Essential Components to your Wellbeing

You may have heard that weight loss is down to 80% Nutrition and 20% Fitness, while scientific studies show this may be close to the truth, there is no arguing that without regular exercise where your heartrate increases and you actually start to ‘sweat’ during that workout, your muscles and bones will continue to lose mass, strength and deteriorate as you age.

Essentially, to lose weight and see physical changes, you need to increase your physical activity, your the levels of fitness should also increase and you should be aware of the quality of foods you are consuming along with your calorie intake.

It’s not just about the number on the scales, which is what we tell our clients; its more importantly about the way you feel. Your sleep quality, your mood when you wake in the morning and your overall feeling of satisfaction and balance with your energy levels throughout the day. These feelings are often controlled by our energy output (How often we move our body!)

With any new wellness plan the essential components for successful change are:

1) Modifications to your diet

2) Physical activity alterations

3) Behavioral changes (Mindset)

Each of these components are equally important with creating that sustainable and enjoyable healthy lifestyle. Here are a few tips on how you can plan your week ahead to gain control and direct your lifestyle for positive healthy changes!

Be ready and focused to make those changes!

  • Look at the balance on your plate of food with each meal (Are you getting enough Carbs, Healthy Fats and Protein?)
  • Pre-plan meals and snacks
  • Substitute exercise in the place of snacking
  • Eat meals and snacks at scheduled times
  • Stock the pantry with nutritious and easy to prepare foods to avoid snacking on highly processed foods
  • Sign up to a new wellness program that supports you and your unique journey

Back for its fifth anniversary year, the challenge is simple: complete 30 minutes of activity each day for 30 days. Dubai Fitness Challenge helps create a fitness-focused mindset and inspires us all to seek healthy, active lifestyles. With a month-long calendar of free workouts, exciting fitness events and wellness-centric entertainment, there’s plenty of inspiration to keep moving.

Fitness lovers, gyms and new concepts in the city will be going all out to showcase what they’ve got, there’s a huge list of activities available for anyone to try for free.

Are you ready to take on a new challenge and up your fitness game? Read more at

https://booking.dubaifitnesschallenge.com/

The LLWL Sustainable Living Gift Guide

So this year has been all about conscious living for us. As a family, we wanted to make some small changes to our diet and lifestyle and the way we use and source certain products, so that we help do our part to start reducing our carbon footprint and further make a positive impact on this wonderful planet.

Living simply, buying locally, using less energy, eating less meat and dairy, recycling and reusing products are just a few ways we have started our sustainable journey.

To help you shop for some last minute Christmas gifts and set you on a path for finding those sustainable products and gifts for 2021, we’ve put together a gift guide for those who are thinking about shopping a little more consciously this festive season and way beyond!

1. Scenterie

During the Past year Dubai resident Mandy Sunner used her candle making hobby as a means of escape and a way to deal with a period of loss and anxiety that brought on some mental health struggles, suddenly ending up with more candles than she could give away to family & friends, encouraged by her sister she created the brand Scenterie.

“I’m not trying to reinvent the wheel, our focus is making beautifully scented, quality handmade candles everyone can enjoy. I really find lighting a candle and filling my home with scent steadies my mind”

it’s an important focus of the brand to be minimal so the candles will look amazing In any setting also. “A lot of my inspiration comes from memories, nostalgia and I have a love for all things vintage which you can see reflected in the brand in hope”

When asked, why candles?

“There’s something ritualistic about lighting candle that i find soothing as well as the process of creating the product & seeing the beautiful end result, I studied decorative arts in the U.K. so making things & crafting has always been my passion & my escape. Now I absolutely thrive off the feedback I get from people who are enjoying my candles”

Concious about our impact also, as everything is handmade in small batches this means we never over produce like big brands do, every part of our candle/ packaging is infinitely recyclable and we source 90% of our materials locally reducing our carbon footprint.

Instagram: https://instagram.com/scenterie_

www.scenterie.com will be available in the UAE from the end of January 2021, visit the site and sign up to be notified when it’s Launched!

2. Wander Pot

This festive season spread joy with a gorgeously crafted WANDER POT.

  • Premium and sustainable plant arrangements
  • Handmade and eco-friendly planters
  • Delivered with care tips and a personal festive note

WANDER POT is making it their (sustainable) business to bring nature into people’s everyday lives through unique green experiences, whilst also inspiring a more ecological savvy lifestyle.

Is it a planter? Is it a gift box? No need to decide. WANDER POT’s signature plant gifts are designed as functional gift boxes that double as planters, lined with natural latex extracted from the Rubber Tree, which makes them waterproof. These pots are ethically handmade from 100% recycled and biodegradable material to cater to our lust to be more socially responsible.

WANDER POT has a gorgeous range of plant gifts that are perfect for every occasion. Whether it’s for end-of-year, festive season, corporate favours, wedding & baby showers or birthday and anniversary gifts, they have colors, shapes, patterns and designs that cover it all.

