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Are You Missing Something?

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Do you ever feel like something is missing?

No, I’m not talking about that Monday meeting that left you needing carbs covered in cheese!

Fill the Gap

we often notice the gaps when life challenges us

There are times in life when we recognise there is some vacant space that needs filling in order for us to make progress.

  • It may be a gap in our qualifications that needs work for us to advance our career.
  • Or an absence in our relationships where we’re seeking something deeper and more fulfilling.
  • And sometimes we have a health challenge that highlights all kinds of gaps – in our knowledge; in our motivation to get better; gaps in the right help we need to make progress.

When life throws a challenge at us, the gaps in our support network become very acute.


I remember this feeling from when I was sick with chronic fatigue and leaky gut syndrome: many people doubted I was even ‘really’ sick, and my real friends were well intentioned but not equipped to really help me.

Friends can be a source of great strength and encouragement.
But they often don’t have the knowledge or skills to help you fully.
They are also having their own life experience and this affects the way they view you – projecting their own lives onto you, often with good intentions and sometimes not. It’s not their fault, we all do it!

It can be hard to find impartial, practical, emotionally supportive advice in your regular life.

I got lucky. I had a boss who was rather like a health coach and this was my first introduction to being helped by someone who knew things I didn’t know.

Every week or so he would ask me about my health; my thoughts about an article he’d sent me; had I been practising the breathing exercise he suggested, etc.
It kept me on top of my game because I didn’t want to say, “No I haven’t done that.”

There was a sense of positive accountability that I had not experienced on my own.

It also opened my eyes to the benefits of being coached in a regular, focused format.

I come from a working class background, and the idea of paying someone to help me with my health and happiness felt frivolous and selfish! I had never invested in just myself before then and I had a lot of guilt around the idea.

Who do I think I am, something special?

How can I justify spending money on myself for this when I can just google anything I need?

And so that’s what I did:

  • I joined online forums for gluten sensitivity and chronic fatigue
  • I googled gluten free foods
  • I joined the celiac society.

And a year later I was a walking catalogue of every gluten free product on the supermarket shelves, I was depressed from reading online forums and I was no healthier.

I felt like I had walked around in a big circle for a year when I could have just made the investment and walked a much more direct and fruitful path. Doh!

I remember the first coaching session that I paid for.

I remember the sense of relief from realising that I had been walking around in this circle judging myself:
For not being knowledgeable enough;
For not being motivated enough;
For not being able to ‘fix myself’ on my own.

I remember the relief of talking to someone who accepted what I said about my health, life and fears and didn’t start each reply with, “oh you should do this,” or “don’t be silly!
It felt so much more collaborative than that.
Gentle but positive.

I knew that this collaboration would get me to my goals quicker and more efficiently than any combination of doing it on my own, help from well-meaning friends and forums.

And truly it was the best decision I ever made. Not only for my health but for my life in general, because I was able to make changes in my diet; how I organise my life; in my career; relationships with others; re-connecting with my creativity and other things that make me light up.

Three years on, I help women who are feeling as crappy about their health and their life as I was, to take practical and fun steps every day toward their goals.

:: Whether that goal is cutting out bread because you know it bloats you
:: Or never wanting another debilitating migraine
:: Or getting your blood sugars to healthy levels or planning a meal strategy that will keep you energised alongside a hectic job…
:: Or even if you can’t think straight enough to even know what your goals should be!

Why not take a step out of your comfort zone and arrange a complimentary Health Barrier Breakthrough Session with me.
It will only cost you the time it takes – about 30 minutes – and it could save you a lot of walking around in circles.
Believe me, I know this from personal experience! :-D

life after bread free session

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A Better Way to ‘Give Up’ Bad Habits

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sugary snacks

Can you give up your nemesis for Lent?

It’s that time of year when many of us feel the calling to be more mindful about our consumption – and more to the point, our over-consumption.

And so, tradition dictates that we should give something up for the 40 days of Lent.

But what if this traditional practise is actually taking you further away from your health and happiness goals?

