Priorities, what are yours?

Priorities, what is truly important?

Priorities: A thing that is regarded as more important than another.

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What are yours?
Ask yourself if what you are doing today, is getting you closer to your dreams for tomorrow.
After a long weekend at a work conference, I am choosing not to fall not bed exhausted. Instead I am choosing to write this as Im doing cardio on the stationary bike then melting onto my yoga mat, to nourish my soul and give myself some self love.
Believe me, the idea of simply just falling into bed and closing my tired little eyes, closing myself off to the world is (very) tempting. But I am reminding myself of the life I love to live that means wellness and balance (I do believe in practicing what I preach). I know that after a long week/weekend I am indeed of a little me (soul relax) time.
”Desire dictates our priorities; priorities shape our choices; and choices determine our actions’. Dallin H oaks.
What are your priorities? Do you allow the needs of others to come before your own? Are you always thinking of yourself last?
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It can be a difficult practice to create, but sometimes you need to learn when to put yourself as your priority. You always have the choice.
I could choose to fall asleep exhausted, drained. Or I could choose to honour my commitment to my health and my yoga practice (even if it is only 15 minutes) and send a little love inwards, stretch and relax my body and refocus my mind, ready for the week ahead. The best news is, after exercising and practising my yoga and breathing, I should (hopefully) fall into a state of blissful sleep.
The decision is always yours.
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Make priorities. Plan ahead and commit (for those times when you just don’t feel like it). When we action our priorities effectively we can ensure that our time is well spent and utilised for optimal use.
It’s perfectly ok to be a little selfish sometimes, if you have no love, you have no love to give. Don’t forget to look after your inner self. nourish and care for yourself as you would someone you really care about.
When you plan effectively and prioritise your personal health you will benefit from more functional relationships in both your personal and work life.
‘Its not selfish to love yourself, take care of yourself & to make your happiness a priority. Its necessary’. Mandy Hale.
Selfish or not, my #1 priority is my personal health; my mental/emotional health & my physical health. If I am not feeling the best, or in my best health, how can I provide any type of support to any of my loved ones?
The choice is always yours. You must do what it takes to become the person you want to be and to live the life you dream of.
To change your life, simply prioritize. What is important to you?
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I’m choosing exercise as my stress relief and my yoga mat to nourish myself, as after a weekend of energy depletion I need to renew and re-energise.
What works for you? You may not get this right the first time, you may find your choices only leave you feeling more frustrated, but like with many aspects of our life, trust me when I say you will ”just know” what is right. You may find that you want to become healthier and prioritise exercise, yet hate every minute you spend at the gym…perhaps a weighted gym workout isn’t for you, try being outdoors, or group exercise or a team sport. There are so many options. Do not give up. Plan and prioritise effectively to manage your time and invest it wisely.

If it is important to you, you will find a way. If not, you will find an excuse.

Love & Light, Charlie x.

Off to get my ‘calm’ on.

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(Superfood) Cacao Crunch…

Superfoods…have you heard about them? The latest ‘buzz ‘word in nutrition, but has been around for centuries.

Super foods are super for there high nutritional value high phytochemical content that may contain health benefits when consumed.

Like everything in nutrition, there are many positive claims for these ‘super’foods, and many claims against them. My advice, try them and see what happens; how do you feel, do you notice a difference? I know from my own experience that by simply ‘adding’ in these good quality, nutrient dense foods, I found more energy for my (long) days and also restored my own hormonal imbalance. Find out what works for you; the beauty that is biochemical individuality, we are all individual bodys with individual requirements.

A great daily, no guilt ‘treat…Cacau Crunch:

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Ingredients:

1/2 Cup Goji berries

2 Tbsp Maca Powder

1/2 cup chopped Almonds

1/3 Cup Sunflower Seeds

1/3 Cup Chia Seeds

1/3 Cup Pepitas

3 Tbsp Cacao

2 Tbsp Manuka Honey

1/2 Tsp Cinnamon

1/3 Cup Coconut Oil

1 Tsp Almond Butter

Directions:

Line a Baking dish with non stick Baking powder (or use a small amount of Coconut Oil to grease the baking dish).

In a bowl mix all Nuts, seeds and fruits together. Seperately mix the Manuka Honey, Coconut Oil, Cacao, Maca Powder, Almond Butter, and Cinnamon.

