The Tidal waves of soul searching.

My wounds are healing, my scars are less sore,

I feel like myself every day more and more.

The thrashing waves, and once violent sky,

are calm and peaceful as boats sail on by.

Yet in the blink of an eye the calm sea becomes rough,

The sails are less sturdy, the anchor less tough.

The storm returns with a vengeance; its wrath,

destroying all that lies in its path.

She prays and holds onto her body tight,

she protects it with courage and all of her might.

She reminds herself that she commands her own ship,

she takes back control, she tightens her grip.

The sun through the clouds slowly comes into sight,

The eagle soars as he reaches flight.

 

 

 

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Who Am I? The Painful Journey Of Self Love and Acceptance

What is self love? It’s a feeling I lack,

After years of war and facing attack.

This feeling i’m immune to, its foreign and wrong,

This is a feeling for someone brave and strong.

To love oneself should be an unspoken rule,

Yet I have to teach myself how like a child at school.

I tell myself: I’m not perfect I am me and that’s ok,

I’m where I need to be, i’m going my own way.

No one else’s path matters, focus on your own direction,

looking at what others are doing wont bring me affection,

wont make love return; a resurrection.

 

One mind, one body, one spirit, one soul,

With love and acceptance as a guide, a goal.

But a dichotomy lies, a war of the mind,

One born out of hate, the other one kind.

Who wins the battle, who will reign?

Just an innocent by stander in this gnarly game.

Where do you turn, which route do you go?

When one voice cries sabotage yet the other screams no.

Will you wither and die or will you flourish and grow?

This answer is something you really don’t know.

All the while reaching out as this standoff commences,

a battle of two minds deep in the trenches.

Is there a way out will you make the right choice?

In the midst of the chaos can you find your own voice?

The one of love, of guidance not fear,

The one that reminds you softly ‘I am here’.

 

 

 

Love Is A Battle Field…

img_1840He pulls away you latch on more,
The unknown is painful your past wounds are sore.

Not knowing if you’re worthy or enough,
The sea is rocky the storm is tough.

In no mans land without a map,

Do you keep trudging forward or do you head back?

This intensity you feel deep down inside,
do you sit with it,embrace it or run for cover and hide?

Those deep brown eyes that see into my soul,
That warm embrace that makes me feel whole,

Am I holding onto a rose that can’t be revived?
Do I power through this storm hoping it will subside?

Is what he feels for me the same as what I feel for him?
Standing on the edge but too nervous to swim.
Hostile freezing waters what lies within?

Is it time to cut the anchor, to break away from the chain?
That is strangling and shackling, my strength I need to regain.

My inner power is screaming, desperate for release,
The sea ready to swallow me, ready for my decease.

Do I sink or swim, do I fight or fly?
Will my power save me or will my fear let me die?

But the moment I hear his voice that strength becomes weak,
In that second he opens his mouth to speak.

He holds my hands, looks into my heart, all my intentions, my promises break apart.

Navigating no mans land I continue to roam, trying to find my map to lead me home.

Brief Encounters….

He came into my life like a shining light,

Illuminating the sky in the depths of night.

An angel so pure he flew into my sight,

Lit up the universe, with an energy bright.

A beautiful star that healed my core,

He soothed my wounds like no other before.

A gentle aura, the softest soul,

My broken heart was immediately whole.

His touch electrifying, fireworks when we kissed,

Gone yet never forgotten, but will always be missed.

His eyes the ocean, where I could swim and dive,

His skin the softest sand, making my body alive.

The perfect puzzle, our pieces fit together,

But perhaps nothing pure can last forever.

An enchanted forest, a mystical path,

Our adventure together, I’ll never look back.

A lonesome traveller, his time had arrived,

To take to his trail and leave my side.

An eagle he prepared to spread his wings,

To see whatever his future brings.

I stare at the sea wondering where he is now,

Or if our time together could have been different somehow,

They say its darkest before the dawn,

A dark thundery sky before a clear blue morn.

I think of him fondly, hope our paths cross one day,

And that cemented in my tapestry forever he’ll stay.

