Let’s talk… Nutrition, Wellbeing and IBS with Madeleine Shaw

Madeleine Shaw is a qualified nutritional health coach from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition. She is multi-talented, inspirational and definitely a busy bee. When she isn’t cooking up creative cuisine she can be found blogging, or presenting. She is also a self-professed yoga enthusiast. Madeleine is committed to helping her clients (who include Millie Mackintosh and Caggie Dunlop) enliven the hottest, healthiest, happiest versions of themselves.

Through her website and consultations Madeleine helps to educate her clients in the appreciation and effects of eating wholesome, organic produce. She encourages them to work towards a better relationship with their bodies; boosts confidence, injects energy and helps to sculpt beautiful silhouettes. Madeleine hosts a monthly supper club that showcases all of her deliciously healthy recipes and is currently writing her first book, to be published in Spring 2015.

Meet Madeleine Shaw.

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How important is food to our health, mood and general wellbeing?

It’s everything, it fuels us for the day, it gives us energy it makes us happier. Food is one of the greatest pleasures in life!

What do you think differentiates the Australian approach to us Brits?

It’s all about lifestyle there, healthy eating isn’t a diet it’s just what they do every day, it’s amazing and much easier to maintain.

Maddy 4How has your own personal journey influenced your work?

It’s shaped everything. I’ve had so many ups and downs with my health and approach to life, I feel like it allows me to understand others and what they are going through. I am far from perfect and I feel like I’ve now realised that’s ok.

It motivates me to help others; it’s been a blessing in disguise.

How do you hope your work will help others?

Get people to stop dieting and starting eating proper food, to love themselves and to be happy!

Between 20-25% of the population report symptoms of IBS at some point in their lives, and women seem to present more commonly with IBS symptoms! What do you think the solution is to this growing problem?

Eating the right foods, reducing sugar and wheat, eating healthy fats, getting good bacteria in via fermented foods and probiotics, reduce stress, drink bone broth and do YOGA.

What does Holistic living mean to you?

Looking after your body from inside out, eat well, smile lots and love your body even on a bad day.

Maddy3What is your message to cynics, sceptics, and the intrigued?

No real message other than give it a go, you can’t knock it till you’ve tried it!

Finally, what are your top five tips for self-love?

  1. Positive affirmations – tell yourself how gorgeous you are
  2. Eat whole foods – no processed, packaged or refined foods please
  3. Surround yourself with good people, they will make you feel good and loved
  4. Don’t compare yourself – we are all different and amazing in our own ways
  5. Let go – no need to try and be perfect just be YOU

 Further Links

Quit Sugar – Could you?

Sarah Wilson is one of the many gorgeous ladies I have come across over the last 18 months who studied nutrition through the Institute of Integrated Nutrition. She surfs, rides a vintage one-speed bike and she lives to eat. Don’t you just love her already?

Sarah has done a whole bunch of cool stuff over the past 20 years, including writing the Australian and UK best-sellers I Quit Sugar and I Quit Sugar For Life. I Quit Sugar was released in the USA and Canada April 2014 and is a New York Times best seller. Sarah has also authored the best-selling series of ebooks from IQuitSugar.com. Her 8-Week Program has seen more than 300,000 people quit sugar. Fancy joining them?

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Why quit sugar?

Ask yourself the following:

  • Do you get an energy slump in the afternoon?
  • Do you need something sweet after lunch or dinner?
  • Does your stomach get bloated after eating?
  • Are you unable to eat just one piece of cake and walk away?
  • Are you “podgy” around the middle, perhaps even slim everywhere else?
  • Do you often feel unclear?
  • That you’re not always sharp and on-form?
  • Do you want to lose weight?
  • Do you have an autoimmune issue and wonder if quitting sugar might make a difference?

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But, what about the science stuff?

