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holistic health

Health

5 WAYS TO IMPROVE YOUR GUT HEALTH

All disease begins in the gut” – Hippocrates. Hippocrates said it many years ago – having a healthy gut is essential for our overall health and well-being. Therefore, I want to share 5 ways to improve your gut health today

If you don’t already know about the importance of gut health, then I will recommend you to first read this blogpost I’ve shared a while ago.

But today I want to get straight into how you can improve your gut health, so here you go – 5 ways you can improve your gut health

  • Eat prebiotic food
    Prebiotics are a type of fiber that the human body can’t digest. Probiotics serve as food for probiotics (the good bacteria in your gut). You can find prebiotics in many different kind of foods, fx artichoke, asparagus, bananas, garlic, onion, parsnips, wholegrain, rye, oats, leeks.
  • Eat fermented food
    Fermented foods contain those good bacteria that you want more of. So try to incorporate more fermented food into your diet, this include things such as sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha, kefir, yoghurt.
  • Take a probiotic supplement
    If you have suffered with digestive problems in any kind of way, or if you have been on antibiotics, it can be highly recommended to take a good probiotic supplement, to rebalance your gut bacteria again. Antibiotics can of course be essential if you’ve been infected with a virus, but antibiotics kill both the good and the bad bacteria in your gut, and since the majority of your immune system is located in your gut, your immune system can become very weakened after having been on antibiotics. It is therefore important to get some of the good bacteria back into your gut again 
  • Exercise
    New studies are also starting to show that exercising is linked to increases in the number of beneficial microbial species in your gut. So another good reason to exercise is that it will help you get more of those good bacteria in your gut!
  • Eat a wide range of foods
    By eating lots of different vegetables with all sorts of different colours, you are eating a diverse range of nutrients, which all helps to create a broader and more diverse gut micro biome. So eat the rainbow! Try new veggies, switch it up from time to time, so you don’t just eat cucumbers and potatoes.
Health

WHY REDUCING STRESS IS ONE OF THE BEST THINGS YOU CAN DO FOR YOUR HEALTH

Stress is one of the biggest threats to our health today, so today I want to share with you why reducing stress is one of the best things you can do for your health 🙏✨

Stress hormones can be good in small amounts, and they have been essential for the human survival over many years. These hormones are the same ones that trigger your body’s “fight or flight” response. Many years ago when humans lived in the wild, this was absolutely necessary if a wild, dangerous animal came along their way. They needed this in order to survive. The stress hormone response was made to protect your body in an emergency by preparing it to react quickly.

But nowadays, most of us live in safe, comfortable places and you would think that we would never really need these stress hormone responses anymore. But that is far from the truth, in today’s environment we create stress in our own bodies by all the to-do’s and deadlines that we create for ourself. We stress ourself up by creating endless to-do lists, or we get stressed at work, or by all the things we want to do in our home or with our family. And even though not getting everything done on your to-do list is essential for your survival, our bodies have a hard time recognising the difference between the necessary-survival stress and our everyday-build-up-stress.

As mentioned earlier, stress in small amounts does no harm to our body. But when we are exposed to this continuous stress day in and out over a longer period of time, this is when it starts to affect our health negatively.

Stress over a longer period of time harm your body in many ways, it can: lead to increased depression, headaches, heartburn, insomnia, a weakened immune system, rapid breathing, high blood sugar, risk of heart attack, pounding heart, high blood pressure, stomachache, fertility problems (no wonder so many people today have problems getting pregnant), low sex drive, missed periods, erectile dysfunctions and tense muscles. The list is long. Stress is not something we should take lightly, it affects your entire health.