How to find balance 

Whether it is to get fitter, healthier, spend less money, be kinder to others- we all want to make changes here and there. However there is a fine line between practicing self-care, and pushing yourself too hard in the gym, restricting your diet, or working too many hours at the office. It is easy to tip the balance too far. Lets make 2016 the year of positivity, self-love and releasing our true potential. So how do we go about doing so? Read on for the lowdown…
Moderation is the key to achieving balance in all aspects of life. Too much of anything can become unhealthy, which is why it is important to be mindful of our actions, and whether or not the outcome will be positive.

We have all heard the saying ‘do to others as you would have them do to you’ well this is absolutely true. Treat yourself as you would treat a friend. In the same way that you would show loved ones compassion and understanding, you must act the same way towards yourself. If you make a mistake at work, eat one too many cookies, or act in a way that you are not happy about, think of what you would say to someone close to you, and how you would help them in that situation. Offer yourself the same advice. That it is ok, it is not the end of the world, and tomorrow is a new day.

Taking baby steps is important! Have patience and do not try to take huge leaps or shortcuts to achieving your goals quickly. Show yourself dedication. If something does not quite go to plan, do not beat yourself up, instead take a deep breath and try again.

Make sure you create time for yourself amidst your busy day-to-day tasks. On an evening try to switch off from work, read an interesting book, take a bubble bath, and do something positive for yourself.

Try something new- Take up a new hobby such as a cooking course, art class or try Tai Chi. Tai Chi is great for the mind, body and spirit. This calming ‘meditation in motion’ is extremely beneficial for our physical and mental wellbeing and provides a constructive way of unwinding.

Get creative- Adult mindfulness colouring books have become extremely popular in helping to de-stress and relax. With beautifully drawn art therapy designs appealing to all ages, these artistic images are fun to colour, whilst simultaneously taking your mind into a state of balance and calm.

Try to be present in each moment, and focus on your own personal needs. We are all guilty of constantly checking instagram and social media pages to see what other people are doing, and it is easy to get caught up in trying to keep up with the Jones’. Yet this can be detrimental to your overall happiness. Focus on what is right for you and if you are where you need to be.

Meditation is a great way of practicing self-care. Meditation focuses on being in the moment, and noticing your thoughts as they come and go in your mind, almost like moving clouds in a constant sky. It allows room for thought and reflection, and helps you to become more aware of situations. Contrary to popular belief, it doesn’t have to be completed whilst sat on the floor crossed legged like Rafiki, nor does it have to be done for long periods of time.

Set yourself a positive challenge, and try to dedicate 5 minutes every morning when you wake up, to focus on your breathing and setting your intentions for the day. Meditation has proven to drastically improve one’s wellbeing. It isn’t always easy, but with practice and determination you will see positive results. The great thing about meditation is that you can do it anywhere, a quiet room is preferable, but if you are a busy bee, you can even meditate on the tube. There are many meditation apps that you can use to guide you, with some even offering different meditations for specific occasions.

Write a journal: Writing down your thoughts and feelings as well as tasks for each day can be a very productive way to reflect. The Happiness Planner is a brilliant diary that incorporates the practices of positive thinking, positive affirmations, mindfulness, gratitude, and self-development into the daily and weekly/monthly pages.

Most importantly of all – fall in love with yourself this year!!

Recommended reads: Mindfulness: A practical guide to finding peace in a frantic world by Mark Williams
Recommended apps: calm and headspace
Recommended classes and events:
Tai chi for beginners classes round London. 

 

Top 5 superfoods for 2016

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Unleash your wellness warrior this year with these top five super foods that will help you to feel the hippest and healthiest version of you.

Matcha

Matcha tea is an easy and simple way to add powerful health benefits to your everyday diet. One serving of matcha tea is the nutritional equivalent of 10 cups of regularly brewed green tea, this is because when you drink matcha you ingest the entire leaf and receive 100 per cent of the nutrients contained within! Known to boost metabolism and burn calories, matcha energises the body, enhances mood and aids in concentration. When that all too familiar afternoon slump hits and you start to feel peckish, make a warming brew of Matcha instead! Rich in fiber, chlorophyll and vitamins, this month try swapping your coffee for a good cuppa’  matcha to wake up the mind and body.

