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Things that help with belly bloating

Things that help with belly bloating

As with everything in life, it’s best to deal with the root cause of the problem rather than masking the symptoms.  This list takes you through sime really quick and simple ways to reduce that bloated feeling, but if you’ve worked through them and they haven’t helped, have a chat with your health care provider to rule out anything more serious.

1. Avoid chewing gum.  It’s so simple but excess air being swallowed will naturally end up in your stomach, making bloating worse.

2. Reduce carbohydrates in the evening. Research shows that eating too many carbohydrates in the evening can make belly bloat worse in the morning.  Feel free to eat carbohydrates during the day. However, if it’s close to your bedtime, avoid covering your plate with them. Your body needs time to digest them, and it’s easier to do this if you’re active during the day instead of in bed.

3. Kick your soda habit.  Fizzy drinks / soda pop and all carbonated beverages can make your stomach bigger.  The small switch to non carbonated drinks like water, juice, diluted juice or fruit juice for instance reduces the amount of gas being swallowed and ending up in your stomach.

4. Add more potassium to your diet.  Water retention can be a sign of too much sodium and potassium allows your body to release it, which in turn allows your body to release the water it held on to aswell, giving you better fluid control on a cellular level.  Potassium rich foods include bananas, tomatoes, cantaloupe, spinach and some nuts.

5. Avoid fake sugars.You may think you’re helping your diet by eating artificial sugars. However, you’re actually making your bloating worse.  Artificial sugars are hard for your body to digest. They can often lead to unnecessary and annoying bloating. In addition, in large amounts, fake sugars can lead to cramping and stomach aches.
To avoid artificial sugars, read package labels carefully. Artificial sugars can be in sweets, cookies, baked goods, and other items. If the label has “sugar-free, “low calorie,” or similar wording, that food is likely to have artificial sugar in it.

6. Add more probiotics.  Whether you turn to more yogurt or kimchi, filling your diet with more probiotics will help you get rid of belly bloat by helping you balance the good and bad bacteria in your gut. They’re an important part of defeating bloating too.
You can find probiotics in yogurt, fermented dairy products, kimchi, sauerkraut, and other foods. The key is to find some probiotic foods that you love and will enjoy eating every day, or at least several times a week.

7. Drink Green or peppermint tea. Green tea and peppermint tea may help you with belly bloating.  Studies show that green tea may help your metabolism and make it easier to burn fat in the body.
Peppermint tea is an ancient home remedy that is used to relievE digestive issues and help the stomach.  It has a calming effect. However, it can also get rid of annoying bloating after a big meal.

Click to download our free food guide on 8 foods to avoid that cause bloating so you can cut them out immediately and read the free bonus information on 8 foods to add to your shopping list for a happy tummy!

Why you need to know your avatar to build an online business

Why you need to know your avatar to build an online business

If you don’t know where to start when it comes to posting on social media to promote your services or products, then you might need to take a closer look at your avatar/ your ideal customer.

So let’s start from the beginning, what is an avatar and why do you need one?

An avatar is simply a way of describing your target audience, or ideal consumer who is in need of your service or product.  They are currently online looking for a way to fix a pain, problem or struggle that your product or service helps with.  Knowing exactly who they are helps you speak directly to them so you can grab their attention!

Here’s the clincher… If you know exactly who they are, and what they need help with, then by posting content that helps them in that area, they will be interested in hearing what you have to say. Which means they are drawn to you, this is the heart of ‘attraction marketing’ and it’s relevant if you’re doing anything from network marketing to selling technology!  It doesn’t have to be as detailed as ’45 year old females who live in kentucky and have an above average income… your goal through creating the avatar is to know what your avatar has trouble with ideally that links to your product; then help them with it.

Here’s an example:  Let’s say you have a product that helps people with joint pain for instance.  Perhaps there’s an average age that your product is best suited for, you’d use platforms that reach that typical age bracket, using language they would relate to (i.e. if it’s over 40’s, don’t use words like ‘hey man, check this out’!) Then post content that people with joint pain would be interested in, they will want to hear what you have to say!

do you know your avatar?So what content would you post – Well, what other things help people with joint pain?  You might have research articles that show how walking over 6,000 steps a day also helps increase mobility for those with knee and joint pain.  That would be of interest to your market, or perhaps you know that increasing the amount of water you drink also helps joint pain because our joints rely on fluid to work smoothly or other hints and tips… These are the sort of things that your market may benefit from knowing so this is the sort of content you should be sharing to attract your ideal audience.  Will people who don’t have joint pain be drawn to you?  probably not, but that’s ok?!  You’re providing relevant information 90% of the time which creates trust, interest and conversation with people who also need your product.  This gives you the best starting point to also introduce your product.

Just to clarify why you don’t want everyone to be drawn to you.  Here’s another example… Teenagers typically don’t have joint pain, therefore they aren’t likely to be interested in your joint pain product.  Why would you want to target your marketing towards them?  It would mean your content wasn’t as relevant to your ‘real’ customers.  So, by making your posts and information super relevant to your ideal customer, you get to be relevant and interesting to them most of the time.  This increases how engaged they are and therefore how likely they are to enter the conversation and conversion stages with you.  The flip side of that is if your content is only interesting 5% of the time, how engaged do you think your audience will be?  Engagement leads to conversation and then conversion, whether you are converting over the phone, via messenger, email or through content marketing and webinars!

Stepping away from the ‘joint pain product’ example, let’s look at everyday posts and content.  If you establish that your avatar (ideal client) needs a higher disposable income to purchase your luxury brand, then that might dictate the typical age, demographic, and things they are interested in.  It’s a little like a jigsaw; 1) you have the pieces that include your product and what it can do.  2) The price can dictate the typical demographic. 3) the geographic locations it can be distributed to can establish where your ideal clients are.   4) The branding can help you work out the typical age of your avatar.  5) The problems that your product solves can help you work out your audiences pains and struggles so you know what else to talk to them about!

I’ve prepared a free download to help you work out how to narrow down your avatar so you can get really specific with your marketing and attract more clients and customers with a more laser focus!

Fill in your details below to get the best 10 questions to build your customer avatar!

Marketing, me, and free ways I can help

Marketing, me, and free ways I can help

When times are good, marketing is necessary for most businesses, when times are difficult, (in my humble opinion) it’s imperative for their survival!

I put a video together on my facebook page if you’d rather watch than read this blog, but put simply these are free and really simple ways businesses could promote their products and services while they’re in temporary lockdown (due to Covid restrictions if you’re reading this in 2021 or beyond!)  I did it because my background is in marketing and I think that’s something that many businesses are in need of right now

Just to set the scene – 14 years ago, I took up my first marketing management position as the marketing manager for Ireland in a global cash management company. I learned so much about offline and corporate marketing but arguably the most important lesson was the progression of online marketing at that time, and its ability to perform better for less expenditure. My following position was with a County Down based brewery where we marketed a range of range Ale’s into 14 states across America. I will always be thankful for that forward-thinking employer who encouraged us to continue a quest for knowledge in online marketing at a time when it was unheard off in most companies. I later went freelance again and got to develop it with many other businesses and industries over the years. Most of my working life now is spent helping other people work from home, (and should someone want info on that, drop me a message.) However the purpose of this blog is to share a brief insight into my background to better explain why I’m offering marketing tips and advice for businesses trying to navigate through Covid enforced regulations; meanwhile finding and connecting with their customers again to resume business ‘as usual’!

Just over four weeks ago, all close contact and hospitality businesses in Northern Ireland had to close their doors for a month, then on Friday they were told to remain close for another week. I can’t imagine the anguish business owners are going through at the minute while for some, the busiest season of the entire year slips past. So, I know that most people on my blog have an online business or at least an interest in one, however the following tips are geared towards businesses with a local premises, serving a local community (wherever that is). I know that some (many hair dressers and beauticians etc) will have a list of customers to get through as quickly as possible, while others face the challenge of building their clientele back into monthly or regular clients as opposed to infrequent ones which they have been forced to be this year.

Let’s dive in: Free ways to market your local business and get more customers, or build your clientele backup after reopening.

