New you or new fad?

New you or new fad?

My new authentic self‘Every year I make a resolution to change myself. This year, I make a resolution to be my authentic self ‘

Yesterday my husband and I discussed the topic ‘self-help’. I am a self-confessed ‘self-help junkie’ and have been like this ever since I can remember. I was already doing this before it was recognized or even fashionable, so have a bit of experience in this field.

My husband’s point was that there was now too much of it out there. The pressure to constantly thrive for the ‘best version of you’ makes people unhappy and stressed. I actually agree with him.

But there are of course different versions of self-help. As this vast topic of ‘self-help’ has become so fashionable,  a lot of marketers are jumping on the bandwagon selling a lot of bad advice for huge sums of money. In my view, this is not self-help, but marketing some kind of new fad diet, plan, or product with totally unrealistic expectations and no long-term relevance.

Real self-help is being introspective and shining a light on what is not working so well for you. There is no fad, this is just a fact. We all have areas we struggle with and these are very individual. We often hear of people who we perceive as ‘super successful’ only to find out later down the line that they had actually a real rotten time during their ‘streak of public success’.

Can this be described as ‘real success’ – probably not.  I feel that a real sense of accomplishment comes from a place of contentment and moving forward in one’s own authentic and timely manner. It is not a static status quo, but an ever-evolving work of progress. It has to be done in alignment with what you need and what you are currently capable of achieving.  Otherwise, it becomes an unrealistic strain that leads to misery and self-doubt.

If an aspect of your life is not working, doing more of the same is insanity. So how do you change? In order to find a new way, it does make sense to look around to get advice and ideas of what works for others.  This is not a fad.  This is called a short cut and I am all for this.

If you had a burning desire to climb Kilimanjaro during the coming year, it would make sense to talk to someone who did the same journey last year. This person could give you a lot of advice on what gear to bring, which season to choose, and which local support network they would recommend. Doing no research at all and just going there with no preparation would be insane and dangerous.

So why don’t we follow through in this manner with all other areas of our life? 
That is exactly what I intend to do with Living With The Moon. I have been trawling through tons of advice, research, and old charts/tips left by my grandmother and have ordered them into categories relating to your
cleansing routine
Health and beauty – Looking Good – the turquoise symbols
Garden and Interior Design
Gardening and Home – Happy House – the green symbols
romance and love
Relationships and Love – Feeling love – the pink symbols
Ideas and brainstorming
Career, Vocation, and Money – the grey-blue symbols

Finding Balance

Happiness, inner fulfillment – Feeling great – yellow symbols

Look out for them in the LWTM Lifestyle Holistic Lifestyle  Calendar and click on the symbol descriptions for more information

Everybody who has followed this website for a while knows that I am not a big fan of big New Year Resolutions.  It never worked for me. That is why I put together the holistic life goal plannerLWTM Lifegoal Planner with a step-by-step program to gently guide you through the rapids of life. You get a free copy when you join our free LWTM membership. I put this together as a tool to help you and not as a fad to make money.
I hope you find it as useful as I do.

Have a happy and productive  2023

 

Remember: YOU alone are the master of your own destiny. Join our community below for more information.

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Hippocrates and the start of holistic medicine

Hippocrates and the start of holistic medicine

Hippocrates

Most of you will be familiar with the ‘Hippocratic Oath’.  A practice where young doctors swear before to uphold an ethical code that won’t harm the patient and will keep all medical history confidential. But few know more about this Ancient Greek doctor. So let’s look at why Hippocrates’  work is still so influential almost 2400 years after his death?

Hippocrates of Kos (who lived around 460-370B.C.) is often referred to as the ‘Father of Modern Medicine.  He was the first physician to diagnose disease based on a medical condition rather than seeing it as a punishment from the Gods, separating biological medicine from religion for the first time. He was also the first doctor to make a valid link between health and adequate, healthy nutrition,  exercise, and environmental factors such as a good standard of hygiene and a balanced mental state. This was ground-breaking work in then effectively rural Ancient Greece.

Observing various stages of illness, he came up with a systematic categorization of diseases and founded the Hippocratic School of Medicine. Although the human anatomy was then not well-researched (in fact we know now that some methods described were clearly wrong), many observations survived and are still a valid part of modern medicine. What made Hippocrates’ approach so appealing is the fact that he was the first doctor to have a ‘whole-body approach’ to medicine. Once a disease is diagnosed it is of course priority to deal with the acute illness.  But Hippocrates believed that prevention and keeping an overall balanced state of health before and after an acute illness is the ultimate goal. A concept that we are slowly losing in our current medical system.

 How is this relevant to the LWTM Lifestyle?