Mix both mixtures together and press into the baking dish. (Top with Cinnamon, Coconut or cacao powder). Freeze for an hr, or refrigetate for 2 hrs. Cut into bite size squares and Enjoy! (Perfect mid afternoon energy boost!)

Superfoods…

Cacao

phgergtotoCacao is (MUCH) better then regular chocolate. Cacao is the unprocessed RAW version of the chocolate you buy. For thousands of years the ancient Mayans have known the power and benefits of the Cacao bean and Cacao powder. Cacao is known for its high ORAC (antioxidant) score, making it a ‘super-oxidant’; it scores higher then Acai berries and blueberries. Out of all antioxidant rich foods, Raw Cacao powder is highest in Magnesium (essential for growth and repair within the body, also assists in regulating your metabolism).

The BEST news…Cacao stimulates Endorphins and promotes the release of Seratonin (the feel good hormone). If that wasn’t enough reason to replace standard Sugar laden chocolate with Cacao, David Wolfe (RAW foodie) has conducted research that has found cacao contains 314% of the recommended daily intake of iron per 28 gram serving.

Chocolate…good for you??? Its true! (Next time you crave your chocolate ‘hit’…choose Dark Chocolate; less processed, better for you and oh so yummy!)

Goji Berries

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The Goji berry, also known as the wolf Berry is native to China. Over years, goji berries have been consumed as the ‘fountain of youth’and to prevent illnesses such as Diabetes, High blood pressure, and fever. Goji berries are rich in antioxidants which will counteract the damage done by free radicals within the body. Goji berries are also high in vitamin A, which is essential for normal cell function, a healthy immune system and eye conditions. *Studies using goji berry juice found benefits in mental well-being and calmness, athletic performance, happiness, quality of sleep, and feelings of good health.* These are preliminary studies and cannot be described as definite.

Chia Seeds

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Chia Seeds, something I personally have fallen in love with. They are a seed that is Native to North America, and as a complete protein (contains all 8 Amino acids) were a staple in the Aztec and Mayan communities. Chia Seeds are high in good fats (Omega 3), Fibre and antioxidants. Chia has 8 x the amount of Omega 3 as Salmon! Chia has 7 x more Vitamin C then oranges and 4 x the ORAC (antioxidant) value of Blueberries. The small seeds are excellent for digestive health and also for satiety. The seeds will expand in the digestive system, providing the feeling of ‘full’.

Maca Root Powder

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Grown in the Andes Mountains in Peru, Maca has been used for centuries for its medicinal qualities. Maca is an excellent source of Minerals; calcium magnesium, and iron, and Vitamins; C, B1, B2, B6, and B12. In addition, Maca contains 4x the amount of fibre as a standard potato. Maca powder has been shown to have a positive effect on the endocrine (hormone producting ) system, therefore it is excellent to assist in hormonal balance and normal hormone function. People who use Maca have reported increased energy levels, lower stress levels, increased libido and a general feeling of wellbbeing.

Maca has been found to contain ingredients macamides and macaenes which increase sexual libido and male fertility.

So, get your (sexy) SUPER foods on. I recommend ádding’in to your normal daily diet and analysing the benefits for yourself. Try adding in for a period of no less then a week so you can experience the true wonders of these foods that are natures gift.

Love & Light, Charlie x.

*Being healthy should not be boring. Have fun! Mix it up, get creative, make a mess and then relax and enjoy your ‘treats’.

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Listening, an art.

Listening, a priceless art not too many of us are good at. To truly listen, with an open mind and genuine compassion is the key to successful communication.

Genuine listening has become rare. When was the last time you truly felt heard? Or truly heard someone, not just the words they were speaking?

Think about the last great satisfying conversation you had with someone? What made it great? Most likely, that person was well practised in the art of listening.

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Do you listen to what others are saying? How often do you find your thoughts wandering from the conversation? Perhaps you are no longer listening to what the other person has to say, somehow your thoughts have drifted to what happened at work that day, what did that person really mean when that made that comment, what is happening that evening (sometimes, I admit, for me its, when is it time to eat? I am in love with food!)?

Listening is a key to good strong relationships with the world around you.

