<![CDATA[Call: 021 190 4980 - My Blog Posts]]>Sun, 04 Oct 2020 02:04:49 +1300Weebly<![CDATA[Vital Keys 2 Flourishing]]>Mon, 03 Feb 2020 20:48:07 GMThttp://wellhealthyyou.nz/blog-posts/february-04th-2020Some Vital Keys to Flourishing
As the Vital Keys Coach I use my heart-centred approach to help people discover their unique vital keys to achieving optimal health and flourishing in a life well lived. Working together we identify and develop their unique Vital Keys 4 a Well Mind, Healthy Body, and an Authentic Life.

Vital Keys is a compassionate approach: coaching ~ facilitating ~ advocating ~ educating people to achieve Flourishing Health. Facilitating open-hearted transformation, habit change & personal growth. Michelle offers in-person appointments, programs & workshops in Hibiscus Coast, Auckland NZ. Online video-call appointments to anywhere.

There are six factors that may contribute to the experience of flourishing and a program or workshop with Michelle may focus on any number of these factors. Although flourishing in one area does in fact enhance the achievement of the others::
  1. Happiness and Life Satisfaction
  2. Mental and Physical Health
  3. Meaning and Purpose
  4. Character and Virtue
  5. Close Social Relationships
  6. Financial and Material Stability (VanderWeele, 2017)

Flourishing is not simply the absence of illness or disease. Flourishing provides numerous benefits. For example, flourishing has been found to have the following impacts:
  • Fewer missed days of works
  • Fewer half-days and work cutbacks
  • Lower helplessness
  • More clear life goals
  • Higher resilience
  • Higher intimacy
  • Lower risk of cardiovascular disease
  • Lower number of chronic physical diseases with age
  • Fewer health limitations of daily living activities
  • Lower health care utilisation (Keyes, 2007)

Michelle Bishop is the Vital Keys Coach and will help you 'gently and compassionately' crack your personal code to optimal flourishing and living a life well lived. 

Empowering YOU to discover your own personal lifestyle, nutrition, mindset and attitude hacks, and then use them to your best advantage in the pursuit of your heart-felt aspirations, dreams and goals.

Message me to organise your free 30 Minute Vital Keys Intro Call,
Join our 'Vital Keys 2 Flourishing' community group on Facebook here

Wishing you health and happiness

Michelle x
Excerpts used from https://positivepsychology.com/flourishing/  go there for more science based information about flourishing and what it can mean for you.
<![CDATA[So what about sugars?]]>Tue, 13 Aug 2019 12:00:00 GMThttp://wellhealthyyou.nz/blog-posts/so-what-about-sugarMy take on sugar and how you can help yourself...
​Sugar has so many different names and faces. Reducing or managing sugar intake can be quite complex for people to navigate because sugars are hidden in so many places. It is one of the most common struggles I come across in people that I work with (including myself and my family). Excess sugar is detrimental to health in so many ways. Take control of sugar intake by understanding enough about food labels and leaning towards whole and least processed foods with shortest ingredients lists, as well as maintaining a well balanced eating strategy incorporating enough colourful vegetables with quality proteins and oils.
Many sweet natural foods like honey, dates, agave, maple syrups and coconut sugar/nectar are used for sweetness in many 'health foods', but still they may perpetuate any existing blood sugar imbalance, insulin resistance, inflammation, metabolic chaos, fatty liver, weight gain, high triglycerides, yeast overgrowth and/or sugar cravings.  In fact, if you make it a priority to understand the packet labels, you will find that many products contain several different forms of sugar, which sometimes includes 'sugar, sucrose, HFCS, syrups or maltodextrin' among them. Be aware that corn syrup and maple syrup will spike blood sugar levels similar to white sugar. Beware of Agave syrup as this product is usually highly processed and has shown unwanted metabolic side effects in some people due to its high fructose content. 
The healthiest syrup available is the prebiotic sweetener Yacon Syrup, which is well tolerated, feeds the good gut bacteria and may help balance blood sugars and maintain a healthy bowel. However, it is quite expensive, so beware of cheaper products that are mixed with other sugar substitutes by always reading the ingredients lists.

