The Art of Mint Chutney

Nutrition. Nutrition. Nutrition.

When it comes to making yummy and nutritious dressing for yogurt or salads, I just cannot look past one of my favourites; Mint Chutney. Subcontinent cultures have incorporated mint chutney in their daily meals for hundreds of years because it helps digest food. The chutney is refreshing and adds that extra zest to the dishes making them taste divine. It’s super easy to make because it requires only a handful of ingredients!


  • 1 bunch of Mint leaves (2 cups)img_6978
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 small green chilly
  • pinch of cumin seeds powder
  • 4 tablespoons of purified water



  • In goes all of the ingredients in the blender. Grind until desired smooth.
  • Add to container – this mixture can live your fridge for weeks!
  • Enjoy!


Part II – What is Sympathetic Dominance?

When SD is active your body is in either in flight or in fight state. A lot of people think that these modes are switched on as body’s response to extreme situations. For example, if someone gets ready to physically fight (in fight mode switched on) or when someone gets ready to run from something dangerous (In flight mode switched on). However, little do most people know that it’s the littlest of things, such as being nervous and worrying or stressing about something etc., can cause the sympathetic side of ANS to switch on as well. It switches on exactly the same in flight/in fight response in both situations.

Let’s assess the first SD situation: You are getting ready to run in a life-threatening situation. Your brain’s automatic response will be to “survive” and it will immediately focus on the functions needed to “Run”. For example, your heart rate may increase, your blood sugar levels would rise, your body will move in forward position, your shoulders and muscles in your arms will tense up. Muscles in your legs will tighten up. You will become wide awake and very switched on and therefore become hyper sensitive to sound and light. While this is all happening, your body will start to suppress its digestive, reproductive and immune systems because right now the only thing your body cares about is its survival. Your brain’s signal to body is to pay full attention to the situation at hand. Nothing else matters.

Similarly, stress caused by worrying, can trigger the same body responses. If you are stressed and wound up, muscles in your body will tense up and SD will take control. I mentioned in Part 1 that it was ok to have SD active for appropriate amount of time. However, SD being in control of the body for increasingly long periods of times is where the problem starts. And my focus on this blog is to draw your attention to this problem, be aware of it and once you recognise it, you will start linking the dots of any health problems and start to understand the underlying causes. For example, if you usually have trouble going to sleep at night and find yourself wound up all the time with tense shoulders and neck, your body is running on in fight or inflight mode. So, if you grasp the linkage between these conditions, you can draw down to the cause and therefore acquire the skills to apply right treatment to address these problems rather than just treating the symptoms.

We learnt in Part 1 that Sympathetic and Parasympathetic are two opposite sides of Autonomic Nervous System. When Sympathetic side is active, Parasympathetic side is suppressed. This happens automatically and is something we don’t do consciously. And if Sympathetic Nervous System is active all the time in your body, it doesn’t get the time to rest and repair. This is when you start to see Sympathetic Dominance.

When the body is in either in flight or in fight survival mode, our brain fires up our sensory neurons that are responsible for activating different functions in the body and shutting down the other. So your first step is to identify the SD activation indicators that happen as result of these neurons being fired up. They are in no particular order because some people may experience them in different order or at the same time.

  1.     Tense Muscles

I’ve mentioned a few times that one of the things people experiencing SD may complain about is having tense shoulders and neck, back aches or tight and tender leg muscles. If your body is getting ready to fight, the muscles in your neck and shoulders will tense up because your head will drop forward that in turn will put pressure on your upper back. Your legs’ muscles will tighten up as your body gets ready to hop forward. All at the same time, your adrenal glands will start producing more of the stress hormone cortisol. Once this happens, your digestive system, reproductive system and immune system is supressed. Because hey, your body needs to handle the crises that you have at hand right now; fight. Right now it doesn’t have time to digest your food, or make babies or fight cold or flu bacteria.

