Eat more plants for a happy, healthy life

Just as it’s important to build strong foundations to create a healthy business, so we need to build strong foundations, or pillars, for our personal health.

These health pillars relate to our physical health in both mind and body, and can also relate to spiritual and financial health.

Eating a diet rich in organic fruit and vegetables is great, but if at the same time you’re living unhealthy practices in mental health, spiralling into debt or stuck in a toxic relationship, then you aren’t going to achieve the vibrant health and vitality you dream of.

Food is not the enemy, but equally it isn’t the saviour. Clean food won’t instantly transform your life nor make the fat, inflammation or disease formed from years of destructive self talk disappear over night.

It’s time to think about food as just one part of a happy, energetic, harmonious life.

I’ve long held the mantra (and the hashtag) ‘Eat More Plants’, in fact, it was even the title of my very first recipe e-book back in 2015 as well as the name of the cooking class I taught at a local college.

To me, the essence of eating more plant-based foods revolves around nourishing your body at a cellular level, being more connected to nature and the seasons and filling your plate with a rainbow of foods created the way nature intended.

A whole food, plant based lifestyle means that we naturally consume far less processed and man-made foods (including junk food and snacks) as well as less sugar, less salt and less saturated fat than the standard British or American diet.

Eating this way means that you have to get back in the kitchen to wash, prepare and cook ingredients – which for many people is the one thing that sends them running straight back to the supermarket for ready meals or sauces in jars.

But one of the most important things I’ve realised over the years is that once you slow down and make time for home cooking, the more connected you feel to the food you eat and the greater the satisfaction in eating. This connection is heightened by more family meals around the table, children helping you cook and prepare food or even going foraging together or creating your own veggie patch in the garden.

It’s like a positive version of a catch 22. The more you slow down, the more relaxed and happy you feel and the lower the chance of stress eating, bingeing or grabbing that chocolate bar or bag of crisps from the petrol station or corner shop.

You’ve switched from running around at warp speed, unsuccessfully multi-tasking in every aspect of your life (we all know that when you try to spin too many plates they invariably fall and smash spectacularly at your feet), to slowing down to a pace where you have time to breathe.

To stop and smell the metaphorical roses.

To just be in the present moment.

To take that evening walk. To visit the friend. To take grandma out for Sunday tea.

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After a few months, your body catches up with your mind. You realise your sleep is better; no more staring at the ceiling at 3am or waking up with a feeling of dread hanging over you. Your body moves more freely; you sign up to the gym or a local exercise class or dip your toes in the sea. Your skin is brighter with less need for a mask of heavy make up – freeing up more time in the morning for reading, writing or creative passions. Your clothes fit better and you feel a sense of confidence return; perhaps you will join the dance class or dating site after all….

Eating (and enjoying) a plant-based lifestyle isn’t just about you though. It evokes a wider sense of community: a desire to meet other people following the same path, to share information and recipes or to swap home grown produce.

Helping the planet reverse the impact of catastrophic climate change is another crucial benefit of eating more plant based food and less meat, fish and dairy. If you’re interested in the statistics, just ask Google (or Ecosia – the eco-friendly search engine which plants trees as you search).

While switching your diet overnight is generally pretty difficult (particularly if you have a partner and children eating in the same house), there are many simple ways you can tip the balance in favour of plants. 

Here are some of my favourite top tips to help you to Eat More Plants:

  • Switch the balance of your current family favourites in favour of plants. Take out half the mince and add a can of brown lentils to a lasagne, shepherd’s pie or bolognese. Take out half the chicken or fish from a curry or stir fry and add more vegetables. Try courgette noodles instead of pasta with a home made tomato sauce blended with roasted vegetables (try carrots, onion, garlic, red pepper and tomatoes with fresh basil). Swap cheese sprinkled on hot dishes for toasted pine nuts or broken pieces of cashew nuts.
  • Try eating meat free one day a week. Or one meal a day every day. There are probably lots of meals you already enjoy that are either vegetarian or could be easily switched to plant based. Easy choices are pasta with tomato sauce, lentil or chick pea curry, mushroom risotto and bean chilli with potato wedges. There’s a global movement based around meat-free or meatless Monday – simply search for the hashtag across social media.
  • Learn something new. Learning is a huge part of human life. We’re constantly learning, growing and evolving in relationships, work, sport and creative pursuits. Learning how to cook, trying new recipes, joining an evening cooking class, watching a documentary, listening to podcasts, buying a book…. there are billions of bite sized pieces of information out there created by passionate, knowledgeable and artistic people.
  • Share information and resources. Once you’ve learnt something new, share it. Lend a book, write a blog, share a meal, comment on a social media post. If you have friends already embracing a plant-based (or vegan) lifestyle, ask them a few questions, invite them to eat with you, share their information with others if they’re running a plant-based food business or website.
  • As Brené Brown would probably say, ‘dare greatly’. Be confident and courageous and try something new in the kitchen. What’s the worst that could happen? If the food tastes really bad or you burn it it’ll end up in the bin and you’ll eat something else. But chances are, it’ll be edible – and better than that, it could be totally delicious! Explore, experiment and enjoy your new food adventures.

If you’d like to buy my two original plant-based recipe e-books, click here for more details.

