I'm so good at sleeping I can do it with my eyes closed!
Can you say that? If so, do be sure to thank your lucky stars!!
Curling up in a cosy bed for a restful night’s sleep is not only enjoyable; it is also very important to our health. While we sleep, our bodies carry out vital functions which affect our overall well-being. The body is nourished, allowing tissues to repair and organs to rest and detox. We awake feeling renewed, refreshed and restored.
Here are some brilliant tips on how to optimise your sleep so you can enjoy radiant good health and energy each and every day:
Prepare for bedtime so that when you hit the hay you will sleep like a baby!!
• Eat your evening meal several hours before you go to bed, and avoid indigestible foods that may have an effect on sleep (particularly dairy and wheat products). Having a light evening meal before 8pm and avoiding snacks later on means your digestive system will be resting when it should be - while you’re asleep.
• It’s definitely best to skip chocolate, black tea, coffee and alcohol after about 6pm, as they are stimulants rather than relaxants and may keep you from falling into the deeper stages of sleep, where the body does most of its healing. You could replace these with a calming tea like Pukka’s Night Time Tea or Relax herbal tea
• Avoid using a computer or mobile phone, or watching TV, late in the evening. Try setting a ‘switch-off’ time so you can relax your mind rather than stimulate it just before bed. Listen to some gentle, relaxing music or have a warm bath with lavender oil. Gently rubbing sesame oil on the soles of your feet also aids relaxation
Re your actual bedtime
• Establish a bedtime routine. It’s best to go to bed and wake up at the same times each day, even at the weekend. This will help your body to get into a sleep rhythm and make it easier to fall asleep and get up in the morning. Make your bedtime as early as possible. Our systems, particularly the adrenals, do the majority of their recharging or recovering during the hours between 11 pm. and 1 am.
• If stress or anxiety is affecting your sleep it is a GREAT idea to jot down anything you need to do the next day, before you go to sleep. Getting it “out of your head” and on to paper can really help the mind to relax. You could also try sitting or lying quietly and comfortably, focusing on a breathing technique in which the out-breath is longer than the in-breath. This allows the body to gradually relax and prevents the mind from wandering off! Listening to a Dru Deep Relaxation CD before you go to bed is an excellent way to prepare for a good night's sleep.
• Sleep in complete darkness, or as close to it as possible. Even very dim light can disrupt your circadian rhythm and your pineal gland's production of melatonin and seratonin.
If it isn’t possible, practical or safe to eliminate all light from your bedroom, then a great way to sleep in the dark is to use a travel eye shade or a fragrant eye pillow. The scent of a lavender eye pillow and the gentle pressure on your eyes helps to trigger relaxation.
• There are also various excellent remedies on the market which aid restful, restorative sleep. You could try A.Vogel’s sleep remedy, Dormeasan, which combines valerian and hops which both help to induce sleep, as well as to maintain it throughout the night. Healing Herbs have a great “Rest” flower remedy that comes in a granular form (also suitable for children).
• And a final point – exercise also helps you sleep! If you exercise daily, preferably in the morning for least 30 minutes, you’ll be ready for bed at the end of the day - and you’ll sleep like a top!
Good night. Sleep well
Image attribution Sleeping lynx- original image Domenico Salvagnin https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Lynx_romagnano_(2430886086).jpg
The super-shot has arrived..
To do list longer than Mr Tickle’s arms?
In this day and age, having time to eat a nutrient-packed meal is becoming harder and harder and with the growing physical and mental demands on us it’s even more important than ever.
So just what can you do to get you through? Luckily Mother Nature is rather ingenious and has designed something just for this situation. When you first hear the word grass, you might think of a cow munching in a field, but organic barley grass is something rather more spectacular and most definitely for human consumption.
Beyond its vivid green and somewhat alien appearance within it hides a vast array of nutrients; vitamins B1, B2, B3 and B6, vitamin C, E as well as folic acid, magnesium, iron, phosphorus and zinc. The list goes on! It’s high protein content helps keep you feeling full, while the fibre gets your digestive system going - just what you need over the season of gluttony!
