New Beginnings.

As most of you will know by now i recently handed my notice in at my job of 2.5 years.

I’ve had a great time there but over this past year i’ve been feeling kind of stuck. I felt a long time ago that i had gotten everything i could from this job, there was nothing more that i could do here, no new skills to learn, no room to progress and grow. It started making me feel really bored and unhappy, so i finally bit the bullet and started applying for new jobs.

Luckily something fell right into my lap and very quickly i got an amazing new job offer. I’m so excited to start this new chapter in my life and this new job is exactly what i was praying for. Last year was very tough for me, a lot of ups and downs but i somehow managed to power through and this year things are looking so much better.

Last year there were a lot of days where i struggled to find a reason to get out of bed in the morning, a lot of days where i was afraid to talk to anybody and i was afraid that things would never get better. Around me everybody would have thought i was the happiest person ever but that’s just because i was afraid to tell anyone what was going on in my head in case they told me i was crazy. The best decision i ever made was to confide in a friend and to get help. Its been a long road so far and i’m not naive enough to think that my troubles are behind me, anybody who has suffered with mental health will know its an uphill battle where you get knocked back down again and again.

So far in 2017 i feel like one good thing has been happening after another, it feels almost to good to be true. My blog has been doing amazing, my training is going really well, i’ve had a few photo shoots, and most of all i feel happy again. Unfortunately with anxiety there’s always that little voice in my head telling me this won’t last, something will go wrong. What i’ve came to realize is that that little voice is probably right, the good times don’t last forever, but neither do the bad times. Life is fleeting and no matter what happens nothing lasts forever.

So while all of these good things are happening to me i’m going to focus on vibrating higher, live right in this moment and appreciate every single good thing that is happening to me right now. The big things and the small, getting a new job and finding a lucky cent. Because they all matter and they all make me smile and it’s these things that manage to keep me going even in my darkest days.

One thing that has really helped me in not being so worried about the future is how i have such an amazing group of friends who have been so good to me through everything. On days when i have felt low and felt empty, its my friends who have helped raise me back up and fill me back up with love.

It’s weird how much things can change in one year, how your perception can change. I once remember writing that life is not meant to be lived in pain. Oh how naive i feel now for writing that, but that’s genuinely what i thought at the time. Now i realize that that’s what life is, it’s painful and it’s unfair. We just have to not let that pain consume us and drag us under. For it’s the pain that makes us who we are. The pain makes us stronger.

So here’s to new beginnings. Here’s to 2017. Here’s to being stronger than ever.

Even in my lowest lows I have unwavering faith that the universe has my back.

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Eternal Optimist.

So after taking a 2 month hiatus from my blog, I finally re discovered my passion for writing and remembered why I started this thing in the first place.

Last year was so tough for me. I found out that I’m not superwoman. I had to admit that i am only human (i know, shocker) and that maybe i had taken on to much at once. But hey, God loves a trier right?

Anyhow, after a midyear mental break down, lots of sleepless nights, millions of tears, countless panic attacks, months of being in denial and pretending i was fine, depression and anxiety, I finally admitted I wasn’t ok. I took some time off from work, time off from the gym, time off from writing my blog. At the time this seemed to me like my absolute worst nightmare, I didn’t want to slow down or stop doing all of these things but it was important for my health, mental & physical.

It’s weird because everybody else could see it at the time, everybody was telling me Kirsty your way to hard on yourself, your taking on to much, stop trying to please everybody, you need to rest. But of course I didn’t listen.

We all make mistakes, Christ I’ve made some whopper ones, and I’m pretty sure I’m going to make plenty more. But you know what? To be old and wise you first have to be young and stupid. Good judgement comes from experience, and experience.. well that comes from bad judgement. So here’s to many more mistakes. Making mistakes doesn’t matter, what matters is if you don’t learn from them and you keep on making the same mistakes.

Sounds grim I know, not my usually positivity. But actually, after being forced to confront all of the ways I was holding myself back, after being forced to admit that I needed help after struggling in silence, somewhere in that dark dark place… I found myself.

So this past few months have been a journey of self-discovery for me. The biggest thing has been learning to not be so hard on myself and to stop being a people pleaser and to just do things for me. I’m learning a lot about the real me, and within that I rediscovered my passion for writing. So I’m back to writing my blog, but it’s going to be a little different this time. Still based on fitness / spirituality, but this time I’m going to be more honest and write about what is really going on. The highs and the lows.

If you look back in my blog posts from last year you won’t see any mention of how much I was suffering, I wasn’t intentionally hiding it but like I said I was in denial. I’ve never been one to ask for help, or even admit when I need it. I am fiercely independent. I had so many people asking me why I hadn’t wrote for my blog in a few weeks, if everything was ok, I just didn’t know what to tell people. So I finally decided you don’t need to tell people anything, just be honest. So that’s what this is.

It’s weird because even after the hardest year of my life, having days where I couldn’t leave the house or go to work, days when I thought I just can’t do this anymore, days where i wondered if I maybe wasn’t strong enough. Now I’m actually better than I ever have been. Never in my life have I been so honest and true to myself, and it’s a wonderful feeling.

Rock bottom is a pretty good place to build a solid foundation. So that’s exactly what I did. And now I’m working on building myself back up, brick by brick, stronger than I was before. I remind myself every day – I got this.