Lorraine xx

5 Motivation Tips for Creative Entrepreneurs

Are you a self-employed business owner returning to work after the long summer holidays?

Whether you’ve taken a month or two off to spend time with family and travel abroad, or have been mainly at home dipping your toes in your business all summer, chances are you’re ready to get your head back in the game and start creating new projects and opportunities.

Like you, I’m feeling both excited to get started and a little apprehensive about my ability to actually sit down and ‘get sh*t done’! Knowing how easily I get distracted (ooh look pretty interiors on Pinterest), I’ve created a list of strategies that help me to feel more motivated, aligned, supported and nourished, so that I can achieve my goals with ease and flow.

Here are five top tips to make returning to work productive and enjoyable:

  • Set a realistic alarm. Let’s be honest, if you’ve been staying up late (I won’t mention G&Ts) and relaxing all morning over the summer months then a 5am alarm is going to feel pretty terrible! You’ll hit snooze over and over, before finally dragging yourself into the kitchen for coffee a couple of hours later. So be realistic and set a time that you know will work for you. Remember, you can always make it 5-10 minutes earlier each day for a week until you get to your preferred wake up time.
  • Drink a glass of water. Keep a bottle by your bed (I love my 24 Bottles ‘Clima’ bottle that keeps water cold overnight) and drink as soon as you wake up. Hydration is key to a clear head, so keep drinking water all day long. Two litres is a minimum and aim for three or more if you live in a hot climate or exercise for over an hour.
  • Start the day with some meditation and stretching. I found a couple of short meditation and yoga videos on YouTube over the summer and have been doing them every morning for a few weeks and it feels great. I created a playlist that also includes a cardio/body toning workout and some affirmations – so I pick and choose which I feel like doing. Sometimes just the three minute meditation is all I need to feel focused. Find something that works for you and just do it before anything else!
  • Wear clothes that make you feel fabulous. That gorgeous floaty maxi dress you only wore once to a party, wear it! Those beautiful new earrings you fell in love with in the shop but haven’t worn yet, put them on! When you work from home it doesn’t matter what you wear, but by choosing fabrics, textures and colours that make you feel great, you’ll be exuding a more positive energy that will shine through in all you do – whether that’s client projects or boring admin tasks.
  • Plan your most important activities. I’m not a fan of hour-by-hour scheduling, I find it too restrictive, but I do get far more done when I plan the most important tasks each day and give them a time frame. For example, one hour of blog writing, one hour for a video chat with an online business friend, three hours on a client project. I can then be flexible with each activity and work them around cooking for my family, picking up one of my daughters from a friend’s house or going shopping for cat food. (Luna is telling me he’s hungry as I write this!)

However you spend your days at work, always ensure you plan ahead for the important things that make life even better. Things like date nights, family trips, self-care and time with friends – as well as making time to prepare, cook and eat delicious healthy food that supports your body, mind and soul.

Take some time every day to reward yourself for your commitment to your business and to plan ahead for the next few months. Use this time to think about what lights you up, what fuels your passion and what lights the fire in your belly.

As a small business owner or creative entrepreneur, the lines between business and personal life can get repeatedly blurred. It’s important to always allow yourself time to fully switch off from work mode by spending time journalling, relaxing and being in nature so that clarity and creativity flow freely and abundantly.

Lorraine xx

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Lorraine is a self-confessed lover of homemade vegan hot chocolate, fluffy animals and Pinterest. In between looking after her family and pets she effortlessly weaves words into magnetic copy for overwhelmed creative entrepreneurs who need a little word-whispering magic sprinkled over their unique brand. Find out more about Lorraine’s copywriting, ghost writing and content creation services here.

Still haven’t finished your cup of tea? Then head over here to read another of Lorraine’s blogs.

 

Celebrating and Supporting Women

Unless you’ve unplugged from social media this week, or are enjoying a relaxing internet-free break on a tropical island (lucky you), chances are you’ve noticed that today (Friday 8 March) is International Women’s Day.

This year’s theme focuses on Balance – with the sentiment being that ‘a balanced world is a better world’.

Balance is something we’re all trying to achieve but somehow often falling short.

Today, I want to let you know that even if you haven’t reached a particular goal or dream in your life or business, it’s ok!

You’re not a failure for having failed, you’re amazing for having even tried.

In honour of International Women’s Day, I want to support and promote some of the amazing women who’ve crossed my path in the last twelve months.

All of these women inspire me to be a better version of myself than I was yesterday.

So, a huge thank you to each and every one of you. You’re making more of a difference in the world than you could ever have dreamed of.

Lorraine xx

(As they say on reality TV: ‘In no particular order…’)

Celebrating International Women's Day

MAEVE NORTHCROSS

Maeve is a real-life guardian angel; an effervescent Soul Coach who radiates love and warmth. While we’ve yet to meet in person, our video calls feel like we’ve known each other for lifetimes (and perhaps we have!). Maeve has had such an incredible journey to arrive at this point today where she uses her decades of professional and personal experience to guide clients and retreat guests to a place of personal stillness and joy. Maeve is hosting a beautiful retreat in the rolling countryside of Northern Ireland this summer and for a few lucky people it will be exactly what they’ve dreamed of for so long.

