AFF DANCE WORKOUTAmethyst Dance Class

According to exercise psychologists, more people are turning to the dance floor for a workout instead of going to the gym regardless of gender or social status. The main reason being that Gym Dancing is enjoyable, safe, balanced and promotes fitness.

One session of AFF Gym Dancing lasts for about 45 minutes. Sessions are run by trained dancers or fitness instructors who use music and dance to create a ‘fun atmosphere’ to engage individuals to exercise.

AFF Gym Dance is mentally stimulating’ requiring focus on coordination and learning movement patterns in a group. It requires being mentally engaged with physical movement and a constant mind-body connection led by the facilitator.

Currently, AFF is running one class a month. This started on the 24th September 2016, with a plan of increasing it to two sessions monthly from January 2017.

AFF Gym dancing is an avenue for making friends and sharing ideas. Each class has a maximum capacity to engage about twenty participants.

At the end of each session, participants the liberty to mingle and chat with other group members for up to fifteen minutes.

AFF also employs professionals after each session to give a fifteen-minute talk/lecture on various topics such as nutrition, healthy eating, new recipes and cooking tips.

AFF looks after the total wellbeing of the individual; as such, we collaborate with various organisations and professionals. Gym members can access free information or be signposted to various organisations and professionals on specific issues.

Benefits of AFF Gym Dancing includes:-
1. Improvement in your general health and wellbeing
2. Toning your muscles and increased fitness
3. Weight management
4. A great way of having fun and making new friends
5. Healthy eating tips & avenue to learn new recipes
6. Signposting to professionals on specific issues


People should see their doctor and, perhaps, a physical therapist to have their pain issues diagnosed and treated properly. Pain is a warning signal that something may be wrong.

Dance shoes often don’t have the kind of cushioning and support that other exercise shoes offer. Style should not completely replace sensibility. Dancers should be careful about the footwear they select.

People can challenge themselves more than they should. As with any activity, pacing yourself, listening to your body and knowing your limits is important.

To find out more or add your name as attending the next class, please send us an email with name, and contact number to

Amethyst Recommends;

Fitness Quote

Fitness Quote

***Why not check out motivational wall quotes to help inspire you whilst working out***
Visit for more information

The Positive Family Experience

The Positive Family Experience

The Positive Family Experience

We believe that families should be a source of support, encouragement and love but sometimes relationships within families can suffer from strain and family members feel isolated and unappreciated.

For this reason we created our official MeetUp group, named “The Positive Family Experience” with the aim to make everyday life in the household a positive family experience and to restore any member of the household going through behavioral issues or difficulties in life.

Schermata 2015-12-17 alle 13.45.43


Our MeetUp events will consist of providing support through workshops based on parental and life skills, financial and time management; sharing real life experiences.

In our first event we will invite a well known family therapist who will hold a workshop and presentation on how to strengthen family bonds and improve the communication in the household.

Shortly after, we will invite nutritionists and counsellors to give advice in order to increase the wellbeing for all individual members.

If you want to strengthen your family bonds and enhance the communication in your household, you are more than welcome to join us following this link

Are you ready to become an ‘annoying adorable’??

Stay tuned for upcoming news…

It’s time to wake up: practical advice to start the day as best as possible!

It’s time to wake up: practical advice to start the day as best as possible!

It’s time to wake up: practical advice to start the day as best as possible!

How many times have you felt tired and unwilling to wake up and get the day started? Even if it is considered one of the worst parts of the day, the awakening process should be the most important because it allows us to conceive the day as a new opportunity rather than a duty. Unfortunately, having a positive conception of the awakening is not easy. Following these tips you will be more productive, active, and more rested while carrying out daily tasks.

Young man waking up --- Image by © Patricia Curi/Corbis

The light is life

A key point is going to bed with the shutters or curtains not completely closed, even if it is more pleasant to fall asleep in an absolute dark room. It is better for your awakening to be gradual with a little natural light entering from there. This is because the light stimulates the production of dopamine, which increases the energy, motivation and productivity.

