Take the chaos out of the kitchen

When days are long and busy it’s vital to have a good source of nutritious food to tuck into however sometimes it’s easy to be tempted by those things that are just easy and not so good for us!

Why not take the chaos out of meal planning with the super talented Sally Duffin who runs Nutrition In York ( who lives below me, business wise!)

Her latest blog comes complete with a FREE weekly meal planning and shopping list template so you can save time and be super organised as well with top tips to get your kitchen in order.
Empower yourself and as they say prevention is better than cure!


The Art of Stillness and going nowhere

There is a saying a friend once told me that we teach what we need to learn and for me this beautifully encapsulates my well-being journey as both a client and therapist.

In my previous life I regularly made unhelpful choices in fact I’d even go so far as to say unkind choices. I burned the candle at both ends, worked in a job that seemed to have taken over my days, I drank to relax and took my caffeine shot to get my fix.

My choices did not help my situation in fact they only helped to make me weary and fall into a negative spiral of working for my holiday. I took long haul flights to exotic destinations to escape and then after a relaxing break I came back for more.

I was on autopilot in so many ways.

I new I needed to change something.

I was scared.

I didn’t think I could do anything else.

Luckily for me I stumbled across a natural food centre which also offered well-being treatments. I booked myself in for a massage and really that was when things slowly, very slowly began to change for me.

It wasn’t like in the movies with an overnight transformation. Hardly.

It was a long journey with several stalls. A re-loaction, new work, training, holiday ( I do like to escape!), new courses, new clients, new workplaces, more training, relationship break up, new home, new workplace, new branding …….

There have been highs and lows throughout the last eleven and a half years since I began my Complementary Therapy training.

Through it all there have been my supports, my foundations of well-being which I know have helped me to move forward at my own pace to this time and space in which I find myself.

Don’t get me wrong I still like to travel and I have to have the occasional long haul flight (it’s hard not to with family overseas) however travel for me is less about running away but more about adventure, nourishing and filling up in a different way to before.

I no longer need to escape my life in the same way. I now know that I have the tools available to create space within my body and mind in the here and now. I don’t need to pack a suitcase or book a flight for this type of journey.

My journey within to stillness and calm.

A few years ago I saw this inspiring TED talk given by the travel writer Pico Iyer in which he talks about The Art of Stillness, of going nowhere and much of what he spoke about I could grasp.

I’d love for you to gift yourself the 15.37 minutes to down tools, make a brew and listen to his words. If you prefer to read them there is a transcript available too. Watch it here

His eloquent presentation includes travel tales and strategies that we all can use to take back a few minutes out of every day, once a month or a few days out of every season. As TED’s blurb  says it’s the talk for many of us who can at times can feel overwhelmed.

At times of overwhelm we need to simplify.

We need to focus on a singular activity – breathing, walking etc

Then from a calmer place with practice, we will know the next ‘way’.

We will know that we can make more mindful choices.

As it is just a matter of choice.

In our world of constant movement and distraction, let’s embrace stillness, space and calm.

It’s my dream that we all move forward, together as a community towards new, kinder choices in a calmer way.

If this is something that you are curious to discover more about then why not come along to the  Loft and explore some of the Healthy Ms or why not join the next Everyday Mindfulness session.

I’d love to support you as you explore finding your inner stillness. Get in touch with me here

Mayday or May day? Three simple steps to calm

3D Life buoy.

Mayday! Mayday!

You may already know that this odd expression comes from the French ‘venez m’aider’, meaning ‘come and help me’.

So although it’s nothing to do with the month of May, it still seems a great time to set some new self-care goals, get support where you need it and show yourself some friendliness.


Racing round the track?


Do you ever feel as if time is running away from you, with things still not ticked off the to-do list?


At those times it’s easy to gallop along at full tilt, speeding faster and faster until, inevitably, you fall over.


Or perhaps you feel you’re not good or deserving enough? Or your mind is on loop, playing a message that it’s all a little bit too hard?


That’s when we tend to neglect ourselves, not making time to nurture, indulge or care for us.


Stop right there!


The answer to both is simple: Slow down, get into your body and out of your head. Make a choice to be less ‘mind full’ and more mindful.