JULES WHITE

Jules is one of the kindest souls on the planet. Her sales coaching work evolves from her deeply held belief that selling is really based on Human Conversation. Jules believes that many of the life skills we possess are sales skills in disguise and that we shouldn’t be afraid to promote our skills, talents, experience and natural gifts with the world. When it comes to action-taking, Jules definitely wins the top award! In the past year she’s spoken at a TEDx event, started a podcast, launched a course, written an Amazon best selling book and been invited to teach and speak all around the UK and in the USA – making her a truly international sales coach. I’m so proud of her unrelenting determination to succeed and to make a difference to small businesses and personal lives.

TINA LEIGH MCDONALD

Tina is one of those unassuming, humble people who really has NO idea how incredible she is and how much of a difference she’s making to young adults in the UK. Tina’s work in schools and the private sector help young people to gain vital skills needed to progress into the workplace. But, more importantly than that, she helps young people to believe in themselves – something that’s absolutely vital for long term emotional and physical health. Tina, I’ve said it before but you truly are amazing. Keep up the great work! xx

KATIE PHILLIPS

When I heard Katie speak at an event last summer, her words touched my heart. To go on a personal journey is one thing, but to be able to share that journey with others in a way that encourages transformation and spreads love is truly beautiful. I’m hoping to work with Katie over the next few months so that I can bloom and grow beyond my wildest dreams – and I know in my heart that Katie’s love and support will be the perfect catalyst for change.

SHELLEY MONK

You may not have heard of Shelley yet, but I guarantee that this little ray of sunshine will be bursting into your world very soon! I first met Shelley a couple of years ago and have watched her evolve into the confident Relationship Coach that she is now. If you’ve been struggling with finding your true, authentic self or are stuck in relationship hell, then her coaching will enable you to find your way and transform into the person you were meant to be. Go follow her now before she’s famous!

HELEN PACKHAM

Helen runs a highly successful and engaging Facebook group called The Courageous Leaders Club – which beautifully sums up everything Helen is about: courage, leadership and collaboration. Helen sets a great example every day in how to successfully run a business from a place of authenticity and vulnerability. Her ability to openly share the messy challenges that affect most of us on a weekly basis means that she builds a safe, supportive place where everyone feels comfortable in being real. The online space definitely needs more people like Helen!

NICOLA ARNOLD

I listened to Nicola speak at Helen Packham’s Entrepreneurial Leaders Live event last summer and was blown away by her energy, love and passion for making a difference in people’s lives. Nicola helps people to build their self-worth and resilience so that they can see, attract and take advantage of all the possibilities that come their way. Nicola’s mantra – ‘This is me’ – and her work as a Life Coach enable people to feel happy in their skin and enjoy the journey through behaviour and mindset change.

SANDY COUSENS

Sandy is a gifted, talented artist and interior designer who is quite simply one of the loveliest people I’ve ever met. She supported me endlessly in my previous work in nutrition and food coaching and now it’s my turn to share her skills and talents with the world. If I had the money and the dream house with blank, white walls, I would have no hesitation in flying Sandy over from Australia to give my home a splash of her beautiful artwork and her laid back beach-vibe style. Sandy has created a dream art and design studio where she welcomes people for special events and workshops. If you live on the Gold Coast (lucky you!), do try to attend her events. For everyone else, take a look at Sandy’s relaxing website and online shop.

KAY FABELLA

Kay is a beautiful soul, inside and out and chatting to her is guaranteed to brighten your day! Kay is a talented storyteller with a gift for helping brands to find the message that forms the essence of the services they provide and to share that message with the world. I relate so much to Kay as a like-minded, curious, language lover with a passion for helping other women leverage their authenticity and shine brightly.

EMMA GAYWOOD

Emma is a Spiritual Guide who channels messages and energy from divine sources and is guaranteed to always hit the proverbial nail on the head! I couldn’t believe quite how accurate her reading was for me back in December when I asked a question about writing my book. Emma and I have bonded over a love of cats and spirituality and I’m so grateful to have Emma in my life. I’m excited for her next online gathering later in March.

 

Healing the heart space is scary

Healing the heart space is one of the scariest things we can do.

I know.

Because right now I’m scared.

Scared to open up and be vulnerable in a way I’ve never been before. I know my coach is going to ask me questions that will be uncomfortable – painful even. It’s going to be a bumpy ride.

But if I don’t do it I will stay here.

Stuck.

Forever in a place of ‘not quite enough’; a silent haunting that weaves its way through all aspects of life.

When I think about how I’ll feel once we start our coaching journey together I breathe a huge sign of relief. A full, long breath that forces my shoulders to relax and allows my heart to open a little wider.

My eyes begin to well up with tears.

I know that my coach will trigger emotions from deep within me that I have to deal with in order to move forward, rise to the next level and achieve all of my life’s goals and desires.

You see, having an open heart isn’t just about being an animal lover, a kind, compassionate human being or a loving, tactile parent. Having an open heart is about being able to dig really deep into the darkest parts of your soul and to allow those fears to surface; to shine such a bright light on them that they no longer haunt your every thought.

I’m ready to do the inner work and feel the love of the Universe radiate from deep within me. I’m ready to be courageous even through times of fear and uncertainty. I’m ready to choose vulnerable and feminine each time my masculine ego kicks in to take me back to where I’ve always been.

After all, as Albert Einstein said: ‘We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.