The founders, Aya Samaha and Ecaterine Geru, started this journey from the simple need to resolve a few common issues in the planting industry. While shopping for foliage, they couldn’t find plant pots that were truly sustainable when it came to their design and material. All they could find were either plastic nursery pots with drainage, or beautiful pots but without drainage. Not to mention saucers. How many times has a stunning pot been spotted sitting on a random plate!? We often kill our plants through overwatering. If the pot has a hole at the bottom, the excess water will drain and the plant will stay healthy. Pre-planted in a gorgeous pot and with the right type of soil, your plant will be securely delivered to your doorstep in mess-free packaging ready for its new spotlight, or rather ‘sunlight’ in your home or office.

All plant gift boxes are ethically handmade in Sri Lanka by a community of young mothers working from their own homes. Providing them with the opportunity to work and support their families is at the core of the founding dynamic duo’s hearts. Following their ethos, the founders believe that their role extends beyond just selling plants, they have a mandate to educate and guide people in their ‘plant parenthood’ journey to make sure they do it right and elevate it to new realms of sustainability.

Alas, the heartache is over as WANDER POT nurtured their seeded idea that has bloomed into creating an array of beautiful plant gifts that are both functional and sustainable… Oh, and 100% ‘oh-so-loveable!’

https://wanderpot.com/

3. Mr. Bluefish wraps

The name for the brand was inspired by a bluefish rescued from a plastic bag in the Indian ocean by Thai divers.

The Founder Natasha Mahajan, tells us a little more about how the company started.

“In my journey towards sustainability, I was fed up with the use of single use plastic and packaging that is so prevalent in our society. This business is a step toward correcting or at least mitigating some of that.

I am a former fashion designer and manufacturer and have seen the waste created in the fashion industry first hand. When it came for me to go back to work after a long sabbatical, I was extremely hesitant to go back to fashion.

Our first product is a fabric wrap inspired by the beautiful Japanese technique of Furoshiki, a traditional practice of wrapping objects with a cloth.

Our wraps are sourced from dead stock from factories. This material is leftover fabric from big brand manufacturing. We use recycled and recyclable kraft paper packaging and reusable chalkboard gift tags with twine as part of the set.

Most holidays and celebrations see so much waste in single-use gift wrapping paper, tape and cards. While opening a beautifully packaged gift is half the fun, the impact on our environment is devastating. We offer the option of creating beautifully wrapped gifts in reusable wrapping and natural accessories that leave a positive impact on the gift receiver and the environment.

www.mrbluefish.com – Will be up and running next month. In the meantime here are click the links below to shop for Mr Bluefish products.

Not in the Malls

Amazon

www.instagram.com/mrbluefishco.

4. Glitches and Stitches

Glitches & Stitches is a homegrown brand focused on promoting the value of craftsmanship and artisanal skills. In addition to a capsule collection of hand embellished textile accessories, they also host a number of DIY workshops in Dubai such as chemical-free cosmetics, visible mending and hand embroidery.

Launched in 2018, G&S is the brainchild of designer Natalya Konforti. After spending 8 years in China’s fast fashion industry designing garments manufactured by the hundreds of thousands, she yearned for the soul & personality of artisanal and sustainable craftsmanship. Upon moving to Dubai, she decided to leverage the skills honed developing samples to help other ‘design junkies’ become self-sufficient.

Embroidered Wall Art These pieces are each-one-of-a-kind, carefully hand embroidered and mounted on framed carved from upscaled wood.

Glitch Pins

Glitch pins are creativity talismans, to be worn as a reminder to think outside of the box. Each pin is hand embroidered.

Handcrafted Pouches

Screen printed and hand embroidered on 100% cotton

Workshops & Events:

In addition to the recurring workshops (such as Chemical Free Deodorant and Intro to Embroidery – 2021 schedule to be announced soon) they host several social events each month including Craft Jams (a hybrid of networking and co-working session for creatives) and Embroidery Clubs.

5. The Botanist Dubai

The Botanist, which was founded in

2019 by Ruby Giroux, produces a hand-made collection of toxin and chemical-free cleaning products for the home, made entirely from plant-based ingredients and packaged in eco-friendly glass bottles with minimal use of plastics.

From over 160 submitted entries for the Spinneys Local Business programme, the brand was selected as one of 22 local incubators to make their way onto Spinneys and Waitrose shelves across the UAE. “Having the opportunity to be a part of this initiative at a time when supporting local has never been more important has been an incredible experience”, says The Botanist founder Ruby Giroux. “We are excited to share our love for natural plant-based products with the UAE and help people create a healthier home.”

The Botanist range – which is made with biodegradable ingredients and naturally scented with essential oils – currently includes a Liquid Dish Soap, Bathroom Cleanser, Kitchen Cleanser, Floor Cleanser, Multi-Purpose, Wood Duster and Wood Wax, as well as a range of zero-plastic cleaning accessories. Eco-friendly refill options are available for many of the products when ordering on The Botanist’s website.

www.thebotanistdubai.com

6. Curate Home

Curate Home was conceptualized years ago, in the dreams and whimsy of Neeti Tandon Kashyap, as a bridge to combine beauty and conscious living.

Growing up in the 80’s and 90’s, in the pre-mass consumerism years she was enthralled by the multitude of textiles and crafts India produced, when each home and wardrobe was artfully curated from small local craft stores and darzis.

She has worked for several years with manufacturers, textile mills, weavers and printers and as a product development head and sourcing partner for many European and American brands.

Many moons, travels and segues later, she set up Curate Home as a culmination of years of fascination with different cultures and crafts.

