My Top 10 Tips for Mindful Eating

You have suc

Things have been very busy lately. Between a busy schedule, raising a baby and all those other things that make up ‘life’ I have found myself rushed and completely stressed. Everyone has their ‘tells’ when life is getting a bit out of control and for me I have two very obvious ones. Firstly, I start talking jibberish. For example, in a recent conversation with some very confused acquaintances I referred to my darling daughter Lucy as ‘a gorgeous little boy’. Awkward. And I scoff. Boy, do I scoff. Like a python – no need for chewing, just dislocate the jaw and she’ll be right!

On chatting with a few people about it, it seems this scoffing phenomenon is very common. And it comes in many forms and with many different triggers. Eating badly due to an unwanted emotion, eating needlessly just because there is food in front of you, eating out of habit , snacking out of boredom. This way of eating shows a disconnect between your mind and body and can lead nowhere good. We need to connect the two and be fully present – and dare I say grateful? – about what our bodies are doing.

It is all about mindfulness.

Mindfulness is at the base of all those gorgeous ancient practices we love – meditation, yoga, any of the vedic sciences. It simply means to be in the present moment. If you haven’t officially given meditation a go we can do a damn simple exercise right now. Get comfortable in your seat. Close your eyes and take 5 deep breaths in and out – concentrating only on your lungs filling up and then emptying. Observe any sensations in your body – How do your toes feel on the ground? The back of your thighs on your chair? Anytime a thought crosses your mind, acknowledge it (I  mentally say ‘thought’) and let it drift on. Sit there for a few minutes. As soon as you flutter those eyes awake notice how much better you feel; how much more in tune with yourself.

Now imagine how powerful a tool it would be if you could transfer that practice to your eating methods. It is called Mindful Eating and it is a wonderful skill to conquer.

My Top 10 Tips for Mindful Eating

1. Cook with love

This may be considered new-age phooey but it is fact – thoughts create energy. So if you are making dinner resenting it and thinking about your awful day, things that annoyed you, how much you hate your body – it is going to have an effect on the food you create. There is an awesome demonstration of this in one of my fave documentaries What The Bleep Do We Know?! Dr Masuru Emoto experimented on the effect of energy on water. Viles of water had different words taped on them, were left overnight and then were photographed under a microscope. The results are pretty amazing – see it here.

2. Pause

Pause before you start eating. Before every meal take a few breaths in and out to appreciate what you are about to do. Be grateful for what you have. Take a few moments to really look at your food and notice the colours, the textures and smells. The power of this simple moment is quite amazing.

3. Smaller serves

Serve your food onto a smaller plate. Because there is less you will naturally slow down and savour your food more. I find that by the time I get to the end of a bowl half the size of my regular I am full. This is also why my husband and I share meals when we go out to tea nowadays.

4. Switch off

Remove all the distractions! I am talking technology or anything else that reroutes your brain-power – TV, computer, phone. There are plenty of studies around that have shown that people overeat if they are focused on anything other than their plate with the average overeat estimated at 45% more than non-distracted diners.


Have you ever tried running to a song with a very slow beat? It’s hard. Your jog turns to a plod. Yet whack on some Black Eyed Pea’s and off you go! It is the same with eating. As humans we naturally search for rhythm so if you like to listen to music while you eat then make sure it sets you at a slow, calm pace.

6. Eat in a sacred space

Only eat at the table (or the romantic equivalent e.g. a picnic blanket). Pressure points – the car, public transport, in front of the tv, while you are cooking!

7. Become a food critic

Discuss the flavour in detail with your friends, family or cat if you live alone. Really connect with the party that’s going on in your mouth. The other day I had a very deep conversation with my dogs and Lucy about the flavour of sesame oil (it’s hard to describe!).

8. CHEW!

Seems obvious but did you know that there is actually a widespread phenomena of Mastication Deficiency in western cultures. We are scarfing, gobbling and washing food down with drinks. Chewing is not just the delivery method of our food to our guts – it is actually a vital step in the digestive process. It breaks down our food and gets are bodies producing digestive enzymes that are so vital for breaking down food effectively and absorbing all the goodness and passing on the bad bits. As an exercise try chewing every single mouthful 30 times. Turn your food into liquid. This is my favorite mindful eating exercise as it really puts your eating habits into perspective!

