Christmas Indulgence – that your body will thank you for

So it’s the time of year to indulge ourselves, as we get festive with friends and family – but often this leaves us feeling sluggish, lethargic and bloated, sending us the clear message that gluttony is not our friend! It disturbs our gut flora, spikes our blood sugar and places tremendous stress on our vital organs!

So how can we indulge and pamper ourselves this Christmas without compromising our health?

  1. Spend extra time with close family and dear friends. This is so uplifting and good for us in so many ways – by producing those happy hormones – endorphins, as we feel contentment in the company of those who are the most special to us.
  2. Enjoy a glass of homemade organic mulled wine – made with herbs and spices that benefit the health such as cinnamon (to balance blood sugar), orange peel (to boost glutathione), and cloves ( to boost immunity). If we make it ourselves we can ensure the wine is a good one, and not full of artificial chemical flavours.
  3. Make some healthy mince pies – try using spelt flour for the pastry instead of wheat, and combining dried fruits, lemon juice, an apple, orange zest, and some maple syrup and spices for the filling.
  4. Give to those who are less fortunate, or you feel really need to be receiving at this time of year – some food for someone homeless,  a thoughtful gift to an orphanage, or spend an afternoon having tea with someone who would otherwise be lonely – perhaps in a care home for example.
  5. Offer the gift of love to everyone you meet. Smile, say hello or merry Christmas and spread good will to as many folk as possible.
  6. Treat yourself to a wonderfully de-stressing bath, with some natural candles, some carefully chosen essential oils, and some gentle music.
  7. Make sure your Christmas dinner is loaded with lots of veggies, and make the meat portion of your plate the smallest part. Choose baked apples in cinnamon drizzled in warmed honey for your Christmas pud, (or try my recipe below for a healthy version of the Scottish Christmas pudding – Clooty Dumpling)
  8. Make sure there’s plenty of healthy nuts and dried fruits around for those indulgent snacks, instead of sweets, cakes and pies!

Have a wonderfully indulgent Christmas, where you put your own health at the top of your Christmas wish list!

Clooty Dumpling with a Healthy Twist

250gms spelt flour

250gms dried fruit

100gms oats

1tsp baking soda

pinch of nutmeg

small piece of fresh ginger

1/2 tsp cinnamon

25gms coconut sugar

1/2 tbsp of date or maple syrup

zest of an orange

Method

Combine all of the ingredients above and then add 75gms butter, 1 egg and coconut milk and knead into a dough

Place a damp, clean tea towel in a heat proof bowl, and sprinkle with spelt flour. Place the dough in the centre and tie securely. Place the bowl in a saucepan of water to make a Bain Marie. Cook for 3 hours on a medium/low heat, topping up the water as necessary.

Remove from cloth and bake in a warm oven until the top is dry and gently cristed.

Serve with homemade custard or organic fresh cream.

How to Stay Young and Healthy

What Changed in 10 years that made such a difference in my life?

We were happy. Just meandering through life without too much consideration for anything outside of day-to-day existence. We were in love, we had two gorgeous sons, we lived in a nice house in a leafy Surrey village; we took lovely family holidays, and we worked hard to pay for them. We ate what we considered to be a fairly healthy diet – I prided myself on the fact that I cooked from scratch and didn’t eat processed food.

I was vegetarian – believing this to be not only an ethical choice but a health choice too. I swam, ran, went to the gym and did exercise classes every week. I wasn’t exactly fat ( just a little overweight), but I certainly wasn’t healthy!

The Wake Up Call

The problem was – I didn’t know we were unhealthy, until one day my husband received a cancer diagnosis. We were not indestructible, in fact we were far from healthy!

It was this “wake-up call” that drove me to begin walking a path I never really knew existed. I knew I couldn’t risk losing my soul mate to this horrible disease, so I spent hours studying different ways to support his body through the ordeal of not only having cancer, but of conventional treatments, which can be more devastating than the disease itself. In hindsight, we would never have put his body though the treatment, but we were rushed into it, before we had time to draw breath. So I put together a support programme that would carry him through this time, and help his body to fully recover. For more information about this part of our journey please refer to my book “Love and Wheatgrass

After my husband recovered from cancer we followed a lifelong dream of ours to live in the sunshine and packed our bags to move to the Costa del Sol. We knew we had been fortunate to receive this second chance, so we were not going back to living life as we once did.

I continued to study, and Yoga became a huge part of my life, closely followed by Ayurveda. It was this part of my journey that really made me see how being healthy was not hard work; it wasn’t a fad, a diet or an exercise regime. Being healthy was our birthright, and discovering this carefully kept secret was the key to a long, healthy and happy life! It was during my study of Ayurveda that I realised that being young and healthy in our physical body could not be separated from the way we think and feel.

The Transformation

I had gone from being a slightly overweight woman in my 40’s, with IBS, minor aches and pains ( that I thought were just part of getting older), dry skin and reduced energy to woman in my 50’s who had returned to the same weight and size as when I got married ( almost 30 years ago!), with a healthy digestive system, no aches and pains and more energy than I’d had in years – without going on a diet or setting foot in a gym! Health, beauty, vitality and youthfulness all come from within. We cannot buy it, because its already ours – we just need to re-discover the path to it!