If you would like to read more on these different types of neurons and how they work in more detail I will highly recommend you guys to read SD Protocol by Dr Wayne Todd

  1.    Bad Posture

Tense and tight muscles affect the equilibrium in body. When you are relaxed, muscles in your body are relaxed but the moment sympathetic nervous system is switched on, muscles in your body become tense and tighten up. Tense muscles impact:

o   Signal loop between the brain and body; Brain thinks something is wrong and starts suppressing vital systems we talked about earlier.

o   Ability to breathe properly; round up shoulders effect chest area. With good posture, shoulders are down, that allows the lungs to breathe in oxygen to their full extent as the chest opens. When shoulders are rounded up, it makes chest muscles tense up and constricts the air flow to ribcage. When your body is in survival mode, you are most likely to take short breaths as opposed to long deep breaths.

o   Balance; My Chiropractor always says “To correct bad posture you must correct balance.” When your shoulders are rounded, your head will lean forward and your body will try to rebalances itself to stay up right. This puts pressure on lower back and glute muscles. Lower back curves up and buttocks stick out.

o   Spine; When spine curves unnaturally for prolong period, it creates pain the lower back. And when neck muscles tense up and head stays in a forward position all the time it creates headaches.

  1.    Hyper-sensitivity to sound

Just like being sensitive to light, if someone is under SD they would be sensitive to sound as their sense sound will be at heightened state. They would always be in alert state ready to pounce and even the lightest of sounds would bother them. People whose sense of sound is always heightened may suffer headaches a lot or every now and then without any apparent causes.

  1.    Hyper-sensitivity to light

Have you ever wondered why most light sleepers complain that they cannot rest properly unless it is complete darkness? Even just a little bit of light bothers them. When someone is under SD and the body is in survival mode, you will become wide awake and your sense of sight will heighten. In the initial stage of SD the pupils of eyes dilate to allow your eye to see as much as possible especially when it’s dark. This in turn makes eyes sensitive to light. That is why you may struggle to fall asleep even if there is only a little bit of light in the room.

As a Health Coach I am an avid advocate of SD protocol that I have designed in my 90 Day Health & Lifelstyle Transformation Program. I know after years of reach and studying that health is not only a result eating habit and but also a result of our environment. It goes beyond looking at just nutrition and looking at other factors of our day to day habits that are almost always ignored by other health care professionals.


If you would like to know more about my 90 Day Health & Lifelstyle Transformation Program get in touch with me. I can and will change your life!

Much Love & Light to You.


Pilates is the new Black

The key goal of Pilates is to achieve core strength. I firmly believe that when you have strong abdominal muscles, it helps to correct your posture. It helps you stand up right correcting the position of your shoulders and neck. When your posture is correct, it alleviates stress from your spine.

Other Benefits are:

  1. Pilates not only helps to stabilise the core but also strengthens the pelvic floor muscles because of the Pilates exercises incorporate contracting these muscles.
  2. Pilates incorporates stretching exercises; a good Pilates session always starts with stretching that reduces stress on muscles.
  3. Pilates exercises if done correctly put minimal pressor on joints. Very light Pilates exercises are actually very good for the inflamed joints.
  4. Pilates incorporates the art of correct breathing. Just like yoga, in Pilates breathing is methodical that allows you to move per the movement of the body allowing the oxygen to reach every part of your body that results in less sore muscles after the Pilates workout.
  5. Pilates makes sex better because guess what; the muscles you use to contract during sex are the same pelvic floor muscles used in so many Pilates exercise!
  6. As mentioned in point 4 Pilates incorporates breathing correctly. When you need breathe correctly during certain Pilates positions (when to inhale and when to exhale) you concentrate and therefore reduce the mind clutter. When your mind is free of unnecessary “thought noise”, it is healthier and functions better.

It’s time for Pilates session.

Get in touch with me for learning some simple yet powerful core and pelvic exercises.

Love xx

Mind over Matter

Meditation is a deep state of calmness and peacefulness when the mind is relaxed and content, without any worries or any thoughts of past, present or future. Many experts call it the state of mindfulness. It means transforming your mind to have alertness, clarity and emotional positivity. It encourages awareness of your breath, your body and your surroundings without any clutter of thoughts.

It sounds very simple, but there are so many people who find it so hard to detach their mind even for a few seconds to be free of “thoughts clutter”. The thought of sitting still without any thoughts sounds scary. But once you read some of the tricks and techniques below, you will realise how easy it is to meditate.

For me mindfulness and meditation is tying the thousands of years of Buddhist practices to the science of Parasympathetic state of body that achieves incredible health benefits. It is all about providing your body oxygenation to the full capacity of your lungs, so the body can perform its biggest to smallest functions i.e. being able to regenerate cells, pumping blood to all organs, digesting food, fighting illness etc. And this is exactly what meditation is all about; to give you the ability to breathe properly.

