Happy New Year!

Welcome to 2010, then, and I hope it’s going swimmingly for you so far. We had a really busy Christmas with lots of family coming to join us for celebrations at our new house, which was really lovely. Only fly in the ointment was that Philip brought a really bad cold (swine flu?) into the house just in time for us both to be ill from Christmas Eve! Thanks to whoever passed that one on! We are just recovering. I must be well; I am up writing at 7.30 this morning – it’s the first time I’ve been able to drag myself out of bed before 8am for about two weeks (or that’s my excuse anyway). As I say, even despite that, we had a lovely time and I hope you did too.

So, for the first post of the new year, as usual I thought I would tell you about my resolutions. I know a lot of people think making them is a big fat waste of time, but I don’t agree. I LOVE new year – it always feels like a blank canvas you can build your life onto. What a shame to be staid and stay doing everything the same when you have a chance to make some changes. They don’t have to be big changes, though; it’s often the little ones that make the biggest difference to life.

Here are mine anyway, to inspire you.

1. We make the usual promises to ourselves every year to get fit and lose weight if we need to. Well, I do anyway. But most often the goals we set are unrealistic. So, this year, my resolution is to alternate a 10-minute schedule every morning when I first wake up. I will either do 10 minutes yoga, muscle toning exercises, cardio work or meditation (this latter probably whilst I’m still in bed!). I am a strong believer that consistency is the key to exercise. I’d love to have time to do more, and if I do some days and feel like it, I will, but I think if I can commit to 10 minutes a day, that adds up over a year. In fact, it adds up to just over 60 hours of mental or physical exercise over the year. Combine that with walking as much as I possibly can and I think that’s a good consistent way to benefit my health. And achievable.

At the moment I am compiling the 10 minute programmes. The first one is to spend 10 minutes walking briskly up and down the stairs at home. Easy, no equipment provided, good cardio exercise for lung fitness and helps to tone the legs.Or, you might like to use my favourite exercise book: 10 Minutes in the Morning by Jorge Cruse (see the website for a link to the right book: http://www.purehealthclinic.co.uk/html/healthy_lifestyle.html). It has a rubbish diet, but the 10 minute weights and muscle exercises are superb, and you can’t go wrong.

As soon as I have decided on each 10 minute programme, I will let you know, and I may compile them together into a factsheet if I think they’re good enough so you can follow them too if you like.

2. Make more soup. Again a simple but effective one for eating more healthily and upping our intake of veg. Also, it’s a proven fact that veg and water made into soup keeps you fuller for longer than if you ate the same amount of veg and a glass of water. Don’t ask me why, but it does. Once a week on a Saturday afternoon, I used to make a big batch of soup and then freeze it in portions, having one for lunch most days. I always make sure it includes plenty of filling stuff like lentils, chickpeas, cannellini beans or cooked brown rice, and then it’s filling enough not to need bread. I’ve got out of the habit of making them for a while with the clinic changes and house move, but I resolve to start it again.

By the way, has anyone seen or got one of these new funky soup maker machines from Cuisinart? I was looking at it on Amazon the other day – looks interesting. It looks like a blender, but has a cooking element at the bottom so you can fry onions/celery etc, then you simply add your veg and stock, cook for 10-15 minutes, blend and pour out. I think they cost about £100 but you could get it cheaper if you look, I’m sure. I know sometimes you think these things are just gadgets, but I ummed and ahhed (?!) about getting a rice cooker for ages and we now use it almost every day to cook our morning rice porridge, make soups, casseroles and even cook rice! It’s great because you can stick the rice, water – and I add a few cloves and some turmeric – in and leave it to cook while you get on with something else. It will switch to ‘keep warm’ until you’re ready. A god-send, truly.

3. Drink more green tea. A couple of cups a day has so many benefits. The catechins (a type of  antioxidant) in all types of tea are good for you but because green tea is not usually highly processed, they remain much higher in these useful substances. Catechins are thought to help prevent cancer and narrowing of the arteries, lower blood pressure and cholesterol, increase bone density, reduce the risk of diabetes, assist abdominal fat loss and prevent tooth cavities and gum disease. What’s not to like?

OK, it may be bitter, but have you tried the right type? We have a new specialist tea seller opened up near here and the lady has introduced me to Japanese Sencha green tea. It is much smoother and milder, but, boy, you can tell it is doing you good as you drink it!For Christmas, Philip bought me a special china lotus cup with a removable sieve thing and a lid that stands up so you can pop the sieve onto it when your tea has brewed. I am drinking my tea from it as I type. I always think the right cup makes such a difference; I just can’t bring myself to drink good teas out of rubbish mugs; it has to be glass or china.

Anyway, I resolve to drink 2-3 cups of this tea a day. If you want to join me, you can get Japanese Sencha from Sainsbury’s but it was a lot more expensive than my lady. I think she does mail order – check out the Golden Monkey Tea company on 01926 400544. Mention my name and she might give me some samples of other ones I can try and pass on more tasting tips for you!

Work goals I’ve set myself are to finish my Sparkle programme online training courses and book so people can follow from home and really benefit their health, to start and finish the allergy book I have been mulling over for the past year, and to write a publish a lot more detailed factsheets for the website. I am constantly asked stuff that other people would I’m sure find useful, such as a cancer or heart disease prevention strategy, an anti-ageing plan, how to avoid Alzheimer’s, natural skincare programme etc etc. I could go on and I probably will! I plan to add them onto an e-shop so you can download them easily and will let you know as each one comes out.

Anyway, that’s enough ranting on for one day. From now on, I will be posting on this blog much more frequently rather than doing newsletters so you get up to the minute info in bite-sized chunks that are easier to digest! I will of course compile all the posts into a newsletter once a month for those who don’t get the blog. But if you know someone who might benefit from these posts, please encourage them to subscribe to make sure they get the posts as they come out!

Meantime, have a lovely start to January. Be well.

Micki

3 Replies to “Happy New Year!”

  1. It all sounds very healthy and inspiring – I wish I had read it a couple of weeks ago!

    Having said that, I’m not doing too badly – exercising every day, reduced my caffience and alcohol intake, meditating more…

    I like the idea of the soup. I make a mean Butternut Squash soup which is filled with goodness although I tend to only roll it out at dinner parties. I really should make it more often.

    Another request for your factsheets when you start posting them: chronic fatigue syndrome. 🙂

    1. Sounds all very laudable – well done, Rachel! Re soup, I have just spent the last day or so developing Super Soups, a new factsheet, and the few days before that finishing the 10 Minute Exercise factsheet – both about to launch on the new downloads part of the site – message coming out any day now. Chronic fatigue will probably take me a year to write! Be well…

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