Deliciously Ella Interview on Self-Care Values & Authentic Living | Moore & Moore Living

Ella, Matt & Austin Mills

Ella, Matt & Austin Mills

Spring Blog Guest Feature | Moore & Moore Living

Images @deliciouslyella

Ella Mills is the co-founder and co-CEO of Deliciously Ella with her husband Matt Mills.  Deliciously Ella began as a plant-based ingredients blog and quickly grew to become a leading healthy food and lifestyle brand. Their products can be found in their MaE deli in Marylebone and stores across the UK including Waitrose, Selfridges, Ocado, Sainsburys, Whole Foods and lots of independent stores. The book 'Deliciously Ella Everyday' was the fastest selling debut cookbook in the UK and translated in 16 languages. We are all excitedly awaiting the latest book on pre-order due to launch in August this year.

Deliciously Ella’s story is testament to how vulnerability can be the birthplace of so much growth and creativity. They are continuous source of inspiration to us at Moore & Moore Living and we are over the moon to have Ella feature as our first quarterly blog guest.

Due for release August 2018

Due for release August 2018

In the past, physical and mental health difficulties have been a significant part of Ella’s journey. Her story reminds us of our potential as human beings to move through adversity and suffering and live a values rich life. It’s pretty incredible, really, to imagine that, after a long period of ill health, she set out on a personal mission to better support herself by creating new plant-based recipes and sharing them on Instagram.  It’s even more amazing that this would go on to have such a positive global impact as a leading international food and lifestyle success. Their deep commitment to their authentic values based lifestyle nourishes them and their thousands of customers and social media followers.

 

Austin @mr_austin_mills pictured here with Ella is a global icon too with 21.3k followers on Instagram. Oh, the cuteness!

Austin @mr_austin_mills pictured here with Ella is a global icon too with 21.3k followers on Instagram. Oh, the cuteness!

Deliciously Ella is designed to improve the health and lifestyle of their growing community in an enjoyable and sustainable way (and still get your 5 a day!). Their authentic, compassionate and interactive engagement with their community generates confidence in their approachable, nutritious and delicious food (without all the fuss and fear).

Read on for this fascinating interview for insights in the lovely phenomenon which is Deliciously Ella:

 

A seasonal delight packed with flavour and goodness

A seasonal delight packed with flavour and goodness

MML: How have your self-care values helped you in your life journey so far, particularly at your lowest moments, including when you suffered with physical health problems and depression, and when embracing the uncertainty which came with taking important business risks?            

EM: It's taken me a long time to put self-care into my day to day routine and it’s not something I always prioritise as much as I probably should, but I’ve been blown away by how much it helps. Ultimately self-esteem, a sense of calm and belief in ourselves are pivotal to success in any area of your life so finding time for tools that support those pursuits is incredibly important. I really notice the difference in the days I take better care of myself – I’m more energetic, sharper, more positive and all round happier.

 

Creating a sense of calm

Creating a sense of calm

MML: The idea of designing a lifestyle that we don’t need a holiday from is very appealing. What helps to sustain you?

EM: Yoga is the thing that helps me most. I try to practise most mornings before work; some days I love it and feel like I’m flying, other days feel slower and clumsier but every time it creates a sense of physical and emotional space and openness that does wonders for me – it feels like a mental reset each morning. Going to bed early is my other favourite thing to do and I find that makes a huge difference to me, I like going to bed around 10 and getting up at 6 so that I have a nice chunk of quiet time before the world wakes up and pings 100 emails at me every minute!

 

Daily yoga

Daily yoga

MML: What advice would you give anyone wanting to cultivate and sustain an authentic and meaningful social media-based community?

EM: Find an area to cover that you’re comfortable sharing on a day to day basis. Personally, I love sharing food; cooking is a passion for me and something I do pretty much every day, and I love sharing my experiments with everyone. I wouldn’t feel as comfortable having our accounts based around my personal life, however, I’m happy to share elements and open up about what’s going on but on a 24/7 basis I would find it too much and quite honestly it would make me feel too exposed, so subconsciously I’ve created my own boundaries that means what I share is consistent and useful for our audience and for me.

