“The Blood Sugar Solution; 10 Day Detox Diet” by Dr. Mark Hyman

Hi Friends,

I’m currently in the middle of Day 7, of ten days on this Detox Diet. I have to say, so far, so good. In a nut shell, nuts is one of the things you can eat…most other things are a no no. Here’s what you can’t have over the ten days; gluten, dairy, grains, caffeine and sugar in any form (eg- no honey or agave and limited fruits). You are also encouraged to do 30 minutes of brisk walking, take supplements, take an ultra detox diet every night (a heavenly combo of epsom salts, bicarbonate of soda and lavender oil) and spend time concentrating on your breathing and doing journal questions each evening. of course, you must remember to drink at least 8 glasses of water a day to flush out any toxins.

I’ve got to say, Im feeling really great. The number one reason I wanted to do this detox was to improve my health. As a chronic sinus and migraine sufferer, I’ve already noticed removing dairy has made my symptoms disappear. As for the removal of gluten and grains, in a week, I’ve lost 2.5 kgs (5.5 pounds). The average weight loss on the program, if followed to the letter is around 4.5 kgs (10 pounds).

Most importantly though, this eating plan (I really don’t like the word “diet”, as I believe it has negative connotations) has got me back on track with being in tune emotionally with what I’m eating and making better choices. Feeling good instead of tired and sluggish and foggy is miraculous, and so far, I have to say, I’m a big fan of this book. 

I first heard Dr. Mark Hyman discussing his book with Dr. Christiane Northrup on her wonderful radio show “Flourish” (Hay House Radio), a month or two ago. After a night of over indulgence on the vino and some pizza (a particularly lethal combination for a sinus and headache sufferer); I wanted to detox. One thing that has surprised me, and something that Dr. Hyman discusses in the book, is the emotional response once certain foods are removed. For example, if at 3pm, like most people you feel tired and need a pick me up and reach for a chocolate bar, or a piece of toast with honey, you are numbing other emotions that are in need of your attention. Yes, at three o’clock our kidneys need to be flushed out with a big glass of water and some nuts, not something high in sugar or fat, which will satisfy our cravings for a short amount of time and at the same time cover up an emotional need.

Doing this program, you might become more aware of what your emotional needs actually are, and be surprised at the way food and cravings stifle your true feelings. This really is a holistic approach to eating, with a strong emphasis on self care and self awareness. The detox bath, helps the individual to develop a ritual that aids sleep and helps you to take a much needed “time out”.

I really have to recommend anybody who’s sick of feeling sick take a look at this approach to feeling better from the inside out.

Claire xx

Food as Medicine

I really love cooking. I like it, mostly from a creative and inspiring perspective. Sometimes, I’ll skim through cook books just to get ideas for flavour combinations and then just free form.
I think that once you become a mother, cooking is one creative outlet you can accomplish without or despite interruption! If food is the source of our energy and we’ll being, we really need to take it seriously. One thing I’ve started doing lately is making every meal count. I really like having a proper breakfast (banana porridge with yoghurt and a drizzle of maple syrup is a fave), a sit down lunch and dinner with the family.
What’s really challenging is cooking for small children and having their fussiness catered for. Dinner usually isn’t the most relaxing of times, but if the effort is made, hopefully the kids will eventually catch on!
Iim so inspired by Heidi Swanson’s book “Super Natural Every Day” that it’s my number one go to resource in the kitchen. It provides the reader with fantastic and tasty vegetarian recipes that are nutritious and delicious.
So, despite protests, I am going to continue to serve up healthy food to my little ones, and hope they all will commit to the one dish, one day!

Love from Claire xx

Live Your Purpose; TODAY!

Everybody I speak to or listen to (including myself) are searching for their life’s purpose their ultimate calling. I want to pose the question, what is the purpose of your life TODAY (as opposed to the rest of your life, sounds like a lot of pressure!)

Exercise: Today’s Life Purpose
1. Take a piece of paper and divide it into 4 columns
2. In the first column write “crucial”,the second “hot”, the third “sooner” and the fourth “later”
3. Under the headings write a maximum of four things that you need to or want to do today, for example under crucial you might have pay bills, look after the kids and do the groceries. Under later, you might have, clean out the pantry.
4. Look at the first column and write a positive, pithy statement; “today my purpose is to honour my financial commitments, provide myself and my family with great nutrition and to nurture my children.”

There; simple! It brings us into the present moment and adds a greater importance to what we are already doing.

Much love,
Claire xx

Life Designing; Creating Your Ideal Life…today!

Hi Friends,

Many of us dream about achieving everything one day. The car, the dream home, the successful career, the perfect body; the list goes on…”one day, I’ll get there,” we tell ourselves. Well, what about today? Why don’t we take a little time out today to design our ideal life, based on what we already have?

