Thursday, 17 February 2011

Is EFT effective?

The first time I've heard about EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) was at the workshop where several presenters were discussing different techniques on relaxation, healthier and less stressful living, and so on.
Then I thought to myself 'yeah, yeah, another trick to get people's money'.

About a year later after the event, I came across a free video on youtube 'Introduction to EFT'.
I decided to give it a try and reduce my 'road rage' feelings that I experienced daily while commuting.

My 'road rage' was pretty bad, I could shout and swear in my car (with closed windows though) at the other drivers who drove slower than me (doing 45 miles/hour on a 60 miles/hour strip).

I did that exercise and straight away I felt much calmer about drivers in general :)
I went out then and drove to see my friend who lived about 40 minutes away from my home.

And I was amazed!

The exercise worked! I did not feel any angry feelings or even any tiny bit of frustration on the road that day.
Of course there were some drivers who were slower than me, but I felt as if I'm a Budda or somebody very-very tolerant and patient. I was absolutely calm and enjoyed my drive.

One year later since that event, and I still do not experience that road rage as I used to.
Sometimes I might feel a bit more impatient or frustrated than usual but not to that extend as one year ago.

A few days ago, having a really bad cravings for chocolate (where I destroyed half a pack of Thorntons sweets within a few seconds - and that's after I ate buiscuits and chocolate on the top of a full-size dinner), I've decided to try EFT again (this time - for my 'sweet' cravings).

I simply went on youtube and found a similar video. Actually I used a video for a sigarette craving which was made by the same guy. (If you are interested, his website is called
Only instead of imagining my craving for a sigarette (which I didn't have), I was imagining a huge chocolate cake dripping with warm melting chocolate.
     Then I was imagining all the sugary snacks that I have: at home, at work, in the shop near my work, in the canteen at work, and so on. You get the idea.

Well, I've done the exercise.

And I could not believe it, and I cannot describe it - how effective it was!

Next day I was sitting at work (in the office) when I realised that ALL my sugar cravings and also any of my SNACK cravings are gone! Absolutely gone!!

You don't realise what an impact I felt.

I always had a really bad sweet tooth! I could not pass by a shelf with buiscuits, chocolate or bakery goodies in the shop, so that my husband had to drag me off of them every time we were in the supermarket together (without him I just didn't have any 'breaks' if you know what I mean).

So I was sitting at work and realised that I do not want to eat at all. A few hours passed and my belly started letting me know that it was empty. I went to the fridge and got some fruits out, which I brought with me to work (for snacking and not for a meal as such).
      I ate enough just to satisfy my hunger. I didn't want anymore.

 In the evening, when I got home, I prepared a couple of tortilla wraps with veggies for me and my husband.
     Again, I ate just enough to satisfy my hunger. And I didn't fancy anything 'fatty', 'salty', 'rich' or 'sweet'.

  I had a little bit of frozen fruitty pudding (just blended frozen fuits that looks like a sorbet), and left the rest for my husband (which normally would not happen).
I simply didn't want to eat anymore and I didn't fancy any snacks whatsoever!

I was so impressed with results, so I decided to do a few more evenings with 10-minutes EFT (that's how long it takes!) and notice how it affects me.

So far, so good. I'm still doing EFT (just to 'affirm it' you know) and I still don't fancy any snacks, treats or anything like that. (In my EFT exercises I tried to imagine ALL sorts of snacks including Ben and Jerry's ice cream. And, yes, it works even for that!).

The only thing, I noticed, is that I started drinking more (herbal) teas and some coffee. I guess herbal teas are not bad, it's just the coffee you have to be careful with. It's very easy to swap one addiction for another.
Or I'll have to do EFT for coffee then... :)

Do you need a pedometer?

Recently I purchased a pedometer
(the little gadget that counts a number of steps you do each day).

 I went on Ebay and found the most expensive one.
I thought, well, if it's expensive, it must be good.

And I was right.

The brand of this pedometer is Omron 152 and it comes in 3 colors: red, white and black.

