How to Manage Your Weight with Mindset and Consistency!

How to Manage Your Weight with Mindset and Consistency!

 I have been thinking about writing this text for some time. First of all, I had the problem which photos to choose for comparison. I do not have before and after pictures as losing weight was never my primary goal. However, I do remember and I actually have video, how I felt mentally over a year ago and believe me I do not want to be in that place.  Between the pictures above there is over one year difference and now I am over one stone lighter and I have kept it for over 6 months. My cholesterol has come down and all other blood tests are in mid range. 

If you expect advice for a crash diet and recommendations on how to lose weight quickly to fit in that Christmas dress, I must disappoint you but you will not find it here.

My journey to being confident in my body, as well as to change eating habits, took me some time and yes I do love the results. Losing weight was a secondary issue. I wanted to build healthy habits so I feel confident, know what and how to cook, empower myself to be my best version and choose the life I want to live.

 

 

MINDSET

morning ritual

Do you hold the key to your mindset? Have you asked yourself WHY you want to lose weight and what do you want to achieve in the process? Believe it or not, there are some people that are totally unhappy because they lost weight and lost part of their identity. They cannot find themselves back in real-life and shopping for new clothes is real struggle for them. They have been holding on to a great story about themselves and they do not know how to build a new one. The transformation has to happen gradually with small steps so you can build your new life with small steps suitable for you (at least this is what I believe in)  I know there are other methods but if you ask me building healthy habits takes time. Yes, I understand there are people who can change in 4 weeks,  lose the weight and be happy, but I believe they have actually done a lot of mindset work before they embarked on the challenge to actually do it. Also research shows that many people after crash diets put on the weight back, maybe not immediately but over a period of time.

Once you have a mindset, once you know your WHY, you can uncover the layers put plan into action and sustain the change consistently. Once you do it you gain CONFIDENCE as never before.

I remember my New Year’s Eve 2018/2019, I decided not to drink at the party and I was so grateful as I woke up fresh and went on a bike as the weather was glorious. I will never forget that. I can connect well with that feeling of freshness. It was not a heroic act or something but it was incredibly rewarding and important to me.

Miracle mornings helped me a lot to put my thoughts on the paper and practice gratitude  every morning and belief that I can do it.

FOOD

salad

Undoubtedly, food plays a big part in the process as it contributes to around 80% of weight management. 20% is exercise.  I got some questions from  personal trainers asking for advice as they struggle to motivate their clients to achieve the goals. The key is not treating an exercise as something I have to do and then go home and eat pizza because I lost a lot of calories during the training (believe me I have been there). The key is to enjoy regular exercise, suitable for your body, build stamina and habit of regular exercise consistently but in the meantime focus your energy on getting the nutrition right. What you eat and drink is of great importance and there is no break from it even on holidays or when going out. You do not put a healthy lifestyle on a hanger and then get on as before. You embrace it and live it and you are CONFIDENT   that you are choosing the food which best serves you.

I remember when I went totally vegan and during my first night out with friends, the only option in the restaurant was a green leaves salad (yes it was only 2 years ago), I ordered it, ate it and did not make a big deal out of it. I was incredibly proud of myself (a bit hungry though).

I am very passionate about plant-based food as I believe it brings incredible results. From losing weight to having more energy, better sleep, and glowing skin. We all need to eat more plants and I will address how to do that in my next post.

 

CONSISTENCY

habit tracker

I believe CONSISTENCY  is a keyword. Can you imagine a piano player or any other player who does not practice and hopes that all will be fine during the concert? Yes, there are incredibly talented people but they do practice a lot.

I watch my daughter preparing for the piano grade 4 exam which she is doing in four months from her grade 3 which is a very short period of time. She has made incredible progress only because of consistent practice and accountability.

Habits are not any different. That is why coaching programs are so powerful if you practice and are compliant. You have accountability and you can make progress but you need to have skin in the game. You have to do the work. I provide the system advice and support, you do the work. Yes, life happens and again  I provide support and how to deal with self-sabotage and social situations and family (yep this one can be hard).

My recent client told me that she gained food freedom. Freedom from counting calories and always compromising her health with not so healthy choices. And even if she does not comply with the program now and again, it is not the end of the world. She exactly knows where she needs to go back. She never starts from scratch, she starts from the baseline she taught herself to follow with my help. This is incredibly rewarding and she is a true HERO.