Coming in an easily digestible and versatile powder form, it takes a matter of seconds to add this power packed boost to your morning, or give you that little lift you need to get you through the afternoon! Now for you fellow vegetarians and vegans out there, it can be hard to get the omega-3 necessary to keep your mind & body in optimum condition but you’ll get a lovely little dash of this in your teaspoon of barley grass. To add to all this, a little linolenic acid helps contribute to normal cholesterol levels, which helps reduce your risk of stroke and heart attacks. Bonus!
Now I know you’ve most likely stopped reading this and are frantically clicking, desperate to fill every cupboard with these tubs of green goodness, but wait, there’s more!
The western diet is sadly slipping more and more down the slope of convenience and price, overshadowing the reason we are meant to eat in the first place - fuelling our bodies so we can live fully every day! Barley grass offers a final solution to this being packed with more nutrients than I can list. It takes seconds to prepare and with this unbelievable offer, of four 100g tubs for just £25 - (offer valid until 15/12/15) that’s a four-month supply for just 20p a day! Now that’s fast food I can order up!
Barley grass is harvested before it contains gluten and the process is carefully monitored to ensure nutrient levels are at their peak. This makes barley grass a perfect fit for a gluten free diet. The B vitamins; B2, B3 and B6, all are there to help manage fatigue and help vitamin C and B1 in their energy boosting skills, so your morning coffee bill might be dropping, and all that extra cash can be spent on fun things to do with your renewed energy!
As the season turns and the coats get bigger, our immunity can take a bit of a hit. Nothing brings on the winter blues more than an incessant cold. Zinc & iron are here to help, like bodyguards ready to knock out any nasties trying to take you down. So knock down a shot of the green stuff and get ready to face the season head on!
All sounding a little too good to be true? Well just try it and see. With just half a tea spoon you could pump up your day in seconds, aid your digestion, immunity and energy and keep yourself looking and feeling fabulous!! So what are you waiting for? Let the green revolution begin.
Quick, Easy and Delicious
Spinach and Nut Roast
Try this great recipe which:
- serves 4 people
- only takes 25 minutes to prepare
- takes 1 hour to cook
you will need:
200g fresh spinach leaves
250g unsalted mixed nuts
25g of unsalted cashew nuts
½ onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, grated, 1 garlic clove, crushed
200g tinned tomatoes, drained and chopped
50g sundried tomatoes in olive oil, roughly chopped
1 free-range egg, beaten
½ tsp dried sage
½ tsp finely chopped fresh mint
1½ tbsp freshly chopped fresh parsley
1 tsp vegetable stock
Add salt to taste and a pinch of freshly ground black pepper.
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4. Blanch the spinach in boiling water, then drain it well and squeeze out all the water. Chop the spinach finely and set aside.
2. Put the mixed nuts and cashews in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped, leave crunchy.
3. In a large mixing bowl add the onion, carrot, tinned and sundried tomatoes, egg, sage, mint, parsley, spinach, garlic, stock and seasoning, then mix everything together well.
4. Grease a loaf tin with butter and pour in the mixture. Cut a piece of greaseproof paper to fit the loaf tin, grease it and lay it over the top to stop it burning. Bake in the preheated oven for about an hour until the nut roast is cooked through. Turn it out onto a plate for slicing.
5. Serve piping hot with hot gravy. Mmmmm. Delicious!
Take a few minutes and try out Dru Earth Meditation technique to help you stay calm and relaxed.
Put the ‘Happy’ back into Christmas with Dimensions ‘Stress Buster’ Package.
So, here we are. December has come round again. Now, take a deep breath, it’s time to prepare for the biggest event of the year – Christmas – do I hear you sigh a long sigh?
But wait a minute…..change is only a thought away!
This Christmas is going to be different. Here at Dimensions we think it’s time to change our point of view. So….with a little help from our team, you can actually have an amazing enjoyable and fun - filled Christmas. Imagine that! A Christmas that doesn’t leave us tired and exhausted. One that leaves you filled with lots of energy, enthusiasm and… dare I say it….maybe even a sprinkling of renewed faith.