We believe that keeping a healthy body-mind-soul balance is key to a happy and healthy life. Hippocrates borrowed some concepts from the Babylonians (check out this article about their calendar system) who linked body regions with positions in the sky. This meant that within 28 days all the organs/body parts are highlighted for at least 2-3 days at each time.  This may be an outdated concept medically speaking, but it is a great way of working on your body in an equilibrant way within a whole moon cycle. We have therefore added the body symbols to the LWTM lifestyle calendar and called this series ‘ Keep Fit and Healthy From Head to Toe’. 

Astroman 

keep fit and healthy from head to toe

 Here is Astroman, a depiction of how surgeons operated until the 19th century. Today we of course aim for the best surgical procedure when diagnosed with an acute illness. This could even mean robots operating and other high-end technical procedures, regardless of what the stars are doing. But working on each body area for 2-3 days each month will make sure that you pay equal attention to the whole body.  The aim is to prevent diseases from forming in the first place. If you have certain problem areas, then of course spend more time treating that specific body region. 

 

Illnesses do not come upon us out of the blue. They are developed from small daily sins against nature. When enough sins have accumulated, illnesses will suddenly appear

Hippocrates

 Keep fit and healthy from top to toe 

With this program, we hope that you can do your fair share to prevent disease and correct ‘these little sins against nature’ as and when they occur. Look after your overall health by: 

  • Keeping a well-nourished body and a healthy weight
  • Having an optimistic, can-do outlook and being kind to others
  • Keep well-balanced mind
  • Look after your environment (your home and nature) 

Remember – you alone are the master of your own destiny. Have a look at the LWTM lifestyle calendar by clicking the link below and check out the recommended suggestions and tips. 

Have a look at the LWTM Lifestyle Calendar.  What body part is highlighted today?

 

 An Introduction to LWTM

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The holistic approach to weight management

The holistic approach to weight management

Liquid Fast Day     This article is for all of you who struggle to lose weight or have become eternal yo-yo dieters. 

In 2005 I conducted a small ‘diet trial’ in which I asked people to rotate their food intake and finish off with a ‘Liquid fast day’. At the time the 5:2 diet and intermittent fasting had not even entered the mainstream. But I had always thought it sensible to rotate food and add fasting to the mix. It was a real holistic approach to weight management. And this program I had in mind had to be easy with little time and no fuss.

After some research, I came up with a  food rotation program inspired by the Biodynamic calendar. I figured, so many civilizations had used this before and I wanted to find out if this method was still effective.

The trial run went well and afterwards, I gave everybody a simple questionnaire and debriefed them by phone. All participants reported feeling more aware of the food they were eating, most of them slept better and everybody reported much better energy levels. Which you would of course expect when you eat healthily.

But what stood out the most was how easy many of my testers found it to keep to the varied diet. Many reported it eliminated the eternal question of  – what shall they eat/cook today and it was easy to plan ahead.

This step is really important as in order to keep a healthy weight you need to find a way to progressively change your dietary habits. A week of calorie counting will not work.

When you look up and down the internet the advice is simple: Eat a healthy diet, exercise, and if you want to lose weight restrict your portion size and the frequency of food intake.  But despite all this sensible advice, we see obesity levels rise and rise. What is going so wrong for so many? Surely, this can’t just be a lack of willpower?

In my view, the way we approach ‘weight loss’, is completely wrong. It is always linked with pain/lack of food and is never associated with good quality food. The first piece of advice I would give is – Do something about your weight but do not stress about it! Stay relaxed and initially only concentrate on eating seasonal, good-quality produce that is organically grown. Food should be freshly prepared and eaten in good company. Once you have mastered that change, you can go further by adding a program that will keep you in good shape for life.

Looking around I noticed people who don’t care too much about their actual weight but do care a lot about eating good quality, preferably homemade food are on average much slimmer than people who fuss about calories and permanently seem to be on some kind of ‘diet’. Fortunately, science has rather recently backed up this observation. (Please find links to resources below this article).

Remember –  You are what you eat. But as we are all different,  it follows that we all also need to eat differently. One formula does not fit all.

What makes us so different from each other? 

For a start, we all have different circadian rhythms, and most importantly, everyone’s gut microbiome is different. 

Inside us live millions of little microbes, mainly situated in the large intestine. They can weigh up to 2kg and are responsible for what kind of food we crave, how easy or hard we find it to lose weight, and even influence our mindset and mood swings.

An embryo develops in a largely sterile womb. But as soon as the baby is born,  microbes start to populate the baby. It is therefore really important to expose your children to all kinds of foods and let them play in non-sterile environments, dig in fresh soil, play with animals, and experience all kinds of different environments. This will help build a strong and healthy gut.

