My Holistic April

My Holistic April

First of all… apologises for the delay in Aprils round up. I’ve been off the radar a little lately with studying and completing a work related exam but I’m back now and below is what’s been happening with The Holistic Toolkit:

A- Z Blog

In the “A to Z Blog Series” about how Reflexology can help with common ailments, I blogged about the letters G and H.

Click on the links below for each in case you missed one.

G is for Gallstones

Hi is for High Blood Pressure

 

Crossfit Break

I injured my back in April and had to take a step back from my regular CrossFit training while was quiet weird to begin with. But with a little help from my wonderful physio Michelle and some extra focus on lower back, hips,gluts (which was very tight and not helping the issue) through yoga stretching and holds, by the end of the month I started to see a huge improvement.

I also started using a new “joint and muscle massage” gel from Base Formula but more of that lately in my May Round up.

Wellgood Challenge

WellFest organised a Well Good challenge which involved daily inspirations, questions, fitness tips, health and wellness challenges for the mind and body. I love these types of 30 day calendars and really got into this one. If you missed my daily updates on this, check out my Instagram stories as I’ve saved the challenge in its own little story .

Gerry Hussey –  Awaken your spirit and unlock your full potential talk.

I spent an evening in the Druid Theatre listening to Gerry. He spoke about your brain, your mind, your body and your spirit and all about being and living in the present moment. “Each day is a lifetime and every lifetime is a day”. Such a great talk, I’ve definitely been moved by whats opened up inside of me that night. If Gerry is ever speaking in your area, I highly recommend you go and hear him speak. You will not regret it.

 

Earth Day

April 22th was Earth Day and there was no better way to celebrate it than going out and enjoying it. On the day myself and himself went to The Burren Nature Sanctuary and took in all it has to offer – countryside, fresh air, history, geography, green fields, fairies , animals and so much more.  I even said a wish or two in the fairy wishing well .

Books

This month I read:

The Wonder by Emma Donoghue

Based in 19th-century Ireland, a nurse is hired to watch a girl on a suspicious religious fast. Such an unusual but intriguing topic with an interesting ending.(no spoilers here) Let me know if you have read it?

The Little Book of Lykke by Meik Wiking it’s all about the Danish search for the worlds happiest people so I’ve have downloaded it on my Borrowbox app and dip in and out of it when I need a little bit of positive motivation . So far I love it.

So that’s it, April is done and dusted, thanks for reading and  I hope you had a great one too.

Stay holistic

Catherine x

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I is for Insomnia

I is for Insomnia

Continuing on with my blog series on common aliments that Reflexology can help with is I is for Insomnia.

Insomnia can be caused by a number of reasons such a stress, anxiety and depression and can effect different people in different ways. Some people have problem falling asleep, some wake up in the middle of the night and others wake up too early. Its important to treat it like any other aliment and start with an honest and open consultation with your reflexologist so that you and they can identify some of the reasons why you might suffer from Insomnia.

As a Reflexologist I will work on the individual systems that may be causing your body issues. Then I will focus on the nervous system as this will help induce relaxation and thus slow the body’s reactions to anything that may be causing it to be stressed and help with any sleeping issues.

In a session, I will pay particular attention on the head reflex, brain reflex (the big toes), spine reflex (down the inside of each foot ) and solar plexus (the center of each foot) reflexes on the foot.

In general I recommend 4 -6 treatments for any real and long lasting effects to happen in the body.

Stay holistic

Catherine

My Holistic March

My Holistic March

Hello again and welcome to my round up of March and see what’s been happening with The Holistic Toolkit:

A- Z Blog

In the “A to Z Blog Series” about how Reflexology can help with common ailments, I blogged about the letters E and F.

Click on the links below for each in case you missed one.

E is for Eczema

F is for Fertility

CrossFit Open

If you follow my CrossFit progress you will have known that my own aim for this years Open was to do 2 of the workouts RX (as prescribed) and I managed 3 of them so I’m very happy with that.

Read all about it here in this blog.

Most of all though I had fun over the last 5 weeks during this Open. Fun with my own workouts, fun watching the announcements and after shows, and fun cheering and encouraging our own community in CrossFit Galway.