‘The art of conversation lies in listening,’ Malcolm Forbes

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Listening says, other people matter, you matter to me. Listening makes your loved ones feel appreciated, valued and respected. In every aspect of our daily lives, listening is a great way to allow expression, to prevent misunderstandings and to nurture our relationships, family’s and work.

“When people talk, listen completely, most people never listen.’ Ernest Hemingway.

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Don’t be quick to offer advice, sometimes its not needed. The greatest human desire is to feel heard. Speaking ignites the brain to prioritise the situation and can often allow the speaker to resolve the issue.

“Before you act, listen.” Ernest Hemingway.

Studies claim listening is the most powerful tool in any successful business. Take a moment to reflect on the ‘great’ people you know, the people you turn to when you need advice…no doubt these people are great listeners. (I just took a moment to think of the people whom I turn to for advice, and yes, the reason I do so is because they listen to me, I respect them and I feel heard).

Think about a time you may have been in a conversation with someone who had ‘poor’ listening skills…I’m sure you not only felt misunderstood, you felt underappreciated and disappointed. Not really the best way to build loving relationships or friendships (we have all been guilty of this).

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NBB Listening:

To become a good communicator/active listener you need to make a conscious effort to hear what the person is saying, but also to understand the message.

*Pay attention, be attentive, relax, look at the person you are listening or speaking to.

*Do not try to be ‘better’ by interjecting with your own stories. (I’m sure we all know of people who do this, perhaps you do?)

*Respond appropriately. Advice is not always welcomed. Allow the speaker the opportunity to ask your thoughts?

*Listen with an open mind. Don’t be quick to judge. You never know what you may learn (you are not always right).

*Be respectful. Everyone has different opinions, morals and different views.

*Practise patience. Be present in the moment. (Do not look at your watch, watch television or spend time looking around you).

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Today, spend a little time actively listening to the world around you, and you may be pleasantly surprised at what you hear.

‘Learn to listen, opportunity sometimes knocks very softly’.

Love & Light, Charlie x.

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Monday Motivation…

I could not believe it when this amazing/inspirational/motivational author agreed to be interviewed for NBB’s Monday Motivation.

Her book; Getting real about having it all, was a life changing experience for me. When I was going through a stage of my life, lost, unsure of myself and what to do…I purchased her book, read it and it all made so much sense! I actually loved it so much after reading it, I went and purchased more copies as presents. Even now when I’m feeling like a positivity injection I will pick it up to re read.

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Introducing: Megan Dalla-Camina, 43, Strategist, Author, Coach, Speaker

*Megan is also currently nominated for Telstra businesswoman 2013 (Congratulations & Good luck from NBB!)

When did you decide to become a writer?

I never really decided to become a writer, it has just always been part of my life. I started writing when I was about 8, and I used to write poetry. Then in my angst filled teenage years it was songs and dark dry soulful stuff. I then spent a long time focussed mainly on business writing, and then more around self development and wellbeing. But I always knew that I would write books, books to help people on their journey. I think it is my souls calling.

‘Go confidently in the direction of your dreams, live the life you imagined’. Thoreau.

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Were there challenges along your journey?

We all have challenges and in my life journey I have had plenty as I outline in my book. But the road of writing the book and getting published was an easy path for me. I had set the intention years ago to live my life with grace and ease. It is my daily affirmation, after years of thinking everything had to be hard won to be worth anything. It doesn’t. Writing the book in 4 months, whilst working a big job and being a single mum certainly had it’s trying and tiring moments, but really it was pure joy, and a gift.

‘Be a master of mind, rather than mastered by mind’. Zen Proverb.

Being published by Hayhouse is a huge accomplishment, how does that feel?

It feels amazing, and it is a huge honour to be part of such an amazing publishing company. It is like being part of a family. And it is truly humbling to be an author published alongside my spiritual teachers like Wayne Dyer, Marianne Williamson and Deepak Chopra. And of course, the truly beautiful Louise Hay to whom we all owe so much. I could not have asked for more for my first publishing experience.

How do you maintain balance between your Career and personal health?

I am very clear on what I am here to do. I have a clear vision and I put really strong boundaries around what I will and won’t focus on, and where I want to spend my time and energy. This makes all the difference. I prioritise my health and wellbeing and that of my family above all else. And I love what I do. When you get all of that right, it works. It doesn’t mean it works every minute of every day, but overall, it works well.