However cliché it may sound, it’s time for me to step outside of my comfort zone.

I cannot evolve if I stay where it’s comfortable and safe.

It’s time to take a risk and know that the Universe is always there to support me.

If I’m feeling this way, chances are that you might feel this way too.

You KNOW you’re ready to step up your game in life, love or business but there are always excuses…

And when a coach (or friend, lover, parent or child) calls you out on your excuses, it’s as if you have an out of body experience where you can hear the words spewing from your mouth but in your heart you know they’re not true.

That’s why people trigger us when they call us out on our bullsh*t! We sometimes take it to heart as a negative judgement or harsh criticism because, ultimately, the truth hurts.

Now is the time to take that hurt and turn it into something that can bloom and grow into the life and love you’ve always dreamed of.

I’m ready.

I have faith that the Universe will support me every step of the way.

All it takes is that first step.

To commit.

To set the intention.

To say ‘YES, I’m ready!’

(At this point the Universe will probably throw its head back, laugh out loud and say ‘about time too!’)

I’m scared, but I’m ready.

Are you?

 

Lorraine xx

How can I be the best version of myself?

NEW! Listen to the audio version of this blog here.

How can I be the best version of myself?

Is that a question you’ve asked yourself lately?

Or ever?

We spend far too much of our time worrying about living up to other people’s expectations without pausing for a while to consider our own.

What values do you hold in high regard?

What traits do you most admire in others?

How can you spend more time living and breathing as the best version of yourself?

As a small-business owner (or heart-centred entrepreneur, as I like to say) I used to spend far too much time trying to create services and packages that would appeal to all different kinds of potential customers. If someone suggested a different angle I hadn’t thought of, I’d add that too. And I got tired. Exhausted. Burnt out.

As the old saying goes, I was trying to please all of the people, all of the time and winding up not pleasing anyone! Least of all myself.

Something had to change.

Through various twists and turns, challenges and plot twists, meetings with inspiring thought leaders and taking the time to tune into what was really important to me (aka core values), my life slowly began to sparkle.

It felt feel really good. Great, in fact.

It was as if all the magic I’d believed in as a child had landed in my lap. 

It wasn’t luck though, or even hard work.

The magic appeared because I’d become aligned to my inner voice and started to truly understand that it wasn’t what I did in my work (and personal life) that was important, but how and why I did it.

Asking myself the question: ‘How can I be the best version of myself today?’ soon became a daily habit.

For many months, I wrote down my thoughts, used oracle cards and my favourite rose quartz crystals, and allowed my inner voice to guide me.

You see, it wasn’t about creating a new e-book about a certain topic, or putting out a special priced offer on a new course, what really mattered was the passion at the core of everything I touched with my love and energy.

I realised that helping other people to shine brilliantly – to be the best version of themselves – was the really important thing to me.

This was (and still is) my why.

It didn’t matter whether I helped people gain business clarity during a quick 20 minute video call or supported them by writing their website copy, sent a quick ‘how are you feeling today?’ message or offered a short training session in their Facebook group.

How I delivered each of those things – from a place of love, compassion, kindness, empathy, experience and integrity – was integral to my personal fulfilment and, ultimately, more business success.

When you begin each day by thinking about how you can be the best version of yourself, you remove the need for expectation. You’re not expecting other people to act or talk in a certain way, you’re focused on how you can be better.

Once expectation is out of the way, it’s far easier to live from a place of love.

There’s no longer any need to act from fear, sadness or anger.

Whether you’re a business owner or not, we all make thousands of choices every single day. Choose the things that are in alignment to your core values, your inner voice, your ‘why’, and together we can create a ripple effect that makes every home, every school, every workplace and every community a more nourishing place to be.

How can you be the best version of yourself today?

Lorraine xx

Are you a passionate heart-centred entrepreneur interested in finding out how I can help you to shine brilliantly? Then hop on over to my Work with Me page to find out more. 

Full Moon – A time to forgive and move forward

If you look up into the sky tonight you’ll see the full moon illuminating the world around you.

You may have noticed your energy has been supercharged over the last few days – physically or emotionally – and tonight is the perfect time to tune into your spiritual energy and put the lunar magic to good use.

Each full moon is the right moment to deal with difficult emotions, and you’ll soon find that working on forgiveness will help to bring you inner peace.

Forgive others, but don’t forget to forgive yourself too.

Human beings aren’t perfect and we all make mistakes and bad choices.

But we must remember that even those bad choices can be the right ones at that particular moment and to look back, not with regret but with forgiveness and love.

Today’s full moon is in the air sign Gemini: a sign of communication, writing, speaking, connections and friendships. The Gemini twins bring double the energy so there’s twice as much to be grateful for tonight.

While the Gemini full moon brings about busyness and chattiness, it’s important to remind ourselves to become good listeners and aim to be the best version of ourselves that we can be when it comes to communication.

Take the time to consider how you’re listening to others.

Could you be a better listener?

The full moon is also the perfect moment to put down our smart phones and laptops and explore what’s happening around us. Spend more time talking to people, visiting local events, spending time outdoors, socialising, asking questions….

The dual aspect of Gemini energy means this full moon is a great time to connect, make new friendships or collaborate with like-minded business people who share your positive attitude, integrity and compassion.