 

Our favourite, red velvet cake

Our favourite, red velvet cake

MML: As the DE experience and community network expands, what drives you and Matt to be the leading healthy food and lifestyle brand in the UK?

EM: I just feel that there’s so much to be done in terms of getting people excited about fruit and veg so that we can all genuinely enjoy getting our five a day, and there’s so much space on supermarket shelves for products made of a few simple, natural kitchen cupboard ingredients!

 

Pea and courgette pasta with a creamy spinach sauce

Pea and courgette pasta with a creamy spinach sauce

MML: What’s important to you about working in partnership with your husband?

EM: I love being part of a team and sharing what we do fully with someone else – that support really builds confidence. I definitely lack confidence at points and working in this way has been a game changer for me. We build each other up in the tough moments and feel equal joy at points of celebration, which is really special.

 

Teamwork makes the dream work ;)

Teamwork makes the dream work ;)

Cultivating and sustaining balanced self-care in life is an ongoing learning process that at times can be overwhelming and confusing for us all. Ella's story is living proof of our human potential and that adverse life experiences are an opportunity to grow and move though life with purpose and meaningful connection. If this is something you would like to get a little help on where to begin and further explore then sign up to our website newsletter on the homepage for irregular goodness and news on our latest gatherings. We look forward to connecting.  

  

 

Mindfulness | Rolling Your Eyes at the Word Mindfulness Yet?

Rolling your eyes at the word mindfulness on your social media streams yet? You're not alone. It's almost as if it is being treated like a new product that we occupy until the next one comes out and suddenly we no longer want it.

However, mindfulness is not just the latest phone accessory and the collection of stuff in our lives does not make us happy. In fact, we strongly value the role in mindfulness to be the foundation in our ability for connection with ourselves, others and the world around us. 

At Moore & Moore Living, we appreciate that life is hard. We also deeply appreciate the importance of connection in our ability to creativity learn from and move through our moments of suffering and joy in life.

Knowing how to respond rather that react to our experience is really valuable in that we can meet any distress or challenge with greater awareness and ability to take care of our needs. At the same time, we can also be more fully present and authentically seen and heard as our true selves in the pleasurable moments. 

Things to Try:

  • Start with the basics - Informal mindfulness practice is about how to apply mindfulness principles to how you go about your daily routine. Formal practice is having set practice time that is dedicated through guided or formal exercise. 

  • Attitude - Practice contacting your daily routine with an openness and curiosity like you are experiencing it for the first time induldging all your senses.  A truly multi-sensory and immersive experience opportunity on tap. 

  • Bring Awareness to Your Sensory Channels - See, hear, touch, smell and taste. 

  • Connection Ideas - Shapes, textures, colours, temperatures, collective/individual sounds, tastes and sensations. 

  • General Routine Tips - Allocate time in advance to source healthy nutrition, hydrate throughout the day, have your lunch outside or go for mindful walk, set a realistic exercise regime ( have 3 quality yoga classes rather that squeezing in 5 for the sake of it), go to bed earlier and get up earlier to have early morning time in whichever way sets the tone of self-care. Open the windows and listen to the dawn chorus (bed by 10 and up at 6am), check in with yourself three times a day to promote awareness of your needs physically, emotionally and psychologically, keep an end of day gratitude/appreciation journal. Read Breathe and other related helpful magazines. 

  • Formal Practice - Headspace app, 3 min breathing space video using link https://youtu.be/amX1IuYFv8A and the website https://www.mindful.org is a personal favourite which covers a whole range of life domains. 

If you like this then sign up to the newsletter for our new free ebook resources due to be launched very soon :)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Therapy | CBT - Evidenced based treatment for common mental health problems

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CBT - Evidenced based treatment for common mental health problems

Moore & Moore Living

CBT is a scientific evidence based form of talking psychotherapy. The approach treats depression,  a range of anxiety disorders and a number of other mental health related difficulties. Due to its effective recovery outcomes, it is the National Institute of Clinical Excellence's (NICE) recommend treatment for the above presentations. CBT has expanded and developed in exciting ways into its contemporary form to enable meaningful, transformative and life enhancing journeys for many people. 