How do you feel as an inspirational figure/mentor?

I would like to hope that my work, my writing, coaching, teaching, makes a small difference in people’s lives. When I get emails, or calls from people telling me how my work has impacted them, I feel blessed. Blessed that my life and learnings, and my ability to translate that into a story or teaching, has benefit for someone else. So I would say above all else, I feel grateful.

‘Rain your kindness equally on all’ Buddha.

In your book, getting real about having it all, you mention the importance of finding a mentor. Who was yours?

I have had many. Business mentors, wellness mentors, spiritual teachers and others. They have all profoundly impacted me. I encourage everyone to seek out mentors who can shine a light on their path through sharing their lessons and their journey. It is one of the most invaluable ways to grow into who you are and who you want to be.

What is your advice for anyone who has a dream?

Get really clear on it. Visualise it. Make a plan for it. Do the work. Stay true on your path. And make it happen. I used to write all the time – breathe. dream. believe. create. It is like my little mantra and that thread is through everything I do. We can create magic. Get still, get clear, believe you can do it, and truly anything is possible.

Íts the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting’. Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist.

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When can we look forward to your next book?

I am about to start writing it, so next year I would think. I have just written a small ebook called 12 Rules for Balanced Women which will be up as a free download on my new website when it launches in July. It is a great resource for people. I cannot wait to start writing the next book in a few weeks – there are actually three in planning stages!

Share something no one knows…

I always have a US100 note in my purse, it’s my way of manifesting my next trip to New York.

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Connect with Megan:

http://www.gettingrealabouthavingitall.com

If you are looking for guidance, inspiration and coaching from a reputable, knowledgeable source, Megan has limited places available in her ‘Getting Real’ in 2013 program.

In appreciation of Megan’s time and in the spirit of giving, I would like to giveaway 3 copies of ‘Getting Real about having it all’, the book that is personally a source a inspiration, light and soul happiness for me.

*To enter simply click ‘Follow’ (on the right hand side panel) and enter your email details. If you are already following NBB, simply comment on this post below. Good luck.

Happy Monday.

Love & light, Charlie x.

‘Let your light shine. Be a source of strength and courage. Share your wisdom. Radiate love’. Wilfred Peterson.

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What are your Intentions…

Part of my Self Love Sunday includes setting intentions for the next week. This keeps me focused on what I want to create in my life, and I am actively aware of these intentions each day.

Life gets busy. We forget to live in the moment, always consumed with the past and the future, but how often the present?

If you have a goal but have never had a plan, ask yourself, how do I expect to get there? Research shows that people with plans are more likely to succeed.

‘Failure to plan is planning to fail’.

Its the perfect day to start making a plan, today, NOW. (Here in Sydney it is perfect, stay in doors, get creative, set intentions weather).

Intention; “to have in mind a purpose or plan, to direct the mind, to aim.”

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What is it that you would like more of in your life (No, do not answer with your Ego, thinking materialistic things).

Would you like more love, more support, better relationships, to live a fulfilling life?

“You are what your deepest desire is.
As your desire is, so is your intention.
As your intention is, so is your will.
As your will is, so is your deed.
As your deed is, so is your destiny.”

~ Upanishads

Perhaps you have always wanted to have goals, a plan, or to set intentions but didn’t know where to start. Remember this is ok, new things can always be scary, but the good news; habits only take 21 days to form and practice is what makes you perfect.

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So, Where to start?

Firstly, paper (intentions should written down & kept where you can see them), if you have the time or if its available to you, visit your local stationary store and buy the prettiest paper you can find, buy pretty pens and anything you want to make this yours. (Standard paper is fine to).

I find setting weekly intentions keeps me on track and focused. These weekly intentions are the stepping stones to my larger life goals (1yr/5yrs and 10yrs).

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Intention setting is very different to goal setting, according to Buddhist belief. Intention setting is not about a future outcome, it is about how you are as a person, living in the ‘now’, being actively present in the moment.

Therefore goals and intentions are equally important, we need direction, motivation (goals), but we also need to live every day better (intentions).

Sit quietly and think about the life you would like to be living, what is it that you may not currently be doing that you could be? (Write everything that comes to you down).

Below is an example of my weekly intentions for the week, yours may be very different.

