Tea & Biscuits: Healthier alternatives once EFT has helped diminish cravings

As an EFT Practitioner (Emotional Freedom Technique) I get to help those who have food cravings, whether it be for biscuits, chocolate, hula hoops, peanuts, iced buns, polo mints…you name it! The technique is so very effective in reducing cravings but once the client no longer craves that (whole) packet of biscuits or (two)bars of chocolate, they don’t know what healthier alternative to opt for. Rachelle Strauss, a nutritional counsellor is joining me as we look at ‘Tea and Biscuits’. She has some great advice on how to make this special time healthier.

What is it about tea and biscuits we so love? Is it the comfort we receive in that moment of relaxation? The ritual of dunking in your biscuit? Is it the social necessity when meeting with friends or associates?

And what’s wrong with tea and biscuits anyway? If you’re having one plain digestive biscuit with a plain cup of tea – and the majority of food you’re eating in a day is healthy – then we’re going to suggest you carry on enjoying your daily ritual! Yay!

If, however, your tea has 3 spoons of sugar in it and the one biscuit isn’t enough and you’re eating half a packet before you’ve realised, then there is probably a bit more behind it and EFT aka ‘Tapping’ can help with this kind of indulgence.

For those of you who have not yet discovered EFT it’s a simple, non-invasive, self-administered technique. It involves you gently tapping on various acupressure points on the face and upper body whilst focusing on the intensities surrounding the craving, including its smell, taste, your desire, your physical sensations and feelings.

After two or three EFT sessions, the desire is no longer strong. The 3 spoonfuls of sugar in tea is now not necessary, one biscuit instead of the whole packet is sufficient. The aim is not to stop the enjoyment of certain foods, instead it gives the person more choice over what or how much they want to eat.

Within each person and in each craving there holds a different story. EFT works in different ways for different people. One simple session and some self-practice could be enough to get one person off to a good start but for someone else there could be deeper issues behind a particular craving and several one-to-one EFT sessions can help look at these (but in a safe way where delving into past trauma is not necessary).

Our bodies hold emotional memories and I often find that people associate having tea with happy times when they were younger. It could be when visiting Grandad and the way he dunked his biscuit in his tea. Or when Mum took you to the cafe after the weekly shopping. Have a think about what you love so much about tea and biscuits? Does it remind you of something particular?

So, what if you still want that cup of tea ‘time’ but you no longer desire the sweetest biscuits or the whole bar of chocolate? What choices do you have? What can you have that is healthier but still satisfying? Rachelle suggests a few things you could do…

Take note of the ingredients:

If you choose to have a biscuit but find what you used to like is now too sweet, take a moment to read the ingredients on the biscuit packet. Are they full of artificial sweeteners, flavours and colours? Are there hydrogenated oils in there or excessive in sugar or syrups? You could either find a brand that makes organic, plain digestives or you could get in the kitchen and bake your own. Biscuits only have three basic ingredients – flour, butter and sugar; they’re simple to make, you can make the ingredients as healthy as you choose and what could be better than your own home baked cookies?

If wheat is an issue:

If you want to reduce the amount of wheat you’re eating, there are biscuits made from oats available (the brand Nairns make a range of oat biscuits including dark chocolate chip, mixed berries and stem ginger) or you could try flapjack (Doves Farm make a good range). Alternatively take a look at Nakd, who make a range of bars from raw fruits and nuts with no added nasties. For a snack that has both less wheat AND sugar, a simple flapjack can be made at home from melting butter, adding some sugar free jam or puree then stirring in oats before baking. Feel free to contact me for the full recipe.

Instead of biscuits:

If you feel your diet needs a complete overhaul you could replace biscuits with something else entirely such as a bowl of natural yogurt with a sprinkle of cinnamon, a handful of mixed nuts and seeds (you’ll be amazed how much more satisfied you feel after eating something like this) or a banana. Rice cakes, corn cakes or oatcakes spread with mashed avocado, a fresh fruit salad or vegetable sticks with hummous will all keep you feeling fuller for longer, will balance your blood sugar levels AND provide you with better nutrition.

Instead of builders tea:

Why not use your tea for supportive purposes? Instead of builders’ tea, which can cause some people to get jittery and anxious you could swap for a soothing cuppa. There are various herbal teas that have particular benefits such as chamomile for releasing tension, lemonbalm for soothing the mind and if you’re feeling run down, thyme tea will give your immune system a boost. Have a browse in your local health food shop and see what is available.

