Are you having regular down time?

coffee timeI was talking to my mentor, Terri, the other day and at the end of the session she suggested that I take 30 mins each day for ‘Nothing Time’.  Nothing Time? Terri explained that each day she has 30 mins where she has a cuppa and does nothing. No one is to disturb her including the kids. It is a way to recharge the batteries – to reboot the body. It was interesting to observe my internal reaction to her suggestion – “I’m already busy, to take 30 mins out of my day…ahh”. So that afternoon I made a cup of tea and sat on my lounge for my 30 mins of down time. I found it quite challenging to just sit. First I noticed how the TV area needed a dust, then I looked at the clothes that needed folding and putting away and then I thought of my to do list….. So I turned away from it all and looked out side and watched the wind in the trees. I lasted 20 mins the first day.

The next day I again made a cup of tea and sat on the lounge. Again I noticed what needed doing around the house. This time I also felt guilty. Where did that come from? As I sat a picture of my parents came to my mind. Dad was, is always on the go, he rarely sits, while my Mum would and does take regular time out through the day to have a cuppa and read some of her book. Dad would often comment about Mum taking time out. Ah that is where that has come from – I’ve copied Dad on the go, go, go and if I do stop I feel guilty about it. So I sat there that day for the full 30 mins and noticed how I felt and what was happening in my body.

I have found that the 30 mins a day has allowed me the time to be with myself. To give myself a break, which has helped me recenter and come back to myself, ready for the rest of the day. It has also allowed my brain to have some time off and for me to once again enjoy hot cups of tea. So do you have regular down time? Do you sit and read a book? Do you lay in the sun? Have you made the commitment to yourself that you are important and deserve regular, daily, down time? If not I suggest that you do and observe yourself and your thoughts.

In good health, Vicki

What are you digesting with your food?

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On Wednesday morning I gave a talk on Raw Food and in particular what Green Smoothies are and their benefits at the Women With Altitude networking event.  I had a great time sharing the information and answering questions.  One question related to counting calories.  I explained that I don’t count calorie as I am looking at eating whole foods, foods that haven’t been processed and by doing this I am feeding my body the nutrients it needs to repair and recuperate throughout the day.

I have found that if my body is ‘well feed’ and by this I mean it is receiving all the nutrients it needs then I am less hungry and I naturally started to eat less.  I am eating less because the body has the building blocks –  vitamins, minerals, amino acids, etc it requires to perform it’s functions at an optimal level.

5 ElementsFrom here the discussion continued and I spoke about “having your cake” but not feeling guilty or angry at yourself afterwards. Why? In Traditional Chinese Medicine theory our emotions are digested in the stomach and then sent to the Liver to be dispersed throughout the body – grief goes to the Lungs, bitterness and resentment to the Gall Bladder, anger to the Liver, worry to the Stomach.  So when you have your cake or packet of chips and you then feel guilty or angry for eating it, this emotion is also being ‘digested’ at the same time and changes the way the body digests and absorbs the food in the stomach.  Perhaps this is why so many people eat more than they need to – to offset (stuff down) all the things they are worrying about?  Whole, unprocessed food is also affected by the emotions – there is no point eating something that is meant to be ‘good’ for you and not enjoying the flavour, texture or taste of the food. For proper digestion to take place it is important to enjoy what you are eating, to savour each mouthful.  This will also mean that the stomach has time to send a message to the brain to say “hey I’m full now, you can stop eating”. I have come across people who do not talk at all during their meal, they sit quietly, eating slowly, really being present with the food they are eating.

So the next time you are having something to eat – your meal, a snack, a piece of cake or a packet of chips, place your knife and fork down after each bite and notice the texture of the food as you chew.  Is it crunchy, soft or crisp?  What is the temperature of the food?  Cold, warm or hot?  Can you distinguish the different flavours – sweet, salty, sour, bitter and pungent? How do you feel with each mouthful? And then notice how your body feels after this meal. Enjoy each bite.

In good health, Vicki