The Very 1st Photo Hunt!

Tuesday, October 29

On Saturday, Che, Bobbi and I, hosted our first Photo Hunt event.

The aim was to provide bloggers and creatives with an opportunity to interact and network in a fun way, offline. Read how we came up with the idea initially here.

After meeting at BoxPark in Shoreditch, we divided everyone into their teams, and gave them their task sheets for the day.

From 10:30 to 1pm, the teams wandered (and at times raced) their way around the buzzy borough of Shoreditch, snapping photo's as proof of every task that they had completed.

We then reconvened at BoxPark to tally up the scores, and refuel thanks to our lovely sponsor's:
 Milk, Tea and Pearl for bubble tea, a falafel pita from Falafelicous, followed by delicious yoghurts from Chobani for dessert!

After a few spot prizes, the final scores were revealed, and the winners declared as the 
Drunken Reindeer Team.
Well Done to Freya, Siobhan, Elena and Anna for managing to complete EVERY task!

Thank You so much to all of you that came! We had no idea that we would have 32 people sign up to our very first event, with only 4 weeks notice from when we revealed our plan!

The enthusiasm with which you all embraced the tasks was incredible.  From running races with strangers to capturing a 'sidewalk tragedy', and a 'creative interpretation of an idiom', we could not have had a more fabulous group of attendees!

Thank You for all your positive feedback on the event.

We had so much fun planning it all, and I loved meeting all of you and discovering more gorgeous blogs to read!

And Emma and Sarah, it was SO lovely to finally meet you two in real life, after reading your blogs for so long!

This picture pretty much sums up how I felt all day on Saturday!  You know how much I love hanging out with like minded people from the internet...

Bobbi and Che, Wow, you girls are incredible.  Your hard work and attention to detail in planning this event has astounded me.  The laughs we have had over the past few weeks in the planning, and then the minor panic stations we had on Friday when were at the printers and the hard drive wouldn't work, have all been incredible to share with you!

Thank You.

Our next event is on the 1st of March, you should sign up.

You can join the Photo Hunt mailing list here.
And follow us on Twitter and Facebook 
where you can also see more links to blogs by the fabulous ladies and gentleman who joined us on Saturday!

We also hope to have The Photo Hunt blog up soon, I can't wait to share the link with you!

3 Myths that I Frequently Dispel with the Ladies that I Treat

Monday, October 28

Today is Monday, which according to my new schedule is the day to share some Physio advice.

I have had a very busy past few days and I can't wait to share more details about how the Photo Hunt went on Saturday!

Today I thought I would share a few myths that I dispel on a frequent basis with the ladies that I treat.

1. I don't need to do my Pelvic Floor exercises, I had a caesarian section.  
Yes you do. It's being pregnant that weakens your pelvic floor, and not the birthing process. This study published this year, found that elective caesarian section did not prevent urinary incontinence.
Read here on how and why you need to them.
Whilst we are on that note, being or having been pregnant isn't the only reason that you need to do your exercises either. Nuns can struggle with urinary incontinence too...As my old colleague used to say "Just being a woman is a risk factor for having a weak pelvic floor..."

2.  I do the exercises by stopping my urine flow midstream.
Noooo! That is no longer the recommended method for doing the exercises regularly, and may be detrimental to you.
Try stopping your urine flow a maximum of once a month, as a test, and not an exercise...

3. Oh yes, I do those in my weekly Pregnancy Yoga/Pilates class, I'm sure that is enough.
No. If you are pregnant, you need to be doing your Pelvic Floor exercises 4 to 6 times per day.
Seriously, you will be so grateful when you are coughing, laughing and sneezing and staying dry, that you have...

Hope you are doing your Pelvic Floor Exercises Ladies, and that you all had a super weekend!

Happy Friday

Friday, October 25

This week I have spent way more time than usual on my Yoga Mat, and I think it's been really beneficial to me. Don't you just love my Yoga Bolster that my Mum sent to me from South Africa?  She screen printed and sewed it for me!

I had a wonderful dinner on Wednesday with some of my favourite girls and heard how Mark popped to the question to Jubes. I just love proposal stories. I think someone should start writing a blog just about cool proposals. Or maybe someone already does?

We have been sorting out the final bits for tomorrow's Photo Hunt event.
We have had a higher response than we ever expected to attend tomorrow and we are so grateful to all of you that have signed up! We have also provisionally set the date for the first one next year, we will keep you posted.  I loved London Life's write up about us here.

This week the theme of my Kids Yoga classes has been 'quiet'.  And how we can use our hands to care for others.  I found this lovely poem online, and gave a copy of it to each child. They then decorated the page by tracing around their own hands and colouring it in, and shared with the class something that they had done recently with their hands to help someone else.
Some of their examples were hilarious as always-I'm getting better at keeping a straight face!