My weekly intentions:

1. To act with integrity.

(Integrity: The quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness.)

2. To be kind. ‘Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible’. Dalai Lama.

3. To begin each day grateful for the life I live.

4. To respond, not react.

5. To have patience with myself, to be calm (I have a tendency to want everything that is happening, everything that I am working on to be revealed now). Happiness is not about the destination, it is about the journey; reminder to self.

6. To just BREATHE.

I know that living with these intentions every day brings me closer to my dreams. You get back what you give, so give out love, kindness and respect. Since I have started acting with integrity, believing in myself and choosing positive over negative, my dreams are now my reality (with much more being created).

“The law of attraction is this: You don’t attract what you want. You attract what you are.” Dr Wayne Dyer.

phvefggoto When you live and act with integrity, in such a way that creates positive energy, you will find yourself on the journey that is happiness.

“So many dreams at first seem impossible. And then they seem improbable. And then when we summon the will, they soon become inevitable.” — Christopher Reeve

Love & light, Charlie x.

Everyday I am creating my dream reality, you can to.

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The ‘no excuse, anytime, anywhere’ Workout.

If I mention exercise, how do you feel? Are you excited, energised or do you feel nervous, apprehensive?

Like most people I have a love/hate relationship with exercise…when I’m focused and in the zone, I’m good, really good. When I have no goal, unfocused, I’m just turning up to the gym…Im a bit blaze, not So good.

phgreotoMy general approach to any form of exercise, anything that gets you moving, is that there is never any excuse not to! Never!

It’s to cold, it’s raining, I’m tired, it’s to expensive… Just some of the excuses that I hear every day. I know I have definitely tried to use each of these as justifications for myself when I simply could not be bothered to get myself to the gym. Excuses are pure laziness.

I’m sorry to be a bit realistic, but I speak the truth. The moment you hear any of these thoughts in your own mind, challenge them. Think deeper. Are you committed to change? COMMITMENT, DEDICATION & PERSERVERANCE are the KEYS to SUCCESS.

Exercise…all the reasons WHY you SHOULD get yourself moving…

1. Exercise increases circulation and your HDL (good) cholesterol and lowers your LDL (bad) cholesterol levels, therefore is beneficial in prevention of heart disease, stroke, diabetes and cardiovascular problems.

“Some exercise is better than none and more is better than less.” Dr William Krauss, The New England Journal of Medicine.

2. Exercise enhances your Mood; Endogenous (internal) opiates are secreted when we exercise.  Endorphins, (your feel good hormone) adrenaline, serotonin, and dopamine create a feeling of wellbeing. As exercise increases the feel good hormones, it also decreases the stress hormone, Cortisol. *Studies show physically active people recover from mild depression more quickly.

3. Exercise increases Energy, Stamina and your sex life; physically and psychologically this has been proven as the fitter you are the more desirable you feel. According to the American Council on Exercise (ACE), being physically active can be “a natural Viagra boost”. “Men and women who exercise regularly are going to have increased levels of desire. They’re going to have enhanced confidence, enhanced ability to achieve orgasm and greater sexual satisfaction,” says Cedric Bryant, the council’s chief exercise physiologist.*

Increased energy production happens on the cellular level, beginning in the Mitochondria, the energy producing organs within your cells. Whilst some energy is derived from your diet, it is ultimately relevant to the number of Mitochondria you have (your ability to produce energy). Mitochondria activity is affected by daily activity.

4. Exercise improves sleep quality; ”Exercise is great for sleep. For the millions of people who want better sleep, exercise may help,” says David Cloud, CEO of the National Sleep Foundation (NSF). Exercise is a stressor. The brain compensates physical activity by more time in a deep (Stage 4/Delta) sleep.

5. Exercise assists weight loss (this one we all know); exercise will promote calorie consumption and build muscle. Muscle requires 3 x more metabolic activity (energy) compared to fat. Consult with a Health Coach, Gp or Personal Trainer to find out the best form of exercise for your individual requirements and goals.

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Now, after reading some of the reasons why and how exercise is beneficial for you…

The no excuse, anytime, anywhere full body workout.

This can be done in the privacy of your own home (then it doesn’t even matter what you wear), or, if you don’t mind looking a little silly but perhaps inspiring others, outside is great. (I do believe I have mentioned my neighbours probably think I am the ‘crazy’ girl doing sprint HIIT, walking lunges, fire escape stairs).