Would you make a small change to this tradition for your success?

Wikipedia Definition:
Lent is a solemn religious observance in the liturgical calendar of many Christian denominations.
The traditional purpose of Lent is the preparation of the believer through prayer, penance, repentance of sins, almsgiving, atonement and self-denial.

In my work as a health coach, the concept of Lent presents some problems.

There are reasons why ‘giving up’ does not work.

My partnership with my clients refutes the concept of just ‘giving up’ things – whether it is foods, thoughts or habits.
As complex human beings, we need more motivation to succeed than just the reward of denying ourselves.

Is this how you operate?

  1. When you think about giving up something, you immediately feel a sense of lack, of deprivation.
  2. And those feelings just make you want that thing more!
  3. Your mind races ahead, past the smugness of your self-control, directly to the times when you will crave that which you are denying myself.
  4. You can imagine precisely the feelings of frustration at your own faltering willpower; the moments you will contemplate breaking your vow and the relief of crossing the finish line and rewarding yourself with exactly the thing you’ve been denying yourself!

Seriously. What will you have learned from this other than how to make yourself crazy?

But, a small shift in this thinking can make the difference between failure and success.


My challenge to you if you are participating in Lent, is this:

Instead of Giving Up, what can you swap?

It sounds like such a simple and obvious shift that it’s hardly worth the words I’m writing.

But this is so much more powerful than you think.

This psychological shift can create a pattern of thinking that helps in every change you wish to make in your life. Think about it:

  • Instead of giving up chocolate bars, I will swap to 85% cacao, organic chocolate or even raw chocolate smoothies
  • Instead of giving up coffee, I will swap to a satisfying substitute
  • Instead of giving up bread, I will swap to grain-free alternatives
  • Instead of [trying to!] give up negative thoughts about myself, I will make a practise of positive affirmations every morning.

I can honestly say that my clients have made life-changing improvements to their health and happiness by employing this tactic of swapping where previous attempts to ‘give things up’ had left them feeling like failures.
I have witnessed clients eradicate caffeine from their life with NO withdrawal symptoms; easily reduce their sugar intake with no cravings; lose lbs simply by swapping pasta for healthier alternatives and prefer them.

The simple message is this:

It doesn’t have to be an ordeal to be effective. In fact, it will be more effective if it is not an ordeal!

What can you swap in the next forty days instead of just denying yourself?

As the day before Lent is traditionally a time to fill our boots with yummy pancakes, I thought this client-favourite recipe would be appropriate. Not only can you treat yourself to pancakes, you can do it in the knowledge that these are much healthier than the usual white flour offerings.

CLICK HERE for Sweet Potato Pancakes Recipe

sweet potato pancakes stack

Sweet Potato Pancakes Stack – A Guilt-Free Treat


And please drop me a comment below about what swap you could pledge for the next day, week or even forty days of Lent.

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When Life Hands You Lemons – 4 Step Strategy

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life and lemons strategy
You’ve been working really hard on getting healthy and then you get the sickest you’ve been in years…

You work crazy hours and then lose that prestigious account…

Or how about: You promised yourself you would stay sensible during ‘wedding season’ and yet here you are stuffed with wedding breakfasts and champagne hangovers every weekend! (not so much life handing you lemons as life leaving free lemons on the table and you minesweeping them…)

When we get that knock-back, it’s so easy to go into panic and tailspin mode.
We start to question everything about ourselves and our lives, not just the problem at hand.
We judge every single component of ourselves, examining each element under our critical lense.