5 Ways to Reduce Stress

  • Spend more time in nature
    Preferably without your phone, or at least put it on airplane mode. The small sounds from a new notification, text message or a call can be enough for your body to start getting stressed. So spend more time in nature without being connected to the outside world. Breathe in the fresh air. Watch the beautiful trees and plants. Soak in the sunshine. Get grounded.
  • Meditate
    Meditation is one of the best ways to calm your mind and nervous system. Meditation can be so hard at first, if you’ve never done it before. Start slow, like with all things in life. Try 5 minutes in the morning at first, then you can always increase the time. Just sit comfortably, close your eyes and breathe. If you find it too hard to just sit in complete silence, I can recommend either to find a guided meditation (there are so many on youtube), or to listen to some calming music (try to search for ‘binaural beats’ on youtube and you’ll find so much calming music)
  • Minimise your to-do list
    One of the things that can really create continuous stress in the body is our endless to-do lists. And man, am I guilty of this one myself. I always have TONS of things I want to do and not forget etc. So I legit write everything down. But I’m learning more and more, that having a thousand things on my to-do list only makes me keep disappointing myself when I then don’t get them all done in the day. Instead I’m actively trying to work on minimising my to-do’s for each day. I try to write down the 3 most important task of the day, and then everything else I get done is just a plus. Funny thing is, it’s often when we get those bigger tasks done first, that we get extra motivated and then actually end up accomplishing so much more
  • Journal
    Writing down your thoughts, both good and bad, your worries, all the things you want to do etc. is such a good way to reduce stress. Perhaps you know the feeling of thinking of something at night when you’re about to go to sleep, and you just don’t want to forget that thought or idea, so you just can’t fall asleep? I know this feeling, which is why I’ve learned that as soon as an important thought or idea pops up in my head, I just write it down right away. Whether that be in a notebook or in the notes in my phone. Then I don’t have to worry about forgetting it, and at the same time, I can get it out of my head. The same goes for things you worry about, sometimes just writing it out, and being completely honest with yourself, can take away all the worry and stress about something
  • Change the way you look at things
    Most stress comes from your own thoughts. You stress yourself because you’ve put certain expectations about why / how something should be done. Learn to change your mindset. I really learned this when I started working in retailing. My first job was in a shoeshop, and I’ve always been quiet a people-pleaser, so I would get so anxious and stress myself when there started to become a waiting line in the shop. I would think about all the people who was waiting and how annoyed etc. they must started to become etc. etc. I would work myself completely up, probably so much that the customers I had would feel the stress I put on myself. After a few months/years I learned that me stressing about the line would not make it go any faster, all I could do was to focus at the one thing in front of me: the one customer. Do my best to help that customer, and then on to the next. Not worrying and stressing about all the people in line. The same lesson I’ve learned about generally all things in life – by learning to focus on only 1 thing at a time, you not only do the job better, but you also eliminate stress about all the other things you might have to do. You can’t do it all at once, so just focus on 1 thing at a time

What is your favourite way to calm down & relax? Do you feel you’re good at taking time to relax yourself, or is this something you want to work on?
Remember, we don’t have anything if we don’t have our health, so remember to take care of yourself 🙏✨

Self-development

YEAR & QUARTERLY GOALS (PRINTABLE PDF FILES)

Achieve your goals with this method! Here you get some Year & Quarterly Goals in printable PDF files, to help you stay on track with your goals all year round! 🙌✨

I did this exercise last year, and it helped me stay on track with my goals throughout the year, and I accomplished almost all the goals I set on my list for goals I wanted to achieve in 2019. I have just done the exact same exercise again but for 2020, and I can’t wait to stay on track again this year with actively pursuing and working towards reaching my goals.

How do you do it?


Year Goals

Find Goals file here


Print 1 copy of the ‘Goals’ file:
On this page you write down all the goals you want to achieve this year. Remember, it’s okay to have many dreams, but also be realistic about what you can achieve within 1 year.

Find Quarterly Goals file here


Print 4 copies of the ‘Quarterly Goals’ file:
On these pages, you write “1st quarter” (1. January – 31. March) / “2nd Quarter (1. April – 30. June) / “3rd Quarter (1. July – 30. September) / “4th Quarter (1. October – 31. December)

Now you look at your Goals for the entire year, and then you begin with the first ones you want to accomplish, and write these under the ‘important to achieve’ section.

