Book Club – The FreeMind Experience by Tom Fortes Mayer

About the book*

Last week was Mental Health Awareness Week (11th -17th May) and I started reading what could be described as a self help book with a difference. It features the authors personal journey, self hypnosis techniques for relaxation and reprogramming, along with music suggestions to help you to relax or release emotions.

How it works

Tom combines his experiences as a therapist, teachings from ancient wisdom traditions, rapid-behaviour-change techniques and wittily and candidly recounts how his outlook on life changed for the better.

The Three Pillars of Absolute Happiness:

Pillar 1 Peace (emotional intelligence and deprogramming fear) – how to let go of limiting thoughts, beliefs, feelings and behaviours that are holding you back.

Pillar 2 Power (success psychology) – how to unleash your enormous potential and flow through life with brilliance by learning to relate to life in new ways.

Pillar 3 Purpose (unconditional love) – how to enjoy everything that matters most by experiencing more connection, contribution and celebration.

Has it worked for me?

I realised that I’ve basically gone through pillar 1 myself already as life has given me a few wake-up calls and I’ve had long chats with the bloke (usually after too many beers, ironically) about how I’ve felt and why I wasn’t functioning very well. I’m able to relate to my emotions now and to understand them and handle them better as a result.TheFreeMind Experience

Pillar 2 helped me to feel more optimistic and better about myself and kept on reminding me of that. It gave me ways to catch any negative thoughts as soon as they occur and then to reprogram my way of thinking so they re-occur less and less and naturally become positive one’s instead!

I’m half way through pillar 3 at the moment and I already have a greater sense of being at one with life, rather than battling through it or feeling angry when it frustrates me because things aren’t going to (my) plan. I feel lighter somehow and a lot more chilled. I’m also smiling more, being more accepting of others if they act out because they’re having a bad day, I’m more patient and tolerant. I’m also looking at the beauty in the world that’s all around and appreciating it more, rather than just rushing past it on the way to somewhere with my head down. The bloke actually asked me if I’d taken ‘any happy pills or something?’ nope, there’s no need!

To Sum Up…

Don’t expect this to be an uplifting journey all of the way through. You have to start with a lot of soul searching and maybe re-remembering negative times and feelings you may have buried or didn’t realise effected you so much at the time. Feelings that have made you cynical or defensive or unworthy or even phobic etc. but it’s the perfect way to dump any emotional baggage or negative learned behaviour. Then you learn to re-connect with yourself and love yourself in a way that we all should, because how can you begin to positively relate to others or reach any goals if you don’t believe in yourself? Then the book helps us to appreciate everything and everyone – yes, even the crappy times and the arsewipes – because it’s all part of the shared experience we call life and we can’t control everything anyway. But also to really throw ourselves into life with a lighter heart, new enthusiasm and a deeper kindness to others and ourselves. Can’t argue with that! The music suggestions and the idea of attaching positive emotions to them so that when you play that particular song, you feel uplifted all over again is just genius!

I’d love to know would you give this a try? Have you tried something similar?

*I was sent this book to review but this in no way effects my opinion. Honest as always!

Other posts of mine about related to positive mental health

You don’t have to hide your disability or condition

Accepting your limitations can be a good thing

10 positive things dyspraxia has given me

Products to help you drift off to sleep rather than tying your thoughts into knots

Why fake isn’t always fabulous

My favourite things about winter (a time that can brutally affect people with SAD)

Scars are your survival marks

Feel happier just by being

10 reasons why bad weather can sometimes be good

Chrissie xx

The Best Blogs for Veggie Food Inspiration

Seeing as it’s the tail end of National Vegetarian Week I thought I’d link you up to my favourite vegetarian bloggers – better late than never right!?

Lucy’s Friendly Foods a Cordon Bleu trained chef who’s recipes are dairy free so like me she is ‘accidentally vegan’.

Vegetarian Dad for simple but delicious food.food

Lori Leigh Wilson for a mixture of veggie and vegan recipes.

