An Introduction to SGI and Nichiren Buddhism (event)

I practice Nichiren Buddhism with the SGI, as you probably know from my previous blog posts. If you’d like to learn more about the SGI and Nichiren Buddhism and how it can make an impact on your life, please join us for our introductory event on 14 January 2018 in Ipswich.

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Five Feel Good Factors for 2015

We all have times when we need a pick me up or a boost. Here are five feel good tips that I use when I need a pick me up or just generally to keep me in tip top condition, physically, emotionally and mentally.

  1. Sing

I love to sing and it puts me in a great frame of mind. I have a few songs that I sing regularly first thing in the morning to boost my spirits. My favourites include ‘Happy’ by Pharrell Williams, ‘Best Day of My Life’ by American Authors and ‘I’ve Got a Feeling’ by The Black Eyed Peas. Watch out for my ‘Music for Manifesting’ post, coming soon.

  1. Hot and Cold Shower Blast

When I finish my shower, I blast on the water as hot as I can stand, alternated with as cold as I can stand, a few times and fully immerse myself in the water. When it comes to the cold, it is a shock and if I can just stay under for a few seconds and move past the shock, the feeling is exhilarating. It’s actually quite addictive.

  1. Exercise

Yeah, yeah, I know. None of us want to exercise, least of all me and what I’ve found is that the key is to find exercise I enjoy doing.  Find an exercise that makes your heart sing. I can’t get motivated to mindlessly walk or run on a treadmill, I feel as though I might lose the will to live, so I have found exercises I love to do. My favourites are going for a run in nature or by the sea, dancing and boxing. I discovered Ceroc dancing about eight years ago. It is so much fun, a great way to get fit and I’ve also met a lot of fabulous people there. Another thing I love is boxing. I never thought I would box as I’m anti-violence and when I joined Suffolk Punch Boxing Club earlier this year I discovered that it’s not about violence at all. It’s a skillful, tactical discipline.

  1. Meditation

As with exercise, there are many different types of meditation and it’s important to find a type of meditation that works for you. I’ve tried many different kinds and there a few that I find really beneficial. One of my favourites is the Unfolding Enlightenment mediation facilitated by Robina Hearle and Sue Stoddard, which I do with Robina at Rose Cottage, as well as listening to the CD at home.

  1. Sea Salt Bathing

I love to swim in the sea. It is such an amazing feeling and I do it whenever I can. When it’s too cold to swim in the sea, I have a bath at home with sea salt or Epsom salts and lavender oil. I fully immerse myself, including my head and hair, in the water. Salt water is healing and cleans negative energy.

So my new year’s resolution is to love myself more and do things that make me feel good. What are your feel good factors for 2015?

Learning to Love Myself Pancakes (dairy free, wheat free, sugar free)

photo (24)

Makes approximately nine pancakes

Ingredients

¾ cup of wheat free flour

1/3 cup of rice milk

4 tbsp rice malt syrup

3 eggs

Pinch of sea salt (optional)

Blueberries and strawberries to serve

Method

Beat the eggs. Add the flour, salt and milk and mix well. Add the rice malt syrup and mix again. Heat a little coconut oil in a small omelette pan. Once the coconut oil has melted, pour in a small amount of the mixture, enough to coat the bottom of the pan. Cook until golden brown (not long) on the bottom and then flip, using a fish slice or spatula, to cook the other side. Leftover mixture can be stored in the fridge and used the next day. Make sure to give it a good stir again after taking it out of the fridge. Serve with blueberries and strawberries.

It’s not a diet. It’s a decision.

Before

After

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My experience with Clean 9.

Earlier this year I was diagnosed with M.E. / Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. After having problems with fatigue for over 20 years, since I was a teenager, I knew that I needed to change my lifestyle and start taking better care of myself. As it turns out the fatigue was caused by not being on the right medication for my hypothyroidism and not chronic fatigue at all. Although I am feeling better since being on different thyroid medication, I am still not quite right and I know that taking better care of myself will help.

I know from experience that dieting doesn’t work. I have only been able to stick to a diet once. I lost nearly three stone on weight watchers, but I put it all back on again and more. I used to binge eat and I turned to Overeaters Anonymous (OA) for support. I found OA helpful for a while, but ultimately, continually focusing on overeating and my problems (i.e. focusing on what I didn’t want) was counterproductive.

Over the last two or three years I have started to change the way I eat. My motivation was to improve my health and if I also lost weight it was a bonus. I cut right down on sugar, dairy and white flour and increased my intake of fruit and vegetables. I found some great recipes for sugar free, wheat free and dairy free chocolate and cakes.

One thing I did discover during my time in OA was that I associated food with love. For me they are the same. My parents weren’t very loving when I was a child and they showed love through food. My Mum, Grandma and step-Mum were all good cooks and were often baking cakes. My Mum wouldn’t let us have sweets, sugar or sugary drinks, but we were allowed chocolate. When we used to visit Dad on alternate weekends he would give us 50p each to buy sweets and we would buy two chocolate bars and a selection of penny chews with what was left over.

I thought that one way of ‘learning to love myself’ was to treat myself as I would want a lover to treat me and so I ‘wined and dined’ myself. I would have a kind of date night at home, which usually involved TV, pizza, a tub of ice cream and a bottle of wine. I thought I was loving myself, but actually I was just filling the void. When I realised that I associated food with love, I started to have more awareness around this behaviour. Now I have a date night where I cook myself and my inner child something healthy and delicious and really nurture the two of us.

Despite all of this, I still find it hard to stick to eating healthily. I am definitely getting better all the time, it’s just taking a bit longer than I expected. Earlier this year I asked the universe for a way to help me to get motivated to improve my lifestyle and shortly afterwards I started training for a boxing match, which was just the incentive I needed. I loved the training. It was great fun and with the help of my awesome coach, I achieved things I never thought possible. Unfortunately, I had to pull out after about 8 weeks or so, as I fractured my ankle. As soon as my ankle is better I will be back at the gym.

One of the other things that has helped me tremendously is starting my new health and wellness business and discovering the power of Aloe Vera. I drink Aloe Vera everyday and take supplements that help with my energy levels. I recently tried the ‘Clean 9’ programme to clean out my digestive system and improve my health even more, hopefully with the added bonus of weight and inch loss.

I couldn’t do the Clean 9 exactly as per the instructions as I am intolerant to soya and was unable to drink the shakes, so I bought all the other products separately. For the first two days all I ate was fruit and vegetables, along with a whole lot of aloe vera and supplements. The natural supplements are designed to help you recognise when you’re full and boost your metabolism. I was surprised to find that I didn’t feel hungry and when I did, I filled up on grapes. In the first two days I lost three pounds. Unfortunately I didn’t stick to the programme properly and I put that three pounds back on by the end of the nine days. The mistakes I made was that I ate too many carbs, went over my calories and didn’t do enough exercise. I also didn’t prepare well enough for it. As I’ve been eating healthily for sometime I thought I could get away without doing the pre-cleanse and I was wrong. Having said all that, by the end of the nine days I felt amazing. I have learnt from my mistakes and I will be doing the Clean 9 again soon and this time I will be doing it properly, because I deserve it.

Since I changed my eating habits two years ago I have lost one and a half stone, one stone of which has been since July 2014, when I started my boxing training. I am passionate about continuing to improve my health and getting slimmer. I would also like to help others do the same.

Please click here to join our group on Facebook to share ideas, support and ask questions.

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