Living a life less toxic…

by Faith Canter


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What’s all this tapping about?

For those of you that haven’t really come across EFT/Tapping before or haven’t got the foggiest what it is I thought I’d put together a blog to explain this amazing tool you could all easily learn to use.

This is the official definition for Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) / Tapping:
A form of counselling intervention that draws on various theories of alternative medicine including acupuncture, neuro-linguistic programming, energy medicine, and Thought Field Therapy.

This is my definition:
It’s one of the most successful things I tried very early on in my recovery from ME/CFS and which I still use regularly to this day. It helped me deal with deep seated issues as well as day to day stress, anxiety and general ill health.

EFT was founded by Gary Craig and is similar to acupuncture (but without the needles!). Basically you tap on meridian points throughout the body whilst vocalising on areas of concern, and this releases the blockages created throughout the body by these toxic thoughts. This then releases the hold these thoughts have over us and most importantly it breaks patterns associated with these thoughts. It’s like a counselling session but without having to open up to someone about your darkest and deepest thoughts. For it to work most affectively you take yourself back to the first time you had the issue or concern and tap about how this made you feel both physically and emotionally. It’s believed that if you can address the root cause of the concern then all the other times this has effected you since then in your life will be addressed in this session also. It is an extremely powerful tool and can release a lot of hurt, emotions, toxic thoughts and long standing beliefs about yourself and others. This not only has really positive physiological benefits but it helps all sorts of physical issues that have actually started due to these underlying thought patterns or at least made worse by them. It can help anything from back pain and weight loss to your love life and depression.

If you look EFT / Tapping up you might get confused by all the different types and styles of it. Please don’t be put off, it’s really simple and is really up to you how you do it. Some people start with the head, others at the place they call the karate chop. Some start with a set-up phrase, others don’t bother. And some even do eye rolls and individual finger tapping. They are all right, no one person’s way of tapping is better than anyone else’s; they are simply different people’s preferences. I personally suggest you keep it simple to start with and once you get the hang of it, you can add other bits if you wish.

So how do you do it?
1. Think about something that is bothering you, but be specific. I am emotional would not be detailed enough, you need to list the reasons why and how this is affecting you within your body and mind. Does is make you feel sick in the tummy, tight in your chest, tearful, drained, scared etc.
2. For the sake of this exercise, let’s name your issue “stress”. Rate the intensity of your stress level on a scale of 0-10 (10 being bad).
3. Next we put together a set-up phrase. The set-up phrase not only focuses the mind on your issue, but has a deeply healing affect itself as it’s like performing affirmations directly on our meridians. Here are some options for the set-up phrase you can use:

Even though I’m feeling ‘stressed’ I deeply and completely love and accept myself
Even though I’m feeling ‘stressed’ I love and accept my young self
Even though I’m feeling ‘stressed’ I’m ok anyway
Even though I’m feeling ‘stressed’ I can choose to be kinder to myself
Even though I’m feeling ‘stressed’ I can accept that this is just where I am right now
Even though I’m feeling ‘stressed’ I want to love and accept myself

Some people find picking the right set-up phrase difficult, as they do not feel very positive about themselves. If you’re one of these people then you can use one of the options further down the list, or make your own up, or not bother with the set-up phrase at all. Whichever way works for you is best.

I know it might seem strange focusing on the negative, as we are always being told it’s important to focus on the positive. But all you are really doing here is vocalising your negative thoughts that you are already having and haven’t already eliminated. You vocalise them to clear the blockages and then you finish your tapping routine on something positive that replaces the negative issue within you.

4. To perform the set-up, tap on the karate chop point (see below diagram) and repeat your chosen set-up phrase three times: Even though I’m feeling stressed, I deeply and completely love and accept myself.

