Finances can be confusing, so we have created a series of free, educational events, books and online resources to help build your knowledge and confidence.
Everybody is different, so before you begin you should seek professional, medical advice if you don’t think any elements will be suitable for you. This programme, which I have followed myself, is only meant as suggestion, and should not be taken as nutritional, health or fitness advice.
Best of luck and best of health! If you try this, please write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know how you got on.
Getting Organised Will Deliver Success!
Before you start:
- Order your supplements (find our latest favourites at www.dream-retirement.com/products):
As an example, you will need:
Omega 3 Tablets
- Solgar, Omega-3 EPA & DHA, Triple Strength, 950 mg, 100 Softgels
- Solgar Advanced Acidophilus Plus (Non-Dairy) Vegetable Capsules - 60 caps
- Naturya Organic Spirulina Powder 200 g Nutritional Power Food Pouch
- Naturya Organic Wheatgrass Powder 200 g Nutritional Power Food Pouch
- Order your toxin-free cosmetics (find our latest favourites at www.dream-retirement.com/products)
Bionsen Aluminium Free Deodorant:
Bionsen Spray Deodorant 150ml (Pack of 3)
- Having read the ‘Two-Week Detox Challenge’ below, plan what you are going to eat and order your fruit and vegetables and other ingredients five days in advance.
- Find an area like a spare bedroom where you can do some exercises and yoga. If possible, leave a towel or yoga mat laid out so that there is nothing stopping you each morning.
- Use the water calculator and organise a large refillable water bottle near your desk or in the kitchen so you can monitor how much you are drinking. http://nutrition.about.com/library/blwatercalculator.htm.
Start the day with the following invigorating routine.
- Drink a half pint of water.
- Do 30 press-ups (if you can’t manage full press-ups yet, keep your knees on the floor, and if that’s still a struggle, put your hands on a step or similar).
- Do 30 sit-ups, or as many as you can.
I then suggest you try some yoga poses. I asked my friend Dylan, the founder of www.hotpoweryoga.co.uk, to put together a morning sequence that will take you about 10 minutes, but leave you feeling amazing.
The Hot Power Yoga Morning
This short sequence is designed by Dylan Ayaloo (www.hotpoweryoga.co.uk) to work on the areas of the body that suffer most in our modern, desk-bound stressful lives – the shoulders, hips and lower back. The sequence balances strength with flexibility and is suitable for beginners, for both men and women, and for those who do other sports but are new to yoga.
Each pose shown on one side of the body should be done on both sides. Focus on your breath while doing each pose and shift the focus of your mind to the sensations in your body. The sequence shown can be done in ten-fifteen minutes. For more energy, repeat poses two to four times on either side; for a more grounding practice, hold the poses for longer and focus on your breathing.
1. Warm up: This is a great opening stretch for the hamstrings, back and shoulders. Remain in this position until you feel the muscles start to release. Stand with your legs apart. Bend your knees if your hamstrings or lower back feel tight. Interlace your fingers behind your back and stretch into your shoulders, lengthening the hands away from the shoulders and squeezing the shoulder blades together. You can use a towel or strap in between your hands if you can’t interlace your fingers together.
2. ‘Downward Facing Dog’ deepens the stretch to the hamstrings, spine and shoulders. Spread your fingers and press your knuckles into the floor to relieve pressure in the wrists. Lift your shoulder blades away from your ears and lengthen your neck. With your feet hip-width distance apart, ground down through the balls of your feet, bend your knees if you need to and lift your sit bones up to the sky, lengthening your back and hamstrings.
3. Continue to work the spine and open the chest with ‘Upward Facing Dog’. Press all ten toes into the mat and squeeze your inner thighs towards each other and up to the sky. Keep the legs straight and active, with your knees lifted off the floor. Draw the lower belly in, pull the shoulders back and down, keep the arms close to the body, and lift the heart forward and up. For a variation on the pose, bring your knees or hips down to the floor and bend your elbows, while drawing the shoulders back and the heart forward and up.
4. ‘Warrior 1’ is a great pose for integrating the upper and lower halves of the body. Plant your heels into the mat, drawing them away from each other to engage into your legs. Square your hips forward and draw the lower belly in, dropping the tailbone in order to open the front of the hips. Spark your spine awake as you lift your heart up, energising through your fingertips as you lift your arms up.