I did this exercise with a friend recently, and asked her to rate the following areas of her life out of ten (ten being the highest,, if something sucks right now, give it a 1). Doing this exercise surprised my friend, because she realized, that a lot was already working in her life. For example, for the category of Physical Environment, she scored a 10. My friend loves and appreciates her 2 bedroom apartment. She loves the location, the Art Deco style, the rent is reasonable and she’s got it clean and organized. So it’s a 10. Yay! Romance was a 9, Money and Finances an 8, Personal Development a 9, Family and Friends a 9 and Fun and Joy an 8.

On the flip side, she scored 5 on Health and Fitness. So, I asked her, “what would it take to bring it to a 10?” The answer; more sleep, healthier food, an exercise routine. The next question, “what would it take to bring it to a 10 today?” The action steps included taking a walk on the beach , cooking a healthy dinner and going to bed an hour earlier. Snap! Instant improvement.

So here’s today’s exercise;
1. Under each category, give yourself a rating out of 10
Health and Fitness
Work and Career
Money and Finances
Physical Environment
Personal Development
Family and Friends
Fun and Joy

2. Then, take a few moments to ask yourself, what would my life look like if every category scored a 10? Don’t write an essay, just a sentence or two will do.

3. Finally, choose one or two categories, preferably your lowest scoring categories and take 3 action steps TODAY! For example, maybe your finances suck. You score a 1. It’s a dismal state of affairs. What can you do to turn this around? Maybe one action step you can take is to borrow a financial classic from the library, (notice I said borrow, don’t buy!) like Napoleon Hill’s “Think and Grow Rich”. The second action step might be to make a mind map of how you can earn more money, the next might be to track your spending for a month (as in every cent you spend) in a small notebook, so at the end of the month you can review your spending and see what you can change.

4. By taking a few simple action steps today, in an area of our life that’s not working the way we want it to; we reclaim our power. As one of my gurus, Cheryl Richardson says “inactivity equals anxiety.” So let’s do it friends, let’s bring everything up to a 10! Enjoy!

Love from Claire xx

Back to the Present

Hi Friends,

Whenever we’re feeling rotten, down or detached, the best gift we can give ourselves is bringing ourselves back into the present moment. Because, as we fundamentally know, the present moment is all we have. If we’re anxious or depressed, we’re not in the here and now. We’re either in the past or the future. So bring it back to now by taking a few deep breaths. As Thicht Nat Hahn says, “As I breathe in I am calm, as I breathe out, I smile.”

A fab exercise to catapult us back into the now is the 5 Senses Meditation. It only takes a few minutes. First of all, focus on 5 things you can see. Say in your mind “I can see this glass of water. I can see this computer screen,” etc. Then focus on five things you can hear, smell, touch and taste. There you go, you’re back here in the present.

If you’re having a particularly challenging day, it’s good to check in with yourself each hour and repeat the exercise, to ensure that your thoughts aren’t racing off to some place you don’t want them to. By focusing on what’s going on right now, in front of us and around us, we take our power back from the prisons of our minds when we’re a little off track.

Love Claire xx

Grounded in Nature

Hi Friends,
Something I’ve been reading about lately is the practice of “Grounding” or being “Grounded”. This is an idea where, we create regular practices in our lives to feel more connected and strengthened so that we can go about our day with a greater sense of being centred and operating from the best part of ourselves.

Grounding exercises are best done in the morning, because the intention we begin our day with generally sets the foundation for the how we feel and behave for the remainder of the day. For example, if we sleep in and have a heavy fatty breakfast followed by three cups of coffee and start reading the latest rumours about some celebrity love triangle, or rectangle as it were, we start off our experience based in negativity. Whereas, if we taken even five minutes, or less, upon waking, to create a powerful intention for the day, we can powerfully shift our energy into making positive choices for ourselves throughout the day.

This is where I want to ask the question; what grounds you? What actions that you take, when you take them make you feel more centred and in control of yourself? Some examples may be meditation, walking, eating mindfully, running, singing; it could be anything. If we are more grounded in our own bodies, we are inevitably going to feel stronger and more positive.

Another great way to ground ones self is to be in nature, specifically with bare feet walking on sand, grass or earth. The purpose of doing this is to literally connect to the ground beneath you, and in so doing create a physical connection with the earth. I’d love to here some of the ways you all stay grounded, be it in nature or in other ways.
Love Claire x

The Magic of Musicals

Hi Friends,

I wanted to talk about my life long love of musical theatre and how incorporating it into our lives, even occasionally, can be incredibly uplifting. When they’re good; they can be life changing. If you’ve ever experienced the exhilaration of being in the presence of an unbelievable ensemble piece, you can be rocked and moved with great emotion, so much so, that you leave the theatre on an unbeatable high.