More Than Meatless is a visually beautiful blog to fulfil all of your #foodporn needs.

Blog 4 Veggie Lover’s has a specific vegan page which always comes in handy.

Bunny Kitchen is a totally vegan blog – sometimes making usual recipes with an ingenious vegan twist.

My Whole Food Life is a totally vegan blog featuring healthy food and amazing deserts!

The Chubby Vegetarian are a husband and wife team from Southern America who have published a cook book and write features for magazine’s/newspapers online and in print.

Bewitchery is a general lifestyle blog by vegetarian Naomi, who’s style is to die for.

Here are some of my fave blogs which feature 75%-80% veggie recipes for those of you who aren’t full vegetarian but want to incorporate more veggie dishes into your diet and need some inspiration.

The Vanilla Housewife is a fantastic and funny lifestyle blog by Jhanis who has a ‘My Third World Kitchen’ page featuring plenty of inspired but simple recipes her family love.

Look What I Made This is a pretty healthy food blog which features a lot of vegetarian recipes.

A Wannabe Foodie features a lot of veggie recipes and lots of gorgeous deserts!

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Can’t believe I’ve not thought of doing this before! Do you have any veggie blog recommendations?

Chrissie xx

 

 

 

 

So Recently I’ve Been…

Creating coffee flavours. I’m not a huge fan of coffee on it’s own but I like the flavour as

photopart of something else. This is Chrissie’s Special Mocha.

2 tpns dark drinking chocolate

Drop of cold coconut milk to turn choccy into a paste

1 rounded tpn Instant coffee 

1 tpn demerara sugar

1/3 can non-fat coconut milk (stirred and gently heated)

maple syrup to your taste.

Listening to Tove Lo the feisty and candid 27 year old Swedish singer and songwriter.

 

Drinking Bulmer’s Zesty Blood Orange Cider. I had never heard of blood oranges the first time I tried one and I thought it was a normal one – until I opened it up clumsily and it appeared to actually be bleeding! Not traumatic at all. Anyway, this cider has a grown up taste unlike sickly sweet alcopops it’s a lot more balanced and palatable, rather like a sweet rose wine.

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Re-watching Third Rock From The Sun as me and the bloke loved it the first time around and now we can laugh until no sound comes out all over again but sitting next to each other. If you don’t know it’s about a group of 4 aliens that have taken the guise of a human family to study our strange little species but they find us a lot more complex and challenging than they first thought, with brilliantly funny consequences. John Lithgow’s performance is just genius! With an early turn from Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Inception, 500 Days of Summer) as teenager Tommy, Kristen Johnston (Sex and The City as the girl who was so bored she could die literally) as the unstoppable Sally and French Stewart (Mom TV series, The Penguins of Madagascar) on wonderfully weird form.

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Birthday flowers

Getting MRI scanned and getting many surprise birthday flowers! The bloke arranged a surprise delivery of them and sent a bouquet to my Mum as well for her birthday which is aday before mine – aww! 12 days later I had to go for my second full brain and spine scan where I had to keep perfectly still or they have to do that section all over again. My nerves flinch quite severely and rather randomly, plus with my attention span I find the monotony of doing nothing and waiting in a tube with a frame over my face to be really frustrating. Plus, this should have been done 6 month ago. I met The bloke at the hospital hiding behind a column!? Then I realised he’d turned up with a giant bunches of flowers! Turns out he and his Dad had gone rather flower crazy for me when doing some shopping earlier!

The 2nd lot of flowers

The 2nd lot of flowers

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After the Lilies opened – wow!

Discovering cool geek stuff Modern live action Avengers get an original comic book make-under by artists Kate Willaert.

I’ve also discovered the original tittles of popular films when they were in book format (I knew the Philip K Dick ones obviously being a sci-fi fan), some were much better, others like the original The Social Network tittle where pretty bobbins!

Watching this trailer for Mad Max: Fury Road which looks like the film is one hell of a ride! Has anyone seen it yet?

