A health and wellness blog



Kidderminster Eat.Love.Yoga
Kidderminster Eat.Love.Yoga

Endorphins get talked about a lot in response to the feel good factor.
But what actually are they? Does the 'runners high' really exist? If its good for me how can i get more endorphins into my day?

Endorphins are neurotransmitters, chemicals that pass along signals, i the brain, from one neuron to the next. Neurotransmitters play a key role in the function of the central nervous system.

Endorphins are produced as a response to certain stimuli, especially stress, fear or pain. They originate in various parts of your body -- the pituitary gland, your spinal cord and throughout other parts of your brain and nervous system -- and interact mainly with receptors in cells found in regions of the brain responsible for blocking pain and controlling emotion.

Endorphins block pain, but they're also responsible for our feelings of pleasure. It's widely believed that these feelings of pleasure exist to let us know when we've had enough of a good thing -- like food, sex or even companionship -- and also to encourage us to go after that good thing in order to feel the associated pleasure.

Endorphins may be responsible for the "placebo effect," owing to the real response of endorphin-release prompted by a tricked hypothalamus, creating a sense of well-being after consuming a much-hyped sugar pill, or even after simply anticipating something pleasurable.

So what releases endorphins?
-Stress and Pain.
-Exercise -- The "runner's high" really exists, but you'll need to work for it. Heavy weightlifting or intense aerobic activity that includes periods of sprinting or increased exertion will trigger the greatest response.
-Meditation or controlled-breathing exercises
-Tai chi, Pilates and yoga are believed to trigger endorphins.
-Childbirth -- Giving birth to a child is clearly a subcategory of both pain and stress.
-Alcohol -- Light to moderate drinking stimulates endorphins, but heavy drinking doesn't. Drugs that block the attachment of endorphins to receptors have been shown to eliminate cravings in alcoholics.
-Chili peppers -- Capsaicin, which puts the burn in chilies, also triggers the body to release some fire-quenching endorphins.
-Bodywork -- Both acupuncture and massage therapy trigger your inner drug dealer.
-Ultraviolet light -- This may explain why some users of tanning beds achieve something of a "runner's high," and why others may overuse them at the risk of their health.

It doesn't have to be a sweaty gym session to get those endorphins working. A nice gentle Pilates or Yoga class followed by some breathing exercises could be just as beneficial in releasing a feeling of pleasure, or maybe a relaxing massage.

So 'runners high' is as real as a 'Yoga high' pop on you trainers or pop to a local class to find out🙃

Have fun Warriors xxxx
Kidderminster Eat.Love.Yoga
Kidderminster Eat.Love.Yoga

Self-care. Its a buzz word that is thrown around lots recently. Taking time for yourself. But what does that actually mean? How and what should we be doing? And do you allow time for self-care in your week?

One thing we can probably all agree on is that life is busy!
Juggling work, family, a social life, healthy (ish) diet and enough exercise can be time consuming. And then there is all the added things life likes to throw at you because 'were just not busy enough'.
So how do we fit in a health self-care practice in there too. Do you find your self-care practice comes last in the long list of things to do? Do you sometimes feel there just isn't enough hours in the day?!

Well worry not my friends. Lets have a deeper look in what self-care really means.....

Why should we have a self-care practice?
Finding the time to take proper care of yourself can be hard. But if you don’t, it won’t be long before you’re battered from exhaustion and operating in a mental fog where it’s hard to care about anything or anyone.

How Self-Care Benefits You
We are all less able to handle the stresses that come our way when we're already depleted by physical and emotional exhaustion. Or, put in a more positive way, we are more resilient and more able to handle life's stress when we are feeling our best both physically and emotionally. A massage, soak in the tub or other forms of pampering revitalize you inside and out. Taking time out to maintain self-care has several benefits:

It Affects Your Physical Health

While self-pampering doesn’t always lead to major improvements in overall health the way healthy diet and exercise do, the relaxation you get from it can trigger the relaxation response, which can prevent chronic stress from damaging your health, so in a sense, self-care is good for you inside and out.

It Affects Your Emotional Health

Taking time out to care for yourself can remind you and others that you and your needs are important, too.

Having a well-cared-for body can make you feel good about yourself and your life, and conveys to others that you value yourself. This can contribute to long-term feelings of wellbeing.

It Makes You a Better Caregiver

People who neglect their own needs and forget to nurture themselves are at danger of deeper levels of unhappiness, low self-esteem, and feelings of resentment.

Also, sometimes people who spend their time only taking care of others can be at risk for getting burned out on all the giving, which makes it more difficult to care for others or themselves. Taking time to care for yourself regularly can make you a better caretaker for others.

What does self care look like?
Self care can look like many different things to each of us. But basically it means to schedule a block of time where you won’t be interrupted, where you can do exactly what you want. Be it read, walk, pamper, nap, exercise or anything where you feel you are giving something back to you. It can be at any point of the day, from when you first wake up, maybe putting on a face mask and reading a chapter of your book, to when you go to bed having that soak in the bath. Maybe you get 10 minuets throughout the day and want to fill it with something that makes you feel good.