It can count your steps, skip into an aerobic mode, count how many calories you burn while walking, convert them into the grams of fat you burned from your body, store all your data for 7 days so you could compare the results, it has a clock (I don't wear a wrist watch so this is a good addition for me), and it updates your step counter (and resets your steps back to zero) every midnight. How clever is that!

It also comes with 3 year guarantee and it costs £15-20 pounds (or $15-20; depends if you are buying it in the shop or Ebay).

Looking at other pedometers on the market, Omron has the most number of fantastic features that I listed above. Since I bought it, I carry it on my belt every day.

It motivates me to walk whenever I can. Even while I'm waiting for something, like the printer at work or when cooking at home, I try to do some steps on the spot.

The 'healthy' requirement for your walking is to do 10.000 steps a day, and if you want to lose weight, then 12.000-13.000 steps.

I've noticed that if I do not go for a walk in the afternoon or evening (I work in the office all day), or go to the gym, I can make around 4.000 steps a day (home-work-home). However, I do think that before I had this pedometer I probably did less steps because I simply didn't care about it. 

When I go to the gym or go for a half-hour walk, then my step count grows to 8.000.

This just shows how most of us do not meet any 'health' requirements that supposed to help us to be healthy and live longer. And I am very motivated to slowly increase the number of steps to at least 10.000 a day.

So do you need a pedometer?

Yes, if you like walking anyway. The gadget will motivate you to walk for longer.
Yes, if you are going to a gym. The gadget will set the aerobic mode so you can see how many grams of actual fat you burned in one session.
No, if you are a 'couch potato' and you think that a pedometer will motivate you to get out and walk. It might do in the first week or two, and then it will probably be somewhere in the box sadly forgotten by its owner.
But then if you were a couch potato, you probably wouldn't read a blog about pedometer.

So get one and start walking!!!

Saturday, 12 February 2011

How to relax yourself in 3 minutes

The other day I was sitting in the dentist chair for 1,5 hours. There was some complex procedure involved where the infection near the root canal had to be cleared. In the moments like this I use some tricks to help me to totally relax (well, as much as I can anyway).

 I will share 2 tricks today with you. These tricks I use at any time and in any situation that can make me nervious or anxious and where I need to relax as quickly as possible. You can use them not only in the dentist chair, but, for example, before meeting with important people, giving some presentation, or after some stressful event - like, perhaps, arguing with someone. So basically after or prior any situation which makes you nervious, anxious and stressed out.

1) 'The Blue Hat' trick. This trick I use when I am sitting in the dentist chair and some work needs to be done (not just the check up). I've read about it many years ago and I always use it.

Imagine that you have a blue pointy hat on your head. Visualise it in the details, feel the hat on the top of your head (what else to do in the dentist chair?). Now take your hands and place all your fingertips together, point them upwards, while spreading the palms apart, so that your hands resembled a triangle. You have to practice it first at home, then you will remember it well when you need it. The hat has to be of the blue color, because the color 'blue' is calming. It's the color of the sky and the ocean, and it's very relaxing when we look at them. The hands, forming a triangle, mean that you are focusing on your 'masculine' energies (think - 'taking control over the situation') while creating the balance and harmony in your body.

2) 'The Duvet' trick. Use this trick when you need to relax quickly and when ideally, you can close your eyes for few seconds.

Remember the time when you go to bed. When you climb into your comfortable bed in the evening (or morning for some people). You feel sleepy. You pull the duvet higher to cover your shoulders and arms, and you turn onto your side. You love this feeling. The heavy wave of immediate relaxation takes over you and quickly you are falling asleep.

Ok, now you need to re-create the same feeling really fast.
You close your eyes, quickly remember laying in your bed before falling asleep. FEEL THE DUVET being pulled higher, FEEL TURNING ONTO YOUR SIDE (without actually doing it), and FEEL THE WAVE OF SLEEPINESS AND RELAXATION takes over you at instant. That's it. The more you do it, the quicker you can relax! I love this trick. Try it and let me know how you like it.

