Spend a little time nurturing yourself today!

Have you ever noticed how listening to a certain piece of music can immediately lift your mood? We probably all know this, but when was the last time you dug out an old favourite and listened to it whilst doing the ironing or cleaning the house?

In the last couple of days I have been listening to a CD I bought years ago whilst on holiday in Colorado and Utah – it’s one of those new agey world music type CDs, but I absolutely love it! I remember playing it in the car when we were driving around the Arches National Park in Utah, one of the most spectacular places I have ever visited. So listening to it in the last few days has really made me remember how I felt on that trip – so relaxed and inspired ūüôā

Delicate-Arch-Arches-National-Park-Utah

Right now I’m listening to Enya, A Day without Rain, another old favourite that I hadn’t heard for a long time. Enya is an Irish singer in case you haven’t heard of her. I started the day today with a little yoga (which I rarely do, but should really practice more as it’s so good for the body and soul). After shoveling snow for over an hour yesterday, my lower back was sore, so I thought I would try some yoga stretches from a DVD I have – and it definitely helped! I followed this with some fresh juice (apple, cucumber, carrot and ginger – one of my favourite combinations) and Enya – what a wonderful way to start the day ūüôā

I have been reading my new Integrative Nutrition fundamentals notes in preparation for the course I am starting soon, and it really is fascinating. Integrative Nutrition advocates a 12 point plan for achieving good health and it involves much more than just good nutrition and exercise. Nurturing yourself, your  spirituality and your relationships play a huge role in being healthy. I had never considered these things before, but if you think about it, the healthiest people you probably know, take care of all these things, not just their body.

So, my advice today, is take care of yourself – nurture yourself, listen to some great music, buy yourself some beautiful flowers to look at, focus on improving your relationships with those around you and nurture your spirituality.

Have a wonderful day,

Sue xx

PS: I’m ending this note with Ave Maria, which happens to come next on the play list ūüôā

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The next step – becoming a Health Coach!

INNSo, I’ve successfully transitioned to a 95% vegan lifestyle – I say 95% as I still eat a tiny amount of animal protein now and again (partly because I fancy it and partly because being 100% vegan is pretty difficult when consuming anything that is processed). My husband is fully committed to this way of living and the kids are becoming less resistant to it.

We are all doing great apart from the fact that I have been getting a few break outs of spots since changing my diet. It was whilst researching what could be causing this (too much soy, general change of diet, hormones, age??) that I came across an advert for the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in New York and it’s Certificate in Health Coaching course. I really enjoyed the course I did last year when first embarking on this journey (Certificate in Plant Based Nutrition), and felt that I learned a lot. However, recently I was feeling¬†at a bit of a¬†loose end as my jewellery business (Stella and Dot) had not been keeping me as busy as I had hoped and I have not been able to find any part time work in teaching (even as an assistant). I felt like I should be doing something more with my new found nutritional knowledge.

So, I took a look at the course and it looked perfect for me!

Alan has considered me his own personal health coach since I cured his stomach problems when we lived in Jakarta after he had been to the doctor numerous times and been given multiple courses of ever stronger antibiotics to cure his stomach problems originally stemming from a severe parasite. For anyone who has lived in Asia and suffered one of these episodes, you will know just how bad it is to have to take one course of Flagyll, let alone multiple courses! Not pleasant! Anyway, after submitting yet another stool sample, Alan was told that they couldn’t see any evidence of the parasite, just intestinal yeast – this as a throwaway comment.

Being the expert Googler that I am – I immediately googled “intestinal yeast” and found lots of information about overgrowth of candida (yeast infection) as a result of too many antibiotics. I also found a diet/book called “Curing your Yeast Infection the All-Natural Way” by Sarah and Robert Summer, which was full of useful information for diagnosing a yeast infection and how to treat it (basically giving up anything which feeds the yeast such as sugar, mushrooms, beer, wine). The interesting thing was that Alan had been experiencing all kinds of weird and wonderful symptoms which he hadn’t connected – night sweats, light headedness/fogginess, recurring sinus infections, diarrhea, and feeling generally unwell. This had gone on for months since he first contracted the amoeba from something he had eaten.

