August 25, 2016No Comments

How to communicate – #ThrowbackThursdays

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Today's #ThrowbackThursday post is going old school. It's talking about the world before the internet and all it has bought with it.

Let's not confuse things, I love the internet. I love the digital age and I especially love having access to all the knowledge and information the internet can offer you at the swipe of a finger...however there are a lot of ways that I think the internet has made us go backwards a bit in our own evolution as a species.

  1. We've got lazy in retaining knowledge - I love learning things and while access to the internet has made it easier to learn things it's made us more reluctant to retain that knowledge. Why keep knowledge when you have a portable device in your pocket that gives you full access to that knowledge at any time of the day or night?
  2. Instant gratification - the world is so used to posting up statuses, comments, jokes, pictures and videos and instantly receiving feedback that if we don't get it in other ways we struggle. I know lots of people that when they do some work if you don't give them a pat on the back pretty swiftly they wonder what is wrong with it. The concept of patience, waiting and even responding to someone's request when you can has disappeared and it is so much more apparent in those that are avid social media users. They are so used to getting multiple 'Likes' that if they don't have similar experiences in real life they begin questioning themselves
  3. Communication - we struggle to communicate. It sounds completely crazy but we now struggle to have meaningful conversation that used to be second nature. Nowadays phone calls are extremely rare and communication is done via word based messages, on the go, between activities. We don't dedicate any time to communication and as such, although we can now communicate with people around the world instantly, we are probably more disengaged with each other than ever.
  4. Focus - the biggest issue I come across all the time. I am just as guilty of this as anyone. We are so used to mentally multi-tasking that we now find it hard to focus when we need to. Walking down the road often entails checking notifications from Instagram, Snapchat, replying to Whatsapp messages or texts, checking Facebook notifications, Tweeting about something silly we've spotted. So when we are in one place to do one activity, is it any surprise that we struggle. I see people in meetings constantly zoning out (not only when I talk), picking up their phones and actually checking their social media accounts, taking selfies and posting them in their Snapchat or Instagram stories.

Having the internet has revolutionised the world in so many ways but sometimes it does feel like we've lost some of the basics of being human in return for convenience at the swipe of a screen.

Maybe a digital detox should be encouraged more....but with the spread of everything digital, can you actually disconnect fully?

Food for thought.

Ciao for now x

August 18, 2016No Comments

Rubik’s cube – #ThrowbackThursdays

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Aaaahhh one of my favourite distractions for years. As a kid I would love to try and figure this out and never could. I’d ask my dad to help and all he used to do was take off all the pieces, rearrange them into their right colours and then put them back on haha

As a grown up this has a symbolism for me. Life is all about being as healthy and conscious as you can, being happy. Most of this site, these blog posts are dedicated to physical ways to do that. Cooking, eating, exercising, thinking but when do we focus on our minds? When do we do some workouts for our brain to keep it healthy?

Meditation is a great way to do that but so is playing with toys like this. There are countless studies to say when children use their imaginations and play with toys, colour in or generally have a way to play with just their minds they they are happier and more able to take on the world.

When was the last time you just picked up two toys and created a scene in your head using them and your imagination? Not a dirty one….. haha I still have all the action figures I had as a kid, spiderman, power rangers, transformers, they’re all in my loft. Maybe it’s time I got them out, dusted them off and messed around with them. I even used to make grappling hooks out of bent nails and string so they could obviously climb up and down the furniture in my room.

So for today, why not find a way to let out your inner child. Be silly. Let go. Have fun. Imagine.

Ciao for now x

August 16, 2016No Comments

City Boy?! – #TalkToMeTuesdays

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Today's post is about a little thing that's been bugging me for a while....am I born to live in the city, or am I really a country boy at heart?

This weekend I went away to the Cotswold's and after initially thinking I would get bored, I completely fell in love with it. Swimming in the lake, kayaking, relaxing on the decking, being outside. It bought back all the reasons why I love having Sicilian origins and why I still love visiting Sicily. It's a completely different pace of life where it's about enjoying where you are right now and not worrying too much about tomorrow.

Not to mention exploring and enjoying great food, great company and much less rigidity about time keeping or being somewhere on time.

There's always been a mini war that goes on inside me since I first explored Sicily. The ability to grow and pick your own fruits, to get by with whatever you have in the house, just appeals to me so much. I loved watching Jimmy's Farm and River Cottage and the desire has always been there to escape the city and live in the countryside.

The Cotswold's experience has now bought that dream back to the forefront of my mind and I'm wondering, am I a country boy in a city boy life?

So my question to you today is have you ever had a similar experience? Where you've been somewhere, fallen in love with it and it's made you want to make the move? Tell me your story and help me decide if it's something I should do!!