Just like tobacco over time the habit can be fatal however added sugar has become so pervasive within the food environment that we can’t avoid it even if we wanted to. Unlike fat and protein, refined sugars offer no nutritional value and, contrary to what the food industry want you to believe, the body does not require any carbohydrate from added sugar for energy. So, basically, sugar is absolutely pointless. But, it tastes so good, right? Sure. It also…

  • Makes us fatty puffs
  • Hurts our hearts, increasing the overall risk for heart disease
  • Erm, kills us
  • It’s bad for our brains, you may forget where you put the sugar before you even have a chance to give it up
  • Increases our risk of cancer
  • Gives us wrinkles, as it reacts with proteins in the body, leading to a range of health problems while accelerating the ageing process.
  • Increases our risk of diabetes
  • Disrupts our hormones
  • Zaps our vitamin and mineral stores

As we start to open our eyes to the scandal of sugar, how can we possibly turn our backs?

Interested in quitting sugar now?

Sarah’s next program starts end of September 2014.

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Further Links

Action For Happiness: What can you do?

Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions. ~ Dalai Lama

Around seven million people are afflicted by a mental health condition. But only 15 per cent of that total are being treated. Personal experience has taught me that sadly our UK NHS system can not be replied upon for mental health treatment and therefore has made me a firm believer in looking at all alternatives which cross my path. Whether you suffer from a mental health condition or not we all want to live happy and fulfilling lives and we want the people we love to be happy too. So happiness matters to all of us. While social context may indeed be an influencing factor, ultimately the key to happiness does indeed lie within each and everyone of us.

Happiness Facts

Happiness Facts

Pioneering economist Richard Layard has spent the best part of a decade arguing that we simply must find an answer to the question, how could we become a happier nation? Layard, along with Geoff Mulgan and Anthony Seldon, and their passion for creating a happier society, founded Action For Happiness in 2010. The aim is simple; to create more happiness in the world around us and less misery. Could you imagine if even half of us signed up to this? WOW.

What are their values?

  1. We can each affect our happiness and the happiness of those around us

There is a wide range of proven actions we can take to boost happiness, both for ourselves and others. Although partly determined by factors outside our control – such as our genes and circumstances – our happiness is significantly affected by the conscious choices we make and the way we choose to react to what happens to us. Happiness is also contagious, so when we feel good we help make others around us happier too.

  1. We need to prioritise the things that cause happiness

Positive relationships are the most important ‘external’ contributors to happiness. We need to put people first and do everything we can to create positive, loving and collaborative relationships in our families, organisations and communities. Good mental health is the most important ‘internal’ contributor to happiness. We need to take care of our emotional and psychological health as well as our physical health and give much greater support to those struggling with anxiety and depression.

  1. Helping others is essential for a happier society

Self-centred individualism is not the route to happiness. Helping others is of course good for their happiness, but it also makes us ourselves happier and healthier too. Giving connects us together, provides us with a sense of meaning and makes us more accepting of ourselves and others. It creates stronger communities and helps to build a happier society for everyone.

We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give. ~ Winston Churchill

Isn’t our happiness set in stone?

No. Although our genes influence about 50% of the variation in our personal happiness, our circumstances (like income and environment) affect only about 10%. As much as 40% is accounted for by our daily activities and the conscious choices we make. So the good news is that our actions really can make a difference. Hooray, what are you waiting for?

10 Keys to Happier Living

10 Keys to Happier Living

So, what next?

Ask yourself this:

  1. What do you do to help others?
  2. Who matters most to you?
  3. How do you stay active and healthy?
  4. When do you stop and take notice?
  5. What new things have you tried recently?
  6. What are your most important goals?
  7. How do you bounce back in tough times?
  8. What are you feeling good about?
  9. What is the real you like?
  10. What gives your life meaning?

How do I spread some happiness?

  1. At Work

Our happiness and work are related. Work can provide opportunities for many of the things that help to make us happy such as: connecting with others; learning and growing our skills; using our strengths; achieving our goals and finding meaning. Happy employees also help to make organisations more successful. Whether we are an employee or a line manager, there are things we can all do to help make our workplaces happier.

  1. Family and Friends

When it comes to happiness, our nearest and dearest really matter. Research shows people who have strong relationships with a partner, family or close friends are happier, healthier and live longer. And it works both ways – for us and for them too. Unfortunately we often take our closest relationships for granted. Maintaining them takes conscious attention and effort and there are things we can all do that make a difference.