  1. This goes without saying but… Ensure your business is on social media. For some businesses, certain platforms can be more beneficial, for instance Instagram is more visual and for businesses like nail technicians or make-up artists, it can allow them to display their portfolio and connect with potential customers leading with service first.  However, both Facebook and Instagram work wonders for finding, connecting and engaging with customers. If Facebook works for you, make sure your address is listed on your Facebook Page so you come up in local searches when someone is actively looking for the service you provide. I can go into more detail on. LinkedIn benefits in another video if that’s of interest but most of the businesses affected are largely business to consumer focused.
  2. For exactly the same reason as number 1, ensure you are registered and showing on google. You can add your website, phone number, location and an image for free. It’s so simple, lots of businesses can overlook its importance. Just go to ‘google my business’, click on ‘get on google’ and follow the prompts from there.
  3. Using Instagram hashtags is a powerful tool to display your portfolio or products straight to the very people who are searching for them, but this is often under-utilised. Don’t just go for the generic ‘broad’ hash tags, choose ‘narrow’ hashtags that include your location, the style of your work, and the terms your customers would be searching for to find that service or product. For instance, say you are in the hospitality industry and promoting Santa and Christmas experiences over the Christmas period. Put yourself in your customers shoes, who are they and what terms are they going to be using to find the service you are offering. Include your town, (tag your location too) Santa visits in x town, sleigh rides x town, sleigh rides x county, your venue name and as many other ways you can think off to describe your service as you can imagine. If you’re a beautician and you know people are going to be looking for Christmas nails so go back through your pics to last years favourites, repost them using your town and Christmas nails in the hashtags! There are different recommendations on the number of hash tags you can use but 28 is the recommended amount so as I mentioned above, make a list of everything your think your potential customers would search for if they were looking for the services you provide.
  4. Only 10% of Facebook users use stories, this means you can remind your customers of your existence, and your brand at ZERO cost just by using them. Instagram has a 60% adoption rate for stories in comparison however both are very worthwhile to help connect with your potential and current customers. If you’re wondering what to put in your stories, it’s popular to use your news feed as your shop window and formal branding and your stories as the ‘backstage pass’ it’s also a fabulous sales funnel when you use things like polls and calls to action. So many businesses have put in massive effort to create safe spaces for their clients to safely visit their premises, photos of these installations taking place to let customers know for instance that you’re working away behind the scenes to keep them safe on their return.
  5. Facebook Groups are being used by many home business owners as a way of keeping in touch with their customers and building community without contacting them directly and individually.  If you don’t have a group for your business, think about whether it’s a good fit for you.  It will need daily posts (you can post less frequently, but it will need monitored daily,) however you can educate your customers on other services you provide, increasing their customer value and inform them of special offers and benefits much easier aswell.  You can also incentivise the customers in your group to invite friends and grow your audience in an easy and fun way!
  6. Benefits not features. On social media, you’re connecting with cold market prospects, remember they aren’t looking for features if you sell a service. They’re looking for the benefits they’ll receive through purchasing it. So when you’re talking about your service, using this jargon helps customers connect with how you can help them.
  7. Testimonials are today’s word of mouth marketing, ask your happy customers to leave you a review on your Facebook page, screenshot it and post it in your news feed and stories to share how good your services are to other people.
  8. Facebook events are great for getting the word out about offline or online events. You can set them to have an offline location including your address, you can run them online and set the destination as a zoom event, or maybe you have a Black Friday deal, you can set the destination to a landing page on your website so you’re driving traffic to it as soon as it is active and Facebook is sending them reminder notifications so it’s doing some of the work for you!
  9. Scheduling on social media is a powerful tool for time management. Most people know about it but how many actually use it! Beauticians, hair dressers, nail techs, who are arguably in their busiest season of the year – you have 4 working weeks left in the whole year. Why not spend this down time going through your photos and pick out 30 photos and schedule one a day to be loaded to your social media now. Once you’ve them scheduled you don’t need to go in and upload them each day. Google ‘creator studio’ on Facebook and you can schedule both facebook and Instagram posts from there.
  10. My last tip isn’t free but it’s too powerful (if done correctly) not to mention… Facebook advertising, this is of course paid but just to mention the power of the niche targeting on offer when you get the mix right. You can advertise to a specific demographic, in your postcode. For instance, soft play areas – I’ve heard of a few that had to close including one near us which is such a shame. If you are running a service like this, you could advertise on Facebook to mums of children under 3 for instance, who live in a certain postcode. How amazing is that?! Or if you have a restaurant or bar and your main lunchtime trade consists of people who normally work in the area. When they are back to work, (which is naturally the important bit in that scenario) you could target employees of specific organisations, do keep in mind that a number may be working from home within the next few weeks. Or for your evening meal trade, you could also target people living in your postcode, that have the profile of your target customer and promote your offers to get them into your premises or info on your takeout service.

So these are just a few of the ways you could promote your products or services to help you regain some ground while we speed through this busy Christmas period!

Wishing you all the very best of luck and if there’s another area you’d like specific help with, feel free to email me (grace@gracecarlisle.co.uk) and I’ll do another video and blog on that subject if I can.

 

10 Anti-Aging Techniques You Can Do Yourself

10 Anti-Aging Techniques You Can Do Yourself

It’s not easy to fight the hands of time, but there are some things you can do yourself to look after your mind and body to ease the effects!  When you take care of yourself, it slows the aging process and you can stay fit and alert well into your senior years.

The major components that contribute to optimum health are diet; avoiding a sedentary lifestyle, (easier said than done!) eating well, looking after your skin and the all important factor of keeping your brain active. When you pay attention to these key health elements, you can help yourself stay young.

Here are some excellent anti-aging techniques you can use each day:

1. Consume antioxidants.

Antioxidants are vital to your health. They reduce free radicals that contribute to common diseases, but where can you get them!  Fruits and vegetables are great sources of antioxidants, and you can also take daily vitamins to keep your levels topped up.

2. Exercise and strength training.

Exercise helps to stop your body from breaking down.  Have you ever noticed an increase in joint or back pain after reducing your level of regular exercise?  Maybe when a seasonal sport stops or you suffer an injury and reduce your movememt to allow for healing.  By doing exercise and strength training, you’ll not only feel better, but get a lot healthier at the same time! Exercise provides:
* Increased stamina
* Greater muscle strength
* Better balance
* Clarity in thinking
* A stronger immune system

3. Stay alert and sharp.

You can keep your brain sharp by being constantly aware of your surroundings. I know this sounds pretty simple, but how often do we let loose and daydream, instead of focusing on the present? When you stay alert, you’re fully present in the moment, excercising your mental capability.  It also help you make quick and accurate decisions.

4. Learn new things.

When you get stuck in a rut, your brain suffers a lack of stimulation. You can easily avoid this by keeping your brain active through constant learning and reading. You could vary your routines and aim to learn something new each day.  You could also start by learning a few words of a new language everyday or make a list of things you want to be able to do by the time you’re x years old and use Youtube to learn about them!

5. Challenge yourself.

It always helps to use the problem solving portions of your brain. If you don’t, the skills will fade over time.  If you don’t have a regular supply of this in your everyday life already, try games and puzzles to keep this part of your brain active.

6. Avoid stressing about health issues.

You see statistics everywhere about certain health conditions that are more likely to affect you as you age. While it’s important to be pre-screened for these conditions by a physician, worrying and stressing won’t change the future – but it sure will reduce your quality of life today!  I know it’s easier said than done but why not spend that energy taking action to strengthen your health instead of worrying.

7. Get an adequate amount of sleep.

Getting enough sleep at night is very important for maintaining good health. 6-8 hours every night is the number you should be working toward. Your body and mind need that time to recoup, and you may be more susceptible to stress or disease without it.

8. Avoid smoking and alcohol.

Smoking is a guaranteed way of risking your health, plus it ages your skin and the rest of your body. The harsh reality is that you are shortening your lifespan if you choose to smoke. It’s best to drop this habit immediately. When it comes to alcohol, small amounts here and there won’t cause much harm, but drinking can be a slippery slope into disease if you abuse it.

9. Concentrate on skin care.

When you take care of your skin, you can maintain a healthy, younger look. Establish a daily skin care routine and try beneficial anti-aging gels and creams.  (Complete the form below to get an invitation to our online anti-ageing skin night on Wednesday 11th Nov 8.30pm GMT!)

10. Reduce grains and sugar in your diet.

A diet rich in fruits and vegetables helps your health and keeps your calorie intake at a manageable level. However, it also helps to eat a reduced amount of grains and sugar. Carbohydrates are necessary for your nutrition, but in excess they contribute to increasing your insulin levels and speeding up the aging process.

If you take advantage of these strategies every day, you’ll notice a big difference in the way you look and feel. Getting older doesn’t have to be synonymous with deterioration. Take care of your body and mind and they’ll serve you well into your golden years!

(Complete the form below to get a personal invitation to our online anti-ageing skincare night on Wednesday 11th Nov 8.30pm GMT!)

Is Working From Home as an Employee A Good Choice for You?

Is Working From Home as an Employee A Good Choice for You?