CrossFit for me is about 3 things for me:

-Doing the best I can and being the best version of myself in the workouts.

-Setting myself little personal goals and slowly moving towards ticking off those goals

-Having fun in the community with the encouragement I give and get in our gym and the friendships I’ve made because of it.

So honestly it doesn’t matter where I finish on the leader board, as long as I know that I can continue to have these 3 things I will continue to turn up to my CrossFit class.

New York City

For St Patrick’s weekend I went to New York for 3 nights with some colleaguses from my day job and without making you completely jealous I had an excellent if a bit hectic time.

Like I said before in a previous blog about been in New York (click here)  its very hard to be practice mindfulness in the city that never sleeps. But I managed it atleast afew times when was I there.

Taking a few minutes to breathe and soak in the sun rays from the beautiful and quiet(ish) Central Park.

Watching the sun rise on an almost empty Brooklyn Bridge.

Taking in the vast and beautiful views from the top of the Empire State Building by night.

In the city that seems to never sleep it can be easy to get caught up in that, but its very important to remember there are always places to go and its ok to just sit back, reflect and take it all in.

Books

This month I read:

I found My Tribe – by Ruth Fitzmaurice

I only fully completed one book this month, which I highly recommend this one. Such an inspirational and deeply personal memoir of her life with her young family and how they coped with her husbands illness. Beautifully written and one that will stay with me for a while. Be warned I both laughed out loud and had tears rolling down my face with sadness at different parts. Let me know if you have read it.

So that’s it, March is done and dusted, thanks for reading and  I hope you had a great one too.

Stay holistic

Catherine x

How I added Meditation into my Toolkit…and why you should too!

How I added Meditation into my Toolkit…and why you should too!

Anyone that knows me knows that I am quite an organised person and I try to plan my time so that I can have a good balance for things. I set aside time for work, time for blogging, time for the gym, time for friends, family, even the “telly” time is all scheduled neatly on my sky planner.

However lately I was feeling that ‘my mind’ was always the last thing that I had time for. I was always jumping from one task to the next, not actually thinking about what I was doing but already thinking about the next thing I had to do.

So when I got an email from “Mind Body Green” inviting me to a try their 14 Day Meditation challenge with meditation teacher and all round guru Light Watkins I was intrigued. Could I really learn to slow down my mind? Could I learn to mediate correctly and let my thoughts be still?

It sounds simple, to set aside 10 minutes a day to sit in silence doesn’t it? Here’s how I got on.

Light talked through how to establish the right time of the day to mediate, the ‘tools’ you need to help you through it (clock, blanket, water at the ready), figuring out the best position to be in for the meditation.  (Surprisingly this doesn’t have to be crossed legged and hands in the air pose).  Being comfortable is very important because the state of our body has a huge influence on the state of our mind , for example if I’m not on a comfortable position I won’t be comfortable for the meditation and will be distracted by that.

He explained how to handle and manage thoughts during meditation by just letting them come and go,  using the mantra ‘I don’t know and I don’t care’. This is great as thoughts are meant to come into your mind as you meditate and it’s important that we don’t judge them or question why they have presented themselves now, just let it go in and out of your mind.  Tip here is to think of it as a cleaning out session, your mind is detoxing itself.

A good mediation can help rest the body and the mind as it begins to heal the mind it will then help release stress from the body, so thoughts might be busier than normal as it releases these stresses. It is seen as a corrective measure for imbalances in the body.

As the days went on I learned about using breathe as an anchor point and I found this great as I could always come back to it if I felt like my mind and thoughts were running away.

I always like to add an intention at the end of each session too as this would help me visualise where I want to be after the mediation.

So how do I know it was working successfully? Light stated at the start of the challenge that it doesn’t matter what you are thinking about as long as you allow your mind to get lost and that the less you expect from the session the better it will be.

For me I realised that after a few days I begin to look forward to my 10 minutes mediation time, I looked forward to sitting in silence and letting my mind wander and see where it would go and not judge it. I’m not gonna lie and say my world changed dramatically in those 14 days but I found that I was calmer afterwards, that my mind and decisions were clearer and that I felt like the world had slowed down a bit . (Even for a little while).