Setting a smart alarm

The alarm is an enemy for many people. To improve your relationship, it is good to choose one with a delicate ring or sound in order to wake up with a tone likable to your hearing. If possible we suggest you to place it somewhere far enough in order for you have to get up and switch it off; minimising your risk of falling asleep again. In case you usually do everything quickly because you are in a hurry, you should set the alarm some minutes earlier than usual. It is for your body to enjoy a slow and progressive awakening; helping you to reactivate all your body’s functions step by step.

Start the day with some healthy stretching

As you wake up dedicate 5/10 minutes to some exercises such as deep breaths, leg stretching and slow circular movements of the head. These exercises will help you to awaken the elasticity and tonicity of your muscles that are numbing from the night resting.

yoga "Child's Pose" - female in sport clothes performing exercise

Water is everything

A big glass of water when you have just finished your stretching has many benefits for your health. Firstly it helps the awakening process, then water stimulates your metabolism to reactivate faster from resting and to feel more vigilant and industrious. Moreover it is said that it is also useful to prevent many diseases.

Breakfast call

The right breakfast can help you to start your day in a positive way and to feel healthy and full of energy all day long. Since it is the most important meal of the day, you should have it in the correct way. It is recommended you avoid too many carbohydrates and fats, while you should yield proteins. The best kind of food you could have for breakfast are eggs, integral cereals, fruit, yogurt, granola, spinach and black cabbage. Another important step for the family environment would be to have breakfast all together, perhaps talking about the dreams had during the night or the things to do during the day.


Many could object that to follow all of these suggestions you need to renounce a pleasant moment of resting: actually the well-being guaranteed from this process is much stronger than the well-being given from ten more minutes of sleeping, so it really worth it to be tried!

Stay tuned for further news.


12 vegan celebrities that might surprise you

12 vegan celebrities that might surprise you

12 vegan celebrities that might surprise you

On Sunday 1st of November 1st, the 71st anniversary of veganism and vegan society was celebrated.
Veganism “is both the practice of abstaining from the use of animal products, particularly in diet, and an associated philosophy that rejects the commodity status of animals”.
The World Vegan Day was officially established in 1944 to celebrate animal rights.
But being a vegan is not only an ethical choice to help animals. It’s also especially a health choice.
In fact recently newspaper and newscasts have been talking about the alarming issues raised by the WHO (World Health Organization) who said that red and processed meat can be considered carcinogenic. Obviously this statement needs to be taken carefully: this kind of meat is carcinogenic depending on the quantity, quality and frequency of consumption.
On the other hand being vegan needs a strict check in order to ensure a good contribution of vitamins, proteins and other essential nutrients.
 beef+broccoli vegan_Fotor
In the latest years veganism, which was often associated with a hippie life style and not very agreeable, has turned into a phenomenon thanks to a new army of celebrity followers and super-bloggers so veganism has suddenly become glamorous.
Many celebrities decided to convert to veganism, between them we can find: Jared Leto,  Jennifer Lopez,  Brad Pitt, Natalie Portman, Prince, Joaquin Phoenix, Ellen DeGeneres and Bill Gates. Furthermore even athletes Venus Williams and Mike Tyson converted into veganism. But on the top of the rank there are Beyoncè an JayZ who are partners in a vegan food company.
If you are interested in converting yourself into veganism, you should definitely have a look at one of the following vegan blogs and see how many delicious recipes that could inspire you:
Stay tuned for further news…

