9 Benefits of eating sprouts + sprouting tips

For anyone who knows me or has worked with me you’ll know how much I love sprouts, I always recommend everyone to grow them. Come to my kitchen and no doubt you’ll see them growing on my windowsill or sitting draining in the drying rack. 
My favourite ones are alfalfa, broccoli, Chinese cabbage, fenugreek, and sunflower.

Some of the benefits of sprouting:

  1. Sprouts are some of the most nutrient rich foods we could eat. The seeds have the highest nutritional value when they are seedlings about 3-10 days old. The sprouts contain a greater concentration of nutrients like Vitamin E, potassium, iron, antioxidants and protein. They also contain other nutrients like folic acid, zinc and magnesium.
  2. They are living foods. They feed your cells (or batteries) the energy required to maintain all your bodily functions.
  3. They are quick growing and require little attention, so if grown frequently you always have a healthy food to add to your salads, smoothies, juices, sandwiches and to pop on top of your soups or other main meals.
  4. Sprouts are a very cost effective way to eat extremely nutrient rich foods.
  5. If you are looking to lose weight, sprouts are perfect to consume on a regular basis as they have fewer calories and are so nutrient rich which helps to keep your weight under control because your body is getting the nutrients it needs.
  6. Sprouts are also an amazing detox food.  They are rich in water and fibre, so it’s the ideal food to add to a healthy clean eating detox diet.
  7. Sprouts are the perfect home-grown food. When you grow them yourself you are helping the environment and ensuring that you are not getting unwanted pesticides, food additives, and other harmful chemicals.
  8. They have high levels of proteins. Sprouts such as sunflowers are a complete protein. The quality of the protein in the sprouted seed, nut, bean or grain improves when it is sprouted so our bodies can better utilize the protein.
  9. They are loaded with enzymes. Some people battle to eat the bean, nut or seed raw but once sprouted they contain loads of enzymes and are easy to digest and therefore the intake of nutrients increases.

How to grow sprouts:

  • Choose your seed or bean and place in a glass jar. 
  • Cover the seeds with filtered or spring water. Some seeds soak up a lot of water so make sure to add enough for this to happen. I often add a couple grains of sea salt for more minerals in the germinating process too. 
  • Place cheesecloth or a sprouting gauze over the top of the jar.
  • Soak the seeds overnight or for about 8-12 hours
  • After soaking rinse thoroughly and leave to drain so all the water comes off. Rinse 2-3 times a day
  • Once sprouting begins and you can see the shoots, place the jar in in-direct sunlight for about 1/2 an hour so chlorophyll can be produced. 
  • Allow the sprouts to grow for about 2-5 days in warmer climates and about 4-8 days in cooler climates or depending on your preference. 
  • Refrigerate once ready and add to your salads etc. 

* Make sure to keep the sprouts in shaded cooler parts of the kitchen, rinse thoroughly and pop them in the fridge as soon as they are ready as bacteria can grow on them if it is too warm and humid. If you are purchasing them from a store make sure you have checked the source and that they are fresh sprouts and have been properly refrigerated.

6 Ways to Stay Hydrated

How much water or fresh fruit and vegetable juices do you drink every day?

Most of us are probably mildly to chronically dehydrated from not drinking much water, going all the way back to our childhood. Nowadays most people’s diets are not hydrating enough either. We don’t even need to feel thirsty to need to drink water.

As we’ve heard so many times, we’re mostly made up of water, so we have to make sure we are replenishing that water to help us function optimally.

We can see the importance of it in our lives by the length of time it would take us to start dying without it. Second only to breathing, good quality water is the most crucial things for us to take in.

Often our body is signalling to us that it wants water, but instead we reach for sodas, coffee, an energy drink or snacks which causes more dehydration. If you’re feeling snacky or tired, or that you want to have a cup of coffee then have a glass of water first. If you still feel like your snack then have it, but make sure you’ve had the water.

If our body doesn’t get enough water it cannot filter and flush out the toxins as efficiently. These toxins then continue to float around our system causing it to be very acidic. Viruses and other pathogens thrive in an acidic environment causing us all sorts of problems.

Without enough water our blood also starts to get thick. This makes it difficult for the heart to pump the thick blood throughout our body, potentially causing strokes and heart attacks.

When you’re putting something into your body as often as you should be drinking water then quality really matters. Tap water is so heavily chlorinated. Depending on which part of the world you live in, the water is also recycled numerous times so it has to be treated with all sorts of chemicals. Get a filter for your taps, or purchase spring water or filtered water.