After reading the book I had found online, we had an “Aha!” moment – it was like connecting the dots and finally seeing the bigger picture. So, he followed the advice I gave him from the book. He gave up sugar in everything, honey, alcohol, fruit, anything fermented (soy sauce, baked goods made with yeast) and mushrooms. He really followed the diet strictly, much to¬†his credit. He also took probiotic tablets to reintroduce good bacteria to his stomach.

Within 3 months, all his symptoms had gone away and his stomach was pretty much back to normal! He had been suffering with these symptoms for over a year and had been backward and forward to the doctor. Not once did any of the doctors he saw suggest that it could be an overgrowth of candida that could be to blame for all his symptoms, and not once did any of them offer anything but more antibiotics/antiparasitic drugs for the problem!

This seems to be a big issue everywhere – almost every time you go to the doctors, you are offered antibiotics, even for viral infections which everyone knows do not react to antibiotics. Doctors are trained to dispense drugs for every kind of complaint. It is very rare that a doctor will send you away without a prescription for something. They are not trained to prevent disease, only to treat it by dishing out the latest drugs, peddled to them by the mult-billion dollar pharmaceutical industry!

Anyway, enough of the soap box! ūüôā Suffice it to say, I am not hugely impressed by the medical profession and their lack of preventive care. Did you know that in the course of a¬†years long medical degree, most doctors receive only a tiny fraction of nutritional training? They really are not well qualified to give advice to people on how to manage their weight and achieve optimal health.

That’s where Health Coaches come in!

Hope you’re having a great, health filled day,

Sue ūüôā

INN3

HUNGRY FOR CHANGE – a brand new documentary

From the makers of Food Matters, another brand new documentary about the food industry is about to debut FREE online.

Read more about it here then go to http://www.hungryforchange.tv/free-worldwide-online-screening to watch the trailer and sign up to watch the full length movie online on March 21st (Thursday).

Thursday, March 21st – Hungry For Change Full Length Film

From the creators of the groundbreaking documentary FOOD MATTERS comes another hard-hitting film certain to rock your world. HUNGRY FOR CHANGE exposes shocking secrets the diet, weight loss and food industry don’t want you to know about.¬† In this free online screening event you’ll discover:

  • The real truth behind “DIET”, “SUGAR-FREE” and “FAT-FREE” products
  • How to overcome food addictions and cravings
  • How to navigate your supermarket – what to buy and what to avoid
  • Why fad diets don’t work
  • What food additives to avoid and how to read labels
  • The most effective detox and cleansing strategies, and
  • How to eat for clear eyes, glowing skin and healthy hair

Featuring interviews with best selling health authors and leading medical experts plus real life transformational stories from those who know what it’s like to be sick and overweight. If they can do it so can you!

I’m sure this new movie will be just as compelling as all the other movies I have recommended! Take time out of your day to do something for your health – I will be!

Sue ūüôā¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†

Education is the key to a healthy life!

header-cskKris Carr was diagnosed with a rare, incurable stage IV cancer at the age of 31 (on Valentine’s Day 2003)¬†and told that she may need a triple organ transplant, since the cancer had spread to her liver and lungs. She walked away from conventional treatment and focused on healing herself through a whole food plant based, anti-inflammatory diet. She made a documentary over the course of the first 4 years of living with cancer (Crazy, Sexy Cancer) and went on to write Crazy, Sexy Diet in 2011 and Crazy, Sexy Kitchen last year.

Watch this interview with Kris on the Good Life Project http://www.goodlifeproject.com/kris-carr-on-living-the-crazy-sexy-life-with-cancer/# – she is truly inspirational, and looks fabulous at 42, after living with cancer for the last 10 years!