This is the time when a clear set of instructions is actually really helpful.
You know, the ones you’ve read in advance and don’t have to figure out when the crisis hits. So even if you’re riding high right now, sign up for my Life & Lemons Workbook for future reference ;-)

Here is my simple list of actions for those moments when life hands you a bunch of lemons:

STEP 1: Call Time-Out

When you’ve invested so much time and energy into something that doesn’t work out the way you want, it’s so tempting to just keep battling away.
You feel if only you had worked harder you could have made it work.
Or maybe that you failed and don’t deserve to take a break. You punish yourself.
But this is exactly the time to stop for a short while and re-group.
Trying to push on through when you’re exhausted, physically or emotionally or both, is just plain counter-productive. You won’t make good decisions when you’re emotional and panicky.
It’s also a danger time for your physical health: our appetite is all out of kilter because we’re stressed, our sleep is restless or even elusive, our energy is drained and it’s tempting to rely on caffeine and junk to get us through, comfort or even punish ourselves.

If you can take 24 hours out of your situation, as your (official or unofficial) health coach, I am writing you a permission slip.
It’s vital to nourish your body at this time. Giving yourself fresh, living foods will support your nervous system, reduce the effects of stress and restore your energy.
Take on this mantra: “When life hands you lemons, make smoothies!”
Try this recipe to support your body. It takes a few minutes to put together, so it’s ideal to keep you going when you really can’t be bothered to cook.

stress busting smoothie











During your time-out, be sure to focus on self-care routines.
Be sure to do things that make you feel good, nourish you – there are suggestions in the Workbook.
And try your absolute best not to feel guilty about it – feeling relaxed and refreshed is for your ultimate good and is the best circumstance to deal with your problem.

There are more self-care suggestions in the Life and Lemons Workbook I have created to accompany this post. You can receive your Free Copy HERE.

STEP 2: Time to Feel It

Once you’ve given yourself some essential replenishment, if you feel like you need to vent, do it now. But set yourself a time limit.

Set a timer for 10 minutes… now, GO! Really feel all those negative thoughts. Wallow. Get angry. Drop F-Bombs. Cry. Whatever comes up be sure to really feel it.
But feel it without judgement. It simply is what it is. Write it all down if it helps. Say it all out loud to yourself or to a friend if you prefer. But don’t try to fix it. It isn’t time for that just yet.
Have awareness of where you feel these thoughts in your body: is it your chest? or your tummy? your head?
10 minutes up? Ok good, now it’s time for…

STEP 3: Shake It Out!

Think of your body like a memory foam mattress: you stay in the same position and your body will hold those negative feelings in that same place.

When you move your body, the shape releases, the memories shift, and you will find the negativity releases quicker.

Although walks in nature and other soulful activities have their place, if you’ve just spent 10 minutes really feeling your negged out emotions, now is the time for something a bit less subtle! Short bursts of high activity are a great way to release those tensions from your body.
I’m a big fan of dance breaks for this – just crank up a tune and get moving! Feeeeeel that negativity getting shaken out of your muscles!
You can get literal here and use of one of my fave neg-busting choons:
Shake It Out by Florence & The Machine.

shake it out











Feel free to sing, wail, shout, throw offspring-embarrassing shapes, chuck everything at it!

If you need more inspiration for dance break tunes, sign up for my Life and Lemons Workbook [It's Free!]

Ok, feeling cleansed yet? Good. Now and only now is it time to…

STEP 4: Get Real

You’ve taken care of your physical and emotional needs.
You’ve speed-ranted.
You’ve danced the negativity away.
Now is the right time to sit down and figure out what happens next.

Use the questions in the Workbook to really drill down the issue and craft positive action.
It’s also really important to acknowledge what is going RIGHT in your life! And the workbook will help you to focus on that too and use that information to help solve your current lemon-flavoured dilemma.

So tell me, what was the last lemon-flavoured situation life threw at you?
Did you take steps to preserve your health and sanity?
Or did you soldier on through?
I would love to read your story in the comments below.

And don’t forget to claim your FREE Life & Lemons 4-Step Plan (also known as the Sh!t Happens Survival Strategy)

life and lemons workbook signup










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Are You Being Spiteful to Yourself? 3-Step Formula to Find Out + Fix It

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Are you spiteful to yourself When I look back to the origins of my gluten intolerance and subsequent years of chronic fatigue, one realisation still makes me go “Doh!”:

My actions were rooted in spitefulness… against myself. And the consequence was a sick body.

