Indian summer . . .

Me, Paola and Inge at Il Borro, osteria
Me, Paola and Inge at Il Borro, osteria

Luckily, I saw out the last of the September sun working at Il Borro – I met some lovely people including the ladies below. Paola Buchet and Inge Jensen from London, travelled to Tuscany for the weekend, we had such a laugh! Like many of my clients on site, they wanted to chill back and recharge their batteries in the lush yet nourishing countryside.

The reoccurring health theme during the week was what I can only term as positive stress – feeling overwhelmed, anxious and nervous about positive life changes. Heading up a family business, moving to the house of your dreams or even starting a family – all good, positive growth patterns that cause stress.

Back in London we often associate stress with hardship, anxiety or loss, so it was fascinating to witness and work with the reverse – I guess whether you belong to the group of the ‘haves’ or the ‘have nots’, in life there is always enough tension to cause stress. One of my best strategies for dealing with positive or negative stress is through meditation and deep-breathing techniques – I found myself teaching these techniques a lot, as well as discussing self-care.

Talking of self-care – how many of you are still not eating breakfast? When the temperature finally drops it’s important that your body gets a nutritious meal at the start of the day. Not only will it boost your energy on cold mornings but lower your stress levels and stabilise blood-sugar levels which will be low after a night’s sleep.

Overcome the reasons not to have breakfast and make it part of your day. If you're too busy in the morning, prepare as much as you can the night before. If you can't stomach anything first thing, try just a glass of pure, unsweetened fruit juice, a banana, yoghurt or slice of toast. Get into the habit of trying different dishes at breakfast – although fashionable, coffee and croissants really are not the ticket! Instead, you could try:

  • Low sugar breakfast cereals such as oats, quinoa or millet flakes
  • Fruit salad with yogurt, nuts and seeds
  • Grilled bacon, boiled eggs, low-salt baked beans and wholemeal toast.
  • Eggs and soldiers or scrambled eggs with smoked salmon on a bagel

Remember you can also eat these for lunch with a soup or salad instead of high-fat sandwiches.

And finally…

Don’t forget to keep up or start an exercise routine – if you want to get through the next six months with your mind intact, devise a simple movement plan. Look out for circuit classes and programmes that offer total body conditioning – start now to stop the winter slug setting in! More on what you can do to shape up next month

Jacqueline