I am sure you can think of any other situations where you could use these tricks, and I hope you will find these tricks as useful as I do. Do let me know if they help you, I'd love to hear about your experiences (and you own tricks for immediate relaxation).

  Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

How to lose weight fast

I have tried all sorts of diets, and I can tell you the simple and straightforward
formula for losing weight.

Calories in - Calories out = weight loss/gain 


        If you think you can get away with eating doughnuts and then burning it off in gym, think again.
I run on the tredmill for 45 minutes. During that time I usually burn around 320 kcalories. That's an equivalent of Snickers bar (320 kcal) or couple of doughnuts (160 kcal each). That's not very enjoyable way to indulge your chocolate bar if you remember that you will need to sweat out for an hour.

        Also, what about your other food options? Do you always cook everything yourself and know every ingredient that goes into your meal? Probably not. Every time you are eating out, you might consume more calories than you expected to consume (including all those hidden sugars in items like bread!).

       Do you know that medium Italian Pizza slice contains 234 kcal (Pizza Hut, 6 slices in 1 pizza), that makes just over 1400 kcal for the whole pizza (I know I can eat a whole pizza when I'm out socialing with friends. The crust is thin, and it's mostly cheese anyway. You are enjoying your glass of wine, and an hour later the pizza is gone!)
       You think that Jacket Potato with baked beans might be a bit healthier for you? Well, it's 514 kcal if you chose it without butter and salad dressing (which comes with salad), and it jumps to 950 kcal if you chose it with cheese instead of beans!

      Anyway, back to the topic. What do I do when I need to lose a few pounds quickly?

1) I join the gym or start doing DVD aerobics at home at least 3 times a week (you've got to attack it from all the sides) + going for a brisk walk whenever I can.    

2) I try not to go out for a meal (it's only for few weeks and you know it will worth it)

3) I space out my meals (I try not to snack too much in between, because it's all adds up, you know!)

4) I try to get busy (the busier you are, the less time you have to think about food)

5) I drink lots of herbal teas (no calories, but there is some pleasant taste in your mouth)

6) I don't brush my teeth often (e.g. after every meal and in-between) like some people suggest, but it might help you. The minty flavour of your toothpaste will certainly reduce you desire for some snacks, and they will taste awful after that anyway)

7) I make sure that people around me know about my plan. This way they are not going to 'treat' me with sweets and buiscuits

8) I become obsessed with it! Every time I see the food that I want, I look at how many kcalories it has. If a meal has more than 500 kcal, I don't eat it. If a snack has more than 150 kcal, I don't eat it either. The less the better. And I never forget that I am losing weight!

9) I eat a big salad with my lunch and/or dinner. I fill up on those items that have little amount of calories and lots of water like veggies and fruits. With a little sandwich you are not going to feel full or satisfied unless you have a small stomach (but then you probably wouldn't be reading this), but if you eat a big salad first and then your little sandwich afterwords, then you meal will fill very substantial I promice.

       Your salads do not need to be boring. You can always add an apple and pine cone nuts (kernels) - this is my favorite topping, or any other sliced fruit and some delicious nuts into your salad. Or add big nice olives and cashews- that's my other favorite topping. It's only 2-3 very delicious ingredients that can make all the difference to your salad, trust me! Also, have a look here for some interesting ideas for your salad.

         By the way, chose your toppings only those which are NOT in oil. If they are in oil like sundried tomatoes and mushrooms, then forget it!

10) I do not add any oil to anything. Do you know that 1 tablespoon of oil contains 120 kcal? That's a lot for a 'small' extra topping to your meal. So try not to fry anything either. Make soups and stews your primary food options.

11) If I choose a salad for lunch/dinner when I'm out, I avoid all the toppings to it. I would rather choose a main meal instead of the salad, like salmon and veggies rather than salad with dressing that outweighs my meal in kcalories and after 30 minutes of which I will probably be hungry again. At least a meal like that (salmon with veggies) will fuel me up for much longer.