EFT

5. Tap through all the points shown on the below diagram, tapping each around 10 times (starting with the top of the head and working down one side of your body only) while repeating reminder phrases (like below). Reminder phrases are all the ways this stress has made you feel both physically and emotionally. You could say things like:

This stress makes me feel sick to my tummy
This stress makes me feel tense across my shoulders
This stress makes me feel emotionally and physically drained
This stress makes me feel like there’s a dark black ball in my chest
This stress makes me feel like I want to cry all the time and I have no idea why
This stress makes so angry with everyone, I want to bite people’s heads off
It’s …… fault, they make me stressed, they….
This stress started when…..
This stress makes me feel so out of control

6. If other things pop into your mind whilst you are tapping that seem unrelated then tap on those also. More often than not you’ll be surprised what pops up and is actually related.

7. If you can remember the first time you felt this sort of stress then it’s important to tap on that time and all the thoughts and feelings around that time. This will help all the other times since, including the one you’re going through now.

EFT2

8. After a couple of rounds of tapping, you should pause, take three deep belly breathes and notice the effects. Then reassess the intensity level. Has the number changed? What is it now? If it has dropped then you’re on the right track. If it hasn’t then there’s something else you should be tapping on. What could that be? What’s REALLY upsetting you?

9. If it has dropped but is not down to zero then refocus on your issue and repeat the tapping process again. The second time around, we can change the wording as follows:

Setup phrase: “Even though I still have some of this stress, I ….”

10. Then say things like: “This remaining stress…makes me feel/hurts/is/etc” (adding in any new feelings both mental and physical about this issue).

11. After several more rounds of tapping you should find the intensity of the feelings reduced to zero. If you stop making progress then sit and think about what else could be affecting this issue (however small or irrelevant and tap on that as well).

12. Either way it is important to try to finish your tapping on a positive rather than a negative. So consider saying things like:

Even though I haven’t got to the bottom of this issue I am open to addressing it and know I will find a way to help myself.
I am open to healing both mentally and physically
I now let go of my attachments to these issues
These feelings do not serve me, I let go of them now
I thank my body and/or mind for protecting me, but they can let go of this pain now
Even though I find this issue to upsetting to deal with now, I know I am on the right track and I allow myself to be open and willing to heal

If you do have deep seated toxic thoughts I would recommend going to a practitioner (at least the first couple of times if nothing else) as they can help you get the most out of your tapping and help you find and fully address the root cause to your concerns.

EFT is also an amazing tool for dealing with day to day concerns. You can tap on the bus, in the dentist’s surgery, whilst waiting for a job interview or for helping you through a presentation or a date. It’s a wonderfully versatile tool. There are loads of different videos you can follow for free online if you want to see how it’s done. Just do a search for EFT or Tapping and then the type in the issue you want to address. You’ll see that there’s pretty much an online video for every issue you can think of. There are even some of my own. Just check out my You Tube channel for these.

I noticed a big shift in myself after only one session of EFT, so I decided to train in it.  I trained with EFT UK who were super trainers and who I highly recommend.  If you are in the Edinburgh area and what to learn more about this amazing technique then check out their website, here.  And if not then I hope this blog helps you with some happy tapping at home.

For those of you that already tap, what do you find it most useful for?

Here’s some other relevant pages:

Basic steps to your emotional free-from, click here.

The Tapping Solution, click here.

The energy therapy centre, click here.


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Raw Vegan Lemon & Blueberry Layered Cheesecake

Crust
1 cup pecans or macadamia nuts

1/2 cup walnuts

1/2 cup dates (pressed down)

1/4 cup desiccated coconut 

¼ tsp of Himalayan salt

 

Lemon Cheesecake layer

2 cups cashews (soaked for 2-4 hours and then drained)

3/4 cup lemon juice

2 tbs lemon zest (are unwaxed, organic lemons)

¼ cup of algave nectar or maple syrup

3/4 cup coconut oil

1 tbs vanilla extract

 

Blueberry layer

1 cup cashews (soaked for 2-4 hours and then drained)

1 cup blueberries

1/4 cup coconut oil

¼ of algave nectar or maple syrup

½ cup of fresh blueberries to serve

 

