117: Pilates Chat and Why Self Care Isn’t Selfish with Lesley Logan

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Hey hey friends! I’m so excited for today’s podcast episode because we have someone on the show who is a personal friend and someone I admire deeply: Lesley Logan. She is an amazing person, a powerhouse instructor, and has inspired thousands of people all over the world to live healthier, happier lives.

Here’s what we talk about in today’s episode:

– Pilates chat: what is it, myth busting, what’s the difference between Lagree and classical Pilates, why you shouldn’t be intimidated by it

– Why self care isn’t selfish case

– Strategies for maintaining a self care routine during a busy season

– Her tips for being “Healthy in Real Life”

and so.much.more.

Here’s a bit more about Lesley and her background:

Lesley Logan, a certified Pilates teacher, breathwork, habits and mindset coach, is the founder of OnlinePilatesClasses.com, the first free online catalogue of Pilates exercise tutorials, where you can also find weekly Pilates classes and workshops. Teaching Pilates since 2008, she has run multiple studios, has trained hundreds of people to become teachers themselves and has taught thousands of students. When not teaching from her studio in Las Vegas, Lesley she’s hosting her podcast Be It Till You See it or traveling the world leading Pilates retreats.

Connect with Lesley on Instagram, check out her website and take classes from her here, and listen to her podcast.

Resources from this episode:

The weather is cooling down, and I’m still obsessed with my sauna blanket. It feels even BETTER when it’s chilly outside and you can use the code FITNESSISTA15 for 15% off! This is one of my favorite ways to relax and sweat it out. I find that it energizes me, helps with aches and pains, I sleep better on the days I use this, and it makes my skin glow. Link to check it out here. You can also use my discount for the PEMF Go Mat, which I use every day!

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7 Mindful holiday crafts to try

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Feeling festive yet? Here are some activities to help you get in the spirit

7 Mindful holiday crafts to try

Twinkly lights, calming carols and feel-good films – the holiday season is often a beacon of light during the depths of winter. It can also bring stress and worry however, which makes it especially important to find ways of switching off and revelling in the joy of it all.

Crafting can be a beautiful way to do this. Encouraging a sense of mindfulness as you become engrossed in what you’re doing, crafting can help us relax and connect with both ourselves and others.

Whether you cosy up under a blanket to knit alone, invite your friends over to make a festive wreath or get the kids involved in some potato stamping, we’ve got some crafting ideas for everyone.


1. Origami stars

Origami is the Japanese art of paper folding, and it can be a therapeutic experience. Making origami stars is perfect for this time of year, you can turn them into tree decorations or make a garland.

All you need is paper (why not use pages from an old magazine?) scissors, needle and thread. Mental health charity Mind has a brilliant template which includes instructions to make your origami stars.

2. Holiday activities jar

This is a great way to motivate yourself to enjoy festive activities you love. Get yourself an empty jar, some paper and a pen. Cut or tear the paper into small strips and on each one write a holiday activity you want to do. Here are some ideas to get you started: make hot chocolate, watch a Christmas film, wrap presents, bake cookies, go for a winter walk, decorate the tree, have some mulled wine (or some alcohol-free festive drinks) with friends.

Fold each strip of paper and pop it in the jar. You can then decorate the jar with some ribbon or a sticker and put it somewhere you’ll see it every day. Now you have a jar filled with fun activities to brighten up your December.

3. Knitted stocking

Knitting your own stocking for Santa (or making one as a gift) is a fun idea for the knitters among us. Settling in each evening to knit a few more rows and having a deadline of Christmas eve can motivate you to take this time for yourself. Make it special by lighting a festive candle, enjoying a warm mince pie and listening to Christmas tunes.

Here is a selection of free stocking knitting patterns to try.

4. Potato stamp wrapping paper

If you’re keen to get little ones involved in crafting, this could be a fun one to try. Make your own decorated wrapping paper using potato stamps. All you need is plain wrapping paper (we recommend craft paper), some potatoes, a knife/cookie cutters and paint.

You can use the knife, or cookie cutters if you have them, to make shapes in the potatoes (try a star, Christmas tree of reindeer), dip them in paint and then stamp the paper. Below is a short video tutorial to get you started.

5. DIY snow-globes

A fun craft to do and one that will inspire mindful moments all season. Make your own

Palmier Cookies

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Palmier Cookies are light, airy, buttery sugar-sprinkled cookies that only require two ingredients. 

Palmiers, Elephant Ears, French Hearts, Palm Leaves: whatever you like to call them, these cookies are in the running for my all-time favorite treat.

Palmier Cookies

Palmiers

I can’t stop grinning tonight as I sit here and write about these flaky, sweet, French cookies. It turns out that I like Palmiers so much, I made a batch for my birthday in lieu of a cake a few years ago.

If that doesn’t say a lot about how much I enjoy these airy cookies, I don’t know what will. Not only are these the simplest cookies I have ever made, but from the very first bite, this became one of my very favorite treats.

What is a Palmier?

I’m introducing you today to the easiest cookie you may ever make. Not only are these cookies incredibly simple to make, but from the very first bite, this became one of my very favorite cookies.

It is almost absurdly simple to make these flaky, sweet, buttery, delicate cookies!

You only need two ingredients to make Palmiers: frozen puff pastry and plain white granulated sugar. Nothing fancy is required, no special tools at all.

How To Make Palmier Cookies

Palmier Pastry

Take your puff pastry out of the freezer about half an hour before you want to start making the cookies.