I have continued my daily mediation since this challenge and each day is different, some days it’s 5 minutes and some days it’s 10 but I don’t judge my mind. It knows what it wants and I allow it that time to just be, to detox, to reset, to just breathe.

Who knows where it will bring me.

Stay holistic

Catherine

The Open is Closed 2018

The Open is Closed 2018

The CrossFit Open season is closed for another year and my own personal goal going into it was to do at least 2 of the workouts RX (as recommended).

Below is my experience of it.

Open 18.1 – RX

20 minutes AMRAP

-8 toes to bar

-10 dumbbells hang power clean and jerk

-12 calorie row

I was determined to complete this RX as one of my main goals in 2017 was toes to bar and I was delighted when I achieved this last August.

My goal for this was to stay focused, try not to get caught up in all the hype and buzz from the heat I was in and just keep moving! The toes to bar were actually fine as I did them all in single reps. It was the 15kg dumbbell that tested me the most and highlighted that my left arm is not as strong as my right side at all. (I got a nice bruise on my shoulder is proof of that). But I’m thrilled that I got into my 6th round of this workout. (That’s 48 toes to bar for anyone else counting)

Open 18.2 – RX

1, 2, 3, – 10 reps for time

Dumbbell Squat

Bar Facing Burpees

18.2 A

1 Rep max Clean

What is it with Dave Castro (the CF Games Director) and the dumbbell?? After 18.2 I hope I never see another dumb bell again. I completed the 110 reps with 70 seconds to go and managed 3 cleans building up to my max clean in that time at 50.5kg.

Replaced hip…what replaced hip?!?

Open 18.3 -Scaled

This was the separator that we have been expecting for the past 3 work outs and boy was I winded after all that skipping.

I managed:

✔️100 skips ✔️20 overhead squats ✔️100 skips ✔️12 pull-ups ✔️100 skips ✔️20 dumbbells snatch’s ✔️100 skips ✔️12 pull ups ✔️100 skips ✔️20 overheads squats ✔️95 skips (Yes that’s 595 single skips, my poor calves !!!) and all in 14 minutes.

I completed 679 reps in total and even though this was the scaled version of 18.3 I was so happy as today I did 24 single pull ups . Last year I did 5 in the ‘pull up workout so that there is progression.

Open 18.4 -Scaled

21 deadlifts at 43kg then 21 Hand release push ups

15 deadlifts at 43kg then 15 Hand release push ups

9 deadlifts at 43kg then 9 Hand release push ups

21 deadlifts at 61kg then bear crawl 50 feet

15 deadlifts at 61kg then bear crawl 50 feet

9 deadlifts at 61kg then bear crawl 50feet

Time cap -9 mins

I could sit here and blame the fact that I had a head cold or use the excuse that the only time I could do this workout was at a very early 6am on the Friday morning as I was flying out to New York for the weekend or I could just admit that deadlifts and hand release push-ups are two of my least favorite movements and I suck at them.  But I did it and got 65 reps and at least I know what I’m going to work on for the rest of the year.

Open 18.5- RX

Complete as many reps as possible in 7 minutes of:

3 Thrusters  – 3 Chest to Bar pull ups

6 Thrusters  – 6 Chest to Bar pull ups

9 Thrusters  – 9 Chest to Bar pull ups etc..

Only 15 reps but I have to say I’m very proud of those reps because before that workout I had never done a ‘chest to bar’ pull up. By this I mean never even attempted one because for the past year I’ve been practicing my ‘strict pull ups’, ‘kipping’ pull ups and ‘toes to bar. So I never even thought of the chest to bar pull ups and in this workout I got 6 chest to bar pull ups (amongst a lot of no reps I tell ya) but I did it and I’m thrilled.  A nice way to end another Open season with a new movement for me.

Verdict:

My own aim was to do 2 RX and I managed 3 of them so I’m very happy with that. I surprised myself with my little victories and I have already got a training plan in place and some little goals set for me for the next few months training.

Most of all though I had fun over the last 5 weeks during this Open. Fun with my own workouts, fun watching the announcements and after shows, and fun cheering and encouraging our own community in CrossFit Galway.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, CrossFit for me is about 3 things for me:

-Doing the best I can and being the best version of myself in the workouts.

