Hygge – feeling the glow #5TTT

Hi all,

Recently I finished reading a wonderful book that was a pleasure to read from beginning to end. Why? Because it made me feel so happy, so hopeful, so inspired and dare I even use the word glow?

The Little Book of Hygge by Meik Wiking is an insight into the lives of the Danish people, specifically, why they have topped the happiest country in the world survey more than any other country. What makes them tick? Why are their lives so joyous? What are the rest of us just not getting?

The answer may lie in the concept that surrounds their lives, their upbringing, their culture – Hygge.hygge - chase the red grape

Hygge (prounounced as hoo-ga) doesn’t have an English translation in a single word. It’s a state of being, a way to live your life, a theme if you will, to use throughout your days to highlight the joy in your life – no matter who you are or what you are doing.

Hygge will mean different things to different people. They will have different ways of celebrating it or bringing it into their every day life – which, of course, makes trying to explain it you all very difficult!

So, after reading this book, I have decided to talk to you all about hygge by pulling out what I was drawn to the most. What made me feel the ‘glow’! The Danes don’t keep this as a secret to a happy life, more they simply don’t shout about it from the rooftops… that would be very un-hygge-like!hygge-2 - chase the red grape

So what does hygge mean to me?

Comfort

How many of you feel at ease when you are comfortable? Comfort and cosiness is hygge – a warm blanket, a chair filled with cushions, a fireplace or room glowing with candles. That big deep breath and sigh you have when you sit down on your favourite chair, complete with a mug of coffee (or glass of wine), a good book and a free afternoon.

Comfort also extends into other areas of life – flexible working hours, family time, hearty, healthy and nourishing foods, clothing – although some of these may be harder for us all to implement.

Wellness

Wellness to me is knowing what is good for you and implementing it into your life. This is what the Danes do… but not maybe as you would necessarily expect. Wellness of course is eating well, getting exercise daily (Danes really do cycle everywhere!), spending time with those you love and not allowing the general stresses of life to affect them greatly but wellness is also about knowing what is good for the soul. A mid-day coffee and cake break. A glass of wine with dinner. Maybe we would know it better as ‘treat yo self’?! But Danes also know where to draw the line!

A sense of calm

Calm. Just saying that word alone makes me stop, take a big breath and relax a little bit more. The Danish life is surrounded by a sense of calm. Family life is treasured and seen as a priority. Folk work less and don’t allow themselves to be stressed by the pressures of daily life. They surround themselves with the people they love and spend as much time with them as possible. Hygge is calm because it’s easy. It’s comfortable because it’s natural. Rest and restore aren’t necessarily a priority because they are simply life.

Warmth

Like comfort, warmth is a cosiness. It’s a feeling we can seek, gain and give out. Christmas is a great example that I like to use to explain warmth. The trees, the hot drinks, the celebratory food, the smiles, the dancing, gifting, the excitement, the time spent with family and friends. It’s a warm glow that surrounds us all during the month of December (if we allow it and embrace it as the Danes do).

Community

As you may have noticed from above, family and friends are mentioned so often during this post and that is no coincidence. Hygge is that feeling you gain from being surrounded by a community. That glow you have inside when you are surrounded by the ones you love and you can’t help but feel happy and content. Your community may be big or small but you love to spend time together and grow together. The events may be big or small but they are a great way to come together, eat some good food that you have all prepared, smile, laugh and enjoy.

Hygge surrounds the Danes life on so many levels and anyone who reads this book will be drawn to a variety of different aspects and comparisons on their own lives. I was proud that many of the things I already do were hygge-lit but I was inspired by so many more. Hygge isn’t about picking things out to do and forcing those around you to do them, it’s about allowing it to be natural. I know so many of you out there would adore this book and who knows, you may find yourself being more hygge without even knowing it. You just have to be open enough to let it in.

Have you heard about hygge?

What sense of being makes you feel the most happy?

Describe a comfortable, cosy surrounding for you?5 top tips on a tuesday - chase the red grape

Friday Favourites + Ep 23 of the Chase the Red Grape Podcast

Hi all,

As I mentioned on Tuesday I hope you guys didn’t miss me too much last week!

I took a much needed break from writing and decided to rest. In fact I am going to be taking it easy for the next wee while until I am feeling better. Don’t worry, there is nothing major wrong! Unfortunately that very nasty virus I had a few weeks back is just going to take a good while to pass. Hopefully sooner rather than later.