Just do it, get it done.

‘I really regret that workout’ said No one ever!

Chances are you will feel better after you have exercised then how you felt before. 481257_261706440631943_1007583714_n

Anytime, anywhere. No gym. No weights. (Even no shoes) required.

Walk 15 minutes.

*20 x Squats (as low as you can go)

*20 x press ups (I dare you to attempt some full press-ups/knees OFF the ground)

*20 x Lunges each side (stationary or walking)

*20 x Tricep dips

* 20 x Sit-ups

Repeat x 3-5 (you can also increase your sets to 30 or 50 of each depending on your level of fitness)

Walk 30 minutes.

The best bit: Endorphins are released, your feel good Hormone, your Circulation is flowing, oxygen and nutrients are being delivered around your body, your Lymphatic System is working; toxins are being removed, and your burning fat….

Tell me again, did you have a reason not to? Was there an excuse?

Make it FUN…

If you have stairs close to where you live (like Me I use my fire escape, again, Im probably deemed the crazy/obsessive/fanatical workout girl) throw in a couple of sets up and down and then, do 1 more (best booty or ‘bubble butt’ builder there is).

Add this in to your morning routine 3 x weekly, commit and create change.

How much do you want to change your body? How much work are You committed to doing?

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Create healthy habits and you will be on your way to living a life of wellness. Exercise is an essential aspect of Being well.

Find balance, exercise with friends, make it social and you wont even realise how much good work you’ve done, the time will pass so quickly.

Love & light, Charlie x.

NBB tip: Find a role model, someone who actively lives there life and practices what they preach.

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Guilt Free Clean Caramel Slice

A Caramel Slice with no guilt? Is this possible?!

Well, as I am getting a little creative in the kitchen, I made a RAW, Sugar free, Gluten free and Diary free Caramel Slice over the weekend, it wasn’t too bad but my creative mind was thinking; how could this be better

The answer…Proto Whey Protein!

A Caramel slice including Protein, Good Essential Fatty acids, antioxidants and natural sugarsMAGIC (excellent energy source before a workout)!

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For those that know me, I have had a love affair with the protein that is Proto Whey (BNRG), and have actually had to break up with the delightful deliciousness that it is! (But, just for you my lovely readers, I revisited my love, and wow, still as good as it always has been!)

So, the Guilt Free Clean Caramel Slice Recipe….

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Ingredients:

*Try to use Organic where possible.

Base:

3/4 cup organic Walnuts

3/4 cup organic Almonds

1 Medjool date

2 Scoops Vanilla Proto Whey (I used The Pept 1 version for Thermogenic effects)

3 Tbsp Coconut oil (Good fats)

1 Tbsp manuka honey (or Rice Malt syrup)

1 Tbsp water

Caramel filling :

10 x Medjool dates

1 Pinch of Himalayan Salt

1 Tbsp Manuka Honey or Rice Malt Syrup (Sugar free)

2 Tbsp Coconut oil

Chocolate topping:

2 x Scoops Chocolate Proto Whey (again, I used the Pept 1 version for thermogenic qualities)

1Tbsp Cacau (Antioxidant)

1 Tbsp Coconut oil

1 Tbsp water

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Method:

Base: throw all ingredients in a food processor, mix until well blended. Press into a lined tray or plastic moulds (available in cooking stores or online, you can even get cute shapes).

Caramel: throw all ingredients in the food processor, mix. You will need to stop on several occasions to break up the caramel, until you get a nice even consistency. Spread over the base.

Topping: in a bowl, mix all ingredients until well blended (add more water if the icing is to thick, I am a chocolate lover) and smooth over the Caramel layer.

Place into the freezer for 30 minutes and ENJOY.

NBB: don’t forget to share your lovingly made creation with friends and family (sharing is caring), and sometimes we all need a sweet treat.

*I nominated myself for best Area Manager and delivered these little goodies to some of my clients (gets me periodically in the good books).

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Love & light, Charlie x.

P.s Thank you. Every day, you inspire me to be more.

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Please note: Images and recipes are Copyright to Nourish.balance.breathe. Im more then happy for you to share this recipe, but please ensure it is accredited to Nourish.balance.breathe. Thank you 🙂 x.