Do you dream about waking up in the morning, walking sleepily down the hall to your home office with a steaming Cup of Joe, and plopping down in your chair to start working? Imagine the amount of money you’ll save on gas, clothing, and childcare working from home. With today’s technology, it’s possible to make your fantasy of working at home a reality.

Consider the following as you decide whether you’re a good candidate for working from home:

1. Do you work for a national or international company? The larger the company, often the more flexibility you’ll have to work from home.

2. Is your company progressive? If the owners and management think out of the box and embrace change, you’re in a great position to inquire about working at home.

3. Do you have a computer-oriented job? If most of your work is on the computer, present a good argument as to how you can remain productive working from home. As long as you have a computer at home, you can get the proper software to perform your job at home.

• You’ll have less co-worker interruptions when you work at home. If your house is quieter than working in a buzzing, lively office setting, you might be able to get more work done each day.

4. Can you obtain the special supplies your job requires? For example, a design architect will need a drafting table and various drawing tools, plus a computer to work from home. The nature of your work is a huge determinant as to whether you can work from home.

5. You’ll need a designated workspace. Nothing fancy, a desk and chair devoted to work will suffice, along with a computer and internet connection.

6. How flexible is your boss? Supervisors and managers who demonstrate more flexibility in the work setting are more likely to agree to a trial period where you work at home. Let’s face it, if lockdown hasn’t provided the opportunity to give you a practice run at this, your employers are unlikely to support it during another time!  If your supervisor knows you well and understands your work, then they might be more willing allow a trial work at home situation.

• During the trial period, (or during lockdown) you have an opportunity to demonstrate how well you can perform in your own home setting.

• When speaking with your supervisor, remember to mention that companies that promote more flexible work schedules benefit from less absenteeism and have reduced turnover.

7. Can you motivate yourself to get your work done? If you want to work from home, it’s important for you to possess certain personal and professional characteristics. Are you a self-starter? Can you diligently follow a work schedule?

• If you’re self-motivated and super-responsible, it’s likely you’ll be able to work from home with great success.

8. Can you prevent distractions at home? Think about everything that could interrupt or disturb your work efforts at home. It will be necessary for you to take steps to ensure your work won’t be disrupted.

• However, if you live alone or with a partner that works away from home full-time during the same time you’ll be doing your job, you’re already ahead of the game in terms of creating a productive work environment.

Depending on your company, the type of work you do, and your motivation, working from home might be a perfect solution. Think through these considerations to help you determine whether working in a home office setting is right for you. In the end, it just may pay off for you and your employer in terms of productivity and employee satisfaction.

If you’d like to download our free guide to 10 sideline sources of income you can earn from home, just fill in your details below…

Or click here if you might also like our blog on the Top 10 Reasons to Start a Home Based Business

Hour Blocking: The Secret to Effective Time Management

Hour Blocking: The Secret to Effective Time Management

Effective time management is an essential skill, and hour blocking is an easy and powerful way to master this skill. You can use it to block off hours in your schedule and get more things finished. It enables you to take control of the minutes in each day.  When trying to fit in a new project / side hustle or if you’re simply back in lockdown and trying to manage kids on top of your usual work load, follow this process to take advantage of this valuable technique:

1. Start with planning. Make a list of all of your important tasks for the week. Then, narrow this list down to three to five essential tasks. * Be realistic about your planning. Avoid thinking that you can do a million tasks in one day or week.

2. Block your hours. After you have a short list of tasks, block the hours on your schedule. This is called time blocking and essentially requires you to take each hour and assign a task or item to it. * Clump related tasks together and add them to specific blocks of time. * Remember to schedule lunches and breaks. Taking time to rest your mind and body is important! Your breaks allow you to get back to your tasks with renewed energy.

3. Reduce distractions. Hour blocking demands that you eliminate distractions, so you don’t lose focus. * Figure out what your main distractions are. Do you waste time on social media or constantly check your phone? Do you spend hours in your email inbox and respond to every message instantly? * Eliminate or reduce these distractions. You may want to set aside a specific chunk of time each day to handle your social media, email inbox, and other tasks that distract you from your more essential actions. * Also, when you’re working, let others know that you’re busy so they can limit their interruptions.

4. Keep the time blocks flexible. Unless you know the exact amount of time each task will take, it’s important to keep the time blocks flexible. This will also enable you to take care of other important things that come up with a minimum amount of stress or changes to your schedule.

5. Review your time blocks regularly. Make adjustments as needed. If your tasks change, or you find that they take more or less time than you thought, modify your time blocks to take the new information into account.

* Reviewing your time blocks will also give you the chance to see when you’re most productive. If you do your best work in the morning, schedule more important tasks during these hours. Reviews will help you evaluate your productivity levels and decide which parts need attention.

* Another advantage of doing reviews is that it gives you the chance to see if your reminders are working or if they need to be changed. Use alerts on your phone or computer, sticky notes, or traditional alarms to remind you that it’s time to move to the next task. The key is to find something that works for you. Effective time management can help you finish more tasks each day and feel more accomplished. Hour blocking is a useful method for anyone who is interested in greater productivity, either at home or at work.

I created a time scheduler resource to let you plan your week ahead and be more productive.  Complete the form below to receive this free resource.  You can then print it as many times as you like!

Get my free Time Scheduler Resource below

Or click here to read our article on ‘time management tips for a successful home based business.

15 Simple Ways to Enhance Your Immunity

15 Simple Ways to Enhance Your Immunity

You’ve probably seen website ads and natural food stores promoting miracle foods and potions that claim to boost your immune system. Are they worth the money?

In reality, a healthy lifestyle will probably do more for your immune system than anything you can buy.

The same habits that keep you strong and fit will maximize your resistance to infection and illness.

At the same time, it’s important to follow the advice of public health experts related to contagious illnesses, such as COVID-19. Practice social distancing, wash your hands frequently, and call your doctor promptly if you have any symptoms that concern you.

Sensible precautions and healthy choices can lower your risk of disease.

Consider these 15 simple ways to enhance your immunity…

EATING HABITS THAT SUPPORT IMMUNITY:

1. Eat produce. Vegetables and fruits are rich in antioxidants and vitamins that help fight inflammation. Current federal guidelines recommend one and a half to two cups of fruit and two to two and a half cups of vegetables each day.

2. Avoid sugar. In addition to empty calories, sugar can increase your risk for heart attack and stroke. The average American consumes 17 teaspoons daily, far more than the American Heart Association’s maximum of 9 teaspoons for men and 6 for women.

3. Increase fiber. High fiber foods have a positive effect on your gut microbiome and immune functioning. Good choices include apples, potatoes, dark colored vegetables, beans, nuts, and whole grains.

4. Try probiotics. Fermented foods are another source of healthy gut bacteria. Enjoy yogurt, miso, and tempeh.

5. Drink tea. Tea contains a special kind of antioxidants called flavonoids that enhance immune function. Along with water, unsweetened tea also helps you to stay hydrated without extra calories.

6. Add herbs. Ancient customs and modern medicine provide some support for the theory that certain herbs aid immune functions. Such herbs include garlic, ginger, and turmeric.

7. Consider supplements. If it’s difficult for you to meet your nutritional needs through diet alone, you may want to take supplements. Talk with your doctor about your individual requirements.

OTHER HABITS THAT SUPPORT IMMUNITY:

1. Know the signs. How can you tell if your immune system may be weak? Monitor yourself for common signs such as frequent infections, fatigue, and wounds that are slow to heal.

2. Quit smoking. Using tobacco lowers your levels of antioxidants and makes you more prone to respiratory infections and other illnesses. Studies show that your chances of quitting successfully increase if you combine methods, such as nicotine replacement devices and counseling.

3. Limit alcohol. Similarly, heavy drinking suppresses the immune system. If you feel like your drinking is out of control, talk with your doctor about services that may help.

4. Stay social. Your mental and physical health depend on mutually supportive relationships. Make it a priority to spend time with family and friends. If you can’t physically be with them, take advantage of technology like FaceTime, Slack, Zoom, and other video chats. Even phone calls and texts can benefit you.

5. Lose weight. Being obese or overweight puts an extra burden on your immune system. Shed pounds safely with a balanced diet and regular exercise.

6. Work out. Slimming down is just one of the benefits of physical activity. Find a variety of sports and classes that you enjoy, so you’ll want to stick with your program. For more fun and greater accountability, invite a friend to join you. Many places even offer virtual classes if you wish to participate at home.


7. Manage stress. Chronic tension increases hormones that interfere with your immune system. In addition to exercise, relax with meditation and music.