A lot of people, meditate for different purposes, to achieve mindfulness, to control their breathing, to reduce stress, to achieve alertness and to cultivate the state of positive being. This all achieves the better and healthier you. Meditation is one of the simplest ways to eliminate so many mental health problems; for example, anxiety or depression or stress. When you feel better, your body functions better. Because remember body needs the balance between, it’s mental, chemical and physical states. A lot of my clients tell me that by mediating and doing mindfulness or core strengthening exercises incorporated with some positive habits, their stress levels come down (mental health improves). They can sleep better (Chemical health improves)1. And they feel less tension in their shoulders and neck (Physical health improves).

There are just so many benefits of mediation. Try it and discover the wonderful health benefits.

  1. Sit upright in a cross legged position. If it’s not easy you can sit on a chair. Make sure you are comfortable.
  2. Start by taking a deep breath in through your nose
  3. As you inhale, feel the breath move deep into your body. The trick is to place your hands on your belly and feel it expand as you inhale.
  4. Then slowly exhale through your nose as you feel your belly deflate.
  5. Repeat that 3 more times breathing slowly and deeply each time. Count to 4 seconds when inhaling and 4 seconds when exhaling. That would help with keeping a slow and steady breathing pace.
  6. When you have mastered this technique of slow and deep breathing, pay attention to what is going on in your mind. If you have any thoughts and any worries cluttering your mind, just pushed them away gently by concentrating on your breath. Feel it entering and leaving your belly, your lower chest and your upper chest.
  7. Tip: A lot of people achieve the good results when they meditate in a quiet environment when there is nothing and no one there for disturb you. Some people even mediate to the sound of soft music. If you have not meditated before I always recommend my clients to practice mediation in presence of mediation teacher who can create ideal conditions for mediation.

Let me know how you go and if you have questions get in touch with me.

Love xx


  1. Insomnia Linked to Neurochemical Imbalance


Part I – What is Sympathetic Dominance?

When I first heard of Sympathetic Dominance about 2 years ago, I had no idea what it was or what it meant. To me the words “Sympathetic Dominance” (SD) together didn’t make any sense. I have mentioned in my previous blog (The impact of our environment and our lifestyle) that I was introduced to this term by one of my natureopaths in relation to the body’s nervous system. This immediately sparked my interest and I got researching and sourced some books. I was actually amazed as to how much medical information and well-known facts are available on SD and yet whenever I speak to any of my clients and mention it, I am met with blank faces.

Once you understand what SD means and what it is, you will find it to be a very very common phenomenon occurring almost everywhere. It has sneaked into almost every home and have managed to thrive without being noticed by any one of us. Coaching clients have made me realise that SD impacts so many of us on almost daily basis. So many of us display its symptoms and yet its importance has been overlooked by so many healthcare practitioners for decades.

Our Nervous system is made up of 100’s of billions of nerves and cells known as neurons that are responsible for sending signals to all parts of our body. Our Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) is part of our Nervous System that is responsible for regulating internal body processes and organ functions that require no conscious effort. Thus, we are usually not aware of these functions. Our heart beating, our blood pressure, us breathing and digesting our food, are all examples of functions and processes that our body conducts without us even knowing. ANS is made up of two parts; Sympathetic and Parasympathetic. These two functions or parts are opposite of each other.


Sympathetic part is responsible for body’s ability to prepare itself for the stressful situations. These situations will either make body to get into in flight or in fight mode.

Parasympathetic part is responsible for body’s ability to relax and perform normal body functions i.e. to maintain calm state during peaceful situations.


Main thing to remember is that both modes cannot be active at the same time. It’s one or the other.  They work together to ensure when one mode is dominant, the other is suppressed. When one of these modes is dominant its functions are elevated and more active and when it’s suppressed its functions are inhibited and less active. It’s automatic and natural for the body to go into in flight or in fight mode when it senses unfavourable or dangerous situations. While it may be OK to stay in Sympathetic mode for not too long, overwhelming research has shown that staying in Sympathetic Dominance for prolonged periods of times can result in health problems. Therefore, it is essential for parasympathetic side to be not suppressed for long periods of time because it handles important body functions.