Children digging with bare hands in the vegetable gardens don’t die. But children growing up in overly bleached homes who are given antibiotics for every little ailment end up with a largely compromised gut flora that can eventually lead to an increase in allergies and health problems. Add a sedentary lifestyle and a diet of overly processed food and you have the perfect storm. Once the microbiome has completely changed, it can be really hard to lose weight and a cycle of eternal fruitless diet attempts is the result.

The Biodynamic way of life always stresses the interconnectedness between the soil and the food we eat. We need these healthy gut microbes to come into our gut with organic fruit and vegetables. Believe it or not, it is these microbes that dictate what we crave. I for example, really crave fresh salads as these have always been part of my diet and my gut microbes ask for more and more of what they are used to.

Artificial fertilizers and pest control get rid of the healthy microbes in the soil. Therefore the food harvested from this kind of soil lacks any beneficial microbes and has very few nutrients.  Although we seem to eat a lot of ‘good stuff’, the gut is still a ‘microbial wasteland’  and can easily be colonized by strains of the sugar-craving ‘bad bacteria’. Once these take over your gut – guess what you crave? Sugar –  and so the vicious circle continues.

Next time you think about ‘going on a diet’, the first step is to sort out your cupboard and stock up with fresh, seasonal vegetables. But – and that is very important- don’t change your diet in one sweeping step. This will never work.  Your gut flora needs time to get used to your new diet. This can only happen very slowly and over time. So it is not a swooping step, rather a gentle nudge in the right direction and then a persistent plan to follow through and make it a permanent change.

If your current diet consists of mostly ready-made meals, please don’t stop eating them! Just introduce 1 freshly cooked, healthy meal per week. That’s all. Once this feels effortless, make it 2 and slowly 3. And over time you will have cleaned up your diet, but more importantly, you will have given your gut microbiome time to adapt and endorse your new way of eating. Write down which food you crave. If these are all of the salty, heavily processed kind, make an effort to cut out just one of these foods and replace it with your favorite healthy snack. Then slowly move on and replace another item with another healthy snack. You will see that your taste buds will change over time as well.

Believe it or not, once you live with freshly cooked, healthy meals you will struggle to eat greasy ready-made meals as your gut flora has now changed, and you will now crave this ‘new diet’ (meaning here the food we eat and not a term for losing weight).

Finally, try to add in some fasting days. This can be very hard at first, but please do persevere. Again this habit needs to be built up slowly. If you have never done this before, please follow a good program and don’t overdo it! If you are on the mailing list (your can sign up via the Freebies), we send out occasionally a blueprint of a fasting regime.

Once you have listened to your body and have found your own individual food program, you will be able to keep your weight forever- with no stress and drama. If you have never heard of ‘microbiome’ here are 2 useful videos from Kings College, London where Prof Tim Spector led much of its research program.

1.Discovery of the microbiome                                2. Microbes, diet and health  

For more information about LWTM and holistic lifestyle planning pleas  download our freebies 

 

 An Introduction to LWTM

LWTM holistic lifestyle planner

LWTM holistic lifestyle planner

LWTM holistic lifestyle planner

holistic life goal planneris an integral part of the Living With The Moon Website. You can download a free taster version from the FREEBIES section. Every New Moon we encourage you to think about your month ahead and plan your life and time accordingly. Planning your life is not just filling up your diary with dates like going to a concert, paying your tax bill, or inviting your neighbors for dinner.  Although all of these things are important, too there is more to ‘planning your life’. LWTM holistic lifestyle planner actively encourages you to think about your life in an overarching way. What is your passion? What makes you come alive? Which direction is the right one for you? What changes can you make right now to align yourself with your core values and passions? But remember there won’t be any change if your thoughts are not paired with real, worthwhile actions. Here is a quick guide:

Plan your life at New Moon Use the time of the Waxing Moon(about 2 weeks) for all activities that involve planning, setting up new routines, and anything creative, artistic. At Full Moon reap the benefits and celebrate. Say you have decorated your living room, now get friends round and enjoy your new creation with them. During the Waning Moon (about 2 weeks) it is all about achieving or implementing what you have created. Don’t just pile on idea after idea. Take these two weeks to make sure to find a way to actually realize what you were dreaming about. Only ideas followed by actions will bring real change. You have come full circle- back at New Moon. It is time again to evaluate what you have achieved over the last 4 weeks. Tick off what you have finished – well done. What is not quite there yet, goes on the list for the month ahead. Running a thousand miles is a daunting task, but running just one mile a thousand times sounds far more achievable.  Yet the outcome is the same. Consistent, long-term action is the way forward! Here is an article about finding your core values  

Remember – this is not a race nor a competition with others. This is all about You, what you really enjoy doing and what you want to do more of. Simple.  Once you know this, put your mind to it and make it happen. Put small achievable steps in place – at your own pace and capability. Evaluate once in a while and be amazed at what you can achieve!
An Introduction to LWTM
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