Inulin is a another sweet tasting prebiotic, sourced from chicory root, fruits or vegetables, that is well tolerated and supports healthy bowel, feeds good gut bacteria and may reduce sugar cravings. ​​With all prebiotic sweeteners, start with small amount and build up, as too much too soon may create excess gas in the colon.
A promising new natural zero calorie sweetener is Monk Fruit, which has been used in Asia as a whole food for centuries, however, its effects as a granulated sweetener are still being researched and it is expensive, so often found mixed with other cheaper sweeteners. Always read product labels carefully.
​Stevia leaf grown in the garden as a herb would be a zero calorie natural low calorie sweetener, if used in 'tiny' amounts and in moderation. There are some organic herbal extracts of Stevia leaf available, however, some people still get unwanted metabolic side-effects from pure Stevia, which may be due to an over-intense sweet 'flavour' triggering an insulin response and upsetting the body's equilibrium. For some people, organic pure Stevia extract may prove useful when used 'in combination' with raw coconut sugar and fruit in baking recipes (in place of refined sugars), with the aim of reducing calories, carbohydrate load and glycemic impact on the body. Beware that most granulated 'Stevia' products in the supermarkets are actually 95% Erythritol (like Natvia), which can create headaches, gut issues and other inflammation in some people as it is a sugar alcohol. But in the end tolerance levels are down to the individual and what their gut and body can handle in the short term to ease them onto a healthier road long term. So, be gentle, gradual and keep a food-mood-energy diary when trialling new food types.
The low carb sugar alcohol Birch Xylitol (from birch tree) tastes less sweet than white sugar, looks like sugar crystals and has some health benefits.  Birch Xylitol may be useful while working on reducing sugar in the diet and it promotes healthy teeth, reducing bad bacteria in the mouth. Xylitol is naturally sourced, but processed into a Sugar Alcohol, so is usually fine for occasional treats and in chewing gum, but may produce gas/wind if over-consumed. Keep Xylitol away from pets as it is dangerous for cats and dogs. ​More research needs to be done on its effect on the gut bacteria and blood sugar metabolism, but so far it seems ok for short-term or occasional use by healthy people.
My suggestions for the accessible everyday wholefood sweetness are things like apples, raspberries, strawberries, coconut, vanilla, cinnamon, mint leaves.  For blood sugar management, it is best to eat fruit fresh or frozen and either 'with or 10 minutes before' a protein fat like coconut, nuts, seeds, salmon, etc, to balance the fructose absorption, and generally only about 1/2 a cup worth of fruit, unless someone is exercising intensely. Bananas and dates are a very carbohydrate rich fuel for endurance sport or intense exercise activities lasting more than 30 minutes, however, these natural sugars create blood sugar 'highs' and if not used by the muscles will be stored in fat cells around the tummy. 
Many people need at least a 2 or 3 week strict 'reset' of wholefood nutritionally balanced eating with some protein fats at every meal to restore equilibrium and stop the sugar roller-coaster and its associated damage. It also helps to reinvent the meaning of what a 'snack, treat or pudding' means for people. Once an equilibrium has been found, some 'healthier' forms of sugar may be ok to reintroduce on occasion or 2-3 times a week if tolerated, but not daily. Daily consumption may soon derail the equilibrium, requiring another reset period, which is often what happens after holidays and festive times of year. This all depends on a persons genetics, emotional wellbeing, general state of health and many influential lifestyle and environmental factors (epigenetics). It often isn’t a simple fix, but is almost definitely a journey.
This is where I can help, as I have many years experience and many hours of research into this topic. I can help you learn what to look for on food labels, learn what foods to choose instead and what lifestyle practices and new ways of thinking will support you to attain your personal equilibrium, leading you away from metabolic chaos and chronic disease. I can provide you with recipes, shopping tips, meal planning tips and helpful resources to pin to your fridge. This will help you get a good healthy balance of plant foods, healing vegetables, quality proteins and fats, and also have some fresh ideas, alternatives and techniques in your back pocket to support yourself to make it as easy as possible for you.
Get in touch to arrange your free 15 minute introduction to find out for yourself whether I can support you to make the transition from the sugar roller-coaster much safer and easier than struggling along on your own. I can help you gain more control and choice over what you eat, how well you feel and how well you reduce your risk of chronic disease. I can provide some very useful resources to support every aspect of a lower sugar lifestyle, including shopping and labels, eating out and wholefood recipes for the whole family. There are also some insightful science based books and resources online.

Wishing you health and happiness,

Michelle Bishop
More about Michelle...