12) You are expecting me to say that I do not have any desserts? Wrong! I love desserts after my meals.
Only I have either: fresh fruits (e.g. a bunch of grapes, 2 oranges, 3-4 plums, a few slices of melon, or some strawberries), or - I blend frozen banana with frozen berries or mango, add a bit of store-bought smoothie (1/3-1/4 of a cup) to make a super-delicious ice-cream.       

13) I avoid cheese or any other full-fat dairy (unless they are in pizza which is an occasional treat. Just remember what I said about a pizza in the beginning)

14) I eat very little in the evening - like a small bowl of veggie soup or 1 tortilla 'wrap' with salad (a 'wrap' containing only salad items), or a bit of meat, fish (baked) or eggs (boiled) with some salad. Although I always finish it with a dessert (see number12).

15) I motivate myself. Through interesting websites, books about nutrition and weight loss, 'before' and 'after' photos of people on the net, by talking to my mum and auntie who are always interested in discussing weight loss while eating healthy, or my previous photos on the beach.

16) I used to drink Slim Fast when I was younger instead of some of my meals. It helped at that time. Now I'm chosing a healthier approach through a healthy nutritious diet.

17) I try not go to a bakery (which I have near my work!) and I avoid any sweet 'treats' as much as I can.
I do not store anything 'naughty' in my house apart from may be some cereal bars.

18) I do not eat white pasta. It's a trush food. It's a totally processed food void of any nutrition and absolutely bland if you won't add to it some full-fat creamy dressing. What is the point?

19) I try to avoid jacket potato for very similar reasons to white pasta. It might be a bit healthier, but you have to add to it some cheese, baked beans, or tuna mayo to make it more palatable. I just don't bother.
By the way, a baked potato is not a healthy choice as you might think. Here is the article explaining what's wrong with a baked potato.

20) So what do I eat throughout the day (when I'm on the fast track of losing kilos):

   - Breakfast: Green Smoothie (blend 1 banana, 0,5 cup of frozen fruits or berries, 4-5 leaves of some really green salad, 1/4 cup of a store-bought smoothie (which does not contain any other sugar apart from fruit), 1 teaspoon of ground flaxseeds, 1 teaspoon of spirulina or chlorella, 0,5-1 cup of water (depends on how thick you want it)

   - Snack (sometimes I go without a snack) - 1 banana or couple of oranges

   - Lunch: salad (see number 9 for suggestions). Dessert (see number 12)

   - Snack: Raw Snack bar, fruit, or a cereal bar.

   - Dinner: Veggie and beans soup (or a baked fish with salad), salad in a tortilla 'wrap', stir-fry veggies, some boiled eggs with salad, or veggie omelette (with lots of non-starchy veg: peppers, mushrooms, tomatoes, cabbage, etc. and 2 eggs mixed with a little bit of non-dairy milk).

 I drink lots of herbal teas, like 5-7 cups of fruit-, herbal-, or green tea a day.

       Do I slip up sometimes? Of course I do! But very-very rarelly. And then I get back on the track immediately, like at the same evening or the next morning.

      Do I feel like I deprive myself? Most of the time - no, I don't!
I always remember that I can have anything I want at any time. Then I ask myself - do I really-really want that [chocolate bar, buiscuit or chips]? Most of the time the answer is - 'No, not really. I just want something [sweet, 'naughty' or 'filling']. 'Can I opt for something better?' And if the answer is 'yes', then I choose something with a more nutrition and less calories instead.

      And if I really-really want that chocolate bar, then I will wait for a couple of days and see whether the feeling will go away. And if it doesn't, then I go and have it. Then I will enjoy every little bite of it, because I wanted it for so long. Then I will remember about that food [e.g. chocolate bar] when I am in the gym running on the treadmill, and I will literally try to  burn it off.

      Hypnotic Weight Loss is another area of interest for many people, because listening to a CD or a professional hypnotherapist may reduce your 'workload' of planning and motivation for your weight loss. Hypnotic suggestions influence your mind and you might find the very next day that your preference for food choices have changed drammatically. You can have a look for a qualified hypnotic therapist in your area (although they are quite expensive as they charge by the hour and you will usually need a few hours of therapy) or you could have a look at hypnotic CDs on the market which are made by professional hypnotherapists. I personally like the products of Wendy Friesen, a well-known American Hypnotherapist. I have tried them myself and I would recommend them to anyone.  

