Less is often best #5TTT

Hi all,

I have often talked about the less is more approach. How backing down can actually be a good thing. How we no longer need to define our worth in life by how busy we are.

But what I see more and more often is stress becoming a major player in our life and how we live it. And we wear it like a badge of honour.

Stressor upon stressor upon stressor.

And the scary thing is folk out there believe this leads to becoming stronger and stronger as a person.

Yes stress can lead to strength (take for example certain situations during exercise) but push it too far and it leads to fatigue – burnout – shut down – injury/ sickness. I’ve seen it, you’ve seen it but we have to protect ourselves so that we cannot allow it to happen to us (or if it has, lessen the impact).

Below are 5 areas of our lives where, if we aren’t careful, the more more more approach will ultimately lead to our bodies and minds burning out. 5 top tips on where less is often best.less best - chase the red grape

At work

Taking on more or doing more equals a promotion, right? Push push push, go go go is evidence of hard work, right? Not always. Trying too hard and struggling will always lead to bad work done by a fragile and exhausted employee. Want to do a good job? Be healthy and energised (both mentally and physically) to do it! Being a workaholic once upon a time was seen as a good thing… nowadays, not so much, not for you or the employer. Do your job, do it well, but not at the sacrifice of your health.

At home

What is your role at home and within your family? Do you always take on others problems and responsibilities? Do you like how much others ‘need’ you? Your family and your home life should be your sanctuary. It should be the place you can be yourself, surrounded by those who love you and want the best for you. Remember there is only so much time in the day – you need to make time for you. Protect and care but make sure you are also doing that for yourself also.

Training/ at the gym

Your body gains its strength at rest. So when do you plan to rest? When do you factor in time to restore? Fitness is one thing. Being faster, stronger and having workout times to brag about are great. But do you want health along with your fitness? Give your body time to do what it needs to do. Work it, nourish it, rest it.


More dieting? More challenges? More punishments? Your body can’t take it. Yes changes to your diet will initially evoke a response (remember the guy who lost weight only eating MacDonald’s for 2 weeks?) but this will creep back with a vengeance when your metabolism cannot cope anymore with this stressor. Find a balance. Find a way of eating that is right for you. Treat your body like you love it, not hate it. Stop punishing yourself.

Hobbies/ interests/ going out

You have to be an interesting person. Well, that’s what we are told in this day and age. That’s why kids are sent to every after school club going, they simply have to develop a varied skill set with lots of interests and lots of friends… You can see how crazy that is can’t you? You can see how kids will eventually burn out, get tired, bored and want to (need to) stop. So why do we do that to ourselves as adults? Why do we say yes to every invitation going? Why must we always be involved?

Say no once in a while. Miss out. Take a pass. Have a schedule where barely having plans is a good thing.

Less is often best.

Are you a more more more type of person?

Can you see where your life could do with a little less activity?

General thoughts?5 top tips on a tuesday - chase the red grape

The mental challenges of moving home #5TTT

Hi all,

This weekend I am moving apartments. Phew.

It’s such a demanding time, stressful and everything just seems like it’s never going to come together.

We all know how physically demanding moving can be. Packing, lifting, sorting, up and down stairs, cleaning, lack of sleep etc. But have you ever thought about the mental challenges of moving home?

For this weeks 5 top tips I want to share 5 ways in which moving can affect your mental game. Take care and don’t let it stress you out. (I am telling myself this right now!).moving home - chase the red grape

Letting go of a safe space

Your home is your sanctuary. It’s where you feel safe and calm. Moving, no matter what the circumstances, means that you have to break free from this space – it’s why most of us take so long to make the big leap of moving in the first place. Embrace what this space has given you – a home, cosiness, memories and let go. Holding on makes it very difficult for your new home to provide this sense of comfort.

Reviewing your belongings

Moving means packing. Packing means arranging and sorting, viewing and making decisions on all the belongings you have of old and new. Do I need this? Do I want this? What memory does this evoke? So many questions for what is already a stressful time. My go to question is ‘would someone else get more use out of this?’ – donating always makes me feel good. For more sentimental belongings I ask myself ‘would future Jen potentially regret letting go of this?’ If the answer is yes or there is a doubt I keep it.