After you have done this, you can break down the goal even further in the section below. Write down the actual steps you need to take to accomplish this goal.

Write down all 4 quarters, so it covers all your goals for the year.

Now if you have a stick board over your desk, or somewhere where you’ll look at it often, then put your first quarterly goal paper up here. Now for the first quarter of this year, only focus on these goals. Don’t think too much about all your goals for the year, but focus only on the first ones.

Let’s take an example on how to do it:
One of my Goals for this year is to become a certified Holistic Health Coach, so this is what I have written on my Goals for the year.

On my Quarterly goals I have then written down what I need to do in order to make that come true, which involves:
– Accomplishing X amount of Health Histories
– Take my weekly classes
– Accomplish the tests during the year
– Participate in Coaching Circles

So what do you say? Do you want to actively work towards your goals and dreams this year? 🙌✨

“A Goal is a Dream with a deadline”

I would recommend reading this post first, and doing the reflection questions in there, and then you can fill out these goals documents afterwards.

Inspiration Self-development

YOU CANNOT CHANGE OTHER PEOPLE, THE ONLY PERSON YOU CAN CHANGE IS YOURSELF

We cannot change other people. The only person you can change is yourself. But by showing others that you can change, you show them the opportunities they have at hand as well 🌱✨

It can often feel frustrating when you see your dear ones doing things that doesn’t do them any good, and you want to help them change their habits so they can feel better. It could be a parent smoking, seeing someone in deep debt, or seeing someone eating lots of junk and not taking care of their health. Often we want to help our dear ones to make them feel better, but know this – you cannot help a person who does not want to be helped. So we cannot change other people, as frustrating as that is. But what we can do, is showing others the possibilities they have at hand, by doing the work ourselves.

And funnily enough, very often, the things we see in others, are mirrors of things we have in ourselves. So do the work. Focus on yourself. Once people see you have done something, this will inspire them way more, than you telling them to try this and that or stop doing something.

Be patient. You might not change someones life from one day to the next, just by showing them what’s possible. But never underestimate the power of planting a seed 🌱✨

“If you wanna make the world a better place, take a look at yourself and then make a change” – Michael Jackson

Happiness Inspiration

MAKE A LIST OF THINGS THAT CAN CHANGE YOUR MOOD

If you have a bad day, or just feel like you want to change your mood, then I will recommend to make a list of things that can change your mood ✨🙌

I’m currently reading Tony Robbins book “Awaken the Giant Within”, and I just the part where he suggests that you make a list of all the things that can change your mood instantly. This was such a lovely idea, so I had to share it.

It’s really all about making a list of things that you can do that can change your mood instantly. If you are having a bad day, and just not feeling good (by all means, we all have those days, and if you’re sad, feel those feels, but sometimes just a little change in the mood can make everything better), you can take out your just and do one or more of the things on the list, and change your mood and come into a much better place.

I made my own list of things that can change my mood, here they are:
1. Meditate
2. Listen to high vibe music
3. Dance around
4. Move my body
5. Go for a walk in nature
6. Kiss my man
7. Smile
8. Create content / write / take photos
9. Give myself a facial massage
10. Read
11. Learn new, inspiring things
12. Having inspiring talks with my close ones
13. Uplift other people
14. Give to others
15. Make my family happy
16. Tidy up my space / decluttering
17. Eat healthy, nourishing food
18. Dream BIG & visualise
19. Drinking warm tea
20. Singing

Project for you: Grab your favourite notebook, make yourself a warm cup of tea and sit with yourself and be very honest about what can change your mood and put you in a better place. Write it down, save the list and take it out whenever you feel the need ✨🙌

Holistic beauty & skincare

MAKE YOUR SKINCARE ROUTINE A SELF-LOVING PRACTICE

Why not turn something you do every day, into a loving practice? Today I want to encourage you to make your skincare routine a self-loving practice ✨

Skincare, cleansing, moisturizing, it can be a loving practice, or it can be ‘something we just need to get done’ in the evening. You choose. When you get home from work or school, why not do it right away, when you have time and aren’t too tired.