In pain and determined to cheer myself up. I sighed and relaxed and my back just sort

Screen Shot 2015-05-16 at 17.49.01 of collapsed – backward! Basically I’ve been walking like an old lady penguin for several days. Who knew a kettle could feel so heavy and that you use muscles in your back when lifting it? I’m starting to realise you use the muscles in your lower back for just about everything! All of this rest means I’m getting very good at 8 Ball Pool though. Who wants a game? After three days of being cooped up I got dressed and dragged myself out to the local deli and shops to get Mediterranean style lunch, something sweet and fizzy and a magazine to read as my eyes were starting to go square after all that online pool playing.

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Have you come across any of these things or is there anything similar that you recommend?

Chrissie xx

Geek Wishlist

DNA Earrings – Boutique Accademia

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Moment Wide Lense for iPhone

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8 Bit Rise & Shine Heat Change Mug – Think Geek

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“Knowing” T-shirt by Macaron – Redbubble

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Power Up Arcade Lightswitch Plate – Think Geek

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Harry Potter Time Turner Necklace Gold Plated – The Harry Potter Shop at Platform 9 3/4

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Iron Man Mac Book Pro Case

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Which one’s do you need in your life?

If you think I’ve covered the full spectrum of Geekshire here, wait, there are more posts on the way!

Chrissie xx

Bucket Bags and Mini Bags

Bucket Bags and Mini Bags
Wether you are carrying a little or a lot – carry it in style!

LUSH Body Butter scrub bar

Aqua Mirabilis £6.50 95g

Is it a scrub? Is it a butter? It’s both, which saves time and money! My mate Stephie surprised me with this for christmas, so I don’t know why I’m only just blogging about it. Maybe because it’s a prezzie and not a product gifted to me for review purposes. I have to share it with people who are yet to discover it, it’s that awesome!

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This bar smells like freshly baked biscuits so I had to resist the urge to lick it! Cocoa butter and Almond butter provide moisture but the bar has enough resistance to scrub with, rather than turning into a gooey mess. The ground almond shells are so fine and generously added they do a wonderful job of gently exfoliating skin without irritating it. I even used this on my nose and forehead but don’t recommend this if you have sensitive skin obv! The fine grit does mean it’s necessary to buy a storage tin (thanks Steph), this will also keep it away from the daily humidity of your bathroom. I took this picture when I first got it so you could see how thick it is, believe me, it last a long time!

Ingredients

Fair trade organic cocoa butter, almond butter, laureth 4, ground almond shells, sandalwood oil, rose absolute, lilial, perfume.

[The egg shaped ninja dude in the background is Hero Zappy, he sterilises our toothbrushes for us with UV light.]

Rating 4/5

It only lost a point because it’s not very practical without a tin.

Has Marie Claire ‘White Washed’ Kerry Washington?

If you aren’t familiar with the term ‘white washing’ it means when brands lighten images of black and mixed race women and/or change their features for a more ‘westernised’ look. This is evident everyday on bill boards, magazine covers, film posters even adds for makeup. Why get a women of colour to represent your beauty brand, to show you have a broad spectrum of shades presumably, then white wash her in the advert?

I do have a very low opinion of this anyway but when I received this months issue (June) of Marie Claire it really annoyed me. At a quick first glance I thought “Oh that women looks similar to Kerry Washington” That’s how different I think she looks on this cover – I didn’t recognise it was actually her. They have changed her skin tone to more of a golden hue, squared off her jaw for some reason and narrowed her lips so much that they are a totally different shape!

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I remember when I first watched Washington in Scandal and I thought it was fantastic that the makeup artist had outlinned and definned the natural shape of her pout and made a real feature of it. I know Washington is light-medium skinned rather than very dark but she doesn’t normally look like a white person who’s been working on their tan! There also seems to be a surprising amount digital noise in certain parts of the photograph, which usually indicates a large amount of alterations. I’m wondering the following.