9. Slow down

Do not reload your fork before you have finished the mouthful. I find putting my fork down between bites helpful. If you need even more help you could try eating with your wrong hand, eating with chopsticks or eating with smaller cutlery (like a teaspoon or cake-fork).

10. Bring the ritual back to your home


Eating together used to be such an important time. I remember as a kidlet being SO excited to have that time where my mum, dad and brother all sat together at night and our only distractions were each other. We were given that one beautiful time of day where the to-do lists were crossed off and our only job was being a family and enjoying the hell out of each other. So make it enjoyable – whether you have a family, or room mates, or some pets or just yourself. Make your table a beautiful place that you want to be. Break out the good crockery, drink water out of wine glasses, light your good candles. Lets rediscover the beauty of sitting together and eating food cooked with love. I read this quote the other day and I just adore it;

Think of mealtime as a celebration. After our whole family has survived another day, with all of its ups and downs, we come together in the evening and celebrate together. We don’t have to wait for birthdays or holidays to be happy together. Life is short. It doesn’t matter that we’re eating macaroni and cheese with mismatched forks. What does matter is that we make mealtime a relaxed and enjoyable time together. Let us make our kitchens creative centers from which emanate some of the most delightful of all home experiences.

“Follow Joyously”, November 1980

Doesn’t that make your heart sing!


What do you do to eat mindfully? I would love to hear in the comments. 

Kicking Candida’s Butt Phase 2: The Diet

Click image for source: Vivienne McMaster

Click image for source: Vivienne McMaster

So it is Day 15 of my Candida Cleanse and boy-oh-boy a lot has happened since I last wrote to you on Day 3. In fact so much as happened that I needed to take a little blog siesta just to concentrate on my health. There have been revelations, epiphanies and breakdowns. Jubilation and desperation. Leaps forward and stumbles back.

Where We Left Off…

So in my last post (here) I spelled out exactly what you need to do on the cleansing period. I was warned that in the cleansing period I would experience some pretty nasty detox side-effects (attractively termed ‘Die-Off’). Day 3 came and went and I felt pretty damn smug that I had not experienced anything. However from Day 4 through to the next week I was hit hard. As you may have seen on my Facebook page or Instagram I had a rather puzzling symptom. At 10:30pm on the dot every night I got a massive, itchy rash all over my body. It was red and welted and stung like hell and kept me awake until about 2am which gave me approximately 59 minutes of sleep before my darling daughters’ 3am maddy-hour! You should have seen me that week. I was a delight.

**Thanks to my amazing social media friends for all their support, suggestions and shared horror. Turns out it was all part of the detox and the healthier I got it slowly stopped happening.

But, my fellow Candida sufferers, there was light at the end of the tunnel! On Day 9 I felt AMAZING. I woke up feeling clearer and lighter than I had in a long time. My stomach looked slimmer and I had so much energy. Mood swings stopped, I wasn’t having my 5pm dip where I would feel completely exasperated by the day and my husband and I stopped bickering entirely. To make matters better I lost 4kgs which put me under a weight threshold that I have been stuck above for 3 years. I felt like I had found my answer.

Anyway… back to the diet!

Your Candida recovery comes down to three main elements.

  1. Diet
  2. Probiotics
  3. Antifungals

Even though it is reasonably restrictive the diet is also very, very doable. Rather than listing off exactly what you can’t have… lets focus on all the awesome, nourishing foods that you can!

What to eat!

As with the cleanse period you are only allowed select vegetables of the non-starchy variety – again no carrot, parsnip, pumpkin (squash), sweet potato (yam/kumara), beetroots, peas or potato. If humanly possible source organic produce – you want to help your liver/digestive system as much as possible which means lightening the toxic load where you can. You are also allowed to add in certain meats, fish, non-glutinous grains, probiotic dairy products, nuts, seeds and seasonings. You then must have a heavy dose of probiotics and antifungals throughout the day (more on that later).


It is essential that you source organic meat. The reason being animals that are grown in conventional meat and dairy industries are fed antibiotics to combat the stress of their living conditions, over-crowding and their unnatural (grain-based) diets. Cows are also fed growth-hormones to keep up an unnatural year-round supply of milk. The bacteria in your gut is already haywire and antibiotics are only going to make it worse. In fact, antibiotics are one of the most common causes of candida overgrowth. It is more expensive but you are investing in your health – not to mention a far more ethical and environmental way of eating. (I will be posting in coming weeks how to balance your money and ethics while consuming meat – I am passionate about animal rights and this new diet as been a struggle. But I have found ways!).