CBT At Moore & Moore Living:

Moore & Moore Living provide an informal and deeply personal experience. We appreciate that it can be hard enough to access therapy without traveling to, and sitting in, a stuffy clinical waiting room or uninspiring therapy space. We do not want therapy to become an additional stressor in itself. Therefor, we offer clients the option to access specialist CBT by visiting our Elm Hill practice in Norwich or from the comfort of their chosen space through Skype. Our Elm Hill practice space is lovingly designed and welcoming, while our Skype appointments retain our unique approach with additional flexibility in line with your current diary commitments. Seeing clients reach their goals and gaining new, healthier, ways of living so that they can move forward living the life important to them, is hugely rewarding. 

"Online therapy has worked wonders for me. I can connect with Catherine as if I am in her office + found sessions working from day one + gave me practical tools. I re-found joy. I was skeptical that it would work like "normal" therapy. How wrong I was. I had lost all sense of joy + anxiety was at an all time high, being verbally abusive to my wife and self-harming. I am much more mindful of my day and am so grateful." - Sam

Initial Treatment Phase - generates an understanding of the current problem within a CBT framework, identifying meaningful goals and treatment structure. 

The Middle Phase - will be an active period of implementing new alternative way of responding rather that reacting to one's difficulties from a intellectual, emotional and behavioural perspective.  This is a hugely empowering and freeing experience as the problems are no longer as distressing or being maintained. 

The Final Phase - is all about the client becoming their own therapist and using the new skills and learning on a frequent basis. Relapse prevention planning, winding down sessions and monthly booster session planning as relevant. 

 

 

Compassion | If It Doesn't Open..It's Not Your Door

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If It Doesn't Open...It's Not Your Door

Moore & Moore Living

If it doesn't open, it's not your door. 

First up, let's share some love for the unknown author of these powerful words. Isn't it fascinating that we spend more of our life entering or exiting doorways going about our daily life. Yet, we all have had or continue to have that metaphorical door that doesn't open. We tighten our grip of the handle, shake it, lean against it with all our weight with frustration and shout at it in exacerbation. We struggle, become stuck and we suffer. 

But what if we could sit down on the kerb on the opposite side of the street, take a breath of care into the sensations of distress in our body, look at the door from a distance and ask ourselves "how does persisting to try and open the door serve me in my life right now?"

What if we took time to acknowledge the unintended consequences all the persisting at the door has on our health and overall quality of life in the present time? As we approach the new year of 2018, let's seize the opportunity to drop the struggle and embrace our individual life journey by accepting the life that is here fully. By that, I mean intellectually but also experientially in our hearts.

You see, when we accept that the door is not meant for us, we are no longer stuck and in suffering mode as there is space for our feelings to come and go all on their own. We stand up, take a deep breath and walk down the street, trusting the process, trusting that our door will come along in time. And, in the meantime, we breath for the present and live the life that is important to us now. 

Photography Anna Jacobsen @weareherenow

 

 

Therapy | OCD Awareness Week: Our client's top 5 tips for reclaiming your life

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OCD Awareness Week: Our client's top 5 tips for reclaiming your life

Moore & Moore Living

 

We really value our clients understanding and process awareness of reclaiming their life from psychological or emotional distress. See some awesome tips kindly shared ( thank you :)) by one of our client's on how they did it. 

 

1 Know Your Disorder

OCD can be a bewildering and overwhelming problem. Experts in the field and sufferers who have recovered are an excellent source for understanding your condition. Books, podcasts and blogs are all available to help you get a handle on what’s been going on and what to do about it.

2 Believe Recovery Is Possible

Take from the examples of these lived experience that recovery is possible and you have the capacity within you for positive change.

3 Have Faith In Your Therapist

If you feel you need help in this endeavour do your research and find a therapist you can work with. It is important to pick the right therapist and the right therapy and then put your faith in their ability to guide and help you in your task. Their experience helping others just like you should encourage and enable you to make the changes required to get better.

4 Have Faith In Yourself

Have faith in your ability to do the work necessary and in your ability to cope and thrive doing what is asked of you. If you struggle to have faith in yourself then practice having an open mind. 