-Setting myself little personal goals and slowly moving towards ticking off those goals

-Having fun in the community with the encouragement I give and get in our gym and the friendships I’ve made because of it.

So honestly it doesn’t matter where I finish on the leader board, as long as I know that I can continue to have these 3 things I will continue to turn up to my CrossFit class.

Stay holistic

Catherine

F is for… Fertility

F is for… Fertility

Continuing on with my blog series on common ailments that Massage or Reflexology can help with is F is for Fertility Issues.

Fertility issues can affect both men and women and research has shown that it can affect 1 in 6 couples.  Reflexology has been known to aid in certain conditions such as PCOS, endometriosis, irregular periods or ovulation and stress related fertility issues to name but a few.

 

In a Reflexology session, the reflexologist will start off with a general treatment to help restore balance and then focus on the Reproductive and Endocrine systems. In females this is the ovaries, fallopian tubes and uterus reflexes and in males it is the testes and prostate gland reflexes.  These reflexes can be found below the ankle bones on the side of each foot inside and outside.

The Pituitary, Thyroid and Adrenal gland reflexes are also worked on in this treatment. These glands control the hormones in the body and will help release any blockages in the body.

Like any treatment it is recommended that you get 4-6 reflexology sessions to allow the body to respond to the treatments.

Stay holistic

Catherine x

E is for…Eczema

E is for…Eczema

Continuing on with my blog series on common aliments that Reflexology can help with is E for Eczema.

This is a medical condition in which patches of the skin can become rough and inflamed with blisters which cause itching and bleeding. It may affect specific areas such as elbows, knees, the neck or the whole body. The causes of this are unknown but it is known to get worse when the body is under stress.  Similar to skin diseases  it may however be caused due to malfunction of internal organs.

In a Reflexology session, the reflexologist will start off with a general treatment to help restore balance and increase the blood flow and circulation of oxygen in the body and  will therefore stimulate and improve the function of the organs.  It will also help in removing waste material from the body which will result in better skin.

The reflexologist will then rework on the area mainly affected by the eczema for example, rework the elbow reflex if it’s on the elbow and then the associated reflexes, giving particular attention to the adrenal glands, liver, kidneys, small and large intestine, diaphragm and solar plexus.

Stay holistic 🙂

Catherine

My Holistic February

My Holistic February

Hello Spring and welcome to my round up of February and whats been happening with The Holistic Toolkit:

A- Z Blog

In the “A to Z Blog Series” about how Massage or Reflexology (my treatments) can help with common ailments, I blogged about the letters C and D.

Click on the links below for each in case you missed one.

C is for Colds

D is for Digestive Issues.

My CrossFit Goals

Back in January I stated here that one of my goals was to do at least 2 out of the 5 of the CrossFit Open workouts RX (as prescribed) and last week the first Open workout was released and I am thrilled that I completed this RX and not only that, it involved one of my newest movements – toes to bar !

Considering this time last year I had no toes to bar, I completed nearly 6 round of them.. that’s 48 reps .. I was delighted with myself. The 15kg dumbbell for the clean and jerks wasn’t easy though and I had a fine bruise on my left shoulder to prove it.

Such excitement in CrossFit Galway with both novice and more experienced members giving it a go. I really can’t wait to see what the rest of the Open workouts are now.

6 Nations Match

I experienced my first ever international rugby match in the Aviva stadium in February , the 6 nations Ireland versus Italy match with himself. As an avid GAA supporter and more used to Croke Park than the Rugby pitch it was great to feel the excitement when the whole country comes together and cheers for the same team. Of course they won too and that’s even sweeter!

Spotted on other sites:

I was delighted to be nominated for the Liebster Award by Emily from “Healthy and Golden”. The purpose of it is for bloggers to provide each other with a platform to be discovered, which hopefully allows people to find other bloggers they are interested in. I think this is such a wonderful and fun way to share the amazing bloggers out there, either just starting or building up their profile. You never know what you can learn from somebody else. I continued with this award and nominated 11 other bloggers blog.

Have a read of it here if you missed it.

National Random Act of Kindness was the 17th of the month and it was also the anniversary of when I did a blog about it for the ladies over on Count Her in.

Have a read of it here if you missed it.