Meat must be unprocessed and whole – this means nothing cured (bacon, salami etc). No pork. No luncheon style deli meats.


Same goes with fish. You need wild-caught fish as opposed to farmed. Fish are also fed medicated food. (If you haven’t looked into fish farming I sincerely recommend you do – it is eye-opening and jaw-dropping and basically, a little terrifying). Aim for small fish like anchovies, sardines and herring which are lower in the food chain and have therefore have not bioaccumulated as many contaminants. They are also far more sustainable – DOUBLE WIN! If you eat salmon it must be wild caught.

Probiotic Dairy

Proper organic probiotic yoghurt and kefir (a grain that you ferment) are also allowed. The reasons doctors tell you to consume lots of yoghurt when you are on antibiotics is because the live cultures help kill the Candida yeast and balance your system! I have cut dairy completely and have been feeling great for it but lots of people I have spoken to recommend it.

Nuts and seeds

You want to include nuts and seeds that have low mold content. So you are going to focus on almonds, hazelnuts, pecans, walnuts, flax seed, pumpkin seeds (pepitas) and sunflower seeds. Sadly cashews, peanuts and pistachios are off the menu.

Almond milk is allowed too! See my recipe here.

Non-Glutinous Grains

Buckwheat, millet, oat  bran and quinoa are all on the menu.

All these grains are not actually grains, they are grain-like seeds. They are also full of fiber which is essential for keeping that digestive system cranking.

Seasonings, herbs and spices

Woohoo – here is the fun bit. You are allowed SO many yummy flavourings.

  • Coconut oil (virgin, cold-pressed) is encouraged as it is a natural antifungal. I have a teaspoon in my lemon water every morning. I cook with it. I rub it on my body. Actually… interesting story. When I was having my 10:30 rash-athon I rubbed coconut oil over myself and the rash went away. Magic. Powers.
  • Olive, sesame and flax oils are all okay.
  • Cayenne, garlic, ginger, cinnamon, pepper, paprika and rosemary all have antifungal properties which means – load ‘em up baby!
  • Apple cider vinegar – as always – is good for you!
  • Coconut aminos are a great alternative if you are a bit soy/tamari obsessed like a certain candida-cleansing blogger that shall remain unnamed.


Stevia and Xylitol are both natural plant-based sweeteners that are allowed on the cleanse (stevia is great for hot beverages; xylitol for baking).

Personally I choose not to use them. The jury is out on the long term effects of it. There are massive fans (like here) and not (like here) and fence-sitters (like here). You make the call.

Not on the menu

So now that I have told you all the yummy bits you can eat if you do want to see a list of what you can’t then look at this one here. Basically no fruit, sugar of any type, starch, beans, mold containing nuts, processed anything, soda.


You know that stumble I mentioned in the introduction. Yeah. Day 12. I read somewhere that alcohol is not technically the worst thing in the world for your Candida Cleanse because there is actually very little sugar in alcohol. But basically I think I found an article that facilitated some sort of faux loophole in the diet. I had a dinner party on Friday and one wine turned into many. I had felt on top of the world yet 3 days later I am still feeling the effects – my rash came back, I feel hot and clammy and I am bloated. So from now on I am going to avoid alcohol as much as I can. It does not serve me.

We are humans and not robots. We are making a massive life changes and habits are hard to break. So try as hard as you can and if you fall off then get back on (read how to here). Perfect example of this attitude is this incredibly brave article from Sarah Wilson. Even if you take two steps forward and one step back you are still moving in the right direction!

P.s. Beer is a total no-no (yeast!). Wine has the highest of alcohol sugar contents. Whoops! Best option? Vodka with a little squeeze of citrus.


Your Candida diet without probiotics does not work. The probiotics are essential in your recovery (and in daily candida-free life as well!). They help your digestion and create a healthy balance of your gut flora in your digestive tract.

I have bought a probiotic supplement called Ultrabiotics45 which has 45 million friendly bugs from 9 different probiotic strains. This cost around $50 for 30 pills. For the first 2 weeks I took 2 a day (one with breakfast and one with dinner). This meant that I used the entire bottle in the first fortnight which means the first month is reasonably expensive. But after that you can drop back to 1 a day.