With every full moon, it’s a good idea to write a gratitude list. This helps us to tune into what’s really important to us and keeps us on our path to achieving our goals and dreams. If you wish you can burn your gratitude list (safely) afterwards, or keep it in a moon journal to refer back to in the future.

What (or who) are you grateful for today?

Lorraine xx

 

Moon Rituals:

My Full Moon ritual is a simple one. I light a candle and work through forgiveness and gratitude in a special journal. I love writing down my thoughts as I find this is the best way for me to access my inner voice. I usually pull three oracle cards and write down my interpretation of these in relation to where I’m at and where I want to be. I’ve always got my rose quartz crystal with me throughout and I hold it while I’m working through my forgiveness and gratitude journalling.

I refer to my favourite lunar book, Moonology, which goes into more depth about moon rituals for specific star signs and ascendants.

What does your moon ritual look like?

You don’t need to fix yourself

Instead of always trying to fix things, realise you deserve better.

Stop waiting for change. Make the change. Be the change.

You don’t need to FIX yourself. You are beautiful, loved and special just the way you are.

But you know something doesn’t feel right. Something is missing.

You blame your body.

You blame the food you eat.

You blame someone else for making you feel this way.

You blame the weather.

You blame a friend.

You blame the money.

You blame anyone or anything else for your feelings.

 

I used to do this. It was always someone else’s fault.

And then one day I woke up.

Well, it was more of a gradual awakening really.

I realised that I have complete and total responsibility for my own well-being. If I feel frustrated, sad, lonely, irritated, self-conscious, un-loved and un-special, then only I have the power to change that.

Every moment of every day, we have a choice.

And sometimes we’ll make the wrong choices – we are human after all.

I believe that even the wrong choices are the right ones because they give us a greater learning curve or send us on a journey to help us learn a specific lesson.

After all, we’ve all dated that guy we really shouldn’t have dated. We knew it wouldn’t work. We knew we’d get hurt. But we did it anyway.

And in dating the wrong guy it helped us reinforce exactly who the RIGHT guy is.

We’ve all done this with food too. Spent a whole holiday eating and drinking all the things we know our bodies can’t handle. But we’re ‘on holiday’, ‘life’s too short’, ‘everyone else does it so why shouldn’t I?’… Falling off the wagon can be a useful path too in learning exactly what does make our bodies feel really GOOD.

Remember that time you did that clean eating plan for a month? Remember how good you felt? Remember that time you had a personal trainer for six months and got the toned, fit body you dreamed of?

Take all those experiences and think about the times you felt REALLY GOOD in your life.

(And guess what? Some of those times when you were loving life may not have been your skinniest or when you were eating the ‘right’ food. It might have been when you just let go, embraced who you were and allowed experiences and love to take over!)

Grab some paper and a pen (or use your phone if you prefer) and write down:

1. The times in your life when you felt happiest. Include as much detail as possible. Where were you living, how old were you, what made you feel so happy/loved/special? What was your daily routine like? What kind of food did you eat? Did you do daily exercise? Were you learning a new skill? Who were you with? Try to bring the images to life with smells, colours, songs and words.

2. Now write down all the things that are good in your life NOW. Like a gratitude list if you like. All the things that make you happy and feel great.

3. What does your daily routine look like at the moment? Is that something that’s making you happy? Or is it causing you stress and fatigue? Write down all the good points of your daily routine; all the stuff you want to keep.

4. Now think about how you want to FEEL every day. Loved, nourished, special? Write a list of at least 10 words that describe how you wish to feel.

5. Next to each of those words, write down ways in which you can ensure that feeling happens every, single day. (Write in the present tense as if you’re already doing it)

E.g. I want to feel loved: I treat myself lovingly. I buy myself flowers. I wear my favourite colours. I wrap myself up in a warm blanket on the sofa. I spend time with my pets.

The final step is, of course, to take some action!

Ensure you treat yourself well every day so that you always feel loved/ special/ happy/ nourished/ appreciated …

Making a simple switch from a slice of toast and an instant coffee to making a fresh fruit smoothie or preparing a pretty oat bowl the night before will make so much difference to the start of your day.

Find the things that work for you, that fit in to your lifestyle/budget/family/values and that make you feel AMAZING!

Have a wonderful day!

Lorraine xx

Profile photo of Lorraine Pannetier outside by palm tree holding a cup of tea and wearing a grey jumper and smiling at the camera.

The Connection between Gratitude and Creativity

 

Living, writing and creating in Jersey is a breath of fresh air.

From the rugged north coast to the palm trees of the south, the waves of the wild west to the glowing eastern sunrise, there’s something unique and special about every angle of our tiny island.

Our landscape is an endless source of inspiration for local creative artists, many of whom have successfully created products that are sought after worldwide for customers wanting to take a little of Jersey’s essence into their homes. Even if you’ve never heard of the island of Jersey, chances are you’ve tasted a Jersey Royal or can spot a Jersey cow!

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Photo by George Hiles on Unsplash

When I first came to Jersey twenty years ago as a young personal trainer, nutrition consultant and massage therapist, I soon discovered a whole circle of incredible healers and practitioners whose magic hands were capable of transforming energy levels, health and well-being.

I intuitively felt safe, supported and inspired by their wealth of knowledge and experience and immersed myself in many kinds of treatments such as reflexology, chiropractic, cranio-sacral therapy and crystal healing.