Ciao for now x

August 12, 2016No Comments

Carb free breakfast bowls – #FeedMeFridays

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This is a little trick I learnt from some of the city based food locations. To keep carb free they were simply making all your favourite breakfast bits and putting them in a bowl together, so easy and so scrummy. Here are just some of my favourites!!

Baked beans, two poached eggs and half an avocado. It’s so easy to make poached eggs in the microwave! A touch of oil in some tea cups, crack an egg in and only a couple of minutes of cooking, done in short 30 second blocks so it doesn’t get overcooked.

How about poached eggs, poached eggs, roasted cherry tomatoes and melted cheese?

The list goes on, put some good things back into your diet, take out the carbs and put them in a bowl for a little bit of mixing it up

Ciao for now x

August 10, 2016No Comments

Punch the waves – #WetWednesdays

PUNCH!

When you were a kid did you ever play fight with waves? I did, well I mean, I still do! haha when that wave comes in, ball your fist up and punch it with all your might.

It’s incredible the strength you use and how the resistance pushing back on your hand really works your arm. Try comparing it to the slice we did last week.

Go to the pool and try the too. What is harder? What is easier? Can you feel the resistance more in your arms when you punch it? Can you feel the difference and how hard it is?

There are a number of ways you can change your hand movement to get a higher or lower level of workout.

What about if you slice your hand to the side, how does that feel? Now try balling your fist. You have more of your hand exposed to the water now so you can really feel a big difference. Creating a smaller plane that’s exposed to the the water will make less impact and less resistance.

Playing with different hand movements is so much fun and makes me feel like a kid again. Hit the pool, have a play and enjoy yourself. Experiment, be a child and lose your inhibitions.

Ciao for now x

August 4, 2016No Comments

Pokemon – #ThrowbackThursdays

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Pool-Perspective Now, I know this has literally taken over the world again but this tv show, game and overall concept was something I connected with so strongly when I was growing up.

The concept of travelling around a world full of monsters with special powers was exhilarating. The powers that some of the monsters had were amazing and of course the legendary monsters that came with certain story lines was just mind blowing.

What I liked most about this tv series apart from the cloned Nurse Joy and Officer Jenny, was the diversity of who they would meet on their adventure. The number of gyms, the number of monsters but then how they would use those monsters always differed.

You see, each monster has it’s powers and what it should be able to do. Water Pokemon do water attacks, fire Pokemon do fire attacks. What I found most interesting was when a trainer would use a Pokemon and it’s attacks in a whole different way.

Ash, the main character would always turn around a battle at the last minute and use his Pokemon in the most unexpected way to win. I remember once he used his Pikachu (sort of second main character) to beat a Pokemon much stronger than itself.

It got me thinking about life in a more general perspective. So many people use perception of how things ‘should’ be and live their lives that way. The way people look at them, the way their family or friends would want them to live, that you forget to live your way.point of view

What about if we all took what we have available to us and used it in a different way, mixed it up, and surprised people. It’s true, you might get nowhere apart from making lots of mistakes but don’t we grow by learning from our mistakes?

So today, why not mix it up. Take something that you wouldn’t normally do in a certain way and change it. Do something you wouldn’t normally expect to do. See how it makes you feel.

Ciao for now x

August 3, 20163 Comments

The importance of breathing – #WellbeingWednesdays

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Breathing. We all do it, we all think we do it well but do we really? The amount of forms of exercise and fitness that focus on your breathing can teach you how badly you are breathing.

One little breath can be manipulated to have such a dramatic difference. Those who practice yoga know what a lion’s breath can do, a huge sigh that releases tension and lets you clear out stale air that’s been stored in your lungs for longer than needed.

Then of course there is the fire breath, shallow, fast paced breaths that build up your body’s temperature and can be a workout in their own right!!

Then for those of you who swim, there’s the very shallow and slow breaths. You literally have a tiny handful of seconds to take a breath but that breath only needs to last the next handful of strokes until you’re back up again. It’s slow to keep your body calm and relaxed and very shallow so you don't keep yourself too buoyant.

So why don’t you take some time right now and focus on your breathing. Try not to change it or influence it. Just close your eyes, try and block out all the sound around you. Just turn your gaze inwards, assess your breathing. Is it shallow? Is it deep? Is it fast? Is it slow? Now start playing with it. Make it deeper, longer and slower. What effect does it have on your body? How about if you speed it up and keep them deep? And make it shallow?

Playing with breath, learning the effect it has on your own body is a huge step towards being more self-aware. Then when you’re mood is needing a bit of a switch up, use your breath.

At work and feeling quite lethargic and sleepy? Speed your breathing up, make it shallower, start heating your body up and you might see a big difference in your energy levels.