Crazy, Sexy Kitchen was the first vegan cook book that I bought and it is full of great tips and recipes for preventing cancer as well as other chronic diseases. It is also very funny – definitely crazy and sexy!

This is not only a cookbook for people diagnosed with cancer Рthis is a cookbook (and health revolution) FOR ANYONE WHO WANTS TO PREVENT CANCER !

In the introduction to Crazy, Sexy Kitchen (which is, by the way one of my favourite books, thanks to it’s great advice, recipes, and gorgeous colourful photos), Kris says:

Thankfully, many chronic diseases are preventable (and even reversible) with a nutrient-dense, varied, plant-based diet and healthy lifestyle practices. Now that’s something to chew on. Sure there are some medical life lemons that get passed down and some that are unavoidable. But more often than we’re led to believe, our genes are modified by our food and lifestyle choices, environment, stress, and nutrition. These nongenetic factors can literally switch health issues on and off. Once altered, your genes either support health or open the door to disease. There’s a high probability that you have some say in the matter.

There’s a bigger picture, too, beyond us as individuals. It’s no surprise that the food system today is as broken as our health-care system, since in many ways they’re two sides of the same coin. Big agribusiness wins, the small farmer loses, while the environment gets polluted and destroyed, and the average citizen is caught in the crossfire. It doesn’t have to be this way. Grab your spatulas ’cause we’re going to shake shit up and get this wellness party started!”

I was watching a programme on TV last night – Lisa Ling’s Our America – about the problem of childhood obesity in the US. It showed a 4 year old boy who was already over 100 lbs and a 12 year old girl already over 350 lbs, and what seemed apparent to me was that the parents clearly had no idea what healthy eating meant, and also did not have the willpower to say no to their children when they asked for more food. They did not understand the dangers of allowing their children to get to this weight – high blood pressure, high cholestrol, type 2 diabetes, clogged arteries – all before their children are fully grown. One boy talked about how he used to drink up to 24 cans of soda a day! Personally, I can’t believe that any parent would allow their children to drink so much soda, but it is clearly happening in towns all over the US, and to a lesser extent other countries. If it’s not soda, it’s pizza, McDonalds, fried chicken, chips,¬†and all the other unhealthy foods and drinks which are so much a part of the culture here.

For me, it’s all about education, and that is the main reason I started this blog.

Until I began this journey last year, I had never heard that eating too much animal protein could be a significant trigger for cancer and other chronic diseases (heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, osteoporosis, etc).  All the information I had heard prior to that seemed to indicate that high protein low-fat was the way to go for a healthy life Рmy family and I had been following this advice for the last few years, consuming large amounts of lean protein (chicken, fish, eggs, lean beef), and making sure that the majority of dairy products we consumed were low fat. I had also recently switched to buying all organic meat, but after watching Forks over Knives, and reading the China Study, I came to realise that this was not enough in order to prevent all the chronic diseases of the 21st century.

Having discovered so much information that was completely new to me, and which had such an enormous impact on both my husband, and myself, ¬†I wanted to share it with everyone I knew, in case they hadn’t heard it either. It seemed like some big secret that no one was telling us!

Kris Carr started her “Wellness Revolution” for the same reasons – to educate people on how best to avoid chronic disease. The government and health-care industry does not seem to be willing or capable of doing this effectively (neither in the US nor the rest of the world) – they are too afraid of the multi-million dollar food and pharmaceutical industries to risk encouraging people to stop buying meat and dairy products, or to suggest that good nutrition could be a better preventive¬†measure than all those pills that doctors prescribe.