5 Do Not Hesitate

Putting off therapy and continuing to do what your OCD demands means more discomfort, doubt and behavioural responses in the form of your compulsions. These just perpetuate the vicious cycle of OCD. You may have lost many weeks, months or years to the disorder and you deserve a life without OCD.

Therapy | Finding the Right Therapy + Therapist

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Guide to Finding the Right Therapy +Therapist 

Moore & Moore Living

Choosing a therapist these days for some can feel like a swiping exercise. Similar to online dating but a different kind of relationship. Some clients report having had various therapists over a period of time but things didn't quite come together and it just wasn't quite right but they couldn't put their finger on it. Finding the right therapist is really crucial to getting the most out of the experience and making those all important desired changes to assist you to live the life you aspire. 

1) Suffering from Depression or an Anxiety Disorder - Look for a registered Cognitive Behavioural Therapists (British Association for Behavioural + Cognitive Psychotherapies - BABCP) or Clinical Psychologist (British Psychological Society - BPS). The BABCP website has a registered Therapist list you can search by location. Look for one that specialises within the problem area you are experiencing and check for experience post qualification. Specialised CBT Therapists/Clinical Psychologists may also have trained in other contemporary approaches within CBT including Acceptance + Commitment Therapy (ACT), Functional Analytical Psychotherapy (FAP), Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT) and Eye Movement Sensitisation Reprocessing (EMDR). The Therapist will assist with any recommendations of medication which can be managed by your GP along side therapy for maximum results where relevant. 

2) Suffering from Bi-Polar, Schizophrenia or Personality Disorder - Look for a Psychiatrist/Therapist that specialise within these areas and have considerable experience. The Therapist will assist with any recommendations of medication which can be managed by a Psychiatrist along side therapy for maximum results and stabilisation. 

3) Start Vetting - Don't be afraid to do a full social media and background check. On their main website or page, look for registration details and indication of continued professional development, professional standards of clinical practice and client reviews. You want to get an experience of other clients who have gone through the therapeutic experience with good outcome recovery. After all, you want to be reaching those therapy GOALS!

4) Connection - See if you gravitate towards their bio including practice values and profile image. Obviously, it is not a dating site but feeling potential that you can connect with the Therapist as early on in therapy as possible is priceless. Is this someone you can be open with?

5) Initial Face to Face/Online Assessment - Key areas to be identified include area for therapy focus/problem area, collaboration of treatment plan, outline + frequency of sessions and treatment duration, therapy goals, use of measurement of change (questionnaires etc) and the space for end of assessment questions, feedback and reflections from therapist and client.

6) Reflections - Does the Therapist facilitate a professional space of safety, confidentiality, openness, hope for change, honesty, compassion, lack of judgement, mindful presence (not checking their phones etc - sadly this does happen) and creates opportunities for empowerment to change and collaboration together in reaching your identified goals?

 

 

 

Space | 5 Mega Benefits of Plants In The Office

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5 Mega Benefits Of Plants In The Office

Moore &Moore Living

You will be keen to go green in your workspace after reading these ace benefits of plants in the office. There are many plants that are low cost, low maintenance and easily accessible. Air plants and Terrariums are currently trending in many contemporary office spaces. If you are confused about what to buy there are various plants that will thrive in the office space that is warm including our favourite the Spider plant. We have made a list below for you.

 

1)    Reduce Stress

A UTS 2010 study found that having just one plant in the office is all it takes to make a difference. Staff who had plants placed in their offices showed reductions in stress levels and emotions linked to depression and anxiety of a magnitude of 30 to 60%, while those with no plants recorded increases in stress and negativity of 20 to 40%, over the 3-month test period.

 

2)    Look Healthier

Plants help to reduce dry skin due to their transpiration process which releases moisture, creating a humidity level exactly matching human comfort range of 30-60%.

 

3)    Increase Productivity

Plants reduce excess carbon dioxide in the air therefore improving cognitive task concentration, focus, reduction in mistakes and a 10-15% increase in productivity for computer based workers.

 

4)    Reduce Sickness & Absence

Plants reduce absenteeism by up to 50% and minor illness by 30%. This helps businesses to maintain productivity and reduce absence costs.