“Our artisans are at the heart of what we do and we hope to keep ancient crafts alive while balancing modern living and ensuring fair earnings for everyone in the supply chain and do right by all involved.

One of our star products is the copper water carafe.

Copper charged water balances the doshas in the body known to be the root cause of illness. These carafes are artisanal, hand crafted out pure copper by traditional metal workers in India.

Over the last few years, our work has positively impacted artisans, empowered them with new perspectives, paradigms, skills and reinstated the pride of handcrafting. Some of their revenues have increased five times over. We hope you join us in our journey of conscious living and mindful consumption.”

Find out more at www.curatehome.me

7. Shirley Conlon Organics

Supercharged sustainable skincare brand moves to zero waste and zero plastic!

Shirley Conlon Organics is the first beauty brand in the Middle East region to transform her premium organic skincare brand to be 100% zero waste and zero plastic. Last year 120 billion units of packaging were produced by the global cosmetics industry, most of which were not recyclable. “Being consciously beautiful is everything to me, said Conlon CEO and Founder, “beauty isn’t just about you and me, it’s about the world we live in”.

Shirley Conlon is a true wellness wizard, her earth friendly products harness the power of nature. Hand-made in in small batches in Dubai, using unrivalled quality certified organic ingredients, the formulas take years to perfect. A synergy of cold pressed botanicals supercharged with proven, bio-active cosmeceuticals, Shirley Conlon Organics is a simplistic range of skincare products specially formulated with lightweight, sun-friendly ingredients to compliment skin exposed to hot, humid and polluted climates.

https://shirleyconlonorganics.com/

“Our mindful approach to beauty is; luxury, simplicity, sustainability and cruelty free” Conlon said. “we manufacture with the upmost respect towards the environment and wellbeing”. Free from synthetic chemicals and phototoxic additives, our vegan formulas are presented in dark recyclable glass to protect the ingredients from sunlight and oxidation.

We do not use outer packaging to minimize our environmental impact. We offer a full recycling and reward program to our customers to ensure they return their used containers.

Fin out more at

https://shirleyconlonorganics.com/

8. TKD Lingerie

TKD Lingerie is a homegrown boutique with branches in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. In additional to their award-winning ranges of D+ Lingerie, Swimwear and Nightwear, they have just launched a collection of sustainable footwear.

Lightweight, yet durable. Cruelty-free and 100% Recyclable, these shoes are made from a recycled soy-based material that is 100% vegan. Water resistant, slip resistant and with heel and arch support. What can these shoes not do? A perfect gift for the eco-minded. Plus, take your gently used bras to TKD Lingerie and they will rehome with women in Africa and across the globe, without the means to buy their own.

TKD Lingerie, Town Centre Jumeirah, Dubai

Level 2, Abu Dhabi Mall

www.tkdlingerie.com

9. Quite Quaint

Quite Quaint make bespoke wreaths made from preserved material that can be used the whole year around! The Company Founder Nazy Saif started her company as a tribute to her beautiful artist parents who have left behind a legacy of art, design & compassion.

“Living a life surrounded with creativity & culture we learned to appreciate little details from a very young age.” Say’s Nazy

“As a mindfulness practitioner & floral designer. I like to bring an element of harmony & nature in all my designs. Being a follower & student of the Ikebana, Japanese art of floral design. I believe in expressing floral design in a ‘Less is more’ fashion And using material from nature to do the talking in all its glory, even if it is a bare branch. “

“Our workshops are for groups & individuals who like to learn the art of floral design & arrange mindfully.”

Photo credit to Joanna Fletcher

“I always tell my participants before they start creating, This is a gift you will make either for your self or for someone you feel really needs it right now.”

“We also have fun workshops & festive season wreath making, get togethers where I get to see amazing creativity from participants. I believe your art shows your personality & It is always exciting to watch what someone will make.”

We also take orders on commission for home floral decor, cafe installations & events.

https://quitequaint.co/

10. Turquoise Istanbul

Turquoise Istanbul is a boutique company producing organic and entirely handmade towels for environmentally conscious people who would like to make an authentic sustainability statement. The company’s concept sparks from the magic city of Istanbul and is inspired by its ancient history. All textile products are entirely handmade on old-shuttled looms by the last few native artisans using the original and authentic weaving tradition. Only 100% organic cotton, linen and silk are used, which makes all towels natural, eco-friendly and healthy.

A SUSTAINABLE OPTION, WOVEN WITH EXCEPTIONAL QUALITY AND TRADITION.

With a focus on style, quality and value, Turquoise Istanbul demonstrates that care and concern for human health, the planet and future generations, does not have to be compromised. The goal is impeccable quality while minimizing the footprint in the environment.

Artisans throughout the centuries have passed on the knowledge and techniques to their daughters and sons, keeping the tradition of weaving alive in a modern world. Most of these people have gone bankrupt and lost their livelihoods in weaving because of machine production. In just one more generation, the art of weaving in Turkey – hundreds of years of accumulated knowledge – could be lost. An art that is truly on the edge of extinction, which Turquoise Istanbul is dedicated to saving.

The founder of the company Sarah-Julia Oerer, says…

“Today everything is mass production. A lot of towels are produced on factory machines using inferior quality cotton or synthetic fibers. The speed and size of the machines means that the threads need to be coated in starch and wax to prevent them breaking during production.