8. Sleep well. One study found that adults who slept for at least 7 hours each night were 4 times less likely to get a cold compared to those who slept for 6 hours or less. Set a consistent bedtime and stick to it.

Even when you’re at rest, your immune system is working to protect you day and night. Taking care of your body will help it to do its job so you can lead a long and active life.
If you like topics like this, you might enjoy being part of our online Facebook Group Community where our mission is to help people look and feel better!

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Time Management Tips for a Successful Home-Based Business

Time Management Tips for a Successful Home-Based Business

Home-based businesses have provided income for families long before the internet. However, the internet has made opening and operating a home-based business easier than ever. These new businesses can provide you the opportunity to earn a substantial income in the comfort of your own home.

However, the picture isn’t always so sunny. A home-based business requires work just like any other business. It’s important to make the best use of your time to enable your business to bring you the profits and joy you deserve.

Being at home gives the feeling of comfort, relaxation, and escape from work, so it’s very easy to lose focus and, as a result, get much different results than the ones you want from your business venture.

Making the Most of your time when building a Home-Based Business

So what’s the fix? Developing a timetable to help manage your life at home will help ensure everything gets done when it needs to be.

Follow these tips to enable your time management tool to work effectively for you:

1. Use work time wisely. Allocate a specific time slot each day for work and use the time just

for that. Avoid being distracted by TV or anything else. Remind yourself that you’ve scheduled enough time for everything, so work time should be just that!

2. Schedule enough rest time. Lack of rest can significantly impact the results from your home-based business. You’ll start to feel tired and cranky if you’re not well-rested, which will undoubtedly affect the quality and quantity of work you produce.

• Avoid the temptation to cut into your rest time to get more done; use rest time for actually resting so your work doesn’t suffer.

3. Include scheduled breaks. Once your timetable includes scheduled breaks during work slots, you’ll have something to look forward to. You’ll also have less of an urge to take “unscheduled” breaks while working.

Poor Time Management Can Lead to Unnecessary Challenges

Of course, how you manage your time at home will significantly impact the success of your at-home business. But what poor time management can also affect is “the rest of your life.” That’s right, working at home in a haphazard manner can really take its toll on other things.

• Family time and other important activities could be negatively impacted if you work in an ad hoc manner and don’t reserve enough time for it.

• Fitness, health, and diet also need your direct attention when you’re a work at home earner. Not paying enough attention to those things can result in letting them slide.   Which can be the last thing you want when your only source of income is your home-based business!

It’s very easy to get so absorbed in your home-based business and overlook the importance of other aspects of your life.  If you’re working 16 hours per day, then you’re most likely not exercising or eating properly. Nor are you spending time with your loved ones. Try to steer clear of this scenario!  If you want to work from home but want all the headaches of products, distribution, leglities and paperwork all done for you, to focus solely on business development at a small or large scale, email me directly on gracecarlisle@outlook.com or fill out one of the forms on this page for more information on the work from home business I use!

Once you create a structured approach to your business and life in general, you’ll find that you’ll accomplish more, get more financial fulfillment from your business, and be able to achieve balance in other aspects of your life as well!

I created a time scheduler resource to let you plan your week ahead and be more productive.  Complete the form below to receive this free resource.  You can then print it as many times as you like!

Get my free Time Scheduler Resource below

Or Click here to read our article on hour blocking for effective time management!

8 Natural Solutions for Boosting Your Energy

8 Natural Solutions for Boosting Your Energy

Are you tired of trying coffee, energy drinks, pills, and supplements to revive you when you run out of energy? You can increase your energy with natural methods, instead, and feel better all over! 

Try these healthy, natural energy-boosters:

1. Exercise.

It may be difficult to stay motivated and exercise while you’re tired. However, the energy boost you will receive can last for a long period of time.

• Exercise increases your heart rate and blood flow, so your body is able to get more nutrients and oxygen. This has a direct impact on your energy levels, and you begin to feel more animated.

Vigorous and intense exercise isn’t necessary to boost energy levels. You can benefit from slower and calmer types of exercises, too, such as walking and yoga.

2. Eat more whole foods.

Foods like vegetables, nuts, seeds and fruits can help you raise your energy levels in a natural way. 

• Health experts recommend avoiding energy drinks and bars because they’re considered a second-rate choice compared to whole foods. Focus on eating whole fruits, grains, vegetables, and other items. 

• Check your calorie intake, especially if you’re on a low-calorie diet. If you’re not getting enough calories during the day to sustain your lifestyle, then you’ll feel tired. It’s important to evaluate your food intake and keep a diary to ensure you’re eating enough.

3. Laugh.

Laughing can bring you a sudden boost of energy.  You know those online videos that always make you laugh, pull one of them up to watch quickly (though turn it off after so you don’t disappear into the online time warp).  Or call a friend who is always makes you laugh!

4. Add small breaks to your day.

Working without breaks can lead to fatigue.  Short breaks scattered throughout your day can help you fight stress and reenergize. These breaks can last a few minutes or 10 minutes. They should leave you feeling calmer and more energized.

5. Avoid negative people.

If you’re surrounded by negative people, you’re more likely to suffer from stress and fatigue.  Studies show that your body’s reaction to the stress response can leave you feeling drained.Negative people can make your stress levels go up, so it’s important to surround yourself with positive people who don’t make you tired. 

6. Take a nap.

Napping may seem like a counterintuitive idea, but researchers have found it can help increase energy levels. Short naps can help you feel refreshed and empowered to take on new challenges.  Research from the National Institutes of Mental Health reveals that taking a nap can help your brain and body recover from stress and other activities. 

7. Stay hydrated and avoid alcohol.

Water can help you prevent dehydration and fatigue.  Nutritionists have found that even the beginning stages of dehydration can leave you feeling tired and weak. It’s important to drink water throughout the day and ensure you’re getting enough.

8.Alcohol can also contribute to fatigue, so you may want to avoid it. 

In addition alcohol can mess with your normal sleep schedule and make it more difficult for you to get a good night’s sleep. This can lead to more fatigue in the morning and feelings of weakness.

Natural methods can help you increase your energy levels without relying on caffeine or medications.Follow these tips to enjoy fewer days where you’re lagging from a lack of energy so you can get more from your day, be more productive and enjoy the precious time we have.

If you liked this article, you might also like our article on 5 Foods to Snack on for Energy.  Click here to read it now.

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From Hobby to Home Business in Five Steps

From Hobby to Home Business in Five Steps

Do you ever feel trapped in a job you don’t find rewarding? The key to living a more fulfilling life is to go after your passions. Being someone’s employee often requires you to put these passions aside so you can work towards their vision – not yours!

Becoming an entrepreneur is not for everyone. There are many obstacles between you and your dreams, including coming up with the willpower to get started on your project, finding the confidence to get through multiple mishaps, and devoting many hours of hard work to building your vision.

Being an entrepreneur is hard work and can be disheartening at times – but owning your business can be a very fulfilling and freeing experience.

Follow these steps to follow your passions through your own business:

1. Find your calling

You could base your business on a talent you have, a hobby you love, or your desire to make a difference in people’s lives.
There is a popular belief that it takes 10,000 hours of work before one can be consideredan expert in any field. This belief may not be true, but it shows that expertise requires time and hard work.

2. Register your business and apply for necessary licenses.

• If you’re in the US, you need to do is register your business name through the U.S. Small Business Administration and apply for a tax ID.
You will also have to register your business through state agencies. Applying for licenses is necessary if your field is regulated – for instance, if you prepare food, work with dangerous chemicals, or provide services that require special qualifications such as legal advice or accounting. 
If you’re in the UK, you need to let the HMRC know within three months of starting your business but check with the relevant authorities where you live to make sure you’re staying within the guidelines.

3. Create your business plan.

Creating a business plan is a systematic process that provides a blueprint for your business and will help you obtain funding for your project.
Start by explaining what the purpose of your business is and how you’ll achieve it.
Explain what kind of products you want to sell or list the services you’ll be providing.
Define your target audience in as much detail as possible.
Create an outline for your marketing strategy and include your expected prices as well as how much profit you expect to generate.

4. Explore your financing options.

Go over your budget and business plan carefully to assess how much money you require.
Look for investors among your friends and relatives, or angel investors through local business associations. Borrowing money is usually your best option if you cannot find investors for your project.

5. Get to work!

Becoming a successful home business owner requires time, hard work, and real dedication.
Besides spending some time on developing your products or services, promoting your business, and providing excellent customer service, it’s also important to work on acquiring more skills that will help you become a better business owner.
Divide the large goals from your business plan into smaller goals you can accomplish on a weekly or daily basis. This division will also help you assess your progress.
Keep in mind that your goals might have to shift if your market changes.