 

I hope I inspired you to make healthier choices for you and your family. I do not give you a specific plan to follow. Now the step is for you to think about your Why, and think about small steps you could implement from today to get on track with your health (you can download my Healthy autumn magazine which has a habit tracker – print it and use it). You have one life and you want to live it in good health as long as possible.  unfortunately, the number of people in their 40ties and 50ties suffering from different alignments and some serious conditions is really scary and sad. The number of people with dementia is also growing, but WHY? In many cases it is not inherited, so WHY so many people suffer from it? I am sure our lifestyle has a lot to do with it but research is complicated to find true cause, (yet) However, you have a choice to leave a healthier life starting TODAY. I truly hope you can make it.

I leave you with this:

When you change your Habits you change your life!

Love M

 

 

Stop dieting once and for all!

Book  60 min Double Your Energy Breakthrough session with me and start building healthy habits so that you do not have to diet ever again. Session cost £67 and we will  establish goals and small steps; you will receive example plant-based meal-plan and follow-up 15 min appointment; shall you decide to go with my Slim and Sassy Program this fee will be deducted

Autoimmune conditions – how to manage them naturally!

Autoimmune conditions – how to manage them naturally!

For the last few weeks I have been looking into autoimmune conditions as they are more and more common and unfortunatley more and more complex. The most known to everyone are allergies and intolerances , however other common conditions are type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis , MS . -Multiple Sclerosis, Lupus , IBD (Irritable Bowel Disease – Crohn’s disease , ulcerative colitis, Hashimoto thyroiditis and celiac disease. 

Some of them do have genetic predispositions (like type 1 diabetes) but overall  causes why they apear are not known. All of them need diagnosis and some medical interventions. Diagnosis is quite often  complex and takes a long time, sometimes years leaving patients in great discomfort.

Quite often patients are put on long -term medications which they need to take till the end of their life. Unfortunately, many medications have side-effects and also they do not guarantee life free from further flare ups.

Looking at various research as well as Harvard Health document on inflammation, there is one common cause in a lot of autoimmune conditions which is a low-grade chronic body inflammation caused by different factors but predominantly by the lifestyle – stress, diet, lack of regular exercise, poor quality sleep. Without a doubt diet plays a great role but diet alone is not the only answer and one needs to look holistically at all vital elements of a healthy lifestyle as mentioned above. 

Early Symptoms of autoimmune disease

It would be fantastic if I could write about the symptoms of inflammation in our body but this is almost impossible as it is difficutl to detect without professional equipment such as thermal body scanning. 

Quite often the symptoms are quite common for many other different illnesses and therefore difficult to dignose with 100% certainity. e.g. celiac disease which is complete gluten intolerance can take a lot of time to diagnose and one has to actually eat a lot of gluten products before the tests.

Low-grade inflammation can start in our younger years but our body can cope well and only when we get older it may appear as an autoimmune condition. There exceptions in terms of the first symptoms like with rheumatoid arthritis which can appear as early as in our 30ies. 

Quite often the low-grade chronic inflammation can lead to autoimmune conditions. Autoimmune conditions are among top ten cuases of death in women. 

Autoimmune condition

In autoimmune condition, body has either an abnormally low immune response to pathogens, or when the body’s immune system fails to distinguish the difference between pathogens and healthy body tissues. We need so some level of inflammation to fight of viruses and bacterias but once they  are gone , the inflammation should go as well but sometimes it does not happen. Research indicates that in many case this happens due to compromised immune system. 

The number of factors contribute to conditions including genetics, toxins from heavy metals, candida, nerve damage due to excessive exposure to neuortoxins and chronic inflammation related to food sensitivities particularly gluten intolerance.

Some of the symptoms of autoimmune conditions

Some of the symptoms can include the following: joint and/or muscle pain, weakness, tremors, weight loss, insomnia, heat intoleance, glandular imbalances such as hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism, fatigue, hair loss, diarrhea, mouth ulcers, dry eyes/mouth /skin.

There are not known medical cures for autoimmune conditions so treatment focuses on using medications to surpress the immune response, leaving the individual vulnarable to sickness and disease and to manage symptoms

How to manage the autoimmune condition naturally and how to decrease level of inflammation to avoid it

beetroot

 

There has been some research done showing that changes to lifestyle and diet can have positive effects to manage the symptoms , avoid flare ups and reduce medications. Reducing inflammation in our body even if we do not have an autoimmune condition should also be a priority to avoid any problems in the future.