All in all it depends on WHY you want to change your habit and what you’re looking to achieve. There’s no ‘one size fits all’ approach as your diets and needs are as individual as you are. But rest assured, with the right support it’s much easier to change your habits than you think.

Thanks for reading and have a beautiful day!

For an EFT session with me via Skype email melodylovell@orange.fr. Take a look at my website http://www.melodylovell.com/ or follow me on facebook where I offer advice and support in using EFT https://www.facebook.com/melodylovell/

For personalised nutritional advice from Rachelle email ravstrauss AT gmail DOT com to set up your Skype session.



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Emotional Freedom Technique: Releasing blocked energies

We are FULL of energy, we are energy and we have it flowing throughout our bodies. We know when we have lots of energy, we feel good, full of life, we could play, dance, sing, work all day long. We know when our energy is running low, when we can’t do any more. Our bodies become heavy, slow, it is hard to concentrate and we don’t want to carry on. When energy levels are low we learn how to replenish it. We may need something to eat, drink or need a proper rest or sleep.

It is perfectly normal to have highs and lows of energy and we can often manage these in healthy ways. However, energy also flows through us, like a stream, and sometimes the flow is restricted and when this happens we can feel a dis-ease, a sense that something isn’t ‘right’. It is a bit like an eddy in a stream whereby a large rock has disrupted the flow of water and the water remains in that one place, swirling around and around and unable to join the flow. If energy is not flowing well, if it becomes blocked then we may suffer physically, mentally and emotionally.

How do these blocked energies occur? If something happens in our environment that we are unable to deal with at the time, if we are unable to fight back or flee or are stopped from showing emotion, then we have become prevented from releasing that energy and it can remain stuck in our bodies. We can then be easily triggered by similar things in our environment and we can over react or become scared when ‘normally’ one wouldn’t be. This can be the cause of anxieties, phobias, aggressive behaviour, low self-esteem and so on. This blocked energy can result in all sorts of physical problems (pain, inability to sleep, restriction of movement, headaches, digestive problems etc.). And, if we don’t feel right, we may turn to things that make us feel better, things that fill an empty hole or masks the internal suffering. People turn to alcohol, smoking, over-eating, over-working, screen addiction and so on. We may not even know or remember an event (or a series of similar events) that happened in our past to have caused these blockages and they can also be blockages inherited through the family line (the subject of inherited emotional baggage is highly interesting!).

How can EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) aka ‘Tapping’ help? EFT can help release these blockages by gently tapping with your fingertips on some of the energy meridian (acupressure) points on the face and upper body whilst focusing on the intense feeling, thought, emotion, physical sensation, memory or image. Tapping on these points sends signals to the brain allowing the emotional part of the brain (specifically the amygdala) to calm down which then allows the rational part of the brain to make more sense of the feeling, thus making it more manageable and acceptable. Shifting energy changes the way the brain processes information about a particular issue, so tapping, whilst tuned into the issue, is like re-wiring or re-routing the brain’s conditioned negative response. The energy system becomes more balanced and our bodies more able to cope.

When tapping you may become aware of the actual energy shifts taking place. There may be tears, yawning, tingling or other physical sensations. Images may come to mind or a forgotten memory. Some people may not notice anything but that does not mean to say a shift has not been made. It can take just one, or it can take several rounds of tapping to reduce the intensity and after each round something may feel different, or other sensations or images may arise. Tapping does not free you from emotion (which some may assume due to the wording of the technique) but it frees you from the intense suffering and can allow you to live life more fully. It can help for stress, anxiety, cravings, body-image, phobias, self-esteem, relationship problems and general emotional well-being. It can help in the present moment and can help resolve things in the past without having to dig deep and re-visit horrible events. Although EFT is a technique you can learn and practice on yourself it is advisable to have a qualified practitioner to guide you if you are to look at any deep issues. It is important to feel safe and although there are hundreds of general tapping scripts to follow on YouTube they are not designed for you personally, as only you know what your feelings are after each round of tapping.

So, if you feel a dis-ease in life, if its not flowing as well as you would like, then give EFT a try, tap those blockages away and let the energy flow!

Thanks for reading and have a beautiful day!

For more information into how EFT could help your Good Health, and to book a Skype session please email melodylovell@orange.fr. Take a look at my facebook page which offers advice and support to those wanting to use the technique to maintain good health. https://www.facebook.com/melodylovell/

Travelling back to the best days ever.

