Archive for November, 2009

How to survive Christmas without piling on the pounds!

27/11/2009

And believe it or not, you can do it! I am bringing you exclusive advice from Top Fitness Expert ( and lovely husband of mine)  John O’Connell, of http://www.sffitnesscamps.com

As you know, I only post information I truly believe in and practice myself.

This information is usually only available to Super Fast Fitness Camps members, but John has kindly agreed to share it with us.

Follow his tips on how to survive Christmas  without piling on the pounds, and start the new year light as a feather!

1. PLAN YOUR PARTIES

I’ve known for a while that on Saturday I’ll be going out for the rugby match and will end up drinking and eating too much. So last weekend I stayed in (good for the pocket too) and I’ll do the same next weekend. That way the ‘damage’ I do on Saturday won’t be as great.

I presume you know when your major events are: Christmas eve? Christmas Day? Office Party?

So put some damage prevention in place and for the week/s leading up to them. Follow a plan that will see you shedding fat. Eat low carb foods, train 3-4 times a week, get plenty of sleep and hydration.

Then when party time comes enjoy yourself GUILT FREE! You’ve worked hard so now enjoy yourself. The get back on track till the next one.

2. EAT BEFORE YOU GO

Ok you can’t do this for all parties but for some you can.

Eat a nutritious meal just before you go and then you won’t be hungry. You’ll be a lot stronger resisting those snacks than if you hadn’t eaten all day. Which by the way is one of the worst things you could do. Ladies are the worst for this.

They think that by starving themselves they can then binge and won’t do any harm.

Well your body is way too smart for this. Once you’ve eaten what your body can handle (roughly 300-700 calories per meal) the rest will be stored as fat.

That’s one of the reasons why I advocate eating small meals every 3-4 hrs. You don’t get hungry and you don’t over eat!

3. DON’T PICK

I see a lot of people picking at the plates of food at parties.

They think ‘I’ll just have one’ but the reality is they think that 20 times!

If you are going to eat at the party then get a plate and put what you want to eat on it. Eat what’s on the plate and then you are done, no more food.

4. PLAN FOR THE DAY AFTER

Hangovers suck and I hate them. That’s why I don’t drink that often. I can’t stand being hungover and having no energy.

However when I know I’m going out and will presumably be feeling worse for wear the following day I will make sure I have food prepared to eat reasonably well the next day.

I also must have a couple of bottles of water at hand to rehydrate myself too.

My favourite hangover food is roast chicken. Simply to cook the previous day and I can munch on that to get me through my hangover. Much nicer than a tuna salad!

5. TRAIN

The most powerful thing you can do is train BEFORE you party.

I know most would think about training after and trying to burn off the excess but training before is way more powerful.

You’ll raise your metabolism which means you’re body can handle more sugar and calories for a good few hours after.

The more weights and metabolic resistance training you do the longer the metabolic surge will last. Just make sure it’s intense!

And remember that the mind plays a huge part in this too.

If you are one one of those people who believes that no matter what, you are going to put on weight during Christmas and there is just nothing you can do about it, then think again.

Instead of doing anything to prove to yourself that thought is true, which we all know is not… how about proving it wrong this year?

How about we all follow John’s tips and get ready to be pleasantly surprised?

As always, feel free to post your comments and other tips you may have to make this Christmas a healthy and happy time for everyone.

Anna

To eat or not to eat..?

Looking for love? Get inspired by Bonnie Greer’s love story

25/11/2009

Ok, on a completely different subject from my last post, but after watching Monday’s Loose Women program, where playwright, author and critic Bonnie Greer talked about how she met her current husband, I just have to share this with you.

If you are looking for love and you thought romance was dead, think again!

Bonnie said that moving to London from the States was tough and she felt lonely at first.

One day she was in a supermarket aisle and this man smiled at her. The first person that had smiled at her since arriving to London.

She thought that was lovely, and she found herself going back to that supermarket just to see if that person who had smiled at her would be there.

Years passed and after a string of relationships, she and her then boyfriend went to a theatre play.

There, a man approached her and asked her if she was a critic. She said yes. He asked if she would bring him to watch a play sometime. She was shocked.

