Christmas lights are being hung, nuts are cracking, fruits are dehydrating and the smell of cinnamon is wafting from various warm brews. It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!
I have always found this time of year to be very interesting; as collectively in western cultures people stop from their usual routine and take the time time out. Activities are mainly focused on spending time with colleagues, friends, family and loved ones. The way we choose to approach this holiday season, is very personal and is largely influenced by religion, culture, your own childhood experiences of Christmas, your family traditions and life events (both difficult and uplifting). What I have learnt from my observations and interactions with others is is that it’s very personal, emotive and no matter which stance you have on it, there is some level of significance of the holiday season on your mental, emotional and physical health. I'm inviting you to nourish and nurture each of these aspects of yourself during the holiday season.
Whether you have decided to leave the island to spend time with loved ones, to remain on your homeland to celebrate with your friends, family or chosen family. In and amongst the gift exchanges, celebratory meals and opportunities to connect, I hope that you are able to show your body and mind the kind of self-care you know it deserves. Remembering that sometimes we just can’t do it all, buy it all or be at all the events. There may be times when you feel you would rather stay in and hug a mug of herbal tea, or go for a long walk in nature or sit out from a night of drinks and dinner, simply just staying at home. That’s okay, if going & doing is likely to tip you into feeling a little run down, off sorts or has a significant impact on your self-care routine, then I suggest that you also use the opportunity to politely decline. Equally a part of your self-care may be to connect with others and to stave off feelings of being lonely. Whatever you are called to do ask your heart what it wants and listen to your gut instinct, because being honest with what we need is a practice and an important part of your self-care.
I’ve compiled a short list of suggestions for self-care during the holiday season. I hope you feel called to the list when you need it or pick up something new for you:
As a part of my own self-care I will be returning to South Africa, to visit my father and extended paternal and maternal family over the Christmas period. This isn’t my usual Christmas tradition, as I am usually with my siblings and immediate maternal family in the UK. But for a change I will be returning to some of my formative childhood Christmas traditions; slurping on juicy mangoes, dipping my toes in the sand on the beach on Christmas day and making some more lasting family memories. I’m taking the time for myself & my family. Rest-assured I will be keeping up my daily self-care practices because thankfully I can take these with me wherever I go.
What’s on the horizon:
For 2020 I have decided to deliver gut health and self-care workshops. Using this as an opportunity to share information, tips and to provide clients with a space to establish their intentions for their self-care and gut health (as seperate and interlinked practices).
I would love to hear from you about gut health and self-care.
Is there anything in particular you would like support with in relation to self-care and or gut health? Do you have any major obstacles to either of these?
What do you think of as self-care?
What challenges do you have when it comes to self-care?
How often do you think you should focus on your self-care?
Would you like more opportunities/space/methods to establish self-care in your life?
Please send me your questions/comments/requests via email as this would be useful.
I wish you a wonderful festive season and a happy new year! I know for some this time of year can be difficult and I ask you to call on your support network at these times. Remembering to also find the time for your self-care amongst all the festivities, as this is absolutely priceless.
I’m not sure about you but I thoroughly enjoyed the summer, spending time in nature, swimming in the sea and visitors from all over the globe. On more than one occasion I engaged in some over indulgences. I am only human. I am not really one for being out till the small hours of the morning but I have had sight of more club billboards, and been informed of many of the infamous weddings on the island or the traditional Maltese barbecues; and I have inevitably been enticed by different flavours and foods at various social occasions. It appears the island had a certain summer socialising bustle to it. There is a healthy power of connection that we feel when we engage in social occasions and it is important that we are able to still enjoy socialising without berating ourselves afterwards. Its healthier for overindulgences of one day to not lead to a 3 day binge, because you think ‘whats the point?’. Jump back in and return to your healthy eating.
Perhaps a more nutritionally rewarding and less taxing approach would be to engage in a juice and smoothie fast to bounce back to feeling healthier. Ballentine (2005) considers an ideal fast would be a juice fast, where you use fresh, organic fruits and vegetables. As this provides you with the full spectrum of nutrients and gives your digestive system time to rest. You may have heard of the term ‘cleanse’ used, and this can be particularly useful as we approach a change of season, when we allow our digestive system time to reset and recalibrate before the onset of a new season. By including smoothies within your cleanse you will still be receiving the fibre from your fruits and vegetables. The juice cleanse, which has gained popularity over the last few years, and is particularly supported through health juice detox retreats.
It wouldn’t be right to mention juice cleansing and specialist retreats without paying homage to the Gerson Therapy which utilises juice cleansing and coffee enemas as an alternative to cancer treatment. This is however an approach which is delivered by highly trained professionals, with a combination of a range of other complementary treatments and should not be carried out without professional guidance & support if you have a chronic illness. Whats clear is the link between good gut functioning and overall health, something you may recall yourself from how you felt post colonic treatment. As you may well know despite whether you pass stools on a daily basis or are one of the super regular and eliminate stools 2-3 times a day, you aren’t able to completely cleanse your colon through natural elimination.