Halloween Carwash Bonanza

Halloween Carwash Bonanza

What a wonderful weekend! Good times with good food, sunshine and fundraising at the Carwash in Erith.
The Halloween Carwash Bonanza was great, the atmosphere was very joyful with the staff wearing their costumes and Amethyst’s staff going around the place to explain people our mission, even the customers were happy to help and definitely enjoying the Bonanza.
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It’s beautiful to see how people can work together for a good cause and that’s exactly what happened on Saturday.
In fact the event turned into a collaboration when some of our members joined in with the washing in order to help the carwash staff!
Moreover the carwashers did a brilliant job and got really involved in the event with their masks and capes. It was a very good show!!
During the day we had some trouble with the barbecue and couldn’t get it to light properly until the show was nearly over, however, in true Amethyst style no one was discouraged and it turned into a challenge to see who could light the barbecue first.
We also had many laughs when the owner of the Carwash, fixed Johnny (our friendly inflatable skeleton 180 cm high) to his drone and made it fly all over the place for a few minutes… We filmed it whilst the device filmed us from the sky – It was unbelievable!!!
New Picture (11)d
Last but not least we really want to say a huge Thank you to the carwash staff for the patience and participation, and especially to all of those who came at the Bonanza to support us, you are awesome!!!
Stay tuned for the next event, where we’ll be waiting for all of you….

How to overcome your fears

How to overcome your fears

With Halloween fast approaching, many people enjoy the element of make-believe that Halloween brings. The holiday is a welcome break from reality. Most enjoy feeling scared and seek the feeling, because deep down, they know they are in no real danger. They understand the real risk of these activities are marginal, and because of this underlying awareness, they experience excitement rather than actual fear.

But what exactly is fear? It can generally be definined as an emotion experienced in anticipation of some specific pain or danger; according to Buddhism it is living not with life but with mind only and according to a biological point of view, fear  is an emotional response induced by a perceived threat, which causes a change in brain and organ functions, as well as in behavior.

More generally we can argue that fear is the simple association of an event with a negative outcome based on real life experiences. People feel scared, anxious or afraid when they are about to do something which in past caused them some kind of trouble or pain or something that they know is going to make them suffer.

Here you can find 5 very quick steps which can help you to restore the calm in your body and your mind:

1) Take a deep breath

Deep breathing is known to be a very powerful tool against fear and anxiety. So as a first step just take some deep breaths and feel how fast you will feel better. The duration of the deep breathing is up to you, the only important thing is that the out-breath is longer than the in-breath. This is a biological condition that if repeated for 1 or 2 minutes will leads your body to calm down;

2) Write it down

Try to make a list of what scares you in a specific situation so you can focus on every step of your list and see it in a more objective way. Maybe you could also try to face those fears starting from the one that scares you less, so you’ll find out that it was not s hard as you though;

3) Prepare for peaceful performance

If you are going to do something that scares you, try to imagine your performance being great in order to attract positive vibes that will turn into calm to make you feel less stressed. This will of course leads you to good results.

4) Accept fear

Feeling scared or anxious about something is a very natural feeling so let it help you. Try to focus on what you are doing and take advantage of your anxiety to the extent that it can stimulate you to do your best.

5) Failing sometimes is helpful

Jillian Michaels once said “If you’re not failing, you’re not trying.” Failing is not always negative. In some cases you will find out how much you learnt from a failure. Moreover it’s important to analyze this failure so you can improve for the next time. Sometimes it’s even necessary to achieve your goals.

Now that you are able to deal with your fears and face them properly, you can join our team for the scariest Halloween ever:

On Saturday the 31st October, Amethyst Family Foundation’s staff will hold a Bonanza at Mirdon Carwash (Northend Road Service Station, Northend Rd, Erith DA8 3QF) from 11 a.m. til late.



During the event you will have the opportunity to enjoy the Halloween’s atmosphere with some light music, hot food and prizes to be won in a very fun way…

The purpose of this is to raise money for the local community and to spend some much-needed time together.

So don’t miss this opportunity – come and see us for an amazing time!

Welcome aboard

Welcome aboard

Welcome aboard

Amethyst Family Foundation is a non-profit registered charity in England and Wales created with assisting individuals and families in our community.
We believe that families are the foundation of our society, the glue that holds us all together and it is for this reason that Amethyst was established, to help foster a positive and beneficial change in our society.














One year ago we started a new programme named Amethyst Well-being, with the aim of helping anyone who wants to move beyond the frenzy of every-day life; money, anger, and fear and make the most out of life. Anyone who wants grow, flourish and become their most confident, happy, peaceful and abundant self. Whether you are feeling unappreciated, overworked, underpaid or unsatisfied at home or in the work place, we offer emotional support and work-stress counselling for individuals, families, employees and companies as whole who looking to improve the mental well-being.

