5 Simple Food Habits That Will Rapidly Improve Your Well-Being

Wo(man) versus Carbs!

I’ve always been rather health conscious and have tried to eat the ‘right’ foods, drink loads of pure, clean water and stick to a moderate exercise regime.  I had a blood test about 10 years ago that came back saying that I was carbohydrate intolerant.  I ignored this and carried on as per usual.  Nothing was going to separate me from my carbs!

“ Vegetating in front of the TV whilst snacking is not conscious consumption— it is unconscious calories!”

Recently, a close friend of mine told me he was on a wheat-free diet, this jogged my memory back to my own blood test result.  I always like to follow-up on life’s little synchronicities anI decided to follow a low-carb plan — I call it a ‘plan’ because of the negative connotations that foul little four-letter word ‘diet’ has.

Stodgy Revelations

The difference has been quite shocking.  Aside from losing about 7cm off my belly in the first 2 weeks, I am never full.

Huh?  Isn’t that a bad thing?

Well, it is unusual at first, but is it actually a bad thing?  I don’t think so.  It is the difference between feeling saturated or satiated.

Saturate (def) — Holding as much water (substitute this for the word ‘food and drink’) as can be absorbed; thoroughly soaked (authors note:  substitute for ‘full’ or ‘stuffed’…he he — sounds familiar, doesn’t it?).

Satiate (def) — Supplied (especially fed) to satisfaction (authors note:  hmm, more like it).

Now do you see that vitally important difference?

Would You Rather be a Slug or a Gazelle?

I feel very sluggish when I eat a lot of heavy, starchy foods and, to be honest, it doesn’t always feel good.  I mean, who wants to go around feeling like a lead weight?  I never really gave myself the space to truly go into what it feels like to eat lighter foods but now that I am exploring this wheat-free world, I am literally discovering a whole new feeling and body to go with it!

There are, however, other ways of listening to our bodies needs without having to immediately cut back on wheat or gluten.

Eat With Awareness

Here are my 5 guidelines to tuning into your body and listening to its needs.  Find out if these tips work for you:

  • Complete Honesty — this one can be difficult — be honest about when you are truly full.  Listen to your body and don’t eat everything on your plate because you feel you have to.  I call this the ‘Starving Children in Africa’ Syndrome.  We were told when we were young to eat everything on our plate and to think of the starving children in Africa but, unfortunately, this neither alleviates the problem for the African children nor does it do your body any good to continue eating when you are no longer hungry.  Get real about what you are doing.
  • The Reward System Sham— I used to do this a lot.  I had a ‘reward’ system and it went something like this:  If I do this or work hard at that I am going to reward myself with something nice tonight.  Big mistake!  Those chocolate slabs or crisp rewards end up being a major punishment for your body.  Remember, everything in moderation.  I’m not saying it’s a bad thing to treat yourself to a favorite snack every now and then (not every day!), just be careful not to go haywire on the portion sizes.
  • No TV Munchies — don’t snack in front of the box.  Your food won’t miraculously gain more calories if you do, but it is the amount of food you graze on when you are unconsciously eating — hand-to-mouth continuously without ever looking down.  Vegetating in front of the tube, whilst snacking, is not conscious consumption it is unconscious calories!  If you must have a nibble whilst watching your favorite program, make sure you get a small controlled portion of your allotted snack.  Never take the whole packet or box with you to the couch.
  • Tea/Water — when you feel hungry and it is not a meal-time, try having a glass of water or a cup of tea.  I have found this is astonishingly helpful.  Most of the hunger signals we pick up on are actually due to dehydration — so drink lots of pure water and throw in some nice steaming cups of green tea or natural, caffeine-free rooibos (I have to plug rooibos, being South African and all).
  • Conscious Eating — eat with awareness and consciousness.  Enjoy your food.  Chew slowly, breath in between mouthfuls, savor the taste — make it a sacred ritual not a quick fix.  And most important give thanks and be grateful for your food.  Gratitude never goes astray.

I hope these tips will help you honor your body and fine tune the way your system works.  Remember to trust your gut instinct (pun definitely intended) and eat what feels right for you — your body will let you know what it does and doesn’t like.