  1. Is this yet another case of white washing?
  2. Is this the “Only average sized features are pretty so let’s make EVERYONE look the same!” train of thought?
  3. Is it this the “Let’s contour the heck out of her face using light and dark – oh we’ve gone a bit far – better do the same with her body so it matches” mistake?

I wonder what Washington thinks of the cover?

What do you think? Do you heavily photoshop pictures of yourself? I tried it once but my mate asked “What’s the point, it’s hardly like you have three eyes or something anyway?” and my Mum was sort of disturbed by the fact that I didn’t look like her daughter anymore.

Chrissie xx

The 20 Best Biker and Bomber Jackets

Biker and Bomber Jackets
There might be sunny spells but there’s still a chill in the air so make your jacket the statement piece of your outfit!

Accepting Your Limitations Can Be A Good Thing

We’ve all seen those motivational posters, they sprung up in offices during the 80’s featuring wild animals looking magnificent with a motivational a tagline below and I-Dont-Push-Deadlines-I-Push-My-Limitsnow they are shoved at us in the form of Instagram and Pinterest pins. Y’know the ones about always pushing ourselves to be better. You should never stopping long enough to even think about giving up, right?

The problem with this kind of mentality is that if we constantly did this without a break and with all of the mental pressure which that entails, we would probably reach a mental or emotional breakdown – faster than our actual goals. Everyone has their own personal limits. Whether that’s in the form of patience, strength, confidence or even just being around people without wanting to run away to get some space.

This brings me to why I started writing this. As a fairly young blogger (I’m on the fresher side of my 30’s – hey, I said ‘fairly’ young!) and living in a big city with bar openings, boutique launches and blogger meet-up’s happening every week, I sometimes feel a great pressure to be sociable. That’s what people do isn’t it? They meet strangers other bloggers, have a drink and a laugh, Instagram themselves doing this and then do it all over again – the next night possibly. It’s not always for me I’m afraid. In fact I passed up going to a popular blog conference the night before. I actually felt guilty that I’d be passing up the opportunity to work with brands and meet bloggers I’ve ‘chatted’ to loads on FB and their blogs and keep-calm-its-ok-to-say-say-nomine. What was wrong with me? Anxiety at meeting new people? Well partly, I think most people are a little nervous if they’re honest but it wasn’t specifically that. I was getting a lift down and back so travelling wasn’t the problem. Depression? No I’ve that and this wasn’t it. Was I just giving up and not pushing myself. Was I taking the easy way out? Hang on! This is meant to be enjoyable and exciting not an awful endurance test! Then I realised the truth. I just really didn’t want to go. That’s it. I feel guilty it took me this long to be honest with myself as someone could have had my place but I felt really relieved also.

I can sometimes feel fatigued easily, physically, mentally and emotionally. It seems to require quite a bit of thought and concentration for me to do things without messing them up or just going blank and staring into space, like my brain has gone onto stand by. This usually involves my mouth hanging open slightly and a glazed look on my face – so enthralling! The conference would be eight hours long, starting at 9.00am. I’d already felt ‘off’ for two days. I was more lethargic than normal and rather apathetic to things that I tired-cat-e1296037478713normally love doing. I was also having an emotional wobble for various reasons I won’t go into. All of these things tend to get rapidly worse when I ignore them and try to plough on regardless.I can be on the brink of tears one minute and snapping at people the next for no discernible reason. Kinda like when a kid gets ‘over-tired’ ha!  How many times have you pushed yourself to do something you feel that you ‘should’ do even though you know, deep down you need a rest or that, if you’re being honest it’s just not quite you? How many situations have you got yourself into because you thought you were ‘supposed to’ and then realised you had those nagging feelings of doubt for a good reason? Why do we put this pressure on ourselves? Is it because we think we have to have lives brimming with masses of fun experiences and if we slow down, we are a few steps closer to the Grim Reaper? Maybe it is just plain old FOMO and that feeling of regret when seeing peoples cray cray selfies the next day on social media. Personally, I think it’s the constant pressure which modern society puts on us to push ourselves and to achieve more because now we have many more opportunities than the previous generation had. It’s our duty to achieve (and to attend) it all! So here’s the sort of ‘motivational’ quotes which I’ll be paying attention to in the future.