My mum accused me recently of trying to turn her into a vegetarian because I sent her a book about how to treat her arthritis symptoms through diet – the doctors are not doing anything to help her as they say her symptoms are not severe enough! I should mention for those who don’t know me, that this is in the UK, where healthcare is provided for free by the National Health Service (NHS) and where there are looooong waiting lists for none life-threatening operations. They gave her the options of doing nothing (can you believe it??), trying physiotherapy (which she had already tried for 3 months, with no relief), or getting a steroid injection (which she got, but which also didn’t seem to help at all). They said nothing about how too much dairy and animal protein can cause inflammation in the joints and lead to¬†a slight acidic balance in the blood¬†which has to then be¬†neutralized by something alkaline (calcium- which is leached from the bones, often leading to weakened bones and osteoporosis). There are so many things that we eat and drink that can cause inflammation – just cutting down on the amount of meat and dairy we consume can make a huge difference. Read this article for more information on how diet can affect arthritis symptoms http://www.pcrm.org/search/?cid=125

You don’t HAVE¬† to become a vegetarian or vegan to improve your health, but many studies show that vegetarians/vegans have much lower incidences of cancer, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, etc. http://www.pcrm.org/health/medNews/vegetarian-diet-reduces-risk-of-heart-disease

I would encourage everyone to start by cutting back on meat and dairy – try introducing one or two meat free days a week, try cutting out cow’s milk for a week or two and see if you feel any different. Try little steps, especially if your family is not receptive to the idea! It’s amazing how easy it is to stop eating meat and drinking milk, if you’re really on board with preventing future problems with your health. For more information on how I introduced a meat and dairy free diet to my family, go to https://campbellsj23.wordpress.com/about/the-transition/

Above all,¬†my message today is¬†EDUCATE YOURSELVES and then do something about it! Your health is in your hands, and your hands only ūüôā

What did you have for lunch today?

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Just a quick post this time – to share my new lunch discovery with you! It’s not really new – I just had never thought about eating this for lunch before.

Feeling rather peckish today, I went to the cupboards to see what I could throw together. Normally, these days, lunch would be a wholewheat bagel with hummus or peanut butter, and maybe some spinach. I fancied something different today though! I spied the green tortillas that Alan had been raving about recently, and decided to see what I could find to put in it, besides veggies. Aha, I thought, I know, I have some refried beans in the cupboard that I’ve been using for veggie fajitas for dinner (one of the kids’ favourites, although minus the refried beans which they think look disgusting!). Now, I know refried beans are not everyone’s cup of tea, but if you like Mexican food, you are almost guaranteed to have eaten them before as they are served with almost everything on the menu! Admittedly, they do look a little like Pedigree Chum when you open the tin. However, they are a great substitute for meat/cheese inside a tortilla or as¬†a dip and worked wonderfully, cold, straight from the tin, inside my wrap! One word of warning, if you are buying refried beans, try to buy the ones labelled vegetarian, as apparently they can contain animal fat/lard if not!

I added some spinach, tomato and a little bit of Pineapple, coconut, mango tequilla sauce that I happened to find in the fridge, and Bob’s your uncle (as they say in Britain) ūüôā

It was delicious!

What did you eat for lunch today??

Juicing – the next step

imageAfter watching Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead, a movie/documentary about an Australian, Joe Cross, who decides to take his health into his own hands, and goes on a 60 day juice fast in order to detox and lose weight, I have been thinking about trying it.

Alan and¬†I have made a green smoothie the last few weekends, just using the blender that we already had. We have experimented with various ingredients, using kale, cucumber, spinach, avocado, coconut water or pineapple juice, and the results have been pretty good – certainly not inedible anyway, although the reaction from the kids was as you would expect – along the lines of “Urghhhh, gross!” We made up a big batch in the morning and kept it in the refrigerator to drink throughout the day – it definitely feels good to know you are putting all those fabulously healthy ingredients into your body, just by drinking them – especially kale, which is a superfood, but which I don’t particularly like the taste of! It’s very easy to disguise the flavours of stronger tasting vegetables by adding something sweeter like apple or other fruits.

Of course, making a smoothie is slightly different to juicing, as it involves adding a liquid of some kind (a milk product, water, coconut water, store bought juice). It’s easy to do if you already own a blender and you can experiment with different combinations. For a quick guide to the differences between juicing and blending have a look¬† at this http://www.rebootwithjoe.com/the-great-debate-juicing-vs-smoothies/¬†Both are good for you and a great way to get those servings of fruit and vegetables into your body in a quick and easy way.