In addition to this I have been consuming natural sources of probiotic like raw sauerkraut (fermented cabbage), probiotic yoghurt and kefir. You can order kefir online here and you can make your own sauerkraut reasonably cheaply at home – here is an awesome recipe.


Antifungals and probiotics are partners in crime. Antifungals kill the yeast and probiotics then build up the good bacteria.  So, in addition to those yummy spicy antifungals mentioned above you may also want to introduce some supplements or other natural sources.

Oil of Oregano

You can get this from most health food stores. It costs around $30 and you can add it to water, drop it under your tongue or add 3 drops to your oil-pulling ritual.

Caprylic Acid

A very common supplement is Caprylic Acid which comes in a capsule however I try and take the wholefood option where possible. Guess what has lots of caprylic acid? Coconut oil! Every morning I have a super-duper fungal killing beverage made up of the juice of ½ a lemon, 1 teaspoon coconut oil, 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar, some grated ginger and a sprinkle of turmeric. YUM.

Olive Leaf Extract

I add a teaspoon of this to my green smoothie in the morning. I made a massive mistake by trying to drink it straight the first time. Vile. Approach with caution. I would advise to dilute in smoothie, juice or at least water.

Pau D’arco

Why is it that all superfoods are from South America? Pau D’arco is made from the bark of a very strong tree and I will go on record as saying that it will be the next big thing in the health food world. There are some amazing studies being done on the effect of Pau D’arco  on all sorts of diseases like arthritis and cancer.

I take a supplement that cost $33 from a health food store. Similar to the probiotics I took 2 a day for the first day then 1 a day forward from there. You can also buy it as a tea. You should not take this if you are pregnant, breast-feed or have any sort of blood disorder.

You Ready?

So safe to say that this diet is not for the faint-hearted and that it is a bit of an investment. My husband and I have cringed at the cost of all these new ingredients and supplements. The price has also gone up because where we would usually pad our meals out with a bit of a starchy vegetable we are now literally on protein and green vegetable.  BUT we are both feeling the effects and know that if we just stick at this for a month or two then are lives are going to be entirely different.

In the coming weeks (perhaps months) I will be sharing recipes that I have been creating, tips on how to keep your budget down and ways to curb those cravings that hit you like a freight train at 3pm.

Yeah… you’re ready. Lets do it!!!


Kicking Candida’s Butt – The Cleanse Phase


It has begun. I am officially on Day Three of my Candida Diet Journey.

Since I wrote my post about my Candida diagnosis (here) I have been flooded with emails. Some readers who are struggling with their own Candida issues, others felt very convinced after reading the symptoms checklist that they had it and then there were those gorgeous, encouraging words from people that had beaten it. Here is a paraphrased email from one gorgeous lady;

I just wanted to extend any support you may want along the way with Candida, its a nasty bitch! I dont mean to make it sound like you are going to war but I really did struggle and get lower within myself before results started to show, I pretty much stopped doing all other things in my life besides the given work and loving my man and our fur babies, social with good friends. Everyone’s story is different. No doctor could tell me anything except I was healthy and it was all in my head. Going to what most of my friends would call a witch doctor aka naturopath was the best thing I ever did in my life. In 3 months I lost 10kgs and my cray cray cleared.

You my electronic friend can totally do this!

A lot of gorgeous women also contact me however feeling completely overwhelmed by all the information and wanting to know my plan of attack. So I have decided to share it with you as I go along. I will be spelling out exactly what I do, how I feel, how much it costs and any tips and tricks I learn along the way.

For me it will be a 2 month process though some people go as long as a year! There are a few stages: preparation, the cleanse, the candida diet and then reintroducing foods (or not). So lets gets started.

The Week Before – Preparation

As soon as I realised what was wrong with my body I wanted it gone immediately. I was ready to tip my honey down the drain the very next day. After some sage advice thought I realised that this is not the sort of eating plan to jump into rashly. This sort of undertaking takes preparation –mentally and in terms of stocking your kitchen.

