A Beginners Guide To Meditation

Meditation has proven health benefits and has been shown to reduce addictive behaviour and improve your relationship with yourself and others. Many of us struggle to find the time or motivation to meditate, but this need not be the case. It can be done any time and anywhere.  



The moment you move your attention from your thoughts to your breath you have started meditating. Begin to feel your breathing by observing the sensations that arise in the nostrils, chest, diaphragm or abdomen as you inhale and exhale. Your breathing is always available for you to use as a meditation, wherever you are and whatever you are doing.


As well as being aware of the feelings you experience as you breathe begin to notice other sensations that arise. Take a little journey around the body, making sure to cover every part. What can you feel in each area? You may feel hot or cold, tension, aches, tingling, perspiration or heaviness. The list is endless. But try not to label any sensations that you find; simply observing them is good enough.


Meditation is the opposite of excitement. When we are excited we are anticipating something in the future. When we meditate we are simply being in the present moment, here and now. Do not expect some flash of insight or transcendental moment of enlightenment. Simply be with the sensations that are arising for you now. Stop searching for anything.


Accept every sensation that arises anywhere in your body with equanimity; no sensation is good or bad. If we judge our sensations then we will begin to crave those sensations that we label ‘good’ or generate aversion towards ‘bad’ or ‘painful’ sensations.


Allow aches and pains to be there and move your attention to observe another part of the body. You may even find that some time later that ‘unbearable’ sensation has completely disappeared.


People say “I can’t meditate because I can’t stop thinking”. Want to know a secret? Nobody can. Every time you notice that you have stopped meditating and are thinking again, move your attention away from thought into feeling breathing sensations in the body. You have started meditating again. You’ll probably need to do this many times in just a few minutes.


As you spend more and more time observing bodily sensations, you’ll begin to notice which thoughts cause you to feel negative, unpleasant sensations in the body. Start turning angry or hurtful thoughts into loving thoughts and feel the difference these make in your body.


Once you start to see the benefits that meditating brings to your life, start making more time to do it. Set a timer (for ten minutes initially) and do not stop your meditation until the buzzer rings. Of course there will be times during the ten minutes when you will go off into the world of thought, but that’s okay. Every time you notice you are thinking, move your awareness away from thought and back into the body.

The more you practise meditating, the more able you will be to resist the temptation to listen to your own mind’s endless chattering.

Rachel x

Sukin Body Contouring Creme

Sukin Body Contouring Creme is one of my must have products!

It has a blend of Stevia and Mate leaves to help reduce the appearance of cellulite and keep skin looking smooth and toned. Infused with a combination of detoxifying Kale, Spirulina, Chlorella and Parsley, their contouring crème is antioxidant and vitamin rich with Moringa Oil and Black Seed extract to help nourish the skin. Coenzyme Q10, Coconut Oil, Macademia and Shea Buttet replenishes the moisture barrier and skin is left looking radiant.

Rachel x


Please note I was not paid to endorse this product.


doTERRA Peppermint Essential Oil

I am currently obsessed with doTERRA’s Peppermint oil! The high menthol content really does set it apart from others in terms of quality.

The health benefits of peppermint oil are endless, so here are just a few.

  •  Promotes healthy respiratory function & clear breathing.
  •  Helps to  reduce bloating, gas & indigestion.
  • Apply to temples to soothe tension headaches.


  • Use a drop of Peppermint oil with lemon water to make a healthy mouth wash.
  • Add a drop your favourite smoothie recipe for a refreshing twist.
  • Place one drop in the palm of your hand with one drop of Wild Orange and one drop Frankincense and inhale for a pick me up.

Directions for use

Diffusion: Use three to four drops in a diffuser of your choice.

Internal ingestion: Dilute one drop to 118ml liquid.

Topical application: Apply one to two drops to desired area. Dilute with a carrier oil to avoid any skin irritations.


Possible skin sensitivity. Consult your GP prior to ingesting and keep out of the reach of children.

Rachel x


Please note I was not paid to endorse doTERRA products in any way. 



Herbal Teas That Can Heal

Stick the kettle on and drink to your health with these vitalising brews.

The herbal teas that could heal common complaints

*Please note I have not been paid to endorse any of the teas mentioned.


For tummy trouble

Known for its soothing qualities, chamomile is calming for an upset tummy. It increases levels of glycine, an amino acid, and acts as an antispasmodic.

PUKKA Three Chamomile, £2.49 for 20 sachets


Improves skin condition

Rooibos contains alpha hydroxy acid which is good for your complexion. It also absorbs sebum (oil) and can be used to help irritations such as itchy skin, eczema, sunburns and acne.

Heath & Heather organic Rooibos, £2.25 for 20 sachets


Supports the respiratory system

Liquorice contains glycosides, which are acids that can reduce inflammation. Irritating coughs, asthma and chest infections can benefit from the soothing and calming properties.