Gluten…What is it?

Everywhere you look we are inundated with nutrition labels and claims, Gluten free, Wheat free, Diary free…it can be hard to keep up with what is good, what is bad and what these terms actually mean.

Today I want to share, Gluten & what it is.

Gluten; an elastic like protein compound found in wheat, barley, rye, spelt, kamut, cous cous and Triticale (a cross between rye and wheat). Gluten gives foods form, thickness and texture, think Pizza dough, bread, and sauces.

What it is, the science: a combination of Gliadin and Glutenin, conjoined with Starch in the endosperms of many grains, make Gluten. According to research conducted and printed in Advanced Nutrition: Macronutrients, Micronutrients, and Metabolism”; Carolyn D.  Berdanier; 2009′, approximately 80% of the protein content in wheat is gluten.

Interesting: The word Gluten is Latin derived and means Glue.

Think; Gluten, a glue like substance that binds food.

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What this means to you: To people who are sufferers of Celiac disease, Gluten is the enemy, even a tiny crumb can signal an immune response. This immune response can cause damage to the smaller intestine, gastrointestinal damage and possibly leading to  nutritional deficiencies.

Gluten Intolerance: Whilst the statistics show only 1 in 10,000 is diagnosed with Celiac disease, Gluten intolerance is rapidly growing. Gluten intolerance/sensitivity may be felt as stomach pains, cramps, distortion of the stomach region. Gluten sensitivity is an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation, not only in the digestive system but throughout the body.

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Weight loss and Gluten Free diet: Now, like everyone, I love to learn about the latest diet trends, the quickest ways to lose it and keep it off. If you have heard of the Gluten Free diet before, you may have heard it has been associated to weight loss, particularly of the stomach area. While for some people this may be correct, remember that everybody is different. Generally as you alter your food consumption from breads, processed and thickened, Gluten containing foods, you may naturally choose healthier options. Look into becoming Gluten free for your health, not just as a weighloss fad. Its also important to note that people on a Gluten free diet may end up malnourished especially whilst they are making the change (it can take time and planning), so its imperative you look at supplementation of your vitamins and minerals to maintain body functions and energy levels.

Goodbye (glue) Gluten:

Wheat, barley, rye, spelt, kamut, cous cous and Triticale

Also be aware Gluten can be hidden in many other food sources:
*MSG
*lecithins
*textured vegetable protein (think veggie burgers, or any fake meat)

*emulsifiers

*modified food starch

*Soy sauce (most of it contains wheat; you have to use wheat-free tamari instead)
* prescription and over-the-counter drugs, even some vitamins

* beauty and hair care products.

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Permitted Grains:
*Amaranth
*Arrowroot
*Buckwheat
*Corn and cornmeal
*Flax
*Gluten-free flours (rice, soy, corn, potato, bean)
*Hominy (corn)
*Millet
*Quinoa
*Rice
*Sorghum
*Soy
*Tapioca
*Teff

And the BEST news…as Gluten is becoming a ‘bad’ word for many people, there are lots and lots of yummy gluten free recipes on the worldwide web…simply type in, Gluten free cupcakes, Gluten free cookies, Gluten free protein bread (you may be able to realise I suffer a slight sweet tooth), and yes, Gluten free pizza base.

Are you Gluten intolerant? There are tests that can be done by your registered GP, however most Gp’s, nutritionists and naturopaths will put you on an elimination diet. This will mean removing any food source that may contain Gluten in it for a period of 1-4 weeks. Then simply, reintoruce and listen to your body, see what happens how it responds to Gluten.

After stuggling with my own personal Digestive issues and after several tests, I wasn’t diagnosed with Celiac Disease (thankfully), but would consider myself as Gluten sensitive. I can definitely tell when I consume Gluten, knowingly or accidentally. I am not actively Gluten free, however I will try to chose foods that are better for my health, or labelled Gluten free.

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I hope you have found this interesting, please always consult with a Health Coach, Gp or nutritionist to find out if an elimination program is suitable for you.

Love & light, Charlie x.

Note: Just because the label reads GLUTEN FREE does not mean it is Good for you or contains less calories from fat and sugar. Often gluten free can contain more of these other nasties to add taste and texture! (I may have found this out myself).

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