Amethyst Wellbeing helps people to understand stress, personal wellbeing and work-life balance. We enable them to recognise the early signs and symptoms of stress, reflect on personal factors, perspectives and beliefs, as well as manage emotions and cultivate a positive frame of mind. Develop coping strategies and relaxation techniques is of upmost importance and compliments an improvement in exercise and fitness, sleep and nutrition.

Another topic which we deal with is personal resilience, arguably the most important resource for coping well and responding positively during challenging times.

Our help also is addressed to people victims of bullying or psychological abuse as well as to people feeling unsatisfied about their workplace. Amethyst Wellbeing helps people to realise that they are not alone and offers counselling to employed people for personal problems and  offers a range of services to employers, including advice and information to managers working with difficult situations, access to training, presentations and awareness sessions and input to well-being events.

Last but not least, we deal with mental health which highlights emotional well-being, the capacity to live a full and creative life, and the flexibility to deal with life’s inevitable challenges. Many people are unaware of displaying signs of a mental health disorder. Mental health has always been a particularly taboo subject, and Amethyst will help to identify, support and overcome problems so candidates can regain confidence and engage in society and working life.

So we decided to start this blog in order to help people having a more positive life and to know how to live a healthy life.

Stay tuned for advice and future updates and Welcome aboard Amethyst family’s journey.

Amethyst Joins The Fight Against Ebola!

Amethyst Joins The Fight Against Ebola!


When we learnt of how the Ebola crisis was affecting families, not solely in Africa but all across the world we knew we had to do something to help. The situation means that holding your sick child or visiting a dying family member becomes impossible! Our ‘Day without touch’ Challenge on 28th January 2015 where participants will spend the entire day avoid skin-to-skin contact with others will raise critical funds for those in need.

We need to assist the people of Africa who urgently need our help in the fight against the Ebola virus. Health care infrastructures and volunteers in countries already experiencing the full outbreak have limited resources and there is a world wide cry to help humanity put an end to misery, and also protect ourselves and dear ones as everyone is at risk from this deadly virus.Death toll has risen above 4,000 and is said rise to 10,000 new cases a week within two months if efforts are not increased.

This is a massive crisis, but the money donated will make a big difference and be used in the purchase and logistics of body temperature instruments to detect Ebola aiding protection and sanitation, ensuring this vital equipment gets into the right hands.

Visit our just giving page for more information or click our DONATE button above now and lets help those in need!

Amethyst Family Foundation; Join us on a journey – Chairmans Notes

Amethyst Family Foundation; Join us on a journey – Chairmans Notes

Ame fixed

It has taken some time for us to be formally recognised. We can now state categorically that we are a registered charity. It was indeed a challenge with a number of alternations having to be made initially.

Amethyst Family Foundation was registered under Charity Number 1153974, as a Charitable Incorporated Organisation – Foundation status.

I believe that the founding and guiding principle generating the fire and passion of us all is to help and support vulnerable individuals both at home and in the workplace.

Have you seen the news reports of the troubled families, sick days and depression on the rise from unhappy employment, children unable to relate to their families and other members of society… and continually being in trouble, and people drifting along, trying desperately to cope with situations of despair with no end goal in sight?

I am sure we all are aware of the increasing fragmentation of our society, with families coming under extreme pressures and stress, some breaking, some folding or bending and others splitting in many pieces, from dealing with economic, education, employment and racial challenges, spiritual, physical and emotional abuse without sustainable forms of support.

The challenge now facing us is to relieve the needs of those that are in need to the best of our ability, taking one step at a time.

So are you now willing to play your part in helping? What can you do?

For a start we would like to know what you feel is important to you and what you would like us to consider in the future – by way of programs, activities, and events.

Get involved, visit our ‘Get Involved’ page to see how you can you use your skills, experience or time to make a difference.