If you look up the definition of Parasympathetic Nervous System (PSNS) on Wikipedia, it reads ‘The parasympathetic system is responsible for stimulation of “rest-and-digest” or “feed and breed” activities that occur when the body is at rest.’ I mentioned earlier that PSNS is responsible for body’s calm and relaxed state. When Parasympathetic System is switched on our body is well nourished and rested. All the body functions work normally as they should. These functions include, digestion, reproduction, hormones production and body’s response to fight diseases and so many more functions that allow our body to stay healthy. I will get back to talking about the numerous wonderful benefits of PSNS but it is important that I talk about and shed more light on its opposite Sympathetic side which I like to call its evil side! For that reason I have dedicated my next blog post to SD.

You’ve heard me mention “In flight” and “In fight” states a few times. A lot of people are familiar with these terms. When it comes to body’s internal functions, it is important to identify these modes because being in SD for long periods of times can lead decline in health. Knowing is the first step. It allows you to begin to take appropriate action to bring your body back to its normal and happy state. Remember that, being in any of these modes, may affect you mentally initially but eventually your physical health will suffer as your mental and physical health are intrinsically connected to each other and damage to one will impact the other.

Much Love and Light to You.


What you put on your skin matters

There are so many cosmetics and skincare products in the market that have carcinogenic ingredients in them that it boggles my mind how they were even allowed to exist in the first place let alone making it to the shelves of supermarkets, beauty salons and skincare/cosmetic stores. These products should always be avoided because they have the potential to cause some serious long term health problems.


Remember our skin is the biggest organ in our body and anything that you put on your body goes in you body; it is directly absorbed into your blood stream, 60% of which can go into the organs. That is why it is even more important to use the cleanest skincare products for the vitality of our health because healthy immune system shows through healthy and radiating skin.

Below are some of the preservatives and chemicals that I particularly watch out for when buying cosmetics and any skincare product e.g. shampo, hair sprays, hand wash, body lotion, face cream, essential oils etc. (Literally anything that I would put on my skin!).



Many companies resorted to use of preservatives after the Parabens controversy. But these preservatives can be just as bad depending on their quantity in the product. The baddest of them all are:

  • Sodium Hydroxymethylglycinate
  • Phenoxyethanol
  • DEA
Other harmful chemicals to avoid all together are:
  • Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS)
  • Sodium Laureth Sulphate (SLES)
  • Synthetic Fragrances and Parfarm
  • Animal derivatives
  • Other ionic Harsh Detergents such as ammonium lauryl sulfate and ammonium laureth sulfate
  • Propylene Glycol
  • Artificial colours
  • Triethanolamine
  • Mineral Oils
  • EDTA
  • Paraben
  • Phthalate
  • Coal Tar dyes
  • PEGs
  • Petrolatum
  • Triclosan
  • Chemical Sunscreens (with Retinyl Palmitate, Oxybenzone and Octyl Methoxycinnamate
  • Aluminum
  • Heavy Metals: Lead, Mercury, Cadmium, Arsenic, Nickel and More
  • Talc


Below are some of the things that I look for when buying a face cream for a healthy, supple skin.

These ingredients should only be taken at minimum or mixed with other ingredients:
  • Retinol (Vitamin A): Most products will have it less than 1% mixed with other ingredients. It must be used with caution as it thins the skin. Products containing Retinol should not be used on and around eye area where the skin is delicate and the thinnest.
  • Shea Butter: It is great for keeping the skin moisture retained especially through night time and any “Shea butter” creams should only be used on Body not face as it clogs pores and is a big NO NO for oily skin types
  • Pure Vitamin E oil: Should not be used by itself on the face as it clogs pores. Use a cream that contains it with other vitamins and antioxidants OR mix it with other essential oils before application to face.
    • Tip: I usually mix a drop of Vitamin E oil with Chamomile and Rose hip oil during the day when I am  not going outside. The mixture thins the Vitamin E oil and instead of rubbing the mixture vigorously into the skin I use my fingers on my face as if I was dabbing it.

Potato Patties

Potatoes are full of nutrients and complex carbohydrates that keep you fuller for longer. Potatoes are also a rich source of Vitamin B and C, folate and minerals such as potassium, magnesium and iron. Here is a simple way to make a potato patty that is delicious. Serve it with brown rice, quinoa, lentils or simply in bread as a sandwich with avocado and mixed greens.

Below ingredients are some of the things you can add to the mix. There are a lot of vegetables that you can add e.g. peas, tomatoes, kale, or chickpeas or broad beans.

pot1 Ingredients:

– Potatoes; boiled and mashed

– Fresh coriander; chopped

– Onion; chopped

– Pepper

– Salt

– Cumin powder (for little bit of aroma)

– Olive oil




– Mix all the ingredient together.