This man put his hand on hers, and at that moment, she said she knew she would marry him.

Later they both realised they had met 6 years earlier at a supermarket aisle.

If you have a romantic story like Bonnie’s please feel free to romantisize our lives with it.

And if you are looking for love, keep believing it will happen, and it will.

Anna

 

 

No energy? Do this to recharge your batteries

24/11/2009

Are the short winter days taking their toll on you?

If you are tired, stressed out and have no energy to do everything you need to do, it may be time to recharge your batteries. If the “winter blues” is getting you down, here is what you can do to get tons of energy, fast.

1. Eat more energising foods

In winter, a lot of people resort to comfort foods to keep warm. They connect the warming effect these foods provide with feeling good.

Many foods people consider comforting are in fact everything but, as they sap your energy and make you pile on the pounds. Beware of foods high in sugar,  simple carbohydrates, and the chemicals that many prepacked foods contain.

Make sure you eat lots of seasonal fruit and vegetables. There are some delicious and warming recipes you can cook, that don’t take long, and they will make you feel full and good about yourself.

2. Stay hydrated

Drink plenty of hydrating and nourrishing fluids like water (preferably filtered), green tea, decaffeinated herbal teas, and veg. juices. It is recommended you drink 8 glasses a day, and more if you exercise.

Stay away from coffee, sodas and other sugary drinks. These dehydrate you and play havoc with your energy levels.

3. Get your dose of Vitamin D

Essential for optimal health, yet, if like most people you work indoors all day, you may be deficient, and as a result feeling low in energy.

The best way to get vitamin D is through sunlight. It is harder to get it in winter, but you can still get some of the benefits by spending time outdoors every day. Whether you go for a walk, a run or a cycle… you will hugely benefit from it.

The other way to get it is supplementation with Vitamin D3. Please consult your health care practitioner to find out the right dosage for you.

4. Work out

Research shows that consistent exercise can help people battling depresion. Exercise affects your body’s levels of cortisol and endorphins.

Cortisol, which is produced in response to stress, increases blood pressure and blood sugar, weakens your immune response and can lead to organ inflammation and damage. But working out burns cortisol, restoring your body’s normal levels.

Exercise can also cause your brain to release endorphins, your body’s natural pain relievers.

5. Reduce radiation

A lot of us spend most of our days in front of a computer, a tv, or on our mobile phones. The electro magnetic field radiation these emit interferes with our biological energy levels, and this can cause fatigue, insomnia, and stress, amongst other ailments.

Take a little time to research how you can reduce radiation. Getting a low radiation mobile phone, and a radiation filter plate for your computer can help. It’s known that placing several cactus plants beside your computer can help too as these plants absorb radiation.

6. Think positive

By focusing on the things you can do to feel more energetic, you are thinking more resourcefully, which in turn will make you feel better about yourself.

As Winston Churchill said:

“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”

7. Learn to manage your time better

In my post “How to get more done with the time you have” (Category: time management), I give you practical tips on how you can manage your time better so you can get more done with your day. When you put these tips into practice, you’ll notice you have more energy and you are more relaxed too.

8. Breathe

One of my most recent clients was so stressed out he held his breath without realising. He said that he was getting bad headaches and his neck was always sore. Then I pointed out to him that his shoulders were up to his head. Stress was causing “cronic shrugging” and he wondered why he was getting these pains!?

During our session we did breathing exercises and a  relaxing induction that lasted about ten minutes. He fell deeply asleep. When he woke up he said he felt like he’d slept for 8 hours and he felt refreshed and invigorated. He walked out with a spring on his step!

Take a few minutes every day to just take a few deep breaths and allow yourself to relax, as you let your mind wander and appreciate your life.

9. Help others

After performing good deeds, we are happier and feel our life has more purpose.

Selfless acts can help our life on many levels. And as they make us feel good about ourselves, they also affect our energy levels positively.

Put these tips into practice, and allow yourself to feel what it feels like to have an abundance of energy!

Talk soon,

Anna

No energy

Boost your energy!