It is not surprising as 80% of the immune system is directly connected to gut health so what we eat and drink, how we sleep and how we manage stress has tremendous impact on putting our body out of homeostasis (out of balance).

I will list only few possible recommendations which can bring good effects in studies done so far . 

  1. Switch to whole foods plant-based diet. It has been shown in research (nutritionfacts.org) that high total intake of animal protein  can adversly impact the gut due to sulfur containing aminoacids which bacteria in our gut turn into toxic, for colon, hydrogen sulfide.  This in turn increseas the risk of IBD – Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. IBD diseases where not even known a century ago so what has changed so drastically that now many people suffer from IBD? The answer could be, the over consumption of animal protein. Whole foods (not processed) contain thousands of unique phytochemicals which will never be present in processed food or synthetic drugs. 

 Beneficial food groups to support imune system:

Zinc –This valuable mineral increases the production of white blood cells that fight infection and helps them fight more aggressively. It also increases killer cells that fight against cancer and helps white cells release more antibodies.  Eat pumpkin seeds, seasame seeds, green peas

Vitamin C – increases the production of infection-fighting white blood cells and antibodies. Eat all the berries, peas , oranges broccoli, curly kale

Vitamin E – stimulates the production of natural killer cells, those that seek out and destroy germs and cancer cells. Eat avocado, almonds, hazelnuts, Brazil nuts

Eat food ich in beta-carotene: sweet potatoe, broccoli, kale ,spring greens, carrots, peppers

2. Daily intake of curcumin (from turmeric). Turmeric has amazing anti-inflammatory properties so should be part of the healthy diet every day. Add turmeric to your food whenever you can.  Some research shows that liquid turmeric increases the chances of better absorption by the body. 

3. Beetroot juice – beetroots have all round amazing health benefits especially for lowering blood pressure and for heart conditions. They contain the betalain (what gives them red pigmentation)  which has an ability to interfere with the inflammatory signaling process and it is so good that it can rival the benefits of synthetic drugs. I know that not everyone is keen on earthy taste of beetroots – the tip is to add some lemon juice either to salad, hummous or juice. 

4. Eliminate sugars , processed food (all white products such as pasta and rice also), reduce caffeine and alcohol – this is a standard selection of most common foods and drinks which cause inflammation in the body so I will just leave it here.

autoimmune condition

5.  Learn and use essential oils – oils have some of the best natural compounds free from pesticides and readily bioavailable. Quality oils are absorbed by the body quickly and when used regularly  help  the body to function at the optimum level. The best oils for managing autoimmune conditions are: lemongrass – stimulates nerves and supports digestion; juniper berry – antioxidant and supports digestion, copaiba – anti-inflammatory anti-infectious, pain reliever, ginger – invigorates nerves and cleanses, clary sage invigorates nerves and supports endocrine system, turmeric – antioxidant and anti-inflammatory.

6. Look after your gut health – this is the key and making sure your microbiome is in order has never been more important. Eat food rich in probiotics or take supplements, however without prebiotics (whole foods) the good gut bacteria will have nothing to thrive on. to chekc the state of your gut health it may be necessary to work with Nutritionist or Functional Medicine Practitioner. I recommend gut healing broth – super nutritious soup which you can use in other recipes as well.

Aside of food the emotional side of our health is also a key. Many people notice that their autoimmune condition goes worse when they have a lot of stress or life events outside of their control. We can’t live without stress , however we need to learn for it not to consume us. Meditation, journalling and general self-care activities prove to be very effective when done consistently. 

Bulding healthy habits for better life is something I advocate a lot. It may not always be easy and we all need accountability to work on ourselves, learn habits so that we can have optimum health as long as we can. Without health it is difficult to enjoy the life so do not put it on hold or to do the other day. Inflammation can lead not only to autoimmune conditions but can be an underlying cause of other serious diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, asthma or even Alzheimer’s.

I have a specialist auto-immune protocol which I provide on 1:1 basis as it is very specific to an individual and can work along your primary care providers so that you can manage your condition better and enjoy life more.

Book 1hr consultation with me to understand the Program  and how we can work together.