I spread my fingers wide and place them gently. Watching how I move, I do so quietly.
My hands will help. My hands will care. My hands will rise above.
My hands will always do good things because they're filled with love.

 I unfortunately can't find the site where I found it now, but will link back to it as soon as I do.

Have a super weekend friends, and I look forward to seeing you Photo Hunters tomorrow! 

Why I want to become more of a 'Morning Person'

Thursday, October 24

Growing up, I was naturally an early riser.  
I was always first up in the mornings in our house and from very young it was my job to unlock the kitchen door for our domestic/nanny to come in first thing.  My Parents say that they used to frequently tell me to go back to bed when I popped into their room very early, to ask them if they were awake.

However as I have got older, I have unfortunately lost this natural ability to rise before or with the sun, without an alarm clock, and a few snoozes, at all.

My Yoga teacher training frequently highlights the benefits of getting up early in the mornings, and on our last retreat we were up just after 5am each day.

I read this on Michael Hyatt's blog last week, and it further convinced me that I want to become more of a 'morning person.'

He says that 'morning people', tend to:

Make more money

Be more productive

Be healthier and live longer

Be more happy and satisfied in their lives

I mean, who wouldn't want to be a Morning Person?

This weekend I had a chat to my friend Ratna at our Yoga teacher training, who is an Ayurvedic Doctor, and naturally a very early riser.

I asked her for a few tips, and she advised the following:

Ratna: Aim to to be asleep by 10pm and up by 6am, as this is what is most natural for our bodies rhythms.

Which I guess is in line with how we were put on this earth to function before electricity lengthened the hours on our day that we could do things. When people used to rise with the sun and go to bed with the sun.

Ratna: Our bodies immunity levels are most rejuvenated if we are sleeping between the hours of 10 and 12 pm.

Which would make sense as to why I sometimes get run down and sick after a series of late nights.

And as to advice for how to accomplish this?

Ratna: Set your alarm clock for 10 minutes earlier each week, don't try to get up a whole lot earlier at once, as you are less likely to sustain this.  And get up early even if you haven't been able to be in bed by 10pm. 

Remove all electronic devices from the bedroom, and don't read in bed either.

Interestingly, a few weeks ago, we got an alarm clock to wake us in the mornings and we have been leaving our phones in the living room overnight.  I really do think that this has helped me as I find that I am naturally waking earlier! And I think that my brain really appreciates not being overloaded with a massive dose of email, Facebook and Instagram, before I have even stood up.

The reading books in bed I'm not sure I am ready to abandon just yet.

I began my earlier rising regime this week and so far it has been going pretty well.  Between 6:30 and 7 am, when I was usually asleep, I now do my my Morning Yoga practice.  And I really feel that my days are more calm and thus more structured and efficient as result of this.

Now I need to aim towards rising before 6am.  And with the cold and dark of winter's not going to be easy.

Are you a naturally early riser or a night owl?

Why ALL Ladies NEED to see a Physio after having a Baby

Monday, October 21

There is something that not enough ladies are educated about when they are pregnant.

And it's ridiculous really.  Because it is so very important.

It impacts on how your tummy looks post pregnancy and also helps prevent lower back problems in the future.

You NEED a Women's Health Physio to check how wide and how deep the separation between your tummy muscles is, 6 weeks after you have had your baby.

Depending on this, they will advise you on what exercises you should be doing to reduce this gap, when it is safe to return to exercise and what kind of exercises are best for you.

This separation is called a Rectus Abdominal Diastasis, and it's totally normal that it occurs.  

Basically what happens while you are pregnant, is that the fascia (like sausage skin) between your rectus abdominal muscles (the '6 pack' muscles) widens and thins so that your tummy muscles can move apart to accommodate your baby growing inside of you.

After you have had your baby, the muscles need to come back together, before you can safely start exercising and to get your pre pregnancy shape back.

Otherwise what happens, is that each time you cough or do anything that increases the pressure in your abdomen, you get 'doming' which is basically your abdominal contents protruding through the gap.

This can lead to herniation.

I have seen ladies rush back to the gym straight after having a baby without having been properly informed or assessed, and they end up further widening this gap.  Which is horrendous.

And the advice when you google post natal exercises is quite frankly shocking.  I've seen Youtube videos recommending sit ups which only further widen your gap if it hasn't healed , it makes me feel ill.

Now the thing is, that you have a kind of 'golden period' in which to get these muscles back together whilst your hormones are all still settling back to your pre pregnancy levels.  If you don't do so whilst you are still breastfeeding or within a few weeks/months after stopping, then it is soooo much more difficult to heal the gap.

Which is why ideally you should see your Physio at 6 weeks post delivery, as this is when the first big hormonal shift occurs, and is a great time to start.  

But better late than never. 

A few ladies are very lucky, and their muscles never fully separate.  But you wouldn't know this for certain unless you were checked.