 

5)    A Nicer Place To Work

Oxford Brookes University reinforce that indoor plants are not only cheaper than expensive office décor but they also offer a guarantee of positively enhancing perception of wellbeing. Plants promote a welcoming and relaxing space.

 

Plants That Thrive In Offices: Spider Plant, Snake Plant, Peace Lilly, Air Plant, Prothos, Terrarium, Succulents and Cacti. Most of these will live happily in a warm office and survive with a watering once per week and have some daylight. Check out http://inhabitat.com/9-low-maintenance-plants-for-the-office/ if you want to explore more unusual indoor plants including the top 18 houseplants for purifying the air you breathe according to NASA. 

Therapy | Staying True to You

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Staying True to You

Moore & Moore Living

“It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.” ~E.E.Cummings

You are offered a wonderful new position with an attractive salary, re-locate to a new city which also means moving your cat (which is stressful as many of you will know) and you say all your goodbyes. Everyone is happy for you that life is progressing in the desired direction. Until, it turns out you are 1 month into the new post and start to realise that the position is not for you for many reasons out of your control. What do you do?

Option 1 - Stick it out and see if that things improve as the money is good.

Option 2 - Leave prioritising your peace of mind and tolerate the financial consequences.

Both these options are tricky and neither one is right or wrong. What might be the right thing for one person could well be the opposite for another.

 In this example, I took careful time to consider and connect with my values and what was really important to me, talked it through with Jonathan (my husband) and went for option 2. I figured life is not all about making lots of money and the more I thought about it, I really only value money as a currency and nothing more. It is something we have to exchange for good and services. I appreciate having a roof over my head is a physical need and and having a career is something dear to my heart. Don't get me wrong, I would love to not have to think about bills and have a big house. That alone would not fulfil me.

So how do we know what is important to us as individuals?

Values Assessment

In CBT we frequently use a tool called a Values Assessment which comes from Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). It offers an awesome opportunity to re-evaluate what is important to us as individuals across different aspects of our life with the support of the therapist. Values are our heart's deepest desires for the way we want to interact with and relate to the world, other people, and ourselves.

They are leading principles that can guide us and motivate us as we move through life. These help us to know that our current behaviour and way of living is in line with what is truly important to us individually. We know from research that when we are not having contact or exposure to the areas and things in life that provide us with a sense of meaning, purpose and fulfilment we are more likely to develop depression, anxiety, lack of connection and loneliness. Often taking steps closer to the areas we value can involve some emotional discomfort in the short term. Therapy helps to assist this process providing the education, gradual guidance and emotional exposure to some of the feared emotional experience. Values based questions can be difficult to get your head around too. 

As humans our animal part of our brain needs to be updated in moments when we are taking steps in line with our values (outside of comfort zone) as it will often be linked with anxiety, fear or other distressing feelings in the moment. It can provide lots of inaccurate interpretations of the situation. That combined with the bodily arousal it is understandable these situations are often result in avoidance or escape based responses. A sense of vulnerability is usually activated when taking steps close to one's values as it is holds a deep sense of importance to the individual. Short term discomfort, longer term connection. Anxiety is terribly uncomfortable to experience but the good news is that it will subside all by itself, if you let it. It is worth it! You are worth it!

Here are some work/personal development based questions to get you started.  

Examples of Work/Personal Development Values Questions:

What do you value in your work?

What would make it more meaningful?

What kind of worker would you like to be?

If you were living up to your own ideal standards, what personal qualities would you like to bring to your work?

What sort of work relations would you like to build?

What do you value about learning, education, training or personal growth?

What knowledge would you like to gain?

What further education appeals to you?

What sort of student would you like to be?

What personal qualities would you apply?

Mindfulness | When Did Busy Become the New Cool

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Since When Did Busy Become the New Cool

Moore & Moore Living

For our first blog we thought it only right to kick off with a topic close to my heart. I find myself often pondering this question and wonder what it means for the health and wellbeing of humanity. 

So, we are all well aware of the unstable governmental platforms globally. The current stresses and strains this places on our ability to have a so called "work-life balance" becomes increasingly more difficult. At the same time, we are still being overly influenced by society to do more, be more, and, only then, can we deem ourselves worthy enough to come up for air and have a moment to feel that we are doing "OK" and are in some basic way able to acknowledge ourselves. 