Directions

  1. Put all ingredients for the crust except for the dates in a food processor and blend until the ingredients are all crumbly.
  2. Now add the dates and blend well.
  3. Press into the mixture into the bottom of a cake tin and place in the freezer whilst preparing the other layers.
  4. Wash out the blender and then place all the lemon layer ingredients into your food processor and blend until fairly smooth.
  5. Pour the lemon layer ingredients over the crust layer in your freezer and then place in the freezer until the next layer is ready.
  6. Wash out the blender again and place all ingredients for the blueberry layer into the food processor and blend until smooth.
  7. Pour the blueberry layer on top of the lemon layer, add the remaining blueberries and pat down slightly and return to the freezer for a couple more hours.
  8. Place in the fridge for an hour or so before serving to soften enough to cut.

Note: If you want a small cake use a small cup throughout, if you want a larger cake use a larger cup. Don’t worry about exact measurements with recipes like this as they always taste delicious regardless.

 

Here’s some other raw cake recipes you might like:

Raw Strawberry Cheesecake, click here.

Double Chocolate Hemp Brownies, click here.

Thick Raw Lemon Bars, click here.

Raw Apple Pie, click here.

What’s your favourite raw cake or cake of any type for that matter?


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Sane New World – Taming the Mind

Last week I had the pleasure of attending Ruby Wax’s show Sane New World at this years Edinburgh Fringe Festival.  I wasn’t sure what to expect as I knew the show was to cover the topic of depression but I also hoped for some of Ruby’s sense of humour thrown in for good measure.  I wasn’t disappointed!  Ruby managed to have us all laughing together, meditating together and taught us all a thing or two about the mind by the end of this jam packed hour.

Ruby is obviously extremely passionate about the topic of depression, having suffered from it for many years herself.  She went back to University to find out more about the condition, the mind , and then went on to study Mindfulness as well.  She is extremely educated and knowledgeable  about depression and has been called ‘the poster girl for mental health’. 10525588_10152186221895946_5715601201667533319_n

I loved the fact that she had everyone laughing about this mental health concern, especially as many people still try to hide this illness and others still connect such a stigma to it.

The show got me thinking about my own history with depression and what had, and hadn’t helped me.  So I thought I’d put together this blog to share this with you.  Even if you have not suffered from depression you might find it helpful for helping those that do.

How not to support someone with depression:

  1. Please never ever say ‘chin-up’ or ‘pull yourself together’!  Not only does this not help, but it very likely the recipient of the comment might want to jump up and smack you in the mouth.
  2. Never suggest that they have nothing to be depressed about.  They already feel like no one understands, and this would just be the icing on the cake.  They don’t need to hear this.
  3. Don’t ignore your suspicion that someone you know is suffering from depression.  They will need someone to talk to, even if it’s only to make sure they don’t feel alone.
  4. Don’t judge them.  They are doing enough of that themselves.
  5. Tough love never works, it only serves to make them feel more crappy and more alone.
  6. Never laugh or make fun of their feelings or behaviour.
  7. If they open up to you, don’t trivialize what they tell you.
  8. Don’t think that just because they have a ‘good’ day that the depression has gone away and don’t bring to much attention to ‘how much better they seem’ until there appears to be a more permanent change.

 

How to support someone with depression:

  1. Simply listen.
  2. Check in on them regularly, even if it’s only a text or a short email to say hi.  Even if they are not ready to talk, they need to know they have people that actually care about them.
  3. Make yourself available to them if they wish to talk or just be around others.
  4. Encourage (but do not push) self-care practices.  By this I mean, pampering sessions, getting out in nature, getting creative, doing things they love, spending time with pets, taking time out just for themselves and eating well.
  5. Offer to cook a healthy meal or two for them.  Often depression is made worse by a poor level of nutrients in what we eat, which is made worse again when we feel too depressed to be bothered about what we eat.
  6. Try to understand that it’s likely they feel pretty crappy about themselves and their life, so support rather than badgering is advised.
  7. Encourage them to seek, if not from a doctor then from a therapist of some description.
  8. Let them know they are loved and cared for often.
  9. Understand that if the depression is bad, they may have trouble attending appointments or doing shopping etc.  Offering support in these circumstances will really help.
  10. Never let them think you have given up on them, even if you have to take a back seat for a while for your own sanity. Explain this to them.  Explain that you still care for them, and are there if they need you.
  11. If they are using alcohol, drugs or stimulants of any sort, it’s probably because this makes them feel better, albeit temporarily  This could be a slippery slope to addiction, so encourage them to seek help for their underlying depression before it gets any worse.
  12. Let them see how truly amazing you think they are.  Allow them to see how much of a good friend or family member they are to you.  The nature of depression means that often think they are not, and that you have to keep ‘putting up with them’.
  13. Understand that most pills, potions and treatments don’t work straight away, so give it time.  Remind them that treatments aren’t instant.  They may want to give up if things don’t work right away
  14. If they allow them self to be used or abused by others, don’t judge them, but understand this is because they don’t feel worthy of anything else.
  15. Help them to find things to laugh about and have fun with.

 

How I supported myself when I had depression: 

  1. I started to understand that nothing out there is going to fix what was in here.  I had to look inside if I wanted to be happy.10312541_10152548206865783_3052405886960298638_n
  2. Listing what I was grateful for each day rather than what I felt was rubbish about me and my life.
  3. Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) / Tapping.  This helped me deal with some deep seated stuff that was making me unhappy and also stopped me on many occasions for starting the depression cycle all over again.
  4. Mindfulness and meditation.  Learning to live in the now, rather than in the past or future helped a huge amount.  Meditating in general helped me as it gave my busy brain some down time, which then started to filter through to more of my daily tasks, meaning I wasn’t constantly running over the same stuff in my mind.
  5. I stopped trying to cover up how I was feeling and started talking and accepting that pretending I couldn’t hear my own internal voice was never going to fix things.
  6. I started to reduce toxins from my life, both inside and out (including reducing toxic skin and home products).
  7. I started eating a balanced and healthy diet (removing foods high on the GI index to help balance my adrenals and blood sugar levels).
  8. I dealt with food intolerances and looked at ways to improve gut health.
  9. I increased my consumption of all the B vitamins.
  10. I used Bach Flower Remedies to deal with some of my thoughts and feelings.
  11. I de-cluttered my life, which helped to de-clutter my mind.
  12. I learned to stop seeing my own worth it what other people thought of me (or what I think they thought of me).
  13. I stopped seeing my self worth in my processions or what I felt I should of achieved at this stage of my life.
  14. I learned to respect and forgive myself.
  15. I stopped watching so much TV, reading newspapers and deleted lots of repeat negative offenders from my social network pages.  Instead I decided to watch inspiring films and documentary’s, read all sorts of inspiring stories and surround myself with as many positive people as possible.
  16. I started to ask myself what I could learn from what I’d been through and how I felt and how I could help others in similar situations.
  17. Understanding that no one is perfect, but that we are all amazing begins in our own right.
  18. Eventually learning self-care and self-love.

 

Here’s some more depression tips:

9 Best Ways to Support Someone with Depression, click here.10606310_10152186221695946_1728456463488595068_n

Help a Friend with Depression, click here.

How to Help a Person with Depression, click here.

How to Help when Friends or Family are Depressed, click here.

The 10 Best and Worst Things to Say to Someone Suffering from Depression, click here.

What have you tried that’s helped your depression?

I’m now off to read my signed copy of Ruby’s book Sane New World – Taming the Mind!

For more information about Ruby Wax, her shows and her books please see her website – www.rubywax.net


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Delicious Raw Marinated Vegetable Salad

Here’s a great way to serve raw veggies for maximum nutrient and enzymes levels.  Enzymes are essential for good health and are lost when we cook our food.  The more raw food you consume the more enzymes and nutrients you will absorb from your food.  If you swap one of your daily cooked meals for a raw one or ensure part of each meal is raw then this will really benefit overall health.

