Day 60: Juicylicious

Being grateful for Jason Vale’s 5 day juice cleanse:

I’ve been juicing for five years and it’s honestly changed my life.

I’d been a pretty unhealthy eater up until that point. But when a dear friend introduced me to juicing, it was a revelation.

It opened my eyes to the goodness of fresh produce and the benefits of clean eating. I particularly love how much clearer my mind is and how much more energy I have when I cut out the crap food.

The effervescent Jason Vale, aka the ‘Juicemaster’, runs a free ‘Big Juice Challenge’ online four times a year. I have the ‘5lbs in 5 Days’ app which contains shopping lists, recipes and much needed coaching videos. But you also get these via email, once you’ve signed up.

Each day there’s a ‘behind the scenes’ video of Jason to cheer us on and he gives shout outs to some of the 30,000+ folk from 128 countries who’ve also signed up.

His enthusiasm is really contagious, he keeps me inspired and motivated, and he gets me through any wobbly moments. I’m also spurred on by my fellow juicers and hearing of their progress and success.

I try to take part in each ‘Big Juice Challenge’ throughout the year, as it works as a reset button.

And I really needed it this time.

There’s a lot of temptation around me, for foods that I crave but aren’t good for me. And sometimes I just don’t have the energy or the willpower to ignore them.

I do know that when I eat clean – which for me means, no sugar, wheat or cow dairy – I feel much lighter in my body and brighter in my mind.

But with the fluctuating nature of my CFS condition and symptoms, I find I frequently fall off the clean wagon and it can be hard to climb back on.

So I’ve decided to eat clean for twelve weeks, which will take me up to Christmas. I’m curious to see how much of a difference it makes to my CFS symptoms.

I started last week, and by Monday was itching to begin Jason Vale’s 5 day juice cleanse.

And it’s been brilliant.

I’m chuffed to bits with the results: I’ve reset my taste buds, I feel lighter and brighter, and I’ve shed 4lbs (1.8kgs).

So with this in mind, my happy for today is being grateful for Jason Vale’s 5 day juice cleanse.

Day 59: Twinkle twinkle

Being grateful for my nephew singing to me in bed:

Another heart melty moment from my three-year-old nephew Thomas today.

We’d had a fun short but full-on playtime, and I needed bed rest as I’ve been feeling extra wiped out recently.

Mamma told Thomas to come out of my room to let me rest for a bit, telling him: “Auntie Helen’s feeling poorly.”

“Are you feeling poorly, Auntie Helen?” he asked ever so sweetly, as he gently put his hand on my heart.

As I climbed into bed, he refused to leave the room. Determined to stay with me, he joined me in bed promising mamma he was going to be quiet (😳!).

As we snuggled in, he pulled the duvet over our heads and started to softly sing “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”.

It was the sweetest thing and made my heart burst with love.

What another precious moment to treasure.

So with this in mind, my happy for today is being grateful for my nephew singing to me in bed.

Day 58: Tango-ing trees

Being mindful while watching the trees dancing in the wind:

As today is a bed rest day, I find myself looking out of my bedroom window, watching the wild weather.

As the magnificent trees sway to the back and forth in the furious wind, it looks like they are performing the most incredible dance. I think it’s the Tango: vibrant, dramatic, full of passion, and playful.

So with this in mind, my happy for today is being mindful while watching the trees dancing in the wind.

Day 57: Sisterly spa

Being grateful, kind and mindful on Spa Monday:

How wonderful that today’s happy covers being kind, mindful and grateful:

Being grateful for my Spa Monday:

I love going to spas. I adore their blissful calm serenity.

For me, spending a day at a spa is a complete escape from the stresses and strains of everyday life. It’s a wonderful opportunity to take a breath or two and soak up the therapeutic benefits they can offer.

I used to treat myself to a spa day every once in a while, especially when I lived in Germany… but that’s another story!

With my current health and financial challenges, it’s something I’ve not been able to do for quite some time. So this opportunity to go with my sister was very welcome indeed.

Being kind by treating my sister (and myself!) to a spa day:

As it was a special birthday for my sister recently, I thought it would be a real treat for her to enjoy a day of pampering. With two energetic little boys, a busy husband, and a job, she doesn’t get much time to herself, so I thought a few hours away from it all would be appreciated. And I’m happy to say it was.

As well as use of the pool, steam room and sauna – and gym but we ummmm “forgot” out kits, ahem –  the package included a spa treatment and a beauty treatment. YES! We both chose a back massage and a pedicure, my sis’ tootsies were painted a rich plum, while I opted for sparkly pink.

I also thought it’d be the perfect opportunity to spend some relaxing sisterly time together. It’s something we rarely have the chance to do. And with mum and dad kindly agreeing to pick up and look after the boys from nursery and school, we could make the most of our blissful day.

Being mindful by being present during the spa time and treatments:

I really wanted to concentrate on experiencing every precious moment of this special day, and tried to keep myself in the present moment as much as possible.

As I gently swam a few laps in the pool, I noticed how my body felt and moved in the water. And in the sauna and steam room, I focused on how my body responded to the sudden changes of temperature and environment.

Interesting, it was during the first treatment, a heavenly back massage, when my mind started to wander off on its little ownsome. But as soon as I became aware of this, I gently brought my mind back to the room and my deliciously soothing massage. Ah, such bliss.

I was also mindful with my sister as we were able both to give each other our full attention, without little munchkins tugging at her sleeve or distracting iPhones at the ready. And it was also lovely to laze on the hotel bar’s squishy, comfy sofa , enjoying a relaxing cuppa and chat before setting off back home.

A few hours on, and I’m still floating on cloud nine…

So with this in mind, my happy for today is being grateful, kind and mindful on Spa Monday.

Day 56: Walking barefoot

Being mindful while walking barefoot on my soul stroll:

To celebrate this glorious first day of October, I couldn’t resist going for a short soul stroll. And today I decided to slip off my fit flops and go barefoot.

I’ve always preferred to be shoeless, and have wanted to walk barefoot on the grassy part of my stroll for ages. But as it’s a popular spot for dog walkers and litterbugs, I’ve been too weary of stepping on something I’d rather not!

But today with the grass freshly cut, I could see what was ahead of me and decided to go for it.

And it felt wonderful. Really wonderful.

As I began, I found I was treading very cautiously and carefully scanning the ground for potential hazards. But with each step I grew in confidence and relaxed into my stroll.

It felt powerfully grounding, as my body connected with the earth.

Walking barefoot on soil, grass or sand is known as ‘earthing’.  As the soles of our feet contain thousands of nerve endings, they are stimulated by the textures and temperature on the ground. Fascinating stuff.

And research suggests tons of health benefits including increasing anti-oxidants and reducing inflammation. Love it!

Plus, it’s tons of fun, and I felt truly alive and free!

barefoot by the brook

When I lived by the beach in Australia, I used to walk barefoot on the sand every day. Now I’m living near the countryside, I’m intending to walk shoeless on the grass as often as the English weather allows. Even if I can just do a little barefoot walk around the garden in the coming colder months.

So with this in mind, my happy for today is being mindful while walking barefoot on the grass.