If you had the chance to go back to an age and place where you were happiest, where would you go? How does it make you feel thinking back to that time? Is it a good feeling, a sad feeling, mixed feelings?

Well, last week I hopped on that time machine and visited places, family and friends some of which I had not seen for over twelve years. This included my best old school friend who had moved to New Zealand, two Aunties whom I hadn’t seen for two decades, my old university house mates from 1997, and my old dance team and festival friends from my teenage years. I popped across the English Channel from France for six child free days and did six train journeys meeting 32 old faces (well I say ‘old’ but nobody seemed to have aged!)

For me, my uni days at Winchester were the best days ever. It was my first time away from home, oh what freedom! no responsibilities, no curfew, new friends to make and plenty of cheap booze! (which is not the same these days I found out). I know that this was not the same for everyone. First time away from home can be very scary for some. Suddenly being forced to look after yourself, shop and cook, socialize amongst strangers from different backgrounds and be apart from your only known support network.

Eleven of us met in Winchester and what was great was how we could just pick up from where we had left off those many years ago. We exchanged life stories and although we had all been through good and tough times since, we were still ultimately the same people, with the same shining personalities that we had got to know back then.
We walked through our old campus grounds and shared memories of our time there. We laughed at how everything seemed much smaller despite not having literally grown ourselves. I have an awful memory for events (friends and family will vouch for this), but our bodies hold memories too, and since doing EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) I have become more tuned into my body sensations which can in turn provide the memory of the event. So, when walking around this familiar place it triggered certain sensations. Looking up at the IT building made me hold my breath and I could feel my chest pulsate. This was where I would print out my essays, minutes before they were due in and pray that the printers wouldn’t break down or that my time allowance on the computer wasn’t up before I had finished. As the warm sun shone on my face and I looked at the steep, green bank by the Students Union, my body relaxed as I could remember the last day of term where there was such a feeling of relief, celebration and raising of glasses to a wonderful 3 years. At our old halls of residence we were able to pop into the stair well and the smell was exactly the same. I wouldn’t be able to describe the smell…it was just the smell of our halls!

The last day of my time travel adventure was at Wimborne Folk Festival, which just so happened to be on at the same time I was visiting my old home in Poole. For at least 10 years of my youth I would partake in this fun-filled weekend of exhilarating music and dance. I belonged to an Appalachian Clog Dance Team (what?? I hear you say!) and performed at various festivals (I tapped with my feet in those days rather than tapping with my fingertips on acupressure points like I do now). The group were like my extended family as I was growing up. I was the youngest and had plenty of attention and felt very loved. The same team were there, with old and new members and I was greeted with emotional hugs from those that I used to be close to. As I watched them get ready to go on stage and the musicians tuned up their instruments my body tingled all over with the excitement and nervousness I once used to feel before dancing…oh such a buzz it was.

So, how do I feel about going down memory lane to the best days ever? Well, there may have been a time where I would look back and feel slightly sad about leaving those times behind and that life seemed far easier back then, but now that I have actually been back to those places and re-met the familiar faces, I feel accepting and proud that those times have been part of my life. I like to believe that we are made up of ‘parts’. We are not just a parent, just a friend, a partner, a colleague, an employee etc., we have many roles and we have good times, tough times, we are human with human emotions. These are all parts of us, just as the past is part of us, it is within us in our bodies and we can feel and remember in different ways. This week I have been able to reconnect with that part of me, who I was back then is part of who I am now. And, most importantly I have renewed old friendships bringing my past to the present, friendships that can grow together in the future for more memories to be made. If you get a chance to revisit your best days ever I thoroughly recommend it!

Thanks for reading and have a beautiful day!

If you have enjoyed reading this blog you may like to look at my other blogs about ‘Tea and Biscuits’ https://melodylovell.wordpress.com/2017/03/05/tea-and-biscuits/ and my blog on ‘Can you say “I love and accept myself”? https://melodylovell.wordpress.com/2017/03/24/can-you-say-i-love-and-accept-myself/

I am a practitioner in EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) aka ‘Tapping’ and help people with stress, anxiety, cravings, eating habits, self-esteem and emotional well-being. My facebook page offers support and advice to those wanting to use the technique to maintain good health. https://www.facebook.com/melodylovell/

Sessions via Skype can be booked by emailing me at melodylovell@orange.fr and my website has more information http://www.melodylovell.com


Can You Say “I love and accept myself”?