The benefits of pure juicing, however, are well documented:

Making fresh juice a part of a well-balanced, plant-based diet is an important tool for achieving good health.

Juicing offers many life-enhancing health benefits including a faster, more efficient way to absorb immune boosting nutrients naturally found in fruits and vegetables.  It provides a way to access digestive enzymes typically locked away in the fiber matrix of whole fruits and vegetables.  Most commercial juices are processed and lacking in nutrition while freshly juiced fruits and vegetables are loaded with an abundance of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients.

Drinking fresh juice can help us adopt healthier eating patterns.  For those of us who do not traditionally consume many fruits and vegetables, incorporating fresh juice can be a fun and different approach to increasing consumption of these important plant foods for improved health and wellness and reaching your weight loss goals.

How does it work? Juicing removes the insoluble fiber from vegetables and fruits. While fiber is an established, important part of an overall healthy diet, removing the insoluble fiber allows for increased absorption of specific health promoting phytonutrients including enzymes, while the soluble fiber persists into the juice.  By removing the fibers and consuming fruits and vegetables in liquid form, we are providing a nutrient delivery system to our bodies that allows individuals who would otherwise have difficulty consuming whole vegetables, the opportunity to reap the numerous benefits vegetables have to offer.

(From Reboot with Joe, http://www.rebootwithjoe.com/juicing/benefits/ )

Buying a juicer

After doing a bit of research into the different¬†options¬†and asking friends who already juice, for recommendations, we decided to buy a slow masticating juicer.¬† Amazon has a decent range of juicers and gives you¬†the added benefit of being able to read all the reviews before you purchase, which is always a good thing, especially if you are planning to spend a few hundred dollars. The juicer we chose (the Omega VRT350 Heavy Duty Dual-Stage Vertical Single Auger Low Speed Juicer) processes at 80 rpm, whereas most other juicers process at a speed of 1,650 to 15,000 rpm. The low speed protects and maintains healthy enzymes, prevents oxidation and allows juice to be stored up to 72 hours without degradation. The VRT’s dual stage juice processing system extracts the maximum amount of juice from fruits, vegetables, leafy greens, even wheatgrass.

Learn more about all the different options for juicers here :

http://www.rebootwithjoe.com/juicing/juicer-buying-guide/4/

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Our new juicer arrived last night, together with The Everything Juicing Book, a recipe book with 150 different juicing recipes, so I’m heading out to the store today¬†to stock up on lots of fruit and veg to try out all the different combinations!

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I also came across 3 delicious recipes by chance this morning that sound yummy from this great juicing blog, The Chalkboard.

http://thechalkboardmag.com/3-drool-worthy-juice-recipes-to-make-at-home

I’m looking forward to trying the Beet, Apple and Blackberry juice ūüôā

Anyway, I will keep you posted with updates on how it’s going, and which recipes we like the¬†best so watch this space!

Have a fabulous, healthy day,

Sue x

Great articles I think you should read!

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During the course of this journey, I have come across many, many articles, all supporting a vegan/whole foods plant based diet. Once you start to examine the evidence for this way of living, it really is difficult to ignore it. The more I read, the more convinced I am that we are doing the right thing in changing our diet. Here are just a few articles to whet your appetite – pick a few to read, and I am sure you will want to find out more ūüôā

Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine Health Topics (information on cancer, diabetes, arthritis, and many other topics)

http://www.pcrm.org/health/health-topics/

Calcium and Strong Bones

http://pcrm.org/health/health-topics/calcium-and-strong-bones

Abolishing Heart Disease BY: CALDWELL B. ESSELSTYN JR., MD (T Colin Campbell Foundation)

http://www.tcolincampbell.org/courses-resources/article/abolishing-heart-disease/?tx_ttnews%5BbackPid%5D=76&cHash=775dda775b81c33f78637a11f03ecd32