Books

This month I read:

‘Into The Water’ – Paula Hawkins

I listened to this on Borrow Box. It’s a ‘who did it suspense thriller’ from the author of The Girl on the Train. The story itself was a bit drawn out and at times unnecessary long but it kept me occupied on my commute home. I liked the fact that it was read by different people as it might of got confusing if it was all the same voice.

‘Along came a spider’ – James Patterson

Patterson is one of my favourite crime writers and never disappoints me. This is an oldie as its the first in the ‘Alex Cross series’ but it’s a good one and I really enjoyed it. It’s easy to read and follow and at the end of each chapter you are always left wanting to know more.

So that’s it, February is done and dusted, thanks for reading and  I hope you had a great one too.

Stay holistic

Catherine

Liebster Award Nomination

Liebster Award Nomination

I was delighted to be nominated for the Liebster Award last week by Emily from “Healthy and Golden”.  She is a self-confessed health researcher studying health coaching, on a journey of weight loss and better health. An Aussie mum to one little boy, and there to help her readers find happiness through health, healing and natural lifestyle changes.  Check her blog out here.  Thank you Emily!

Now, the purpose of the Liebster Award is for bloggers to provide each other a platform to be discovered, which hopefully allows people to find other bloggers they are interested in.

“Liebster” in German means sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome.

The rules of this award are really easy to follow:

  1. Acknowledge the blog who nominated you.
  2. Answer the 11 questions that your nominator has asked you.
  3. Nominate 11 other bloggers (ty to select with followers under 200 but not always essential).
  4. Ask them 11 different questions.
  5. Let them know you have nominated them.

Here are my answers to the questions that Emily asked me:

  • Why did you start your blog?

Initially to help promote my holistic business of the same name but now I blog about anything I find along the way that I feel would benefit my life in a positive and inspiring way.

  • What is one moment in your life that has made you who you are today?

The day I got my hip replacement changed my life for the better not only for obvious health reasons but it also gave me the idea to become a holistic therapist (and then a blogger) and help others with their pain management.

  • What is your favourite place in the world?

My warm bed on a cold rainy night  🙂

  • One piece of advice for a complete stranger?

Smile, you dont know who might be admiring you.

  • What is your number one passion, that you wish people knew more about?

I love all animals but especially fluffy dogs but I think must people know that already. 🙂

  • What is your dream job?

Something that incorporates holistic therapies, CrossFit and animals :).

  • What does a typical day in your life look like?

Up at 7:15am. Day job from 9-5:30pm. Holistic work from 6-7:30pm. CrossFit from 8pm-9:30pm. Always try to be in bed by 11am for a good read. This varies a lot on the weekends.

  • What is your favourite quote?

Aww this is a tricky one as I love a good quote but at the moment its this poem that always makes me smile  “The World We Make” by Alfred Grant Walton. You can find it here.

  • Biggest accomplishment in 2017

In the gym, getting my first “Toes to Bar” in CrossFit – which considering when I started I could barely lift my right leg up without my hands supporting, that was one happy day!

  • And, what is your top goal for 2018?

While I don’t have one top goal for 2018, this year I have chosen to have a few smaller monthly goals which if (I should say when completed) , will lead me to being the strongest (both mentality and physically) that I’ve ever been.

Below is a list of the 11 bloggers that I am nominating ( I tried to get a variety and found it hard to pick only 11) :

  1. Sinead from Shinners and The Brood
  2. Maria from Marias Beauty Haven
  3. Alison from IndiglowGal
  4. Clare from Sparkle Blossom Beauty
  5. Louise from Louise Loughlin Personal Training
  6. Amberlee from A Simply Inspired Life
  7. Steph from Scale it Simple
  8. Tara Louise from TaraLouiseMc
  9. The ladies from Two Phat Cows
  10. Lisa from The Irish Baby Fairy
  11. Karen from Karens Reflexology Studio

 

 

Here are the questions that I would love for you to answer:

  1. What got you into blogging?
  2. What is your biggest blog achievement to date?
  3. What is one motto you live by?
  4. Who is your favourite “celebrity”  that you would love to meet and what would you ask them?
  5. What is the first thing you do in the morning?
  6. How do you relax?
  7. What is the last thing you do at night?
  8. Choose 3 words you would use to describe yourself.
  9. Choose one thing your readers don’t know about you?
  10. If you had a time machine would you go back or forward in time?
  11. What super power would you like and why?