Overwhelm of cost

For some of us, like me, moving becomes a source of anxiety because of the financial cost. Never mind the general cost of paying different rents, deposits, transferring letting agencies and the like, it’s the hidden/ forgetful costs that pile up for me. Transferring utilities and internet, van hire, cost of packing materials, mail redirection, even down to the endless coffees and take out meals that are inevitable over moving days. Big deep breath. For most of us, this is not a frequent occurrence. Sure your savings are going to take a hit, but make the best choices, source out the best deals and be happy in the notion that although inevitable, you did the best you could money wise.

Creating a new home

You’re in a blank space. Your whole world surrounds you in boxes and bags. What do you do now? How do you create that safe space? Oh, did you notice that when we first took a look around? I don’t know if I like that. Why didn’t I notice that? Sound familiar?

Another big breath. Safe, cosy, calm spaces come over time. They come when you find a home for all your little nick naks. Don’t rush it, let it develop.

Big changes and how they affect the rest of your world

Moving home is a big deal, whether it be moving down the road, to another city or to the other side of the world. When one big change happens you start to look at other aspects of your life in a different way. One big change spurs another. We become more confident, more pensive, more ambitious. Now whether or not other changes come to fruition or these thoughts just come and go, that’s up to you. But if you can move house, what else can you do if you want to?

And for me, all that is left is to move!

Due to this I will be taking some time off and will be back to let you know how we got on with a Friday Favourites on the 15th! Keep up to date with the move etc over on Instagram – yep I will be that person who insta-stories rather than packing!

And don’t forget to check out this weeks podcast which is released tomorrow (Wed 6th). The topic is body image and it’s one heck of a podcast episode. We both speak open and honestly about our experience and it’s definitely worth a listen if you want to feel great about who you are and how you can control how you view yourself. Or subscribe over on iTunes or Stitcher and you definitely won’t miss it!

When was the last time you moved home?

Do you find it easy to create a new safe space?

Have you ever made a change in another area of your life after moving home?5 top tips on a tuesday - chase the red grape

5 Top Tips For ME! #5TTT

Hi all,

‘What would you say Jen if this was someone else you were watching?’

David asked me that exact question this morning. I couldn’t brush it off or make a joke. I knew exactly what he meant and where he was coming from.

I am a Health Coach and Writer. I love to encourage you to ask yourself questions to reflect on your life and your position in it. My aim is to get you to acknowledge what is in your gut. I want you to do the best for you.

So why oh why is it so difficult to follow my own advice? Why is it so tricky to focus on what I need to ask myself? How can I see the warning signs easy in others but not myself?

I always want to be 100% honest with you all on here. I believe in everything I write. I believe that I write for you and me both. But I also believe that we are all individuals with different needs at any given time.

That is why for this weeks ‘5 Top Tips on a Tuesday’ I am writing for me. The 5 tips I need to listen to right now and questions I need to ask myself. I’m sure some of these points will also apply to you too, but more so than that, I hope it reflects that we all have our own niggles we need to work on!5-top-tips-for-me - chase the red grape

Listen to your body

This is the biggest one for me. This past week some of my muscles have been really sore… yet I push through. Your body gives you warning signals to stop and rest. We all know what they are and what it feels like. Listen to them. In order to stay healthy and do the things we want to do we have to listen when it says stop. I was miserable today at training but I still persevered .. time to say STOP.

Realise you don’t have to do it all

I want to do so much in a day. In fact I feel guilty if I haven’t achieved what I thought I SHOULD have achieved in a day. It’s the tough part about writing and working from home… I am left to be my own boss and to set my own targets. Sometimes it’s too much, I don’t complete them and I am left feeling annoyed with myself or guilty.

Then I turn it on it’s head. I am my own boss, I make the rules, I can say no. Sometimes life happens, sometimes I need to have a nap, sometimes making dinner so I can sit and relax with David in the evening is more of a priority. I am lucky. I don’t have to do it all. Pick a priority for the day and make sure that one task is complete. The rest is simply a bonus.