Investing in our body’s health should really be a no-brainer.

Except we live in a world where obesity and chronic illness are prevalent in developed countries while malnutrition and preventable disease run rife in the third world. So, looking beyond diet, exercise and disease control, what else can we do to make our human bodies run more efficiently and enjoy happier lives?

Well, I believe that part of the secret lies here in Jersey.

Spending time being active outdoors in nature and breathing in our fresh, unpolluted air is one way to boost our health and spirit. However, there is one important thing that needs to be added here…

Gratitude.

Too many of us simply take our island and our beautiful surroundings (and many other amazing things in our lives) for granted.

When was the last time you found yourself stuck in traffic along The Avenue? Probably fairly frequently if you’re a rush-hour commuter. But did you take the time to notice the millpond-like sea in St Aubin’s bay, to watch the palm trees fluttering gently in the breeze or to look up and see a flock of birds or a ‘kiss’ of aeroplane trails in the sky?

two women sat on a bench in Jersey overlooking the sea on a beautiful summer's day

Simple pleasures – Noirmont point, overlooking Portelet Bay, Jersey

Being thankful for our island’s natural beauty is a prerequisite for a more joy-filled existence.

We will all experience problems, challenges and pain in our lives, but how we choose to react to those situations will be far more positive when we begin to live every day from a place of love, kindness and gratitude.

 

As a writer and creative entrepreneur based in Jersey, I’m grateful every day for the inspiration I find in our island and how that translates into beautiful words for my clients.

Whenever my creativity gets stuck or my energy feels stagnant, a short walk in nature, a trip to the sea or some time in the company of animals reawakens my passions and stimulates my creative juices.

Here are my top tips to living life from a place of gratitude:

  • Keep a gratitude diary. Write down at least three things you’re grateful for every day and how they make you feel. Need some inspiration? Read on…

 

  • Take a few moments every morning to look out of your bedroom window. Notice the trees and flowers, the clouds, the sky, the sunrise and the birds. Watch how the seasons change the colours and textures.

 

  • Close your eyes in the shower and feel the warmth of the water trickling over your body. Whilst appreciating the availability of running water, heating, fluffy towels and clean clothes, think about your big dreams or life goals. What would you like to achieve? Where would you love to travel to? What legacy would you like to leave behind? Thinking about these things daily and taking small action steps towards achieving them is far easier when the rest of your day is rooted in gratitude.

 

  • Do kind things for others. It doesn’t have to be a grand or expensive gesture, but perhaps something as simple as cooking a meal for an elderly neighbour, bringing fresh fruit into work to support your colleague’s health goals, passing on a good book or donating unwanted clothes or household items to charity.

 

  • Spend more quality time with your children, family or friends without the distraction of smart phones. Listen to elderly relatives’ stories and pass on their wisdom and history to the younger generation.

     

Our island’s natural beauty and heritage is not a separate entity. It’s interwoven into every piece of creative artwork and lives on forever through each one of us.

Lorraine xx

A Love Note to Jersey – First published in The Jersey Life Magazine May 2018

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Fliquet beach, Jersey

 

7 Simple Steps YOU can take TODAY to ensure life on planet Earth thrives beyond 2030

I am soooo happy to see that yesterday’s blog about meal prepping without plastic packaging was such a big hit with my audience! It hit the same level as The True Cost of Fast Fashion and Busyness v. Stillness which tells me one AMAZING thing about you….

That you’re looking for ways to help the environment, you’re compassionate and you’re craving ways to find inner peace in a crazy, messed-up world.

And if you’re taking the time to read blogs like this (thank you so much from the bottom of my heart) then chances are, you’re looking for ways to take action!

This makes me feel an incredible wave of excitement and a warm fuzzy feeling in my heart.

The more of us who are making small, daily changes really are the ones who will change the world; reversing climate change and environmental damage and balancing wealth between nations so no-one dies of starvation while others are throwing billions of tonnes of food away each year. (Because that’s the naked truth right now.)

I’ve been lucky enough to make changes slowly and gradually, which as we all know is generally the way to make new lifestyle habits stick.

But right now we don’t have that luxury.

Recent reports state we may have as little as twelve years to reverse some of the damage to our planet to allow nature to replenish and repopulate itself.

Twelve years.

Scary right?

So, what can you do to be part of the change?