Agitated, stressed or just generally fidgety? Slow your breathing down, make them longer, deeper and try and fill every part of your lungs. What difference does it make? Do you feel more relaxed?

Have fun with your breath. Play with it, see what difference it can make!

Have fun, ciao for now x

August 2, 2016No Comments

Fad Fitness – #TalkToMeTuesdays

Fad fitness

Fad fitness programmes

There’s no denying that there are literally dozens, hundreds of ways you can get fit and get the body you’ve always wanted. Some take longer, some need to be done more frequently than others and some just don’t hurt at all. What you need to be clear about is what works for you and your body. It may be you haven’t found it yet, but you shouldn’t stop looking. Think about what you would enjoy, give that a go and take it from there. When you find your right thing you’ll love it, going to a class or doing it won’t be a chore, it will be fun and you’ll smile the entire way through.

What does drive me a bit crazy however are the fad fitness programmes. The celebrities that every year have a new ‘smaller in 5 mins’ workout that convince you that if you do this workout just two to three times a week you’ll be sure to have their washboard abs and still feel great. No. Just no.

Let’s be clear, working out is a fantastic way to stay in shape and yes, a side effect is you lose fat in areas and build muscles in others. It doesn’t automatically mean that the scales will be lighter, you may get heavier due to muscle building. It doesn’t automatically mean that you’ll have an amazingly flat stomach either.

Getting to that shape and that body that you see in countless Hollywood movies takes a careful planning of both diet and exercise. A great phrase that I love is that you can’t work off a bad diet. If you exercise, that doesn’t mean you get to treat yourself to a really bad meal every night. Yes, a treat here and there is fine, it’s what keeps you going but I’ve known so many people that do a couple of workouts a week, expect an instant change in their weight AND expect to be able to eat the worst of the worst takeaways.

Your body needs caring. Would you put vegetable oil in your car? No. it needs proper maintenance just like your body and that is not going to happen in a DVD that shows you just 5 mins of information.

Most of the DVDs also do not encourage you to assess yourself. You don’t have the guidance, experience or knowledge of a trained instructor at home, just someone showing you the moves and encouraging you in a very generic way. How do you know if your posture is right? How do you know if you should move your feet an inch forward because you’re arching your back too much? You don’t. That’s why I always advise trying something out in person first and then giving it a go at home.

So next time you’re about to pick up a ‘5 mins washboard abs’ DVD, ask yourself would it be better to just pop along to a class at your local gym, community hall, leisure centre or any of the other hundreds of things going on all across the world?

Ciao for now x

July 31, 2016No Comments

Competitive yoga – #StretchSundays

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This is one I struggle with a lot - trying not to compare to other people practicing yoga and trying not to be competitive and pushing myself to match what other people do.

I have to constantly go against my own grain with this one. The reason I like going to classes is because I’m aware of what others do around me and I push myself to learn more, I challenge myself to be as good or better than those around me. It does mean I progress my yoga, and everything, quite quickly as it means I try and do better than those around me.

What it does mean is it takes a toll on my body faster than expected and sometimes I can compromise my posture or alignment so I can go as low or as high or as deep a stretch as those around me.

Most recently I have used it to try and adapt my practice to match those around me with good posture or alignment. I use my competitive nature but instead of stretching deeper, reaching higher or folding more, I use it to adjust my back, get my legs straighter. Often that means I’m taking my legs closer or moving back a level so I’m at an easier level but working on perfecting my alignment. It’s a hard balance but it works quite nicely as I can still convince myself it’s competitive without pushing myself beyond my body’s limits.

Each of us has our limitations and our aspects that we’d like to work on. This is just one of mine that I deal with by adapting my existing issue into something that can be used productively and to better myself.

Remember, yoga is not meant to be about being competitive, it's about bettering yourself and focusing on your own practice in that moment.

Next time you're in a class, try and focus on yourself, look at how others are working their alignment, ask your teacher to adjust you into the right posture but try not to be the one pulling the deepest stretch or folding the most…unless you naturally are more flexible of course!

Ciao for now x

July 23, 2016No Comments

Boys body loving – #SkinliciousSaturdays

As a boy, some people think we don’t moisturise our bodies because we are boys and just don’t need to.

That’s rubbish, if anything, boys skin dries out quicker so moisturising should be a daily regime for all of us, especially those that gym or exercise regularly!

I love our Tropic body love as it does exactly what it says on the label. Allows me to love my body, it moisturises, it’s good for me and it smells amazing. Not to mention it has an amazing side effect, it seems to act like a natural insect repellent thanks to the citrus in it.

Have you tried it? It’s amazing!!

Ciao for now x

  
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