Dangers of Xylitol for animals
Keep Xylitol well away from pets. Read more about xylitol here​ and about xylitol dangers for dogs here
<![CDATA[My favourite brownie recipe...]]>Thu, 11 Apr 2019 04:22:42 GMThttp://wellhealthyyou.nz/blog-posts/my-favourite-brownie-recipe​A healthier Raspberry Chocolate Brownie recipe
​​This is super easy and one of my all time favourite yummy treats! My basic raspberry brownie recipe is lower GI and lower in cocoa than most standard recipes, because it is designed for people who are sensitive to sugar, gluten and dark chocolate (i.e. me!). I have played around with this recipe many times in my kitchen, so some easy swap-ins and ideas can be found at the bottom of the recipe. You might also like to read  'So what about sugars?'
​A healthier Raspberry Chocolate Brownie recipe - less sugar with more yummy flavours!​

​1/2 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup of coconut flour
1/3 - 1/2 cup of your choice of sweetness* (dependent on taste and health needs)
1/4 cup of dark cocoa powder**
1/4 cup of desiccated coconut**
1 cup of raspberries
4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon ('ceylon' preferably)
1/2 tsp pink salt
1/4 tsp cardamom powder (optional)

Melt raspberries if frozen. 'Gently' melt together coconut oil with cocoa powder and your choice of sweetness*. Stir in the melted raspberries and desiccated coconut, remove from heat and leave to cool. In a bowl, gently whisk together eggs, salt, vanilla, cinnamon and cardamom. Stir the cocoa raspberry mixture into the eggs mixture. Then gently whisk in the flour a spoonful at a time, forming a smooth batter. Line a square dish with grease proof paper and pour in the mixture. ***Bake at 170°C for 20-25 minutes or until the centre is firm enough. Allow to cool for 15 minutes before slicing.
About my mission
  • *Some healthier suggestions for your choice of sweetness. Aim to acclimatise the taste buds to natural flavours and less intense sweetness. Read 'So what about sugars?':
    • *Paleo, natural sweetness: select a natural sweetener such as pure maple syrup or raw coconut sugar. You could experiment with using a 1/2 measure and adding a few drops of organic pure Stevia extract to make up the difference in sweetness. Read 'So what about sugars?'
    • *Try substituting '2 tablespoons' of sweetness for '2 tablespoons' of Inulin powder to keep the good gut bacteria happy, promote better blood sugar management and reduce cravings. (put 2 tablespoons of Inulin into your measuring cup first).
    • Pre-diabetics may want to consider substituting Xylitol in a 1:1 ratio, or Erythritol as a 1:2 half measure. Read 'So what about sugars?'
    • My current personal favourite for this recipe:  'Using a 1/3 cup measure' put 2 tablespoons of Inulin powder in first, then fill with coconut sugar to make a level 1/3 cup, for melting. Add 6 drops of pure stevia extract to the eggs mixture, before mixing all together. Read 'So what about sugars?'
  • You could swap the coconut oil for 1/2 cup coconut butter (yummy with a sweeter taste).
  • **For a richer chocolate hit you can swap the 1/4 cup desiccated coconut for another 1/4 cup of cocoa (i.e. for 1/2 cup cocoa as in standard recipes)
  • ***This recipe can also be baked in mini-muffin tins for 20 minutes. 
  • ​If you want a firmer slice you can place in the fridge for 30 mins before serving.
  • Store in the fridge for up to 5 days.
  • Freezing these will make them last longer and then add to lunch boxes as needed or defrost when you fancy a treat. (personally I sometimes eat them straight from the freezer as they remain reasonably soft)

Find my other recipes here...

See my other recipes
<![CDATA[Heart Breathing & Heart Meditation]]>Thu, 11 Apr 2019 02:49:26 GMThttp://wellhealthyyou.nz/blog-posts/heart-breathing-heart-meditationHeart Breathing & Heart Meditation for You...
Heart Breathing & Heart Meditation for Resilience, Self-Care & Connecting to your Joy
If you have just eaten or are not feeling 100% well, then go gently on the breathing in this exercise. We are going to do a quick practice of the two ‘quick fixes’ before we get into the combined guided meditation.

Quick fix 1) Relax. Take 3 or 5 slow deep breaths filling your lungs while pretending to fill ‘a balloon’ in your abdomen OR you could just fill your lungs and hold your breath for 4 counts with each in-breath, and then expel slowly. Experiment with both, or do something else you are familiar with. BEGIN TO RELAX. You will find the perfect way for you. Whichever way you do it, slow deep breathing triggers a calming response in the body, and instantly begins to reduce the stress responses associated with ‘fight or flight’ mechanisms.

Quick fix 2) Place your hand on your heart OR the center of your chest. This makes your heart feel like it’s receiving a hug, and triggers the release of the love hormone oxytocin. This also happens when we really HUG other people. We are basically wired for love, and, connecting to our joy. This also helps to move our focus out of our head (thoughts) and down to our heart (love & wisdom).
Go Deeper with the Meditation
There are three parts to the full meditation, but part A is useful to use anytime if you are feeling emotionally hurt, stressed, frazzled or are just in need of some love.