Something worth looking into, wouldn’t you say?

Original article written by Cherie Roe Dirksen for Conscious Life News

6 Ways to Alleviate Stress Now

Mapping your way out of stress

We seem to be living in tumultuous times.  If you don’t take a moment out of the ‘rat race’ it can consume you.

If you feel like you are running around on a hamster wheel or wonder when the light is going to be seen at the end of this future tunnel — then please read on…

Practical steps to take:

You cannot be fully productive if you are running on empty.  There are a few things you can do immediately that will relieve you of any immediate pressure.

  • Breathe
  • Drink lots of water
  • Fresh air
  • Exercise/stretch
  • Write out a plan or strategy
  • Take frequent small breaks

Now, let’s take a closer look…


It is very important to breathe correctly.  Most of us do what is called ‘shallow’ breathing. When you breathe properly, you are breathing into your diaphragm and better still, to really oxygenate your body (which will make you feel more awake and alive) — take a deep breath into your stomach.  Let your stomach fill up so that you look like you are pregnant. Whilst you are breathing in — count to 5.  Hold it for 5 and then release it to the count of 5. Do this 3 times.  If you can do this every hour it can help immensely to keep you awake and in tune with your self.Here is some more information with regards to breathwork:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Breathwork


Drink lots of pure, clean water.  This will flush out unwanted toxins in your body and keep you flowing.  You will be able to have more clarity of thought and the health benefits of drinking water are too numerous to go into.  Suffice to say that you have nothing to lose and everything to gain in doing this.Too much coffee intake can do more harm than good, so instead of reaching for the java juice — have a glass of water.

Fresh Air


We were not meant to be crammed in doors all day, especially if you work in a shop or office.  Go outside, when you can, even if it is for a minute or two and do the breathing exercise.

Even better, whenever you can, take a stroll in a forest or on the beach (if you don’t have access to any of those — go find yourself a tree to sit under).  It does wonders for the body and mind.

Exercise and Stretching

I know those of you who are most stressed probably feel you don’t have time for this step. But even if it is for a couple of minutes — something is better than nothing.

Get up and stretch — if you know a few yoga stretch moves then do that.  If you feel too embarrassed to do it in front of your colleagues then go to the bathroom and stretch.

Stretching releases built up energy and allows it to flow through your body in a balanced way instead of accumulating and being stagnant.  You will feel brighter and more alive.

You should take at least 30 minutes of daily exercise.  Go for a walk on your lunch break. You need to plan for exercise, especially for those of you on a strict schedule.  If you plan for it, you will allow it to happen.  There is always time for something important.


If you are stressed out, the likelihood is that you have far too much on your mind.  One of the best techniques for de-cluttering the internal mind chatter is to get it out of your head and onto a whiteboard or diary/notebook.

This way you can see what needs to be done.  You can prioritize it and then  you can start to implement it.  When you do this, it will give you a sense of relief because you will not be stressing over things that you might have forgotten.  All you need to do is consult the board or notebook and then tick it off once it is done.

This really helps to keep your sanity and a clear vision of what needs to be done and in what order of importance.  You will truly start to see the light at the end of the tunnel if you do this.


TelephoneYou were never meant to be glued to a computer screen or meant to be shut up in any environment, so, when you can — get up and take a break.  Go walk around the office or walk to the water cooler (don’t forget to have a cup!) and back.

Even little breaks can mean greater success.  They can lessen your chance of developing migraines and headaches and they can lessen your stress when you take a break from a problem.

Sometimes even taking a break can allow you time and space to sort out a problem that you would not have done if you were never removed from it.

Life is for living not stressing

Finally, I would like to end off by saying — life is for living and not stressing out.   What can be done — do.  What can’t be done should not be stressed over.  Worry never solved a problem but clear thinking and planning has.  Shelve the worry and create a space for solution by following the above steps.

Please share with us any tips and tricks you have learnt or discovered about relieving stress.

Other articles you may enjoy:

Serenity…Your Passport to Peace

5 Easy Steps to Meditating (No Lotus Position Required)