In my new book “Gais’s Gift“, I will share my deepest insights into what real health means and how to easily change habits that have so far stopped you from being the healthiest version of yourself. You wont need diets, supplements or arduous detox programmes. You will learn to discover what makes you tick, but also what can make you sick. You are unique and once you discover more about how you are made, you will soon learn how you fit into the world and how living in harmony with the natural rhythms of life can bring you peace, joy and great health! It has worked for me, and now its time to share it with you.

Gaia’s Gift, the book, will be released in 2020*, but in the meantime watch this space for some sneak previews!

*Update: The worldwide challenges of 2020 have had an effect on my work, meaning the book will not be ready for publication this year. The good news is that my book has taken some exciting new turns and I will be offering you even more when it does come out!

And…..although you will have to wait a little longer for the book, I will be offering some exclusive online workshops which will be coming out this year, where you will have the chance to discover some of the best secrets from my book and explore them with me.

STRESS : Can You Fight the Tiger (or at least run away!)

By Lorraine Ereira

26th Nov 2019


STRESS.
Unfortunately it’s a pretty big part of all our lives. In our western society we are exposed to an ever-increasing amount of stress, and its responsible for wreaking untold havoc on our bodies.

To a certain extent we need stress. Stress makes all the other body systems slow down so that the body can devote its energy to increasing the blood
supply, heart rate and hormone production, in order to deal with the stressor.

This kind of response is only meant to be short term – like fighting off a predator or fleeing from danger, and once the danger has passed the body should return to normal function. However we are exposed to long-term, low-level stress on a constant basis, from our need to pay the bills to providing a comfortable home for our family, or keeping up with pressures from our job. Even in our leisure time we are unable to switch off our stress responses as we are compelled to answer a message that simply can’t wait or to check on social media to see if anyone has commented on our latest post or even watching the news which fills us with concerns. We send messages to our central nervous system through our thought processes maintaining a low-level of constant stress.

Common stress responses include reducing the digestive function, affecting our ability to gain nutrients from our food, and disrupting gut flora; increasing blood sugar (to give you the energy to fight or flight) – making us crave low quality fast foods; increasing blood pressure; increasing heart rate; the adrenals calling for more cholesterol in the blood; a rise in adrenal hormones (cortisol, adrenaline), which slows down thyroid activity. (Our thyroid is responsible for weight management, controlling heart rate, supporting our immune function)

When we are exposed to prolonged stress we experience adrenal fatigue- this is when the brain sends the signals to the adrenals to produce the hormones needed to deal with stress but nothing happens because
they are so depleted. We experience prolonged lethargy; poor sleep patterns; feeling “wired”; reduced sex drive; lowered immune function.
When the adrenals become compromised due to prolonged stress the body continues to call for cortisol in its endeavours to deal with the stress but this means that the production of another hormone is effected. The body will “steal” progesterone to make additional cortisol, which causes a reduction in the hormone DHEA (the “mother” hormone), which is necessary to produce other sex hormones – testosterone, progesterone and estrogen– making our hormones very out of balance. This can lead to constant fatigue, depression, poor memory, systemic inflammation, lowered immunity, decreased libido and in women – hot flushes, night sweats, infertility and emotional instability. It can also reduce our bodies’ ability to prevent the development of hormone related cancers.

All our lives are more stressful now than ever, and its so difficult to avoid – but the good news is there are ways to avoid the effects that stress has on our physiology by managing the way our bodies deal with it. Through the right nutrition and practicing techniques that reduce adrenal hormone production such as yoga, meditation and deep breathing we
can protect our adrenals, and hopefully ensure that they will resume normal function- enough at least to kick in when we meet that tiger!

ABOUT Lorraine

 

Lorraine Ereira was working as a clinical Sports Therapist when when her husbands cancer diagnosis drew her to study nutritional health. Her quest to help her husband inspired her to write “Love and Wheatgrass” in order to help others going through a similar ordeal, which has been a huge support to many.

Her desire to live a healthy lifestyle compelled her to study further, where she discovered that to really enjoy a healthy life, we must first look within to find out what we are made of and how we fit into the natural world around us.

Lorraine is currently writing her fifth book, “Gaia’s Gift ” – a book that embodies the ancient medical practice of Ayurveda but with a very unique approach which teaches the reader how to train their intuition to know instinctively what is good for them physically, spiritually and mentally.

Lorraine now works as an Ayurvedic Nutrition and Lifestyle consultant with people who struggle with various health issues, or those who want to change their life to become the best they can be.

Lorraine grew up in Surrey in England, where she also brought up her two sons. She holds a bachelors degree in Sports Therapy, and wrote one of her first books in this subject “Sports Pattern Release

Lorraine and her husband now live in southern Spain, where she continues on her quest to live a life of love, health and happiness.