Choose to make your skincare routine a self-loving practice you have with yourself. Light a candle, make a cup of tea, put on some nice, relaxing music and spend a few minutes to really take care of yourself and your skin.

Give yourself a little facial massage while you put on oil or creme, take time to smell the lovely smells of your products. Take time to look yourself in the mirror, smile and show yourself all the love in the world. Take time just for you. Think about your skincare routine as another way to connect with yourself, and show yourself some love and kindness ✨

Holistic & Spiritual living Self-development

WHAT YOU AFFIRM GROWS

What you affirm grows. What you pay attention to grows. Become aware of this, and start to pay attention to the things you want more of in your life ✨

One of the biggest lessons I have learned in life so far, is that what you affirm grows and what you pay attention to grows. This goes for both good and bad things. If you pay attention to how much love you have in your life, and how kind, generous, inspirational people are – you will get more and see more of this. On the other hand, if you pay attention to how irritating, angry and frustrated people are – you will see more of this.

If you keep telling yourself that you are not good enough, you are ugly, you don’t deserve certain things – you will keep getting more of the things that affirms that this is true for you. However, if you start shifting your perception and tell yourself that you ARE good enough, that you are beautiful and that you deserve all the best in the world – your belief in yourself will grow, and you will start to recognise more and more things that will affirm you in your beliefs.

“What you pay attention to grows. If your attention is attracted to negative situations and emotions, then they will grow in your awareness”
– Deepak Chopra

This means that YOU have the power over your life. You, and only you, can decide what you give your attention to. So what do you want in your life? Start to pay more attention to the things you want more of, and you will start to see how these show up more and more ✨

Holistic & Spiritual living Self-development

THE DAY YOU PLANT THE SEED IS NOT THE DAY YOU EAT THE FRUIT

You might have seen this quote on Instagram before; “The day you plant the seed is not the day you eat the fruit“. This is so true, and such an important reminder to keep in mind. This applies to all things in life. Things do take time, and a continuous effort.

You might want to grow a business. This doesn’t happen over night. It takes time and effort. You can start to plant the seed for it, by starting a website or a blog – but that is not enough for you to have a business. You need to continuously water and nurture it, in order to make it grow.

The same goes for many other things in life. If you want a good relationship, you need to continuously water & nurture it. Put in the effort, plan dates, communicate also when things gets hard, do loving things for each other.

Whatever you want to see grow in your life – you need to give attention to, and water and nurture it, otherwise the seed will die out. But if you keep watering it and giving it love and attention, I promise you, one day the seed will have grown big and beautiful and you will be able to reap all the rewards from all the love, attention and dedication you put into it ✨

But remember, in order to grow anything, you also first need to plant the seed. If you want anything in life, you need to plant the intention of it, start it and then you can start to water it.

Holistic & Spiritual living Holistic beauty & skincare

SELF-CARE ON MULTIPLE LEVELS

Self-care is not just pampering yourself with a bath and a face-mask, self-care is about way more than that. There is self-care on multiple levels. It’s all about nurturing & refuelling yourself ✨

When we hear the word ‘self-care’ we often tend to think about baths, saunas, wearing a facial mask etc. All the physical stuffs we can do to take care of ourselves. While I still think that that is important, there are self-care on multiple levels, and they are all really important to pay attention to.

Taking care of yourself is not just about pampering yourself on the outside. But doing this is good, because it can also make you feel good on the inside as well. But self-care is about waaaay more than just that. Self-care is taking care of your emotional and mental state, your spiritual beliefs, your relationship to others, your work.

A definition of self-care that I just learned through my school is this; Self-care is any activity that nurtures & refuels you on a deep level.

So tune into yourself and consider these areas of your life, do you feel good in these, or is there anything you can do to take better care of yourself in a specific area?