The final product will not absorb water as well and only lasts a few years when compared with Turquoise Istanbul’s, which last at least 20 years if cared for properly. The combination of strength, integrity, highest fibers and a human soul that weaves its way into the towels creates something unique with a level of quality that is exceptional and a rarity these days”

Find more info at turquoise-istanbul.com

With Turkish Origins myself, this amazing tradition and the art of hand weaving holds a very special place in my heart. I hope that by bringing a little more light to companies such as Turqiose Istanbul we can not only help increase the desire to shop a little more consciously and sustainably but to also do our part to help keep these wonderful Artisan traditions alive!

Please like and share this post if you find this blog post useful and enjoyed it reading it as much as I loved creating it!

Kerry x

The importance of Affirmations

Negative self-chatter………are you guilty? I know I am……and the way in which it snowballs out of control……

“I’ll never be able to run that far……I’ll never be able to keep up these eating habits”

Affirmations can help to restructure our thoughts and the dynamic of our brains so that we truly begin to think nothing is impossible.

Affirmations are proven methods of self-improvement because of their ability to rewire our brains. Your mind is not as clever as you think! It believes what you tell it ….almost like a virus free computer, think of affirmations like your own brain’s anti-virus software.

Affirmations play an integral role by breaking patterns of negative thoughts, negative speech, and, in turn, negative actions.

“Think of your mind as a garden

Your thoughts as seeds

You can grow flowers

Or you can grow weeds”

We are all becoming aware that the mind and body are completely connected and that health and well-being is made up of so many different facets. Physical, Mental, Spiritual, Social to name a few.

Your body can’t differentiate between whether a phrase or image is real, dreamed or imagined. When your mind creates an image of success your nervous system and whole body will process it as if it is real. Your actions are reflections of your mental pictures. These mental pictures can make or break your performance!!!

Here are some guidelines which I use to make sure I do what I set out to achieve:

  • Use the Present Tense. Act as if it is already happening. Instead of “I want to be fit” use, “I am healthy, strong, and fit.”
  • Use a Positive Outlook. When you use negative words they may be taken into your brain without your awareness. Negative thoughts are like affirmations for what you DON’T want! Affirm what you do want to have happen instead. Rather than saying, “I have problems with food and eating well” say “I choose to eat well and nourish my body”
  • Use self-image statements. When possible, construct your affirmations beginning with “I” or “I am” or “I enjoy” or “I choose”.
  • Keep it short, clear, and specific. Make your affirmations a phrase that is a clear statement of your feelings. This way you can easily remember the phrase and your mind can take it in.
  • Make them permanent. “I am strong” “I love exercising in the mornings”
  • Use mood words. Include words that suggest strong, positive emotions. “I am full of energy and positivity” “I always get excited for workouts”
  • Anticipate success. When creating your affirmations, don’t let your critical side limit the phrases you create. Use whatever thoughts work for you and inspire you.
  • Use cards, post-its, smart phones, vision boards, text reminders, whatever works! Write your affirmations on something you will look at often. Your computer desktop, fridge magnet, car dashboard, or bathroom mirror – anything works if it works for YOU.

Many top sports coaches now use what is known as Neuro Linguistic Practice to train and empower their athletes. There is scientific evidence that highlights results in sport depend crucially on your ability to use your mind effectively.

Words are powerful…

I know it can be difficult, even embarrassing initially as it feels so alien at first. This can also work well when you feel you have failed for some reason. If you do “fall off the wagon” so to speak and don’t attend that fitness class for a few days then say to yourself “I feel I have let myself down this week but I’ll definitely try harder next week as I know I am committed”. Note that the way you talk to yourself at times is just a feeling and feelings are controlled by thoughts. Pretend you’re talking to a friend instead of yourself and I guarantee the dialogue will be much different.

In Occupational Therapy we also talk about ‘grading’. Balancing what we call challenge and mastery. The challenge has to not be so easy we lose interest but also not too difficult that we become frustrated and quit. Grade your goals at a level that’s right for you….gradual progress is better than no progress. Celebrate your successes no matter how small…..”I did good this week” tell yourself and remember the only comparing you should ever be doing is your previous self with your present self. If progress is being made that’s all that matters!

Happy affirming and ………….”you’re great, you’re strong and you will succeed!”

POSITIVE WORDS lead to

POSITIVE THOUGHTS lead to

POSITIVE ACTIONS lead to

POSITIVE OUTCOMES

Go ahead….find what speaks to you and keep it on repeat.

This article was written by Nicola Tuke – Occupational Therapist. UK

The 21-Day Challenge: My Journey

The following was written by Maria, a busy mother of three living in Dubai, who’s wellness journey began with us in February this year.