On a recent trip to NYC, my mother and I hit Broadway in a big way, calling our short stay “The T Shirt and Musical Tour”; mostly because we saw a lot of musicals and bought souvenirs at every show. Highlights of the trip were Spiderman; Turn off the Dark, First Date and Matilda. Unfortunately, my mum started the tour before I arrived so I missed out on seeing Once which she said was excellent.

Coming out of Matilda where there was barely a dry eye in the house, I heard a little girl say to her father, “Daddy, I’ve never seen you cry before.” And outside I saw him trying to compose himself through short breathed sighs, so moved by the beauty, emotion and coherence of this brilliant musical. When they’re good, they’re wonderful.

I interviewed Intuitive Catalyst, radio presenter and author Becky Walsh the other night, who in her new book on intuition called “You do Know” discusses the importance of incorporating activities that ground you and feel more centred. One of the activities Becky does to stay grounded, is “Musicals Therapy”; she blasts some of her favourite tracks from shows and sings her heart; releasing the emotions of the song, and in so doing, becoming more centred. Give this exercise a go; it’s an absolute cracker!

My love of musicals started when I was four when I became obsessed with Annie; seeing it at the movies at least seven times. When my parents bought me the album I sobbed, overwhelmed by the emotional content! Nothing’s changed; I was a blubbering fool in Spiderman and Matilda. Then it was every Andrew Lloyd Webber hit, especially Cats, Tell Me on a Sunday, Superstar, then Hair, Cabaret, Rocky Horror Show, Company, The Threepenny Opera and so many more. The brilliance of the music, the energy and glory of it all is unbelievably positive and can make your spirits soar.

I’ve made it a new inclusion in my own weekly spiritual practice to blast some musical theatre numbers and do a full set. My neighbours are so lucky! Ha!

Love Claire xo

Zappos Family Values

Hi Friends,

In 1999 Nick Swinmurn founded his company Zappos an online shopping experience who’s mission was to provide customers with exemplary service and positive communication and super fast delivery. In 2009 Zappos announced it would be acquired by Amazon in a deal worth 1.2 billion dollars.

CEO Tony Hsieh has just announced that Zappos is going through a radical transformation and renewal. In order for the company to spread its wings and soar, rather than remaining stagnant, Zappos will implicate a system called “Holocracy”, where there will be no hierarchy and the company’s 1500 employees will have roles rich in diversity and challenge. The word Holocracy is derived from the Greek Holon meaning something that is simultaneously whole and part. If this leap of faith works, it will revolutionize company practices as we know them. The driving force of this company is to empower their employees by making their roles far reaching and multifaceted. A dynamic company, shedding its skin and being revolutionary will be radical for it’s products and service and in so doing create a higher frequency and relationship with consumers. People are more likely to choose Zappos for their online shopping if the like the ethos of the company.

If core values are what drives a company, or any group of people, Zappos’s Family Core Values as they appear on their website are as follows;

Zappos Family Core Values

1. Deliver WOW through service

2. Embrace and Drive Change

3. Create Fun and A Little Weirdness

4. Be Adventurous, Creative and Open Minded

5. Pursue Growth and Learning

6. Build Open and Honest Relationships with Communication

7. Build a Positive Team and Family Spirit

8. Do More with Less

9. Be Passionate and Determined

10. Be humble

Zappos define their company as a Family, meaning they are more than colleagues, employers and employees; they are a group of individuals who care for and about each other. Relationships are key to the company’s strength and the basis of it’s whole. I really like the idea of coming up with a list of ten core values. Be it for how you want to run your family, your company, or even yourself. I’m going to write my list and I know where I’ll be doing my online shopping.

Love Claire x

How Our Heroes Can Help Us

Morning Friends,

Here’s a fun exercise on how to further think about what we really want to do with our lives….

1. Grab a sheet of paper

2. In the middle of the page, draw a circle and write “MY SUPER 5”- and then draw 5 arrows going in different directions, from that circle

3. Then at the end of those arrows; draw 5 smaller circles

4. In each of those 5 circles, write the names of people you think are awesome. They do not have to be celebrities or public figures. They could be your boss or one of your parents. It doesn’t matter; just ask yourself, without pondering too much; who are my super 5?

5. Your circles might contain names like this (I’m putting a few of my faves in here, just as an example); Oprah, Marianne Williamson, Thich Nhat Hanh, Richard Fidler, Kirstie Allsop (what a mixed bag of peeps, but you’ll see where I’m going with this in a minute…)

6. Then, from those 5 names, draw 5 lines coming off each circle and then write the things you like and admire about those people

7. Think about the person, what they stand for and what they do; what it is you like about them. For example, with Oprah on your list, you might write about her- teacher, authentic, connected, spiritual talks, phenomenal role model, etc. I put Richard Fidler on my list, because he is my all time favourite interviewer, the qualities I like are; presentation, connection with subject, personability, enthusiasm, thorough knowledge of subject…and Kirstie Allsopp, TV presenter, the qualities I love about her are; passion, enthusiasm, fun energy, connection to the people she’s talking to etc; Thich Nhat Han, the qualities I revere are; peace maker, advanced soul, serene, peaceful communicator etc, and then Marianne Williamson; extraordinary speaker, hyper intelligent, challenging, spiritual expert etc. It doesn’t necessarily matter who the person is that you choose, but for some reason, you like these people; their energy, their message, whatever.