Here are my three simple steps for doing just that:


  1. Focus not on your endless to-do list but spend some time thinking about what you have achieved (even the small stuff).
  2. Sift through everything in your head (write it down if you need to) and make a conscious decision about what you really need. This is where your attention needs to be.
  3. Set goals and map out the steps you need to take to get there. If you need external support, put that in place. If it’s only you that’s holding you back, show yourself some friendliness.


Taking time out to take stock means you’ll start to live in a more mindful way. When you get into this way of thinking, you’ll build your inner resilience so when times really are tricky, you’ll find you have the reserves and capacity to leap over those hurdles calmly and happily.


Be your own BFF

Next time you realise you’re being hard on yourself, STOP.


Take a few slow and calm breaths in and out and remember to be your own best friend. If that feels baffling, just imagine how you would talk to a friend who was experiencing what’s going on for you.


  • What would you say to them?
  • What advice would you give them?
  • How would you like them to feel?
  • What could you do for them easily and effortlessly to be a true best friend?


Take time out, refocus and be kind to yourself. In other words, take the mayday out of every May day! 

Wishing you calmness

Joe 🙂



Go Green – A Taste of Springtime

Nick Hopper/ Vogue

With Spring finally here and the the first green shoots sprouting out of the rich brown earth what better way to celebrate them than with Hemsley & Hemsley’s gloriously hydrating, cleansing and antioxidant-boosting green smoothie.

Green smoothie not your cup of veg?

A few tweaks and you can call it a soup. You’ll find all the info in the link.

Embracing the female

“Women who get into partnership with their bodies end up becoming the fullest expression of themselves.” Alisa Vitti

All of us – men, women, teenagers (and probably your dog, cat, neighbours and the staff who sell you chocolate bars* and tubs of ice cream in your local shop) – know about PMT. Boy, do we know!

We ‘know’ about PMT and we ‘know’ about periods. And most of what we think we know isn’t pretty or positive. We push it to the backs of our minds, make jokes about it and sometimes shudder. You might even be thinking of clicking away from this article right now.                      Stay with me for a moment!

Call me psychic but I’m guessing you either are a woman or you know some women.

Am I right?

Good. In fact, there’s some really great stuff to learn about our bodies – and it’s stuff that can be inspiring and transforming for both women and men.

We tend to only be aware of PMT, periods and sometimes ovulation. But when it comes to a woman’s monthly cycle, that’s just scratching the surface.

What if you could get so in tune with your body – or the bodies of the women in your life – that you could embrace the ebbs and flows of those hormones and work with them to reach your fullest potential?

What if you knew when you’ll be bursting with creative energy, when you’re an irresistible communicator or when you’ll be a demon on details?

In other words, you could schedule the best times to dream up new ideas, ask for a pay rise or do your accounts, instead of battling against your hormones and wondering why it’s such a struggle this time. Sounds almost too good to be true right?

Well that’s just what Alisa Vitti, HHC, AADP (Holistic Health Counselor, American Association of Drugless Practitioners) founder of the FLO Living Center describes so inspirationally in her TEDtalks video         Loving your lady parts as a path to success, power & global change.


It’s only 18 minutes long and well worth a watch and if you’re feeling particularly short on time, whiz forward to 11:29 and hear what she has to say about the four monthly phases of a woman’s body; it’s potentially life changing! As Alisa says:

“We are walking around with these blueprints in our bodies that are telling us how to live and work in a way that’s in the flow of our bodies. And if we can become fluent in the language of our biochemistry and our physiology… we can have access to an infinite source of energy and vitality and clarity and unwavering purpose.”

How about that?

An infinite source of energy and vitality and clarity and unwavering purpose.

You’ll hear Alisa talk about finding your centre too – and I believe that comes from working with the healthy Ms: massage, meditation, mindfulness and movement. Whether you feel you’re out of balance with one of these, or all three, take the time this month to work with your body. Click the links and book in for whatever your body is crying out for. It’s the first step towards tapping into that infinite source lies within you.

I’ve used the information shared by Alisa over the past few years and it has made a huge impact in my wellbeing and how I plan my time. I hope you find it inspiring too. Let me know your thoughts at hello@calmworks.co.uk

Wishing you calmness

Joe 🙂

*If you are craving chocolate then supplement your diet with magnesium rich food like leafy greens and seeds and miraculously your chocolate cravings will disappear!