– Make about 3 inches wide circular patties.

– Bring a frying pan to medium heat with little bit of olive oil.

– Cook the patties on both sides until light brown.

– Serve while hot and Enjoy!

Hydrating Matcha Tea Face Mask

Drinking any herbal Tea is good for the health and good for the soul. Drinking herbal tea every day provides antioxidants in abundance (most herbal teas are packed with them). There is however, one herbal tea that delivers antioxidants in 10 folds compared to any other herbal tea. And that is Matcha tea. Where green tea, when brewed can only provide antioxidants that are extracted from the leaf, Matcha is an actual green tea leaf and what you get with it is not just what is extracted from the leaf but also what is inside the leaf. It is a powerhouse of antioxidants. In fact some researches have shown that consuming 1 cup of match tea delivers health benefits of drinking 10 cups of green tea.

There are so many other health benefits of Matcha. This just one powerhouse ingredient can lower your cholesterol and blood sugar levels, provide with vitamin C, selenium, magnesium and zinc, boost your energy levels, detoxify and get rid of chemicals in your body, promote healthy iron levels in your body, relax your muscles, and it’s known to reduce cravings resulting in high metabolism and calories burn rate…. my goodness I can go on and on about the health benefits of this little wonder called matcha!.

Above all Matcha is vibrant green in colour. Green means chlorophyll and I mean it literally! chlorophyll actual means “Green leaf” in Greek. It is a green pigment with amazing healing benefits. If consumed, it is known to reduce inflammation in immune system and digestive problems and aid in gut health. And know with absolute belief that “Healthy Gut means Healthy body” (My favourite topic!) and Matcha tea is packed with chlorophyll!

Did you know chlorophyll if applied topically on a scar or bruise is known to reduce redness and swelling? Think about it. It is crucial for every plant to absorb energy from the sun and to stay “alive”. The suppleness and the vibrant green colour in plants is because of chlorophyll.

So given Matcha is packed with chlorophyll along with antioxidants which play big part in improving health overall, I’ve found another use of it that will result in immediate soft and youthful looking skin; And that is to apply it topically!

Now that you’re equipped with the knowledge of Matcha tea benefits, here is the  method to apply it topically on your face and it could not be any simpler. All you need is match tea powder (please get organic certified one so you know that it doesn’t have any nasty chemicals!) and a few drops of hot water.


Take one 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoon of match tea powder and add 1/2 teaspoon boiling water (or until the consistency is like a paste). Let the mask cool a little (it literally takes a few seconds for it to cool down as the idea is to apply the mask on the face when it’s warm – Not boiling hot. Not cold). Apply it on clean face with a soft brush and leave it for 10-15 minutes or until the mask is feels hard on your face. Then remove it with luke warm water and moisturize your face.


The immediate benefits are that your face would feel smooth and soft. If you apply this mask at least once a week, after 2-3 weeks you will notice that your skin looks radiant and would feel more supple. I apply it as close to the under eyes area as possible as the antioxidants get sealed in your skin when you apply the mask while it’s warm resulting in depuffing of the dark circles. I have noticed that overall this mask hydrates my skin more than any other DIY mask.

It takes only 10-15 of your time ONCE a week. So enjoy. Look after yourself and while you got the mask on, drink a cup of hot matcha tea 🙂

With any skin regime and DIY remedies, it is always important to do patch test on your skin to ensure, that you’re not allergic to any ingredient and I will highly recommend you do that before applying this mask to the whole face.

I look forward to hearing about your results.

Much Love x

Benefits of eating salads

Ever since I’ve gotten back from the holiday in Europe which was four weeks of experiencing amazing architecture, relaxing and eating to my heart’s content, I’ve noticed the ever increasing inches around my waist. Although I am not eating out every day in restaurants which if you’ve been to Italy, France and Spain love serving bread and lots of it from the endless supplies of their kitchens. The people there just love their bread!