We have a simple aim and that is to relieve the needs of individuals and families who are in need by reason of age, youth, disability, ill health, financial hardship, social or economic circumstances in ways that the Trustees think fit.

Together we can achieve a lot, but it does take time, hard work and commitment. Can I count on your support?

Brain can be ‘retrained’ to prefer healthy foods

Brain can be ‘retrained’ to prefer healthy foods

Ame Food

The brain can be trained to prefer healthy food over unhealthy high-calorie foods, using a diet which does not leave people hungry,” reports BBC News.

It reports on a small pilot study involving 13 overweight and obesepeople who, aside from their weight, were described as being in good health.
Researchers looked at whether a dietary weight loss programme, known as the iDiet, could change how the brain’s reward system responds to high- and low-calorie foods. The iDiet included carbohydrates that released glucose slowly into the bloodstream (a low glycaemic index), and higher fibre and protein. It also aimed to reduce calorie intake by 500 calories (kcal), to 1,000kcal per day.

Adults on the iDiet lost more weight than those not on the diet. Interestingly, MRI scans suggested that their brains had increased the “reward” in response to anticipation of eating low-calorie foods and reduced the “reward” response to high-calorie foods compared to people not on the plan.
People can change their eating habits, which can lead to sustainable weight loss. This study supports this notion, and suggests that part of this may be related to changes in our brain’s “reward” response. The researchers hope to use this knowledge to improve weight loss interventions, but as yet it is not clear whether this will become a reality.

Where did the story come from?
The study was carried out by researchers from Harvard Medical School and other research centres in the US. It was funded by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging. One of the authors reported that she was the co-founder of a commercial weight loss programme (the iDiet) based on the approach described in the research paper.

The study was published in the peer-reviewed journal Nutrition & Diabetes, and has been made available on an open-access basis so it is free to read online.

The UK media has covered this research in a reasonable way. Both the Mail Online and BBC include comments from the lead researcher, noting that “there is much more research to be done here, involving many more participants, long-term follow-up and investigating more areas of the brain”.

What kind of research was this?
This was a randomised controlled trial, testing whether a new weight loss programme could change how the brain’s reward system responds to healthy and unhealthy food.

We need food to survive, but it takes effort to find and prepare food, so the brain “rewards” us for doing these tasks in anticipation of eating, by increasing levels of chemicals such as dopamine inside our brains.

This reward reinforces this behaviour. High-calorie foods provide more reward than lower-calorie foods, and this can cause people to choose these foods in preference to healthier options.

Reinforcement of this behaviour by the brain’s reward system may contribute to over-eating of these foods and, ultimately, obesity. The researchers say whether the brain can be trained to reverse this through a behavioural weight loss intervention, and therefore help to treat obesity, is not known. Two previous randomised control trials had found no impact of a weight loss programme on the brain’s reward system.
A randomised control trial is the best way to test the impact of an intervention on a given outcome. This was a pilot study, which means that it was a small-scale test to get some initial idea of whether the intervention works. If initial signs are positive, this would be followed up by a larger study to confirm these initial findings.

What did the research involve?
The researchers included 15 overweight or obese adults who were otherwise healthy and who were taking part in a larger randomised control trial of a weight loss programme called the “iDiet” in their workplaces. They had brain scans before and six months into the programme to see if the reward system in their brains had changed its response to the anticipation of high-calorie and low-calorie food.

Participants were randomly allocated to either the iDiet or no weight loss intervention for six months. The iDiet aimed to help people to lose 0.5 to 1kg per week in a sustainable way. Participants took part in group sessions that aimed to get them to reduce calorie intake by 500-1,000kcal per day (roughly the calorie content of a large takeaway cheeseburger).

They received weekly hour-long sessions for 15 weeks, followed by fortnightly sessions for eight weeks.

The iDiet included elements aimed at reducing hunger and reducing existing associations between unhealthy food and reward, while reinforcing associations between healthy food and reward. The researchers provided portion-controlled menus and recipes that combined low glycaemic index carbohydrates (providing about 50% of the diet’s energy) with higher fibre (40g/day or more) and protein (about 25% of energy from protein and fat). There were also specific low-calorie “free foods” that could be eaten as desired. This combination aimed to make participants feel fuller and reduce hunger.