To set myself up for success I made a vision board and a reminders list. The vision board had pictures of times when I had been happy with my body and how I felt in it, images of how I want to feel and motivations – like my husband and Lucy. I have included it below.

candida Vision board

Then there is my Reminders List which is a list of all the symptoms I no longer want and a few notes I made about how unwell I currently feel. I don’t like to stick these reminders in plain sight as it is negative reinforcement. But I know if I am ever on the verge of cracking I can pull the list out and be reminded of exactly why I am doing this. One to get me motivated, the other to keep me accountable. Check.

You also may need to tell your friends and family for support and to avoid any inconveniences. I have forewarned everyone that I will not be able to come to their house for dinner for the next 2 months unless I bring my own food. This avoids the awkward ‘sorry I can’t eat that’ conversation every time you are going to go over. This being said I am strictly sticking to the 100% organic component of the diet, if you are going to be a bit relaxed a simple dinner of meat/fish and vegetables would be fine. So I guess it depends on how comfortable you are with the invitee. I will also be focusing catch ups around walks and tea houses rather than wine bars. Sigh.

Beyond that I needed to stock my cupboard. Aside from filling the fridge with diet friendly foods there were also strange ingredients to buy that weren’t commonly in my cupboard. I will list them all as the series progresses but for example you need probiotics, antifungals and other kooky bits like Edible Clay (read on!).

Week 1 – The Cleanse

For the first 3 – 10 days you must cleanse your colon. How sexy is this diet by the way? My diet pre-cleanse was free of refined sugars and most packaged foods so I am only doing a 3 day cleanse, however if you have had a diet that was heavy on those sorts of foods you may need to commit to a bit longer. Feel it out and see how you go.

Candida colonies are primarily found in your colon so you need to flush as much of the bacteria out before embarking on a diet that’s sole purpose is to kill it. When Candida bacteria die of suddenly and in large quantities it lets off a lot of by-products (neurotoxins etc) which can leave you feeling pretty poorly. This is called die-off. So you want as much of the bacteria gone before you incorporate antifungals and probiotics to give yourself a bit of a head start on healing.


Your diet must be made up solely of select raw and steamed vegetables. Nothing starchy must pass thine lips. No carrots, potatoes, sweet potatoes (kumara/yam), pumpkins, squashes, parsnip, beetroots or turnips.

You are allowed herbs and spices – in fact a lot of them are natural antifungals. So I have been tarting up my dishes with garlic, ginger, coriander and cinnamon.

While this has been a relatively boring few days of eating it has definitely been bearable. Spices and herbs are my saviours.

For a full list of the vegetables, oil and spices you are allowed to eat see here.

Colon Cleansing Tonic

To flush my system I start every day with a colon cleansing tonic of Bentonite Clay and Pysllium husks. I know it seems strange to eat clay but here is a great article about all the benefits but in short the clay binds to tee toxins in your body and the fibre escorts it from the building.

I ordered the clay online from Australian Healing Clay for around $20 (including delivery) and it arrived within a few days. Here’s how you do it;

  • 2 teaspoons Bentonite Clay
  • 1 tablespoon Pysllium Husks
  • 1 cup water (filtered if possible)
  1. Mix the ingredients and then drink quickly as Pysllium swells in water.
  2. Then drink another glass of water.

Do not drink this before a long journey on public transport as you will need to consult a toilet within the hour. You have been warned. I was on the toilet within 20 minutes.

In the spirit of honesty I will say that I struggled the first time I did this. It does not taste offensive in anyway but for some reason the texture made me feel queasy. This being said I felt exactly the same way about oil-pulling at first and I can do that standing on my head nowadays.

You can have this up to 3 times a day. I also have one in the evening after dinner.

Not sure about that, Mum?

Not sure about that, Mum?

Olive Leaf Extract

Straight after my shake I have a teaspoon of Olive Leaf Extract which is a potent antifungal. You can get it at most health food stores for around $30. It can only be described as pungent and you can mix it with water if you need to.

If you are experiencing die-off symptoms already then omit taking any antifungal during your cleanse. You want to ease yourself into this diet without feeling horrendous. Wait a week – then add it back in and see how you go.

Liver Cleansing Tonic

You colon isn’t the only one working hard. Your liver is processing a hell of a lot too. To support it you can drink this cleansing tonic in the evening. If you have had a Colon Cleansing Shake you must wait one hour before drinking the Liver Cleansing Tonic.