5. With just a couple of adjustments we move into ‘Twisting Crescent Lunge’, which detoxifies by squeezing and massaging the organs of the digestive system. Lower the back knee (or to intensify, raise the back knee off the floor), and curl your toes in. Place your hands in prayer and use the elbow and front knee as a lever to twist. Keep the belly drawn in, spine long and shoulders pulled back and down. As you exhale, twist. Variations are to spread your arms open, with the bottom hand on the floor or a block and the top arm raised to the sky or placed on the hip.
6. Use the foundation of the previous pose to now work on opening the hips and pelvis. This pose stretches the back/left hip flexor and opens the right hip muscles, a great pose for runners and cyclists, or even people who sit at their desks for long periods. Place your hands in front of you on the mat and drop the front knee to the side, lifting the arch of the foot off the floor and onto the side of the foot between the little toe and the heel. Breathe deeply and hold this pose for two-three minutes on each side as you allow your hips to open.
7. The backbend, or ‘Bridge’, strengthens the back muscles and opens the chest or heart region, awakens the spine, and invigorates the nervous system as a whole. Lie on your back with your feet and knees apart. Vertebrae by vertebrae, lift your back off the floor. Tilt your tail bone up and draw your lower belly in. Slide your shoulder blades towards each other, and lift your heart centre towards your chin.
Over time your confidence will grow, and you will no doubt want to try different poses. You can find other poses on http://www.yogabasics.com. Some others that I like are the ‘Belly Twist’, the ‘Locust’, ‘High Lunge’, ‘Warrior 2 and 3’, ‘The Dancer’ and ‘The Pigeon’.
This whole routine will take you around ten minutes and will invigorate you as you start your day. You can do more or build it up gradually over time, but this sequence is a good starting point. Visit Dylan and his colleagues at www.hotpoweryoga.co.uk or in Clapham; you will love it.
Tip With all yogic positions, listen to your body. If it hurts, don’t push yourself; some positions may take some time to master. Yoga will help to build your flexibility and strength, so be patient. Time and practice will help you to improve. If you are unsure about any of the positions, I would recommend seeking the advice of a professional yoga teacher.
De-Acidify Your Blood
Boost the detoxification of your blood by adding wheatgrass and spirulina to your diet. Cut out toxins such as caffeine, dairy, wheat, sugar and alcohol for two entire weeks.
As we have discussed, many of the ‘toxins’ and ‘poisons’ we consume turn our blood acidic, which makes it thicker, gloopier and energy-sapping. In order to correct this, try the following during the two-week challenge.
Before you eat your breakfast, have a heaped teaspoon of wheatgrass and spirulina mixed into water. Swallow one Omega-3 tablet and one acidophilus tablet.
During this challenge, none of the following should be consumed:
- Caffeine. If you must drink coffee or tea, try water-based decaffeinated products, such as Nepresso coffee capsules, and Clipper instant coffee or teas. Redbush tea is also a great, naturally caffeine-free tea, as are herbal teas like lemon and ginger, peppermint or detox blended teas.
- Dairy produce.
- Wheat – that means no bread or pasta, unless it’s gluten-free rice pasta.
- Added sugar.
- Carbonated drinks.
Tip Add lemon to the water you drink, as this helps to turn your blood back to its ideal state of a slightly alkaline pH.
Eat Food that Energises You
Eat an energising breakfast, a lean lunch bursting with nutrients, plus one protein meal or one carbohydrate evening meal per day. No dairy and no bread allowed!
For Westerners, breakfast is the most difficult meal of the day because it typically consists of starchy carbohydrates and fatty proteins. The truth is that ideally we should aim to have breakfasts like broccoli! But I am going to go easy on you, because I can’t cope with that idea either.
Start the day right and have hot water and lemon to drink, as this will help de-acidify your blood.
For breakfast, have some fresh fruit (fresh, not tinned) plus one of the following:
- Omelette (with something like spinach).
- Unsweetened porridge.
- Kippers/salmon and poached egg.
- Low-sugar, wheat-free breakfast cereal such as cornflakes, with a small amount of good-quality granola, for example, - Lizis Low Sugar Granola 500g
Or Rude Health Cereal-
and milled seeds to make it taste nicer. Add orange juice or almond / soya milk instead of cow’s milk.
- Porridge with almond / soya milk.
- Good-quality, ideally homemade muesli with almond / soya milk or juice.
- Other low-sugar cereals with almond / soya milk or juice.