The best way to launch your business and achieve financial stability is to put together a detailed plan with a series of small, manageable steps that will lead you to your goals. Use these five steps as a broad template for your project and add any additional steps that are relevant to your business.

Check out the business I use to work from home.  Plug into our system and take the stress away from building a business from home.

Click here if you’d like to check out our blog on the top 10 reasons to work from home.

Turning Your Hobby Into An Income Stream

Turning Your Hobby Into An Income Stream

If you’re like most people, you probably dream of having a job thats enjoyable and fulfilling. Maybe the solution is to turn something you love into a way to pay the bills.

You may be thinking, Theres no way I can make money from my hobby.” But you might be surprised!

Just think how great it would be if you could make money from the one thing that you actually choose to do when you have free time. What could possibly be better than that?

You might not be able to fully replace your regular job right away. However, you could earn a few hundred dollars a month or more for something you would be doing anyway. And that can make a big difference.

The two basic routes to making money from your hobby are:

1. Teach.

Someone out there would like to learn what you know. Don’t make the mistake of believing that you have to be one of the worlds top ten leading experts on something in order to make money at it.  Most experts tell you, you just need to know more about your topic than the person you’re teaching.
Some ways to teach include:
o Giving seminars (online or in person)
o Selling articles related to your hobby
o Writing and selling a book or ebook
o Oneon-one coaching
o Setting up a website that provides educational information and sells related products and services.

2. Sell a related product or service.

Hobbies require supplies. Other people may as well be purchasing those supplies from you. If your hobby is collecting something, you can buy and sell whatever it is you collect. Or think of businesses related to your hobby. For example:
If you love animals, you could sell your services as a dog sitter.
If you love boats, you could sell boat plans or rent boats to vacationers.
Do you love design and interior decorating? Do you like to watch design shows on TV? You might not be on television anytime soon, but you probably know more about decorating a house than the average family does. Why not start with friends and family and work your way up to taking on referrals and getting paid for them.
What if fishing is your passion? How about owning a bait and tackle shop? You could be a fishing guide. You could sell fishing lures online.
Do you love to travel? Take lots of pictures and write about your adventures. Travel magazines and websites are always looking for good content. You could also start your own travel website.  As it grows, you could advertise products for companies who target other people who like to travel, or be sponsored by them!

The real key is to take time to think about all the ways you could possibly make money related to your hobby. Then you can choose to do so in the most enjoyable way possible.

Imagine the excitement you’ll feel the first time you cash that cheque for doing something you used to do for free! Once you make a little money from your hobby, the wheels will really start turning, and youll be surprised at all the other ideas that come to mind.

Start today by making a list of all the ways you could possibly make money at your hobby. Have fun, and good luck!

Why not download our time scheduler to help you block out time when you can work on developing your hobby into a business.

Download our printable time scheduler below

Top 10 Reasons for Starting a home-based business

Top 10 Reasons for Starting a home-based business

Starting a business of your own might seem like a daunting task. But it doesn’t have to be! Most home-based business entrepreneurs start with something they have a passion for, something they love, or at least have an interest in.

There are literally hundreds of home-based business ideas available on the internet:

  • From Dog Walking to Coaching
  • From Jewelry-making to Fitness Training
  • From Writing to Cooking

 

Thousands of people are already doing what you are considering. If they can do it, you can do it!

Plus, it can all be done from home and be both fun and profitable!

Sometimes it grows into a substantial business, but for most people, it remains a passion, a hobby, a fun and enjoyable way of doing something they love that makes a profit.

One reason for this is that most people don’t have the drive, ambition, or desire to become a millionaire.

What most people want is a peaceful life, no stress, and some money left over at the end of the month after all the bills are paid.

Consider that if your business just brought in an extra $250/£250/€250 each month, after one year you would have an extra $3,000 GBP or Euro. Would that pay for a holiday? Upgrade your car? Re-decorate a few rooms maybe? Or give you a savings account for some peace of mind?

When you have a business of your own, doing something you love, it can become a fun and profitable driver in your life and give you a very compelling reason to make good use of your spare time.

Consider these top 10 reasons for starting your own home-based business:

  1. Freedom and independence.

You’re no longer tied to your boss or your job. As long as you take care of your customers, you can do what you want when you want! Plus, having a business of your own that gives you even a modest second income can be a lifeline.

  1. Pride and satisfaction.

Even a small, part-time venture, especially if it is something you have a passion for, will make you feel good about yourself. After all, you did this!

  1. Expand your social & business circles.

As a business owner, you’ll move toward cooperation and collaboration with others as you create and grow a profitable venture.

  • You’ll meet customers, suppliers, service providers and advisors, all of whom have a vested interest in helping you succeed.
  • Plus, there are scores of business clubs you can join for free who meet regularly to help promote each other’s business.
  • Starting your own business will open so many doors of interest and opportunity, you’ll be wondering why you didn’t do this earlier!
  1. Tax breaks.

Check with your own tax office or accountant for the latest accurate advice, but there are many ways you can use your business to reduce your tax liabilities.

  • For example, not only can you claim the things you buy for your business, like computers and office furniture, but you may also be able to claim the office space you use at home, phone and internet service costs, and even some utilities. And these are just a start!
  1. Financial freedom.

What if your home business really took off and you started making more money working from your hobby than you did at your regular job? Is that possible? Yes, thousands of people have already done that. Why not you?

  1. Financial stability.

Knowing that you can pay your bills brings peace of mind.

  • For most of us, our mortgage or house payment is the biggest regular expense we have, right? If you could use your business profits to pay your mortgage or pay it off early, that would be a huge weight off your shoulders, wouldn’t it?
  • What if you rent your home? How much pressure would it take off if you had enough money in the bank to pay your rent for a whole year in advance? Even 3 months ahead would be a great help, wouldn’t it?
  1. Confidence

The biggest asset you can ever possess in life is self-confidence, and having even a small business of your own, doing something you love, will bring out the very best in you and grow your confidence as a result. As your profits grow, so will your confidence!

  1. Timing

This is a perfect time to start your own business! Recent events have led to huge increases of people buying things online. Many of these people could be your customers.

  • There is never a better time to start your own business other than NOW. No amount of delay or procrastination is going to make it quicker, safer, easier, or more profitable.
  • It’s important to get going. You can make any changes or adjustments as you go. What’s important is that you START.
  1. More options and greater control over your life.

There’s no doubt about it. When you have money in the bank you do have more choices and all of them are under your direct control.

  1. What’s your “Why?”

Determine your strongest personal reason for starting a home business.

  • For example, maybe you want to show everyone what a success you are. Maybe your strongest desire is to travel, and a home business can enable that to happen. Maybe you want to run a wildlife preserve.
  • Whatever your reason, hold onto that feeling. This is the most important reason of all and will give you the motivation to overcome challenges, persist in your business, and drive you to succeed.

Life is short. Make the decision and do something today that will move you closer to having your own business tomorrow. Soon, you’ll be reaping the rewards!

I’d love to hear your home business ideas and success stories!  Feel free to email and let me know how you get on!

If you’d like to download our free guide on 10 sources of income you can earn from home, just fill out your details below:

10 Sideline Sources of income you can earn from home!

5 Steps to Overcome the Fear of Success

5 Steps to Overcome the Fear of Success

Most people don’t believe they fear success, but If you read through the list below, you might find you identify with it a little closer than expected.  It’s well known that people don’t like change, we become comfortable with our situation, whatever that is and even though there are aspects we might not like, it’s comfortable.

We know what to expect. We might be unhappy, but we know we can deal with it.  We also don’t like the prospect of failing or of standing out.  We see this all the time while supporting people To start their new businesses from home.

You might fear success if you:

● Consistently make plans for your life, but fail to follow through on them. Whether it’s to start a business, read a book a month, or hit the gym five days a week, you just can’t seem to make it happen.
● You leave projects uncompleted. This includes at work and in your personal life.
● You’re “all talk.” You rarely take action.
● You struggle to make decisions.
● Your life never changes for the better.
● You self-sabotage, especially when you’re nearing success.

This probably describes most of the people you know. Does it describe you accurately?

Use these strategies to defeat your fear of success and make real changes in your life:

1. Imagine being ultra successful.

Imagine yourself being even more successful than you want to be. If your goal is to make £100,000 per year, imagine making £1 million. If you want to lose 25 pounds, imagine getting lean enough that you can see your abs. Do this each night and morning in bed.
● Make the visualization as vivid as possible. Include all of your senses. When it feels uncomfortable, stick with it and just relax.
In time, it will feel natural. When that happens, achieving your goal will be much easier.