Have you ever said to yourself “I love and accept myself”? Have you ever put your hand on your heart, closed your eyes and said “I completely and deeply love and accept myself”?

I urge you to try it now.

What is it like to say? Is it easy? Is it difficult? Do you believe it? Does it sound like a load of nonsense?

When we do EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) aka ‘Tapping’, we start off with what is called a set-up statement. The statement (which we say whilst tapping on the side of the hand) is where we can acknowledge and tune into ‘the problem’. This could be the intense emotion, the physical sensation, image or memory. The statement usually starts with an “Even though…”, followed by the problem (i.e. this tightness in my chest, or this worry for my daughter) then followed by a positive affirmation. We say this positive affirmation because it makes it a lot easier to say the initial problem. It is of course not compulsory to say the EFT’s ‘default’ affirmation of “I love and accept myself” and the words are agreed upon with the practitioner before the round of tapping commences. I find however, that these words are extremely powerful but can be so very difficult to say for so many people.

When I first came across EFT I looked on YouTube to find many videos of ‘How to do EFT’. They were all very similar in their set-up statements and would use the affirmation “I completely and deeply love and accept myself”. What happened for me though was as soon as I tried to say those words, I just started crying! I had never told myself that I love and accept myself, no-one has ever suggested I say that to myself. Come to think of it, why would they?

After quite a bit of practicing, this did get easier to say and now I have no (well almost no)problems in saying it and I positively (though gently and when appropriate) encourage people to try and say it.

So why can it be so difficult to say? A lot is probably down to general self-esteem, the way one views themselves or the way they feel others view them. I think for many, as I feel it was for me, we have become conditioned into thinking that self love is not necessarily right. We should not be ‘selfish’ and we should think of others before ourselves. I believe as a child I was very caring and loving to friends, family, animals, and held a belief that their needs came before mine. If I did put myself first it would feel bad or just uncomfortable. Whether this belief came from parents, global consciousness, multimedia, role models, education, genes or just something someone said once…I am unsure, but probably a mixture of them all.

With having children it feels very natural for me to (try) to take care of their needs first. The feeling that their happiness is more important than mine is a fairly common belief for many parents. But listen to the flight attendants during the pre-flight safety demonstration when they say “adults place your own oxygen mask on before helping children”. Quite clearly, if you do not help yourself first, you may not be able to help those you so dearly care for, in fact, it could be life-saving!

It is not easy though…to take care of yourself. We may be aware of the things that can make us feel better and cared for (a nice hot bath, yoga, a walk in the woods, a weekend away with old friends etc) but do we tell ourselves that we care? Can we honestly say that we love ourselves?

And acceptance…how can I accept myself with all my flaws, the way I look, the way I behave, my level of intelligence, these problems I have, my imperfections?

Well that is also not easy! If we are really hating the way we are feeling, the tendency is to fight that feeling and we tend to dislike ourselves more because of the feeling we are experiencing. However, as Carl Rogers so perfectly puts it “The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change”. Saying out loud “I accept”, or “I intend to accept”, even if we don’t fully believe it, we are bringing an element of acceptance to it and are becoming less at war with ourselves. And, the more and more we can say this to ourselves the easier it is to say. In time, words that we say to ourselves can become true. We can start to believe them more and then that belief can positively influence our daily lives, the people we love, and in dealing with the problems we encounter.

Of course it is not compulsory that these love and acceptance words are used throughout an EFT session. If these words appear deeply wrong to say then they are adjusted to something still positive but with more meaning. A simple “Im trying to do my best” or “Maybe I can begin to accept this” or “Right now, Im okay” are all fine. When I work with children I ask the child what it is they love to do, or what they feel they are really good at, and then use this. For example “Even though…(problem)…I am super great at playing football” or “I love singing along to Adele”.

So with EFT not only are we tapping on acupressure points to reduce emotional intensities in our body but we are also using words that can harness a more loving and self-accepting approach to who we are…that is…our perfect imperfect selves.

I hope that you may try to say these words to yourself and to use them regularly whether you do tapping or not. If you really struggle with these words, EFT sessions could help you to develop a healthier self-esteem in a gentle and safe way.

Thanks for reading and have a beautiful day!

For more information into how EFT could help your Good Health, and to book a Skype session email me at melodylovell@orange.fr and follow me on facebook where I give advice and support in using EFT on a daily basis: https://www.facebook.com/melodylovell/


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