- Scrambled eggs (no milk or butter added).
For lunch, have one of the following:
- A salad with a lean protein such as oily fish (e.g., tuna, salmon, mackerel) or chicken. Whichever you chose, 80% of the content should be raw vegetables: Avocado and beetroot are particularly good for you, so try and get those in too. Dress the salad with a little extra virgin olive/rapeseed oil and a small splash of lemon juice or balsamic vinegar. I recommend the ‘Gift of Oil’ products:
I particularly like their infused pomegranate and fig balsamic vinegar. Remember, don’t add any bread or diary.
- Soup, such as pea and mint, butternut squash, Thai beetroot, mushroom, tomato or vegetable. Again, if you are not making it yourself, buy good-quality soup and avoid the diary and the bread! If you need something solid with soup, have a rice cracker.
For dinner, try one of the following types of meals:
1. Protein Meal: Anything with white meat or fish, with plenty of vegetables – but no starchy carbohydrates (i.e., potatoes, rice, pasta or bread)! Replace these with sweet potatoes, butternut squash or, my favourite, courgette noodles. A few meal examples could be:
- Gluten-free pesto on top of poached salmon with a splash of white wine (the alcohol will be cooked off), served with steamed broccoli, French beans and roasted sweet potato.
- Chicken with roasted vegetables and roasted butternut squash (spice up the chicken with something like jerk seasoning).
- Curried chicken and vegetables with cabbage instead of rice.
- Prawn stir-fry with vegetables and bean sprouts, using tamari rather than soy.
- Steamed or baked fish with plenty of fresh vegetables.
- Turkey cottage pie, replacing potatoes with sweet potatoes.
- Gluten-free sausages (good-quality and at least 80% pork) with sweet potato, thyme and olive oil mash and red onion gravy.
2. Carbohydrate Meal: Carbohydrates and protein should not be eaten together. Therefore your carbohydrate meal should not contain any meat, fish, nuts or protein-rich pulses. Avoid bread, wheat and potatoes and use rice or gluten- free rice pasta instead. Lose the butter and cheese. Examples of these meals could include:
- Asparagus, lemon and mint risotto.
- Vegetable curry.
- Vegetable stir-fry, ideally with rice noodles, using tamari rather than soy.
- Mushroom risotto.
- Vegetable rice pasta with a tomato sauce.
- Vegetable chilli with rice.
Tip You can choose which type of meal you have each day; you don’t need to have them in a certain order. However, to keep you interested in your food, I wouldn’t recommend that you have the same type of meal back-to-back for days on end! If you tend to eat your main meal at lunchtime instead of dinner time, simply switch the above meal suggestions: Have a carbohydrate or protein meal at lunchtime and your salad or soup in the evening. Try to balance the number of carb meals and the protein meals in the evenings, if you can.
Here are some great websites to help you find some delicious recipes that work for you:
Here are some great recipe books for eating this way are:
- Dr. Gillian McKeith’s ‘Ultimate Health Plan’
- Hugh Fearnly Whittingstall’s ‘River Cottage Light and Easy’
- Gizzi Erskine’s ‘Skinny Weeks and Weekend Treats’
-Sarah Wilson’s ‘I Quit Sugar’
If you need a snack between meals, try a handful of nuts, seeds or dried fruit or a piece of fresh fruit. I recommend Munchy Seeds
Remember, though, if you feel hungry there is a fair chance that it is actually because you are dehydrated, so drink water first. Make sure you build up to drinking your recommended amount each day, and remember to add a slice of lemon!
Avoid using toxin-filled products such as deodorants and shower gels, and don’t cook using anything in plastic containers.
The build-up of toxins over many years is shown to cause an array of medical problems. Many medical professionals also believe that toxins may one of the main culprits of the increase in cancer cases in modern times. Whilst this will take longer to correct than two weeks, you can start now with the following:
- Use aluminium-free deodorant.
- Use paraben-free shower gel and other products.
- Don’t cook anything in plastic or foil, or drink water from a plastic bottle that has got warm.
As with anything, you’ll go through a lot of trial and error to find products that work for you, are sourced from sustainable reliable sources, and are priced reasonably. After four years of living this way, we have also managed to identify products that fit these criteria. If you go to www.dream-retirement.com/products you can see our latest preferred choices and learn from our mistakes.
The first step in achieving your goals is to discuss your current concerns with one of our qualified Financial Planners.