2. Practice standing out.

Many of us fear success because we don’t want to stand out in any way. Somewhere along the way, we learned or decided that it’s better to keep our head down than to be noticed.
● There are a variety of ways you can practice standing out in your everyday life. You can dress differently. You might even put on a pair of pink gloves and walk Down the high street in the middle of the summer. Or you could wear your best clothes to the shops, or a t-shirt with a catchy slogan that really stands out.
● You could go out in public with your hair disheveled, or have a really eye catching handbag!
● You could do something in public that you’re either really good or really bad at, like bowling.

3. Reframe failure.

Fear of success might actually be a fear of failure. Keep in mind that failure is just an undesired result. It says nothing about you. It simply means that you need more practice, more time, or a better approach.When you can view failure in this manner, there’s nothing to fear.

4. Focus on action over thought.

We can’t fear success if we don’t think about our actions. If you need to send 100 cold emails to find clients for your business, just sit down and get busy. The longer you think about it, the harder it becomes. Just decide and take action.  I love Mel Robbins method for getting things done, she counts backwards from 5 to 1.  It works as a pattern interrupt and she begins the task before she’s thought of reasons why she doesn’t want to do whatever task she’s working on.

5. Have a real vision for the future.

Enough motivation can overcome any fear. Create a possible future in your mind that is worth overcoming any obstacle. Fear doesn’t matter if you have a very compelling future in mind.

Do you fear success? It seems counterintuitive to fear success, but it’s a common obstacle to making sustained progress in life. Success brings attention, the unknown, and the possibility of failure.

Create a vision for the future that will pull you through any fears you might have. Learn to deal with discomfort. Remember, you only have one life to live. Avoid allowing fear to limit your life.

If you liked this article,  Click here to read our article on 8 Ways A Positive Can Enhance Success

 

8 Ways A Positive Attitude Enhances Success

8 Ways A Positive Attitude Enhances Success

It’s easy to underestimate the power of having a positive attitude. However, that would be a mistake. A positive attitude shapes your perspective, enhances health, increases productivity, and benefits those around you. It’s surprising how much a change in attitude can impact the results you’re producing!  This blog spans both of my subjects, ‘Working from home’ and ‘One healthy journey’ so I have to pop it into both categories.

Sometimes I know it doesn’t feel like it but your attitude is under your control, so you can use it to your advantage.

I’ve listed below how a positive mental attitude benefits you and enhances your success:

1. An optimistic attitude leaves a positive impression.

Your attitude doesn’t just impact the way you view the world. It also changes the way the world views you. It’s easy to pick those people that view the world from a positive perspective versus one that’s negative. When others view you in a positive light, you’ll be presented with more opportunities in life.  If you think about it, you know the people in your life who think positively.  (They’re easier to be around too!)
With this in mind, if you consciously try to Go through life leaving a positive impression, you can expect your successes to come more easily.

2. You have more control over your life.

Those with a positive mental attitude are more likely to believe that they can influence the direction of their lives. People with a negative attitude believe they are stuck with few options to make life better, who wants to feel like that?!  Happiness is correlated with the number of options you believe are available to you.

3. A positive attitude strengthens your relationships.

Would you rather spend time with someone who’s positive or negative? It’s an easy question to answer. Positive people are uplifting and make others feel good. Positive people are energizing.
Successful relationships are easier to create and maintain if others enjoy spending time with you.

4. You enjoy better health when you have positive thoughts.

There are countless studies that show the link between attitude and health. You’ll also save a lot of money by making fewer trips to the doctor and taking less days off work. It’s much more challenging to be successful if your health is poor.

5. Your productivity will soar.

Do you have a hard time getting things done? An upgrade in your attitude could help! Think about how much you get accomplished when you’re feeling down and negative. If your productivity is suffering at work or at home, it’s a hard pill to swallow but could consciously taking a look at your attitude help you.
6. It’s easier to persist during challenging times. Things don’t always go according to plan. If you expect a negative outcome, you’re likely to give up and go home. On the other hand, an enthusiastic, optimistic attitude will help you to stay in the game.  Many success experts believe that persistence is the most important quality a person with big goals can possess. Persistence is easy when you have positive expectations.

Set big goals. Be positive. Persist.

7. Self-confidence and a positive attitude go hand in hand.

By ridding yourself of negative thought, you create an ideal environment for self-confidence to grow and flourish. How can you have self-confidence when you expect the worst? A negative attitude suggests a lack of confidence in your ability to handle the situation.

8. Peace of mind.

We all have a limited ability to handle stress. When life becomes too stressful, our ability to be successful is hampered. The tranquility that a positive attitude provides gives you the mental space necessary to be at your best each day.

There is no downside to uplifting your attitude. A positive mental attitude has a positive influence on your outlook, health, relationships, and overall happiness. In turn, these improve your ability to be successful. Work hard and stay focused, but be positive during the process. You’ll feel better and enjoy the results.

If you liked this article, you might like to read our article on 5 steps to overcome the fear of success.  Click here to read it now

20 Places to Find Remote Jobs

20 Places to Find Remote Jobs

Here is a list of 20 places where you can find and apply for remote jobs. If you’re trying to start a freelance career of any sort or hoping to nail down a remote job, these websites are a great place to start looking.

  1. Upwork
  2. Indeed.com
  3. Remote.co
  4. FlexJobs
  5. LinkedIn
  6. ZipRecruiter
  7. Problogger Jobs
  8. We Work Remotely
  9. Solid Gigs
  10. Remotive
  11. Angel List
  12. Skip The Drive
  13. Working Nomads
  14. Jobspresso
  15. Remoteok
  16. Virtual Vocations
  17. The Muse
  18. Outsourcely
  19. Workew
  20. Contena

Some of these sites are free, while others are paid membership sites.  Please get in touch via email or comment below if you found any of them useful in your quest to work online.  I publish weekly blog posts about working online so feel free to subscribe to hear more like this… thanks for reading!

Benefits of drinking water

Benefits of drinking water

We did a challenge in our community group on facebook recently about the benefits of drinking water and one of our realisations together was the amount of amazing benefits available from simply drinking the recommended daily amount of 8 glasses of water!  I found the following info from the NHS and good food websites…
Water makes up two thirds of our body. It prevents UTI’s, headaches, constipation, dizziness, confusion, kidney stones and more. Here are a few benefits…
1) Research has shown that staying hydrated improves memory and mood!
2) Helps reduce sugar cravings and weight maintenance! (During our hydrate challenge in June, most participants lost weight over just 5 days!!)
3) May improve exercise performance, lots of research has concluded that dehydration affects both sports performance and physiological function.
4) Lack of water can increase risk of headaches
5) It keep your digestive system running smoothly and helps prevent constipation
6)Helps with hangovers
7) Can help to improve mood, and therefore anxiety!
To receive these benefits, the challenge is to drink 8 glasses of water! Nice and simple!  The NHS recommended amount is 6-8 glasses per day but should you have a health reason that hinders you from drinking a certain amount of water, please use your discretion and common sense.

If you’d like to be included in our facebook group community where we do challenges like this and others to feel and look better, click this link to join us

P.s. check out this water bottle, one of our challengers keeps it in her kitchen and uses it to stay on track with drinking 2 litres throughout every Day!

If you like topics like this, you might enjoy being part of our online Facebook Group Community where our mission is to help people look and feel better!

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How to know if you’re eating too much sugar so you can do something about it

How to know if you’re eating too much sugar so you can do something about it
Change can be hard, familiar routines, patterns and behaviours are what makes us who we are, but sometimes we choose small things that aren’t good for us a little more often than we realise, and it’s not until something happens to make us look at our current reality that we realise just how often we’ve let it slide!  I found some info online to help us realise when we are consuming too much sugar and the warning signs are things I hear people say ALL the time!  Here they are in case they are of interest to anyone else!
1. You feel sluggish all the time. Because your pancreas releases insulin to stabilise your blood sugar, you end up feeling sluggish. Also if you’re choosing sugary foods over foods containing protein and fibre, you aren’t getting energy sustaining foods into your body to fuel you.
2. You constantly crave sugary things. The more you have the more you crave it and breaking that addictive cycle is hard! We’re all human!
3. Your skin is always breaking out. If you are using skincare to fix a breakout problem that doesn’t seem to be getting my better, it might not do any harm to review your sugar intake. Collagen and elastin are proteins in the skin that you need to help keep your ‘bounce and flex’ in a smooth and taught appearance. The process of glycation means that sugar attaches to proteins in the body, including collagen and elastin making it harder for them to repair themselves, so you experience more wrinkles and other signs of ageing.
4. You feel moody all the time and can’t be bothered with the things you used to love. Too much sugar can increase inflammation throughout your body including your gut. Some research studies have shown that gut inflammation contributes to mood disorders, including anxiety and depression.
5. You’ve been putting on some weight – I did a post about the compound effect, click here to read it.  Eating one choc bar at 500 calories each day equals you gaining weight at one lb per week!
So what actually happens to your body when you eat sugar?
Eating sugar releases those feel-good chemicals dopamine and serotonin. After the initial high, your body craves more, like a drug.
Your body releases insulin whose job it is to absorb the excess glucose in the blood and stabilise sugar levels. Your blood sugar then drops again and all you want to do is lie on the sofa. (sugar high, then the low).
An easy challenge for today that might help you turn things around could be to swap something sugary you might normally eat for a healthier choice that is still tasty!