Besides water, here are other ways you can stay hydrated:

  • Drink a litre of water upon waking. If you find plain water too boring add in some lemon or cucumber or any other fruit or herb that you enjoy. You can also drink more throughout the day.
  • Drink cucumber juice. This will hydrate you and help thin your blood, making the heart’s job a lot easier.
  • Eat raw fruit and vegetable salads. All the juices are still intact in the raw foods which will hydrate you.
  • Drink watermelon juices or eat watermelon as a snack, it is one of the most hydrating fruits.
  • Drink herbal teas instead of caffeinated beverages. It’s not specifically hydrating but they won’t dehydrate you like the caffeine would.
  • Have less salty foods or add less salt to your meals. The salt will dehydrate you.

Each person’s hydration needs are different so play around and see which of these works for you.

How to Trust Your Body

I think now more than ever, in the times we currently find ourselves in, is that we need to invest in our health, both physically and mentally.

I try not to watch much news, only for the updates and important information and then switch it off. But over the last month I’ve seen so many posts, news reports, forwarded emails and messages that after only a few days in quarantine it has worn me out, and I’m sure I’m not the only one.

So I’d like to focus on the positive ways that we can improve our health and boost our immune system.

It is probably not possible to immunise ourselves against every virus out there as there are no doubt thousands of them (thankfully they seem to be mostly dealt with by our bodies already). If the reports are true then there are already many different strains of the Corona Virus that have evolved in this short space of time, so if a vaccine does become available, will it be for the right strain?  I don’t want to have to worry and be fearful about stuff like that, I want to be able to trust my body to do what it needs to do.

The way I believe we can do this is to build up our immunity as much as possible so that our body fights off anything that comes our way and that we can trust our bodies to do their job. When we trust our bodies we can be less fearful. That’s not to say we will be completely immune, we just have a better chance.

Thankfully there are so many wonderful ways to do this, here are a few:

  • Try to watch as little fearful news reports as possible. Get the information that you need and move on to other activities. Be prepared but don’t put yourself in a place where your anxiety and fear takes over your body, this stresses you out and lowers your immune system.
  • Incorporate more fruits and vegetables, organic and/or home grown if possible, into your daily intake.
  • Get creative with healthy meals; thankfully there are thousands of people online showing their beautiful, healthy recipes.
  • Be more playful. Make time to laugh and play with your kids, your friends or family. Laughter really does lighten the mood and reduce stress.
  • Listen to music you love and dance more. You’ll be happy and get exercise at the same time.
  • Move your body, run, cycle, hike, and do exercises from home, dance like I suggested above, and anything to sweat, move your lymph (the garbage system of our body) and release the toxins.
  • Be outside in the sunshine and feel the earth under your bare feet. We and the Earth are electromagnetic beings each with a different vibrational frequency, and when we are connected to the earth we release our frantic energetic charge and become calmer. That’s why we feel so grounded after walking on the beach or in a river. Nature grounds us anyway, and being barefoot is even better.
  • Grow your own vegetables. It is really satisfying to be able to pick your own food from your garden or window boxes. You’ll be happy and healthy.
  • Find reasons to be happy. Watch positive stories, find the joy in the small everyday things, enjoy the beauty in life that you usually rush right past and be thankful for it all.

If you implement these into your daily life then the positive will out way the negative and you will start to develop a stronger immune system.  

I hope you are all safe and well and excited to be radiant, fit and healthy.

All my love
Gail

Know your Cycle, Know your seasons

This one is for the ladies, however guys, you’ll also benefit from reading it.

We all (men and women) have cycles; daily, weekly, monthly, yearly etc. This means ups and downs, times when we’re inspired and when we want nothing to happen, times when we feel like socialising and times when we feel like staying indoors.

For women it’s a bit easier to gauge ours due to our menstrual cycle. But a lot of women have no idea where they are in their cycle and that they even feel any differently. You may only be reminded when someone comments on your shortness or grumpiness that you become aware that you are going through some PMS.

To know your cycle is one of the most beneficial things you can do for yourself, and for those around you. I highly recommend getting in touch with your cycle. You’ll understand why everyone is irritating you, or why you want to binge eat every sweet thing in site. You’ll stop wondering why you feel so loving some days and others you want to be left alone.
You’ll understand that you’re not weird, your hormones are just different on different days.