Ooh that’s a hard thing to admit!
But let me explain how this lesson can keep you in check and identify harmful thinking when it tries to hold you back in your health and happiness goals.


When I moved from my home town to live with my boyfriend, everything about my life changed. But one of the biggest shocks for me was that my man would not cook. Not even a boiled egg. I knew he could cook, he just wouldn’t. And that got me so mad! I LOVED cooking! But not all the time, right?

My indignant feelings about having to provide all the meals altered my whole attitude to food. I got into a thought pattern of “well, if he isn’t going to spend time in the kitchen, why should I?
We spent a year living on microwave meals and takeouts. He was fine with that. I hated it. Go figure!

Then I got sick. It was ironic that a takeout sandwich gave me food poisoning. You may say that was just bad luck. But honestly, I had it coming.
A year of eating terrible food had taken its toll on my gut and my immune system… I had been steering myself toward a fall.

In hindsight, I could see this thought pattern had reared its head in lots of areas of my life:

He never cleans the bathroom, so why should I?
I gave in when I began to feel dirtier stepping out of the shower than when I stepped into it!

The guys at work just expect that I’ll do the washing up, but why should I?
Eight years of taking my own cup to work and back every day and only ever making my own drinks!

Why do we do (or not do) things that ultimately hurt us more than they hurt the person we are annoyed with?
It all comes down to how highly we value ourselves. I know, ironic, right?!
I mean, we withdraw our co-operation because we don’t feel the co-operation from someone else.
We withhold love because we don’t feel it from the other person.

If I had valued myself more…

  • I would have fed my body healthy food.
  • I would have recognised I was stopping my own shower time being an enjoyable experience.
  • I would have got the support of management to implement a washing up rota.

Can you identify this pattern of thinking in your own life?

You can use this simple formula to figure out if you’re thinking this way.
Are there any parts of your life for which you could fill in this statement?

Step 1 – The Formula:
[Name] is not doing [Action], so I won’t do [Action].

Step 2 – The Cost:
If you can fill in those blanks, ask yourself next, what is it costing YOU?

By not doing [Action], it is costing me [Consequence].

It doesn’t even have to be directed at another person. You can be equally spiteful against your own actions/inactions:
I am terrible at time management, so I’m not going to make plans for the weekend.”

Step 3 – Re-Frame:
Now, how can you re-frame that first statement into positive action that shows love for yourself?

“I am going to [Take This Positive Action] because I value my health and happiness.”

The Cost of my spiteful behaviour against myself led to gluten intolerance and six years of healing my gut and my health.
The Re-Frame was that I began to cook for my health. I learned to love the kitchen again! And my boyfriend installed my dream kitchen for me to spend time in.
Although ultimately we ended our relationship, when I left he asked me where he could buy replacements for the non-toxic, non-teflon pans I used. I bought him a set of those pans as a leaving gift.
Soon after, I met the man who is now my husband. He loves to cook for me! And it’s all healthy, gluten-free food. He values my health because I do.

Please comment and tell me your story of how you have been spiteful against yourself and your health. Can this formula work for you, to re-frame that withdrawal into love?

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Write Your OWN Oscar Speech to Set Health + Happiness Goals

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write you own oscar speech and increase happinessCelebrating yourself and practising gratitude can increase happiness, motivation and help you set goals.

As the nominations for this year’s Academy Awards are revealed today, think about this:

When was the last time you prepared an acceptance speech?
Ooh, what was that?
“Can’t remember”?
“I never win anything!”?
Or maybe “I have my lottery winner press conference all figured out!”

Well it’s true that unless you’re Meryl Streep you probably don’t have a mantelpiece heaving with gongs (your parents spare room still decorated with your childhood swimming certificates don’t count, sorry). Not so many opportunities for us regular joes to take the spotlight and acknowledge the people who have helped us reach such lofty heights.

