This week, many of you will have participated in the three day ‘Make a Start Challenge. The main point of the challenge was to get you started on the process of change.

Starting something new can be very daunting.

It takes a lot of energy to get a big ship moving but once it’s zooming along, it requires far less energy to keep it going.

I wanted to post the challenges that I emailed to everyone who signed up to the challenge so that you can do them whenever you are ready.

So, here we go!

Before You Start

Before we begin on the Make a Start Challenge, I want to help you get into the right frame of mind.

I find that before I can implement a change in my life, I need to mull it over, process it a bit, and fully embrace it. Basically, I need to get into the ‘Change Zone’

The next three days are going to be the start of some new ways of doing things. This will hopefully lead to new habits being formed that become lifelong routines, contributing to your successful MS management.

I don’t want to squeeze too much change into the next three days. There are only so many new things our minds and bodies can handle before we start feeling completely overwhelmed and discouraged. I want these changes to be sustainable – a base that you can build on over the next few weeks and months.

Sometimes it’s the smallest adjustments that bring about the biggest changes. This is because a small change causes a spark that gets the engine running and you very quickly find that one change leads to another and then another. Change with momentum can cause a chain reaction.

We need to be intentional with our changes and not just live being pulled this way and that way by our daily schedules and embedded habits.

The 3 Ms 

Over the next three days, I want you to focus on the three M’s. Namely:

Munching

Movement

Meditation

Munching

Your challenge is to get as much nutrition into your body as possible. I’ll be giving you tips to do this every day.

Movement

Your challenge is to intentionally find a way to move for 15-20 minutes a day. This could be any form of exercise – yoga, pilates, walking, running, cycling, lifting weights.

Meditation

Your challenge is to plan in 10 minutes of quiet time every day – whenever it suits you. This could mean getting up a little earlier, watching less TV or finding a quiet room/bench in your lunch break. You can meditate or just sit in the in quiet an be in the moment.

Planning 

Start thinking about how you can plan the three Ms into your daily life. When these elements work together well, you will be able to handle stress more effectively, your hormones will be more balanced and you’ll definitely have more energy to do what you need to do and you’ll enjoy doing it!

On Day 1 I will be asking you to stop eating a food (just one) that you know you shouldn’t be eating but that has become a crutch for you to lean on when you’re stressed or unhappy. We all have them!

I will also be challenging you to eat 3 cups of green veggies and 3 cups of colourful fruit and veg throughout the day. I doesn’t matter how you measure them and it doesn’t have to be super precise. This is just an aim.

 Practicalities 

  1. You may want to have a diary or journal handy to write down what the challenge for the day is and how you are going to get your head around it and plan it into your schedule.
  2. If you haven’t signed up to the ‘Make a Start Community’ Facebook group yet, you can do so here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/332939144090780/about/ It’s closed and no body will be able to see that you’re a member.

 Do you feel ready for this? I’m incredibly excited about the sparks of change that are going to be happening in your lives.

Day 1

Today is the start of a new way of thinking and living! I hope you’re more excited than daunted.

First of all, I want to emphasise that these changes will look different for everyone. This is not a one size fits all approach. I will be encouraging you to take up these challenges and make certain changes but how you interpret this and make it work is completely up to you! 

The most important thing is that you’re taking action. There is no right or wrong way to do it.

So, let’s launch into today’s challenge!

Movement 

First off, have you planned in time for Movement today? This can take any form but you need to challenge your body in some way and get your heart rate up a bit.

Tips:

  1. Do what suits you and your body. Don’t push yourself. Keep it mild.
  2. Make it fun and enjoyable. Just a simple walk in the park is great!
  3. Try and do it for around 20 minutes.

Movement has so many benefits. It reduces your stress levels, clears your mind and makes you a little happier by getting those endorphins flowing. It also motivates you to stay focused on your health goals and helps balance hormones which is absolutely essential in reducing autoimmune activity. It’s an incredibly important part of your healing strategy.

Journal Entry : Write down when you are going to move and what you will do.

Meditation

The most amazing thing about meditation is that it actually allows your body to heal at a faster rate while you are doing it.

So much research has gone into this field with the most astonishing results. Regular meditators seem to be some of the healthiest people in the world!

Have you planned in your 10 minutes of quiet today? These are your golden 10 minutes and I encourage you never to miss them.