Done is better than perfect

I read this sentence in a book I just finished and it sums up exactly what I need to hear right now. Often I don’t start writing a piece because I worry it won’t be perfect or exactly what I wanted to come across. But done is always better than perfect. Done means you can edit. Done means you can change the title if you went down a different route. Done means you can rest or focus on other tasks. Done means it’s done.

Break the routine

I told myself early in the new year that I would change up my routine a bit. Spend some more of my day at the library and bring my lunch along so I could spend more time there and not feel rushed. Well it’s the last day in January and I haven’t done it… why?

Holding on to the comfort of an old routine means I am not experiencing anything new. New experiences lead to new challenges and new opportunities. I want both… so I need to go grab them! You are in charge of you. If you want to do it, go do it!

Listen but also engage!

Since I trained as a Health Coach I have been much more of a listener. I don’t like to speak when others are talking and my brain goes into ‘assess the situation’ mode. For certain situations this is great but it has started to creep into my every day conversations…. and as a result I can stand in a group, listen to a conversation and never engage or give my opinion. So I know a lot about various people… but they must know next to nothing about me!

Talking and communicating is your gift. More often than not I am telling folks to ‘use it, don’t abuse it’ but in my case I don’t use it at all which is just as sad. If you want the world to engage with you, you must engage with the world!

Hopefully this has given you all some food for thought, as I like to do every Tuesday! But even just writing these down and sharing them with you all, for me, has made things a lot more clear and I feel inspired! Try it!

What top tips would you give yourself right now?

Do you find it hard to listen to your body?

Are you a routine keeper or breaker?

When living your life with a purpose means you forget to live your life #5TTT

Hi all,

Live your life with a purpose.

I see that statement everywhere right now. There is so much power behind it and merit as to why it can make such an impact on us all. Make sure you LIVE your LIFE and do so with PURPOSE.

How does that statement make you feel? Empowered and alive. Or maybe you are like me and it makes me feel somewhat stressed and anxious. The entire movement towards happiness and stress free living is incredible and it is fantastic at spurring cravings within us all. But how much attention do we give to these thoughts? More so than any other generation I can imagine. And without a clear road/ path, what do we actually want?

For this weeks 5 Top Tips on a Tuesday I want to break this down and look at what we are all facing /is being asked of us in this day and age. When living your life with a purpose (or attempting to) means you forget to live your life.purpose - chase the red grape

Millennial talk – finding and reaching our dreams

From Generation Y to the Millennial, we are constantly being bombarded with messages to ‘find and reach our dreams’. Teens are feeling even more pressure now on the decisions they make at school and how this will affect their eventual adulthood. In our careers we are starting to ask ourselves ‘is this really it?’ and ‘is this enough’. Sometimes it is and sometimes it isn’t. We see pictures on social media of everyone all over the world doing different things, prompting us to ask ‘do I want that too’?. PRESSURE!

Sometimes, however, it is perfectly acceptable to simply say we just DON’T KNOW! In constantly looking towards future dreams we forget about the journey and living in the present moment. If you truly have a dream, break it down into small chunks so you can achieve it step by step and have fun along the way. But if you don’t know your dreams or your purpose right now, that is no problem at all – just focus on the now and what makes you happy right this second.

Not being stuck in jobs or tied down

Living life with a purpose means not being stuck in a job you aren’t 100% happy with or being tied down, right? Well maybe yes and maybe no.

We all have done jobs we didn’t want to do. That is a fact of growing up. But what did those jobs teach us? Experience. We learnt what we liked and didn’t like, what we wanted and didn’t want. Sometimes we have to go through this period to figure things out. Don’t worry if you aren’t happy in your job right now, maybe your purpose is to learn through this job to find your passion.

Feel tied down in a relationship or situation? Ask yourself, ‘do I want this’. For some folk, being tied down is a comfort, a bond, a happiness that they are perfectly content with. It may not be what society is telling us to do but if it makes you happy then do not feel a pressure to change. Happiness IS a purpose.

Pressure to be everything we hope and desire

Do you remember when you were younger and you knew exactly what you wanted to be when you grew up? How many times did that change? Are you actually in that role/ working towards it right now? If yes then great! If not, like I imagine most of us are, do you put pressure on yourself to still be that Vet/ Archaeologist/ Dolphin trainer? I don’t think so.