I was always the thin and slender type. Not size-zero, but someone who could afford to wear short skirts, tight tops, skinny jeans and high heels, and feel good about myself. During my first pregnancy, I flaunted my bump in bikinis and horizontally striped maternity dresses, the staple wardrobe of any mom-to-be (don’t even remind me!). Note to the so-called designers behind those ‘creations’ – whoever thought that horizontal stripes would be flattering on an ever-expanding belly, think again! But apologies, I digress …

Fast-forward five years, five pregnancies and three babies later, those form-hugging dresses began to look a little less flattering. A muffin top here, varicose veins there – you get the picture. Luckily, my height and constitution allowed me to (somewhat) hide the extra pounds. I wasn’t my old self, but surely I didn’t look that bad? Or did I? If you’re stuck in a mommy rut, you know where I’m coming from. As luck would have it, a friend’s post about her amazing transformation with Kerry’s 21-Day Challenge caught my eye, becoming the catalyst for my own wellness journey and weight loss. Reflecting back, three factors played a part in my successful outcome: the realization that I needed an ass kicking, the Covid-19 lockdown, and ultimately, my (interim) results.

The ass kicking

Not necessarily one of my proud moments, but I came to a stage in my life when my old wardrobe didn’t fit, the thought of going shopping became a chore, applying make-up was no longer a necessity and bad hair days became the norm. I. Just. Didn’t. Care. I was a mom of three kids below five. Was I depressed? No. Tired? That would probably be an understatement. My usual dieting and occasional exercising weren’t effective enough, and somewhere along the way, I’d simply lost the motivation. I needed a change, a drastic one, and Kerry’s 21 day challenge ticked the right boxes. No dairy, refined sugars or any kind of processed foods for 21 days. Farewell Greek yogurt, Weetabix, the occasional jellybeans I’d sneak from the kids, caffeine (for the first week – my self-proclaimed lifeline), Caribou muffins and a whole load of other ‘nasties’. Even for a relatively healthy eater life myself, this was a whole new level.

The Lockdown

Ironically, the Covid-19 lockdown played out to my advantage. For one, with the whole world seeming to fall apart, my diet was the one thing that I could control. If I was to make any changes, now was the time. Secondly, as social distancing and an enforced curfew became the new norm, our (frequent) dining-out was completely taken out of the equation. Who remembers those school runs with a mandatory coffee and muffin on the go from the school café? Or two restaurant visits – lunch and later coffee (with dessert … yes, please!) – while out and about at the mall with the family? And I’m not even going to talk about socializing during the weekends … I’ve actually had the time to hone my culinary skills over the last couple of months, becoming a bit of a cooking machine in the kitchen (who’d have thought?). I’m not going to pretend that I enjoy it, but I do love to eat. A veg-heavy diet requires more prep, especially if you, like me, appreciate variety, but fitting into those skinny jeans is so damn worth it!

Results

Losing the extra inches and seeing the scale move downwards was, and still is, a huge motivator – so much so that I’ve even revised my initial goal after having reached my original target weight. This is the third round of the 21-Day Challenge and I’ve shed 10 kilograms in a span of two and a half months (thirteen kilograms if I’m talking post-lockdown). If you haven’t seen me in a while, I’m a brand new (or old) me. I’m not hungry, I (mostly) don’t have weird cravings, I feel energized, my skin’s clear and I can fit into my wedding dress. These are definitely motivators to keep me going.

What next?

Is this the end of my wellness journey? No, and I have a further one to two kilos to go. I’ve also realized that there’s no final destination. From now on, this is just my way of life. Will I ever eat dairy, ice-creams and cakes? Absolutely! As far as I know, I’m not intolerant to anything. I believe in a healthy balance, the 80/20 rule. Life’s too short to deny yourself the little joys … But if anything, this little journey has been a great learning curve and a little reminder of what I’m capable of achieving if I just set my mind to it. And, of course, my plate will never look the same again. Pile on those veggies!

Living my best life at 40!

Hey I’m Mitch Co-Founder and Wellness Coach at Loving Life with Lemons.

I Just wanted to tell you all a little about how my #wellnessjourney began. All my life I’ve battled with trying to stay on top and focused with both my fitness and nutrition. Living in Canada and being a very social guy, my twin brother and I always enjoyed being the life and soul of the party! This often led to making poor choices with perhaps a little too much ‘grape’ and ‘potatoes’ alongside a greasy burger. Fast forward to 2018 when I was expecting my second child, a baby girl and just about to turn 40! I weighed around 100 Kilos of pure lovin, but I wasn’t feeling the greatest!

Bali Honeymoon 2015 – I weighed around 98kg here, and I was breathing in for this picture!

It was at that moment I decided to go on a mission to get my body strong & mind healthy through food and exercise. I found a program which put me on the right path to my wellness journey but there were a couple things were just not right for me.

So, together with my Wife (a certified nutrition coach) we developed our Nutrition and Fitness program called The Wellness Zone. (Read more about TWZ here)

During my journey to complete #wellness, my biggest hurdle was TIME. I believed there was never enough time to spend with my 2 year old son and pregnant wife as well as try to incorporate fitness into my everyday schedule. But once I learned to add elements of self-care into my thoughts, I was able to start allocating the time I needed to focus on my own health and well-being. Just 15-30 minutes a day changed everything for me!

I began wanting to #fuel my body with the #rightfoods to support my #workouts and really started to love these foods. Thankfully my wife supported me by removing inflammatory foods from my diet and with her kickass cooking skills before I knew it, I had dropped around 10 kg and was starting to feel like a younger, more energetic version of myself. Who doesn’t want to feel like their younger selves, right?