Animal Protein as a Carcinogen BY: T. COLIN CAMPBELL, PHD (T Colin Campbell Foundation)

http://www.tcolincampbell.org/courses-resources/article/animal-protein-as-a-carcinogen/?tx_ttnews%5BbackPid%5D=76&cHash=71fee56850fe6ea23c64c2cf54535a38

Veganism Saved My Life: Natalie Palmer (Stage IV metastatic breast cancer) (VegNews)

http://vegnews.com/articles/page.do?pageId=5262&catId=5&fb_action_ids=10151263315023602&fb_action_types=og.likes&fb_source=aggregation&fb_aggregation_id=246965925417366

Veganism Saved My Life: Judy Temkin (Osteopenia) (Veg News)

http://vegnews.com/articles/page.do?pageId=5260&catId=5

How to Go Vegan  (NY Times)

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/01/14/how-to-go-vegan/?smid=fb-share

Brendan Brazier: Six Simple Nutritional Shifts That Will Improve Your¬† Health¬† (Men’s Journal)

Read more: http://www.mensjournal.com/expert-advice/brendan-brazier-six-simple-nutritional-shifts-that-will-improve-your-health-20130114#ixzz2JUiz4tDW

11 Convincing Reasons that Eating Vegan Isn’t Crazy  (Readers Digest)

http://www.rd.com/slideshows/convincing-reasons-eating-vegan-isnt-crazy/

Food for Life Instructor Spotlight: Phil Eherenman

This month’s featured Food for Life instructor is Phil Eherenman, who resides in Anchorage, Alaska. Here is his story:

http://www.pcrm.org/health/diets/ffl/newsletter/food-for-life-instructor-spotlight-phil-eherenman

Why write a blog?

After having a great morning at the gym today, and having enjoyed a couple of positive results from my other part time job (as a stylist with the fabulous jewelry and accessories company Stella and Dot http://www.stelladot.com/SueCampbell) I came home today with the great idea of starting a blog!

The song “It’s the end of the world as we know it” by REM was singing in my ears, except in my version, it was “It’s the end of milk as we know it …….. and I feel fine!”

Why, you ask, would I be thinking it’s the end of milk as we know it??

The reason is that my husband Alan, and I, have recently become vegans and my new year’s resolution this year was to finally give up dairy. Now, for anyone who knows me, you will recognize what a huge challenge this is for me, as I am a true British tea drinker – tea is the cure of all ills – tea the British way with plenty of milk and a teensy bit of sugar! Not to mention my fabulous homemade lattes, which even Starbucks and, the local coffee shops, Steamdot/Kaladi Brothers, can’t compete with! We bought an espresso machine last year and ever since I have been whipping up delicious lattes at least once or twice a day, and for family and friends who are visiting. How would I manage without my daily fix??? This is an ongoing challenge for me, and I will admit to treating myself to 2 “real” lattes in the last 3 weeks – as a reward for being so virtuous and living without milk, cheese or eggs. I have to say though, much as I enjoyed them, I did suffer with a touch of indigestion on both occasions, later in the day. Other than that, my diet has been milk free for almost 3 weeks now, and the results are encouraging – I feel considerably lighter and less bloated, I have less gas (I’m sure you’ll be glad to learn that!), more energy, I feel less lethargic and more willing to get up and go to the gym, and I have lost a couple of pounds!

Anyway, back to why I am writing this blog. Eating a whole food plant based diet has become my new passion. I have found tons of fabulous resources – movies, books, websites, courses – and I want to share them all with anyone else who has an interest in living a healthy life and preventing all the chronic diseases of the 21st century from which we see our own parents/family members suffering. I will post updates as often as I have something new to share and I really hope that you enjoy reading all about our journey and will share it with your friends ūüôā

And by the way, I’m a newbie to blogs too so I hope you’ll be patient as I figure it out:)

Have a fabulous healthy day!

Sue xo

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