Recipe for immune boosting soup

Mushroom and Cannellini Bean Soup

Potent immune enhancing mushrooms, with garlic and onion form the base of this
delicious soup. The fibre ensures the soup feels nourishing and filling without the
need for further carbohydrate such as bread.






Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Servings: 4 as a starter
Cost: £2.5 pp

Ingredients

  • 20 g dried mushrooms
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large red onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 tbsp fresh thyme
  • 100 g fresh Shitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 300 g chestnut mushrooms, sliced
  • 700 ml vegetable stock
  • 400 g can cannellini beans, drained
  • seasoning to taste

Optional garnishes

  • 1 tbsp pine nuts, toasted
  • 1 dsp Extra virgin olive oil
  • a few drops of truffle oil
  • fresh thyme leaves

Instructions


  • 1. Soak the dried mushrooms in 150ml of warm water for at least 45
    minutes. Drain the dried mushrooms reserving the liquid.
    2. Heat the oil in a large saucepan on a medium heat. Sauté the red
    onion for five minutes. Add the garlic and thyme. Cook for one
    minute, then add the sliced fresh mushrooms.
    3. Cook the mushrooms until they are starting to turn golden. Add the
    drained (rehydrated) mushrooms and gently cook for a further seven
    minutes.
    4. Add the stock and the reserved, strained mushroom liquid (be careful
    not to add any granular bits, sometimes dried mushrooms leave when
    they are refreshed in water). Simmer gently for 10 minutes.
    5. Add the drained cannellini beans and season to taste (be careful with
    salt if you are using a stock cube and not fresh stock as this will often
    have added salt). Cook for 10 minutes, partially covered.
    6. Blend the soup until smooth. Check the seasoning. Return to the
    saucepan and simmer until ready to serve.
    7. Toast the pine kernels in a dry frying pan until golden. Garnish the soup with the pine nuts and a drizzle of olive oil (or truffle oil as a treat).
    Recipe by Heather Cuthbert and adapted for Vegan Natural Chef



Notes

You can add carrots and potatoes and serve like in the picture.

Resources

nutritionfacts.org – a library of various evidence based videos and blogs by dr Greger.

College of Naturopathic Medicine – my nutritional Chef course materials

Harvard Health – https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/foods-that-fight-inflammation

Book 45 min free session with me! 

I am a Health Coach and Plant-Based Chef. I work with people who are fed up with dieting and I help them to build healthy habits so that they do not have to diet ever again.

Book free 45 min Double Your energy Breakthrough session with me and let's find you superpowers together.

3 Ways To Master TYPE 1 DIABETES ON PLANT-BASED DIET Without Overwhelm

3 Ways To Master TYPE 1 DIABETES ON PLANT-BASED DIET Without Overwhelm

Vegan diets tend to be lower in saturated fat, higher in fibre, fruit and vegetables and other protective substances like phytochemicals and antioxidants – as a result, they fit well with the current dietary guidelines for people with diabetes. – Diabetes UK

The Beginnings

When I was 17 my life has stop for a moment when I got seriously sick. I lost a lot of weight over a short period of time, I lost loads of my hair and was so tired and massively thirsty. I could not climb up the stairs without stopping and drinking.

I knew nothing about type 1 diabetes which is a condition when your pancreas stop producing insulin and you need to get it externally via injections.

I was admitted to the hospital until my sugar levels were balanced and I learnt how to inject insulin. I got vials and needles and off I went home totally confused.

When you are young and your life as an adult only starts you just go day by day not really thinking in the longer terms. You think that you can abuse your body and then hoping all will be ok when you grow old. But look at everyone slightly older than you, are they fit? If they are what are they doing or what were they doing few years earlier? If not, how their life has been impacted can they do all the things or spend their time looking for health solutions? What life you want to have when you are 40 and 50 and beyond. We live longer for sure but do you want to struggle with your health or have a good  quality life as long as possible?

The Journey

My diabetes got quite out of control mainly because of irregular lifestyle, poor sleep due to stress, putting on weight due to ad hoc diet and lack of healthy habits, skin problems and anything in between. I told myself enough is enough in 2017 and I started a challenge in 2018 January to remove all animal products from my diet.

The first few months were hell, learning about everything, reading labels at shops. My body went into detoxification my skin was even worse. I decided to stick to it and after few weeks I noticed my weight coming down and my skin getting clearer.

