Breathing and Brownies!
Meditation. My trainer @paul_boys told me to start mediating months ago, my response was “I don’t have time”. “Make time” he said, I’m not one for arguing with Paul, on account that his arms are the size of my torso and he spent 11 years in the army.
With an extremely busy lifestyle, we all know its important to take the time out to relax- yes? But do we actually REALLY relax? I used to think sitting down and watching the TV or reading a book was relaxing, that was my ‘unwinding’ time when I got home. What we should be doing for optimal relaxation of body, mind and spirit is meditation.
Turning your phone on to aeroplane mode, switching the telly off and clearing your mind completely. Easier said than done in my case!
I’m a complete ‘newbie’ to meditation, but research suggests the benefits are endless: Regular mediation promotes dramatic reduction in stress and anxiety, a greater sense of inner-peace and tranquillity,improved mental,emotional and physical well-being, increased confidence and self-esteem, better, more restful and refreshing sleep (I definitely need that!) , optimal focus, concentration and memory. Sounds pretty good right?
Meditation isn’t just ‘going for a nap’, you have to concentrate on what you’re doing. Its focussing 100% of you’re attention in one area. Don’t get me wrong setting aside specific time (preferably two times a day) to be still is hard work with my schedule – but I’m really trying to stick to it at the moment to see what happens.
Breathing deep slows the heart rate, relaxes the muscles, focuses the mind and is an ideal way to begin practice. Also stretching first loosens the muscles and tendons allowing you to sit (or lie) more comfortably (especially important for all us gym-bunnies!) I’ve found that meditation is an ACTIVE process.
Focusing your attention to a single point is hard work (especially if you’ve a lot on your mind), and you have to be purposefully engaged! I’ll keep you posted on some new techniques that I’ll be trying over the next few weeks. Its so easy to think purely about our bodies and neglect the mind and spirit – I’m hoping I’ll start to see a real difference.
I know a few people who mediate. All of which have a calm, inner strength about them. Hommmmmm….
We’ve been filming ‘Tina’s’ funeral/wake on the cobbles this week too…I think meditation was in order for all of us! Heavy stuff!
Now, I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again. I HATE running. Thus I HATE treadmills. However…in my session at the gym, we often do ‘Treadmill Pushes’, For those of you that don’t have scooby do what I’m talking about, its very straight forward. I put the treadmill on a heavy incline but DONT press start.
The treadmill remains static until YOU make it move, keeping your head down use your legs to make the treadmill move manually. This is equivilent of doing whats known as ‘trawlers’ in more functional gyms (I’ll cover that another time). Doing treadmill pushes as fast as you can for 30 second intervals 5-8 times, with 60 second rest in between at the end of a session is much more effective at burning fat.
Much better than boring one’s self senseless for 30 mins running non stop (which also raises cortisol levels and is worse for your joints by the way!)
So excited about the news that my Glamour Guru and pal, Armand Beasley, is collaborating with Selfridges on their Beauty Project. Armand has glamorised some of the most beautiful women in the world from international royalty to Hollywood royalty so I was so excited when he told me that he’s going to offer a unique service which is exclusive to Selfridges Exchange Square in Manchester.
As the Bespoke Beauty & Grooming Expert, Armand is not affiliated to any one brand so you will really get unbiased advice as to what skincare & makeup you should use! It’s £75 booking fee which is redeemable against whatever you choose. So if you fancy a whole new look or perhaps a different skincare routine or maybe you want to treat someone then email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Now then, here’s a little ‘not too naughty’ but VERY nice treat for the bank holiday weekend! If you’re gonna treat the kids, treat them to these little goodies instead of the Brownie’s you’ll buy at the supermarket.
They’re much better for you, they ACTUALLY have nutritional value (trust mean, the brownies you buy in the supermarket will be full of all kinds of weird things and additives, sweeteners etc), and they’ll LOVE making them. They’re quick and easy, GLUTEN FREE and LACTOSE FREE and much more a ‘Paleo’ choice if you will!
Auntie Cath’s Good Girl Brownie’
4oz Dark baking Chocolate
1 tbsp organic coconut oil
2 Large Avocado’s
1/2 cup Manuka Honey
1/4 cup Organic cocoa powder
1 tbsp of Vanilla
1 tbsp of Coconut flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
In a microwave safe bowl stir together the coconut oil and chocolate over a pan of boiling water – melting together. Puree the avocados in a food processor, making sure they are smooth. Fold the chocolate into the avocados in a large mixing bowl. With an electric mixer, beat the remaining ingredients until the mixture is smooth. Then distribute the mixture into muffin tins. Bake at 190 for 15-20 mins, checking until risen and cooked. ENJOY!
Also this week and most importantly – I have now got my sponsor page up and running for the Big Swim 2014! I have decided to raise money for the Royal Manchester Childrens Hospital and the link to sponsor me is : http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/CathTyldesley
Please give whatever you can, as they really need support !
Until next week
Auntie Cath xx