You don't need make it expensive or even spend money. Think of it as romancing yourself.

-Put on some soothing music.
-Give yourself a home-spa experience
-Take a Bath: Get out the bubbles, oils, and scented soaps, and soak until you’re wrinkled.
-Deep-Condition Your Hair: While you’re in the tub, put on a deep-conditioning treatment for your hair, and let it work as you relax.
-try a face masque.
-Care For Your hands and feet.
-Get a Massage: This one can be especially nice. If your budget doesn’t allow for regular massages with a professional, see if you can trade with a friend or your spouse, or use an electronic massager.

In addition to pampering yourself, more substantial forms of self-care involving healthy lifestyle choices are important, too. Consuming a healthy diet, getting regular exercise, and being sure you get enough sleep are all important for long-term health and stress management as well.

But it doesn't need to be long.
A 10 minuet self care top up can make the world of difference.
-Make yourself a healthy snack and put your feet up for 10.
-Make a cup of your favourite tea and sit in the sun.
-Go on a short walk.
-Practice some breathing exercises or mindfulness.
-Read a chapter of a book.

Even booking on to an exercise class. Releasing some endorphins and you will feel amazing.

So allow time for you.
I like to write down a list of what would i would like to do for me that week. What would make me happy and then as the week goes by, as i have those few minuets, i look through my list and tick off what i would like to do.

Sometimes its as easy as going to be half an hour earlier and listening to a podcast.

So i challenge you to add some self-care into your day. Start today! see how it makes you feel and then hopefully add it as a daily practise into your day.

Good luck Warriors xxx
Kidderminster Eat.Love.Yoga
Kidderminster Eat.Love.Yoga
Yoga Nidra

Yoga nidra helps activate the relaxation response and improve the functioning of your nervous system and endocrine system, which affects your hormones. Similar to meditation, yoga nidra helps cells regenerate and repair, helping decrease anxiety and improve your mood.

What is Yoga Nidra?
Yoga nidra (Sanskrit for yogic sleep) is a state of consciousness between waking and sleeping, like the "going-to-sleep" stage. It is a state in which the body is completely relaxed, and the practitioner becomes systematically and increasingly aware of the inner world by following a set of verbal instructions. Concentration on a single focus is required.

Yoga nidra is among the deepest possible states of relaxation while still maintaining full consciousness
Each time you practice yoga nidra, you are stilling the waves of the mind through conscious entry into the sleep state.

How do it work?
You start with sensing the body and breathing in specific ways in order to trigger the relaxation response. The relaxation response balances the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems, and balances the left and right brain. In the process, your brain shifts from beta, an awakened state with lots of brain activity, to alpha, a more relaxed state. In alpha, the mood-regulating hormone serotonin gets released, and this calms you down. People who spend little time in an alpha brain-wave state have more anxiety than those who spend more time in alpha. Shifting your brain into an alpha state starts its process of “powering down,” or coming into a rest state with slower, restorative brain-wave activity.

The benefits.
While yoga nidra is not a substitute for sleep, it is widely touted that 45 minutes of yogic sleep feels like 3 hours of regular sleep. There’s some debate over the science that backs this up, but it is likely this effect is due to the series of brain-wave changes experienced during yoga nidra. People say they wake up deeply refreshed after practicing yoga nidra and that yoga nidra helps them fall asleep and get back to sleep at night.

As you can imagine, feeling well rested is life changing, but yoga nidra also improves your overall health. A 2013 study showed that practicing yoga nidra improved anxiety, depression, decrease pain, and overall well-being for women experiencing menstrual irregularities and psychological problems. And even more science points to how yoga nidra can help lower blood pressure and cholesterol and improve blood glucose fluctuations and symptoms associated with diabetes.

There is tones of yoga nidra videos on Youtube. Some good some bad. My suggestion would be to have a listen to a few. Find a time length that suits you as they can range from 10 minuets to hours long. Then find a narrator that you like the voice of. Male or female? there is so many to choose from. And each yoga nidra narrator has their own style. Its all about finding the right one for you.

I have attached this one as i found this one ticked all the boxes. She starts with a small explanation, then there is awareness of the breath, Chakra's, body awareness and some visualisation. But like i mentioned it might not be your cup of tea so have a look around Youtube.

You can practice yoga nidra at any time of the day. Ideally lay down, in a comfy, warm position. Sometimes they say on a yoga mat but you can do it on the sofa or on your bed. Its also a great way to wind down at the end of a busy day.
I will be looking more into props at a later date.

Enjoy Warriors xxxx
Kidderminster Eat.Love.Yoga
Yoga Nidra with Caley Alyssa - 7 Days of Mindful Meditation
Practice more classes free for 14 days at Let stress melt away with an amazing yogic sleep meditation session. Lead by Caley Alys...
Kidderminster Eat.Love.Yoga
Kidderminster Eat.Love.Yoga

With most supermarkets now selling supplement powders, like spirulina, wheatgrass, super greens and maca.
What actually are they?? Do they benefit us? And in which way? Do we need them in our diets or are they a waste of dollar?

Lets take a deeper look at Maca.