8. Once your mind map is complete, you have an entire page of information with which to guide you on your own quest

9. Have some of the people you’ve chosen surprised you? What about their qualities? Do any of them overlap?

10. Without giving it too much attention, see if there’s any guidance for you on this map. For example, do qualities or skills come up more than once, for example; speaker, teacher, compassion, enthusiasm?

11. Don’t give it to much thought or concern; just marinate on it for a while and hold onto that piece of paper…Part 2 of the exercise will be tomorrow

I’d love to hear from you. Who made it onto your list? What was it about these 5 people that you liked/admired? Let me know by leaving a comment on the blog. 

Claire x 

Radical Shifts of Perception

Hi Friends,

I just googled the word Perception and here’s how Wikipedia defined it: “Perception (from the Latin perception, percipio) is the organization, identification, and interpretation of sensory information in order to represent and understand the environment.” And then, more pages follow…but let us consider that first statement, which is very powerful. The way we see and interpret the world around us is directly linked to the way we think and feel about ourselves, and then the way we think and feel about ourselves is a direct reflection of how we behave towards others and exist in the world.

In Marianne Williamson’s recent “Soul Sunday” discussion with Oprah, she defined a miracle (referring to the teachings from A Course in Miracles) as “a shift in perception from fear to love.” A Course in Miracles teaches us, that if we are willing to change the way we look at and perceive the world around us (and ourselves within it) we can radically change our reality from fear to love, from darkness to light.

This is such an unbelievably important and insightful interview (you can watch it by clicking onto OWN full episodes on the net) and if you haven’t seen it already, I can’t recommend it enough. Marianne says, “If I’m not happy, there’s something I’m not looking at correctly” and that “We are either walking in the direction of fear, or the direction of love.” Love is not to be confused with romantic love, but rather positive energy, fear is darkness, love is light. There’s nothing in between. You’re either operating from a place of fear or love; if you’re feeling happy, you’re walking the path of love, when you’re feeling stressed, anxious, angry or depressed, you’re walking the path of fear.

This is my third attempt at studying A Course in Miracles. I first picked up the text in 2005 and again in 2006 and found it daunting. I was overwhelmed and a little spooked by it. Simply not ready. However, now that I myself now fully understand what it means to have a radical shift in perception, and truly feel after a life almost entirely made up of fear, I’m ready to fully commit to this text. Now that I am clearer about my true purpose in life (Writing, Teaching and Speaking as a Transformational Life Coach) I am open to this process. My previous careers as a performer and screenwriter, although essential to my path of development were not truly of relevance to me. Those “titles” for me were fear based and focused on exterior validation. I didn’t realize this until recently I had a breakthrough session with Intuitive Catalyst and author Becky Walsh which radically shifted my perception of things.; and made me wake up to what I truly believe is important. Perhaps, if I hadn’t recently experienced my own radical shift in perception, I wouldn’t be writing these words. In fact, I know I wouldn’t. Thank you Becky Walsh!

Every single spiritual teacher that I revere; Wayne Dyer, Marianne Williamson, Robert Holden, and so many more, refer to A Course in Miracles as being transformative to their spiritual evolution. So 2014 is the year for me to dive into the teachings.

I think a wonderful way to approach the teachings of this text without diving in head first, is to first watch Oprah’s interview with Marianne Williamson and then to read Marianne’s book A Return to Love, which in it’s day was a best seller, and to this day remains one of the most effective and powerful books ever written. I am also in the middle of reading Gabrielle Bernstein’s “Spirit Junkie” which also teaches the principles of A Course in Miracles, and is perfect for a young and contemporary audience. Starting with Oprah’s interview with Marianne however, is essential for anyone who believes that changing your thinking can change your life, and as Marianne said in that interview, “If you know what changes a heart, you know what changes the world”…that’s some inspiring stuff.

So as a suggestion for today, you might want to try this out.  Every hour try checking in with yourself, to see how you’re truly feeling. I love Martha Beck’s suggestion of asking yourself whenever walking by a mirror, “How you doing sweetie?” Are you feeling good or bad? Are you walking on the love path or the fear path? If you find yourself walking on the love path, that’s excellent, but if you’re on the fear path, you might want to say to yourself; “I’m willing to see this differently”.

Love from Claire xx