Yogi Tea Liquorice, £3.65 for 17 sachets


Good for the blood

Studies have shown the flavonoids found in this brightly coloured tisane contain antioxidants known to reduce the dangerous build up of fatty deposits in the arteries.

The Natural Health Market organic Hibiscus, £8.54 for 50 sachets


Aids weight loss

This tea is thought to burn calories through a process called lipoylsis. This enables the body to use fat as its primary fuel source, rather than the sugar found in starchy carbohydrates.

Dragonfly Eastern Beauty Oolong tea, £4.99 for 15 sachets

Rachel x

5 Ayurvedic Ways to Prevent Colds and Flu


Cold and flu season is well and truly here, but in addition to eating a balanced, seasonal diet, there are many other Ayurvedic practices that can help you stay healthy throughout the winter months.

Here are my 5 best tips for avoiding bugs and staying healthy this winter:

1. Make a turmeric paste.

Turmeric, which is harvested in autumn for the winter, is an immune-boosting spice. Just take equal parts organic turmeric powder and raw honey and mix it into a paste. At the first hint of a cold, take 1 tsp of the paste every two hours until you’re feeling better. To make the formula even more potent, mix 16 parts turmeric to 1 part black pepper and make a paste with equal parts ghee and honey, and you’ve got a pretty amazing cold remedy.

2. Take Ashwagandha.

Ashwagandha is an adaptogenic herb that has many studies showing its immune-boosting properties. Adaptogens help people cope with stress, and since stress can be immune-compromising, [taking Ashwagandha] is a good strategy for staving off colds and flu. Take 500 mg of the whole organic root three times a day after meals when under stress or to prevent winter colds and flu.

*Consult your doctor before taking any supplements.

3. Give yourself an Ayurvedic self-massage every day.

The skin has millions of sensory neurons on it, so the nervous system is exposed. You can calm and de-stress the nervous system by using your skin as therapeutic access to the nervous system. Self-massage with immunity-boosting oils like sesame oil dampens and calms the nervous system on your skin and allows you to handle stress better, which directly relates to immunity. Plus, the oil helps prevent eczema and rashes, and it’s great for skin health and radiance.

4. Put oil in your ear.

Putting a few drops of warm oil in your ears at night (Sesame oil) lubricates the upper Eustachian tube and the cervical lymph nodes in the neck. Your lymphatic system carries your immune system. If the cervical lymph nodes get dry, you get swollen glands, which means the immune system is stuck in traffic. You want to keep the nodes lubricated so the glands are more effective at getting rid of any bad bacteria that may accumulate.

5. Start oil pulling or swishing.

Your mouth is your first line of defense against a cold. Oil pulling or swishing with herbalized oils takes away any bad bacteria and boosts good immune-boosting bacteria in your mouth.

Rachel x


My Top 5 Natural & Organic Shampoos

While we often worry about what goes in our cosmetics and skincare, we neglect to check the ingredients of a product we all use every day: shampoo. And unfortunately, almost all commercial shampoos contain ingredients that can harm your health.

The main such ingredient is sodium laurel sulphate (SLS).

With sodium laurel sulphate, dioxins are created – and they are some of the most potentially dangerous carcinogens in the world.

SLS is commonly used,  because it’s cheap and has the ability to foam up when mixed with a bit of salt. Unfortunately, many consumers have the perception that lots of foam=cleaner hair, but this is not the case: the foam itself doesn’t help clean your hair much. But SLS does get rid of grease, which is why it is used for cleaning engines and in kitchen floor cleaning products.

If you’ve ever wondered why shampoo labels always warn against getting the product in your eyes, it’s not because it stings–we all know that–it’s because SLS is highly irritating.

It’s also damaging to hair follicles, corroding the follicles and impairs their ability to grow hair. One study showed that if you use pure SLS on your scalp it will cause hair to fall out! Some Trichologist’s (hair specialists) believe that increasing use of SLS and the salt that is added to it to make it foam is leading more women to lose their hair (or to have it thin out) than ever before.

There are however other more profound health hazards associated with SLS. Scientists have studied the effects of SLS extensively, and their studies reveal compelling and alarming evidence indicating that it should be avoided. Among the findings is that SLS is rapidly taken up by eye tissue and retained; this is even more so for children. SLS is absorbed through skin contact, not just through the eyes, and has been documented to enter and maintain residual levels in the brain, liver, heart, and lungs. It can damage the immune system and cause severe inflammation of the skin, but scariest of all, the damage is accumulative, and once your immune system is damaged, it takes a long time for it to recover. This can lead to a form of suppression of your body that allows you to become more vulnerable to viruses or bacteria.