You want it to be soft enough to unfold easily, but not so warm and soft that it sticks together. 30-40 minutes is just about right.

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Discover the art of forgiveness and how it can benefit your wellbeing

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It may seem natural to not want to let someone off the hook for what they have done, but be warned – these bitter feelings can hurt you too

Discover the art of forgiveness and how it can benefit your wellbeing

You may have heard stories about people forgiving others for the most heinous of crimes, things that seem unimaginable to you – betrayal, lies, scandals, and even felonies. You may have wondered how on earth could they do that? Many of us hold grudges from the past, or feel that to let go and forgive may send the message that we condone wrongful behaviour. So, why is it that some people find it easy to forgive, and others seem to struggle?

When comedian Chris McGlade heard from police that his father had been murdered, he forgave his killer in an instant. To help me understand why, Chris told me of his upbringing with a father who had an irreverent sense of humour, and didn’t take life too seriously.

“He was the most outrageous man, with the most outrageous sense of humour, but a massive heart. There was never any malice in him, and he always forgave, and that left an indelible mark on my life.”

Chris says that at the moment the police told him the news, an “irreverence came over me”. At this darkest of moments, he made a joke. When the police looked surprised, his wife said: “Oh, it’s just his way.’’

He reflected: “It was my way, but more importantly it was my family’s way, it was my dad’s way.’’ Chris felt the presence of his father in that moment. He says: “I could see him in my mind’s eye saying ‘Go on, that’s what you do. You laugh, you don’t get angry – protect yourself with a laugh,’ and at that moment, I felt this love. It wasn’t something I had to think about, it was just instinctive.’’

Chris is now touring with a comedy show, Forgiveness, about life growing up with his dad, and his decision to forgive his father’s killer. His story is an extremely unusual case.

Most of us go through life, carrying resentments and grievances from various experiences. It may seem natural to not want to let someone off the hook for what they have done to us, but the problem is that these feelings hurt us, too.

In her book, Forgiveness Made Easy, life coach Barbara J Hunt explains how the word ‘resentment’ comes from the Latin, ‘sentire’ to feel. ‘Re-sent’ literally means, ‘to feel again’. When we hold on to feelings of resentment, we are stuck in a ‘pain loop’, feeling all of the old emotions, again and again, like a wound that never heals. One study published in the journal Aging and Mental Health found that unforgiveness can cause depressive symptoms later in life.

Forgiveness, on the other hand, has a wealth of physical and emotional health benefits, including reducing levels of anxiety, depression, and stress, lowering blood pressure, lowering cholesterol, and improving sleep. First and foremost, forgiveness is for you.

One major stumbling block Barbara J Hunt explains in her book is our ego. In order to protect ourselves, we keep our emotions of hurt hidden under the shell of our ego. Feeling resentment allows us to focus on what the other person did wrong, rather than fully feeling our own pain and grief.

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6 top questions on gut-health answered by an expert nutritionist

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It’s time to tackle taboos, as we put your most pressing gut health questions to the experts to get some much-needed answers

6 top questions on gut-health answered by an expert nutritionist

It happens to all of us. Sometimes, you wake up and something just doesn’t feel right. Sometimes, it can catch you off guard, you could be enjoying your morning coffee and oop – you need to move, quickly. Sh*t happens. So why are we so ashamed of talking about it?

It’s no secret that our gut health needs to be looked after, but how much can we really know when the majority of us aren’t comfortable asking those all-important questions? Well, we’ve asked them for you. Linda Albinsson, head nutritionist at London’s Advanced Nutrition Clinic, answers some of the most commonly searched questions related to our guts and bowel habits. It’s time to talk sh*t.

1. Is gut health really so important?

It’s really the root of everything. Your gut bacteria impacts your metabolism, oestrogen, your mental health, bone health and longevity! And time and time again, I see gut issues on those with eczema and skin issues, inflammatory conditions, and pain conditions such as joint pain, headaches, etc. Though we don’t always see gut symptoms in these clients, so stool testing can be useful here – it’s possible to have chaos in the gut, but be almost completely asymptomatic.

2. How do you know if you have bad gut health?

Watch out for wind and changes in bowel movement.

If you’re unsure, have a look at the Bristol Stool Chart – this breaks poop into seven types, with three and four considered ‘normal’ (fairly smooth, sausage-shaped). Some people can find it a little difficult to work out where they are on the chart, especially if your stool varies from day to day. Really, you want your poop to be consistent and very similar in shape.

Many of us have a sluggish gut, which means we’re likely not fully eliminating. If you’re only going to the toilet once a day, for example, and it’s not ‘100% complete’, you’ll quickly get a jam. And if, when going to the toilet, your elimination feels more like the work of gravity than muscular movement, it’s possible that you’re not properly eliminating.

Constipation is also a common cause of wind and bloating, and, believe it or not, fatigue! The sweetcorn test can be a useful home assessment to investigate the speed of your gut transit.

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The sweetcorn test involves avoiding corn for a number of days to ensure the gut is clear of kernels. Then, introduce some corn into a meal. Note the time of eating, and wait for the magic to happen. How soon you see corn in your poop can indicate the functioning of your bowel – in an ideal world, you’d expect to note the corn between 24 and 36 hours after eating, as a rough guide. If you spot it in less than 12 hours, you may have diarrhoea, and longer than 36 could be a sign of constipation.

3. Are the

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