One simple step to happiness….
First of all, decide now that it’s o.k to say to Santa ‘Me First!’ – have a little faith in yourself. Now, with our support pack of nurturing remedies, make a strong decision to put yourself at the centre. So, before you charge into the exhausting business of shopping, decorating, and being the perfect host/ess, treat yourselfwith our Stress Buster Hamper.
So, start now….. give the first Christmas GIFT……. to yourself – that’s it – simple – decide now that you are so worth it!
Whether you see this self-affirming gift as your Christmas first aid kit or simply your very own Pamper Hamper our aim is to help you arrive at the New Year relaxed, healthy and happy, go on treat yourself!
- Start the day - Epresat 200ml Floradixmulti-vitamin formula– start your day with a buzz! - take a cap full of this herbal elixir every morning to revive your tired body.
- During the day - use Tisserand's De-Stress Aromatherapy Roller Ball to press into directed areas of your face and neck to help release built up tension.
- At the end of the day – use Stress Relief Drops –add about 10 drops into some warm water, just before you go to sleep - to help keep the panic of Christmas preparations in check!
Now repeat your Christmas gift mantra:
"I place myself at the centre, I am a gift to myself! I receive with gratitude."
Relax! Take time out at the end of a busy day to relax and recover – make a comforting cup of tea and prepare a soothing bath, that helps re-charges you battery. As you lock your bathroom door, you lock the busy world out. Then, take a deep breath and remind yourself that ‘me first’ is very very necessary!
Now here’s an Ayurvedic secret…..take the oil and before you step into the bath, smother your tired body with it so that as you relax in the hot water, the healing oils are soaked up into your body.
Our gift to you….
Finally STOP!! Take a few minutes and try out Dru Earth Meditation technique to help you stay calm and relaxed.
So, before you get busy buying and wrapping presents make a decision to BE IN the PRESENT!
Ready for Christmas? Now you have made a decision to receive the first Christmas gift for yourself, there’s fuel in the tank for giving back. So, let’s go….let’s put the ‘Happy’ back into Christmas!
Are you Green on the inside?
Turn your greens into super green to become a super you!
‘Eat your greens!’….. It could be one of those cringe-inducing commandments stuck in the head of every child growing up in the western world…. a sentence that has possibly been uttered by mums in every age since time began! Who doesn’t have a flashback moment when we see our dear mother at the end of the table holding a saucepan of soggy brussels sprouts ready for loading onto our dinner plate?
The joys of childhood!
If only we had known about Dru Barley Grass then - the perfect, buzzing green alternative to mum’s overcooked vegetables. It’s a quick, convenient and vibrantly healthy contribution to your choice of greens for the day. And one simple choice like this really can make a difference to how you feel.
It’s time for a ‘Green Revolution’!
We should all try to be green on the inside - we know it’s good for us. It’s the reason we eat our broccoli, spinach, kale, cabbage…and even the humble sprout – delicious and nutritious when properly cooked! Sadly,processed foods consumed in the western diet can make the body more acidic, which can be an underlying cause of many modern diseases. By joining the Green Revolution on the inside, we begin to establish in ourselves a much needed balance of the acid/alkali ph in our bodies. That makes for a happier healthier body….and that makes green sense, doesn’t it!
Here are a few examples of how the vitamins and minerals in barley grass can help you over the winter season.
Barley grass is a source of zinc & high in iron, which supports natural immunity
It’s also high in:
- Vitamin C & B1 – these support healthy energy levels
- Vitamins B2, B3 & B6 – which reduce tiredness
- Vitamins B2, C, E & zinc which help protect your body from free radicals
It’s also high in fibre, protein (for muscle growth) and omega 3 fatty acids (to help balance cholesterol levels); also magnesium (for electrolyte balance) which is critical for optimal exercise performance.
And these are just a few of the vitamins, minerals and nutrients that barley grass contains.