We allow ourselves to accept that what we wanted for our lives when we were 10 isn’t what we want now. So why do we feel pressure to still follow those dreams we had in our twenties when we are now mid thirties?

Your hopes and desires can change and will change. Your purpose, your overall aim in life will change over time. Keep re-evaluating how you feel and if you don’t feel the same way as you did, go down a different path. It’s your journey, you dictate the road.

To be more than the generation before

I can hear so many people stating that they don’t want to be like the generation before. I get it, I truly do. I don’t want to live my life around my work. I don’t want to bring stress home. I don’t want my health to suffer because of x,y,z. But please remember that we can also learn a lot from the previous generation on how to LIVE.

Hard working, dedicated, family orientated, compassionate, living without comparison, content are just a few of the positive words I would use to describe those I know in the generation above me. They are all aspects which I would love to have in my life.

Not having any regrets

Not having any regrets in life is not a new term but it’s context has definitely changed. FOMO (fear of missing out) is a term which wraps the whole world of social media and is leading so many people to have a sense of regret that they never had before. Ok so seeing this picture, place, event etc on the internet makes you crave it, but in not going there or doing that, is it a life regret?

Since the internet has opened up the world so have our bucket lists increased. Listen to your gut, what do you really want to do right now? Maybe saying no to an opportunity now will open something else up later or vice versa. It’s the risk of life. Is it FOMO or do you fear regret?

Keep reflecting on your life and your true goals – a regret right now many not necessarily be a regret later. Try not to be swayed by FOMO or allowing it to bring you down.

A big thought for today but one I hope has got you feeling a little less stressed out about living your life with a purpose. Instead let’s remember to actually LIVE LIFE, keep the present happy and remember you are in control of your journey and it’s purpose, whether you know what that is or not. We are all different, we all want different things and let’s keep it that way! Respect other folks journey just as you respect your own.

How do you feel when asked about living life with a purpose?

Do you still have the same dreams as 5, 10, 15 years ago?

What would you love to have in your life that you have seen within the previous generation?5 top tips on a tuesday - chase the red grape

Don’t compete with me, compete with you! #5TTT

Hi all,

As many of you know, David was competing at a CrossFit competition this weekend. There was a mix of all abilities and skills but everyone was there, cheering each other on and driving their athletes to succeed.

It really got me thinking again on the whole topic of competition. What drives us to compete? Do we do it to win? And if that is the overall aim, what happens if we don’t win?

I have said it before, when it comes to CrossFit, the emphasis is on competing against yourself and through doing CrossFit I have realised that this can be applied to every single aspect of your life. Why would you want to be the same as me? Why would you want to beat me? Who am I to you? Don’t compete with me, compete with you.

The main competition in your life is you, your mind and your body. So for this weeks ‘5 Top Tips on a Tuesday’ I am going to prove to you why you should adopt this mind set too.COMPETE - chase the red grape

You do you

If I can give one piece of competition advice to anyone it would be ‘you do you’. You cannot control others. You cannot make someone better than you nor can you make them worse off than you. If you are competing against others for a promotion, all you can do is make yourself shine. Now if someone else shines stronger or is more qualified that doesn’t mean that you have failed or that you are a bad person. It just means someone else, this time round, was better. And you cannot control that.

Progress not perfection

No one is perfect. Even the athletes who won the events this weekend at the competition aren’t perfect. They all have strengths and weaknesses, it’s just that this weekend highlighted their particular strengths. Aim to progress, aim to move forward, aim higher not lower. You may never be perfect, you may never win, but you can be better. And being better is what leads to your own personal growth.

Find your why

Why are you competing? Why do you want to be better or the best at something? If you don’t know the answer to this then you will never truly win against me, others or more importantly yourself. If you are giving time and energy to anything in life you must figure out that why.

Less stress, less mess

Competition is stressful. Heck I was only watching David on Sunday and I could feel my adrenaline rise and crash with every event he did. It was exhausting. If you aim for progress and if you truly know your why then you can work out the outcomes and how they will affect you. I asked David what the best and worst case scenarios were for the weekend. Best case was that they won. Worse case was that they just had fun. Knowing that the worst that would happen was that he would simply have fun enabled him to release a lot of stress and pressure. He knew he would have fun, that he would progress and all of this regardless of a win.