Lucuma

Derived from an ancient Peruvian fruit, lucuma powder delivers an abundance of health benefits when added to your favourite food or beverage. Viewed as a symbol of fertility and creation, for thousands of years lucuma was referred to as the “Gold of the Incas” and was used for a variety of applications. Its unique caramel like flavour serves as a natural sweetener, and is perfect for adding to healthy desserts and baking! In addition to satisfying your sweet tooth, this amazing superfood is gluten-free and provides a source of antioxidants, fibre, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals necessary for bodily functions. As an added bonus, research shows that lucuma may be helpful for supporting skin health, blood sugar, and even cardiovascular health – what’s not to love!?

Camu

The camu berry is one of the world’s most abundant sources of vitamin C. This antioxidant-rich berry from the Amazon is also a plentiful source of potassium, calcium, protein, beta-carotene, amino acids and powerful phytochemicals. Camu fruits are the highest documented source of vitamin C – providing 200 times more than a banana, and 30-60 times more than an orange. Vitamin C has been linked with stronger immune systems and protection against viruses, helping you fight off those nasty colds. Try a tablespoon of camu powder mixed into a glass of water (instead of berocca!) for a healthy kick-start to your day. 

Bee pollen

Great for sprinkling over your porridge or blending into smoothies, bee pollen is one of our favourite all-natural energy enhancers. With just 2-3 tablespoons needed, the carbohydrates, protein and B vitamins can help keep you going all day, by enhancing stamina and fighting off fatigue. Also a skin soother – the beautifully golden granules ofbee pollen are often used in topical products that aim to treat inflammatory conditions and common skin irritations, like psoriasis or eczema thanks to the amino acids and vitamins which protect the skin and aid the regeneration of cells. It also contains enzymes that can aid in digestion, and are good for intestinal flora, thereby supporting the immune system.

Birch Water

Considered the “Tree of Life” the Birch tree is said to have healing properties. Birch water has long been favoured across Nordic folk cultures as a spring detoxing elixir. Naturally diuretic, it supports kidney and liver functions and speeds up the process of elimination and weight loss. Its slightly sweet syrupy liquid is low in calories, naturally fat- and cholesterol free, and super hydrating, also boosting the immune system. For those needing a catalyst to continue burning excess fat: birch water helps balance the body and alleviates the problems faced by those retaining water.

I Crumble For Ya: Interview with Start-up Sensation Olivia Wollenberg of Livia’s Crumble

 Founder of Livia’s Kitchen 26 year old Olivia Wollenberg, has made life a little sweeter with her hip and certainly healthy range of sugar free, wheat free crumbles. Recently named by Elle Magazine as one of 30 most influential game changers under 30, we caught up with the entrepreneur to find out a little more about her inspirations, and what’s in store for the future.
What is your favourite go to ingredient when baking or cooking?
This is a tough question as there are a few ingredients I could just not live without, but if I had to choose one I think it would be oats- they are such an amazing ingredient for both taste and nutritional values.


Where did the idea for your crumbles come from?  Why crumbles and not another dessert?

Crumbles had always been one of my favourite desserts, so when I was diagnosed with many intolerances at the beginning of last year I started searching online for recipes that would allow me to recreate the dessert I had always loved whilst fitting with my new way of eating. After a few experiments, I served up a crumble for my family and friends, and they all said it was one of the best crumbles they had ever had, which showed me that desserts really can be made in a better and healthier way without having to compromise on taste.

I decided to stick with crumbles for my first project, as they are a widely popular dessert and so traditionally British. Everyone loves an apple crumble, and mine is just that with a little nutritional twist!

It was important to me to create something delicious and indulgent and crumbles allowed me to do just that! What is also so special about the crumbles is that they make the perfect breakfast as well as dessert. Since they are just simply made with fresh fruit and a granola type topping, they are a brilliant morning option, and I loved this aspect of them.
What is your favourite superfood?
My favourite superfood would probably have to be maca. I love the caramel flavour of it and it just goes so well in so many recipes.


Favourite healthy cafe in London?

I like the good life eatery and ethos if I’m looking for something savoury!

What is your favourite workout?

I really enjoy classes that are quite high intensity and make you work up sweat! Two of my favourites at the moment are Psycle and body combat.

How do you find balance in stressful day-to-day life?