Steps to Meditating:

  1. Find a quiet place where there are no distractions. Set your alarm for 10 minutes so that you don’t have to keep checking the time.
  2. Relax your whole body.
  3. Slow down your breathing and focus on breathing in and out.
  4. If you would like, you can slowly start saying a mantra. Any few words that mean something to you. This helps to keep your mind focused.
  5. When your thoughts start to drift off, bring them back to your breathing or your saying mantra.
  6. After about 7 minutes you will feel the Relaxtion Response start to kick in which is a completely amazing feeling! You will be focused and extremely relaxed.

Give it a try if you haven’t done it before or just sit and be in the moment for 10 minutes.

Journal Entry: Write down the exact time you are going to have your 10 minutes of quiet. Do you have a mantra that you would like to say to focus your mind?

Munchies

So we come to food! I have no idea where you are currently with your MS diet. Perhaps you are doing it but know that you could be more disciplined. Alternatively, this is may be all new to you. Wherever you are, don’t feel pressure to give up all your favourite foods at once. Eventually it would be good if you stop eating the following completely:

  • Dairy
  • Gluten
  • Refined Sugar
  • Meat & Saturated Fat
  • Soy Products

However, for now, I want you to focus on cutting out one food that you know isn’t doing you any favours at the moment. This is often a trigger food that can lead to you eating other unhealthy foods. This is something I would like you to commit to for the forseeable future.

Then I want you to pour your focus into eating foods that fill your body with nutrition and tools for healing.

Try and eat 3 cups of greens and 3 cups of colourful veg today. Yes, measure them out and keep track of them throughout the day.

The best way to get these foods in is through a smoothie, a salad, fruit salad, roasted veg,  or loads of steamed veg.

Super Challenge of the Day: The Big Clean Out

In my podcast interview with Matt Embry (episode to be released soon), I asked him what advice he would give to people just starting out on the MS diet. He said that the first step should be clearing out the junk from your cupboards. I love this because it’s a wonderful symbol of getting rid of the old lifestyle to make room for the new.

It’s not only about removing temptation but also about getting your mind focused on your goals.

If you have junk foods in your cupboard that calls your name and that you often give in to, get rid of it today. Check all labels. Some foods have hidden gluten, dairy and sugar in them. 

It’s completely up to you how you do this. You may want to just get rid of the food you have decided to give up for today or all foods that you would label as ‘junk’. All of us have these products lurking in our cupboards.

Day 2

Well done on completing the first day of the ‘Make a Start’ challenge. I’m so excited to find out how it went!

OK, let’s launch into DAY 2!

I’m going to keep it simple today and build on the changes that you made yesterday.

Keep doing your 10 minutes of meditation and 20 minutes of exercise in whichever forms you choose. These should become staples in your daily routine. They are as important as eating the right foods so do your best to set aside the time each day!

Munchies Challenge: Making a Smoothie

If you’re a regular smoothie maker, this’ll be a super easy challenge for you. However, if you are not a seasoned smoothie maker, this may seem a little daunting. If you don’t have a smoothie maker such as a nutribullet or similar, borrow one or buy one if you can. It’s totally worth the investment! I have used mine every single day for three years straight. It’s seriously been the best thing I’ve ever bought.

The cool thing about smoothies is that you can really cram the goodness in there and then just down it! Your body loves it and quickly absorbs all the nutrients.

Over the years I have perfected my smoothie recipe and I want to share it with you today.

Kim’s Smoothie Recipe

1 cup greens (spinach and kale are the best)

1 handful nuts (almonds are the best)

1 cup frozen berries

1 frozen banana

1 apple

1 handful grapes

1 tsp cacao powder

1 tsp flaxseed oil

Just cram it all in and mix with filtered water and/or some plant milk. It’s the most wonderful shot of energy and goodness!

Journal Entry: Write down what you put int your smoothie and how it made you feel.

Super Challenge: Take a good honest look at your supplement routine.

The next thing I want you to do is assess the supplements you are currently taking. As we all know, the right supplements can be an amazing addition to our nutrient intake. However, we are often taking so many that we’re not quite sure which ones are helping and which ones aren’t. 

Which supplements are you taking? How often are you taking them? What are you missing? Here are the supplements you should be definitely taking every day:

  • Flaxseed oil
  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitaman B12
  • High Strength Probiotic
  • Calcium & Magnesium

Have a look at my supplement page for more info about the benefits of each one and where to order them.