There a few things that can increase your risk for a significant diastasis too:
Being hyper mobile.
Having had multiple births.

At your 6 week check, your Physio will also check that you are doing your Pelvic Floor exercises. And may recommend scar massage techniques if you have had a caesarian section.

I like to do a baby assessment at these checks too.

I do a quick physical development check, assess your baby's head shape and see if they have a head turning preference, and advise accordingly.

I also remind Parents about the importance of doing tummy time, how to do it, and why crawling before walking is SO important.

Please let me know if you would like nay more information about this.

And please new Mum's and Mum's to be. 
See a Women's Health Physio.

If you live in London, and would like me to assess you, email info (at)

And friends and families of Mum's to be, please make sure they know about this...

Thanks to one of my dearest friends Em, for letting me use the gorgeous picture of her and little Jack above! I can't wait to meet him in December:) 

Happy Friday

Friday, October 18

How cute are these boots. They belong to a 5 year old girl in one of my kids Yoga classes and Oh my goodness I would have killed for a pair of those when  I was little!

This week I have been annoyed at having a cold, but hardly surprised as every child that I have treated in the past week has been sniffling.

I have had some hilarious conversations with some of the children that I treat recently.

6 year old boy: Lulu why don't you have a baby?

Me: Because I just don't.

6 year old: Seriously, why don't you get a baby in your tummy?

Me: Because I'm not old enough to.

6 year old: No you are definitely old enough, and you are married!

he thinks for a little then says,

How does the baby get there?

Me: I'm not sure...

6 year old: I think it's Magic. You ask for one and then it comes.

Me: I think it's Magic too.

6 year old: Lulu, I think my Mum knows where babies really come from, I will ask her for us.....

Soo funny!

It's my monthly Yoga teacher training this weekend, and I am looking forward to another 2 day intense delve into the Yogi World.

And I've crazily signed up to go on another retreat in two weeks.  

But more on that another day...

What are you up to this weekend?

Spicy Moroccan Chick Pea Salad

Wednesday, October 16

My friend Anna recently gave me the South African food blogger turned Recipe Book author, Sarah Graham's gorgeous book, Bitten.

Last Friday morning I asked Pete to choose anything he wanted me to make from the book for our dinner that evening.

He selected this delicious, 

Spicy Moroccan Chick Pea Salad

I was a little surprised by his vegetarian choice. 

Until he said he though we should have it with steak.

Of course.

The salad was SO good, and so simple to prepare...

1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 x 400g can chick peas, drained and rinsed under cold water
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/2 tsp chilli flakes
3 sticks celery, chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, deseeded and chopped
1 ripe avocado, peeled and chopped
1/4 cup crumbed fets
a handful of chopped fresh mint and parsley or coriander
1/4 cup whole kernel corn ( I boiled 2 cobs of corn to use)
zest and juice of 1 lemon or lime
a generous pinch of salt and freshly ground pepper

Heat the olive oil in a saucepan and add the chic peas, garlic and chilli. Heat through and then remove from heat and allow to cool.

When cool, place in a serving bowl and add the remaining ingredients.

Mix gently before serving.

Have it as a meal in itself, or if you are more of a carnivore.

Add steak.

And Enjoy! 

I will certainly be making this again...

And I can't wait to make more of her recipes!

How and Why You NEED to do Your Pelvic Floor/Kegel Exercises

Monday, October 14

I am frequently surprised by how little the ladies that I treat know about why they should be doing their Pelvic Floor Exercises and how to do them!

That's Kegel Exercises for you ladies from the USA.

I can't believe that I've never actually written about this on here before.

Every woman should do their Pelvic Floor Exercises twice a day.

One set of 10 fast contractions and one set of the 10 slow contractions.

And if you are pregnant and until 6 months after you finish breastfeeding, you should be doing the above 4 to 6 times a day.

I know, sounds like a lot.

But doing the exercises now, is like putting them in the bank for later.

So that when you are older, and after you have had your baby, you are not leaking urine (or anything else) when you laugh, cough or sneeze...

So ladies, here we go.

Firstly, Where is it?

A sketch of the pelvic floor muscle (shaded) in relation to the bladder, uterus and bowel.

Think of your Pelvic Floor as a figure of eight shape, around your vagina in the front and anus at the back.

Your Pelvic Floor contracts when you laugh, cough, jump or sneeze to stop you from leaking urine at the same time.

When you are pregnant, your Pelvic Floor is weaker due to the hormones that are allowing your uterus and abdominal muscles to stretch, also causing your Pelvic Floor to stretch a little.

And because it's dealing with the added weight of a growing baby on top of it.

Which is why you may wet yourself occasionally during pregnancy (don't worry, it happens to loads of ladies.)

This is why you need to be doing the exercises even more frequently when you are pregnant!

So how do you do them?

