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  • Weight Loss Hacks

    As we emerge out of the dark wintery months and into the lighter days of spring, we may find our focus is coming back to our diet and how we look and feel being at its optimum. It’s been a slightly challenging last year where many of us have found comfort in the arms of banana bread. We soothed our souls through comforting food and possibly drunk a lot more wine than we would have previously done. Anyone who has been involved in home schooling knows that the time to have a drink has got earlier and never felt more needed. As a weight loss -coach I work with people to achieve their weight loss goals. You’ve likely landed here for the same reasons. Do you have a few pounds or a couple of dress sizes to shift? The diet industry is vast and the type of diet you choose will vary from person to person. From Weight Watchers to the 5:2 fasting diet, each one bringing its own merits. But whichever diet you choose ( I can help you achieve weight loss though eating a balanced diet but more on that later) there are some useful pointers that will help you have a successful weight loss journey. I’ve put together some useful tips to help you along the way: Preparation When I embark on a diet, I like to spend a little time getting into the right mindset and preparing for the beginning of the start date. The week before you start, write a food diary or journal and record everything you eat and drink. It’ll help you identify where you need to make changes and act as a reminder of your habits as you go through your diet. Note the times, where you eat, your mood to highlight what you are eating when you are feeling fed up. Are you having TV dinners? Are you eating late at night? For the record we tend to munch down on high carb comfort food when we’re fed up or feeling low and we tend to eat quicker and snack more if we eat whilst watching TV. Eating late at night can increase your blood sugar levels and affect your sleep which can affect your memory and efficiency the next day. It is a good idea to carry on your food journal as you progress with your diet to help Keep you on track. Make it a mission and it will give you a real sense of achievement. · Get rid of unhealthy foods – It’s time to sort out the cupboards! In the lead up to a diet it’s always good to get rid of temptation. Donate those cakes, biscuits and crisps to willing neighbours or dare I say it, throw it away. Then have your healthy foods at hand so they are easy to get to. When on your diet · Drink more water during your diet to keep you hydrated and to stay healthy. Aim for 8 glasses a day. Water is not only good for hydration it helps you to lose weight too. Water has 0 calories and helps you to feel full. So often when we’re getting hunger pangs it's our body telling us it's thirsty. By drinking a glass of water before a meal, you will feel fuller and eat less too. Drinking water instead of sugary drinks or even sugar free drinks will retrain your body and tastebuds to enjoy less sugar, so you’ll crave fewer sweet treats and empty carbs. If you need help getting started drinking more water, try to drink a glass of water before each drink, each time you have a drink during the day. You could also try adding natural flavours to your water, like lemon juice, mint or fresh fruit slices. · Practice good sleep patterns. Weight loss hacks are not just about food and calories. They are about rest too. Rest and sleep are just as important for how your body functions and what your body craves. When you sleep you have more energy during the day, so your body craves fewer empty carbs and sugar to give you more energy. Have you noticed that all you want is sweets and pastries when you're super tired? Ways to improve your sleeping habits: o Turn off the TV and any electronics at least an hour before going to bed. o Have a relaxing bath, read a book, meditate, do yoga before going to bed to help you get a good night’s sleep o Stop drinking caffeine after 6pm o Start an exercise routine The more regular and good sleep you get, the happier your body will be. Making it Easier to get and stay healthy. · Cook your own meals. A great way to kick start weight loss and healthy eating is to cook your own food. Cooking your food from scratch will give you full control over the quality of ingredients, portions and calories that you put in your body. It’s the first step to taking control of your food. Eating pre -packed foods that are made to be kept on the shelves don’t nourish your body. · Meal Plan. This is hugely important when it comes to successful dieting. Setting out your meals for a week ahead of time not only means you won’t only have loads of tempting foods around, but it’ll also be kind to your pocket. You buy only what you need. It’ll help you stick to your plan and you get to be in control of the recipes and what you eat. · Keep healthy foods close. If you’re going to snack, then make it healthy and have them close to hand. Snacks get a bad name in dieting because we often reach for overly processed, sugar high, salt high and fat high snacks. Lots of flavour but lots of calories too. Go for low sugar alternatives like nuts, dried fruits, fresh fruits, beef jerky, dark chocolate, high protein foods like cottage cheese and boiled eggs and full fat Greek yoghurt. Do be careful of portion size here though as foods like nuts contain fat, its beneficial fat but too much still racks up the calories. · Learn portion control. Portion sizes are getting larger and larger despite the need to eat less. Restaurants and takeaway portions are way too big. One portion can easily exceed your calorie needs for an entire day. It’s all about understanding what you need and eating just that. Do the full test. If you eat slowly and mindfully learn to recognise when you are ‘full’. Although we have been raised to ‘finish your plate’ if we eat more than our body needs, the food will be stored as extra fat. · Spice things up. If you want to make your new healthy lifestyle interesting and wanting you coming back for more then add some spice or flavour to your food. Many people on a diet produce bland and boring food. I know I won’t stick to a diet if my food doesn’t taste interesting. Add spices, homemade sauces and marinades to really spice things up. Add things like sea salt, ground black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, dried herbs, cayenne pepper, cinnamon, ground ginger and coconut sugar · Learn to spot sugar. Identifying the sugar amount and sources in your food is essential to getting healthy. Contrary to what you may think sugar is not just found in desserts, soft drinks and sweet foods. Sugar is everywhere, in canned food, in junk food in bread and even in many snacks that are advertised as healthy. To identify the sugar, make sure you read the label on everything and stay away from anything that has added sugar. One way to recognise sugar in food labels is by the ‘ose’ suffix. Sucrose, maltose, fructose, galactose, high fructose corn syrup is sugar just under a different name. · To reduce sugar intake: o Drink water instead of sugar filled drinks o Homemade sauces instead of canned sauces with lots of sugar o Identify the names of sugar o Use healthier alternatives for sweeteners like coconut sugars and raw honey o Avoid artificial sweeteners Remember if you see brown sugar, fruit juice, malt syrup or organic cane juice they are still refined sugar no matter how lovely they sound. · Use your blender. One fantastic and simple way to get your vitamins and minerals in is to make juices or smoothies. Simply place your chosen ingredients into the machine and press start. It’s a great way to start the day and to really combine a lot of goodness that are low calorie, natural and tasty. And finally….forgive yourself. If you slip off the diet wagon don’t give yourself a hard time. It’s usually a matter of not if but when. We’re human right. Forgive yourself, dust yourself off and go again. Happy dieting folks Louisa x