What Is Maca Root Powder?
Maca is the root of a cruciferous vegetable and therefore related to broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and kale. Found high in the Andes mountains of Peru. The people of Peru consume maca on a daily basis have done so for hundreds of years. They have long known that in addition to it being highly nutritious, it also offers some impressive medicinal properties only recently brought to the attention of the modern world. It has traditionally been used to increase stamina, enhance energy and sexual function. It is now believed that Maca root powder’s benefits are obtained through it helping the body to keep the endocrine (hormone) system in balance.

Will maca powder benefit me?
One glance at maca’s nutritional profile and it is easy to see why it has been classed as a super food. Dried maca in powder form is packed with vitamins and minerals and consists of 60-75% carbohydrate, 10-14% protein, 8.5% dietary fibre, and 2.2% fats. In addition, it is an excellent source of calcium and potassium, vitamins B and C, as well as trace minerals iron, iodine, copper, manganese, magnesium, and zinc. It’s also very rich in fatty acids consisting of linolenic acid, palmitic acid, oleic acid, as well as 19 amino acids.😳

Wow, now that is a nutrient dense food! Maca’s nutritional profile alone is enough reason to want to add it to your diet. But the benefits of maca don’t stop there. There are phyto chemicals present in the maca root that work to balance the body’s hormones in both men and women by supporting the hypothalamus and pituitary glands.

These glands are often called the master glands in the body because of their role in directing the balance of hormones as well as which hormones the body produces. As a result, fertility in both women and men is positively supported. Another often reported side effect of taking maca is an increase in overall energy and vitality. Probably due to its rich nutritional value and regulation of hormones in both women and men. And because maca is a food, it is very safe for anyone to take.

Maca is considered an adaptogen. Most of us have heard that term, but aren’t sure what that really means. A food or herb can be called an adaptogen if it helps regulate the metabolic pathways to help an organism, like animals or people, to adapt to environmental factors, such as stress, pollution, diet, disease, and to avoid damage from these stressors without the herb or food causing any negative side effects.

Maca Powder Benefits.....
Maca root powder has become popular due to benefits which may include increased energy levels, vitality and endurance, healthy sexual function and libido, reduced anxiety and stress, healthy brain function and balancing healthy hormone levels to help relieve symptoms of menopause such as hot flashes.

Other benefits of taking Maca powder:
• Increased stamina
• Alleviated chronic exhaustion (fatigue) syndrome
• Support healthy fertility
• Balance hormones
• Support healthy immune system and circulation leading to reduced anaemia and faster wound healing
• Enhanced memory, learning, and healthy mental wellbeing
• Improved and more youthful skin appearance reducing visible signs of aging
• Healthy teeth and bones

It is also a rich source of calcium and potassium with trace elements of iron, iodine, copper, manganese, zinc, selenium, magnesium as well as 19 essential amino acids. Maca powder is also rich in phyto chemicals that add to its long list of reported health benefits. Other benefits include helping maintain good energy levels, balance male or female fertility, help women achieve good health during menopause, and maintain healthy libido and sexual function in both men and women.

There are many ways to take maca. You can consume maca in either loose powder form avalible from all big suermarkets (even Aldi) or capsules.

It tastes good, especially in smoothies and porridge, but not so good in coffee, like i read somewhere. It has a kind of caramel sweetness to it and is one of my favourite supplement powders. And with all these benefits great for the body too!

In my opinion maca is a great store cupboard essential, but i'm not to strict on daily consumption.

At the end of the day, if you like the flavor enjoy it as part of your weekly diet.
But bare in mind that research done on maca 'IS' still in the early stages.
I added this article so you can come to your own conclusion.

Anybody take/use maca in their diet already?

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Kidderminster Eat.Love.Yoga
Kidderminster Eat.Love.Yoga
I love a TED talk.
They are on so many subject and range from 10 minuets+.

I love sitting down with a cup of tea and using this as a bit of me time. To escape into a different lecture on whichever subject im keen to learn that day.
They are packed full of tips and information. And there is a wide range of subjects to choose from.

I class it as my adult learning time, And i do love to learn new things😊.

So i came across this TED talk last night and it filled me with such joy that i had to share. Healing the self. Such a relevant topic for this page.

There is some great information on placebos, the pillars to a healthy life and taking our health into our own hands.

I red recently about how 5% of illnesses are genetic. The other 95% come from an imbalance in one or more areas in our life. If this figure is correct then its both shocking and scary!

Have a watch and see what you think.

If you are interested in looking into more TED talks then Youtube has loads. Get your neurons firing, make a cup of tea and take 10 minuets to learn something new.

Kidderminster Eat.Love.Yoga
Is there scientific proof we can heal ourselves? | Lissa Rankin, MD | TEDxAmericanRiviera
Never miss a talk! SUBSCRIBE to the TEDx channel: About Lissa Rankin, MD: New age gurus suggest that we can heal ourselves by simply ch...
Kidderminster Eat.Love.Yoga
Kidderminster Eat.Love.Yoga
I have been watching these programs recently, and there is some really interesting facts on there.

A bit like what i am trying to do. Bust the myth from the magic.

Well worth a watch ....

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