But I think there’s an opportunity being missed here…
As we launch ourselves into this fresh new year, maybe filled with energy for our resolutions, perhaps not so much, I encourage you to take a break and think about this:
You ARE a winner. You are here right now in 2013, doing your thing. And if you’re reading my blog, you most likely have an interest in making this year even better than all the ones you’ve lived so far.
So, how about writing your own acceptance speech for your life? Your life so far, right up to this point of existence.
How about giving thanks and acknowledgement for everyone who has played a part in where you are right now?

Think about the archetypal Oscar speech. Our celluloid heroes take the opportunity to thank the people who have helped them and who collectively deserve recognition in their achievement.
And although our own speech may not include our Hollywood agent, we are all people having a life experience of other people.
It is possible to achieve some things on our own, but most of us have been blessed at some point with the support/inspiration/example of another person.

Can you run a scan of your life and pinpoint those people?
The ones you remember and think “yeah, a part of me exists today because of that experience”.

Go on, take a moment and write a list…

I feel lucky that my own list is long. Here is just an excerpt (what can I say, I’m going through my glittery pen phase):

my oscar thankyou list

I am so happy that I have had the honour of adding my clients to this year’s list.
Being a part of the power of people working together to overcome chronic fatigue, reverse type2 diabetes, manage stress, begin exercising regularly, get their dream job, increase their confidence, regain their cognition, eradicate PMT, etc, has been truly amazing. It also shows that being of service to others deserves just as much space on your list, because by helping others we help ourselves.

So, back to your list and the people on it:
what is/was it about them that had such a profound effect on you?
Sometimes the reason is hard to pin down, but somehow we were able to relate to that person, connect with them, bounce off them, trust them.
They were also probably in exactly the right place at the right time for you.

Most of us possess enough knowledge and skills to complete a task, but we work better with people around us. In our corner. On our side.

This was exactly my experience during my health coaching training.
Technically, I had the skills and the resources to complete the course on my own. But even if I had been able to muster the motivation with only myself to be accountable to, it would not have been the enriching, life changing experience that it was without my health coach and my fellow students to support me and keep me on track.

When we think about the people who have helped us become who we are today, very often what they did was give you a safe space and provided the right tools for you to step into your own power.
They didn’t do it for you. They empowered you to do it for your self in your own unique way.

So, you’ve taken the time for an energising gratitude practise. What happens next?
This is the really exciting bit – the BIG BANG ACTION STEP to move you forward.
It’s a brand new year with fresh new goals. Keeping in mind the lesson that we people are connected to each other through our experiences, who will feature in the goals you want to achieve this year? Who do you need in your life to help you achieve those goals? Who will be in your speech this time next year?

  • It could be a career advisor to help you get that job you know you can shine in.
  • A friendship that could develop into a linchpin of support for both of you.
  • A health coach to give you that safe space and the tools to achieve your health and happiness dreams.

Get proactive in your search for the people who will become your collaborators in the life you really want to lead!

Leave a comment below about who you want on your list! Or post some gratitude about who is on your list right now. Studies show that writing notes of gratitude increases our own happiness, promotes quality sleep and helps us reach our goals.

If you want to give yourself the gift of some space to explore the possibilities for your health and happiness in this fresh new year, contact me to arrange a free, no obligation Health Breakthrough Session and see how the power of partnership can transform you!

I’ll leave you with a fab video that shows how expressing gratitude in your own unique way can make everyone in the room (including you) feel amazing!

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4 Steps to Help Overcome That Fear and Achieve Your Goals

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We can overcome our prehistoric genes, swim through those scarey moments and reach our goals.

overcome your fears

I could taste the saltiness in my throat as my breathing quickened, magnified and menacing through my snorkel.
I thought about the magnitude of what I was doing. For me, that is: a lifelong underwater phobic with an ironic obsession for coral reefs.
Others around me were swimming and diving with carefree ease. I was surrounded by water babies whereas I felt like a cat that had fallen into the fish pond!