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • Small chunk of fresh ginger
  • 1 cup water (filtered if possible)
  1. Blend together and drink

This step is optional but is good to do. I added a bit of extra ginger to cut through the taste and make it a bit more palatable.
My Typical Day on the Candida Cleanse

Pre-Breakfast  Colon Cleansing Tonic1 teaspoon Olive Leaf ExtractWarm water with lemon, Apple Cider Vinegar and coconut oil
Breakfast Green Smoothie – kale, silverbeet, cucumber, ginger, mint, filtered water, Spirulina, chlorella
Snack Avocado with tomato and onion and lots of pepper!
Lunch Steamed broccoli and cauliflower with garlic, ginger, chilli and coriander stirred through
Snack Green juice or smoothie (same as above)or Herbal Teaor glass of water with shot of wheatgrass powder
Dinner Steamed broccoli and cabbage with garlic, ginger, chilli and coriander stirred through
Post-Dinner Colon Cleansing TonicHerbal tea1 hour later – Liver Cleansing Tonic

Other Tips

  • Remember you are cleansing… so the number one rule is WATER WATER WATER!
  • Keep up any of your other detoxifying habits for extra effect (or add some in) like oil-pulling and dry body-brushing. I am also spending 15 minutes in the sauna every day but that is a bit of a luxury.
  • Tell yourself every day what an amazing thing you are doing for yourself.

In my next post I will go over the diet and over the coming months I will share my experiences, recipes and revelations as well. You can also follow my journey on Facebook or Instagram or sign up to my newsletter here.

If you think that you may also want to try out the Candida Diet then by all means send me an email and we can hold hands together. It is going to be a long two months but my goodness the results are going to be worth it.

Have you ever made a massive lifestyle change? Was it worth it? Tell me all about it in the comments…

Do You Need To Just Stop?

blog31Image credit here.

About three weeks ago I was so overloaded that I had a breakdown. Problem was I was too busy to realise it. So my body upped the ante. It’s funny how that happens.

In my mind I was busy but coping. I was high on inspiration and the plans in my head were deafening. Blog, study, coaching, family, event planning, house stuff, growing my business, socialising, trying a new way of eating, fitness and e-books. Oh yeah – and I am raising an increasingly mobile 9 month old. Who doesn’t sleep. Ever. No biggie. You’re fine Em. Actually bugger it – let’s throw in a new website for fun.

Then things started getting fuzzy. I noticed I was using my Emergency Bush Flower Essences a bit more than usual. My chest felt consistently tighter. I started chewing my nails. Those old panicky feelings were creeping back. I knew the signs by now. I knew exactly what to do. So I decided the time was now to plan a retreat, start running again, plan my veggie patch and rearrange the kitchen.

Then for the first time my darling daughter got sick. She had a terrible cough and needed constant love and attention which I was of course happy to provide. But then as soon as she fell asleep – PING! I was rushing from room to room typing a sentence here, doing a few dishes there. I felt a little under the weather but needed to get things done so I soldiered on.

And then I got sick. I got so sick that I couldn’t get out of bed. Family were called, my now well daughter was looked after and I was left to rest. No baby? That’s the perfect time to clean the house! I started walking around the house, not-really cleaning and blubbing. Until my husband came in and scolded me good and proper and told me to just stop. So I did. I woke up 26 hours later with a whole new set of eyes.

Here I have to point out that this aint no pity party. I am not complaining about anything on that list. I am so insanely lucky that life is going in a direction that is so exciting that I want to sprint it. I am even luckier again that my back-pack is so heavy with wonderful people and opportunities. But when you are living at that speed with that much weight, something is eventually going to give. For me it was my health for a very short few days but it was enough to get the point across. If I kept pushing myself and kept ignoring the signs what would my cold be replaced with? Or would it be looking back at lost time with my husband and daughter? Just soaking up sun rays? I also stumbled upon this quote;

Don’t be so busy making a living that you forget to make a life.

This hit me. The driving force behind every decision I have made since 29th November 2012 is Lucy. I want to be the type of person that she admires. I want her to have memories of us exploring, playing, relaxing. Not of her mother frantically running around the house trying to get everything done and checking her bedtime story off like a chore. And for the second time in so many weeks, I just stopped.