If you like topics like this, you might enjoy being part of our online Facebook Group Community where our mission is to help people look and feel better!

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Take time today to do something that saves you time everyday

Take time today to do something that saves you time everyday
As part of a recent healthy habits challenge, I ‘challenged’ our readers to do one thing that could save them time everyday.  Sadly it was in honour of a loss we had as a family.  I had been trying not to mention it in the challenge group, but the day before we said goodbye to our four legged best friend and family member, my little dog. She had been with me for 10 years and the truth was, I just felt lost without her!
Because I work from home she was rarely without me, when I went to the horses, she came with me and sat outside the sand paddock or ran around nearby when I rode.  When I went for a walk, you bet she was leading the way. When we went out she usually came with us in the car and for the rest of the time, she lay on her big comfy bed in the kitchen or my office watching our daily goings on. I kept hearing noises that I was sure were her but of course when I looked she wasn’t there.  Just an empty space in the kitchen corner where she used to make faces at me from and always know what I was thinking.
So while I was mid challenge and wanted to keep the momentum going, I thought I’d make a challenge that encouraged everyone else to make the most of what time they all had, which of course was inspired by her.
We spend so much of our lives loyal to our daily routines without sometimes asking if there’s a better/ quicker way of doing something mundane that could give us more time with our loved ones, family or fur babies and time doing the things we love!
So the challenge was simply to do something once that could save you time everyday.  Here are some suggestions:
  • Get your online grocery shopping organised so you can just re-order each week.
  • Reorganise your kitchen cupboards so you can get make meal time prep easier and quicker.
  • Add some slow cooker recipes into your weekly meal plans.
  • Or something smaller – buy an organiser tray for your fridge or cupboard so you can set all your sauces onto the table in one go at mealtimes!
  • Browse amazon for a big storage bag in your colour scheme to chuck their toys into in one go at night, or a reward chart on your wall to encourage them to put their own toys away before bed at night!
  • Fo the horsey girls like myself with stables goals: Look at hay racks instead of hay nets, automatic water drinkers instead of filling buckets everyday or rubber mats to save you time and expense on excess sawdust or heavy loads of straw! If you’re buying something you’re not sure will be worth it, do one area/stable etc and then multiply the time it saves you everyday over a week to know if it’s worth doing more.
Maybe it’s just me, but sometimes it feels like we just never get our heads above water to spend this time making life easier! So this is your call to take time out today and do just that.
We don’t get time back! It’s the most precious thing we have, up there with the air we breathe so we need to make the most of it. (Can you tell the past 24 hours evoked some reflective thinking!?!)
Why is it worth doing this challenge? If your one task saves you 7 minutes a day, you’ve just got yourself roughly an extra 40 hour week every year! Add a weekly online grocery shop at an hour minimum saved and you’ve just given yourself another working week back over the year!
If anyone has any time saving life hacks they’d be happy to share, please comment below so we can try them too.
Good luck everyone!!

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Decluttering

Decluttering
I recently read an article on the benefits of decluttering and who wouldn’t appreciate a clutter free home!
I know it’s not something you were maybe expecting to read about in here but a ‘healthy journey’ includes a little declutter now and again So I thought it might be valuable to mention it!
One way to be more productive and think with more clarity is to clear the clutter that bogs you down in your everyday surroundings!
Rather than bogging you down with detail, I’m keeping this blog quite short and including a little challenge aswell!   (Simply declutter the space in your home where you spend the most time!)
If you work from home; clear your desk!
If you are an avid gardener, declutter your greenhouse.
If you’re an equestrian enthusiast, declutter your tackroom!
If you have kids – I don’t want you to lose a weekend decluttering – just do a quick declutter job on the car!!!
If you’re so exhausted you collapse in front of the tv at night, declutter your living room!
That’s it! I’m not asking for photos, just let me know if you felt better after it was done!
Having moved house in May, we still have three rooms that I’ll diplomatically name ‘storage rooms’. so I feel like a recovering hoarder as I take on this challenge too!! Wishing you all the very best of luck!

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Illusive energy – how to get more of it and keep it!

Illusive energy – how to get more of it and keep it!

I’ve shared some tips below that I found online to help you get more of that illusive energy and keep it!  Hopefully they’ll be helpful to someone else out there.
1. If you want more out of your body, it makes sense to take a look at what you’re putting in. Your body can’t extract what’s not there in the first place. Processed and junk foods just don’t contain as many vitamins, minerals and micronutrients as whole foods or real food do.  The good housekeeping website actually makes a great suggestion on this. “ If you’re eating 3 meals and 2 snacks daily, you’re eating 35 times a week. If 7 of those meals are real foods, simply add one more real food or snack per week and you’re up to 15 in 2 months which doubles the amount of nutrients going into your body.” Also take a look at the energy foods topic here to help you choose some snack foods that directly give you the most energy.

2. Say goodbye to as many stressful situations as you can. Stress-induced emotions consume a lot of energy!  We’ve all done it, a looming deadline we weren’t prepared for, anger, frustration, panic, rushing to work etc etc, it drains your energy FAST!  Reducing as many of these situations as you can in a typical week or month always seems to help!

3. Exercise! Even a 15 minute walk can give you an energy boost, if you aren’t exercising, build it up gradually. The NHS recommended amount of weekly exercise is 2.5 hours of moderate intensity aerobic exercise, such as cycling or fast walking. Some people tend to go overboard with exercise infrequently leaving them feeling tired, it’s important to note that building this up gradually is imperative to helping you feel more energised. Wondering why exercise is good? The higher your muscle mass, the higher your metabolic rate and higher your energy.

4. Taking time to breathe deeply and slowly can help you stay out of adrenaline inducing fight or flight mode to reset and refocus. It is thought that this switches from using adrenaline to power you to using the body’s slower, more steady fuel (fat)!

5. Reducing your alcohol intake.  Regular drinking can affect the quality of your sleep patterns making you feel tired and sluggish.

6. Gratitude – Noticing what you have to be grateful for is thought to give you more energy by giving you a more positive outlook.  It doesn’t cost anything and I would urge absolutely anyone to give this a go!  It makes a great deal of difference to my everyday experiences!

7. Eating less more often gives your body a steady supply of nutrients as opposed to large meals which make you feel sluggish while your body tries to digest them. (After Sunday roasts!)

8. Lose weight: carrying excess weight can be exhausting and put excess strain on your heart.

9. An obvious one but sleep is also conducive to getting more energy. Going to bed at the same time every night and getting up at the same time each morning even on weekends, this one was also included in our ways to get more sleep topic.

10. B Complex vitamins – your body uses B Vitamins to convert food to energy, so ensuring your body has enough of this vitamin can help. We have a particular B complex vitamin we have some great reviews on in our community facebook group.  If you’d like to get added to this group, feel free to send a ‘join request’. Grains, nuts and seeds, bee and spinach are also a source of B vitamins.  We also run regular challenges in that particular facebook group where you can win products, money and just be a part of our growing community focused on looking and feeling better in our own health!

What are your energy tips? Please share them in the comments below…

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Managing Stress

Managing Stress
Managing stress is growing more and more in importance with Covid and it’s health and work concerns on top of everything that felt overwhelming to begin with, so today’s topic is managing stress!!
The NHS website suggests firstly to identify what’s causing you to feel that way. If it cannot be reduced, it recommends building emotional strength, but having a good social network, adopting and positive outlook and being in control of your situation.
1. Taking time out to spend with animals is always high on my list to reduce stress.  It’s well documented that pets can reduce anxiety, stress and even improve cardiovascular health!  The number one stress busting activity for me is most definitely spending time with our animals.
2. Exercise reduces stress by producing endorphins that can act as natural painkillers and it’s also well documented for improving your ability to sleep, which in turn reduces stress further.
3. EatIng a healthy diet helps by reducing oxidation and inflammation not to mention helping to reduce weight gain.
4. Practicing mindfulness, focusing on your breathing or meditation are also fantastic activities to help too.
5. I know that if my stress is work-related, then getting things organised is a big help.  I feel more in control or better prepared for whatever impending deadline is adding to your stress levels.  If exams are your cause of stress, could further study reduce your anxiety about it if you felt better prepared going into it.
6. Reading a book can help if the cause of your stress isn’t to do with an impending deadline or lack of time.
7. Writing a reflection journal is also documented as a great stress buster too!
8. Although it’s not an activity, reducing your caffeine intake can help reduce stress
9. Listening to soft music is also known to help reduce levels
10. A good massage helps by lowering the heart rate, relaxing muscles and releasing endorphins.
How do you all reduce your stress levels? Please share in the comments below to help others

Brain Food!

