Monthly Archives: October 2015

Mel Collie | My Osteopenia Story

 

Mel Collie | My Osteopenia Story

When I was in my late 30’s, I thought I was pregnant, went to the Drs for a test, they told me, after a blood test, that I was going through an early menopause…at the time, I wasn’t happy, I felt that I was then left on the shelf with the possibility of having any kids taken away from me.

I was always a bit late in my decision making, so maybe I should’ve had them earlier, but I hadn’t met “Mr. Right” (whoever that is!)

So, after a bone scan, which they decided was best due to my age and the changes the body makes at that time in your life, it turned out my lower back showed signs of Osteopenia.
Me being me, I researched that…(more books and courses…!)

It’s not fatal and you can get better!

I changed my diet from this:

white bread
margarine(olivio)
cheese(cheddar)
coffee(lots of espressos and sugar)
jacket potatoes
pasta

to this:
green twice a day (kale, watercress, spinach, savoy cabbage, cauliflower)
cheese – goats/sheeps/buffalo mozarella(easier to digest than cows)
bread – soda(easier to digest) but less of it, not everyday
herbal tea – gross – I thought – but loved peppermint , didn’t like the fruit ones. Tulsi Tea is awesome for relaxing stressed people(me!)
sweet potatoes (doesn’t raise blood sugar as much as white)
gluten free pasta

Yes, it wasn’t that hard actually. I had a realisation that hit home.

I could either be depressed about it and get worse or realise the truth, step up and get on with it, change some things and have a healthier future.

I chose the latter.
It took time though!

But I got there. I found better ways to cook veggies that I liked, because as a child I hated them!
I used to sit at that dinner table for hours until the plate was empty or Mum told me to get out of her sight 🙂

I now have more raw salads, spinach and watercress daily, green beans are a favourite, especially with a shepherds or cottage pie(made with sweet potatoes as a topping is lovely!)

Is prevention better than cure? Maybe..but sometimes you’ve got to have that wake up call before you do anything about it.

Have you had a wake up call? what was your reaction?

You know what? just be kind to yourself.

Thats the best thing you can ever do ..for you, it helps the inner you calm down, restore replenish, make better choices, and it has a knock on effect to those around you too. And thats always a good thing.

Mel Collie

www.posuregeek.co.uk

www.melcollie.com

Mel Collie | Chocolate Cheesecake The Healthy Way

Mel Collie | Chocolate Cheesecake The Healthy Way

Makes four individual cheesecakes – or one big one, up to you really! But be prepared to LOVE it so much you may have to make double next time…

For the base

  • 60g Hazelnuts or almonds
  • 1 tbsp of Xylitol (health food shop )
  • 20g Un-salted Butter

For the topping

  • Flesh from 2 medium avocados (approx. 220g)
  • 55g cocoa powder
  • 140g raw honey
  • 1-2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 110g Butter

    cocoa powder for dusting

You will also need

  • Four 7.5cm stainless steel food rings if you plan on making 4 individual ones
  • Baking paper

 

  1. Grease and line the inside of each food ring with a strip of baking paper, then place on a baking paper lined tray
  2. Using a food processor or nut mill, blitz the hazelnuts to a fine meal, similar in texture to breadcrumbs. Place in a bowl and stir in the xylitol
  3. Melt the butter for the base in a small saucepan over a very low heat, then pour into the hazelnut and xylitol mixture, stirring to combine
  4. Divide the mixture equally between the four food rings and press down firmly with the back of a spoon to form the cheesecake bases
  5. Rinse and dry the food processor bowl then add the avocado, cocoa powder, agave and vanilla extract. Process on high until the mixture is smooth and well combined. You can also do this by hand though…
  6. Now melt the butter for the topping in the same way as before and add to the food processor (if using) whizzing to combine. Remember to stop the food processor a few times and scrape down the sides with a spatula to ensure all the ingredients are evenly incorporated
  7. Next, carefully spoon the topping mixture into each food ring until level with the top, then run a knife across to get a clean and even finish
  8. Place the finished cheesecakes in the freezer for an hour and a half to set, and then carefully remove them from the rings. The easiest way to do this is to use an upturned glass with a diameter just smaller than the food ring to gently the push the cheesecake base up through the ring
  9. The cheesecakes can now be dusted with cocoa powder and placed in the fridge until ready to serve
  10. Tastes better the next day 🙂 If you can wait that long..

 

Mel Collie

www.melcollie.com

www.posturegeek.co.uk

Mel Collie | Think You Are A Failure?

Mel Collie | Think You Are A Failure?

Most days I speak to other women who play it small, keep things quiet, afraid to shine their light.

Because they are worried what other people will think of them, but also, worried that they will fall flat on their face, fail, and then be laughed at.

Thats one reason that I kept playing it small when I moved to a new location in North Wales, UK, as a Pilates teacher, I met another Pilates teacher with a successful business a couple of miles away, just outside the village, but because I believed she had better Pilates equipment than I and that she was trained through a very strict and well connected Pilates school, I felt that she was better. I played it small. I got what I thought I deserved, which was…no clients…for weeks and weeks..

That left me feeling useless, a failure, with no purpose.

My partner then had a serious infection in his foot. In hospital , they wanted to take his foot off..he’s a climber, and that would have changed a lot of stuff for us, but having a very strong and different way of looking at life, probably due to his life of studying Physics and eastern mysticism, he quickly recovered and looked at whatever was to happen to him as an opportunity, not a failure.

That woke me up! Wow, if you can look at a serious implication of having a foot off as an opportunity, then I could look at not having any Pilates clients as a lesson, an opportunity, so I did. I changed my thinking. I changed my expectation , and the things changed around me.