Life coaching – 7 tips on how to choose your coach

21/11/2009

More and more people  are hiring a Life Coach, like me, to help them improve different aspects of their lives. Whether you want a more successful career, better relationships, a fitter body… finding the right mentor can help you get what you want and even exceed your expectations.

After years of experience and many success stories, here is what I, personally, recommend you look for in your coach so you can get the most out of the experience:


1- Look for a certified and accredited coach.

While I don’t have my certificates on display in my office, I do show  my accreditation logo on my website, and you can refer to The Irish Institute of NLP  “NLP Coaches” section, where you will find me listed.

However, it is important you note that a certificate does not automatically make someone a good coach. And in all my years as a coach not one of my clients has ever asked me to show them my certs.

2 – Experience counts, and results count more.

Look for real testimonials and success stories. Thanks to mine, most of my clients come to me referred by current or past clients who have achieved results that surpassed their expectations.

3 – Talk to your potential coach before you make an appointment.

And I don’t mean by email. Before I make an appointment with you I will call you and spend a good twenty minutes finding out if you are right for me, and also if I am right for you.

Because I only take a limited amount of new clients every month, this screening process allows me to know if we connect as people, and also if you have the right attitude and are ready to do what it takes in order to get the results you want.

I assure you any questions you may have will be answered before you decide to book your coaching programme.

4 – Although life coaching can help you in a variety of areas in your life, most coaches have a specialty.

For instance, I can coach you in areas such as: time management, confidence, motivation, business goals, smoking cessation, fear and phobias, etc…

And due to my background in the Health & Fitness industry, I am passionate about helping you get healthier and fitter. So, I my specialty is stress management, weight loss goals, motivation, and craving busting.

My mission is to help you achieve your goals in these areas in record time.

5 – Your coach should walk the talk.

You coach should ont only be super passionate about helping you, but also walk the talk!

One of the main keys to my success as a coach is that I practice what I preach. And I am committed to constantly improving my skills so I can provide you with the most up to date and effective  nlp and life improvement tools so you can get even better results, faster.

Would you hire a personal trainer who looked less than amazing? I know I wouldn’t… So, whatever you coach’s specialty is, look for evidence.

6 – Find out what your coaching programme involves before you make your decision.

Cheaper does not equal better, and vice versa. However, make sure you find out what you are going to get for your money before you commit.

In my case, although I do offer individual coaching sessions, my most popular package is my 4 session coaching programme. This involves 4 one and a half hour-long sessions,  unlimited email support, access to my Delite Blog, free reports and articles, and discounts on a variety of things, such as future coaching sessions, products, seminars, webinars, etc…

What is getting what you want worth to you?

7 – Nice does not necessarily equal good.

One of my clients once said to me “You are not nice, but you are good!”.

I take this as a compliment. Even though I actually happen to be a nice person, my main objective is to help you get what you want, at all costs.

This means you may be challenged and may have to get out of your comfort zone. Sometimes it means tears, sometimes it means laughter… ultimately,  it means you get what you want.

I hope these tips help and as always, your comments are more than welcome!

Thanks,

Anna

life coaching

Say YES!!!

SWINE FLU VACCINE – Watch this before you make your decision…

19/11/2009

Find out more about the N1H1 Swine Flu and vaccine at:

http://swineflu.mercola.com/sites/swineflu/home.aspx


PS: This post is meant to be informational and does not in any way imply my personal opinion in this matter

 

Anna

Have asthma? Here’s how I manage it

18/11/2009

ASTHMA

Breathe...

Have you ever seen anyone have an asthma attack? Not a pretty sight! Throughout my life I have had my few share of attacks and it is not a nice feeling either, let me tell you.

People often ask me what it feels like. It feels like you are being asphyxiated slowly. If I speak nonchalantly about it, it is because I am by now kind of  used to them.

No one seems to know why or how, but more and more people are developing allergies and asthma. In Ireland almost half a million people suffer from some form of it.

Since I was a baby I’ve been prescribed steroid injections, pills, and all sorts of highly chemicalised inhalers. Some of these have worked to a certain extent and for a while. Some probably did me more harm than good.

I never cared about an immediate or short term remedy anyway. Even though, in the past, if I hadn’t had one available I’d probably be dead by now.