  • Eating for Anxiety

    Around about a year ago I walked into a date with all of the enthusiasm of a woman looking forward to a lovely lunch with an equally lovely sounding guy. We’d been chatting for a while and had decided to meet up in London as I happened to be there for a course I was attending. The conversation was engaged, quick witted and fun. We talked about mental health ( oh the irony, it would turn out) as he was a composer writing music for a new mental health app. Everything was going just fine. Little did I realise that things were about to take a different turn. About half -way in I started to experience an intense heat. Overheating and starting to sweat. My hearing started to morph from crystal clear to the sensation of being under water. I could barely hear what my date was saying. It was when my heart started pounding and feeling like it was about to burst out of my chest that it became clear to me that I was suffering from severe panic or what we know as a panic attack. I made my excuses and gingerly made my way to the restrooms to try and slow down my breathing which by this point had cottoned on to the complete mayhem going on in my body. My date was a perfect gentleman and walked me along the Thames to help me calm down, but the sheer embarrassment of the occasion meant that date 2 never materialised. However, over the next few weeks I carried on with my newly formed business, rushing from job to job as a massage therapist, writing talks and generally not knowing when to put the laptop away. What I had missed with my experience that day in London was that my body was warning me to slow down. In 72 hours, I had left a paid job to start on my own in the form of complete self- employment, driven to London to do a full days training in seated chair massage, got completely lost on the North circular stressed to the eyeballs trying to find Richmond and then engaged in a two-hour date with a relative stranger. This was a warning sign that, like most of us do, I choose to ignore. If I’d been listening more closely to my body, I may well have avoided the level of anxiety I started to experience in the coming months. I’m happy to report that my experience with severe anxiety is now under control. I can finally breathe again. But It did get me wanting to learn more about how to prevent or control anxiety. I realised that by making a variety of lifestyle changes you can really help manage anxiety. Anxiety is a widespread condition affecting millions of people all over the world, symptoms vary, and some people only experience it now and again but if your one of the unlucky ones who has prolonged anxiety of over 6 months then you may be diagnosed with Generalised Anxiety Disorder or GAD. The symptoms of GAD include phycological and physical symptoms such as fear, tension, excessive worry about everyday events and problems, irritability, difficulty concentrating, issues with relationships (personal, social and work) heart palpitations and elevated heart rate, muscle tension and chest tightness. Anxiety has been on the rise since the global pandemic has struck with the uncertainty of job security, the fear and reality of becoming ill and the grief of losing loved ones. Treatments include talking therapies like CBT ( Cognitive behavioural therapies) and medication can help be it chemical or natural. Being a nutrition coach, I have become increasingly interested in the role of certain foods for managing anxiety and the following are must haves to be included in your diet to help prevent or manage anxiety. Eating a diet high in vegetables, fruit, legumes, whole grains and lean protein can help.Research suggests that proper nutrition can help improve symptoms. Foods that help anxiety Brazil Nuts – the humble brazil nut comes high in something called Selenium. It is thought that selenium may improve the mood by reducing inflammation which is often heightened when someone has a mood disorder like anxiety or depression. Selenium is also an antioxidant which helps prevent cell damage. It is also anti-carcinogenic which helps to prevent cancer from developing. Other nuts, animal products and vegetables such as mushrooms and soybeans are an excellent source of selenium. Enjoy just 3 -4 brazil nuts daily being careful not to take in too much selenium as this has been seen to cause some side effects. Brazil