With a few upcoming events I’ve switched to eating salad. Yes, mainly salad and have drastically cut down on my intake of bread. I started off by adding salad, and lots of it on the side of my main meals which are normally made up of rice or couscous, meat and seasonal vegetables. But that didn’t quite work. I realized that I was eating more or less same amount of carbs with big portions of meat. After speaking to some of my friends I found out that they have experienced the same problem. Why is it so hard sometime to shed those few niggling pounds? In my case all I want to do is get rid of the belly fat without losing weight. So I decided to do a bit more research. First thing first, regular exercise is very important to get back and stay in shape. However, what you eat is equally important. In fact I’d say it is more important than doing hardcore workouts. If you work out for example, running, Pilates or a few sessions a week in the gym but don’t eat healthy food, you will see little to no results. On the contrary if your diet is excellent i.e. it comprises of right portions of fiber, protein, healthy fats and carbohydrates but you only do light exercises every week, you are guaranteed to see the positive results and reach your fitness goals.

This brings me to the subject of this blog; benefits of eating salads. Let’s get one thing out of the way which a lot of us tend to do; treat salad as a “side” dish to the main meal. It ends up being just an addition to the meal. I have often included salads or a bowl of vegetables along with the main meal whether it’s me cooking at home or ordering in a restaurant. This means my portion size of what I would end up eating becomes bigger because the salad or vegetables is added on top of my main meal. So why not make the salad hero of the dish and start treating it as a main dish and build the intake of carbs, protein and fats around that? And here is how you do it:

I used to complain that just eating salad with even right portions of protein and vegetables doesn’t fill my stomach. I wanted to eat bread or rice in order to feel full. That’s because I never really treated salad as my main meal. The trick is to make the salad portion of your meal BIG, to treat as the “main“. Yes No more chewing on handful of lettuce leaves carelessly tossed on your plate! These days with so much focus on eating healthy and balanced diet, and a million healthy recopies being out there, it would be almost nonchalant and rather ignorant to not know what is best for your body’s health. Eating balanced diet and exercising regularly not only lifts your spirits up and makes you feel good but also reduces stress and prevents so many illnesses. When it comes to incorporating salads as your daily meals, the benefits are a thousand fold. They make a nutrient rich meal and depending on what sort of greens and vegetables you include in your salad they provide calcium, fiber, vitamins and antioxidants that have so many health benefits. (See my previous posts where I’ve outlined benefits in details). Bottom line is you simply cannot go wrong with the salads.

As I mentioned earlier, my trick is to make the salad portion of your meal big, so you won’t feel hungry afterwards. A good salad dish should comprise of good amount of greens, vegetables, and a side of protein. Yes you read that right. Protein in the meal should be treated as “side” because remember the hero of the dish is the salad. Put lots of colourful vegetables in the salad, nuts, a drizzle of olive oil and lemon juice to not only make salad look appetizing but also taste good. I normally toss tomatoes and cucumber in with mixed leaf lettuce and handful of mixed nuts. (Did you know that iceberg lettuce is packed with fiber and antioxidants? 2 cups of this lettuce can provide up to 20% of daily need and if you had lettuce in both lunch and breakfast. That is almost half of your daily intake of fiber taken care of!)

Now, let me talk about the dressings. The ready-made salad dressings that you see on the shelves of supermarkets can have lots of sugar (and not the good kind of sugar) that if used a lot of in the salads can increase the intake of calories. Let me tell you a quick yet amazingly healthy recipe for salad dressing where you are the one who decides how much calories you would want in the dressing.

Following portions of the ingredients are for 2 cups of salad:

  •       1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  •       ½ teaspoon honey
  •       2 teaspoons lemon juice

You simply mix the above together and drizzle on the salad. I’ve specified ½ teaspoon of honey. You can change the portions of it to add more to make the dressing taste a bit on the sweet side or less to make the dressing taste more on the sour side. But remember the more you add honey to it, the higher the calories.

Adding different types of vegetables, for example, carrots, capsicum, mushrooms, celery, spinach increases the intake of vitamins, antioxidants and fiber and make the salad feel “substantial” and not “airy”. I also add mixed nuts to incorporate more fiber and vitamins in the salad. I sometimes add couscous or quinoa or chickpeas as well.

Now let’s talk about the “side” of this meal; the protein. It is very important to eat some sort of healthy protein with each meal as our body needs a regular supply of protein. So Adding, smoked or grilled turkey or chicken or fish in a lean form is a fantastic way to make your salad taste all the more delicious. Also beans and nuts provide protein as well as fiber.

So there it is. There are so many different healthy options to make a vibrant, colourful and healthy salad meal that you just cannot go wrong. And remember by increasing the salad proportion of the meal you avoid  eating more carbs and fats and that automatically reduces your calories intake. I promise you that incorporating salads in your daily meals along with balanced diet and regular exercise you will feel and look amazing and your body will thank you for it. Remember healthy food equals healthy body and healthy body equals healthy skin!