Is my business as successful as it was before I moved here? Nope, nowhere near, but that took 5 years to build, and I’ve only just started here.

Have I changed the way I teach Pilates? yes I have. Ive slowed down. Ive used my spare time to study the brain and how it affects movement, pain, mobility, flexibility, strength. I used to train anyone, now I just train very small classes for specific types of clients, women who have lived with pain for more than 2 years, aged 30 + and find larger exercise classes intimidating. The sessions are a mixture of gentle modified Pilates, laughter, brain hacks to help reduce pain fast, self esteem boosters and accountability. Not your average class, but then Im not your average teacher.
Am I happy? Yes, most definitely, my days are free to be curious, and one of the things I have is a curiosity of the world, how things work, why things are the way they are, what a sunrise looks like by the lake, what a sunset looks like on the beach, what reflections look like through raindrops from a leaf, what Autumnal colours look like in the woods by the lake, what the view is like at the top of the mountain and what can you overcome within yourself along that journey. Ive taken up photography, invested in a proper grown up camera with proper lenses, a bright Orange (LOVE that colour!) rucksack, with proper compartments for those lenses and camera stuff…and sweeties for the long walks…(photos are on my website: www.melcollie.co.uk  and Flickr too! Very posh! )

What is your curiosity? Follow that and you just may find your passion.
Mel Collie

www,melcollie.com

www.posturegeek.co.uk

Beginners Pilates Classes for posture, self esteem , fun, support, reflection and of course, the obvious core strength are now happening in Llanberis, North Wales.

https://v1.bookwhen.com/melcollie

Mel Collie | Does Your Brain Have A Day Off?

Mel Collie | Does Your Brain Have A Day Off?

One of my favourite habits is falling asleep on the sofa, but last night, we watched an awesome move “Snowpiercer” I was all set o nod off until it got nasty, that woke me up, the character played by Tilda Swinton kept me awake, she was seriously a sick woman.

Anyway, this morning I was reading a book by David Butler on the Sensitive Nervous System, and particularly loved the phrase ” Your brain is turned on all the time”…read that again…ALL the time.

Its not something thats activated when you are doing something you find interesting. Cells are always active.

Take this moment right now, as you are reading this, now pay attention to your right hand, what is it touching, what colour are your socks, now pay attention to your left hand, whats it touching, whats the colour of your hair, how warm are you, how thirsty are you, what position are you feet in, how long have they been in that position?

Thats just a few little things that you are doing but don’t always feel, as we have many many inputs, they aren’t always turned on, or we would be bombarded with so many input, but the brain computes all of them, it just decides which ones you are responding to right now.

Your brain is continually looking for information, all the time. One of the phrases you will have heard is to “use it or lose it”. This is always said in the fitness industry referring to your muscles and levels of stamina. However, its also relevant to your brain.

When we have pain, we move less, in anticipation its going to hurt us even more, but in tuen , that ensure we do have more pain as we stiffen up and do less, variety and quality of movement is gold dust for a healthy and switched on brain, whatever age you are.

Loving what you do in your life, and helping others, makes an impact too.

So, to conclude for a healthier body as we age

 

  1. Move more
  2. Feed your brain with movement, good lung function
  3.  Love what you do for increased wellness and mental agility.

A healthy spine is a young spoke, you are only as old as your feel, use it or lose it..all of those saying mean something.

What one thing could you change today to help your future self, as its what you are doing now that shapes it.

Mel Collie

www.posturegeek.co.uk

Need some help and accountability? Come to a class. I run 5 a week, so theres a time you can make.

Classes in North Wales October 2015. Book here:  https://v1.bookwhen.com/melcollie

 

Mel Collie | How To Do The Plank

Mel Collie | How To Do The Plank

Years ago I went to a Pilates class run by someone who wanted you to hold the plank for 8 minutes…and there was one person in the class who could do this..at the expense of their back though, because I knew that person, and they had back pain.

The plank is a common strength position in classes. Its ok to practice it, but only if you can maintain alignment.

Most cannot maintain alignment for more than a few seconds.

When the abs aren’t working correctly, the neck takes over.
When that happens the shoulder blades usually lift.
When that happens, the jaw clenches, if it hasn’t already…
When that happens the breathing changes, or you forget to breathe
When that happens the lower back drops.
When that happens you get back pain..
When that happens…you’ve already done too much, but if theres people around you in the class and your instructor tells you to keep going, you clench even harder and keep going.
When that happens you probably aren’t getting any strength gains where you want them – your core..

Theres so many other moves you can do for your core.

Theres so many other ways to help your inner self gain strength

Start with your breath. Its the most repeated movement you will do all day, all of your life, but most of us don’t even bother with it, as its automatic, it just happens, we don’t take a moment to consider that the way we breathe is relevant to posture, strength, awareness, reduction in pain. Surely it has to be harder than that?

Well, no not really…

Start here, and that will give you massive gains.

Then go onto your vision and balance. Both connect to the spinal cord. Massive gains here in mobility, flexibility and reduction of pain. Just with simple vision and vestibular drills.

Surely it must be more complicated than that..?

..well, no not really…

Then, proprioception and spatial awareness, improve those, your movement, flexibility, strength, power, jumps, lifts, every day life will be awesome.

Really? Surely..

Well, yes, really…

It can be that simple.

 

Mel Collie

www.posturegeek.co.uk

Want to have your posture checked over? Book your place here

I will contact you to once you’ve booked, to get a time and day you can come to my treatment room and posture studio in Llanberis, North Wales.