I always wanted to know why, and how, and natural ways to make myself better. But no one ever  answered my questions.

No one knows my body like I do, and by listening to my body and doing a lot of research, I have finally found out what works best for me.

This is not to say that everyone’s condition is the same, as it is not. Asthma seems to have a variety of causes, from food allergies, to lifestyle changes, to viral infections… and a range of severity levels.

However, with the help of some of the most noted nutrition experts in the world, I have come to understand that ultimately it all seems to stem from an immune system deficiency.

It was when I got a blood analysis done by world renowned nutritionist Phil Richards that It all started to make sense to me. By looking at my live and dry blood cells, he was able to tell me allergies and deficiencies I have.

I have always known that peanuts give me asthma. But it turns out all nuts do.

Sugar, wheat, white flour, red wine, highly processed foods and chemicalised toiletries and cleaning products… in fact pretty much everything that is bad for me I am allergic to. I am quite lucky in that way.

Dust,  dust mites, pollen, cat fur, cold and damp weather… shall I go on?

I avoid these and I am ok-ish.

But what makes the real difference for me?


– I religiously take good quality vitamins, minerals, and fish oils 3 times a day.

– I drink alkalized water throughout the day and eat highly alkalizing foods.

– I do anaerobic exercise that really gets me out of breath at least 3 times a week. I do this outdoors as the fresh air and vitamin D I get from the sun (even in winter) helps too.

– I listen to hypnotic cd’s to help me relax when I get wheezy.


Everyone is different and we all deal with life in different ways too. I like to take control of it and I wanted to show you how I do this regarding asthma.

Please feel free to post your comments and any questions you may have.

To avail of top quality nutritional products check out: 

http://www.enhancinglifesjourney.co.uk

To find out more about how to help asthma naturally go to:

http://www.mercola.com

Thanks,

Anna

Need sleep? Follow my 10 tips for a good night’s rest

17/11/2009

1/ SET A ROUTINE

While we are all slightly different, aim for 8-9 hours sleep, as too little or too much can make you tired and grumpy the following day. However, try to go to bed at the same time every night and get up at the same time every morning. If you mess up too much with this at the weekend, it could disrupt your sleeping patterns for a few days afterwards.


2/ AVOID HEAVY FOODS AT NIGHT

Or going to bed in an empty stomach. Stay away from alcohol, caffeinated and sugary drinks for at least 8 hours before going to bed, as these interfere with your energy levels and will keep you awake at night. Drink plenty of water during the day so you don’t wake up thirsty at night.


3/ KEEP YOUR BEDROOM DARK AT NIGHT

And if you read at night, use a dim night light as a strong light will disrupt your body’s circadian rythm.

4/LISTEN TO SOFT MUSIC

Or hypnotic cd’s to help you relax. But avoid watching TV or listening to loud or rock music before falling asleep.

5/ ELIMINATE ALL ELECTRICAL APPLIANCES

Including mobile phones and electrical alarm clocks at bedtime. If you have a TV or a radio in your room, turn them off and unplug them before you go to sleep as the energy waves they emit will interfere with your body clock.


6/ GET INTO A COMFORTABLE POSITION

Whereby your head, neck and body are well aligned in bed. Wear appropriate clothing so you are not too cold or too hot.

7/ TURN YOUR MATTRESS

Do this every 2 months or so to avoid bumps, and air your bedroom for a few hours during the day. Make sure your bedroom is cleaned and dusted often. If you suffer from allergies, dust, dustmites and other microscopic insects can trigger these and keep you awake at night.

8/ USE LAVENDER

A sprig under your pillow will help you destress. A small cup of chamomile tea about an hour before going to bed can help too.

Avoid pills full of chemicals that create “fake sleep” and make you feel groggy, tired, confused, or worse the following morning. These also mess with your natural body clock and many can cause harmful side effects.

9/ EXERCISE

The human body uses sleep to repair and recover. If you have a sedentary job and you don’t do any physical exercise, you may feel mentally tired, but if your body is not tired, you may it hard to fall asleep. Do some form of vigorous physical exercise daily, preferably in the fresh air. But avoid doing this late at night as this will too interfere with your biological clock.