You may speak this meditation slowly aloud to yourself and record your voice on your cellphone on an ‘audio record app’ so you can relax and replay it to yourself whenever you wish.  Alternatively, you may get in touch with me if you would like me to lead a group in this meditation or create a recording especially for you.

​​A) Find a quiet space. Switch off for a moment, close your eyes, take five slow deep breaths, and move your focus from your head to your heart. Place your hand on your heart OR the center of your chest, to help you focus there (OR if you were in a public space you could ‘IMAGINE your hand on your heart’). Relax your shoulders… down, and relax your belly. Then while focusing on your heart, slowly continue breathing in… and out. Imagining or feeling as though you are gently breathing, in and out through your heart...  Continue your gentle heart breathing for a few moments, until the heart and mind are feeling much lighter.... (This basic technique, or Part A, can be kept in your back-pocket and used whenever you need a break, some peace, or a hug.)

B) As you breathe slowly in and out, through your heart. To the best of your ability, feel a genuine sense of love or appreciation for something or someone. Focus on these feelings of love or appreciation, feel them filling your heart, let your heart expand. Allow these feelings to flow outward to other areas of your body, to anywhere that needs loving and healing. Feel the love expand. Feel your heart smile. Let your face smile. Stay there a while. Sink into these feelings of love and appreciation.

C) When you are feeling amazing, basking in joyful feelings, you may then bring to mind someone OR something that you would like to send your loving energy to OR alternatively you may ask your heart a question and wait for an answer from your heart's wisdom. You choose. Enjoy this and spend as long as you wish here.
FINISH) When you are ready to finish your heart meditation and get on with your day, begin to bring your focus back to the room, ‘feel’ the chair or mat you are sitting/lying on, ‘wiggle’ your toes and fingers, notice the light on your eyelids, open your eyes, look at the walls/windows, have a glass of water and move your body… It is perfectly ok to fall asleep if you do this at bedtime or in a safe place. 

Inspired by the heart breathing and heart meditations available at:
https://www.greggbraden.com/ and https://www.heartmath.com/ 
Keep it in your Back-Pocket
Everyday life provides plenty of small opportunities to experiment with some of the self-care ideas on this page. Regular practice builds resilience and keeps it actively in your back-pocket for when a bigger upset occurs. When feeling overwhelmed, aim for at least 5-10 minutes of heart breathing or meditation for best self-care results.

Heart Breathing:  A few ‘deep heart-felt breaths’ with eyes open, can be discreetly included as you go about your day.

Heart Meditation:  Only meditate in a safe place, and never meditate while driving or operating machinery.

Research shows that messages the heart sends to the brain also can affect performance, mood and stress response.  More information in this FREE e-book at: https://www.heartmath.org/research/science-of-the-heart/resilience-stress-and-emotions
You deserve lots of love!
One of the most fundamental pieces of heart wisdom that I have learned and continue to implement in my own life is this: More self-compassion, forgiveness and loving-appreciation is fundamental to a well mind and a healthier, happier you. A you that is more open to giving and receiving love and compassion. A heart and mind that is stronger and more resilient through life's up's and downs.  TRY IT and see what unfolds for you...

For more information, or to learn about some other useful techniques, or for group or individual guidance please get in touch. I am here to support you on this journey of self-health discovery. Get in touch here...
<![CDATA[Cherish you well...]]>Sun, 09 Sep 2018 12:00:00 GMThttp://wellhealthyyou.nz/blog-posts/cherish-you-wellEver feel frazzled, stressed, overwhelmed or at the end or your rope? Life shouldn't be a struggle, but many of us still go through deep valleys on our journey towards something better. To help us move through the challenging times with more grace, it is crucial to learn some keys to developing a resilience mindset. Those of us who choose to follow our passion to make a positive change in the world around us are especially prone to burn-out and over-giving of ourselves. So here are some of what I believe are the keys to building personal resilience:

~ Nourish yourself first (nourishing food, sleep, movement, love) ~
~ Play to your personal strengths & highest values ~
~ Surround yourself with a like-minded tribe ~
~ Be authentically you (you are unique and your purpose is too) ~