  1. Local Community

Our happiness is intertwined with the wellbeing of our local community. Being connected in a community helps us feel like we belong and this has a big impact on our own happiness, that of our family, and the community as a whole. There are things all of us can do to improve community wellbeing, from getting to know our neighbours to supporting local activities and finding ways to help improve community facilities.

Take some action!

Are you ready to make the pledge?

I will try to create more happiness and less unhappiness in the world around me

Further Links

Are you getting some Headspace yet?

Andy Puddicombe is a meditation and mindfulness expert. An accomplished presenter and writer, Andy is the voice of all things Headspace. He’s done some pretty cool stuff around the world which culminated with him being ordained as a Tibetan Buddhist monk in Northern India. It gets better folks, on his way back home he decided to pit stop and brielfly train at the Moscow State Circus.

Andy is the now author of two books, now available in 25 countries and 10 languages. He has been featured widely in international press, appearing in Vogue, NYT, FT, Entrepreneur, Men’s Health and Esquire, to name but a few. He also makes regular appearances on TV and online, having been featured on BBC, Dr Oz, Netflix and TED. He is also the creator of Headspace.

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Our simple idea is to teach the world to meditate, so that everyone can live a happier, healthier, more enjoyable life.

Since the project launch in 2010 there are now events, books, and a comprehensive online resource AND mobile app service. Headspace is now used in over 150 countries, with the books translated into 12 different languages. AMAZING!

As you may already know regular mindfulness practice, through meditation, is an effective treatment for stress, worry, lack of focus, relationship problems, addictions and more. It leads to peace of mind and wellbeing, greater focus and creativity and better relationships. Everyone’s a winner! The problem is finding the time, right? Fret not, Andy and the gang have the answer.

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Headspace is like our very own personal trainer, here to help you train your mind. You can even fit them in your pocket with their free app. You can find some extra calm and clarity with their free Take 10 programme. For just 10 minutes a day you can listen to Headspace on the go on your mobile and tablet and download sessions to use offline, On your computer, you can play any session, any time. It’s great, I love it! You can browse their collections and pick sessions to suit your mood and lifestyle. Choose your session length, replay your favourites and learn how to apply mindfulness to your everyday activities. Brill!

Do we really need to switch off?

switch-offA survey of over 2,000 Brits found that 80% think “life’s moving too fast and that the number of things we have to do and worry about these days is a major cause of stress, unhappiness and illness”. Over 50% said they had “difficulty relaxing or switching off”, and that they couldn’t stop thinking about “things they’ve got to do”. ~ The Mental Health Foundation. (2010). The Mindfulness Report.

Do you want to be more creative?

In 2012, scientists from the University of Groningen and North Dakota State University tested the theory that mindfulness affects awareness and the filtering out of other mental processes during creative tasks. Studyingreduce-hero a large number of volunteers, the researchers found that mindfulness practice predicted and improved “insight” problem solving, which is “seeing” and solving problems in a novel way. This study was the first of its kind to document a direct link between mindfulness and creativity. ~ Ostafin, B. & Kassman, K. (2012). Stepping out of history: Mindfulness improves insight problem solving. Consciousness and Cognition. 21, 2. 1031 – 1036.

Are you unable to focus?

A 2012 US study examined how meditation training affected individuals’ behaviour in multitasking at work (if you’re an employer or an employee, this is well worth your attention). Researchers tested three groups: (1) how-you-wantthose who underwent an 8-week training course on mindfulness-based meditation, (2) those who endured a wait period, were tested, and then underwent the same 8-week training, and (3) those who had 8-weeks of training in body relaxation. The researchers found that, compared with the people who didn’t meditate, “those trained in meditation stayed on tasks longer and made fewer task switches, as well as reporting less negative feedback after task performance.” ~ Levy, D., Wobbrock, J., Kaszniak, A. & Ostergren, M. (2012). The Effects of Mindfulness Meditation Training on Multitasking in a High-Stress Information Environment. Proceedings of Graphics Interface. 45-52.