Much Love

The impact of our environment and lifestyle

There have been studies done on how our lifestyle choices and the environment we surround ourselves with have direct impact on our health and wellbeing. As I research more and more into this topic I am finding from different sources, whether it’s a research study, an article or a book; our health is greatly influenced by the environment we live in and the lifestyle choice we make on day to day basis. In fact, our environment and life style factors have a far greater impact on our health than heredity and genetics.

Last year I read a great book by Dr Todd that introduced me to a phenomenon called Sympathetic Dominance. The more I read on it the more I realised how deeply our everyday decisions on what to eat, how to tolerate stress, how to approach a health problem and what steps to take to resolve it, whether we are in a healthy loving relationship and have healthy social interactions with people; how all of it is so intrinsically interwoven with our epigenetics and health outcomes.

Our genes are the genetic code that we inherit from our parents. Epigenetics on the other hand as Dr Todd mentions “influence how these genetic codes express themselves, or whether they express themselves at all.” He gives a simple example of two siblings whose inherited genetic code puts them at risk of diabetes. This genetic code may switch on if one of them becomes overweight and may stay off in the other sibling due to their healthy life style choices. One important take away from this is that our health outcomes can be heavily influenced by our lifestyle choices and our environment.

Another major contributor to our health’s wellness is the levels of stress we expose our bodies to. Stress is experienced on a mental level and if we are in stressful situations all the time and put our bodies through it on regular basis without getting an opportunity to relax and rest, it starts to affect us physically that can result in an illness. If we keep our bodies in a tense and wound up state, all the time and are in either in flight or in fight mode (more on these modes in my 2nd post of these series) we continue to run on adrenaline. When someone is constantly running on adrenaline, they end up being in Sympathetic Dominance.

Prolonged Sympathetic dominance (SD) although a result of certain lifestyle choices and/or environment factors, becomes a cause of mental and/or physical illnesses. Increased blood pressure, diabetes, digestive problems, fatigue, auto immune disorders and much more, can be a result of SD. These illnesses then can cause other illnesses. Take Julia for an example. She has a very stressful job. She works for long hours, starting work early in the morning and finishing late evenings on most days. On top of that she has a very demanding partner who is unable to work due to his health issues and often fights with her. On most nights, she goes to bed feeling exhausted, angry and frustrated. She doesn’t get good sleep and tosses and turns in bed. Her circumstances result in her becoming insomniac. Unable to cope and feeling anxious and fatigued all the time along with poor diet leads to decline in her overall health and soon enough she starts to experience all sorts of health problems. Julia’s body is essentially in a survival mode!

Being in a survival mode isn’t healthy for the wellbeing of oneself. If you don’t keep yourself calm and relaxed and don’t give your body enough time to recuperate and repair itself from stress, and resolve the negative situations, your body will experience negative mental and/or physical side effects. And not taking control of your health and life situations, can result in much more serious health issues. But the good news is that there are ways and tools available to take control and improve your health and see considerably big positive outcomes.

Yes, it is not always possible to have the perfect and desired lifestyle that is stress free and that allows us to be always happy and content. The reality is that stress is unavoidable. There will be situations where you will experience stress, frustration, or even anxiety resulting in less than ideal circumstances. The key is to equip yourself with tools that allow you to manage stress and unideal situations. When we experience adverse circumstances that have a damaging impact on our health, the chemical and/or hormonal balance in our body may be affected and often we don’t even realise it or notice it until it has resulted in a much bigger health problem.

Recently I read about the health triangle that affects everyone. It comprises of physical, chemical and emotional health. All 3 types of health are intrinsically connected to each other and damage to one can affect the other two. For example, you can be very fit, go to gym, do Yoga or Pilates on regular basis and eat healthy food i.e. your physical health is in top notch condition but you completely ignore your mental health. You may have a very demanding job that could be exhausting and that can result in you feeling under constant pressure and stress. Unmanaged stress will eventually impact the physical health. Conversely, physical illness can lead to depression impacting one’s mental/emotional health. The point is that all three types of health need to be in balance to improve overall health and wellbeing.