As a result our Easter was very quiet but still very enjoyable. We both got the rest we needed and just enjoyed each others company! It was ideal.

But cracking on with Friday now and this weeks ‘Friday Favourites’!Friday - chase the red grape

Favourite… Moment – Going to the cinema twice

Over the Easter weekend we went to the cinema twice and it was so good just to rest and be still. On Good Friday we saw the Lego Batman Movie and it was really good fun with lots of chuckles. On Easter Monday we went to see Beauty and the Beast. I was really dubious about it as a) I love the original and b) I’m not a big Emma Watson fan and couldn’t really see her as Belle. But I loved it! I still don’t think Emma was a great choice for Belle but the other characters were just so wonderful they simply stole the show! A delight to watch.

Favourite… Feeling – Lucky boys and girlseaster egg - chase the red grape

My parents sent David and I some money to pick up a chocolate egg for Easter. So we headed to the fancy chocolatier in town and picked up this beauty. Dark chocolate with salted cashew nut brittle. It’s just perfection!

Favourite… Purchase – New candle lanternslanterns - chase the red grape

On Saturday we headed to Fremantle where they were having a festival. The streets were closed and the stores poured out on to the street. As a result we found a little store that was previously hidden to us selling beautiful homewares. We picked up these two lanterns, such a pretty pattern, black on the outside and bright yellow inside. I don’t usual buy many things like this but we saw them and had to have them!

Favourite… Food/Drink – Our Easter Sunday platterplatter - chase the red grape

Oh it was a joy to put this together and even more of a joy to eat! Irish blue cheese, aged Gouda and Campanier from France were our 3 cheeses. We devoured the Serrano ham and paired them all with apples, cucumbers, chips, crackers, olives and drizzles of local honey. Bliss!

Updates – 5TTT + Episode 23 of the Chase the Red Grape Podcastctrg PODCAST

This weeks 5 top tips looked at exactly why you should be listening to our podcast! The reasons may not be what you would think so if you haven’t read this post check it out – I know you will enjoy listening!podcast - chase the red grape

Episode 23 of the podcast is ready to download/ listen to online (or if you are a subscriber then it’s ready waiting for you!). This week we chatted about the whole concept of ‘being fit’. Who is fit? Why are they fit? But more importantly, are you fit… for purpose?

Favourite… Moment of training – Being there and being present

This week, for the first time in a few weeks, I was just so thankful to be at training, surrounded by people who make me smile and just moving. I didn’t do anything fast or heavy, I just moved. And it felt great!

Weekend Plans – Saturday – My first sports massage, podcasting all afternoon and then meal prep time! Sunday – Pancakes and newspapers, out for coffee, more podcasting and chill!

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

What did you do at Easter?

Did you get a chocolate Easter egg or bunny?

What was the last film you saw at the cinema?

5 reasons why you should check out the Chase the Red Grape Podcast #5TTT

Hi all,

Long time no see! Well, it feels like that for me anyway!

So last week I took an unscheduled break from writing. I wasn’t feeling great, had a pretty tough week and therefore went back to my own advice of relax and restore. I had a fab and chilled out Easter weekend with David (more on that on Friday) and am slowly getting there. I needed to focus on me and that’s what I think we all need to do a little more often, when we can.

But I am back with a very exciting 5 top tips on a Tuesday! For almost 6 months now the Chase the Red Grape Podcast has been in the world, bringing you a weekly dose of entertainment and knowledge on how we can all be healthier, happier people. Joined by my husband David, we were excited to bring this podcast to the world and that excitement just grows and grows as each episode is released.

Have you listened (and subscribed) to us yet? Maybe you need to know a little bit more about why you should check us out! And if you do already listen then why not spread the world and tell some other folks about podcasts and how to set them up!ctrg PODCAST

5 reasons why you should check out the Chase the Red Grape Podcast…

A view from both the male and female perspective

This was the main reason I wanted to start a health podcast with David. There seemed to be so many female focused podcasts and male ones but nothing combined the two. I think it is really important to see a variety of issues from both sexes! Often we find that issues we thought only affected one sex really do affect the other (hello body image), that there are big issues out there that we need to come together on (mental health) and that sometimes both sexes need a little help (sleep, stress, relationships). But we are also just 2 people on this world. Maybe you will agree or disagree with us, but that’s the beauty! We are all different!