              I hope this article answers your question - 'how to lose weight fast', because with this method, I usually burn around 1 kg (2,2) pounds a week (and yes, it is me there on the right). Thanks for your reading!

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Weight Loss with a Plant-Based Diet

Never Diet Again! Just adopt this healthy eating lifestyle as recommended by Joel Fuhrman, (Medical Doctor) in his book 'Eat for Health':

          Eating a plant-based diet means that most of your meals should be based on:

vegetables, beans and legumes.

All your desserts would be based on fruits (with added nuts, seeds and vegetables).

And you are also allowed to have meat and fish, but ideally, they would be minimised to 2-5 times/week and have as little fat as possible.

You can also consume low-fat or fat-free dairy occasionnally.

          I am personnally following all his recommendations at present. Before this diet, I was following the Raw Food Diet, which helped me to heal Ulcerative Colitis (digestive dis-ease where your body cannot tolerate most foods and what doctors describe as 'autoimmune and incurable disease'. At present, I can tolerate ANY food and I am symptom free for the last several months! So the doctors are wrong.) I also lost the excess of weight on my belly (very fast!). If you are interested in what the raw food diet is, have a look here (FREE information), otherwise I am diviating from my topic :)

Why this diet is an effective weight loss strategy?

- Plants contain vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals. So eating these in large amounts means that your body will not crave more food as when  you eat a typical (Standard American) diet.
Your body will be more satisfied with grapes for desert and will not ask for full-fat dairy ice-cream (by the way, you can make a delicious ice-cream with frozen bananas and other frozen fruits yourself);

- A plant-based diet that is rich in colorful vegetables and fruits, allows you to eat more food. Most greens and vegetables you can eat in unlimited quantity!

These are:

   - Leafy Green Vegetables: romain lettuce, leaf lettuces, kale, collards, cabbage, spinach, and so on.

   - Solid Green Vegetables: artichokes, asparagus, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, celery, cucumber, green peppers, peas, okra, snow peas, string beans, zucchini.

   - Non-green, High-nutrient vegetables: beets, eggplant, mushrooms, onions, tomatoes, peppers, bamboo shoots, water chestnuts, cauliflower, squash, carrots.

   - Beans and Legumes (cooked, canned or sprouted): all types of beans, including lentils and peas (like chickpeas) of various kinds.

   - Fresh Fruits: includes all fruits and berries.


Base your meals around these foods: Make soups, stews, salads and fruit desserts.

Try to eat 3 times a day (you are allowed fruit-based low-sugar or sugar-free desserts) but with no snacking in between, because you will be adding the excess of calories to your daily intake (or just have some fruits like oranges and apples if you are really desperate! :).

Try not to cook in oil. Remember that 1 tablespoon of oil contains 120 calories!   

The full description of this diet is in Joel Fuhrman's book "Eat for Health"

What is Raw Food Diet?

What is a Raw Food Diet and what are Raw Foods?

A Raw Food Diet is a diet which consists of minimum of 75% raw foods such as fruits, vegetables, sprouted legumes and grains, seeds and nuts, seaweed, dehydrated raw dishes, and in some instances - raw meat, fish, dairy and eggs (jerky meat, smoked fish - are also in this category as long as they were not heated above 40-46 C / 104-115 F).

The Raw Food Diet is far from boring. There are tons of books on this subject and books with raw food recipes. Just search Amazon for 'Raw Food' and you will see. Anything from making luxury salads to dehydrated raw dishes (especially if you are into creative cooking), will be enough to impress your family and visitng friends.

Why so many people try the Raw Food Diet? Because with this diet you can heal pretty much any disease/disorder, lose a significant amount of weight (whilst eating tons of food!!!), detox your whole body, make your skin free from blemishes and achne, make yourself look younger than your peers and live longer than them too. 

If you are interested in reading a bit more about the Raw Food Diet, have a look at this website (absolutely free information) -