You need to have fun

Competing must be fun, regardless of the outcome. Ok this takes a different perspective if, for example, you are competing in your career for a new job or promotion but the overall principal is the same. The question of ‘why’ should highlight it all – a new job would be challenging, exciting, dare I say, fun! The fun should be in the journey, the art of competition and the challenge rather than the sole purpose of the win and the victory it brings. Being top dog is an awesome feeling, but so is knowing you had a good time, knowing you did your best, knowing you gave a lot or learned a lesson. Expand you area of what victory means to you and that should never steer you wrong.

Now to hear from you!

Do you strive for progress over perfection?

Can you still succeed without winning?

What is your take on competition? Do you like it/ shy away from it?5 top tips on a tuesday - chase the red grape

5 ‘excuses’ you should be listening to #5TTT

Hi all,

Ever feel like you are running your life on excuses?

Or should I rephrase  that as – Are you ever made to feel like you are running your life on excuses?

I really want to but….

I can’t do that because…

How do you feel about using this kind of language? Guilty?

There is a massive push nowadays to do more and be more. I cannot tell you how many motivational articles I have read to try and push you away from these common excuses. As always, there is a time and place for them. But what if the reason why you aren’t doing something goes beyond simply words? Sometimes the reason we do or don’t do things stretches far beyond our lack of motivation or our fear of stepping out of our comfort zone.

Sometimes our ‘excuses’ are our safety barrier and it’s our body, rather than our mind that is saying no.

Below are 5 common ‘excuses’ that you shouldn’t ignore. If any of these apply to you then trust your gut, listen to your body and stop the guilt. Sometimes ‘No I can’t’ is perfectly ok.excuses - chase the red grape

I’m tired

You know the kind of tired I mean. You have dragged yourself around all day, you have had little sleep, you feel a cold coming on, you find yourself zoning in and out of conversations etc. You need to stop. Sleep should always be a priority in your life and if you find it coming further and further down your list now is the time to address it head on. Besides, get a good nights sleep = more energy for the next day.

I’m stressed

Chronic stress has now become a symbol of a successful life… but I guarantee if you are living with chronic stress you feel anything but successful. Our bodies can deal with one stressor at a time but not 24/7 or multiple stressors at once. If you feel in stressful situation right now let that be your focus. Take a step back from other potential stresses in your life (including high intensity exercise and alcohol) and focus on addressing the issue. This is when you need as much time to rest and restore as possible. We are not multitaskers nor should you feel the pressure to be one.

I have no time

Why do you have no time to do things? Look at what is going on in your life right now – what pulls at your time the most? Are you happy with that? If you find yourself using time as an excuse not to do things then now is the prime opportunity to address those constraints. Are you making the best use of the hours in your day? Are your priorities in order?

I need this to get through the day

Coffee? Alcohol? Chocolate? Do you need a stimulant to get you through the day? Sometimes using an excuse is about saying yes as much as it is saying no. Why do you need those things in your life? The emphasis is on the word NEED. Do you allow yourself to have something because you feel you NEED it? Listen to that excuse and take a second look at your relationship with those needs.

If I don’t I will feel too guilty

Another ‘yes’ excuse. Why do you say yes to something? Is it because you will feel guilty if you don’t? I’m looking at you exercise and food. It all comes back to the WANT vs NEED theory. Did you WANT to do that workout this morning? We all need a kick up the bum sometimes to drag ourselves out of bed but did you do it because the guilt would be too hard to bare if you didn’t go?

In relation to food, do you choose what you want or do you go for something because you don’t want to feel guilty? Guilt is a terrible emotion to feel when it comes to food. Make a choice and own it. If you decide that today is the day to have a doughnut or ice cream on the way home from work then own it. If you decide to skip it this time then own it. Just don’t make a choice based on guilt.

Now it’s your turn. I want to hear from you!

Remember, anyone can comment on here. You don’t need to be another blogger…

So tell me,

Do you feel guilty over using an excuse?

If you are tired or stressed do you have a hard time saying no?