Nuts and other nuts are also a good source of vitamin E. Vitamin E is an antioxidant. Antioxidants can be beneficial for treating anxiety. Recipe: Fatty Fish – Foods such as salmon, mackerel, sardines, trout and herring are high in Omega 3. Omega 3 is a fatty acid that has a strong relationship with cognitive function as well as mental health. Omega 3 rich foods that contain Alpha-Linolenic Acid (ALA) provides two essential fatty acids EPA and DHA. Both of these regulate neurotransmitters, reduce inflammation and promote healthy brain function. Current recommendations suggest eating at least two servings a week. Salmon and sardines are also an excellent source of vitamin D. Researchers are increasingly linking vitamin D deficiency to mood disorders such as anxiety and depression. Recipe: Eggs – Egg yolks are another great source of vitamin D and also an excellent source of protein. It is a complete protein meaning it contains all of the essential amino acids that the body need for growth and development. Eggs also contain Tryptophan which is an amino acid that helps create serotonin. Serotonin is a chemical neurotransmitter that helps to regulate mood, sleep, memory and behaviour. Serotonin is also thought to improve brain function and relieve anxiety. Recipe: Pumpkin Seeds – Pumpkin seeds are an excellent source of Potassium which helps regulate electrolyte balance and manages blood pressure. Eating potassium rich foods such as pumpkin seeds and bananas may help reduce symptoms of stress and anxiety. Pumpkin seeds are also enriched with zinc. A recent study found that zinc deficiency may negatively affect mood. Zinc is essential for brain and nerve development. The largest stress sites of zinc in the body are in the brain regions involved with emotions. Recipe: Dark Chocolate – Studies have generally found that dark chocolate or cocoa may improve mood. It is a rich source of Polyphenols especially flavonoids. One study has suggested that flavonoids might reduce neuroinflammation and cell death in the brain as well as improve blood flow. Chocolate has a high tryptophan content which the body uses to turn into mood enhancing neurotransmitters such as serotonin in the brain. Dark chocolate is also a good source of magnesium. Eating a diet with enough magnesium in it or taking supplements may reduce symptoms of depression. When choosing dark chocolate aim for 70% or higher. Recipe: Turmeric – Is a spice commonly used in Indian and South East Asian cooking. The active ingredient in turmeric is curcumin. Curcumin may help lower anxiety by reducing inflammation and oxidising stress that often increase in people experiencing mood disorders such as anxiety and depression. Turmeric is easy to add to meals. It has minimal flavour, so goes well in smoothies, curries and casserole dishes. Recipe: Chamomile – Commonly used herbal remedy because of its anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and relaxant properties. Some people believe that the relaxant properties and anti-anxiety properties come from flavonoids present in chamomile. Chamomile tea may be useful in managing anxiety. It is readily available and safe to use in high doses. Recipe: Yoghurt – yoghurt contains healthy bacteria. There is emerging evidence that the bacteria and fermented products have positive effects on brain health. According to recent clinical review, yoghurt and other dairy products may produce anti-inflammatory effects in the body. Including yoghurt and other fermented food in the diet can benefit the natural gut bacteria and may reduce anxiety and stress. Fermented foods include cheese, sauerkraut and kimchi. Recipe: Green Tea – Green tea contains an amino acid called theanine which is receiving increasing scrutiny due to its potential effects on mood disorders. Theanine has anti-anxiety and calming effects and may increase the production of serotonin and dopamine. It has been found that 200mg of theanine improved self- reported relaxation and calmness while reducing tension in human trials. Green tea is easy to add to the daily diet and is a good replacement for soft drinks, coffee and alcoholic beverages. Recipe: So, I hope you’ve enjoyed this blog and that you go ahead and include these particular foods into your diets. Your mind and body may thank you. As for the dating…there’s always 2021 to look forward too! Love Louisa