A place of no judgement

We are not here to tell you what to do. We are not here to tell you what you are doing is wrong. You may be like us, or not, but it really doesn’t matter, it’s a safe space for anyone. Sometimes we joke, sometimes we are serious, but every time we want you to do what is best for you – and we ain’t gonna judge you if that varies from us.

Keeping it simple

Keeping it simple the aim for my writing here on Chase the Red Grape and it is exactly the same for the podcast. We want to give you information, tips and advice but in the most simple and concise way. Health and happiness should not be complicated, it’s natural, let’s keep it that way!

Empowerment

After listening to our podcast, you should be equipped with some thinking points. Questions that you can ask yourself in order to develop or maintain a healthy and happy you. But we also want you to be empowered with the knowledge as to WHY you are asking yourself these questions. Why should you think about this topic and issue and why it is important in your life. We aren’t about scare tactics or force, we simply want to empower our listeners with the reasons as to why they should be doing the things they are doing in their life.

Variation and passion

Health is such a wide and varied topic. We want to delve into the big issues and have already had a few heavy hitting podcasts on issues such as mental health, relationships and ego to name a few. But we also are here for your enjoyment and entertainment! We want to have fun and want you to enjoy and learn! How do I know we are able to do that? Our passion. We are passionate about everything we talk about – even our weekly rants and raves gets us going! We are passionate about everyone having access to a healthy and happy life and that stems over a variety of topics and issues. We guarantee everyone will learn/ take away something from each and every one of our episodes and are proud to put them out there in the world.

So what are you waiting for? Check out Chase the Red Grape Podcast on iTunes, Stitcher or via the web HERE.

We invite you to join the conversation!

Do you listen to the podcast already? What topics would you like us to hit/ do you have any questions for us (health related or otherwise!)?

If you aren’t a listener, what topic would you love to hear a podcast on?

Why do you love the podcasts you listen to?5 top tips on a tuesday - chase the red grape

Friday Favourites + Episode 21 of the Chase the Red Grape Podcast!

Hi all,

You ready for Easter yet? Gosh these holidays can’t come soon enough in our house!

How long does everyone get off work in your neck of the woods? We have Good Friday and Easter Monday as holidays and I will happily take that long weekend.

My main point with this is that Easter is so late this year and because of this, it may be the first time folk have had off work/ time with their family since Christmas. That’s a long time! So before you go planning this big extravaganza with your time, think about what you really need from this break. Maybe it’s some time in nature. Maybe it’s some much needed family time. Maybe it’s time to rest our mind and bodies from the week in, week out stresses. Work out what you need and try and make it your priority. Your body will thank you for it.Friday - chase the red grape

And now it’s time for Friday Favourites!

Favourite… Moment – Cold Coffee Perthcoldcoffeeperth - chase the red grape

Yes David and I have finally set up our side project that we have been talking about for a while! We love our iced coffees – cold brew, cold drip, iced long blacks, you name it we love it! And we have spent a wee while hunting around trying to find Perth’s finest. It seemed a shame to keep that info to ourselves so we have set up an instagram page! Simply search cold coffee Perth or cold_coffee_Perth to find and follow us!

Favourite… Feeling- Hanging out with DavidDavid and Jen - chase the red grape

Saturday marked our first ‘non CrossFit Open’ Saturday in weeks so we celebrated by going out to the Swan Valley for lunch, winery and chocolate fun. We even spent 2 hours in the coffee roaster cafe just talking away… it was bliss.

Favourite… Purchase – Lancaster Rosélancaster - chase the red grape

I love, nay, adore this rosé. It’s sweet and not normally the type of wine I like but on a warm day it’s just perfection. Buying it directly from the vineyard also helps it taste extra nice!

Favourite… Food/Drink – Lunch at the Swan Valley Cafélunch - chase the red grape

I love veggie restaurants where the food is so good and so flavourful that you don’t even realise that meat doesn’t appear on the menu! I had the marinated mushrooms stuffed with walnut pate and David had the mezze platter. Both were outstanding… 2 words… local figs…

Updates – 5TTT + Episode 21 of the Chase the Red Grape Podcastchoice - Chase the red grape

This weeks 5 top tips looked at choices and how the secret to a healthy happy life is no secret at all – it’s utilising your choice.chase the red grape podcast

So the CrossFit Open is over, what’s next? Episode 21 of the podcast looked at the aftermath of the CrossFit Open – how do we and should we reflect on our performance and what the focus should be from here on out. Download now on iTunes and Stitcher.