As Dru Barley Grass is organic, GMO free, gluten free, vegetarian and vegan, it’s a great choice. By just by adding a teaspoon of Dru Barley Grass to your juice, milk or smoothie you can experience the benefits for yourself.
Above Image attributed to Roger Prat - chou de Bruxelle en coupe longitutinale montrant less bourgeon axillaires secondaires 2013 http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Chou_de_bruxelles_coupe.jpg
Wickedly Winter Warming Smoothie
1 beet, rinsed, lightly peeled and quartered
1 apple, lightly peeled, cored and quartered
1 Tbspn size piece of fresh ginger (skin removed)
2 whole carrots, rinsed and peeled
unfiltered apple juice (optional)
Simply put all the ingredients into the blender, blend for 2 minutes and you've got a colourful liquid feast!
Try adding 1tspn of Dru Barley Grass to give it an extra boost.
Maca - Superfood from the Andes
Iimage "Maca superfood from the Andes" derived from - original image " Machu Picchucadora" attributed to Guillaume Audureau 2004 -http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Machu_Picchu_Panorama.jpg
- 200ml Coconut milk
- 1 heaped tspn Maca powder
- 1 heaped teaspoon Cacao nibs
- 1 heaped teaspoon sunflower seeds
- 1x banana
- 2-4 drops vanilla extract
It's really easy and tastes really good just add all the ingredients into your smoothie maker or blender and blend for about 30 seconds, you may need a little longer to blend the cocao nibs and sunflower seeds depending on the type of smoothie maker you are using.
Maca powder comes from the Maca root, a root vegetable that is commonly referred to as a superfood. It grows at very high altitudes in the Peruvian Andes where very little else will grow. Despite growing between 13,300 and 14,500 feet above sea level the maca root thrives in these nutritionally rich soils.
Traditionally the maca root has been used by the native Peruvian people for centuries forming a valuable and staple part of their diet and medicinal health. It is said that their warriors were given maca to increase their strength and energy before heading into battle.
It is believed that Maca
• Enhances energy
• Helps the body adapt to stress
• Acts as a hormonal stabilizer
• Is beneficial for both male and female sexual health
Typically maca is nearly 10% protein and high in calcium and iron.
Maca has a slightly sweet nutty flavour which is similar to butterscotch and is a tasty addition to your daily smoothie.
10 July 2013
Nutrition for Sucess
Have you ever run a marathon? If you have you’ll know just how much training and dedication it requires to complete those 26 miles. Last year, Sandra, one of Dimensions Manager’s decided to run a fundraising marathon. For her first ever long distance run she didn’t just choose any marathon, but the Snowdon Marathon, considered by many to one of the toughest marathon challenges in the UK, with a route that takes runners from just above sea level up to 1,200 feet before the final descent into the village of LLanberis.
So we asked her to reveal her secrets for successful training. Amongst other things, Sandra gave us her recipe for a special power packed breakfast. “First thing in the morning I eat porridge made with half milk and half water, I add a teaspoon of chyawanprash which is a amazing mix of 47 different herbs and fruits” a huge smile crosses her face “my body just loves it”.
Continuing with her recipe she adds “I also include sunflower seeds, raisins, pumpkins seeds and then top it with bee pollen” When I asked her how much time she allows between this super porridge and running, she continues “well, I take it a good hour before I exercise and if I don’t have time to make it I’ll take a glass of beetroot juice with flax oil and barley grass instead”
Sandra has a glint in her eye when I ask her how she replaces the energy she has used during her training sessions. The first thing she says is that immediately after her run she completes with some specific stretches then lies on the grass on her front, in the yoga posture Makrasana or the crocodile, and focuses on breathing into her abdomen, connecting to energy of the earth for 5-10 minutes and breathing energy back into her body from the earth. “It’s not always practical or possible to lie on the grass, you can get a wee bit wet” she laughs “so you could lie on the floor on your front and visualise the energy of the earth replenishing your system”
And what about nutrition after your training I ask. "2 raw eggs, good quality organic raw eggs, I check the colour of the yolks and if they are a lovely orange then it's usually a good egg and I’ll take them – but you have to be a bit careful with raw eggs. I love eggs because they are such a good source of protein and are absorbed easily, - you need to put protein back into the muscles after a long run, but it’s best to wait about 20 minutes before eating” But that isn’t all in addition to the raw eggs Sandra takes a green energy smoothie without yoghurt “in ayurveda yoghurt dampens the digestive fire and I want to make the most of what I eat”.