Do you ever feel torn over the NEED to do something over the WANT?5 top tips on a tuesday - chase the red grape

How to get out of your head #5TTT

Hi all,

Do you ever sit quiet, gaze into space or hide yourself away? You tell everyone that ‘you’re fine’ or just away with the fairies/ daydreaming… when the reality is that you are anything but?

Instead, you are ‘in your head’, mulling something over, worrying, predicting working out different scenarios or reviewing something that has just happened. You can’t stop thinking, you can’t seem to escape it. It has all of your attention. And the worst thing is you can slip right into it without realising.

I spend more time that I should ‘in my head’. Yes I am more susceptible to it due to the mental side of my ED (no it doesn’t always have to be about food) but I also think my personality drives and encourages it – always seeking to be better, always trying to figure out where I went wrong or right etc. Working out a way of dealing with it has been my solution. More often than not living in our head takes up so much time and energy, leaving us exhausted with very little progress to show for it.How to get out of your head - chase the red grape

Below are my tips on how to tackle this head on, if you excuse the pun! These are tactics that I still use in my everyday life.

Acknowledge it

If you are ‘in your head’ then you have to admit to yourself that you are. There is no use hiding the fact that you have something buzzing around your head that just wont go anywhere. Acknowledge those emotions, feel it and work out exactly what is going on/ worrying you. Only then will you see how big/ small the issue is and potentially move onwards.

Talk/ write it down

It might not make sense to you, and therefore may be tricky to explain to someone else but talking can be a big sense of release, helping you to let go of the emotions. Find someone you know and trust who will listen to you – often their questions in clarifying what you mean will provide you with a solution. If you can’t find someone to talk to, write down what you are thinking in a journal. You don’t have to keep what you wrote but once again, the sense of release often provides clarity.


Being ‘in your head’ is very stressful. Anyone who has experienced it on the long or short term will understand the pressure it can put on you. It can make you irritable and fatigued and your body will struggle. Try and take some time to acknowledge your issues by resting and relaxing. Take a bath and talk it through with yourself. Tackle the issue head on in meditation or partake in some gentle exercise like a walk.

Avoid alcohol, food, high intensity exercise or work as a means to curb it.

Change direction

Once you have acknowledged what is circling your mind, talked it through and calmed your body down, then we can look at moving on. Sometimes we have an answer or a clear action and that is how we will proceed to move on. Other times we just have to get on with life and leave the issue where it is. Find something new to occupy your mind that makes you laugh and smile. Play some games with your friends, go dancing, make a nice dinner for you and your partner.

And remember…

Life isn’t complicated. It can be simple and easy if we allow it to be. We cannot control the actions and emotions of others but we are in control of our own. Sometimes I have to admit to myself that the past is the past and cannot be changed nor can I control the future. The only thing I can do is be alive and free in the present.

If you feel that you are not in control of the thoughts in your head very frequently, please seek out professional medical help. You are not alone and do not have to struggle on a daily basis. Talking not suffering is the answer.

Do you have moments where you feel stuck ‘in your head’?

How do you deal with them?

What is your favourite way to de-stress your mind?5 top tips on a tuesday - chase the red grape

How to be inspired when you mind is blank #5TTT

Hi all,

Last night I realised that I didn’t have a clue what my 5 top tips were going to be today. I turned to David and told him of my dilemma.

“Maybe I should go for something different” I stated, looking around the room for ideas. I spotted our beautiful ceramic pineapple on the table. “Ah ha!, I have it! 5 top tips on how to become a pineapple!”.

“Tip number one, buy a pineapple. Tip number two, eat said pineapple. Tip number three, buy another pineapple. Tip number four, eat that too. And tip number 5, repeat tips one through four until you have in fact turned into a pineapple”…

David just looked at me laughing…

I then thought about what I actually do when my mind is blank. I simply don’t stress about it – instead making jokes like the above.

In doing that, I actually was pretty quickly inspired by my dilemma – I decided to make this weeks 5 top tips on a Tuesday post all above ‘how to be inspired when your mind is blank’. This applies to writing/ blogging yes, but also work, home life, date plans, goals… the list can go on and on!inspired - chase the red grape

What do you know?

