2020 Was a rough year for many – so I thought I’d share some of the stuff that helped me get through it in one piece, along with some links to get you started if something resonates!
For a change – none of these are diet related :)
…but of course we all know diet is a HUGE part of getting your health on track, so here’s some of my fave healthy take-to-work lunch recipes using our products!
Here’s the healthy habits that helped me thrive in 2020 with some info to find out more!
ICE BATHS / CRYOTHERAPY
I was SUPER scared / resistant / skeptical to try these, but after attending a Wim Hoff workshop where many of the health benefits were explained, I surprised myself by jumping into an inflatable tub with 14 bags of ice (& not immediately jumping out – see pic). I was so invigorated by my first ice bath in Feb that I’ve been doing 1x 4min bath a week for most of 2020, even through the winter! Highly recommend – just make sure to get your Dr / health professional’s ‘ok’ first, but most people should be fine (this list has some contra indications).
All you need is a bath / immersion pool plus approx 3-4 bags of ice from the servo & a mate or 2 for support (the more people using the ice, the better value too & more fun)! If you start to love it, many people are converting old chest freezers to personal ice baths to use at home! And if you happen to live somewhere chilly – just use your swimming pool / any natural body of water. I was so keen I jumped in the pool on the early winter mornings too. And cold showers are also highly beneficial if you’re not quite ready for the ice!
Here’s a link to find out more! https://www.wimhofmethod.com/regular-ice-baths
NOTE: I would avoid ice bathing during pregnancy as there is no research to prove safety (maybe just go the cold showers). There may also be risks for those with cardiovascular disease, diabetes, high blood pressure & circulatory issues like Raynaud’s phenomenon. Don’t just jump in without getting clearance from your Dr or health professional!
Sauna / heat therapy in one form or another has been practiced for thousands of years in many countries. I was lucky enough to be able to use a friend’s sauna regularly this year (so grateful!) If you have one, or know somewhere you can use one for free or relatively cheaply – make it a regular thing. You can also buy / have a quality one installed if you have the room & the spare cash, or make your own if super-handy on the tools! Sitting in a hot sauna has similar benefits to exercise, it will cause your heart rate to increase & your blood vessels to open up & widen, improving circulation & delivery of oxygen & nutrients to cells, plus improving removal of waste products & detoxification.
A regular sauna (a few times a week) can also reduce stress hormone levels & improve general cardiovascular, immune system & metabolic health. Don’t use a sauna when drinking alcohol / after drinking / intoxication as it can be dangerous. Children, pregnant women & the elderly must avoid the prolonged intense heat of saunas (lower temperature for shorter periods may be an option though).
Sauna – health benefits research:
This sauna (infrared) seems to get great reviews from many practitioners using them in clinic if anyone is looking to install one: https://ihealthsaunas.com.au/pages/saunas
Here’s a great blogpost (saves me researching & compiling) with links to many different breathwork styles – try them all & see which one you prefer!
My introduction to regular breathwork also started with the Wim Hoff workshop (the WH crew advocate both regular breathwork & cold exposure) but I’ve since explored other methods (holotropic & some nice gentle stuff). Breathwork helps with the cold tolerance & also with general nervous system support (ie you’ll handle stress much better, yay!) The combination is pretty powerful training for gaining better control of your reactions (a useful skill that translates into benefits for all areas of life). I find breathing techniques great to help get to sleep & also assist with my next healthy habit, which is…
Something I learnt to do during my first pregnancy at 22, via a 10 day Vipassana retreat – but only seriously revisited last year (my 40th year)! Such a shame to have missed nearly 20yrs of regular meditating – I’m certain I would have less grey hairs & be a much better human all-round had I kept up the consistent practice, but I’m back into it daily now & loving it! Watch these 2 YouTube clips to get inspired by reasons to meditate regularly if you aren’t already.
…or just press play on one of these:
Eckhart Tolle – Who Am I Really:
Joe Dispenza – Future Self / Before sleep meditation:
Vishen Lakhiani – 6 Phase Meditation:
Live the Life You Love – Happiness & Positive Energy Meditation:
Bob Procter – Abundance Meditation:
The breathwork definitely helps me slide quickly into a deeply relaxed stillness so I’ll often do a breathing session (or at least some conscious deep breathing) to start a session. You’ll feel like you suck at it when you first start out (we all do, our human mind is a very wandery, difficult to calm thing)! You might find it a bit boring or frustrating but after a while you’ll be addicted to it & won’t want to miss a day!. So many great apps & videos with guided meditations available at the touch of a button to help you get started now – no need for a gruelling 10 day Vipassana course! Starting a regular meditation practice has been great to help with the next healthy habit…
IMPROVING EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE & RELATIONSHIPS
It was highlighted to me last year that when your relationships & emotional life are out of whack, everything else is then on shaky ground & in danger of leading your life into a train wreck! An unstable emotional life can erode your health, your business, your job, your marriage, your family, your finances & leave you depressed / stressed / worried / angry / exhausted etc. So it’s well worth focusing a decent chunk of your attention on getting your emotions sorted so that your health doesn’t fall victim to the stress caused by consequent relationship issues!