This year Sandra has continued to keep fit and active competing in first Rhyl Triathlon with a group of friends.
15th May 2013
Relieving Exam Stress...
Whilst the spring and summer months bring a welcome reprieve from the cold and dark of winter, it is also a time which can be quite stressful for thousands of young people as they prepare for exams and complete end of year course works. If you have youngsters at school, college or university you will be familiar with this.
So how can we help these young people prepare and minimise their levels of stress? Here are a few simple suggestions which could help keep them on track.
A balanced healthy diet - this is often a time when young people skip meals and instead opt for snacks to keep them going. Now is a good time to encourage regular nutritious meals, and stock up on tasty, healthy snacks. A green smoothie, made with their favourite juice or milk, omega oils and Green Barley Grass can be a great way to get power packed nutrition into your youngsters. Many people have reported increased energy levels when taking Green Barley Grass.
Effective time management – encourage students to plan their time so they alternate periods of study with time to relax and chill out. Create realistic goals for study periods and review progress and adapt plans at regular intervals.
Healing Herbs and Bach Flower make excellent remedies which can be very supportive.
Early nights – not always a favourite with young people, but getting enough good quality sleep will help maintain perspective and clarity, minimise emotional stress and assist the body to rejuvenate.
Physical activity – exercise is crucial for good health, encourage them where possible to continue to participate in their favourite sports or get out for a 15-20 minute walk. A brisk walk in the fresh air can clear the head. Yoga is great to help release tension, increase energy levels and calm the mind. The Dru yoga inner fire sequence gives a great stretch, helps build strength and is great to “get you going”.
Agree screen time – social media sites, mobile phones and game consoles can be responsible for hours that could be used more productively, create an agreement to limit screen time perhaps even taking the radical step of putting the games console away until after the examination period is over.
20th Dec 2012
Breathing Peace into Your Christmas
As the festive season gets ever closer, the list of things to do often seems to get longer! This time of year can be busy and stressful and we can lose sight of ourselves in the midst of it. Preparations can become overwhelming if we let them. Becoming a little more awareful during our day can make a big impact on our sense of well being
So here are 4 short simple techniques you can use almost anywhere which could really make a difference to your day.
In the car - 3 Breaths
Before switching on the ignition stop!
Become aware of your breathing.
Be fully aware as you breathe in. Be aware of the temperature of the air, your shoulders naturally rising as your chest expands. Breathe life in fully
Breathing out maintain your awareness, again feel the temperature of the air as it leaves your nostrils and feel your chest falling as you let go of any tension with your out breath.
Repeat this 3 times and then take a few seconds to see how you feel. Take a moment to feel grateful that your journey is safe and comfortable.
At Mealtimes – slow down
Many of us feel rushed at mealtimes or eat on the go perhaps gulping down our food without even realising what we are eating or how it tastes. Slowing down a little when we eat can change our experience.
Take a moment to slow down a little.
Become aware of your breath, take a little food and savour it as you chew for 3 breaths. During this time be aware of the flavours and the texture of the food.
At the Computer- have a break
It’s very easy to sit at the computer for long periods without moving so it’s a good idea to regularly stop what you are doing and bring your attention to your breath. Raise your shoulders to hug your ears and then release. Repeat 3 times before resuming work.
If you find it difficult to stop regularly then set the alarm on your phone, or clock, or download a mindful clock, that will remind you to take breaks from the computer.
If you find yourself getting carried away with the business of things then come back to the 3 breaths described earlier and as you breath in feel that earth is supporting you, and as you breath out feel grateful that any tension is dissolving away.
4th Dec 2012
Counting Sheep ...