I think this is such a wonderful and fun way to share the amazing bloggers out there, either just starting or building up their profile. You never know what you can learn from somebody else. Lets continue with this award and pay it forward.

Stay holistic

Catherine

My Holistic January

My Holistic January

Welcome to my first monthly round from 2018:

A- Z Blog 

After the success of last years series, I have decided to start another A to Z Series about how Massage or Reflexology (my treatments) can help with common ailments. In January, I blogged about the letters A and B.

Click on the links below for each in case you missed one.

A is for..Asthma

B is for ..Bloating

My Word for the Year

Those of you that followed me last January will remember that I participated in a little experiment where I chose a word for the year ahead. Last year I chose Balance.

Read about it here if you missed it.

For 2018 I have decided to go with “Believe” and I’m going to incorporate this into all aspects of my life.

My day job, my gym workouts, my holistic toolkit, my relationships and of course in myself.

Keep an eye out for my updates on this through out the year.

Beo Event

I attended the Beo “Wellness” Event in Galway during January with some friends and really enjoyed it.  Everything about the afternoon was warm and welcoming from the warm healthy pancakes and packed goodie bags to the really informative talks from some of the wellness advocates on the Beo team.

Pat Divilly chatted about goal setting and enjoying the journey ,not just focusing on the destination.

Sile Seoige shared some very personal stories and how Yoga and Mediation really helped her to refocus on the important things in her life. She ended with a beautiful mediation which lasted with me for the whole evening.

My Nutrition Ireland give us some useful cooking and nutritional tips and of course the day would not have been the same without the laughs and bants with a very funny Doireann Garrihy.

I would highly recommend this event, so if they come to your area, you wouldn’t be disappointed.

Pippas Fashion Factory

The weekend after that I also attended Pippas Fashion Factory with my sister. This was a delightful afternoon with make up tips with Aimee Connolly, tanning and fashion advice from Pippa herself and a very good informative Q & A session with Jennifer from The Skin Nerd.

I’ve taken a lot from these 2 events and over the next year I hope to be able to put some of the learnings and advice into practice in my everyday life.

CrossFit Galway’s War of the West 

I was delighted to be involved in the CrossFit Galway Scaled Pairs team competition in January when I was asked to M.C. the event.

I was very nervous at first as I’ve never been behind a mic before but once I got going there was no stopping me and I was caught up in the excitement from the competition floor from the off.

Hats off to each and everyone who competed in it. I know from experience how hard it is to compete and all of them made it look so easy! Roll on the next one in May!

My CrossFit Goals

Which brings me nicely to my own CrossFit training in January.

As you know in the past few months of 2017 I got my first official ‘Toes to bar’ which I was delighted with. That spurred me on to set some new goals in 2018 which I will document here.

In January I set myself a target of getting 3 kipping pull-ups unbroken. So each evening I was there I did an extra few minutes bar work, I spoke to a few of the coaches and I took some tips from others in my situation and I put in the practice and on the 31st of January (tight I know) I did it. 3 in a row!! Go me…

The 2018 CrossFit Open starts in February so my goal for this is to do at least 2 of the 5 workouts RX ie as recommended ( I did 1 RX last year , the other workouts will be done as scaled) .

While outside of the Open the goal is to do 2 toes to bar unbroken and keep up my pull ups.

Wish me luck!

 

Books 

This month I read:

!”The Hearts Invisible Furies” by John Boyne. Without spoiling this on you, this is one of my favourite books in a long long time. It follows the life of Cyril Avery through his life’s ups and downs and even though I’ve finished it weeks ago, I find myself thinking about what Cyril is at now. Such a good sign!

“Some one please help me, so I did” by Sharon Fitzmaurice. In this touching and very personal book Sharon opens up and details her own journey and how she helped herself and others through self care and love. Sharon is from Galway and you can follow her journey here.

 

So that’s it, a very busy January and I loved every minute of it. I hope yours was as enjoyable.

Stay holistic

Catherine