Do you worry a lot?

Numerous scientific studies have found meditation to be effective for treating anxiety. One group of US researchers looked at how mindfulness management-herohad helped with anxiety management across various types of people: from those suffering with cancer, to those with social anxiety disorders and eating issues. They examined 39 scientific studies, totalling 1,140 participants and discovered that the anxiety-reducing benefits from mindfulness might be enjoyed across such a wide range of conditions because when you learn mindfulness, you learn how to work with difficulties and stress in general. ~ Hofmann, S. G., Sawyer, A. T., Witt, A. A., & Oh, D. (2010). The effect of mindfulness-based therapy on anxiety and depression: A meta-analytic review. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology. 78, 2.169-183.

Do you want some help with your relationships?

A study at the University of Leuven, found that couples who meditated help-herodisplayed more mindful observation and more empathy toward each other. They were inclined towards more mindful description, acting with awareness, and non-judgmental acceptance. With those changes, couples were better able to identify and describe their feelings, more satisfied with their bodies, less anxious socially, and they were less likely to share any distress. ~ Dekeyser, M., Raes, F., Leijssen, M., Leysen, S. & Dewulf, D. (2008). Mindfulness skills and interpersonal behaviour. Personality and Individual Differences. 44, 5. 1235 – 1245.

Need more convincing?

Over a million users are already getting some Headspace. You can even buddy up with friends and motivate each other along the way! If you have more questions just pop over to the site to find out more. What are you waiting for?

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Perhaps the most “spiritual” thing any of us can do is simply to look through our own eyes, see with eyes of wholeness, and act with integrity and kindness. ~ Jon Kabat-Zinn, Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life

Further Links:

Broken Light Collective ~ the online photography gallery for people affected by mental illness

Don’t you just love it when you stumble upon an absolute gem on the interweb?

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Danielle Hark has been affected by mental health challenges, both herself and with loved ones, she has made it her mission to empower as many other people who are struggling as possible, especially through the use of photography and creativity.

Danielle created Broken Light Collective in March of 2012 when she was going through a severe depressive episode. With support 23 a Alston_waterbabyy_72144121__144121and encouragement she found that when she began photographing again it was a powerful tool, both personally and therapeutically. As many of us know sometimes getting out of bed and engaging with the world seems impossible. For Danielle the Collective gave her purpose and inspiration to spread the Light.

Supported by volunteers and mental health professionals Broken Light’s main goal is to create a safe and accepting environment where photographers of all levels who are affected by mental health issues can display their work, as well as inspire one another to keep going and keep creating, despite the dark or scary places in which they may find themselves. Their first LIVE gallery exhibit is running at the non-profit Fountain Gallery in NYC from June 26th – August 13.

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The photographic mélange of images in this show represents a variety of mental states as well as photographic genres including self-portrait, nature, abstract, street photography and more. In these images we observe dark and light, suffering and hope. We see things that are broken or abandoned, but we also find life emerging from the rubble. We see people in pain as well as those finding light at the end of the tunnel. As an artist with mental illness and a mental health advocate, I am honored to be curating this exhibit for Fountain Gallery. ~ Danielle Hark

 

23 Hark_A00001_023a_72From Darkness to Light represents a cross section of the Broken Light Collective online gallery in terms of style, location, age, and mental health and developmental challenges. The 36 photographers from around the globe who are featured in the show have been affected by conditions including depression and anxiety, bipolar disorder, PTSD, OCD, addiction, and autism.

From Darkness to Light  June 26 – August 13

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Broken Light Collective Website

Broken Light Collective Facebook

Broken Light Collective Twitter

Donate

Fountain Gallery

02 Ninth Avenue at 48th Street

NYC 10019

212.262.2756

Hours: Tues.-Sat. 11-7; Sun. 1-5

More than a gallery. A movement.

Danielle Hark Website

Danielle Hark Twitter

Huffington Post: Coming Out of the Bipolar Closet by Danielle Hark