Unfortunately, it’s not only shampoos we have to watch out for. SLS is in a lot of other personal care products as well, including toothpaste, hand and body soaps, bubble baths, facial cleansers, shaving gel. But don’t worry – I will be posting healthier product alternatives for you all over the coming weeks. In the meantime, bin the SLS-laden shampoos in your bathroom and replace them with one of the fantastic SLS-free shampoos, all of which contain at least some organic ingredients, and which I have tried and tested myself, below.

Please note: I was not paid for any of these endorsements. 

Faith In Nature

Faith In Nature has an award winning natural shampoo range. Their shampoos contain herbal extracts and essential and organic oils to leave your hair feeling both smooth and glossy.

Their natural vegan shampoos are cruelty free, SLS and paraben free and are vegetarian. They use no synthetic colouring, fragrances or artificial preservatives in their shampoos to ensure that they are as natural as possible.

Price: Around £5.50


Dr Organic Shampoos

Dr Organics uses a combination of bioactive, organic and natural ingredients, such as argan oil, Manuka honey and aloe vera to get your hair clean and soft, but be warned: it also contains some synthetic surfactants like cocamidopropyl betaine, which some may find irritating but which has been given a low hazard rating (4) by the Environmental Working Group. Still, Dr Organic shampoo cleanses and foams up well, and the presence of humectants like Argan oil leave hair soft and tangle free. The shampoos also have a  lovely scent based on different natural ingredients such as mandarin peel oil, geranium oil, patchouli and cinnamon. My favourite is the Manuka Honey, which really does smell like you just fell into a honey pot!

Price: Around £6.29


Green People Daily Aloe Shampoo

Apparently a fave of Kate Moss’s, this is a soothing natural shampoo for all hair types, but especially for those with skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. Green People make a range of shampoos with various ingredients, and their products have no SLS or no foaming agents at all, and are also free of drying salt. I found a little of this lavender scented product went a long way.

Price: Around £12.50


John Masters

John Masters really is the ‘Master’ of natural hair care. His wide range of shampoos, conditioners, hair masks and styling products are fully based on natural ingredients, with many of these being from organic sources. I’ve tried and tested a good many of these, and have several favourites, including this Honey and Hibiscus Shampoo, which can be used every day. Fortified with soy, rice & oat proteins to renew and reconstruct damaged hair, this SLS-free shampoo permeates the hair shaft with nutrients and of course, the added organic honey and hibiscus make your hair smell wonderful!

Price: Around £20.00



Weleda Baby Shampoo & Body Wash

Looking for a shampoo for the baby? Or just have fine hair? Or maybe you want an all natural shampoo that won’t break the budget, and can also double up as a body wash? This shampoo really does tick a lot of boxes, which is why it’s been a European top seller for almost a century (that’s right – it’s been around for nearly 100 years!).This is a gentle, tear-free formula with anti-inflammatory calendula, and moisturising almond oil. It offers a highly gentle cleanse that will never strip your hair, and is kind to even the most sensitive skins. It leaves your hair with a slightly sweet, chamomile like scent.

Price: Around £7.50


Rachel X







Holistic Haven at Uniquely Organic EcoSpa


As some of you know last summer I joined the team at Uniquely Organic EcoSpa, I had previously visited the spa on a number of occasions as a client and had chosen the spa based on its principles and great online reviews.

I very much enjoyed visiting the spa for treatments and since joining the team have had the privilege of working alongside some truly outstanding therapists and decided to share with you all a bit about the spa and what we as a team strive to create.

About Uniquely Organic EcoSpa

Uniquely Organic was founded eight years ago by Kirsty Kianifard after she completed a BSc degree in cosmetic science. Having written her final dissertation on the organic beauty industry Kirsty wanted to create a completely ethical space offering clients the chance to have a beauty and spa experience that does not come at the price of the environment or at the health of our bodies. she has created a safe haven where pampering and ethical principles work in harmony, from fair-trade furniture and ecopaints in the interior design to the certified organic products applied during treatments.

Our Vision

Uniquely Organic EcoSpa aims to offer all clients individually-tailored treatments that address the body holistically in order to create improved health and increased overall well-being.


All the treatments have been carefully chosen for their holistic qualities and are carried out by highly-skilled therapists that have a genuine desire to heal and are passionate about delivering chemical-free treatments.


Environmental toxins are a challenge enough to keep at bay without actively applying them to our faces and bodies. Yet this is what most individuals do to themselves every day.

At Uniquely Organic, only certified-organic products are used in the treatments and there is a wide range of organic and natural products available to buy in the shop. All clients are always recommend to use organic products which minimise their daily intake of harmful chemicals and we have carefully selected ranges that offer a genuine organic alternative to mainstream brands.


Why not pop by and sample some of our face and body products or book in a treatment!

Our clients are THE most important part of our business, we really hope you will enjoy your experience at Uniquely Organic and that it will lead to a life of natural health, happiness and well-being.

Rachel x



Image Courtesy of Vanessa Tait