So, what it took for me to light that fire under my ass was one of two things, or perhaps both! I was going to have a baby girl and/or I was about to turn 40? I was never one of those guys to overthink about age or turning the big 4 O until then. I guess the difference this time was that I was going to be a father of 2 and I thought to myself, “I want to be able to play sports with my son when he’s 15 years old (he was 2.5 yrs old at the time) and I wanted to be healthy and fit so when my daughter started dating, I could still be able to kick some butt of anyone that didn’t treat my baby girl like a princess…..

I want to do everything in my power to live a long and healthy life to be there for my wife and kids and be the best version of myself for them, so I had to make a couple of changes in my life. And it’s all been worth it.

My thoughts go something like this now….As long as there’s progress, commitment, consistency and the desire to learn, you know you’re on the right path for #success!

I hope to see you all in The Wellness Zone with me, Kerry and our awesome Fitness Expert Warren Conolly!

Wellness Part 1…

Hi all,

I have been a friend of Kerry’s for 20 years from our flying days together. During that time we had lots of fun, both got married, had 2 beautiful children each and are now beginning our second careers! I am now based back in the UK and have retrained as an Occupational Therapist.

The above statement from the World Health Organisation pretty much sums up how our profession works. We are holistic practitioners and therefore treat the person as a whole and this incorporates so many facets. This is very subjective to each person as none of us are the same!! I know this is very much how Kerry works and the Loving Life with Lemons team design their plans with this in mind. There is no ‘one size fits all!’

I would like to focus on self compassion a little today as it’s so vital to health and well-being.

How often do we beat ourselves up over things that haven’t gone quite according to plan or the way we would want them to?! I know I’m guilty! Putting pressure on ourselves and comparing our achievements with others. Whether be our parenting skills, diet, exercise plan. The voices in your head on repeat “You should’ve done this” “Why didn’t you do this” etc…

Give yourself a break!!!!

The things we say to ourselves we often would never say to other people so why do we think it’s okay to say to ourselves?!

Catastrophizing

How often do your thought processes go something like this……

I just ate a biscuit

That’s all my hard work gone to waste

Well I might as well eat them all now

I’m such a failure

I’m going to be overweight forever

Why does everyone else have more willpower than me…..and so on ….

HOW RIDICULOUS AND IRRATIONAL IS THAT?!

We have a tendency (as in the image above) to label a day good OR bad. Our days are made up of many moments and granted some are better than others but they are just moments!!! Reflect and move on! Don’t beat yourself up …

As a Mum of 2 young kids myself sometimes I go into meltdown and think “I need a weekend at a 5 star spa”!! Sometimes it’s the smallest of things that can improve our perspective and well-being…. A bath, a book, going to see a friend, doing our nails etc…. Be self-aware and take time to do the things YOU enjoy no matter how small …they are IMPORTANT!

Hope this helps you all to start searching for that self-awareness and self-compassion whilst you’re on this journey and take advantage of the support offered by these amazing coaches at LWL!

Nicola x

My Gluten Free Journey

My name is Roxanne & I’m a 42 year old single woman who’s always been interested in wellness, health & fitness. Although I’ve not struggled with a weight problem or any particular ailments as such, all aspects of Wellness (nutrition, fitness, mental health etc) has always been of interest to me.

As a teenager I ate anything & everything that appealed to me. I wasn’t the most adventurous of eaters but I never held back. Something that I was pretty consistent in doing & still struggle with to this day, is overeating. I think one of the biggest reasons I have done this, is because I eat quickly. I really enjoy food, and for me it was somewhat of a ceremony, a celebration even. I was very active so I didn’t have issues with my weight. I never thought I was perfect but I didn’t dwell on my body & how it looked, or what I didn’t have.

Fast forward to November / December of 2010 and two friends of mine were talking about this gluten free lifestyle. They sent me some info / articles (more science based than anything) & I thought to myself, let’s try this out.

Basically, to determine whether an individual is sensitive to gluten, you cut it out for 1 month & reintroduce it after being off of it for a bit to see if and how you react. Up until that point I had not really paid any attention to how I felt after I ate a meal & hadn’t thought about how certain foods affected the way that I felt physically, or how they could affect my mood throughout the day. Luckily one of my close friends whom I saw pretty much everyday, was an “eating buddy” and decided to jump on the band wagon with me & off we went together.

I never kept a food journal but my friend & I would report to each other daily. Because we were so new at this, we would randomly discover that we would suddenly feel stomach aches or bloating or even stomach cramps, then when we researched whatever we had eaten & it would be another discovery of food “no-no’s” which needed to be added to the ongoing growing list of foods to avoid.

I remember being shocked finding out that soy sauce was wheat based — and when I started thinking about eating Asian food when I was younger, I did almost 100% of the time feel bloated & “off”. The thing is, it’s not like I felt “sick”, so I never identified that as a problem. But by paying attention to how I felt, I realized that if I didn’t feel good, energized & not bloated, Feeling tired, bloated & lethargic was not actually normal. Food is meant to fuel you. The way I started to help people understand this concept is; imagine that after you filled up your car with gas / petrol, the car started to slow down, choke & not “go” when you pressed the accelerator, would that be normal? Food is fuel. It is meant to keep you going, energize you, feel good & satiated. With all the knowledge out there, there are a still some people that think after certain large meals it is normal to want to nap & feel tired.