I’m going to explain it the way I’ve learnt it and have shared with many different women…and men. The men really relate to this; they get it and have been very understanding and supportive when it is described in this way.

We all know the seasons (cycles) of our planet; Summer, Autumn, Winter, Spring.
Now think of this in terms of your menstrual cycle.
Just a reminder that I am generalising for most of the women here who still menstruate, although women who have been through menopause also experience seasons.

Winter:
Imagine how most of life operates in winter, there is hibernation and staying indoors, relaxing and rejuvenating. This is the same for your cycle. You feel like staying indoors and don’t really want to socialise or party or do much exercise.
This is usually when you start to bleed as well as a few days into bleeding. For me that is also a day or two before, it all depends on how your cycle is.

This is a time where we should really rest and rejuvenate and listen to our bodies to see what they need. You don’t have to stop activity altogether, but check in with how you’re feeling and honour it. You may not want to make many social gatherings.

Spring:
This is when life starts to come alive again. Animals come out of their hidey homes in search of food, plants are breaking through the snow, and the flowers are starting to open.
Same for women, we are ‘through the worst’ and start to blossom again. We start to get inspired for our work, playing with the kids is easier, we make plans to see people and are generally a lot happier.

This is a time for planning and preparing for when you do have lots of energy. You can schedule some dates and go out with your friends and family, plan for the business meetings and events or any other function you may want to host in your ‘summer time’.

Summer:
Life is in full bloom, and so are we. We are usually full of energy, socialising with friends and family, and working well. This is when the libido is usually at its peak.

This is the time when you do a lot more socialising, and when you host your functions. It is also the time when you get as much done as you can for when you do not have as much energy. For example, you can make a few more meals and freeze them for when you don’t feel like cooking. You do a few more blog posts for your social media while the inspiration is flowing, take the kids out for some fun activities, do the clearing in the house or garden that you know you might not get to later in your cycle.

Autumn:
Just as in nature, things are starting to slow down again for women. We will still socialise and be inspired but it is tapering off.

This may be the time to complete everything that you started in the spring cycle in preparation for wanting to hibernate again.

This may not be realistic for everyone because you still have a job, you still have to entertain the kids even when you don’t feel like it and still have to attend events. Perhaps what you could do is make deals with your partner that they do more when you’re not feeling up to it, and when you are at your peak, you do that little bit extra to keep it balanced. You communicate with your girl friends about their cycles and work out what when the best time would be to connect. (Yes it sounds completely weird but do what feels comfortable for you, you never know, you may end up connecting with women on a different level)

It’s not about limiting your life just because of your cycle, it is about understanding why you feel the way you do and being better prepared. Even if all of these suggestions are not possible for you, I highly recommend getting to know your cycle at least. You can write down in your journal where you are in your cycle and describe how you are feeling. There are also apps online to track your cycle.

Journal promp example:
Day 1: (your first day of bleeding)  
Feeling – mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually: “I feel bloated and crampy and don’t feel like getting out of my pjs. I just want to relax, and don’t want to see anyone because my emotions are so up and down and I don’t want to misinterpret what others say to me.”

Once you’ve done this for a few cycles you will see there is a pattern and you can work with it.
It can be life changing!

Pic Source – https://youtu.be/HY1jojwGN_0

Why Be Healthy?

I think deep down we all know we need to make healthier choices. It can feel like hard work and that you really don’t want to do it and that you’d rather just do it when you really have to.

Every day we are taking in toxins that our body and more specifically our liver has to process.
These toxins are in foods we eat; either covered in pesticides or completely artificial like crisps or overly processed such as fast food, or from the hormones in the meats from the animals that were bred to grow rapidly.
They’re in drinks like sodas or alcoholic beverages or the chemicals in our tap water.
Toxins are in our skin and hair ‘care’ products, nail polish and the nail polish remover, make-up, toothpaste, hair dyes, spray tan, perfumes and cologne/aftershave.
Its in our detergents, air fresheners, laundry detergent, firelighters, candles, etc.

It is quite overwhelming, and there are some things that we just can’t do anything about, such as the exhaust fumes from all the traffic we sit in daily, chemicals that are floating in the air from factories that are blown in by the wind.

All of these toxins are processed by your liver every moment you’re alive, and for the most part it can do it really well. But after a while it gets overburdened by the constant bombardment of toxins and it may start to get sluggish, you can develop illnesses related to the struggling liver, or maybe even liver cancer.