 

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Experimenting With Healthy Ingredients from Indigo Herbs

It’s like I’ve accidentally become healthy or something? As you know I’m veggie and mostly dairy free so for the protein I eat avocado, tofu, quinoa and humous, which just happen to be healthy choices. I’m lazy though and buy things pre-made or from takeaways – not good for health or budgetary reasons – so I jumped at the chance when Indigo Herbs offered to send me some of their organic ingredients.

Here’s what they have they say. “We specialise in superfoods, herbs and natural health ingredients. What we bring to you is a really broad range of excellent quality natural health and wellbeing products to include in your daily lifestyle, from breakfast, lunch and dinner, to everything in between.”

Organic Chia Seed Protein Powder for a green smoothie

Serves 1

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Ingredients 

5 grams (roughly) Organic Chia Seed Protein Powder

1 cup Coconut Milk (no fat)

2/3 cup Spinach

1/3 Salanova Red and Green ‘butter’ Lettuce (or more spinach instead)

3 Plump Semi Dried Apricots chopped

Method

Add a small amount of coconut milk to the protein powder and stir gently with a folk until mixed together, stop before it turns into a goopy ball! Add the rest of the coconut milk and whisk for 1 minute. Add the greens and the fruit and blitz until smooth. If consistency is too thick add a little filtered water and mix again until easily drinkable.

Verdict

I was pretty skeptical but I decided after the first few sips that I really liked the taste and the texture. The flavour of the greens balanced out the sweetness of the coconut milk and the apricots added a little tanginess. I drank this when I was hungry and feeling fatigued after my (simple/moderate) mid-day exercises and it gave me my energy back, plus I wasn’t peckish again until 3 hours later. I’d try 10g of protein powder if I had a really busy long afternoon ahead of me.

Organic Raw Almond Butter for a creamy stir fry sauce

Serves 1P1050585

Ingredients

1/2 can Full Fat Coconut Milk

3 tspn Almond Butter

Red Chilli Flakes/Hot sauce to taste

1 tspn of Tamari (wheat free soy sauce) or Soy Sauce

Method

On a low heat, stir together coconut milk and almond butter in a frying pan on a low heat. Add tamari/soy sauce stir. Add red chilli flakes or hot sauce, simmer constantly stirring until required consistency.

Verdict

 The sauce was the perfect consistency and had a good depth of flavour. Perfect! I also love this on seeded toast for breakfast if I’m going out for the day, as it gives me energy for hours. The toast picture gives you the best idea of the butters consistency, also I greedily ate my stir fry and forgot to take a picture!

Organic Raw White Sesame Tahini to make hummus

I think the reason most people have heard of tahini is because it’s one of the main ingredients in humous and seeing as I’m ‘a humous monster’ according to the bloke, (I’m not, it’s just so handy to always have a pot in the fridge) I decided to make my own.

Amount 1 and a half ‘cups’ roughly

Ingredients 

1 400g tin Cooked Chickpeas (garbanzo beans) drained with liquid set aside

1/4 cup of Chickpea LiquidP1050595

1/3 Cup of Raw White Sesame Tahini

1/2 teaspoon of Salt

1/2 rounded teaspoon of Garlic Paste

Freshly squeezed Lime Juice

Method

Chuck everything apart from the lime juice into a blender and blend like crazy! Add the lime juice to your taste and blend even more.

Verdict

I find a lot of shop bought humous to be either very bland or with so much flavouring that it tastes like something else entirely. This tasted like traditional hummus but the lime juice made it taste slightly sweeter than if I’d have used lemon. This is perfect if you like your hummus to have a fairly thick consistency.

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Hope this has given you some inspiration to try different things. Have you made any of these? How did they turn out?

Chrissie xx

The products in bold were gifted to me by Indigo Herbs. My opinion is as honest as ever!