It’s the last day of the month so today I thought I would reflect on June. I committed at the start of June to blog every day for an entire year, and I am pleased to say I have managed to stick to this throughout this first month. I’m calling this project ‘The Year of Health’ and so far I’ve blogged everyday, and it has really helped keep me accountable and to stay focused on my goals.
I wanted to focus in June on optimising my nutrition. I’ve been following a low-carb diet along the lines of the Ketoflex diet recommended by Dr. Bredesen. My aim was to eat 6-9 different types of vegetables, fresh herbs and fruit everyday, to avoid gluten, grains and sugar and to use lots of high-polyphenol extra-virgin olive oil.
I have been writing down the fruits and vegetables that I eat each day, and I have usually been eating 10+ types each day. This is massively helped by foraging – I collect small handfuls of different wild greens on my daily walk with my dog, and I add them to salads, coleslaw or fry them up with mushrooms for breakfast. Often I will have 3-5 different types of wild greens in a day.
This was a salad I had this week made from dandelion, garlic mustard, fat hen, ox-eye daisy and ground elder.
In my work as a health coach I try to encourage my clients to increase the number of different fruits and vegetables they eat over the course of a week. This increases the amount of micronutrients you are consuming, and is also beneficial for gut health – increasing the amount of prebiotic fibres you are eating which will feed friendly bacteria in the gut.
I have avoided gluten completely throughout June. Although I haven’t been tested for gluten intolerance, I am pretty sure I am intolerant to it as eating it makes me feel terrible. I usually get my clients to cut out or cut down on gluten and I am yet to meet anyone who doesn’t feel better with less gluten in their diet. I’ve avoided nearly all grains, although a couple of times I have had some white rice.
I was going to eliminate dairy, but have found this harder. I ended up having Parmesan cheese, mainly because it is a good source of calcium. I realised after tracking my food using Cronometer I was generally low in calcium most days when I had no dairy. Although you can get calcium from plant foods, it is often less bioavailable.
And some good sources of calcium such as tinned fish with the bones are not something I eat. I also had some feta on salads, because it’s creamy, saltiness is the perfect accompaniment to the bitter taste of wild greens!
I found out before starting the month that I was low in vitamin D, so I started on the ‘Vitamin D & Co-factors Protocol’ which I wrote about here. I was hoping to get some vitamin D from the sun this month but the weather in Kent has been pretty rainy!
As well as working to optimise my health as part of this project (and pass on useful takeaways to my health coaching clients and anyone reading this blog), I am also using Action for Happiness’ monthly calendars to focus on the 10 Keys to Happier Living over the course of this year.
Their theme for June was Joyful June: daily actions to help you appreciate the little things and find more joy. Each day I have been trying to complete the suggestion from the calendar. The most impactful thing that boosts my feelings of happiness is ‘Taking in the Good.’
I learnt about this in Rick Hanson’s wonderful book Hardwiring Happiness.
In effect, the brain is like Velcro for negative experiences, but Teflon for positive ones. This is such a shame, because most of our daily experiences are positive, or at least neutral. We generally have fewer negative experiences, but these are the ones that we focus on.
Here’s how Rick Hanson describes you take in the good:
- Look for good facts, and turn them into good experiences.
- Really enjoy the experience.
- Intend and sense that the good experience is sinking into you.
Some of the Good Things that I experienced in June were:
- An amazing experience foraging and feasting with my sister and friend at a Nomadic Dinners event
- Celebrating the Summer Solstice
- Picking elderflowers
- Watching Andy Murray win at Wimbledon on the first day
- Foraging for seasonal wild greens
- Eating & enjoying seasonal food – strawberries, asparagus, tomatoes, broad beans, peas etc
So that’s it. June has been a good month 🙂
Now bring on July!
Freebies for You
I created two freebies this month.
Hello, I’m Chloe. I’m a nutrition and health coach and I’m on a mission to inspire & support women so they can go from feeling fatigued to feeling fabulous!
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