Walker (1995) has seen incredible benefits of colon cleansing through colonic hydrotherapy and wrote on the importance of colon cleaning and the impact of poor food choices. “Instead of furnishing nourishment to the nerves, muscles, cells and tissues of the walls of the colon, such foods can actually cause starvation of the colon. A starved colon may let a lot of faecal matter pass through it, but it is unable to carry on the last of the digestive and nourishing processes and functions intended for it.” Some of my clients who eliminate frequently and have a very healthy diets & lifestyles are astounded by the amount that is eliminated in their treatment.
Your digestive system has a remarkable amount of work it needs to do; when you are awake it assimilates & utilises fuel for your day and when you are asleep to help restore your body. It also plays a significant role in helping your body to detox and works closely with your liver and gallbladder and systemically with your entire body on a molecular cellular level. Your liver lives off and stores glucose (Williams, 2018). Therefore ensuring you have fructose and glucose thru fruits & vegetables will allow your liver to be supported in a juicing process.
The benefits of a juice cleanse are much the same as the benefits of colonic hydrotherapy, both can help with the following;
During one of your colonic hydrotherapy treatments you may have perplexedly asked me “how did you get into this career?”. I am sure I would have rambled on about my journey from cruise ships in the USA, a return to the UK for my colonic hydrotherapy training and then had another life changing move to Malta. I see great synchronicity in many events in life and I continue to remain open to where my path takes me; we all have such unique life journeys of bravery and self-discovery. Nonetheless my experience as a Colonic Hydrotherapist includes working on a health detox retreat, where the majority of the clients were juice fasting. The clients I saw in the colonic hydrotherapy suite obtained remarkable results from their colonic treatments and these were by far some of the best results I have seen. Outside of the retreat I have met clients who have done a juice fast, with good results and a handful of few clients who chose to do a water fast over a number of days, for either spiritual or their own health reasons. The results from the treatments for those who did a water fast were not as as effective, likely due to a lack of fibre and whilst this their digestive system had a break, their body goes into starvation mode and this can be very tough on the rest of their vital organs. [I know that people have their own motivations for doing this, be it spiritual or for health but its an observation from my treatments].
Now we might not all be able to afford a regular juice detox retreat holiday, or we may not have the time within our current set-up but I have partnered with Nude Juices, a Malta based juicing company which provides juices direct to your door, at your convenience. In this helpful collaboration Nude Juices have offered to provide a 3 day juicing cleanse (8x 250ml juices) per day for €75 and you can receive the benefits of a colonic treatment for €80 (saving of €10 per treatment). The ingredients are sourced from organic farms and are free from GMO’s, which is highly important when juicing. Enjoy the benefits of both to reset your digestive system, promote regularity and aid your detoxification processes till the19th October 2019. Its the small daily habits of self-care, nutritious meals, exercise and honouring the detoxification process that we feel healthier in our internal organs and our overall total well-being. As we all know health within shows on the outside.
A word on exercise & juicing:
Exercise should form a part of your daily lifestyle habits and plays an important role in a juice cleanse, but your exercise choice should not be too strenuous. I would recommend that you choose something gentle and keep your exercise time to a shorter period. Yoga, walking, trampolining and swimming are beneficial, gentle enough and stimulate your lymphatic system. Its important to remember that whilst you may have a reduction in calories, but are still obtaining nutritional support through juices you are likely to have less energy, so listen to your body and honour it.
Some useful juicing lifestyle tips to consider:
- It is not recommended to do a juice cleanse for more than 3 days without consulting your doctor, nutritionist or naturopath.
- Time your colonic treatments well. Aim for a minimum of 1 treatment at the end of the cleanse but 2 treatments will take your results further; one at the start and one at the end.
As always it is very important that if you do decide to juice you do this knowing that you are healthy and have no chronic illnesses which could be exasperated through a juice cleanse. If you are under the treatment of a doctor this would need to be approved by them. In addition it would not be suitable if you have any of the following health concerns; high or low blood pressure, diabetes, heart, liver or kidney failure and are undergoing specialist treatment. If you are taking medication ensure that you have cleared any juice cleanse with your doctor. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding it would not be recommended to undergo a juice fast. If you feel you have specific health concerns then please drop me a message and if it is out of my remit I will be happy to refer you to a naturopath, who I work with closely. She will be happy to provide a consultation.
To book your colonic hydrotherapy treatment at the discounted rate of €80 till 19th October 2019 drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, call me on +35679084102 or DM @gloriouslygoodguts
To enjoy your discounted juice cleanse for 3 days at €75 for 8 x 250ml of juices till 19th October 2019 contact Karla at Nude Juiceson +356 9983 8377 or head over to @nudesjuices for further information
Disclaimer: This is not intended to diagnose or prescribe but to inform, it is advised that you contact a professional doctor specialising in the subject.