Lizzyfied

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Why smoothies are not always healthy

Smoothies have a stellar reputation among health-conscious people and this is not without reason. These drinks are full of fresh greens, juicy fruits, colourful vegetables and superfood supplements, such as maca and wheatgrass powder. Since the food is blended up, it is easy for your body to absorb all the vitamins and minerals from the smoothie, leaving you feeling instantly recharged. However, for many people drinking smoothies can cause bloating, diarrhoea, cramps and other digestive issues. Does that mean smoothies are unhealthy? Well, that really depends on your physical constitution.

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Tapping 101 – the what, the why and the how

Tapping is a technique that is used to calm the mind and reduce anxiety. The idea is simple. First, you focus on a specific negative emotion or situation in your life. Then you tap on 12 meridian points on your body for about 5-7 times. By tapping on these points, while concentrating on releasing the negative emotion, your body’s energy will become balanced again and stress is released.

My experience with tapping

I admit, it sounds a little weird at first and I was highly skeptical that tapping would do anything for me except make me look like a giant fool. But scientific studies have actually found that tapping on specific meridian points in the body can reduce an emotional reaction (often fear or stress) to negative situations. In short, it can thus relieve us from anxiety, stress, sadness, depression, grief or any other upset we might be experiencing.

I have used tapping for a few months now and can honestly say that 9 out of 10 times it works. Just a few rounds of tapping are enough for me to relax. Nowadays I use tapping on a weekly basis for a clear and calm mind. As with any mindfulness practice in life, tapping is not a magic pill that will make everything in your life better. But to my great surprise, I have found that tapping has helped me so much in returning to a calm state of mind when I am feeling overwhelmed. It is also the perfect practice for a little pick-me-up during a stressful day at work.

How to tap

First, you need to identify the problem you want to focus on. It can be a specific issue or negative feeling, or just a general feeling of anxiety, boredom or depression. Tapping can also be helpful for relieving headaches. So when you experience a headache, you can make the headache your point of focus. Youcan try to reflect more deeply on the issue or feeling by assessing the intensity of the feeling. For example, is the anxiety quite mild or very strong?

1. Affirmation

Once you have reflected on your anxiety or negative situation, you compose a statement that consists of two parts. First, you by acknowledge the problem or feeling and then affirm an unconditional acceptance of who you are. An example of such a statement might be: ‘Even though I am very anxious right now, I deeply and completely accept myself’.

2. Set-up tap

Then you perform the setup tap. With four fingers (it doesn’t matter which hand), you tap four fingers on the outer edge of your opposite hand while repeating your statement three times. Then you take a deep breath…

The taps should be firm, but gentle using only the soft parts of your finger.

3. The tapping sequence

After the set-up rounds, you perform a full tapping sequence using two or four fingers (again, it doesn’t matter which hand), tapping 5-7 times across the following points.

Inner corner of the eyebrow
Outer corner of the eyebrow
Under the eye

Under the nose
The crease between the chin and lip
The collarbone
Underneath the arm, near the armpit
Top of the head

The video at the beginning of section 3 explains perfectly how to perform a tapping sequence from start to finish.

You can perform a few rounds of this tapping sequence until you find an emotional release from the negative emotion or anxiety. If the tapping doesn’t work for you straight away, don’t try to make it work. Try a few rounds of tapping and see if it releases any emotion. If it doesn’t, that is okay. Worrying about the tapping will only add to your stressed state. Tapping should be an easy tool to reach for when needed rather than a go-to cure for everything.

More often than not, I find release and calm from tapping, which is why I highly recommend giving it a try. It is one of the many techniques I have added to my self-care repertoire that I like to pull out when I am feeling particularly overwhelmed or even just a little foggy in the brain.

Why I started blogging

In this whirlwind digital age, new websites and blogs are popping up left and right on a daily basis. Many people have personal or lifestyle blogs, nutrition or wellness blogs, food or travel blogs. Many even combine all of the above together in blogs that may look very similar to mine and talk about my topics with such eloquence that it is only natural for me to ask myself why I should start another one. Does the world really need another blog? Does the world really need my blog? The answer is unequivocally yes, not only because my voice needs to be heard, but because I need to practice using my voice in the first place. After years of toying with the idea of starting a blog, I have accumulated reasons so compelling to myself that I could no longer deny myself the opportunity to start expressing myself on this platform. Today I want to share these reasons.

A voice for change

There are many blogs talking about veganism, sustainable living and stress-management, yet all of them matter. In a world of gross injustice not only to fellow humans, other animals and the ecosystems on which we depend, but oftentimes most profoundly to ourselves, every voice trying to rectify this injustice matters. Experiments have shown that when a group of actors all do the wrong thing, the test subject will follow them, even when he/she know it is wrong. When among the group of actors, there is one person doing the right thing, the test subject is much more likely to do what he/she know is right. Although I am far from perfect, I try to do the right thing as much as I can. If I can inspire others to do the same, even if it is only one person, then this blog matters.

A public learning platform

I love writing and have been doing so for many years in private. As an otherwise not very creative person, writing is my way of creating and expressing myself. I have written short stories, poems and diary entries for as long as I can remember and have no intentions of ever showing them to anyone. But I realised that the only way for me to grow in my writing and improve my skills, is by sharing my stories. Making my writing public and receiving feedback from others, will help me advance in the field of wordsmithery. It will also hold me accountable to write regularly, as we all known how annoying an abandoned blog can be. This accountability applies not only to writing, but to all matters of wholesome and sustainable living. By putting myself out there and writing about these topics, I can learn and grow from others. I can also keep myself accountable to sticking with practices I value dearly.

A minimalist journal

Coming back to the previous point about my love for writing, I enjoy going through my old diaries and scrapbooks to reflect on a particular stage of my life and to understand how far I have come in my life. I hold these notebooks dear and would never get rid of them. But as I am aiming to adopt a more minimal lifestyle, the idea of putting all my recipes, thoughts, advice (I have whole notebooks just on advice to myself), and memories in a nook on the internet appeals to me. My blog gives me the opportunity to have all my thoughts neatly categorised and stored away without creating more clutter in my home.

The world would have done just fine without my blog. I would have quite likely survived as well. But as the cliché goes: “The world doesn’t need more successful people. The world desperately needs more peacemakers, healers, restorers, storytellers, and lovers of all kind”. This is a need that does not beg for brute survival, but for vitality, harmony and connection. And if I can find more vitality, harmony and connection with my blog, then that is exactly what the world is longing for.