  • Read, listen, watch, learn. Research the facts, follow people across social media who are taking action, making a difference and sharing their knowledge and love with the world.
  • Learnt something new? Found a great article? Watched a good documentary? SHARE IT! It only takes a click or two on social media and instantly it falls into the laps of hundreds of people. Creating a ripple effect is easy.
  • Stop buying food produce wrapped in plastic. Sure, the avocados may not be as ripe, but once you get into the habit of doing it every few days, soon you’ll find a routine where you always have ripe avocados at home!
  • Ditto for pre-chopped vegetables and fruit in plastic. Yes, it’s a time saver but making time to prepare and cook your own meals from scratch will help you find that inner peace you’ve been craving. It teaches patience and allows us quiet time in the kitchen to reconnect to our food.
  • Think before you buy, anything! Clothes, shoes, technology, take-out food, toys, make-up and toiletries…. Stop and consider (a) if you really need this item, (b) if this item brings you joy and makes you feel really, truly happy on the inside (rather than simply keeping up with the Jones’s or following a trend), (c) how you might dispose of it (or its packaging) when you no longer have a use for it, and (d) by buying this item, are you taking away from another dream? I.e. by spending money here and now on this item, will it stop you achieving another goal (like buying a house, travelling, saving for retirement, fixing the house, seeing the dentist etc.).
  • Following on from the above point, is there a way you can buy or acquire a pre-loved version of this item? Clothes and household items are easily available second-hand and often will be more unique and save you money. (Win-win for achieving those financial dreams!)
  • Join in with a community project. We’re all passionate about different things and some will tug at your heart more than others. Follow your heart and make a difference in your community. Beach clean ups, cooking for a homeless charity, supporting a screening of a documentary about refugees, giving your time as a volunteer…. or even starting up your own local project or awareness campaign. The choices are endless. But stop sitting around talking about it and just do it!

When you take consistent action on these seven steps, then not only will you feel more contentment and peace in your life, but you’ll have helped others and you’ll know that, even when the results are not yet visible, you’ll have made more than a dent in planet Earth’s recovery.

If we all come together to make a difference, collectively we can make our grandchildren’s future a far more exciting prospect.

Are you with me?

Lorraine xx

Meal prep Sunday: plant-based and packaging-free

Today, I thought I’d share something a little different; an insight into my meal prep Sunday and food shopping over the past few days.

Now, I don’t meal prep EVERY Sunday,  in fact, I’ve been pretty rubbish about planning in general lately which has led to rather too many simple meals of pasta in tomato sauce, or noodles with vegetables or yet another lentil curry. (Nothing wrong with lentil curry but it can get a bit monotonous!)

Now Jersey has not one but TWO package free / zero waste shops to enhance our sustainable lifestyle goals, I decided now was the time to put my money where my mouth is and buy ONLY package free (or recyclable/compostable materials) ingredients and cook or prepare meals and snacks in advance.

On Friday, I went out armed with my mesh food bags and canvas shoppers to our great new cooperative initiative – SCOOP – based at Vermont Farm in St Peter. They stock a selection of seasonal, organic vegetables plus a whole host of dried ingredients to scoop straight out into your own jars or containers. We came away with some beautiful cooking apples, a giant bag of dark green kale, cashew nuts, almonds, broccoli, toasted coconut and dried mango (which won’t last long in our house!). I also treated myself to a new bamboo toothbrush (ahem – I may have had my last one for over a year) and some Who Gives a Crap toilet paper. All excellent value for money and you can walk away with that sweet smile of smugness plastered across your face!

My daughter and I then headed off to one of our friendliest farm shops on the island, Lucas Bros on La Haule hill, St Aubin. Here you can get the most delicious fresh flat leafed parsley (I literally eat it by the handful) as well as beautiful locally grown lettuce, fresh tomatoes of all varieties, giant mushrooms and so much more. We stocked up on lots of our favourite ingredients -like avocados, cucumber and ripe bananas – and my daughter is always astonished by how cheap it is compared to buying the same items in packaging in the supermarket.

First stop on Saturday afternoon – a local health food store (Barannes) for raw, organic apple cider vinegar and almond butter. Both in glass jars – check!

Then I headed off to Mini Mall, a fantastic new shop in the centre of St Helier, Jersey, where you can take your own jars and stock up on all your dried goods, plus olive oil, teas, spices and more. Oh, and they stock the most delicious raw vegan and gluten free treats from Wild Health. I couldn’t make up my mind so came away with a mint-matcha-chocolate slice and a chocolate-raspberry torte. I’ve sliced each one into three pieces and frozen the leftovers to share with my teenage daughters. (But only if I don’t eat it all before they find out!) *cue evil laugh*

In Mini Mall I bought chia seeds, cacao powder, cacao nibs, hazelnuts and organic ground cinnamon – yummy! It works out so much cheaper buying everything this way, plus, you’re helping to save the planet from unnecessary single use plastic and packaging. Win-win. They also have strong paper bags should you ever be passing by without your own jars.

Today (Sunday) I’ve been to Rondels’ farm shop in Trinity for more ripe bananas (did I mention they’re my favourite food?), frozen fruit, some other veggies – including a giant 2.5lb sweet potato – and more avocados. The only items that had to be in a plastic bag (because I’ve run out of containers – they seem to enter the void known as ‘school’ and never return…) were the frozen berries, but I reuse the bags as many times as possible for covering food in the fridge. (Note to self, buy more large Kilner jars.)

With all the shopping out of the way, I started my Sunday morning with 500ml water, a small glass of water with apple cider vinegar, then a freshly made apple and ginger shot which boosts immunity and warms you up on a cold day. This was followed by a giant blood-boosting juice of the organic kale and carrots from Scoop, fresh parsley, a little apple, fresh lemon juice and a giant raw beetroot. Dee-lish-uss!

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Our main breakfast was a chocolate-oat smoothie bowl topped with toasted coconut, almond butter  and cacao nibs – a nutrient rich start to the day.

Smoothie recipe: almonds, chia seeds, water, vanilla powder, ripe bananas, maca powder, ground flaxseed, cacao powder and medjool dates. Place all ingredients in a high speed blender and whizz until smooth and creamy. I made a thick smoothie with less water than I would if I was going to drink it. Pour the smoothie over the oats (gluten free) and top with fruit and toppings of your choice.