  • Dry Body Brushing - A detox for the skin

    When it comes to our Immune System and keeping it healthy, we generally look at ways to fix our diet through eating more of certain foods. All well and good. However, there is a rather large part of our bodies that is often left out of the equation. Did you know that our skin is our largest organ and one third of the toxins in our systems are excreted through it. By dry brushing the skin regularly you can really boost your immune system whilst giving your skin a glow, improve your circulation and reduce cellulite. What’s not to like quite frankly. Dry brushing ( brushing the skin with a brush that has natural bristles) is an age- old practice that has grown in popularity again in recent years. It’s become an essential inclusion into any beauty regime whilst offering Immune System boosting benefits too. More specifically, dry body brushing stimulates the Lymphatic System which is a network of lymph vessels connecting the lymph nodes. Lymph nodes filter the foreign bodies or nasties that we don’t want hanging around in our systems and help towards the overall detoxification process further down the line. This along with the benefits of soft skin ( when combined with moisturising) and smoother looking skin are enough reason to include this practice into your self-care routine. How to Dry Brush the skin Dry Brush before you shower or bathe. The general rule of thumb is to use your dry brush to brush skin in long vertical motions upwards towards the next section. Circle around the joints ( ankles, knees and hips) in a clockwise motion. For each area repeat motion 4-5 times. To break the routine down into sections, move brush from bottom to top or towards the direction of the heart. From feet to ankles, from ankles to knees and knees to hips. Be gentle around sensitive parts of the body. The brushing motion should be firm but not uncomfortable. At the arms start with the hands and use long vertical motions towards your elbows, circling around the elbow and then the upper arm towards the shoulder. Next, shower or bathe in warm water and thoroughly clean the skin. A good thing to do if in the shower is to turn the water to a ‘bearable’ cold temperature. This will close the pores. If you are really brave, then you could practice the Wim Hoff* style of cold-water showering. Pat skin with towel to dry Finish with applying your skin moisturiser all over. Here I like to use a luxurious body oil* , which helps to make the experience truly nourishing and Spa like. Wear floaty cotton clothes and waft around the house. You will feel amazing. People and Products: – follow Wim to learn how to shower in cold temperatures to further boost your skins circulation. – for the most luxurious body lotions and body oil. Local, Vegan, Organic and simple luxury. – Body lotions for sensitive and dry skins. Covers all skin types. – See Ithyes Dry Body brush - £6.85 or Myltp Bath Body Brush with Natural fibres - £6.85 Happy brushing! For now Louisa x

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  • Holistic Therapist Louisa Cox

    Bach Foundation Registered Practitioner Nutrition Coach Holistic Therapist My true calling and passion lie in helping people feel better within themselves. Many variants come into play in our daily life that can knock us off balance and play havoc with our emotions. I am genuinely honoured to be able to offer ways that bring peace of mind and facilitate change through healing, that benefit the mind and in turn the body. We evolve very quickly to understand the physical body. We experience physical pains, bumps and bruises as soon as we take our first steps and automatically know to visit the medicine cabinet, doctors or even the hospital. Of course, there are many ways that help with the struggling mind and associated emotions. In my experience there were no cures teaching me how to heal or to give proper space to these things but rather a ‘stiff upper lip’ approach of yesteryear. All About Louisa Cox I have experienced big shifts and results using the Bach Flower Remedies for both myself and my clients. As a Registered Practitioner with the Bach Centre I work with you to identify rising emotions and you will experience the benefits that these flower remedies provide. Whilst working with clients who were following my nutrition coaching programmes, I noticed that the biggest obstacles and challenges they faced were linked to their thought processes and beliefs around food. Their ability to stay focused and to achieve set goals are often made harder by a conflicting mix of emotions, doubts and external influences. I integrated the Bach Flowers into these programmes to greater effect. ​ My journey into healing therapies started over 25 years ago with the introduction of Reiki from a friend which provided such beneficial results to my mental and physical wellbeing that I was inspired to train in this healing art. Massage therapy flowed naturally from here and I have been offering this to individuals, groups within the workplace and hotel environments. Call 07500537231 Email Follow Bach Flower Remedies 1 hr Book Now Bach Flower Remedies Followup 45 min Book Now Reiki 1 hr 60 British pounds £60 Book Now Full Body Massage 1 hr 60 British pounds £60 Book Now Indian Head Massage 30 min 30 British pounds £30 Book Now Back, neck and shoulder massage 45 min 45 British pounds £45 Book Now

