Dec
29
0

Mindfulness

Throughout my life I constantly was worried about something that could happen, may happen, should happen but actually – didn’t happen! I often found myself flustered and getting so worked up about something that hadn’t even occurred and may not even!! I knew what I was doing but just didn’t know how to stop. You can imagine this way of thinking, analysing and worrying creates great anxiety.

Stress – Anxiety – Depression. One vicious circle and cycle.

I won’t go into too much of my darker days under this heading however throughout my ‘blogging’ and ‘updates’ I will be touching over experiences and times where I can now look back and think it’s made me who I am today.

One of the and if not the most effective practices I found to overcome the ‘Stress, Anxiety, Depression’ Cycle (next to eating well and exercising) was ‘Mindfulness’.

There are 3 states of minds

Reasonable Mind – Ability to think rationally and plan behaviour. Able to calmly focus attention on problems.

Emotional Mind – Thinking and behaviour controlled by emotions. Logical thinking difficult. Facts tend to be distorted.

Wise Mind – Integration of emotional mind and reasonable mind. Wise mind adds intuitive knowing (awareness) and logical analysis to emotional experiencing.

Knowingness, feels truthful quiet, peaceful, centred, intuitive, grounded.

 

Mindfulness skills are the vehicle for balancing ‘Emotional Mind’ and ‘Reasonable Mind’ to achieve ‘Wise Mind’.

 What is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness is a skill that can be learned like any other and is one of the oldest and most basic skills known to mankind. In its essence, it’s as simple as rediscovering the taste of fresh water or the blue colour of the sky. It is learning or re-learning how to be present, how to be in this present moment. It can be like stepping out of a black and white tv into a world full of bright colours. There is nothing mysterious about it. It’s like learning to ride a bike or cook good meals or play a musical instrument. You start with easy practice and pogress to harder practice. Sometimes you’ll feel like you’re making a lot of progress; other times you’ll be discouraged. But, it is certain that if you practice, practice, practice, your skills at mindfulness will improve!

It is about teaching yourself to be:

Aware – Of your body, your mind and your surroundings.

Present – In this moment, this very second, right here, right now.

Focused – More able to make choices about where you place your attention. Your reactions.

Body – Being in your body, bringing your mind and your body into synch

Accepting – Of yourself, your thoughts and of other people.

For me, mindfulness started off by a simple practice of focusing on my breath. This then moved to meditation and yoga.

Mindfulness can be as informal or as formal as you want it to be. It could be in a formal setting such as meditating using the breath as a ‘FOCUS’.

It could be as informal as making a cup of tea, brushing your teeth, driving in traffic with ‘AWARENESS’.

We are always paying attention to something, but often not what we choose, our thoughts, our mind jumps from one thing to another without us even realising. I know when I can really get going I could have more then one ‘cycle’ going on in my head at once. Imagine the exhaustion!

Through practice we can come back into the present moment and pay attention:

 On Purpose – By training ourselves to focus on an object of our choice, for me this was my breath

In the Present Moment – Being wiling to let go of thinking about the past or the future, coming back to what is here and now

Non-judgmentally being kind to ourselves as we bring our minds bcd to the focus, over and over. We don’t judge our experience as ‘good’ or ‘bad’ we are learning and accept the experience just as it is.

 Weekly I will be updating this page with different tips on practicing mindfulness and my own experiences whether I meditated, did a yoga class or felt flustered and practices my breathing to come back into the present moment.

Dec
29
0

About Me

Portrait My name is Hannah and I was born in, and now  live in Melbourne but grew up mainly in QLD on the Gold Coast. I am a twin that is literally my other half, my best friend. Milly, my cat, behaves like a dog and anyone that knows me understands how much I love her! I also love the beach, cooking, playing guitar and cricket. I want to use this website to share the positive things in my life that have become the tools that I use to overcome stress, anxiety and other twists and turns life can throw at us. These tools now allow me to enjoy a blissful,  healthy and cruelty-free lifestyle. Part of my journey includes the embracing of physical exercise, healthy clean eating and veganism; hence the name of my website.