What additional supplements are you taking? Do you need to be taking them all? 

Journal Entry: Take a bit of time to evaluate whether you still need to be investing in the ‘additional’ supplements. Chat to me about them if you’re not sure

Are you in the Change Zone?

I hope, with DAY TWO underway, you’re starting to feel like you’re getting into the ‘Change Zone’. Well done to you!

Day 3

You’ve made it to the third day of the challenge! I hope the last two days have been great and that you’ve been able to make a few changes. Often all we need is the space and a little focus to make those tweaks and adjustments that we’ve been wanting to make for a long time.

What have you changed in the last two days that you feel is going to have the biggest positive impact on your lifestyle? Think about this briefly and write it down.

Let’s get into the challenge for the day!

Getting Organised

Getting a few well-organised systems into place is an absolute essential with this lifestyle. One of them is meal-planing. A little food forethought goes a long way by reducing stress levels and helping you feel in control of your lifestyle. You also eat more variety if you’ve planned your meals in advance.

I must admit that I’m not a naturally brilliant meal planner but it’s a huge help to have all the meals for the week planned out and all the ingredients bought. It drastically reduces the amount of brain power and energy I need to consume every single day thinking about what I’m going to make and then dashing off to get ingredients I don’t have.

So this is what I challenge you to do:

1. Sit down with your journal or computer for 20-30 minutes and firstly, just write down all the meals you like to make for yourself and your family on a regular basis. If you want to go a step further, find a couple of new recipes that you’ve been wanting to try out!

2. Put all those meals into a 2 week meal plan. How you do this is completely up to you. You can just write it all down on a sheet of paper, put it into your diary or make a fancy spread sheet/table on your computer.

3. Then you need to make sure you get all the ingredients for the week  you’ve planned. Make a list of everything you are going to need for the first week and plan in your grocery shopping time.

It works well if you can always be a few days ahead with your planning to leave a bit of time for your grocery shopping before your week begins.

For instance, PLAN on a Wednesday –  SHOP on a Friday/Saturday – Start EATING those meals on Monday.

A Little Meal Planning Help!

If you’re really stuck with your meal planning, I’ve created MS DIET MEALS, a comprehensive meal planning system with over MS diet 200 recipes to choose from. It’s super helpful. Check it out!

Super Challenge: Make a meal that you’ve never made before. Possibly something you’ve wanted to try for ages. This could even be a healthy sweet treat!

If you don’t have time today, then plan it in for tomorrow. If you’re having trouble finding new ideas, there are loads of delicious ideas on MS DIET MEALS.

The end is just the beginning!

To end this three day challenge, I want to say a huge well done to you for making a start. You may feel that you haven’t really done much or achieved a lot over the past few days. However, every small change you have made is a triumph that needs to be celebrated. 

Over the next few weeks, work on consolidating what you have done this week. Establish and engrain these changes into your daily life and then when you feel they have become habits, perhaps you can introduce another change.

Always remember the three Ms in your day and find time for each of them. They are all absolutely essential for staying well with your MS.

The ‘Make a Start Community’ on Facebook will always and put up regular posts. It’s a great way for us all to hold each other accountable with our lifestyles, ask questions, share difficulties and of course, triumphs!

Coaching

It can be a daunting prospect to launch into a whole new way of living and navigate it alone. I’d like to help! I’ve set up a one-on-one coaching programmeto guide you through the steps to designing your own, tailor-made plan for managing your MS naturally. 

The programme consists of five 45 minute sessions with each session covering a different aspect of recovering naturally from MS. These sessions usually take place weekly but fortnightly is also an option.

The coaching is designed to take you through the process of drawing up your own natural treatment plan and implementing it into your life. By the end of the 5 sessions, you should have all the tools you need to fly solo, confidently and happily.

I’ll only be taking on two clients a month as I want to be able to give my best focus to the people I’m working with. 

The two spots are still open for May and I’ll also be taking bookings for JuneJulyAugust and September.

To sign up to the coaching programme, click on the month you would like to start and you’ll be taken to the booking page for that month. 

You also receive access to all the meal plans and my Natural MS Recovery Plan Videos and Manual. 

Please remember that you are completely capable of this change! You can so this!

Love Kim