  • Nutrition Coaching and Weight Loss with the Bach Flower Remedies | Louisa Cox

    Nutrition Coaching and Weight Loss with the Bach Flower Remedies If you’re reading this, I’m guessing that you’ve tried lots of diets and lost weight, just to put it back on again a few months later. It’s a frustrating cycle of ‘ups and downs’ both physically and emotionally. LEARN MORE Do you believe that you can change your eating habits and patterns for good, lose weight and sustain it rather than fluctuate up and down for the rest of your life? ​ I’ve been there too, but it’s in recent years that the memories of ‘a little bit of everything does you good’ and ‘everything in moderation’, (my Grandmothers generational food mantra) reminded me that if we know what our bodies need to sustain health and fuel and don’t overload the system we can happily enjoy all food groups and maintain our healthy weight. Whilst Granny may have been saying this as she was enjoying a little slice of chocolate cake and this isn’t a green light ... (especially not at the beginning of a weight loss programme) this attitude of balance and feeling good about what we eat, mixed with good feeling thoughts and regular exercise are a sure start to feel, and therefore look our best. Submit Thanks for submitting! For more information on the different programmes and prices please contact Louisa Cox I have always had an interest in food from a nutritional point of view which goes back to domestic science classes at school where the focus was very much on nutrition and have spent the last decade meal planning and cooking from fresh, pretty much most of the time. Consequently, I’ve adopted some great habits around food which have just become part of my lifestyle. ​ My approach to nutritional coaching and weight loss involves a practical exploration of your existing eating patterns, food choices and lifestyle habits. Whether you choose the’ Back to Nutrition’ or ‘Change for Good’ programme there is an extra element to my approach that will help keep you focused and with a clear mind. ​ As we engage in changing set in patterns and habits, we often experience resistance and our emotional world can be challenged making the whole process harder. For this reason, I use the simple and natural Bach Flower Remedies to run alongside each programme. The Bach Flower Remedies will gently bring you back to balance and equilibrium will be restored. These programmes look after both your body and your mind. Bach Flower Remedies The Bach Flower remedies were discovered by Dr Bach in the 1930’s. He recognised 38 different emotions that are as relevant today as they were then. Whilst most people will have heard of, and likely taken the Rescue Remedy (which is a blend of 5 of the single remedies) there is a complete system that works with any type of emotion that you may be dealing with. These flower remedies are simple tinctures that are immersed in water and either boiled or left to distil in the sunlight. (The only exception to the flowers is the remedy rock water which is collected from an unspoilt spring in Wales) For more detailed information and to learn more about the remedies follow

  • Deep Tissue Massage in Woodstock with Louisa Cox

    Deep Tissue Massage Are you experiencing painful and stiff ‘trouble spots’ in your body? ​ If so, this is the massage for you. Deep tissue massage makes use of slow, deliberate strokes that focus pressure on layers of muscles, tendons and fascia (the connective tissue surrounding muscles) Deep tissue massage is known to relieve stress, reduces pain, lower blood pressure and the techniques used can break up scar tissue and physically break down ‘knots’ or adhesions ( bands of painful rigid tissue that can disrupt circulation and cause pain, limited range of motion and inflammation) The list of benefits is endless and include rehabilitation of injured muscles and the reduction of arthritis symptoms. If you suffer from any of the following, then deep tissue massage is for you - Low back pain - Limited mobility - Repetitive strain injury ( such as carpal tunnel syndrome) - Postural problems - Sciatica - Fibromyalgia - Upper back and neck pain Nothing to book right now. Check back soon.

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