It helps if you view every ‘relationship issue’ as an issue that is yours. (Yes of course, everyone else has their own issues, interacting together – but you can only really work on your own). Your job is to get clear on your own issues, triggers & destructive patterns so that you can stop adding fuel to the fires around you – this is where meditation comes in handy – when you allocate time for complete mindful stillness, you’ll become much more sensitive & aware of emotions that you are experiencing & where they are coming from, allowing you to adjust your thinking, your behaviour & your interactions with others. You will find that your connectedness, clarity & peace will then radiate out & help those around you too. Here are some resources you may find useful to get started down this path (I like to listen to podcasts & audiobooks while driving, so getting stuck in traffic becomes ‘bonus learning time!):
Brene Brown – great books, audiobooks & video content / free resources: https://brenebrown.com
The Relationship School Podcast – good way to upskill & also bring up tricky topics to work through (the Insta page has great bite size videos): relationship-school-podcasthttps://www.instagram.com/jaysongaddis/
Way of the Superior Man – Book aimed at helping men reconnect to & own their masculine energy to succeed in work & with women; but also super-useful for anyone just wanting to understand the masculine-feminine dynamics in relationships:
Boundaries – anyone dealing with resentment in your romantic relationship? It’s probably because you’re no good at boundaries. Here’s a starting point on creating some important ones, & a quick read could provide a few ‘aha’ moments!
Triggers – when you feel a strong negative emotion, it usually has its roots in your past (often your early childhood). When you are aware of what triggers you, you’ll be much more in control of your reactions & conflict will be much less stressful – you can even learn to love it when you feel triggered by something / someone, because it provides such a valuable clue as to how your emotions work, & an opportunity to unravel an emotional knot that doesn’t serve you or your loved ones.
Trauma – You may not realise that you’ve experienced anything traumatic in your life, but chances are you have on some level. When we heal from our traumas, we heal not only ourselves but contribute to healing the world. We gotta deal with our own stuff!
The Body Keeps The Score:
This book by trauma expert Bessel Van Der Kolk M.D, gets consistently RAVE reviews & is on my must read list. Mastin Kipp is another expert sharing trauma info, this interview may be of interest – includes a definition of trauma which is not what you might think:
RESISTANCE TRAINING / WEIGHTS
I’ve never really been one for gym / exercise sessions (I much prefer actually ‘doing something’ than exercising for the sake of it), but this year we converted our carport into a simple home gym with a few mats & weights & ropes, & I’m enjoying the efficiency of weights & the minimal time invested – no driving = no wasted time & no excuses! Just lift a few heavy things as I walk past! I normally just do a few sets of of (heavyish) weights about 3 times a week.
I always recommend that people take up yoga, but I’ve never practiced it regularly myself. One day I will! But for now, I’ve found that whenever I need a good stretch, a quick ‘Yoga with Adrienne’ on You Tube is perfect! Many levels to suit the complete beginner or advanced practitioner.
HEALTHY BACK-TO-WORK LUNCHBOX RECIPES:
Juicer Pulp Crackers – minimise the waste when you are juicing & get extra fibre in! Made using the Burger Mix’ (formerly known as BixMix)!
Veggie Patties with Tomato & Mushroom – these are the fave burgers so far (that’s why we put the recipe on the back of the new Burger Mix packs)! Great for lunchboxes – you can eat cold or heat in a toaster / microwave / sandwich press & then top with avocado & tomato / sprouts / cashew cheese.
Blend11 Keto Bread Rolls – For those doing low carb / keto diets, these are AMAZING to give you a ‘normal’ bread roll kind of experience! Pack them with protein & salad & lunch is sorted. Or nut butter if you’re in a rush!
Breakkie-brunch Jars.– Get a few ready, so you have a few days prepped in advance. Blend11 doesn’t have to be breakfast – it makes a great morning tea or lunch too!
neonana-bread – Blend13 in a healthy banana cake! Bake on Sunday, ready for the quick lunch box grab!
Pineapple, Celery, Mint & Ginger Green Smoothie – This is my fave green smoothie, I’ll often make up a blender full of it & then keep in the fridge ready to grab & go.
Chocolate Chai Protein Balls – Love the Chai spices, amazing for healthy work treats to share
Chocolate Chickpea Cookies – They sound yuck but are so not – the kids ate heaps, you’d never know they’re based on chickpeas!
Pic-Snick Bars – All time fave Ball Mix recipe! You can do bars or balls.
Protein Punch Green Smoothie – filling & covers a lot of nutritional bases! One handed breakfast / lunch on the go!
If you’ve added a new habit for 2021 I’d love to know what.
Regards Jeanie X