Anyhow, the month of cutting out gluten was over, with a few hiccups as I was in learning mode, when I reintroduced regular bread & pasta to see what would happen, only then did I realize that my body was always trying to signal to me “stop!

Please don’t do this again! Abort mission, abort mission!” The difference is this time, I was learning the signs. But I have to say, I have never looked back! Now I’m not saying gluten free is for everybody. We are learning more and more that there is no such thing as a one size fits all diet. There is only what is right for you. However, in order to do that, you have to pay attention to how you feel & what your body is telling you. I know that there are certain fresh ingredients that my body is ok with. And oddly, I’ve been doing this for almost 10 years now, that I can look at a food item, & often can tell if it’s going to upset my stomach. Sometimes I test myself to see if I’m right (hey, I’m only human! LOL) & I have to say, my intuition is pretty good!

Since then I have experimented with other options & it’s becoming more & more evident that this is an on-going process. There is one thing that I feel confident about and believe is right for everybody, and that is whole foods, whole foods, whole foods!

Post Natal Depression with Silent Reflux (GERD) babies…

I have to start by saying this. For all the new mother’s who may be experiencing any type of emotional #distress after the birth of your children, (or any other time) to please take some time out for yourself. The MOST important person to your family right now is YOU. Your new baby, perhaps your first child who may be at toddler age or older, really need their mum strong and happy, as does your husband or partner 🙂

This is something I never really considered after going through #postnataldepression with both of my children. It’s a common problem, affecting more than 1 in every 10 women within a year of giving birth. It can also affect fathers and partners.

It’s so so important to seek help as soon as possible if you think you might be depressed, as your symptoms could last months or get worse and have a significant impact on you, your baby and your family.

With the right support, which can include #selfhelp strategies and therapy, most women make a full recovery as I have. My depression was most definitely bought on because both my babies suffered from #Gastroesophagealreflux Disease (GERD) a form of Silent Acid reflux and would cry for around 8-10 hours a day. GERD occurs when the contents of the stomach come back up into the esophagus, usually occurring in babies less than 2 years old. When this acid touches the esophagus it can cause heartburn or acid indigestion and in an infant, the symptoms of GERD could be displayed as excessive spitting up, vomiting, coughing, or excessive crying and pain in the baby.

My journey to seek help for both myself and my babies began when I talked with my #Chiropractor of a few years, Dr Vanda Corbet about my babies symptoms, and if there was anything she could do to help. She explained that there most certainly was, and how a treatment could help, but I still went online and did my own research before booking an appointment with her.

Here are a few words from Dr Vanda about the treatment she offered my children which may help you decide whether seeing a Chiropractor may be a good option for you…

“I co-managed both Olivier and Amelie when they started to display symptoms of GERD at a very young age.

Both babies of Kerry and Michel suffered from interrupted sleep, excessive crying and discomfort in their abdomen, frequent vomiting and spitting up. Both of them would become full body rigid and go into almost a full body extension to try and relive the discomfort within their tiny bodies.

Both the baby and the parents were fully exhausted and overwhelmed with what was going on. The parents hadn’t slept in weeks and frustration and helplessness was the top emotions.

Oli’s treatment was more focused on his visceral gut area, diaphragm and rib cage. By stimulating the digestive system through specialized massage like movements, the main objective was to stimulate peristaltic movement and help the intestinal tract release tension. Also working on the diaphragm and the lower rib age area, to help re balance the area which sometimes can be distorted through delivery or after spasms occur.

Amelie was a bit more of a challenge. As well as having the visceral and diaphragmatic spasms, she also had slight torticollis of the cervical spine which then limited her with her feeding and ability to turn her head without pain. This links to GERD due to the inability to latch properly, therefore sucking more air into the stomach while feeding. We also focused on the re-balancing cranium through very gentle movements. The vagus nerve (Cranial Nerve X (ten) is part of the parasympathetic control to the diaphragm and gut. By balancing and calming this area, it brings about calm to the whole system.

Chiropractic and babies go hand in hand. The adjustments are non-invasive and very gentle. Helping to release any tension or problems that the infant may be suffering from. Birth is a huge stress on the physical body of the baby and by checking the spine and the nervous system of the baby early in life, it can lead to a much happier and healthier baby.”

Dr Vanda Corbett Bsc, MScpp, DC, ALCP – Kind Care Medical Centre, Jumeirah

I have to admit, I used to look forward to the visits to see Dr Vanda. Not only because I knew that my children would benefit, but also because I found some comfort in leaving the house and talking to someone else about my issues, someone I knew would not judge me if I showed up covered in vomit and with greasy hair!

Unfortunately the visits alone were not enough for my babies as they were both severe cases and had to see Gastro specialists for allergies too. After a few weeks, the crying was just too much for us all and so my husband and decided to give them prescribed medication which was a proton pump inhibitor that decreases the amount of acid produced in the stomach. This along with the Chiropractic treatments helped improve everything, and within a few months we were all in a much happier and healthier place.

8 Skin hydration tips that actually work!

If you struggle with dry and itchy skin, you may have searched for skin hydration tips all over the internet. Summer can make it even more difficult for your skin to retain moisture. While there are some excellent DIY face masks to hydrate your skin, you can boost their effectiveness through other efforts.