I think one thing that I have learnt in the year since starting up Livia’s Kitchen is how important it is to take time out. When you are running a start-up company there is always so much going on and keeping on top of it all can be really tiring! To find balance amongst this I like to ensure that every day I have a least an hour or two where I just switch off and focus on something other than the business. Sometimes I do this by going to an exercise class or going for dinner with my friends. What has helped me so much in finding this balance is having employed two girls who work full-time for me now and have become an integral part of the team. They are so dedicated and have taken huge amounts of pressure of me. Although my working hours are still crazy, the days never seem quite as manic since having them around.

Who is your fitsperation?

Gosh, I don’t actually think I have one. I don’t like to compare my body or health to anyone else’s. I think comparisons can be dangerous and so I don’t actually look up to anyone in terms of fitness. I know what works for my body and I strive to ensure I always push myself to feel my best, not to conform to someone else or the ‘perfect’ body

Do you feel pressure from society to look a certain way being in the health industry? 

I can see that this could definitely be an issue that may affect those who work in the industry or who are aspiring to do so, especially with the prevalence of it now on social media! For me, having felt so ill for so long, the way I feel within myself remains the most important thing; it is on this, that I tend to judge my wellbeing as opposed to achieving a certain image. I think it is vital to listen to your body and exercise and eat in a way that suits you and makes you feel your best and not to give in to any sort of pressure to be or look a certain way. The message that I and many of my friends in the industry are hopefully spreading is that what is important is to be STRONG NOT SKINNY. I have always had a very healthy appetite and although my jeans sometimes feel a little tighter than I would like, I don’t ever concern myself with negative feelings about it. I know I eat well, and enjoy my food enormously and so I wouldn’t change how I look. We all know how much I love something sweet, and if that means I am not stick thin then that is absolutely okay with me!
What’s your favourite snack other than crumble?

A lot of baking goes on in my house as we are always experimenting with recipes for the blog, so there tends to always be some sort of sweet treat lying around! I have at least a bite of something sweet and delicious each day (usually a little more than just a bite). My favourite at the moment is my carrot cake that I can’t get enough of. I love making that recipe into cupcakes too for a smaller bite!
What is your favourite crumble flavour?

This changes a lot and depends on the time of the day too! If it is for breakfast then I tend to go for banana or berry but apple is probably my all-time favourite, I just can’t get enough of the maca.

Who is your role model?

Cliché as it may sound; my role models are my mum and dad. My mum had devoted her life to looking after my sisters and I and is the most generous, determined and kindest woman I know. Her ability to cope with whatever life throws at her has really helped me to remain calm and work through any obstacles that come my way. My dad founded his own company and it is his passion for business and amazing way of approaching it that inspired me to take a similar path- his support has been infinitely helpful in getting me to where I am now.

Favourite nut butter?

Almond butter is definitely my favourite, although, I have been using hazelnut butter in a couple of recipes recently and with some cacao it is just amazing! Nut butters are just so great to use in baking.

How does it feel to be named by ELLE as one of the 30 most influential women under 30?

It is such a huge honour and I honestly can’t quite believe it! It is less than a year since I started trading so to be considered one of the most influential women under 30 by one of the most reputable magazines is just crazy to me. It just really goes to show that hard work pays off.

Words of advice for entrepreneurs who want to start their own company in the health industry?
I think some general advice I would give to people starting up a company is learning the art of delegation! It is so important to be able to share the work- load in order to give the best of yourself to everything you do and to still have time to socialise and switch off. It is so easy when you are building a company that you are passionate about, to get so absorbed by it that you end up run down and exhausted. As well as the art of delegation, I think it is vital to be able to be able to learn quickly from mistakes made, and recognise that it is normal for bumps in the road to occur. It is inevitable that things will go wrong and you will face various hurdles. The important thing is not to be disheartened by this but rather being able bounce back stronger and better.
What’s next for Livias kitchen?

There are so many things in store for Livia’s Kitchen! I am currently working on a new range of products, which I hope to have in shops later this year. I would also absolutely love to get my crumbles and any future products into some larger retailers in the next few months so that I can spread the love for healthy desserts nationwide and, fingers crossed, one day extend this to worldwide. We are also working on a YouTube channel at the moment to show everyone some more of what is going on behind the scenes as well as of course some recipe videos.