This struggle to accept ourselves fully in any given moment gets repeatedly jeopardised by the constant promotion of competition in society. We are so heavily influenced by the media to compare ourselves with those around us and it is paralysing. Our opportunity to be the best possible version of ourselves in the world rather that pursing some unrealistic ideal gets lost and what we are now facing is endless diary filling of more work or extra curricular activity. The purpose of this is mainly to demonstrate to the world how well we are doing and gaining some social status of "achieving" which ultimately signals that all is well, or is it? 

Whilst technology advances are pretty cool and help us to do many things, it also has a sh*t load of unintended consequences. On one hand, we have the world wide web at out finger tips which is mind blowing when you think about it. On the other hand, the impact of constant exposure is creating and maintaining various health difficulties including sleep difficulties, indecision, loneliness (despite a jam packed diary) lack of concentration, lack of confidence and self worth. In many cases this can lead to Anxiety, Depression and interpersonal difficulties which impacts one's ability to feel a sense of connection and life purpose. 

So when is enough "good enough" ? When do we step off this hamster wheel of productivity and give ourselves permission to slowly start to reconnect and re-evaluate what really is important to us? How do we find the space to draw on our courage and wisdom to commit to self-care and compassion?  I am convinced of the effectiveness of slowing down. Taking time to gently take each moment for each moment alone as we go about our day. I will be less productive I hear you say! Actually, the more we can practice being present from one moment to another we are improving our ability to be connected to ourselves more fully. 

Irrespective of your views on Mindfulness and Compassion these are the core practices that will sustain and help us to courageously slow down and live in the here and now. Obviously, not just being present for the sake of being present, this is where the compassion skills come into play. We need this stuff to help stay open hearted and connected in this often cruel and self-critically fuelled world we live in. We do not need to sit cross legged by an altar to practice this stuff. I would argue that this is the art of a healthy balanced approach to modern day living. It is a commitment and a practice we cannot perfect. Surely, we are worth the simple intention of doing one task at a time, slowing down as we face a busy schedule or even taking stuff out of our diary to really embrace the uncertainty of experience or getting to know what it is like to doing nothing and just enjoy the practice of just sitting and breathing. 

I hope as you read this you might be considering making some changes to your daily routine and schedule. Maybe have that bath or chat with a loved one that you have been putting off. A wise man once said "we do not have the time to rush". Slowing down may be the only time we can accurately contact with our life purpose and goals. Checking in with ourselves about what is our true intention in any given moment can offer us the space to pause and then take action in the most full filling way possible. 

The key thing to remember is that no matter what habits we fall into as a means of survival, that it is not our fault. We do not wake up and think "today, I plan to worry most of the day and be really distressed so that I cannot sleep". Some ways of coping have served us to this moment in time. How about we let go of the judgement and take responsibility to assertively take action in taking care of getting our needs met? This is within our control, this is something we can do to look after ourselves. After all, we are worth it and deserve to be happy. Changing our relationship with moments of distress or uncomfortable experiences is paramount. We cannot be willing to have all the happy life moments and not the upsetting or unpleasant ones. Busy mode stops our ability to self-sooth and regulate how we are feeling.

Next time you find yourself rushing around, pause and check in with yourself if your current or planned actions are something your future self will thank you for. And remember, in each moment there is an opportunity even just to sit and enjoy the gift of sitting and breathing. Be that source of self-care and self love to assist you in doing the things that really are important and letting go of what is not. Taking care of our needs in such ways activate our parasympathetic part of our nervous system which is linked to our self-soothing capacity, feelings of calm and safety. Our sympathetic part of our nervous system is linked to our stress mode and fight or flight arousal. Using basic mindfulness and compassion focused tools to reduce this unpleasant arousal is ace and it has lots of direct physical, psychological and emotional benefits. We have the amazing ability to learn and do this stuff.

I appreciate your office (or home space) may not look like this picture below however, consider taking time to contact momentary inner rest and calm in your breathing this week even if it is just for a few seconds at at time.