Tuesday, 23 February 2016

For years now freezing cold showers have been one of my favourite protocols for immediately increasing my mood, focus, and energy. 
I am always amazed by the profound shift that takes place over my mind and my body in such a short space of time.

Yes the discomfort is intense. Push through though and you will be greatly rewarded with immediate and lasting effects on your physiology and psychology.

A good way to ease into cold therapy is to take your usual warm shower and then finish with cold on the lowest setting. Just thirty seconds is enough to notice an effect. From here you can build up to longer times if you desire, or go straight cold with no prior warm.

Did my cold dip this morning then listened to a podcast with the King of cold therapy - Wim Hof

Check out the show at https://player.fm/series/london-real-59740/wim-hof-the-iceman

Fascinating listening.


"In the Bhagavad Gita they say, 'The mind under control is your best friend, the mind wandering about is your worst enemy.' Make it your best friend, to the point where you can rely on it. Your mind makes you strong from within. It is your wise companion. The sacrifices you make will be rewarded. Life doesn't change, but your perception does. It's all about what you focus on. Withdraw from the world's influence and no longer be controlled by your emotions. If you can grab the wheel of your mind, you can steer the direction of where your life will go."

-Wim Hof

Monday, 22 February 2016

Holy Basil for chronic stress and anxiety

When people come to me for coaching one of the first things I do is put them on an adaptogen. Why? Because everyone experiences stress and adaptogens are an easy way to help overcome and manage this stress.

When stress is mentioned most tend to things of emotional stress - such as anxiety. When really stress comes in many forms. There are environmental, biological, physical, and emotional stresses . Then there is the severity with which the stress is affecting our body - is it acute or is it chronic? In short; stress comes in many flavours, and if you are alive, you are experiencing some form of it.

More often than not the adaptogenic herb I recommend to begin to with is Holy Basil as it is readily available, cheap, tastes great, and helps to target the most chronic stress symptom most people experience on a daily basis -anxiety. 

While anxiety symptoms can come from a number of possible avenues, and often require multi targeted approaches to treat, holy basil can positively effect our feelings of calmness and serenity through its ability to reduce cortisol and blood sugar levels in our body. Not much is needed, more often than not effects are felt after the first cup.

A good brand to go with is Pukka Herbs. They are readily available, high potency, and most importantly they understand the importance of sustainability.

Happy brewing and remember no matter what herb you are taking if you don't seek to address the other areas of stress in your life (relationships, job, diet etc etc) then you will continue to suffer in much the same way, albeit with a slightly clearer mind ;)

Sunday, 21 February 2016

Tip of The Day #8

Just like our skin, the condition of our hair can be affected by the quality of our nutrition. The cells that make up each strand of hair require a regular supply of nutrients in order to maintain new, healthy growth. The nutrients most involved with this renewal are; protein, vitamin A, biotin, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, omega-3, selenium, zinc, and iron. 

Of the foods particularly rich in these nutrients black sesame seed (Sesamum Indicum) is probably one of the most interesting. Famed in Traditional Chinese Medicine as a hair tonic (a food used to promote the growth of thick, healthy hair), black sesame is prescribed to stimulate hair growth and darken greying hair. While the jury is out on its ability to produce melanin (the pigment responsible for hair and skin colour) in our bodies, science has validated it as a rich source of the nutrients involved in hair growth. Rich in B-vitamins, iron, zinc, selenium, and a complete protein, black sesame packs a well rounded punch when it comes to the 'hair nutrients'. Additionally, a great source of vitamin E and rich in Oleic Acid, black sesame helps to lock in moisture and add shine to your locks.

Hair darkening properties or not, black sesame makes for a powerful addition to your regime due to its balanced and well rounded nutrient profile, and wonderful taste. 

Sesame seed is most often found in the form of tahini, which can be used in much the same way as you would peanut butter. If you are unable to find black tahini (more than likely) then the version made from the white seed is a good replacement. Aside from its slightly lower antioxidant levels, the white stands up to the black in nutrient profile.

Some concern has been raised around the oxalic acid content and mineral binding properties found in the hulls of the seeds. If this concerns you then opt for the hulled version, but do know that you will missing out on some nutrition as a result.