Learning about veganism has helped me come to realise that loving animals is far more than having an affection for our pets or as seeing them as cute and cuddly but as respecting their very being and right to existence. An old school friend, has long been a vegan and I have always respected but wondered how she coped without eating meat or other animal products.

I still vividly remember the conversation we had which was a turning point for me. She told me of  video footage she had seen of a fox being skinned alive purely for the purpose of a fur coat and seeing the pain and fear in the eyes of the fox.

I believe that people need to start seeing a connection (and I know I never used to see it)  between the cruelty inflicted upon animals and the food that they eat, whether it be meat or dairy or eggs and also the clothing they wear. An animal is more than a product we see in the supermarket, yet these ‘products’ have lead a painful life as well as experiencing a painful death just for our pleasure. The shame of this is that there is an alternative.

Research which began with a book called ‘Ethical Eating’ has helped me also understand further just what animals go through for us to eat them and how this affects our health but also the environment and our future.

The simple truth is that animals do not need to be treated cruelly in order for us to consume them, unfortunately the laws in place rarely protect them at all. In most cases their are alternatives to their consumption but unfortunately through very clever marketing, society believes we need to eat animals in order to survive. The egg industry, whether it be caged, organic or free range, allows male chicks, which are viewed as a waste “by product”  (they don’t lay eggs nor do they provide meat quickly enough) to be ground up, gassed or buried alive in order to dispose of them. Hens are de-beaked without any pain relief, and milking cows grieve when deprived of their calves, just so we can drink their milk? Animals are kept in crowded filthy conditions and then given antibiotics to overcome the problems associated with this – which quite often they don’t. They are filled with infection and disease and then we experience problems with antibiotic resistant bacteria as a result.

As I continued my research I knew the only way to live a cruelty free lifestyle was to make the transition to veganism. Which for me, didn’t happen overnight.

Being vegan isn’t about following a set of rules, it’s a journey, it’s thinking with your brain and your heart, not just your stomach! It’s also an amazing learning experience… One that I wouldn’t give up for the world!

Quite often I’m asked ‘What is Vegan?’ This could be because I’ve met someone new, making food choices at work functions or eating out with friends.  I find it funny when someone almost pity’s me and says “Oh, you poor thing”. Veganism isn’t a disease; I’m not going to die from it, quite the opposite actually! Veganism goes further than  vegetarianism (no meat, poultry, fish or seafood) in that no animal products are used whether as food or clothing - This includes eggs, milk, dairy products, honey, leather, wool, silk and cosmetics. It is often wondered what a vegan does eat and this is a reflection of the lack of knowledge of the richness there is in a plant based diet.

I have found bliss through veganism and I want to share my experiences, past present and future, by sharing recipes, experiences and how combined with a choice of being fit I have embraced a new positive healthy lifestyle.

Introducing to you 

betterfitvegan.com

I’m still learning, each and every day. That’s what our life is all about.

:)

**Please note – I am basing my website purely on my experience, passion, knowledge and dealings with professionals. I am not qualified to provide professional advice, however still welcome any questions you may have and encourage your feedback through the contacts page**

Dec
18
1

Fitness Myths & Tips

Myth #1

One of the biggest myths in fitness I’ve found is people thinking they can ‘train off a bad diet’. Pretty much meaning people can eat whatever they want and as long as they exercise and work out they will be healthy/won’t gain any weight – WRONG. This is where for me I have mixed views on calorie counting as it’s the same principle – ok yeah you’ve only consumed 1200 calories for the day which is the daily requirement BUT in those calories how much protein, complex carbs, sugars and fats did you have? Or, you could have eaten a greasy disgusting burger from Mcdonalds as 800 of those calories?

If you are trying to lose weight, 80% of your results will come from what you put in your mouth, 20% is exercise. Just think about it, how many hours there are in a day that you have to be accountable for what you are eating, 1 of those hours may be for your exercise.