Are you a bit of a night owl, tending to stay up really late, only going to bed at midnight, or well beyond? When the rest of the town is dimming the lights to snooze, are you just getting going, making the most of the quiet night, with no phones, and no kids around? When your head finally does hit the pillow, do you doze off immediately or do you spend hours counting sheep, and then find you wake easily throughout the night? If any of these symptoms sound familiar, you could be experiencing insomnia.
The National Sleep Research Project found that if it takes you less than five minutes to fall asleep at night, it could mean that you're sleep deprived. According to the study, the ideal is between 10 and 15 minutes, meaning you're still tired enough to sleep deeply, but not so exhausted you feel sleepy by day.
Our sleep really is important to our health. While we sleep, our bodies carry out vital functions which affect our overall well-being. In restful sleep, the body is nourished, allowing tissues to repair and organs to rest and detox. This has a renewing, refreshing and restoring impact. Lack of sleep, however, has serious consequences for the body. Our brain's ability to function is highly dependent on good quality sleep. In the National Sleep Research Project we find that “Seventeen hours of sustained wakefulness leads to a decrease in performance equivalent to a blood alcohol-level of 0.05%.” According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, a blood alcohol percentage of 0.05 - 0.10%, means you have reduced muscular coordination, a longer reaction time, and impaired judgment.
If we don’t get enough sleep, then our family, friends and work colleagues may have to suffer the consequences if we are groggy, irritable or inefficient. Likewise, if the quality of our sleep is being disturbed by children, pets, others' snoring, traffic noise, discomfort, stress or anxiety, we may awaken in the morning feeling somewhat less than refreshed!
So how then to tackle getting a good night's sleep? Preparing ourselves for sleep by making a commitment to a certain bedtime can make a big difference. This way, you can plan the rest of the evening to fit in with your bedtime and optimise your level of relaxation before you go to bed. Eating a light evening meal before 8pm and avoiding snacks later on, means that your digestive system will be resting when it should be - while you’re asleep.
If you use a computer or mobile phone, or watch TV late in the evening, then try setting a curfew so you can relax your mind rather than stimulate it just before bed. Listen to some gentle, relaxing music or have a warm bath with lavender oil. Gently rubbing sesame oil on the soles of your feet also aids relaxation. Try to skip chocolate, black tea, coffee and alcohol after about 6pm, as they stimulate rather than relax. You could replace these with a calming tea like Pukka’s Night Time Tea or Chamomile herbal tea.
Experts suggest that we should sleep in a completely darkened room, and remove electrical appliances from the bedroom. Tiny luminous rays from a digital alarm clock can be enough to disrupt the sleep cycle even if you do not fully wake. The light turns off a "neural switch" in the brain, causing levels of a key sleep chemical to decline within minutes. But in the age of mobile phones, MP3 players and alarm clocks with luminous displays, how practical is this advice? If you can’t remove all electrical items from the room you sleep in, then try unplugging those that are not essential. You could use a cloth to cover any digital displays (but be careful not to cover air vents). If this isn’t possible, practical or safe, then a great way to sleep in the dark is to use a travel eye shade or a fragrant eye pillow. The scent of a lavender eye pillow and the gentle pressure on your eyes helps to trigger relaxation.
If stress or anxiety is affecting your sleep you might find it helpful to jot down anything you need to do the next day, before you go to sleep. Getting it “out of your head” and on to paper can really help the mind to relax. You could also try sitting or lying quietly and comfortably, focusing on a breathing technique that allows the out-breath to be longer than the in-breath. This allows the body to gradually relax and prevents the mind from wandering off! Listening to a Dru Deep Relaxation CD before you go to bed is an excellent way to prepare for a good night's sleep.
There are also some great remedies on the market which aid restful, restorative sleep. You could try A.Vogel’s sleep remedy, Dormeasan, which combines valerian and hops which both help to induce sleep, as well as to maintain it throughout the night. Healing Herbs have a great “Rest” flower remedy that comes in a granular form, which can be handy for giving to children.
Whatever you choose to do, remember that your sleep affects the quality of your whole day and the day of those around you.