Physical Body
– how do you feel about your body? Do you feel good? Energised? Calm?
– think about what you can do to take better care of your body; go for a walk, stretch it, drink some more water, eat some veggies
– take a bath, nourish your skin with a good oil and give yourself a face massage

Emotional & Mental State
– your emotional & mental state is SO important. How are you? Have you allowed yourself to feel the emotions coming up?
– feel free to cry if you need to
– journal about your feelings, just write whatever is on your mind
– talk to a good friend

Relationship to others
– how is your relationships? To your partner (if you have one)? To your family? To your friends?
– is there anything you want to work on? is there a relationship that no longer feels right for you? Tune into yourself, and feel. Relationships are one of the things that can really either give us SO much, or drain us

Work
– how is your work/school situation? Are you happy doing what you do? Do you feel engaged & enthusiastic about it? Or does the thought of going there drag you down? Write down your thoughts and feelings about this. You don’t have to take any action towards changing things right now if you are not happy with it, just be honest with yourself and get your thoughts out

Question for you: Which area of your life needs some self-care? Share it, or write it down in a for yourself in a journal. Then think about how you can take better care of yourself within that area of your life

Holistic & Spiritual living Inspirering people

INTERVIEW WITH IVY LEE

Ivy Lee is an acupuncturist, herbalist and energy healer. I found Ivy through Instagram where I have been following her for a while. She just continues to inspire me with her wisdom and all that she shares. You can learn more about her in this interview. Please welcome, Ivy.

Dear Ivy, will you tell us a little bit about yourself? Who you are and what you do? I’m an acupuncturist, herbalist, and energy healer. I draw upon an expertise in Chinese Medicine from my ancestral roots and infuse other therapeutic modalities to create a multi-sensory healing experience. My specialty is in women’s health and I love to help women feel empowered in their body and in life.  

Why did you start to work with acupuncture / Chinese medicine? 
I grew up with Chinese Medicine from my family in Taiwan. Since I was young, I was very interested in learning about a variety of traditional healing practices. But being from an immigrant family, I felt the pressure of financial security and I went to work in corporate for many years. Then after a series of experiences I realized that I had a lot of knowledge and a unique gift for healing, and I felt a responsibility to share it with the world. That’s when I quit my corporate job and shifted to my path to doing acupuncture and healing work.


Can you tell what acupuncture is, and how it works? 
Chinese Medicine is based on a framework which sees that the body is intelligent and has an ability to heal itself. Symptoms and conditions are caused by imbalances in the body, so when the body is brought back into balance, the symptoms and conditions resolve. Acupuncture is one of the modalities within Chinese Medicine and it has been practiced for over 2,000 years. The insertion of very fine needles into specific points on the body influences the physiological functioning of the body and promotes balanced flow of energy. 

Which experiences in your life have had a big impact on your own self-development?  
I had lived and traveled to over 30 countries by the age of 30. This had a significant impact on my self-development because it opened my mind. It offered me different perspectives in viewing the world and in viewing myself. It gave me an understanding of the many ways of being and the commonalities in human experience. It empowered me with the belief that I can create myself and create my life. 

Which books have changed your life?
I read a lot of books on Buddhism when I was young and that has influenced the way I navigate life.  “When Things Fall Apart” by Pema Chodron. “The Practice of Lojong” by Traleg Kyabgon. “Loving Kindness” by Sharon Salzberg. “The Sacred Path of the Warrior” by Chögyam Trungpa. And so many more. 

What do you feel the world needs more of?
Forgiveness. This is needed to break the cycle of anger, hurt, and suffering. 

Do you have some daily rituals that you do every single day?
Sitting with tea, quieting the mind and coming to stillness.

Which people have inspired you most in your life?
My mother inspires me in many ways, she embodies so much resilience and strength. She raised me with the values of integrity and honesty, to be true to others and most importantly to yourself.

If people want to learn more about you, or support you in any kind of way, where can they do this?
I am the founder of Luminae Wellness in Oakland, California. I offer acupuncture treatments in-person at my healing space and I also offer virtual healing sessions. Reach out to me through my website www.luminaewellness.com or Instagram @luminaewellness

Thank you so much for answering my questions, and for being such a beautiful soul and sharing all your wisdom and for bringing a higher vibration to this world!