Brain Food!

Time to pour a cup of coffee and let’s look at foods that boost your brain power! Everyone has mental blocks, that word that’s on the tip of your tongue, that panicked thought of where number one is again in the course you’re about to jump etc.  So I thought today’s blog post could be about foods that help boost your brain power so here we go!
1. Fatty fish. We all know it, we should be eating 3-5 portions of fatty fish a week but do we know why! Roughly 60% of your brain is made of fat and half of that is the omega 3 kind which is essential for learning and memory. It protects your brain against decline, sharpens your memory and improves your mood. Let me just pop in here that we have a supplement called Arctic Sea which is fab is you can’t fit fish into your diet as much as is recommended! I will pin that product post to the top for today or you can find it in the units tab at any time for full info as it has a number if other benefits.
2. Coffee contains caffeine and antioxidants. It keeps you alert, improves your mood and sharpens concentration. Nb drink in moderation!
3. Broccoli contains antioxidants and vitamin K (a fat soluble vitamin that’s present in brain cells. Broccoli also has anti inflammatory and antioxidants benefits.
4. Tumeric contains Curcumin which has been shown to cross the blood-brain barrier which means it can directly enter brain cells. Studies show it boosts a type of growth hormone that helps brain cells grow!
5. Dark chocolate and cocoa powder contains flavonoids which may enhance memory, with studies suggesting eating chocolate boosts memory and mood!
6. Pumpkin seeds contain magnesium, iron, zinc and copper. Zinc is important for nerve signalling, magnesium is linked to learning and memory, copper is linked to controlling nerve signals.
7. Blueberries are a good source of antioxidants which help protect us against oxidative stress and inflammation.
8. Oranges – Vit C plays a key role supporting brain health as you age.
9. Nuts contain vitamin E which helps protect cells from free radical damage. When choosing which one of have, try walnuts as they also contain omega 3 fatty acids.
10. Eggs contain vitamins B6 and B12, folate and choline which is used to create a neurotransmitter that helps regulate mood and memory according to healthline. Your challenge for today is to add one of these foods to your weekly meal plan! See you on the checkin post everyone!
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Doing that thing you know you should but haven’t…yet

Doing that thing you know you should but haven’t…yet

In a recent healthy habits challenge we ran in our community Facebook group, we took a day to focus on doing activities that we didn’t really want to do but the thought of doing them weight us down more than the act of just pulling the plaster off quick!  It was so helpful to our group members that I thought I’d mention it in this blog in case it helps others get the same ‘feel good’ factor!

You know what we mean, ‘that thing’ you’ve been putting off doing! We all have them, that think you’ve meant to do but haven’t and every time you think about it you feel a bit ‘ugh’ or ‘ish’ lol! As ‘that thing’ turns into ‘another thing’ and before you know it, you don’t know why you just feel like every’thing’ is getting on top of you so let’s face it head on together and fingers crossed it only takes a few mins when you dedicate time to get it done and out of the way!

Whether it’s pricing round for car insurance, tacking the ‘junk drawer/room’ getting through that pile of ironing etc.  Please feel free to join in with this challenge and comment below with the thing you did and if it made you feel as good as it did with our challengers!  P.s. If you’d like to join our free group with challenges like this, click here!

Calorie Counting Apps

Calorie Counting Apps
I’m all into things that make life easier and when those things help you take control of your health – let me tell other people too!
This isn’t just for people who want to lose weight, lots of people just want to be aware of what they’re putting into their bodies!  So I just wanted to share three apps you can download free to let you track what calories you’re eating and help you with healthier choices once you’re more aware of the nutrients you’re consuming or lacking in your daily diet.
If you are trying to lose weight, as long as you understand not all calories are equal; (ie a 500 calories of chocolate won’t give your body the same nutritional fuel as 500 calories of wholesome food).  Counting calories can be one of the most effective ways to achieve weight loss when combined with exercise, but it can be time consuming and require attention that sometimes is split between a million other things so, here are just 3 different apps that help you track your calories to make it as easy as possible!
1. ‘My Fitness Pal’ is great and free with ‘in app purchases’. It works out your calories when you input your consumption and tracks the calories you’ve still to consume that day. It breaks down what you’ve had by protein, carbs and fat.
2. ‘Lose it’ also contains a user friendly food diary and exercise log. It lets you connect a pedometer so you get an all round overview. It gives you recommendation for calorie intake based on your weight height age etc too.
3. ‘Fat secret’ is another recommended app, it’s free which is always a benefit and includes a food diary, recipes, exercise log and journal. Reviews show its user friendly and has a chat community.
If you have an app you’d recommend or an easy way you use to track calories, please comment it below to share your tips with others in our community!
Please comment below with your favourite calorie counting apps or your fav ways to track your calories!

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Macronutrients and what does that even mean!

Macronutrients and what does that even mean!
I mentioned before that I’m not a nutritionist, just an enthusiast for good health and well-being and on my quest to help my own family get a little bit healthier, I’ve happened upon some realisations that I thought I’d share in this ‘one healthy journey’ blog in my website.  So if you think I’ve left out something important, or incorrect and you are an expert in that area, please comment below to let me know.  If I’ve helped explain anything that has in turn helped you on your own quest to feel a little healthier, please also let me know, that would really make my day!
So, it’s a day for busting some jargon!  We see these UNREAL looking insta famous guys and girls throwing words out like macro counting and ‘Yada yada what’s that now?’ And I just thought for those normal people out there, a little bit more like me who aren’t ‘down with the macros’ and lead busy days filled with work, potty training and regular family life, that other people might also be intrigued as to what they’re actually talking about, ie what are macros and micros – And why count them!
Basically there are 2 categories of nutrients. Macronutrients are those nutrients that the body needs in large amounts. They provide the body with energy and calories. Micronutrients are required in smaller amounts. We’ll look at macros in this post in a very simple way…
Macro nutrients are split into 7 categories: Protein, carbs and fat being the main three, then dietary fibre, minerals, vitamins and water. So when you’re ‘counting your macros’, your counting the grams of proteins, carbs or fat you’re consuming.
Let’s take a closer look:
Carbs are a vital source of energy, your body digests them quickly and turns them into sugar / blood glucose which you store as glycogen.
Protein is used to build and repair but also makes up the enzymes that power chemical reactions in the body. When you eat protein, it makes you feel fuller for longer (calorie for calorie) as it slows the release of glucose into your blood stream helping you avoid blood sugar spikes.
Fat makes up cell membranes, promotes brain health and increases the absorption of fat soluble vitamins A,D, E and K
(Some diets are based around this like the keto diet)

What are the benefits of counting your macros?

You may lose weight by eliminating excess calories from your diet.
You may gain muscle more easily if you’re strength training as you can make sure you’re getting enough protein.
You may pay more attention to what you’re eating which usually improves your food choices.
By getting the ideal combination of carbs, protein and fats, your body will function optimally.
Counting your macros. Firstly, you could use the foreverfituk.co.uk website to work out your base and active calorie total; Then decide your ideal macro nutrient breakdown.  Here’s a suggestion:
Carbs 45-65% of total calories
Fats 20-35% of total calories
Proteins 10-35% of total calories
You then tweak these percentages based on your objective, ie someone wanting to lose excess body fat might choose a meal plan based on 35% carbs, 30% fat and 35% protein.  Someone who enjoys running might need a higher carb intake, while someone on the keto diet might need more fat but fewer carbs.
Next, how to track them! You can get out some digital scales or make life easy here by using an app! Here are three to choose from:
  • My fitness pal
  • Lose It! Or
  • My Macros +
You simply tell it what food you are eating and it tells you how many calories there are in it and keeps track. Bear in mind there are free and premium versions of this app but you can still use them for this purpose for free.
One step in the right direction could be to download one of the free apps above and see how easy or difficult it might be to track what you’re eating normally before making any changes!

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