10/ LEAVE YOUR WORRIES OUTSIDE YOUR BEDROOM

Write a “to do” list for the day after, and leave it on your breakfast table where you can pick it up in the morning.

Also, take a few minutes to put any worrying thoughts you might have down on paper, and also leave them outside your bedroom.

Whether there is something you can do about these thoughts or not, make a conscious decision to allow yourself to get a good night’s sleep, and you can come back to them in the morning, re-energised and refreshed, when you will be able to make better decisions.

If you have other suggestions feel free to post them here!

Sweet dreams!

Anna

Sleep

Zzz...

 

 

 

How to get more done with the time you have

16/11/2009

TIME Management

Christmas is a busy time of the year for a lot of us. On top of our daily work and family commitments, we have parties to attend, presents to buy, dinners to prepare, trees to decorate…

What should be a relaxing and enjoyable time of the year spent in the company those we love, can sometimes seem like the most stressful time.

I coach clients who are trying to find a happy balance between career and family life, who tell me they dread the next few weeks because of the extra work load put on them.

Kate, one of my current clients, told me  the  time saving technique I am going to show you next is “the best thing since sliced bread” and that her life is a million times easier since having discovered it!

Start to use my “SIEVE IT WORKS” time saving technique right now, and allow yourself to fully enjoy this very special time of the year!

What I want you to do now is grab pen and paper and write your “TO DO”  list for today. Once you have done this, I want you to “sieve” every single task on your list by answering the following questions:

1 – IS IT URGENT?

If it has a deadline, a set date and time it needs to get done by, then write “Urgent” beside this activity.

Urgent activities may include work projects, meetings, doctor appointments…


2 – IS IT IMPORTANT TO YOU?

If getting this done is important to you and of benefit to you and your life in the long term, then write “Important” beside this task.

If doing this makes you happy, for example, making sure you eat healthy meals, or getting an exercise session done, or reading a chapter of your favourite book…

3 – CAN SOMEONE ELSE DO IT?

Are you the only person who can get this done, or can you delegate?

Whether it is a work task or a home chore, allow other people to help you. Provide guidelines on how to get the task done and tell them the result you expect.

Even if the result is not up to your standards, be ok with it being “good enough”. So, if you can delegate, write “Delegate” beside the task.

4 – CAN YOU GET RID OF IT?

If it is a “time waster”, just cross it off your list.

Time wasting activities can be: tv, the internet, video games, emails, some telephone calls…

You now have a list of tasks with the words “Urgent”, “Important”, “Delegate” beside them.You may also have some tasks completely crossed off your list.

Now, whether you want to use your diary, your outlook calendar, or whether you want to produce your own excel schedule, allocate time for your urgent activities and important activities for today, giving yourself some extra time (20-30 mins) .

For example, if you think a meeting should take 20 mins, allocate 40 minutes for it on your diary. This is to account for interruptions and/or delays. And if it actually takes 20 mins, you will have some extra time afterwards to relax or to  get started on your next task.

Also, make sure you delegate those  things you wrote “Delegate” beside. Whether you can do this straight away, or you have to wait until later in the day, make a note of it on your diary too, as a reminder.

At the end of today, refer back to your diary and tick off all the activities that got done with your favourite color marker. Don’t be surprised if you get a sense of accomplishment and even self pride.

Do the same thing tomorrow, and the next day, and the next day…!

Please let me know when you’ve put this technique into practice and how well it is working for you.

Talk again soon!

Anna

How to say no – 3 simple tips that can change your life

13/11/2009

Saying NO

Not now...

If your life is hectic, if you are so up to your ears in work and home commitments that you can’t even think straight. If paperwork, meetings and projects keep piling up,  and you feel like you can’t cope, then you may need to learn to say no.

If you spend most of your time doing things for others and forget to take care of yourself, then your self -esteem and confidence may be suffering as a result.

Learning to say NO at the right time and in the right manner can literally turn around your life.

Not so long ago I coached a successful entrepreneur, whose life was in a right mess. Her business was doing well despite the recession, but her marriage was in tatters, she barely got to see her kids, she couldn’t sleep at night and during the day her head was all over the place.