What should you write about? Write about what you know, first and foremost. This could be your hobby, sport, passion but could also be your achievements, day to day, hopes, wishes etc. Not a writer but unsure on what to do in life? Passion. This one word covers everything. What fires you? What sparks you up from inside and gives you that excited feeling. That there is your answer.

Go for a walk

The world around you can bring so much calm into your life, especially on foot. In order to relax and clear your mind for inspiration, take a walk and look at the world around you. It doesn’t have to be in a park or quiet area, in fact I love walking in the hustle and bustle of the city centre and doing a spot of people watching! Take your mind off finding an answer and the answer/ solution will often come to you when you least expect it.

Read/ listen/ learn

Let others inspire you. Read a book or magazine. Listen to a podcast, watch the news or your favourite current affairs programme. Allow your mind to grow. Many a podcast has inspired me and often a topic on the news has kicked off a train of thought in my head. Let all manner of information inspire you.

Revisit old ideas

We all have that list right? The one that we add ideas to, only to discount them days or weeks later. But have you ever gone back to that list? What once sparked off an idea could soon spark again now you are older and wiser. Maybe you look at the topic differently, maybe you take the opposite view now or maybe reading that list might trigger something else in your mind. Don’t throw those discounted ideas away – keep them for a rainy day.

Take a break

My biggest tip when looking for inspiration is to simply take a break. Have a puzzle at work that needs solving? Go for a coffee or come back the next day after having slept on it. Really struggling with the motivation to write? Maybe it’s just not the right time. Step away from the computer and go do one of the above. Sometimes our minds are too full and we don’t know which direction to take. This is when we stop and take a much needed break. Continuing only leads to stress = not good!5 top tips on a tuesday - chase the red grape

How do you find inspiration?

Do you prefer reading or listening in order to learn?

Have you ever gone back to old ideas only to be inspired by them?

5 Top Tips on a Tuesday – 5 reasons why you should take rest days!

Hi all,

Whether you have been with me for a while, or just a short period, you will know that I love CrossFit. It’s my sport, hobby, major interest and I love participating, watching, reading all about it.

I get up 4 times a week at 5am to train and literally jump out of bed looking forward to it.

I could do this everyday. I could extend my membership to unlimited and have a choice of going to open gym as well as training sessions. I could. But I don’t.

Why? Because I fully understand the importance of rest days. Day being plural. As much as I love my sport I love and need my body more. Part of the reason I do sports in general is to be a healthier person – this would not be the case if it was not for rest days.

For this weeks ‘5 Top Tips on a Tuesday’ I will be talking about why we all should take rest days. Even though I relate this to sport, quite a lot of this could be applied to a rest from ‘life in general’ – work, school etc.rest - chase the red grape

To build and repair muscle

You train, workout, walk, run etc to be fit and healthy and to build a healthy layer of muscle. But the exercise itself is only one part of the puzzle. Training, especially weight training actually makes small tears in your muscle that then, afterwards, repairs itself bigger and stronger. But your body cant do this without 2 other things – adequate rest and fuel. If you do not allow yourself to rest then these tears, over time, can lead to injury and pain. Resting actually allows you to get stronger!

Relax your cortisol rate

Cortisol is our stress hormone. We all can feel it rise within us when we are manic at work or when family tensions are on the rise but this is the exact same hormone that increases when we exercise. High cortisol levels can lead to poor sleep, a weak immune system and poor bone and collagen development (muscle growth) – but wait, don’t we do exercise to prevent those things?! Giving your body time to lower your cortisol levels are key and rest days are very helpful in doing just that. They are even more in need if you have a stressful job for example, or any other factors which may be contributing to stress in general. Do sport to be healthy but it is not the best medicine to de-stress your body.

Rest your mind

This one relates to so many things, not just sport. It really is important to take some time to rest your mind. I can tell myself for days that CrossFit allows me to ‘be in the present’ but today, when I had this post going through my mind I realised that I just don’t stop thinking – stats, numbers, reps, even my to do list! This is why I love taking rest days at the weekend. Spending time with family, friends or even on your own, resting your mind. And you know the best way I have found to rest my mind? – the TV. Yep I am a Health Coach advocating the use of chilling out with the TV!