Favourite training moment – Backing off

My body has been telling me this week to back off. I’m tired, I’m sore, I’m not recovering well. So I need to listen. Will take Easter off from training but also I am backing off in my training. Still moving but making ‘movement’ the priority. Less weight, less intensity, less stress.

Weekend Plans – Saturday – Picking up tasty treats for a picnic lunch with some of David’s work colleagues. Food prepping and chill. Sunday – Pancakes, newspapers, coffee podcast planning date, recording a podcast and more chill chill chill!

Hope you have a fab weekend folks!

What are your plans for Easter?

Do you like vegetarian food?

Do you like iced coffee?

There is no secret. Everything is a choice. #5TTT

Hi all,

So many people out there are on the hunt constantly. The hunt for the secret. Those things that other people are hiding – the secret to success. What is the secret to health? What is the secret to happiness? What is the secret to 6 pack abs? What is the secret to having time to cook?

There has to be a secret right? There has to be elements that we are all hiding from one and other?

The answer? No.

There is no secret. Nothing at all. No one is hiding anything from you. In fact, what you need you have had all along. The ability to choose.

The choices you make in your life dictate your success. Now I’m not saying we can’t learn from our mistakes or poor choices, but the simple act of having the ability to choose is where it’s at. You maybe can’t choose all of your actions as you would desire (hello responsibilities), but you can choose how you feel about them.

This weeks 5 top tips looks at 5 areas where your choice matters. Where you know what you have to do, you just need to allow yourself to feel it.choice - Chase the red grape

Choose happiness

This one changed my life. And I’m not exaggerating. Whilst on the road of recovery, I was having a really hard time. I couldn’t break from negativity and feeling like everyone was attacking me. I had read about choosing happiness – aka when in a situation where you feel negative thoughts, you choose not to feel them and instead choose happiness. So I decided to give it a go. Every time I felt angry, before I responded to someone, I stopped, thought about if it was worth a reaction, and 9 times out of 10 chose instead to ignore it or to respond positively instead. Now don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t easy and it took a lot of practice to build this as a core attitude into my life. But once you try, with each success you feel lighter, more free. And yes, definitely more happy.

Choose health

The media bombards you with information. Do this not that, eat this not that. But ultimately you know exactly what you should and shouldn’t do to be healthy. You just have to choose it. You know your body needs nutrients and they come in abundance from vegetables, fruits, meat, nuts etc. You know your body needs to move and the right form of movement for you is the one that makes you feel good. You know that sleep is important and that stress makes you feel bad. The secret to health is choosing to do those things, eat those things and eliminate the things that zap your energy.

Choose change

If you want a specific goal you have to make changes to achieve them. As I mentioned above, you want those 6 pack abs? You are going to have to choose to put in the work. You want to be able to cook? You are going to have to choose to try. What we want often requires us to change. Scary yes but it’s an emotion we are going to have to embrace if we want it.

Choose your motivation

Willpower, motivation… they are all driven by you. Everything you want you have to choose. Choosing once is hard. Choosing five times gets easier. Choosing to do something week in and out for a month, now that’s inspiring. Willpower and motivation become unnecessary when something is a choice. You can take responsibility for everything you do. Every good habit you build, every new routine you put in place to achieve your goals or live a positive life. Step up and take ownership of your decisions… or lack of.

Choose to be open

And finally I am adding in ‘choose to be open’ because you know this is a hard one for me. I can write with confidence and openness, but in my face to face real life I tend to be a closed book. Real life relationships are so important to our health and happiness and although it makes us vulnerable we can never connect fully without being vulnerable. So I am choosing to be open, choosing to be vulnerable, choosing to trust before it feels comfortable. I am choosing friendship over fear.

Do you find it hard to choose positivity over negativity?

What choices have you made for your health?

Does anyone ever ask you ‘what’s your secret’? (I get asked all the time what the secret is to getting up at 5am to go to CrossFit 4 times per week. My answer – I choose to get up when the alarm goes off).5 top tips on a tuesday - chase the red grape