She was always late for appointments and meetings yet she kept scheduling more  and more into her diary. She said yes to everyone and everything. Except her husband, her kids and herself.

She was a perfectionist who thought no one could get things done as well as she could, and so she took on a ridiculous work load. She had people working for her but she did her job and everyone else’s too. Yet she was unknowingly neglecting her family, and her own physical and mental health were a time bomb about to explode.

This superwoman broke down in tears on our first session when she realized that she was destroying the most important things in her life: her family, and herself! What would her family do if something happened to her as a result of all the stress she put herself under?

Then, I introduced her to the word NO. At first she had trouble saying it. She thought if she said no to people,  theywould think she was rude or selfish. She was shocked to learn that  when you say no assertively and in the right manner, people actually respect you more.

When I taught her different ways to say no to people respectfully and gracefully, her face lit up like she’d just found out a treasure! After just a few weeks of putting these into practice, especially in her business, she had transformed into a completely new, more confident, more relaxed and happier person. In our coaching sessions, she  also learnt how to run her business more effectively, so she was able to spend more time with her family. And she was loving it too!

Here is 3 simple ways to say no  that completely turned around my client’s life for the better:

  • NO + BECAUSE

For example: I can’t attend that meeting because I promised my kids I’d take them to the cinema tonight.  It is                                          not esssential that I attend that meeting as I can sort that issue over the phone tomorrow.

  • NO + OPTION

For example: I am sorry. I can’t take this call right now. But I will call them later/ email them later/ get                                           my secretary to call them

  • NO + DELAY

For example: Let me think about it and i will get back to you in 5 minutes (this will buy you time so you can

decide if what you are asked to do is actually important for you right now or if you want to say no.

There are many other ways  in which you can allow yourself to say no and make it work for you and for others too.

When you take time to decide what your priorities are in life and you choose to stick by your decision, you will find it easier and even liberating to say no when necessary.

But like everything else in life, the more you practise the better you become at it!

Anna

How to make decisions

10/11/2009

Decisions

Decisions...

Decisions, decisions… some people embrace the process of making decisions, while others avoid it at all costs.

Some people seem to seamlessly and confidently make decisions in every area of their lives. Others drive themselves to oblivion trying to make the right choice.

The fear of making the wrong decision can drive some people into a state of  limbo, whereby things are put on hold for the unforeseeable future, or forever.

It’s like pressing the pause button of the movie of your life. Pausing can be useful sometimes, so long as you  remember to press play again soon!

If you are one of those people who thinks no decisions means no consequences, then let me tell you, you are wrong!

The consequences of a decisionless life are often far worse. I have coached clients whose self-esteem and confidence was shattered as a result of this.

Making decisions can be an empowering and very rewarding process when you know how to make it work for you.  So, how can you make  it work for you? Well, we usually make decisions based on:

– Impulse: Like, for example,  when you spend your weekly food budget on a new piece of clothing that you don’t even need. And, as a woman, I have totally been there! 🙂

– Past experiences: We tend to compare things, people and events to similar past experiences. But remember, similar doesn’t mean the same. And your past does not have to equal your future either!

– Future predictions: Yes, we like to think of ourselves as fortune tellers sometimes. But the truth is we are not.  Not me anyway! However, we often make badly constructed predictions that defy the laws of logic.

Sometimes it is important to follow our intuition. And it is just as important to weigh the pros and cons.

When faced with decisions, especially potentially life altering ones, allow yourself to take some time to write down the pros and cons. If you are not happy with the amount of cons you come up with, then ask yourself, how can you turn some or all of the cons into pros? and what do you have to do in order to do this?

By answering these questions you have started to think more usefully.

Getting advice from a trusted friend or expert can help too.  But ultimately, it is up to you to realize that uncertainty is part of life. When you allow yourself to embrace the unknown now, you are actually making life more interesting and exciting.

Sometimes we make great decisions, and other times we make crappy decisions. And that is ok. It is up to us to learn from our mistakes and keep on going, taking chances in life.

Has something truly unexpected and amazing happened to you as a result of a decision you made?

Anna 🙂