Ingredients: 

1 large courgette

1 red pepper

1 yellow pepper

1 small red onion

5 or 6 mushrooms

2 tbsp of olive oil

2 tbsp of sesame seed oil

1 tsp of flaw seed oil (optional)

½ tsp of garlic granules (optional)

½ tsp mixed dried herbs (or herbs of your choice) or ½ cup of fresh chopped herbs

½ tsp dried seaweed flakes (optional)

Directions: 

  1. Slice all vegetables using either a spiraliser (on the widest setting), a mandolin, the slicing function on a food blender or slice thinly with a knife.
  2. Place all the ingredients into a bowl and mix well.DSC_2144
  3. Place in the fridge to marinade for at least 2 hours, but preferably over night.  Make sure to stir everything around a couple of times.
  4. Drain off any excess oil and serve as a side salad or as a main with avocado or eggs for the non vegan of you.

More Raw Salad Recipes:

26 Raw Vegan Salad Recipes, click here.

8 Raw Vegan Salads, click here.

The Best Salad Recipes, click here.

Healthy Vegan Salad Dressing, click here.

How do you like your veggies?


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Top Tips for Detoxing the Body

It’s really important when detoxing in any way to support the body as much as possible.  Failure to do this could mean you absorbing many of the toxins you have released during a detox back into the body again.  Quick-fix detoxes generally allow this to happen.  If your body couldn’t process these toxins the first time round, what makes you think that it will be able to the second time round when you release these along with  many other additional toxins whilst doing a detox?  As such supporting the body in anyway possible is essential.  This is especially so for the liver, lymphatic and digestive systems as these are fundamental to the permanent removal of toxins from you body.

Below is a list of my top 21 tips for doing so:

  1. Reduce the toxic load of your food.  Replace processed sugars and white foods (like bread, flour and rice) with wholemeal versions and stay clear of sweeteners, diet foods and drinks, as well as caffeine and alcohol.
  2. Reduce the use of toxins in your home and on your body.  Your body absorbs a lot of the toxins from its environment, so replace these with natural alternatives or make your own.
  3. Drink plenty of water (at least 2 – 3 litres every day and more if exercising).  Make sure you drink from a non-plastic, or at least BPA free plastic container.  This will help your lymphatic system eliminate toxins.  Preferably drink at least a litre of this as soon as you wake up and before doing anything else with you day.
  4. Exercise regularly.  This doesn’t need to be high impact – just a minimum of 20 minutes four times a week.  This helps the body sweat out toxins.
  5. Increase your intake of probiotic foods and drinks.  By this I mean fermented (not pickled) vegetables and drinks like kefir and kombucha as these are an amazing sources of many billions of different probiotics bacteria.  These will help the body eliminate toxins and balance good and bad bacteria and yeasts within the gut.  Failing this, then take a really good quality, multi-strain probiotic supplement instead (one with many billions of multi strain good bacteria in).
  6. Drinking herbal teas and using herbal remedies such as burdock, parsley, peppermint, turmeric, black walnut, elderberry, dandelion, nettle, liverwort, wormwood, charcoal and milk thistle all help the body to detox and support the liver through the detoxification process.  The more bitter, the better.
  7. Increase your consumption of magnesium rich foods (leafy greens, nut, seeds, beans, lentils, fish, avocados, figs, bananas and whole grains).  Try to also have as many Epsom salt baths as possible.  Epsom salts are high in magnesium and help to draw out toxins (as well as general aches and pains, so they are great after exercising etc) from the body.  Try to relax in the bath for a minimum of 20 minutes if you can as this will have an optimum affect.
  8. Consider regular massage, reflexology, saunas, steam rooms or any other detoxifying therapies. These therapies stimulate the lymphatic’s, helping them to eliminate toxins through sweating and other means.
  9. Take up body brushing.  You can either use a long handled brush or just your own hands and general brush your body in the direction of the chest.  Make sure, especially with women you brush up the sides of the breasts, where we store a lot of toxins (these may become tender once you start shifting toxins but keep going as that’s a good sign and they will clear up). This will also stimulate the lymphatics and remove blockages, helping them to work more effectively at removing toxins from the body.
  10. Don’t skip meals.  Eating regularly means the body works more effectively and when this happens you eliminate toxins better.  It also means that your blood sugar levels shouldn’t get so low that you feel the need to snack on something naughty!  And remember to include plenty colourful fruit, vegetables, seeds and nuts into your regular meals.
  11. Make sure you are having your having at least one bowel movement a day.  Bowel movements are one of the body’s main ways to remove toxins from it.  If you’re not having at least one bowel movement a day then you are likely holding on to a lot of the toxins from your food.  This will be mean you will be absorbing these toxins back into the body instead of them being removed from the body during normal bodily functions like this.  If your not having regular bowel movements then try eating more fibre, drinking more water and take up body brushing and rebounding.
  12. Daily rebounding (jumping on a mini trampoline), as this helps stimulate the lymphatic’s, which will help remove toxins from your system.
  13. Try not using antiperspirants.  These products impair the body’s ability to eliminate toxins in the normal way, through sweat. I know some people worry about body odour, so they still use antiperspirant products. If nothing else, try to cut them out at home to allow your body to sweat normally.  If the toxins can’t get out they will end up stored in the body.  There are a lot of great natural products on the market (my favourite is PitRock, a salt stone deodorant).  Once your body has eliminated the build-up of toxins and you have lowered your toxic intake you won’t need a deodorant as you won’t smell when you sweat, as the smell is toxins leaving the body.  That’s why people smell worse after a drinking session, a takeaway or when on medication.
  14. Get a minimum of eight hours sleep a night, out body’s do a lot of their detoxing work during our sleeping hours, so it’s important to give it the time to do this.
  15. When eating meat and dairy always try to opt for the organic versions of these so you will be absorbing less toxins through your food then.
  16. If you don’t understand the label then don’t eat it, strange words etc on labels more often than not means chemicals, so avoid eating these sorts of foods where possible as they will only add to your toxic load.
  17. Look into the symptoms of a yeast imbalance within the gut. It’s believed with the way we live our lives these days that up to 70% of us have this issue.  Whilst the bad yeasts grow and get out of balance within the body they produce toxins that the body has to try to eliminate (on top of all the other stuff).  This can make us feel pretty lousy.  It’s fairly simple to bring the good and bad yeasts back into balance with a change of diet, an introduction of some natural anti-fungal foods and increasing our consumption of fermented/probiotic foods and drinks (mentioned within a later chapter of this book).
  18. Breathe deeply, fully into the lungs, stomach and back and with purpose, as many times in the day as you remember. As mentioned in one of the previous chapters this will help the body remove toxins from the respiratory system and allow the rest of the body to get the energy and oxygen it requires to do its job effectively.
  19. Try to incorporate yoga, pilates, tai chi, qi-gong or meditation to your daily life.  These will help support and strengthen body and mind for detoxing and much more.
  20. Swap your normal fluoride toothpastes and mouthwashes for more natural non fluoride versions.  And consider having mercury filling removed by someone who specialises in this process.
  21. And last but by no means least, reduce your stress levels!  This leads to an over production of hormones like cortisol and adrenaline.  When this happens many of the normal functions of the body become impaired and this can mean that not only are you not eliminating toxins, but your also then storing these additional hormones.  Also when you’re stressed you tend not to eat well, exercise and generally look after yourself as you should.

 

Watch this space for: Top Tips for detoxing the Mind and Top Tips for Detoxing your Home.

Here’s some other detoxing pages you might be interested in:

25 Ways to Detox From Heavy Metals etc, click here.

10 Ways to Detoxifying the Body, click here.

28 Simple & Natural Ways to Detox your Body, click here.

Foods that will Naturally Detox you, click here.

How do you detox?