Fast Contractions:

Squeeze the muscles around your vagina as if you are stopping urine flow, and at the same time squeeze around back passage as if you are stopping wind. This squeeze should last a second. And the release should take a second too.  Repeat 10 times.

Slow Contractions:

Breath in
As you breathe out...Squeeze muscles around vagina as if you are stopping urine flow, and at the same time squeeze around back passage as if you are stopping wind.
Now hold this muscle contraction as you breathe in and out twice.
Release muscles.
Take two breaths at rest.
Repeat this ten times.

If you are not sure if you are doing these correctly, do one to see how it feels, then put your pointer finger in your mouth and suck your finger at the same time as you do this.  If the sensation of the pelvic floor muscle activation feels stronger when you are doing this, you are doing it correctly.

We used to recommend that once a day you stopped your urine flow as a test of pelvic floor strength, but research has shown this could be confusing neurological signals between brain and pelvic floor and weakening it.

So DO NOT stop your urine flow as a matter of routine!

But try it once a month perhaps to see if your Pelvic Floor is strong enough to stop your urine mid flow?

You may have been to gym classes where they talk about doing the 'elevator' type of contraction where you lift up a little at a time, you could do this if you want to, if you have already completed your above sets.  But I find the above to be the most effective and manageable.

Don't do more than the 10 at a time of each that I have recommended  above,  unless your Women's Health Physio has advised you to.

As you can over fatigue them.

I could talk for days about why you should do your Pelvic Floor exercises, but I will let you get started on your regime in the mean time...

Please let me know if you have any further questions?

Happy Friday

Friday, October 11

This Week,

I have been, 

In Love with the light from the Setting Sun over the Thames. The above picture I took with my iphone and is completely unedited...

Excited each time I get an email saying another ticket for the Photo Hunt has been snapped up.

Amazed by how the 5 year old girls in my yoga classes are so pleased when I tell them that the relaxation portion is going to start. 
3 weeks ago I had to bribe them with stickers to lie with their eyes closed for even a minute or two, now they say they love how peaceful they feel afterwards.

Slightly Daunted but also very pleased at how busy my Physiotherapy business has been.  I am finally getting enquiries off of my Website which is fantastic.

Delighted at the news that one of my best friends, Jubes is engaged to the love of her life, Mark.

How about you?

Did you know that more than 60% of Adults Can't actually digest Cow's Milk?

Wednesday, October 9

In answer to the second part of the question that I was asked here...

I grew up drinking lots of milk and under the impression that milk and other dairy products were not only good for me, but an essential part of my dietary intake.

I'd been told that you need to drink milk for it's calcium source to make your bones strong, so that you don't get osteoporosis or 'brittle bones'. 

Ummm....not so, it's turned out.  

Dr Amy Lanou, a Senior Nutrition Scientist at the Physicians Committee for responsible medicine in DC, says:

"The countries with the highest rates of osteoporosis are the ones where people drink the most milk and have the most calcium in their diets. The connection between calcium consumption and bone health is actually very weak, and the connection between dairy consumption and bone health is almost nonexistent.”

And if we really think about it, we are the only adult mammals that still drink milk.  And it's not even the milk from our own species.

So we don't need to be drinking milk to keep our bones strong. 

But here is the more scary part...there is a good chance that you are actually unable to digest milk anyway.

Lactose is the main sugar in milk that needs digesting.

Lactase is the enzyme that allows us to digest the lactose in the milk in our stomachs.

As babies and young children, we have lactase in abundance to digest the milk that we drink that is necessary for our us to grow so rapidly in our early years.

Between the ages of two and five years, most peoples bodies stop producing lactase.

Which means that the lactose sugars, end up sitting and fermenting, undigested in the colon, producing gas that can cause floating, cramping, nausea, flatulence and diarrhoea.

This can also make you feel very sluggish and tired.

It's actually pretty rare to be able to digest milk, with less than 40% of people in the world retaining the ability to digest milk into adulthood!

Studies have shown that the ability to digest milk differs by populations:

 0% of Native Americans can digest milk, 
5% of Asians, 
25% of African and Caribbean peoples, 
50% of Mediterranean peoples and 
90% of northern Europeans. 
Sweden has one of the world's highest percentages of lactose tolerant people.

How well do you tolerate milk?

If you are intolerant then you will usually feel the effects in 30 minutes to two hours after you have had any milk products...

Why don't you try an experiment?

Eliminate milk products for two weeks and see if you notice any changes with regards to bloating, stomach cramps, your energy levels and your skin condition.

And of course the condition of your tongue...

You may be surprised at the results....

Thereafter, Patrick Holford, as controversial as he may be, states that if you have had cancer then you should try and avoid milk altogether.

And if you haven't had cancer, try and keep it at less than half a cup of milk a day.

But more on the milk and cancer debacle another day.

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