This is where the tools and protocols to manage health problems come in. Take me for an example. I developed digestion problem out of nowhere couple of years ago. I was burping a lot and experiencing acid reflux after eating foods that previously I could eat without any health issues. I saw gastroenterologist and got all sorts of blood tests done that were all clear. I wasn’t sleeping well and felt my shoulders were always very tense. Every day I woke up feeling I had been on a battle ground at night. And whenever I had some sleep it was very light and full of vivid dreams. I had no apparent “cause” of all these symptoms that I was experiencing and felt stuck for what steps I needed to take to fix all these problems. Studying to become a health coach was a true transformation for me. By designing the right protocol for my unique body which I now offer as part of my 90 Day Total Health & Lifestyle Transformation Program to my clients, I finally had an action plan to follow that allowed me to eliminate possible causes of all the symptoms 1 by 1. Within months, my burping had reduced and acid reflux became an occasional thing rather than something that occurred on regular basis. In just a few months I’ve achieved phenomenal success in my health that I couldn’t for many years before. I feel better every day.

Let me talk a little bit more about “no apparent cause” of symptoms that we may experience. With my gut issue, I became extremely frustrated. Quite often I felt that I was getting nowhere with the results. Everything seemed fine yet I was burping and getting acid reflux. Let me give you another example. When we get a headache, often we will instantly treat it by couple of pain killer tablets. But do we ever think about what caused the headache in the first place? Often there is nothing wrong at all. Sometimes people wake up with a headache. Sometimes people have had a busy day and end up getting a headache towards the end of the day. Why? If you dig deep there may be many factors at play. A person waking up with a headache didn’t get much or any sleep at night. Why didn’t they sleep well at night? A person who ends up getting headache towards the end of the day due to busy schedule may not be drinking enough water. They might be running on adrenaline all day or just sitting at a computer without stretching and taking the time to relax. The fact is that there can be so many underlying triggers at play and sometimes it is hard to pin point what caused the health issue in the first place.

I first learnt about Sympathetic Dominance a few years ago. Once I researched more on SD, I knew straight away I needed to dig deeper than just looking at the symptoms of my health issues and only treating the symptoms. For example, I had regular chiropractor adjustments to relieve the stiffness in my next and shoulders. I would feel great after the adjustment but a few days later, my neck and shoulders would go back to being tense again. I felt like I was wasting my money. That is because I had been treating the problem in isolation. I had tense shoulders, insomnia and felt fatigued all the time. Little did I know that these symptoms were connected and a result of SD. My tense shoulders were a result of lack of sleep. Lack of sleep was due to me running on adrenaline every day resulting in being tired all the time. I knew I had a problem and I was treating each problem separately without getting any positive outcome.

Sympathetic Dominance is when our Sympathetic Nervous System is running on a survival mode. Survival mode can be our body’s in flight or in fight response to something that causes stress. It could be the body tensing up and becoming ready to protect itself from a possible danger. When this happens sole focus of our body becomes to defend itself from an adverse situation or physical or emotional stress. During this state the body will not care about digestive, reproductive or immune system. This is fine if this response is short lived. However, if our body is always in survival mode, it becomes a problem and this is where most of the health issues can stem from.

That is why it is essential that you empower yourself with the knowledge and tools that will help you recognise the issue and help you get back into control and enjoy a healthy life. Depending on the severity of your health issue, it may take a few weeks or a few months to see any positive outcome. The key is perseverance and knowing what steps to take to see positive outcome. Yes, our lives are busy and demanding and it is almost impossible to lead a stress-free life every day. It comes down to how to manage the stress levels and how to switch of in-flight or in fight mode to bring back the equilibrium in your mental, chemical and physical health. This is where you can achieve phenomenal results with a help of a Health Coach. You will be surprised how some of the things that I coach my clients on are so simple yet they achieve far greater results if done with the right system in place.

When the underlying functions of your body are well and working as they should, you will feel good and achieve optimal health. Yes, our goal should always be to reach optimal health no matter what our age is and to maintain it, no matter what your health condition it, no matter what health issues you’re facing. Know that you can always improve your health and there are ways to change the course of your health towards you becoming more fit and healthier. You don’t have to be suffering from any illness to implement positive changes in your lifestyle. A lot of my clients come to me to improve their over all lifestyle by implementing better health habits. And with the tools and practical knowledge that I pass on to them they are able to take control of their health before their health with lasting changes.

Now that I’ve introduced to the concept of called Sympathetic Dominance, I will take you through series of blogs, explaining in more detail how health problems can arise and why it’s so important to address these problems from holistic point of view.

Stay tuned.

Much Love & Light to You