Tip

Exercise using a combination of HIIT Cardio & Weight Training 5-5 times a week and clean eat 80% of the time (allow yourself a treat meal a week, but don’t ‘reward’ yourself with food when you achieve weight loss goals – you aren’t a dog!)

Myth  #2

Long amounts of Cardio. No! I was pleasantly surprised learning this one and being told from my trainers that it’s just not necessary or doing anything for us!

Tip 

We are better off going harder for shorter, then going longer and not giving it everything (HIIT).  Classes like Spin, circuit training, interval running on treadmills etc are going to ‘burn fat’ quicker than an hour run. That being said, one of my goals is to run a half marathon so I will still include a 5-10km run a week to keep me working towards my goals.

Myth #3 

Doing exercises such as sit ups and crunches will give me abs. I WISH. What this will do is yes help strengthen your core, but if you have layers of fat on the outside it’s only going to push that out further and not actually BURN THE FAT AWAY.

Tip 

Achieving a flat, toned stomach is done through a combination of your clean eating diet, HIIT and some core work. Core work is greatto help you for your posture with weights and breathing in cardio. So, don’t just do isolated exercises, mix it up and incorporate using your core in everything that you do, even just sitting at your desk at work.

Myth #4 

Fats are bad – No No No No…. Fats are the biggest part of my diet (which is why I try to keep my carb intake low) and play a huge part in weight loss, fighting fatigue and mental health. Our bodies actually need ‘good’ fats for omega 3 which are good for the brain -however become ‘bad’ when heated.

Tip 

AVOID foods that are labelled ‘Fat Free’ as they are usually filled with loads of other crap and sugar. Just aim to steer clear of the bad fats ‘trans’ and ‘saturated’ which are higher in cholesterol and can increase your risk of heart disease.

**See more information on good fats under ‘Food and Nutrition – Food Sources’

Myth #5

Weight training will make woman look manly – Weight Training is just as much if not more important than Cardio – well I for one would much prefer working up a sweat and getting my heart rate up lifting weights then running on a tread mill. Training with weights helps you build lean muscle which in return helps you burn more calories – even when you aren’t training!

Tip 

Incorporate weight training to your exercise regime 3 times a week. This will assist in gaining long lean muscles and help your burning more calories for longer!

Continue to re-visit betterfitvegan.com for more helpful fitness myths and tips!

Dec
17
0

Positivity

The body hears what the mind says! It’s amazing how much our thoughts control our life. I often have to remind myself ‘Hannah, it’s just a thought’ if i’m over analysing something or thinking 20 steps ahead!

Throughout my life I’ve often found myself talking negatively about myself TO myself. That’s not very nice is it! I didn’t realise until I was a little older how important it is to have self confidence (without being cocky) and tell yourself positive things about yourself and about life in general. You are the only person who is responsible for yourself, can look after yourself and can make your life decisions.

No one is asking you to be 100% perfect, just be the best you can be, learn from your mistakes and don’t dwell on them. Take something from everything, including a positive out of negative (like learning from your mistakes.  Take ownership of your life path and start standing up to those negative thoughts and watch them float on by.

Sometimes I’ve had to write down my favourite affirmation and have it up at my computer at work, my mirror in the bathroom, the fridge, diary, or even my drivers mirror in the car (not my rear view mirror!).

Whether you tell yourself you can or can’t do something, you’re right…think about it :) I may be in a Spin Class feeling like my legs are about to fall off but I changed those ‘oh no, I can’t go on anymore’ to ‘Yes I can, keep going, this is only 1 minute of your life, it’ll be over in no time, yes you can, yes you can’. Your mind gives up before your body, and your body will believe anything you tell it. So trick it, tell yourself I LOVE SPIN and sooner or later…you actually will and will reap the rewards :)

I will be updating this section quite regularly with some of my favourite affirmations, quotes and phrases. So don’t forget when you drop by betterfitvegan.com to come visit this page for your ‘daily boost’ of happy inspirational affirmations!