During that time my blood sugars were fluctuating as my body was trying to adjust to a better routine: more exercises, loads of fresh organic food, no animal fat. The sensitivity to insulin increased especially after the meals when I usually had a spike. The animal fats e.g cheese on pizza restricts your cells to accept insulin to bring the sugar level down. In other words the wrong type of lipids in your blood is quite high so if you took a blood sample and put it in the machine to separate plasma from red cells you would see it as being quite murky. People on a plant-based diet have it clear allowing insulin to work properly to stabilise the sugar levels in their blood cells. Don’t get me wrong, we need lipids, but excess of the wrong ones leads to cardiovascular disease which is number 1 killer in UK. People with diabetes are quite often on statins which is a lipid-modifying treatment. Instead of that they should be offered lifestyle changes , nutritional advice and coaching.

Blood lab tests – 2017,2018 and 2019

Overall, my health journey was not without its challenges. Below you will find my blood lab tests over the last three years. You will notice that in August they got a bit worse than in previous year that is because the old habits did  kick in and probably due to stress related to change of work.

 

Explanation of the blood lab tests:

 

Hb1C – is the overall result of how the diabetes is doing over three months period; it should be as close as possible to 53 target which is normal.

BMI – healthy BMI is below 25.

Cholesterol – consist of Non-HDL (or LDL) – bad cholesterol (contributing to cardiovascular problems) and HDL – good one; bad should be the lowest possible. Healthy cholesterol is 5 or below

Triglycerides – these were not measured but they are similar to bad cholesterol and should be below 2.3

2017

blood tests

2018 they did not take the same measurements as in 2017 so I do not have the BMI and the weight which is the shame

blood tests diabetes

2019

diabetes

(All in healthy levels were taken from www.nhs.uk)

My Three ways to avoid overwhelm when you switch to a plant-based diet:

  1. Read available resources and plan your shopping and cooking. My favourite is Bosh book – great and tried recipes and Vegan Lovelie. Check also Diabetes UK. It is important for diabetics to ensure that you have protein in each meal which will make your sugar levels balanced for a longer period of time avoiding hypos (low sugar) or hyper (high sugar) situations. The lower fat content will make your insulin work quicker and more efficient so you may need to adjust your doses. Monitor your sugar levels closely until you feel comfortable.
  2. When exercising ensure you check your blood sugar and if it is lower that 5.5 mmols/l eat some quick releaseing carbohydrate such as dry fruit. I usually have a date with some nut butter to ensure that my blood sugar stays balanced after low. It will take your body some time to adjust to new diet and you will be more sensitive to insulin so you may need to adjust your insulin dosage overall. I have a pump and it is easy to adjust basal rate and food dose as well.
  3. On a plant-based diet it is essential to take these three supplements: Vitamin B12 (people who eat meat can also be deficient due to the way the animals are farmed – they get it from the soil and grass but this is highly restricted for many animals), Vitamin D and Omega 3 with algae  extract. I also take others as well mainly from Doterra as I trust the company and people who take them and see benefits such as clearer skin, more energy, and overall good health condition.

 

Overall, I found my health journey very rewarding. Tough at times when you need to explain to you family and friends what you do not eat and what you eat but I stick to my values and rarely took even a compromise. I did this for health reasons mainly but now I know that what keeps me going is the animal cruelty and the planet. We eat too much meat as it seems to be an easy option, otherwise what will we cook? Another thing which happend is the reduction of the portion sizes. I can simply be satisfied with the food when I am around 80% full which not I can recognize when,. The key is in the time you take to eat. Too fast and you will eat too much. 

If you want to know more about healthy and happy living check the Blue Zones https://www.bluezones.com/, those are the zones where people live the longest and healthiest  life and those on plant-based diet live even longer. For many of us it would be difficult to suddenly move to Blue Zones and live a healthier, but there is a lot to take on board rather than regret it when we are older. They call it a Power of Nine, with a glass of wine at 5pm which is not too bad , is it not?  You can also take a longevity test. I took mine. My healthy life expectancy is 41 – which is now so very depressing; overall life expectancy 72. Oh well there is a bit more work for me to do but yes diabetes is life limiting condition.

 

If you are somebody looking for a healthier lifestyle, who want to loose the weight and keep it off, transfer to more pant-based diet, let’s schedule  a free 45 min appointment to check if we would be a good fit and get clarity around your goals – health, career or life in general.