which makes me extremely happy and calm – it’s the perfect way to start the day!
My morning routine
First thing first, I gotta wake up. During the week it’s usually around 6.30/7
Then as the first thing I go to the bathroom and I scrape my tongue with a tongue scraper. I scrape my tongue around 10 times.
Wash face & lotion
Then I wash my face with water and moisturise my face with some oil/lotion.
Tea & Affirmation Meditation
Afterwards I go to the kitchen and make myself a cup of green tea. I take the tea with me into the living room, get myself cozy under a blanket and find a random page in my book “You can!” by Louise Hay, which is a book filled with affirmations. I set my phone on the timer for 5 minutes and read through some of the affirmations and do some meditations with focus on these lovely affirmations – it’s an amazing way to start the day, and it really just warms and lights me up!
Here are some of my favourite affirmations:
“There are possibilities everywhere. I have an abundance of choices”
“I know I can create miracles in my life”
“My potential is unlimited”
“Life ensures that all my needs are met with abundance. I trust in life”
“When I forgive myself it becomes easier to forgive others”
“When I change my thoughts, the world around me changes”
“I am grateful for my healthy body. I love life”
After meditation I bring out my journal and write around a page of all kind of things I’m grateful for, from the smallest to the biggest things. The most important thing is that I take time to really feel gratitude after having written the things down.
Around 3-4 times a week I also do some yoga after the above little morning routine, to stretch and connect with my body.
Then I make myself some breakfast, and finish off with brushing my teeth. It’s a really simple morning routine, and without the yoga it only takes around 20 minutes or so, but it really ensures that I start my day on a much better note than if I just went straight out of bed and onto what the day held.
That was my morning routine. Do you have a morning routine? Or would you like to implement one? Then try to start with just one thing you want to do each morning, and then you can always add more things on later.
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!
If you truly want to see results in any area of your life, then I have one very important tip for you – consistency is key!
The concept of staying consistent is something I’ve encountered from many ‘self development gurus’ over the years. It might seem simple, but it can for sure be challenging, especially when you don’t feel like you’re getting anything out of it and it’s more tempting to just quit and do something else. But many times it’s just when we’re about to give up that results are coming.
It might be easier to understand if we take some examples.
Take action and stay consistent
If you want to work on losing weight, and you are training and eating healthy but you just don’t feel like you’re getting anywhere and instead you decide that it just doesn’t work and you give up and fall back into your old habits. Changing things, and especially your appearance, can for sure take time, so you need to stay consistent with the habits of eating healthy and moving your body.
Or, perhaps you want to improve your flexibility, then it won’t be enough with just practicing some yoga once every month, you need to practice it more and do it over a longer period of time.
Let’s take another example, perhaps you want to grow your business or your amount of followers on your social media sites. You put up content, but you just don’t feel like it’s getting you anywhere, so you give up and stop posting regularly.
But you need to stay consistent with posting and putting out quality content, and stay patient – because eventually people will find you, but they only want to follow along if they can rely on you and if they are sure that you’ll provide content regularly that they can follow, otherwise they’ll disappear again. I can vouch for this myself, I’ve posted on my Instagram and blog for several years now, but it wasn’t until I started posting more regularly and stayed consistent with it that several people started to follow me.
Focus on the long-term rather than the short-term
There are SO many examples out there of why staying consistent is the KEY to gaining whatever you want. This picture below is one of my favourite reminders to why you need to stay consistent and keep trying if you truly want something!
I hope that this little ‘pep-talk’ has motivated you to take action and staying consistent, and eventually you will see that things will come your way! Whether that be losing weight, publishing a book, clearing up your skin, growing your business or whatever you dream of! Find out what steps you need to take to get there, and then keep going and stay consistent!
I’ve discovered a new podcast that I really like, and I want to share it with you today! It’s all about Ayurveda, health and self-development and it’s called “The Highest Self Podcast” – created by Sahara Rose.
Hi everyone and welcome back here in 2019!
It has been lovely with a little break off from blogging and Instagram, but now I’m back again with plenty of inspiration and I plan to post 2 blogposts every week. As always, just let me know if there is anything you want to read about. I want to start of with a new podcast I’ve discovered, which is really good and inspirering, so let’s get right into it!
If you’re into Ayurveda or just health and self-development, then the ‘The Highest Self Podcast” by Sahara Rose is definitely a podcast I can recommend. Sahara Rose is a new upcoming leader in the Ayurvedic world and has even been named a “leading voice speaking to the millennial generation into the new paradigm shift” by Deepak Chopra himself (author of the book ‘Perfect Health‘). Sahara Rose is also the author behind the books ‘Idiot’s Guides to Ayurveda‘ and ‘Eat Right For Your Mind-Body Type Program’ , and her podcast is really great.
One of my favourite episode’s so far is the ‘How to Preserve Passion in a long-term relationship‘. That episode is really relatable for me, since I’ve been in a relationship with my boyfriend for almost 6 years, and from time to time it can get very everyday-ish, which is both really comfortable and lovely, but the lack of passion can certainly also be there. The podcast episode is a really good episode and it’s filled with so many good advice, for how to preserve passion in a long-term relationship.
Here are a few of the gold-quotes from the episode, that really resonated with me and inspired me:
“You need to communicate. Women often want men to read between the lines, but the man just see that the woman is angry, and if that continues over time without proper communication, the love and passion will disappear. We need to be brave enough to communicate, and express our wants, needs and desires”
“Only change that comes from yourself can last”
“When we dim our lights we are doing a disservice to others”
I can for sure recommend listening to Sahara’s wise words, I’m sure you will find some inspiration from her. I’ve also just gotten her book ‘Idiot’s Guide to Ayurveda‘ in Christmas present, and I cannot wait to dive into it and learn a lot more about Ayurveda, because that is truly something I find so fascinating.