I took a moment to tread water, risking being left behind by the group. I glanced back to where our boat was anchored. Both directions felt like a mile away!
I hesitated. At this point I could swim back to the boat and a reassuring dry deck with my panic abated. But I had visualised the experience ahead of me for a whole two years: floating above a coral reef, marvelling at the beauty, the colours, the serenity. At this moment, any available serenity was being drowned out by the din of my panicking lungs!
Another moment: Slow, regular breaths just like my meditation practice, a word to myself that I can do this. I turned away from the boat and started swimming.

And there it was. Everything I had imagined. The colourful corals, the fantasia of fishes elegantly swimming about their watery business, the sun’s rays penetrating the cyan water like the gods were shining a spotlight for us to witness the beauty.
And so I floated, I marvelled, I accepted every emotion. I allowed the fear to be, but not consume. I kept breathing.
And eventually I swam back to the boat buoyant with excitement, gratitude and pride.

Why am I writing this story all about me, me, me?
Because the experience pulled some important life and health lessons into focus.

Whether your goal is to eat healthier, exercise or pursue a more fulfilling career, there will be times when no matter how much you prepare, you will encounter inner resistance. Times when your familiar habits feel so much closer than your desired destination. But those are exactly the times when we need to take a breath and remind ourselves that we wouldn’t have started the journey if we didn’t know that what we are travelling towards is better than where we started from.

Here are some tips to overcome those moments when the leap ahead feels so much farther than the retreat to familiar territory:

  1. Be prepared
    Visualising achieving your goal and how your life will be when that happens actually changes you on a physiological level: your brain can’t tell the difference between a real and imagined action. When you imagine an action, your body produces the same electrical impulses as if you were doing it for real. This strengthens the neural pathways, creating a mental navigation plan for the action. This is why so many athletes use visualisation to gain a competitive edge.
  2. Acknowledge your fear/doubt/panic
    Say hello (or flick your tongue) to your lizard brain! Yes, we have a pre-historic lump near the brain stem that sends out those feelings of fear and resistance. And it isn’t going anywhere any time soon so we may as well make friends with it. Recognise that it’s just a part of you, trying to protect you. But that fear of the unknown need not be your whole story.
    Finding a way to acknowledge this part of our experience without allowing it to take over and hold us back is part of becoming the whole person you want to be.
    The visualisation from step 1 will help you keep the lizard in its cage. And if the lizard gets loose at the point of action, then deep, steady breathing works really well to calm your prehistoric pet.
  3. Take a bite at a time.
    It’s so daunting to look at your end goal, whether it’s life without your love handles or earning the salary you know you are worth. But breaking down your ultimate goal into achievable chunks makes changes much easier to adjust to plus you get to celebrate each step on the way. Take some me-time to figure out the ‘hows’ on the way to your goal.
    And here’s another cool factoid about Step 1 that supports this practice of breaking up your plan into bite size chunks:  There is a part of your brain called the posterior parietal cortex that is responsible for creating a navigation plan for action. It’s a busy bit of brain, gathering information from our skin, internal organs and vision to create these action plans. If we give it too much information at once through visualisation, it gets overloaded and your well-laid mental plans become less effective. Treat your visualisation as a practise. Imagine your end goal vividly to get your creative juices flowing, but also create a plan to visualise each step of your plan as you work through them.
  4. Take Action!
    Imagination is a wonderful gift, but Intention + Action = Miracles
    You have prepared yourself mentally for the steps required. Now it’s time to let those strengthened neural pathways do their job. You have your bite-size steps all ready to execute, so go get ‘em!
    And remember, when the resistance appears, you have the tools and understanding to KEEP. ON. SWIMMING.

Do you have a dream, a goal, an ambition that feels kinda scarey when you think about it? You know, that fluttery, knotty feeling in your stomach or a slight quickening of your breath.
Is your pet lizard flicking it’s tail at the thought of you getting outside your comfort zone?
THAT’S GOOD! That’s the place where the real magic happens.
Tell me what your dream is, what that deep down burning ambition is. Let’s imagine it together.

If you would like to talk through your health and life goals and discuss how you can achieve them, contact me for a FREE Health Breakthrough Session.


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