How do I make better choices?

Thankfully we are able to do a lot with our food choices and our house and body products. There are so many shampoos, soaps, body lotions and house hold cleaning products that you can purchase nowadays that have very little of these chemical toxins in them. And they are available at your local supermarkets these days which makes it so easy to find them.

By purchasing organic foods you consume less pesticides, herbicides and fungicides and the organic food usually has more nutrients in to deal with the toxins. By using natural skin and hair products and washing your clothes in natural detergent less toxins are being absorbed into your blood stream.

And when your liver has to deal with less toxins and sends cleaner blood to your heart your body can then perform better.

  • You’ll have a stronger immune system which means you’re less susceptible to viruses, you’ll have more energy,
  • clearer skin,
  • radiant hair,
  • vibrant eyes,
  • better quality of sleep,
  • improved moods,
  • women’s menstrual cycle balances and there are less mood swings,
  • you’ll reach your ideal body weight,
  • you’ll slow down the aging process,
  • and you’ll feel happier overall.

By making small changes daily, weekly, monthly, you get to prevent spending the last ‘2-20’ years of your life struggling. I know your grandparent lived to 88 years old, but how many of those years towards the end were vibrant, and how many were a struggle? I know I want my later years on this planet to be happy and healthy ones.

Healthy Fruit breakfast

Natural Body Cream

“If you can’t eat it then don’t put it on your body.” I’m sure a lot of you have heard this statement.

There are a lot of toxins in body lotions and whether or not it does get absorbed straight into the blood stream or not I’d rather just use natural products. This one that I make smells lovely and feels wonderful on the skin.

Recipe:
1 cup Cacao Butter
1/2 Cup coconut oil
Optional: Essential Oils for your choice of scent

Melt down over a double boiler system (Helps keep the lovely scent of the cacao butter)

Cacao Butter and Coconut oil in a ‘double boiler’ to melt them down without cooking them.

Pour into a glass container and let it set on the counter for an hour. Then you can put it into the fridge to set properly.

You can use more coconut oil if you live in a cooler area as the cacao butter will make it quite hard. And if you live in a really hot area then add more cacao butter so it doesn’t become too liquidy. You can use a stick of sorts to get it out, I’ve washed an old ice-cream spoon and use this 🙂

Simple Watermelon Recipe

Apart from being so refreshing and hydrating in hot summer weather, watermelon has numerous health benefits. 

They are full of beta-carotene (the bright pinky-red colour) which is converted into vitamin A in our bodies. Vitamin A helps maintain eye health and are also high in Vitamin C which is known to be an excellent immune booster and cancer fighter. 

Watermelons can boost your energy levels as it contains Vitamin B6 which stimulates the production of dopamine in our brains and makes us feel good and relieves us from stress, fatigue and anxiety.

A good way to enjoy all the benefits of the watermelon and its seeds is to blend it up and make a smoothie.

Recipe:
1/4 large watermelon
3 sprigs of mint  (Adjust to taste)
A few blocks of ice (to your taste)
Blend together and enjoy the refreshing and hydrating juice.

You can also freeze these into lollipops and let the kids enjoy these frozen delights. 

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What do you have to live for?

I recently read ‘Man’s Search for Meaning’ by Viktor E. Frankl.
It is such an inspirational book.
There are so many take home messages and quotes to really think about. The one that stands out for me right now is: “Those who have a WHY to live can bear almost any HOW”.

Or my way of looking at it in our current lives; when you have a ‘why to live’ you have purpose and a drive to keep living and thriving.

As a coach I see so many people who are aimlessly going about their lives with no real purpose, just living for the sake of living, surviving.

I watch so many coaches and gurus and teachers telling us that we need to set goals. And I’ve always done it… but now it has deeper meaning for me. It helps you get through tougher times. It gives you direction. It gives you a sense of purpose and a drive to move forward.

Set goals. Set big ones. And set many in all areas of your life. Because once you achieve the goals you get into a lull again and feel ‘what’s next?’ Start setting new goals when you can see your current ones are about to be achieved.

Keep dreaming. Keep striving. The Universe is listening and helping you achieve these goals.
Create vision boards, talk about your goals, write them down all the time, visualise them. Create your life. Make it happen.