And since I stopped swimming against the current, life is flowing with ease and grace. Just like David Wolfe told me it would. In fact I have worked less but achieved more. There is always going to be a bigger goal, another dream or a PB to smash. If you are focused only on whats ahead of you, you are never going to enjoy what you have already achieved.

So basically the point of this slightly indulgent post was to urge you to take the step back and ask the question. Are you rushing through your life? Are you making sure to show yourself the love you deserve? When was the last time you just pondered how fucking awesome this moment right now is?

Do YOU need to just stop

Mel’s Famous Goji Berry Bliss Balls

The universe has been delightful again and has smashed me into contact with the absolutely gorgeous Mel from Raw Energy and Wellness. As Mel will tell you below, she is a Remedial Massage Therapist and Personal Trainer and has just moved to the my glorious end of Australia (the West). She also just happens to be a fellow IIN colleague and I am telling you now, she is going to do big things with her Health Coach qualification! I’ll hand the microphone over to Mel now to introduce herself and then share her protein-packed bliss balls… 

melAfter leaving School 15 years ago my first stop was cooking school. I wasn’t really sure what in the world I wanted to do but I knew I loved to cook for people so decided my new aspiration was to become a chef. After being told, quite politely, by my teacher at that time that I talked to much to be stuck in a kitchen everyday, I went on a career hunting adventure over many years. I tried soooo many things…Horticulture, waitressing, landscaping, accounting, started a business degree, interior design, sports management and finally found my calling when I qualified as a Personal Trainer and opened my first boutique gym 6 years ago.

Although I did love what i was doing I always had a deeper desire to further help people, so completed a number of extra nutrition and coaching certificates and enrolled myself to become a Remedial Therapist. I thought this would help me on the road to “fixing” people.

However, as before, I still felt that burning desire that there was something else out there for me to learn in order to motivate and inspire people to become the best version on themselves they could possibly be. This is when I stumbled across the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, this is what I claim to be my “light bulb moment”. It made so much sense to tie in all of my knowledge and experience into this one qualification: a HEALTH COACH.

Since enrolling 3 months ago I haven’t been able to contain my excitement and so many doors have started swinging open. I am so grateful for the new path my life is taking and would you believe that after 15 whole years my passion for cooking has returned. Although this time around, after everything I’ve learnt over the years, the ingredients I am experimenting and creating with are far more pure and nourishing. I absolutely love shopping and hunting for yummy, quality ingredients. Then when I get home, have so much fun getting lost in the middle of a kitchen full of nuts, seeds and superfoods. And the best part, I get to talk just as much as I like!

To celebrate the rediscovery of my passion I would love to share my famous Gogi Berry Bliss Ball recipe with you. Goji Berries contain all essential amino acids and also have the highest concentration of protein of any fruit. They are loaded with vitamin C, contain more carotenoids than any other food, have twenty-one trace minerals, and are high in fiber. Boasting 15 times the amount of iron found in spinach, as well as calcium, zinc, selenium and many other important trace minerals, there is no doubt that the humble yogi berry is a nutritional powerhouse.

Enjoy beautiful people!

Mel’s Famous Goji Berry Bliss Balls

Vegan – Raw

Makes 16 balls



  • 15 dates 
  • 1/4 cup flaxseeds
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds 
  • 1/4 cup pepitas 
  • 1/4 cup goji berries 
  • 1 cup almonds 
  • 1/2 cup walnuts 
  • 1 tbs cinnamon 
  • 3/4 cup oats 
  • 1/2 cup coconut 
  • 1/2 cup almond milk 
  • 4 scoops vanilla protein 


  1. Add all ingredients except milk to a food processor mix until you are left with a fine texture
  2. Transfer to a large bowl, add milk and stir 
  3. Roll into small balls using extra coconut for rolling in

How good do they look? If you want more recipes like that follow Mel here;


What is your favorite healthy snack? Would love to hear your go-to food in the comments!

Wellness Women We Love: Claire Baker – This is Lifeblood

Claire Baker 1

Claire and I are the classic tale of modern day love. You know… Girl Instagrams food, other girl Instagrams place, girls laugh at photo similarities, girls meet at cafe to Instagram together, girls fall in mad friendship-love. And they lived happily ever after making flower crowns and going on road trips all the way.