~ Value your personal contribution (but don't take yourself too seriously) ~
~ Practice self-compassion and heart-felt acceptance ~
~ Be 'willing' to forgive yourself and let it go ~
~ Allow yourself time to 'switch off' and be still ~
~ Honour your dreams and pursue them with passion ~
~ Let your inner child out to play, laugh and enjoy. Often!!
​When life feels difficult, keep on moving, even just the tiniest step forward! Re-view, re-assess and reset your inner GPS. The storm around you is life transforming itself in order to manifest something even better and it hurts less if we go gracefully with the flow rather than resisting the change. Pray, shout, declare or share what's on your heart, there is power in the spoken word and your passion and dreams are there for reason. So let go of your perceived ideas of what is right, have faith in the outcome, and keep looking for the blessings and rainbows. Remember, the only thing constant is change. ​Strengthen your resilience through flexing the muscles of faith, gratitude, courage and determination. Speak up for what you believe.
"Follow your heart's call, express your unique personality and trust that everything is unfolding perfectly."
Be gentle on yourself, you have come this far, you are awesome! Enhance your well-being by being still and connecting with the well of infinite love, appreciation and compassion found in your heart. Send love to every cell of your body, because it loves you more than anything else in the world. Let go and let your mind be still, all is well. Believe that SOMETHING AMAZING is about to happen, and  keep your eyes and ears open for the little guiding miracles occurring all around. Find out more about my philosophy here...
​"Say YES to amazing opportunities and the how will unfold along the way."
We have a Facebook Community, a place to share uplifting personal quotes, encouragement, inspiration and heart-felt thoughts. A place to nourish mind, heart and soul, just at the right time when we need it. To surround ourselves with love and a like-minded tribe, to practice greater self-compassion and to love ourselves better.  Click here to join our community...
<![CDATA[Restore, revive and just 'be'...]]>Mon, 16 Jul 2018 04:26:55 GMThttp://wellhealthyyou.nz/blog-posts/restore-revive-and-just-beDo you ever take the time to just stop and 'be'. We are human 'beings'. If you are like me, you need to stop doing all over the place and get out of your own way. Rediscover the centre of who you are, your heart, your soul, your magnificence.

Silence, meditation, gratitude prayers, inspired 
song, fun creativity and connecting with the natural world all help to restore, revive and just 'be you'. This creates an environment where you can hear the gentle calling of your heart and allow your mind and body to heal and rejuvenate. No time, no pressures, no agenda, no expectations.

As you regularly make the time to stop and come back to your centre, the easier it will be to trust your inner-tuition, trust the process and be all that you were destined to be in mind, body and spirit. Your heart calls you to use your gifts and live your purpose, but how you express that is entirely your choosing.

"​The innate intelligence at your heart calls every cell and atom into loving action. "
​"Life is a miracle, we are so blessed and loved so much more than we can ever comprehend."
​Contact me to learn some tools, techniques and lifestyle practices to help you relax, restore and revive your heart, body and mind for healthier function and wellbeing. 

Close your eyes and take three long slow deep 'breaths'....

Live in wonder, gratitude and miracles. x

Learn more about my philosophy here...
<![CDATA[A wellness warrior story...]]>Mon, 21 May 2018 00:47:30 GMThttp://wellhealthyyou.nz/blog-posts/my-storyWellness warrior story...
After many years seeking ways to heal my own mind and body of a whole gamut of ailments and symptoms, through books, seminars, training intensives, various healing modalities and then the internet, I eventually decided to give up the corporate work-life and officially went back to school and intentionally forge a new path into the depths of health, nutrition and wellbeing. I love learning about the latest research in health science and I love how the body, mind, heart and spirit works together and influences one another.

I love helping others learn new vitality and health promoting habits, practices, knowledge and skills that helps them thrive better in life, and this act of service actually helps me to thrive better in my own life. Now I spend my time living and sharing my passions, being of useful service, doing what I can with what I have in my hand, allowing my life, work and wisdom to grow and flow. The best health outcomes are possible when I let go of my own expectations and make room for God to move, in every thought, relationship and situation. Letting go of my own limitations and letting the divine hand move in miraculous and mysterious ways. Learn more about my philosophy here...

I am in no way perfect and often need reminding to take better care of myself, to move more, get to sleep earlier and to lighten up.  

​It is no coincidence  that you have landed on my website and I hope you have found something that you resonate with. 
Get in touch, lets talk...
Life is more than what may seem and every cell, gene, enzyme and hormone in our bodies works better when it is given the right environment to flourish and do its job. Inner wellness and a thriving inner community creates outer health, radiance and resilience. Every thought, action, emotion, behaviour and reaction is followed by a cascade of inner chemical and cellular responses throughout the body. 

On mission, to enable the re-discovery of our fullest potentials in mind, body and spirit. Contact me today to find out how I might serve you...

Shared in love and joy,

Michelle Bishop  xx

Functional Medicine & Lifestyle Medicine Certified Health Coach, Fitness Consultant & Certified Nutrition Coach and explorer of simple energy techniques for removing blocks and barriers to being all that we can be. Explorer, educator, public speaker, writer, mentor, advocate and coach. Promoting optimal health and wellness behaviours, facilitating breakthroughs, lasting change and transformation.