What do you want? 👌💚☺

Viktor Frankl

Conscious Eating and Self-Love

I recently listened to one of my favourite teachers, Teal Swan, being interviewed on the Hay House World Summit. She was being asked about self-love and how you can start to love yourself more or to even love yourself at all. She talked about being conscious while eating and drinking and how you can link this to starting to feel better. This is a concept I’ve read a lot about and I try to do it as often as I can.

The way she explained it was really beautiful and this is how I’ve interpreted it:
Part 1:
A large percentage of people on this planet do not love themselves, much less like themselves very much. To start doing better in life and to start enjoying it, an essential place to begin is to try loving yourself. Now, you can’t just go from hating or really disliking yourself to loving yourself overnight, it just doesn’t work like that. And you can keep saying affirmations that you ‘love yourself’ but all you may be feeling is complete frustration because you actually really don’t like yourself at all. One of the ways to start liking yourself is to find things that you like about you. For example, you could love your eyes, or your hair etc. Focus on those aspects of yourself daily, feel good about them, and then look for more good things.

Part 2:
Teal talks about another wonderful idea. Remember the tale of the Trojan War when the Greeks gifted a wooden horse to the city of Troy? They hid a secret force of men inside the horse and pretended to sail away. The Trojans took the horse inside the city as a victory trophy and at night when the city was asleep the Greek soldiers climbed out the horse and opened the gates for the rest of the army to take over the city.

What she suggests is likening the city of Troy to your body, the wooden horse to a glass or water and the soldiers inside it as your thoughts.
Remember this: We are mostly made up of water.
So what you can do is think of something or someone you really love; your children, your pets, your partner, something that makes you incredibly happy and full of love.
Just as the soldiers took over the city, when you drink water it is going to go through all your cells and merge with everything inside of you. When you take in that positively and lovingly charged water it will get inside your body and start to take over in love and positivity.

Teal said that she had self hatred, practiced this above method daily and before she knew it she was actually saying positive things about herself.
So you too can practice this just once a day with the water that you drink and see if you can feel a difference. Eventually you can do it with every glass of water and everything else that you consume.

That is why being mindful or conscious of the food or drink you are consuming can make a positive difference in your life. Imagine you eating your lunch while watching the news or you are sitting at your desk where you are working on a deadline. You are going to be feeling frantic or upset or angry with what you are seeing and this emotion will go into all the molecules and therefore take over your body and you will be left feeling like this all of the time.

If you are a bit skeptical about how thoughts can effect water have a look at Dr Emoto. He did numerous experiments on water proving that negative or positive thoughts and words could change its molecular structure.

There is so much to love, let’s get started!

This is my drinking glass, you can buy or make your own as a reminder to stay positive 🙂

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Rejuvenating Yoga and Health Retreat

Retreats with Thrive & Shine are a time to relax, indulge in healthy, nourishing foods and be looked after by someone else for a change.
It’s the perfect time to unwind and the only thing to think about is your happiness.

Join like-minded ladies on a journey of rediscovery.

Retreat Options:
2 Night
3 Night
Private Retreats for single or couples

What’s included:

  • accommodation in tranquil settings for either 4 delightful days (3 nights) or 3 days (2 nights)
  • all delicious, nutritious meals and drinks (organic, plant based foods, superfoods, juices, smoothies)
  • healthy eating tools
  • 1 hour massage
  • 1 hour reflexology (Available on 4 day retreat)
  • a health coaching and life coaching session
  • daily yoga and meditation
  • down time to relax and rejuvenate
  • walks in the mountain
  • You’ll come away with tools on how to eat healthier, plus the recipes we use on the retreat.
  • You’ll feel relaxed and ready to take on the challenges of daily life.
  • There will be an option to work with Gail going forward in a program to keep you on track with your new lifestyle.
  • Perhaps you’ll have a chance to get to know yourself that little bit better, and with self knowledge comes more self love.

Contact us to find out about the next retreats

Click here to book on the retreats.

Terms and Policies:

  • Bookings will be confirmed on receipt of 50% deposit
  • Full payment should be made 1 week before the retreat
  • We reserve the right to cancel the retreat if it is not meeting the minimum guests (if we do so your deposit is refunded in full).
  • Any cancellations made 1 week before will result in the loss of deposit

DISCLAIMER
The information given at this retreat is at all times for educational purposes and only on the subject of health matters for the mind and body, to regain health naturally. We do not diagnose or prescribe remedies for the treatment of diseases. Gail is a Health Coach and Life Coach and not a licensed medical provider and this information is given based on her nutritional studies and personal experience.