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Lunch: A fresh bowl of raw salad ingredients with stuffed vine leaves (bought from Waitrose in a tin = recyclable) and a home made tahini dip.

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Then I started with all the food prep for the week ahead.

I haven’t made a specific meal plan, but I have made a selection of individual ingredients that my daughter can use for school lunches and I can eat at home for lunch to save precious writing time.

(Note: While I’m completely plant-based, my daughters do eat some meat, fish and eggs, though primarily it’s when they’re out with friends or with their dad. However, on this occasion I bought some skinless chicken breasts – straight into my own glass container – from the friendly couple who run The Country Butcher at Rondel’s Farm Shop so that my eldest daughter has a little more protein in her school lunches. I rarely cook meat for my kids at all so this is a rare occurrence!)

Here’s what I’ve been busy making, chopping and cooking all afternoon (is it bedtime yet?!):

  • Apple compote (stewed apple) – a great addition to breakfast dishes, as an ingredient in healthy muffins or to use as apple crumble… yum! Peel and chop cooking apples straight into a saucepan. Add a little water (about half a cup for 3-4 small cooking apples), and your choice of spices. I added cloves, star anise, ground mixed spice and cardamon seeds. However, a dash of cinnamon works perfectly well if that’s all you have. I don’t tend to sweeten my cooking apples but feel free to add a little maple syrup or agave if desired.
  • Cacao energy balls – a perfect mid morning snack for busy teenagers or an after dinner treat if you have a sweet tooth. They’re also great as a post-workout snack alongside a ripe banana. In a food processor add gluten free oats, chia seeds, cashew nuts (or any nut of your choice), cacao nibs, ground flaxseed and cacao powder. Blitz until it’s a coarse consistency but not a powder. Add soaked medjool dates and coconut oil and blitz until it starts coming away from the sides and can be easily rolled into balls. Roll the mixture into balls and store in the fridge or freezer in a container. I made about 15 balls which should keep us going for a few days!
  • Brown rice and bulgur wheat – staples for a plant-based diet, I made these in bulk and separated into portion sizes so that my 17 year old can easily put together her own lunches (dream on, mummy!). Cook until al dente, then rinse in cold water, drain and store in the fridge immediately. *Note, bulgur wheat is not gluten free. 
  • Sweet ’n’ spicy roasted sweet potato cubes – another family favourite, I roasted peeled, cubed sweet potato in a little olive oil, sea salt, smoked paprika, turmeric, chilli flakes and cinnamon. Once cooked, allow to cool and store in the fridge in a sealed container.
  • Roasted pumpkin and courgette – the last of the Halloween pumpkin has now been cooked!! I peeled and cubed the pumpkin and chopped the courgette into chunks and popped them in a roasting dish together with sea salt, black pepper and a tiny bit of olive oil. Again, once cooked, allow to cool and store in the fridge in a sealed container.
  • Dehydrated pineapple slices – Am I the only one who buys pineapples with good intentions and then watches them slowly become overripe…?!! This one needed eating asap so I peeled, sliced finely and dehydrated in the oven on about 50 degrees celsius for a few hours. (While I was cooking the roasted vegetables I sat these in the top oven which gets slightly warm from the main oven anyway. Then I returned them to the lower heat once the oven had cooled down.) I never manage to make these as dry as the ones in the shops but they’re so yummy (and so small) that they generally last all of about 4 minutes anyway….
  • Chopped red bell peppers and organic carrots – washed, sliced and ready to use in salads or as a snack.
  • Soaked almonds – soaking in water ready for tomorrow morning’s almond milk (because I’m trying not to buy cartons of milk anymore as they’re not recyclable …)

Plus, for those of you not yet on a plant-based or vegan diet, you probably need time to transition. So here’s what I did with the chicken and eggs… (and I’m not even going to crack a joke… *groan*)

I roasted the chicken breasts in turmeric, sea salt and black pepper, then sliced into lunchbox chunks and popped half in the freezer and half in the fridge in a large Kilner jar. I hard-boiled two of the eggs and saved the others for omelette or cakes. (Just for the kids…) If you want more meal-prep inspiration for meat and fish based dishes, just search on YouTube as there are soooo many vloggers and fitness experts who share their tasty, healthy recipes. 

Hopefully you’re exhausted (but inspired) just by reading this… and I’m now off for a long soak in the bath with candles! 

I’ll leave you with a couple of questions to get you on track with meal prep and planning.

  • How could you be more organised this week and plan ahead to give yourself more time?
  • What meals or snacks could you prepare in advance? Even making a slow cooker casserole is a great way to free up the early evening when everyone is tired and hungry after a busy day.
  • Have you got any local sustainable shops near you? If you’re not sure, your challenge this week is to do some research.

If you live in Jersey, do pop in to the shops I’ve named above and tell them they were featured in a local blog. They’ll be really happy! Or share your photos on Instagram and tag me @lorrainepannetiercreative or @bowlsofsoul. I’d love to see your take on meal prep. 

Have a wonderful, slow, relaxing Sunday evening,

Lorraine xx

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Cacao energy balls sprinkled with toasted coconut… just because 😉