Blog Post No. 161
By Dr Jim Byrne
2nd February 2018
Dr Jim’s Counselling Blog: Walking the talk of the holistic self-care movement…
Managing my mind by the use of exercise, diet, meditation and self-talk…
Copyright (c) Jim Byrne, 2018
My wife, Renata Taylor-Byrne, sometimes reminds me of the important principle of ‘extreme self-care’.
I didn’t learn any such principle in my family of origin, where the main message was to ‘behave yourself’; and to uncritically go along with the dominant trend of social pressure!
Over the years, I have woken up to the problem of (physical and emotional) stress, and how unmanaged stress leads to all kinds of mental, emotional and physical health problems. Also, because I developed a problem with Candida Albicans overgrowth – a gut dysbiosis problem – decades ago, I had to become clear about the importance of managing my diet – especially the elimination of sugary foods and alcohol.
At a certain point this morning, I found myself exercising, and wondering if this information would be helpful in motivating some of our website readers (meaning you!) to shift to following the principle of ‘extreme self-care’. So here I am, following up on that thought, as a contribution to your health and happiness.
I got up this morning, at the same time as Renata, and got some salad ingredients out of the fridge, and put them on one side to warm up to room temperature. (While that was happening, I checked my emails and website traffic, and so on).
When the salad ingredients had warmed up enough, I chopped them up and put them into two bowls. They consisted of:
4 leaves of Romaine lettuce (chopped very small)
a quarter of a yellow pepper (diced)
a quarter of a red pepper (diced)
four inches of cucumber (halved and sliced)
a quarter of a red onion (diced)
8 green olives
2 black olives
2 ozs of petit poise
6 fine beans (chopped small)
2 tsps of Maca powder
2 desert spoons of flaxseed
2 desert spoons of mixed pumpkin and sunflower seeds
8 whole almonds
2 ozs of pickled beetroot
This meal was so much more exciting and enjoyable than a bowl of cereal, or a full ‘English’ (fried) breakfast; or waffles with maple syrup! Truly enjoyable! However, it would not be a good idea to eat the same breakfast every day. Varity is important for gut bacteria and the available range of nutrients!
On my own bowl, I also added some fermented cucumber (instead of kimchi, which I had yesterday), and some Miso (the brown rice variety).
I then ate this as my breakfast, with a mug of green tea.
(In case I am beginning to sound like Saint Selfless, I had a cafetiere of exotic coffee while I was processing my emails!)
Meditation and physical exercise
When we had finished breakfast, I read some brief quotes – about living in the moment, in the main – to set the mood for our Zen meditation, which we did for 30 minutes. And then Renata led our Chi Kung (Chinese exercise) session, which lasted about 20 minutes. Then we did a couple of minutes of the Plank (from Pilates) – for core strength – and then I did three sets of press-ups (30 presses in each set), and three sets of sit-backs (for 30 seconds in each set), for arm and stomach strength, and for hips and lower back.
The sun was shining in the front and back of the room in which we meditated and exercised, and we had Mozart playing in the background for the exercise session. Divine!
At the end of this time, I was as relaxed, happy and de-stressed as a person could be, and all set for another session on the computer, working on promoting our book on diet and exercise.
The book is called: How to control your anger, anxiety and depression using nutrition and physical exercise; and it is available at amazon, at the following links:
Diet and Exercise book at Amazon.com*** (North America)
Diet and Exercise book at Amazon.co.uk*** (UK and Ireland)
If you want to order the book from another Amazon outlet, then please go to the webpage listed below, and order it from one of the other links (in Europe, Australia, Canada, etc.), which are listed there.
Renata has just completed a little 2-minute video introduction to this book, here:
Please take a look and see what you think.
If you would like some more information about the book (or to order it from a non-UK/US outlet), you can find a good introduction on our webpages. Just click the following link: Diet, Exercise and Mental Health.***
That’s all for now.
I wish you a happy and healthy life, and the wisdom to engage in extreme self-care! J
Dr Jim Byrne
Doctor of Counselling
01422 843 629