Ready for a healthy boost? January 26 2016

I recently met the talented Fi Jamieson-Folland and we got talking - about tea and about health.  We decided to team up; to combine that into a blog piece about the benefits of tea.  As a qualified osteopath, certified raw vegan, gluten-free chef, educator, writer and health mentor, Fi is well and truly qualified on the topic of health and wellness!  I'll let Fi take it away below...

What if there's a way to give ourselves a daily dosing of antioxidants, that's been trusted and true for millions of people for over 3000 years? And what if this healthy solution is for an investment of just a few minutes and a couple of cents?

Alright - so I hear you asking ‘what is this wonder-boost, how does it work and how can I get it?’

Some of you will have guessed it - given that the lovely Katie Smith has asked me to contribute a few healthy, top tips for her Ritual Tea Company blog. 

Yes, it's green tea. 

Originally trusted by both villagers and health practitioners, where the leaves were originally chewed in Southwest China, green tea is now a mainstream and refreshing beverage and even a restorative ingredient in many health tonics and beauty products.  

So what's so good about green tea?

This unassuming small leaf is packed with a veritable smorgasbord of agents offering potential health benefits; varying from protecting our cells to helping maximize our daily productivity.

Check out this impressive list of possible perks from your daily green tea cuppa:

- The natural form of caffeine combined with the L-theanin, can help to improve brain function, boost mood and energy levels.

- Some studies show increased metabolic rate, mild reductions in circulating blood sugar, and increased fat burning activity of our cells.

- The catechins can help with dental health and reduce infection.

- The powerful antioxidants may protect our cells from damage from a variety of damage including cancer, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, type II diabetes and heart disease.

It tastes good too!

Heating your water to the optimal temperature (just below boiling before you pour over your leaves) will draw out the right balance of amino acids, which give the flavour and sweetness - plus tannins, which give astringency.

And after only one minute of steeping in your favourite teapot or cup, the active ingredients will be busy doing their thing.

If you like the sound of the potential benefits of this humble leaf, check out the green teas in the Ritual range here.

And if having more energy, being more focused and productive in your day sounds interesting, then drop me a line at A FREE Alignment session maybe just the thing for you :)

Fi Jamieson-Folland D.O, is an Executive Lifestyle Consultant, with over 20 years experience in Europe, Asia and New Zealand as a qualified osteopath, certified raw vegan, gluten-free chef, educator, writer and health mentor. She lives in New Zealand and Indonesia with her husband Chris, relishing an outdoor lifestyle and time with family and friends.



How rituals can help your life July 19 2015

Ritual n 1 regular repeated action or behaviour 2 a ceremony involving a series of fixed actions performed in a certain order

Our lives are a series of small moments.  The everyday things we do; our habits, routines and rituals, create this life. 

‘Habits’ and ‘routines’ can sound really boring, but good ones are not at all boring.  In this busy world we live in these habits, routines, rituals help frame our lives.  It’s important to take time out to relax and recharge, as well as connect with those around us. 

Here’s three things that I do (or am trying to do) that you could try and incorporate into your daily routine and see what difference they make to how you feel.  

Drink tea

Tea is a ritual.  It’s a tradition and an everyday fixture for millions of people around the world.  In Eastern cultures, tea ceremonies have an ancient and important role in society.  In modern times, drinking tea is a healthy way to unwind and recharge.

Set your morning up the right way by taking some time to prepare a cup of tea.  Doing this provides a time for reflection.  You’ll be surprised at what a difference this can make to how you feel, as you mentally prepare for the day.  

When there is noise and clutter around you, you can find sanctuary in tea.  A few minutes taken in the afternoon to prepare and enjoy a cup of tea can be helpful in enabling you to take a step back, reflect and recalibrate. 

As well as allowing you to enjoy time to recharge, preparing and serving tea is a ritual to bond with others over; to connect with family, friends and work colleagues.  Our connections with people make a big difference to how we feel and help to make us happy. 

Do nothing

I recently read ‘Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff’ by Richard Carlson.  One of the tips that piqued my interest is ‘do nothing’.  I get this, but I don’t do it enough.  There’s always a million things to do and if I do take some time to relax, I usually feel bad about it! 

Taking some time out to sit and do nothing is incredibly hard, but is really beneficial as well.  Start with just ten minutes, perhaps with a cup of tea in hand (that way you can’t look at your phone as well!).

Get up at the same time every morning and go to bed at the same time every night

Recently I took part in a two day workshop called ‘The Art of Deliberate Success’.  The author of the book and creator of the programme, David Keene, said to me “it sounds so simple but if you go to bed earlier, you will find it easier to wake up in the morning”.  He was right.  SO simple, yet I hadn’t been doing it.

When we were kids, most of us probably had a set bed time.  When we got older we could decide for ourselves and for me this has meant getting in a bad habit.  Going to bed at the same time every night and getting up at the same time every morning is a work in progress, but when I do, I notice what a difference it makes.  I have more energy and I feel more organised (because I’m not rushing about and I have time to make that cup of tea). 

If you give any of these things a go, I'd love to hear about how they went for you.  If you have any other rituals, routines or habits that work for you, I'd love to hear about them too.  Feel free to leave a comment below.  

"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit." - Aristotle


Good things take time May 17 2015










Life is getting faster and faster.

I’m generation Y, and as fellow twenty-somethings know, most of the time we can have what we want, when we want it.  I'm attempting to slow things down.  To wait.  As the Mainland man says, “good things take time”; cheese, bread, goals, businesses, long trips to delicious places.

Slowing increases our ability to see greatness in small things. A flower in the crack of a pavement or a child smiling. I believe a cup of tea is in this same vein, it takes more than a moment to boil the jug, more than an instant for the leaves to brew and then at least ten minutes to sit down and enjoy it.  That’s the best way.  Of course I've also been known to make my tea then rush around doing the dishes, making the bed, putting on washing… stopping every few minutes to take a gulp… but it’s not nearly as satisfying or fulfilling.

Some of my best thinking is done when I stop and let my brain work its magic. The best places I find for my 'personal strategy sessions' are while going for a walk alone, having a long, hot shower and sitting down with a cup of tea.

Create the space to tap into your inner brain.  When you next brew a pot of tea take the time to sit, limit (or better yet eliminate) distrations and disconnect (no phone, no internet).  Take a moment and find sanctuary in tea.


“It snowed last year too: I made a snowman and my brother knocked it down and I knocked my brother down and then we had tea.” ― Dylan Thomas, A Child's Christmas in Wales