Whilst suffering with a list of mental health issues along with over all a really challenging year, I still managed to keep my optimism no matter what. That’s one thing that will never be taken away from me.

I guess if one person reads this and can relate, or one person feels motivated by it, or one person who is suffering with mental health takes anything at all away from me blogging about this, then it was worth writing. I just want to do me and hopefully inspire and empower some people along the way, the reason i started my blog in the first place.

Love and Light.

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To be human.

Coincidences do not exist.

Nothing happens by chance.

Life is a string of seemingly complex synchronicities leading us from one experience to another.

These ‘meaningful coincidences’ are a wink from the universe that you are exactly where you are supposed to be.

That all is well.

& although now you cannot see how the different phases & events in your life are connected..

One day you will look back with the deepest smile in your heart when everything finally comes together and you realise why it all happened, what it all meant, and what you were being prepared for.

& until that day, stop trying to figure it out, just laugh at the madness, the good, the bad, all of it..

because this is why we are here, to experience what it is to be beautifully human.

The good and the bad.

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The importance of protein in our diet.

When I decided to become a vegetarian I spent a good few weeks researching everything first. Because I am very active and also do strength training I was worried about how I was going to get enough complete proteins in my diet.

Proteins are the basic structure of all living cells in our bodies. The building blocks that make up proteins, are called amino acids.

Of the 20 amino acids we know about, 9 of these must come from dietary intake. The other 11 can be manufactured by the body.

Today most people think of eating as for pleasure, we eat cake and pizza and chips because we enjoy them. What our food is supposed to do is fuel our body, give us energy and keep us healthy. Sure by eating pizza and chips you can still get fuel and energy, but you can’t get health. To be healthy we need to be eating fruit, vegetables, grains, seeds, REAL unprocessed, unrefined raw foods!

To show how important our food consumption is in maintaining our health, here is a list below of the 9 essential amino acids (remember these are the ones that you must get from your dietary intake), and which part of your health and body they directly effect.

Essential Amino Acids
Histidine – hemoglobin component; used in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, allergic diseases, ulcers & anemia. A deficiency may cause hearing problems.
Isoleucine and Leucine – mental alertness, also provides manufacturing components for other essential biochemical components in the body, which are utilized for the production of energy and upper brain stimulants.
Lysine – Insures adequate absorption of calcium; helps form collagen (component of bone, cartilage and connective tissues); aids in the production of antibodies, hormones & enzymes. Lysine may be effective against herpes by improving the balance of nutrients that reduce viral growth. A deficiency may result in tiredness, inability to concentrate, irritability, bloodshot eyes, retarded growth, hair loss, anemia & reproductive problems.
Methionine – a sulfur source, which prevents disorders of the hair, skin and nails. Lowers cholesterol by increasing the liver’s production of lecithin and reduces liver fat build-up. Protects the kidneys; a natural chelating agent for heavy metals; regulates the formation of ammonia and creates ammonia-free urine thereby reducing bladder irritation; promotes healthy hair growth.
Phenylalanine – allows brain to produce Norepinephrine used for the transmission of signals between nerve cells and the brain; regulates hunger, antidepressant; improves memory and mental alertness.
Threonine – a component of collagen, Elastin, and enamel protein; reduces liver fat build-up; promotes proper digestive system function and metabolism.
Tryptophan – a relaxant, alleviates insomnia, prevents migraine; reduces anxiety and depression; promotes proper immune system function. It reduces the risk of cardiovascular spasms. Works in conjunction with Lysine to lower cholesterol levels.
Valine – Promotes mental health, muscle coordination and tempers emotions.

Now knowing this, don’t you want to make sure you are getting enough of all of these amino acids in your diet? If this is how much they directly effect your health and your body, don’t you want to think a bit more carefully about what you are eating?

I always think very carefully about my meals, they are all planned ahead and well thought out to fit my daily macro needs and to make sure they are as nutritious as possible. I know not everybody will want to plan their meals and think about it as much as i do, but here is  a little help on getting the correct amino acids in your diet, its quite simple!

Complete proteins are proteins that contain all nine of the essential amino acids in a sufficient quantity. Here are a few complete proteins which are easy to fit into your daily meals, so no excuses.

Complete Proteins – Meat, fish, milk, cheese & eggs. And here are a few for us veggies & vegans – quinoa, tempeh, quorn.

You can also eat a mixture of different foods that have different incomplete proteins, to make up a complete protein meal.

For example – Beans & rice, peanut butter on wheat bread, ricecakes & peanut butter, grains & dairy (cereal & milk), sesame seed bread roll (grains and seeds), yogurt & granola,

It is not necessary to combine proteins at the same meal as many people believe. So you could have different incomplete proteins with different meals during the day, as long as you are getting enough of each of the nine essential amino acids throughout the full day.

If you can ensure you are getting all of the 9 amino acids each day, you are literally giving your body good health. Just look at the list above, if you eat enough of each of these amino acids you are preventing any of those sicknesses from being able to live in your body.  You are protecting yourself from these illnesses. Don’t eat unhealthy foods and then wait until your already sick and rely on medication, eat the correct foods and ensure you don’t get sick in the first place. Most of all Eat REAL FOODS, food grown on a farm, not in a factory.

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