Indulge in other interests

I love CrossFit, but it cant be my everything. It already holds such a big part of my life and I love it for that – but I also want to be more than ‘that girl who does CrossFit’. I’m sure there are many of you out there who can relate if I remove CrossFit and add ‘running, swimming, cycling etc’. Taking a rest day pushes us to do other things – for me it gives me time to go to the famers market on a Saturday morning or hit up the beach. Catch up on my blog reading or enjoy making a more complicated breakfast rather than whipping something up quickly to hit my refuelling window.


Sleep is the most important way we can rest – after all it is when our body does most of its repairing and healing. For me, my rest days really do allow me to gain that much needed extra bit of sleep. Sometimes I still wake up at 5am after sleeping 8 hours but knowing that the alarm has not been set/ set for a few hours later gives my body the freedom to sleep as much as it needs. Listen to your body with regards to sleep. If it’s the weekend and your body is screaming out for a nap, try to indulge in one. Along with good fuel it really is the best medicine we can give our precious bodies.5 TOP TIPS ON A TUESDAY

So let’s all try and get a few rest days in this week. I guarantee your body will thank you for it!

Do you take a rest day?

If you are a sporty person, what other interests do you like to indulge in?

Does TV help you rest your mind?

5 Top Tips on a Tuesday – How to promote a positive mindset around food

Hi all,

When I say the word ‘food’, how do you feel? Excited? Overwhelmed? Worried? Stressed? Happy?

Food has become a word that evokes so much emotion from us all. There was a time when food was the unfortunate catalyst with regards my mental health but now I see it as a very important part of my being, my source of life, nourishment and delight! I adore it!

But don’t get me wrong, sometimes it can still be a stress too. Will this fuel me for my training tomorrow? Should I really have another glass of wine? Why didn’t that meal fill me up? What if this restaurant doesn’t have any gluten free options…?

So rather than letting it bring up negative emotions/ feelings or stresses, we can instead focus on a few tips that will encourage a positive mindset with regards food, eating and our diet.mindset - chase the red grape

This weeks ‘5 Top Tips on a Tuesday’ will focus on 5 different factors to help promote a positive mindset around food!

  1. View food as nourishment

We all need to eat. Food is our fuel source, it nourishes our bodies with the nutrients we need to function. Fill it with premium fuel and it will reward you for it – more energy, less disease, stronger bones, brighter skin. Let yourself gravitate towards the food you know will help your body grow and stay strong. But food also feeds our soul too – which brings me on to tip number 2…

2. Eat only what you enjoy

Yes you heard me, only eat what you enjoy. Don’t like salads? Don’t eat them. Not a big avocado fan even though it’s ‘full of healthy fats and the whole world is eating avo on toast’? Don’t eat them. Focus on what makes you feel good rather than what you think you should eat. Never feel guilty about not eating a ‘superfood’ or ‘the newest food that will help you live to 100’ if you don’t enjoy it. Everything you eat should bring a smile to your face.

3. Do not use food as a reward

This is a biggy that will help you a lot. Yes have treats, occasion foods even that special something you have every day but don’t view it as a ‘reward’. Have a hard day at work? Enjoy a chunk of dark chocolate because you want it, not because you ‘deserve’ it. Food is not payment for a job well done.

4. Listen to your body

Some people find this easy, others very difficult. When it comes to food, your body knows what feels right and what doesn’t. Your body knows whether or not oats at breakfast bloats you to the size of a house or if it nourishes you and keeps you satisfied. Listen to those signals it gives you.

5. Don’t allow food to overwhelm you

An easy statement to make but can be difficult to put into practice. When you feel overwhelmed over a food choice or decision, try to break it down. Why do I feel this way? What would be the best and worst case scenario? Then remember that you have the choice to decide what to do next, you are in control. This really helped me when I was trying to recover from my ED but I also know has helped David a few times when he had to make a food decision whilst hangry!

So remember – eat what you enjoy, what feels good inside and what keeps you happy – you have a lot of tasty eats ahead of you!5 TOP TIPS ON A TUESDAY

How is your relationship with food?

Are there any foods you don’t enjoy but tried to push because you thought you should?

What food nourishes you the most?