The researchers had specific criteria for people to be eligible to take part in the brain scanning part of the study (for example, they could not have had any psychiatric problems in the last two years). It was not clear from the reporting exactly how many people in total were in the randomised control trial and how many in total were eligible for the brain scan part of the study.

Of the 15 people who enrolled in the brain scan study, two dropped out – one lost their job and one felt claustrophobic in the brain scanner. Eight of the remaining participants were in the iDiet group, and five were in the control group.

The study used a type of brain scan called a functional MRI (fMRI), which detects activity in different parts of the brain. The researchers were particularly interested in the part of the brain called the striatum, as this has been reported to be involved in giving “rewards”. The participants were shown 40 images of commonly eaten high-calorie and low-calorie foods while they were in the scanner, to see how their brains responded. The participants also rated each food from one (not desirable at all) to four (extremely desirable).

They were also shown non-food images so that the researchers could take into account how active the brain regions normally were when not exposed to food. The brain scans were taken four hours after a meal, so about when the participants would be ready for another meal.

What were the basic results?
Participants on the iDiet lost 6.3kg on average over six months, while the control group gained 2.1kg. It was not clear whether these results were for the entire randomised control trial, or just those participants taking part in the brain scan part of the study.

Compared to the control group, the iDiet participants showed greater increase in activation of one part of the striatum (a reward-related brain region) when shown low-calorie foods, and more reduction in activation of another part of the striatum when shown high-calorie food after six months. Other parts of the striatum that had previously been implicated in the food reward system did not show differences between the groups.

The iDiet participants reported a greater increase in desirability of the low-calorie foods, and a greater reduction in the desirability of the high-calorie foods than the control group. However, this difference was not large enough to reach statistical significance.

The changes over time in brain response did not appear to show a relationship to changes in eating behaviour in the eight iDiet participants.

How did the researchers interpret the results?
The researchers concluded that this was the first randomised control trial to show changes in the brain reward system response to high- and low-calorie foods in response to a weight loss programme. They suggest that interventions that take advantage of this should be explored for their ability to enhance how effective behavioural weight loss interventions are, and how sustainable the weight loss is.

This small study has shown that a successful dietary weight loss programme is associated with changes in the brain’s response to images of high- and low-calorie food. Participants in the programme showed greater brain activity in one reward-related part of the brain in response to low-calorie foods, and less activity in another reward-related part of the brain in response to high-calorie foods. This effect was not seen in people who had not taken part in the programme.

There are a few things to bear in mind when interpreting this study:

  • The researchers are not able to say whether the change in brain response came before and contributed to the weight changes, or whether they came after and potentially resulted from the changes in weight.
  • The researchers were not able to show a relationship between eating behaviours and the level of activation in the reward centres – so they can’t say for certain that the brain changes seen were linked to changes in what people actually ate.
  • The brain activity seen was in response to pictures of food rather than actual food, and this may differ.
  • The groups did have different levels of dietary restraint at the start of the study, and this could influence results.
  • The study was small (13 people) and a relatively short-term part of a pilot randomised control trial, so findings would need to be assessed in a larger study to see if they could be confirmed in a wider sample of people over a longer period.
  • It is not possible to say whether the changes in brain activity seen are specifically related to the approach taken in the iDiet programme, or whether other dietary programmes would have a similar effect.
    • In conclusion, this study confirms that people can change their eating habits and weight. It also suggests that part of this may be related to changes in our brain’s “reward” response to high- and low-calorie foods. The researchers hope to use this knowledge to improve weight loss interventions, but as yet it is not clear whether this will become a reality.

      For a free alternative to commercial diet plans, why not try the NHS weight loss plan.
      Analysis by Bazian. Edited by NHS Choices

Contact Details

Engine House Bexley,
2 Veridion Way. Erith.
DA18 4AL.
Telephone; +44208 3201044.

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