But seriously, for me, it was adore at first sight! Claire has the most amazing way of making you feel completely comfortable from the second you meet her. And this knack clearly translates to her writing and has surely been key to her blogs massive popularity! With the perfect balance of vulnerability and strength, she delves deep into her own ego and thus challenges you to examine your own. She is a champion for following your dreams, living authentically, travelling lots, eating amazing nourishing food (the girl can cook a curry!) and just to let life flow.

I am not sure what forces of the universe spun us into each others orbits but I am extremely grateful to them as my life is better for having her in it. I’m sure after getting to know her you will feel the same!

Meet Claire – the coolest dude around!

Thank you for walking onto this virtual stage! Now if you were walking onstage in real life what tune would you have playing as your theme song?

Ooohh I’m going to have to be corny and say The Beatles ‘All You Need is Love’ and I’m skipping on stage with daisies in my hair, the sun is shining and life is good. Love is all you need baby!

What motivated you to take the first step on your wellness journey?

Being diagnosed with autoimmune hepatitis at 17 certainly threw me into the deep end of raw juices, whole foods and the wellness world. Seeing my body heal through natural, holistic therapies changed my life forever. I’m so grateful I had that experience of being so unwell as I value, appreciate and prioritise my health today on a whole new level.

What do you do every morning to set up your day for success?

If I’m honest with you, I don’t always meditate in the mornings. I don’t always exercise, drink warm lemon water or oil pull (although I do most days) but I ALWAYS create a mental gratitude list by thinking of 5 things I am grateful for every single morning before I get out of bed. Being grateful for what we do have shifts our perceptions, attracts more of the good stuff and ensures we don’t start the day with stinky negative thoughts.

There are so many nutritional untruths floating around out there. What is your favourite myth to debunk?

That milk is the best source of calcium. Noo!! Where do you think the cows get their calcium from? Greens people, greens!

How do you handle your dietary non-negotiables when you are invited over or out for dinner?

I’m pretty flexible to be honest. I admire people who won’t eat anything that isn’t organic or prepared in a certain way but unless my friends are serving deep fried mars bars smothered in cheese-in-a-can, I’ll pretty much eat anything. When I’m out for dinner, I stick to lean meats, seafoods, salads and veggies and pass on anything too gluten-y.

Claire Baker 2

If you had to cook one meal to impress a tough crowd of unhealthy eaters, what would it be?

It’d have to be a slow-cooked (organic, grass fed) lamb roast with warm spinach, pumpkin, beetroot and parsnip salad. Particuarly in the cooler weather right now! In Summer I’d probably whip up a coconut-crusted salmon fillet on a bed of mango, celery and cucumber salsa. I’d finish both meals off with this slice.

Do you have any natural products/alternative therapies that you cannot live without?

Apple cider vinegar for the win! Raw, organic, unpasteurized of course. This stuff does wonders for my digestive system, either diluted in warm water in the mornings or a cap or two before meals. You can also use it as a yummy salad dressing, a toner for your skin, hair rinse or even as deodorant.

How do you ‘zen-ify’ your home?

Candles, open windows, fresh air, natural light and crystals. And regular de-cluttering.

What is your favourite imperfection about yourself and why?

My sweet tooth! Because I freaking love making raw chocolate treats, chia puddings, bliss balls and slices like this one.

What is one question that everyone should ask themselves?

What do I LOVE to do?

What is the most important decision you make to ensure you are a conscious consumer?

It totally depends on what I am consuming. However, I really try to refrain from accumulating ‘stuff’ and I think it is ultra important to shop locally and avoid the big chain supermarkets as much as humanly possible.

Pretend this is your mountain… what message do you shout to the world?

Beautiful people, life is there to be enjoyed, not endured! So clear the crap, uncover your inner strengths, pursue your passions, do whatever the hell makes you happy, be weird, be grateful, love yourself and never stop giving back.

Don’t you just want to nip her? If you want more of Claire find her here

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAClaire Baker is a life-loving holistic health coach with a permanent travel bug and zeal for true happiness and healing. Addicted to living authentically with gutsy passion and purpose and helping others to do the same, she digs peppermint tea, medjool dates, a good belly laugh and wearing yoga pants all day.

Come say hi at This is Lifeblood, her online space to share her passions for all things nourishing, spiritual and creative and subscribe to her free weekly love letters.

You can also find her on hanging out on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

This is Lifeblood blog here.


What do you find most inspiring about this girl? Share it in comments below!