A Powerful Time to Transform: New Year's Resolutions and Beyond

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Words by Lula Rose

How has winter been for you? Did the lurgy come to your house? Have you survived this one unscathed?

I read somewhere most New Year’s Resolutions last a few weeks and fizzle out with the popped corks from New Year’s celebrations. I’m excited to share with you some of my tried and tested techniques for understanding how we can change habits and make healthier life choices.

I love the analogy and metaphor of watching the days become longer after the winter solstice. Slowly, incrementally, day by day - no one is rushing the sun!

How would it be for you to adopt this strategy? This infinite wisdom unfolding outside your very window. Each day you awake to a new sunrise, you take your first conscious breath, a yawn and a stretch.

What thoughts do you immediately think?

What do you do every morning without even thinking about it?

How do you start each day?

What do you eat? Drink?

These seemingly inconsequential things will have a direct impact on the rest of your day.

By bringing awareness to, and changing the small things in our lives, the big things follow. Understanding this can be so very transformational. When we get used to changing small things in our lives, we get completely different outcomes and the big changes gradually unfold in the wake of making many small changes.

The main reason that people fail with new year’s resolutions is because they jump straight to the big things they want to change. This is like jumping out of an airplane and forgetting to pull the chute, falling flat on your face and missing all the wisdom gained from floating gently along the thermals.

Research within the field of neuroscience suggests the small changes I’m talking about can be as seemingly inconsequential as getting out of bed on a different side than usual. The beauty of this practice is that you get choose the little things you want to change, and the more fun you have with this process the easier it is!

One thing I hear again and again is "I haven't got time."

I say there is always time. It takes less than one minute to redirect a thought.

Creating a Daily Practice

Cultivating a daily morning practice is guaranteed to seriously upgrade your life

  • Sit for 1 minute somewhere quiet, deepening your breath to a slow count of four will radically change your nervous system. So simple.

    You could challenge yourself for a week to find 1 minute each morning before getting out of bed to consciously slow down your breathing. Each week renew the challenge.

When you begin a new habit, it takes around 21 days for a new neural pathway to form. Neurons literally light up and fire together based on your thoughts and emotions. Neurons that fire together wire together.

People used to think the brain was rigid and couldn't change. It is now well known that the brain is in fact malleable. This is good news because it means anything is possible. However this means we must become more selective with our thoughts and emotions; choosing ones that make us feel good.

  • Whilst taking your minute to breath, add a feeling gratitude, this can be for anything no matter how big or small, breath gratitude into your heart. Connecting to your heart in this way creates greater coherence within the body. This coherence has a positive effect on the mind, the immune system and nervous system reducing the stress response.

  • Upon rising stand on the floor feet planted hip width, inhale raise the arms out to the side and above your head, exhale bring the hands down elbows wide as if pressing a ball to the floor. Repeat 3 times each time imagining you are going to have an amazing day. Perhaps saying an affirmation. Guaranteed to put you in a good mood.

  • Now inhale the arms over the head, bring the hands together into anjali mudra (prayer position with the hands), and exhale the hands down the midline of the body, rolling the spine slowly into a forward fold starting with the chin, head, neck etc. Inhale press the feet into the ground and slowly rise, head and neck coming up last. Repeat several times. As you perform this do a body scan, tune into the pains, tensions, sensations and emotions that may be present. Add compassion and love for all that is within you.

  • Drink a large glass of warm lemon water before eating. This flushes the debris accumulated during sleep from the liver and kidneys. Hydrates you before eating. Hydration prevents internal stress and helps your brain to function better.

  • Breakfast is an important aspect in establishing healthy eating patterns for the day and is very important in maintaining successful New Year’s Resolutions. Start as you mean to go on! Set yourself up for success. Breakfast is one of my favourite times of day. I love all my breakfast recipes more than any other meal time. Ok, maybe apart from creating yummy 'healthy' deserts! Here are a few of my favourite recipes. I advocate a high protein and fat based breakfast. These fuels build a steady fire for your metabolism and create lasting energy.

As part of any decision to improve one’s health, I encourage people to try going gluten free for four weeks to see how they feel. Gluten is a very gluey sticky substance, it is also very addictive and attaches to opiate receptors. Have you ever tried to give up bread and pastries!? Gluten is mucus forming and can cause inflammation and brain fog among other things. Leaky gut and gluten intolerance is known to contribute towards developing an autoimmune disease.

If you find yourself tired when you wake up, have pain or soreness in your joints, struggle with brain fog, depression or negative thoughts, poor digestion, this list is not exhaustive, a gluten detox may be beneficial for you.

Superhero breakfasts

Mexican Scrambled Egg Breakfast Bowl

Serves 1

Ingredients

2 free range organic outdoor reared eggs

1/2 avocado

Tomato

Cavelo nero

Red onion

Smoked paprika

Chopped fresh basil

Vegan Version - substitute eggs for black beans and add some lime.

Method

  1. Chop onion, tomato, cavelo nero

  2. Saute onions 5 mins until almost cooked, add smoked paprika, tomato and cavelo nero, saute until done, adding a splash of water if necessary.

  3. Meanwhile beat eggs together with salt and pepper, cook on a low heat until it’s done to your preference. Arrange on a plate with the sliced avocado and chopped basil. Be creative you can anything else that you fancy!

Chia and Hemp Seed Overnight Oats

serves 1

Ingredients

1 tbs chia seeds

1 tbs hulled hemp seed

3-4 tbs gluten free oats

1 tsp Maca

1-2 tsp coconut oil or an MCT oil

Nut milk of your choice

Vanilla essence

Cinnamon

Powdered or fresh ginger

Optional toppings - berry compote, bee pollen, goji berries, cacao nibs, grated pear or apple, any non dairy yoghurt, coconut cream - the list is endless. Use organic where possible.

Method

  1. Put everything apart from the coconut oil/MCT in a bowl

  2. Stir well and leave in the fridge till morning

  3. Add to saucepan and warm through adding coconut oil and more liquid as needed.

Gram Flour Pancakes Galore

Serves 2

Ingredients

1/2 cup of gram flour

Water

Sesame seeds

Turmeric

Parsley

Spinach

Mushrooms

Garlic

Optional soft raw organic goat cheese.

Method

  1. Mix pancake ingredients until desired consistency.

  2. Finely chop the parsley, add to the pancake mix.

  3. Chop garlic, lightly saute in either butter, ghee or non fragrant coconut oil, add mushrooms, stir until almost cooked, add spinach until it only just wilts

  4. Serve and add goats cheese if using.

Happy Experimenting. Happy 2019 to you, and may all your dreams come true.

If you would like more details on any of the information provided in this article and or would like to work with me as a health coach, nutritionist and yoga teacher. Follow the link below.

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Lula is passionate about living life to her fullest potential, understanding the healing power of nature's gifts. Plants, clean water, clean air, sunshine and a daily practise. She loves to create amazing simple tasty food that looks good too, stimulating all the senses! Lula trained as a nutritionist in 2013. She specialises in, empowering people to make life changing decisions about their health and wellbeing. She has been following a clean live food diet for over 15 years. She has two daughters who have been raised on a healthy real food all their lives. She cooks for yoga retreats offering gluten free, refined sugar free, vegan and vegetarian food. Designing menus with gut health, digestion and simplicity in mind.

For enquiries and bookings go to lularose.me.uk

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