Wondering what are these “efforts?” Here’s a list of 8 skin hydration tips that actually work:

Drink Enough Water

At the cost of sounding cliched, we will start by stating that drinking adequate water is one of the most crucial skin hydration tips. While a standard rule of thumb is to drink eight glasses of water, your intake may vary depending on the weather conditions, whether you participate inat-home workouts, or even your diet!

Use Skincare Products with Hydrating Ingredients

Hydrating skincare products can deeply moisturize your skin after penetrating through its many layers. Some of the ingredients that you can look out for include hyaluronic acid, glycerine, urea, and ceramides. Use them regularly for plumper skin. On the other hand, natural aloe vera and essential oil products can also help reduce irritation.

Eat Water-Loaded Foods

In addition to drinking water, our body also derives moisture from the food that we eat. Therefore, you must include fresh fruits and vegetables that will grant you clear, flawless skin. Summer fruits and lemons are especially great in supplying water to your skin.

Invest in a Humidifier

One of the most overlooked skin hydration tips comes in the form of investing a humidifier. Sometimes, the dry heat or cold air could be the reason for sapping your skin from its moisture content. Hence, the best way to tackle it is to use a humidifier to keep your skin happy.

Avoid Long, Hot Showers

While bathing or showering may seem like an excellent way to let your skin soak up moisture, it does more damage than good. This reaction is due to the loss of natural oils from the skin that is responsible for locking in the moisture. 

Apply Sunscreen

The application of broad-spectrum sunscreen can help prevent damage to the skin due to UVA and UVB rays. Even if you plan on getting a natural tan in the comforts of your home, sun exposure can dehydrate your skin.

Follow a Skincare Regimen

In addition to applying hydrating skincare products, you must also follow a rigorous skincare routine that helps you maintain skin health. Use micellar water to remove any makeup. Exfoliate your skin at least once or twice a week and follow it up with moisturization – this is one of the best skin hydration tips out there!

Pamper Your Skin

As mentioned previously, there are hydrating face masks that you can whip up using readily available material around your house. If they seem too messy, grab a few sheet masks and allow your skin to lap up that moisture!

Which of these skin hydration tips have you been following? Let us know in the comments below!

5 Family quarantine activities to make lock-down more bearable…

It’s no news by now that the COVID-19 pandemic is continuing to wreak havoc in everyone’s lives. However, staying at home is opening up new opportunities for several individuals. For example, some people are using it to get fit and burn belly fat, indulge in family quarantine activities, or cookimmunity-building meals.On the other hand, there are some who are taking one day at a time and scaling mountains of anxiety.

If you are quarantining with your family, it can be a unique opportunity to connect with the ones we love. However, it is possible that you may have exhausted all ideas by now. Well, we’ve got you covered! We have some fun and creative family quarantine activities that will help you bond and spend time constructively.

And yes, these family quarantine activities require minimal interference of mobile devices or screens. So get ready to make some memories!

Build a Fort

No matter how old one gets, building a fort at home will always be a cozy and comforting activity. So get a few comfy cushions, throw them on the floor and pull up a blanket. Alternatively, put those Amazon carton boxes to good use by getting your little ones to turn into engineers.

Want to take it up a notch? Build a tent in your hall! Play a few classic Bollywood movies, and you are all set to kickstart the family quarantine activities.

Go on a Digital Tour

https://youtube.com/watch?v=nbD8XYTw23Y%3Fautoplay%3D0%26mute%3D0%26controls%3D1%26origin%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Fwww.lovinglifewithlemons.com%26playsinline%3D1%26showinfo%3D0%26rel%3D0%26iv_load_policy%3D3%26modestbranding%3D1%26enablejsapi%3D1%26widgetid%3D9

Take a virtual vacation with your family! Whether it is the Louvre Museum in Paris or the watching the majestic Beluga whale at the Georgia Aquarium – get everywhere with a click of a button! 

If flying international seems like a big commitment, you can start small with the ‘Dekho Apna Desh’ webinar that gives you an in-depth insight into India’s unity in diversity. Setting off on digital tours is the best family quarantine activities!

Cook Together

A family that cooks together and eats together stays together. If you do not want to get into elaborate dishes or meal plans, you could choose something simple, like mini pancake cereals!

Get Creative

The Getty Museum Challenge has become extremely popular lately. The idea is simple – you take a piece of art and recreate it with all the items lying around your home. If it feels like too much work, you can always switch to creating TikTok videos!

Your family can even come together to undertake DIY projects like re-purposing old clothes, paper craft or painting, or sewing masks at home!

Play Board Games

Yes, Ludo King on your phone is fun and everything. But have you tried putting aside your phones and breaking out some actual board games? Think of Snakes and Ladder, Ludo, Chess, Monopoly, Scrabble – the options are endless! The same goes for card games like Rummy, Teen Patti, Uno, Solitaire, and so on. Don’t have board games or a pack of cards? Go for the good ol’ dumb charades.

Want to take a dip in nostalgia wave as you carry out family quarantine activities? Blow off the dust off your Carrom board (we have one lying around somewhere!) and claim the queen.

Which of these family quarantine activities have you already tried out? Which idea can you not wait to try out? Let us know!

Written by my friend Jahnavi over at https://www.girlygupshup.com/