Healing Winter Soup

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Last week I experienced for the first time what it was like to be the parent of a poorly little poppet. Little Lucy got a nasty chesty cold with one of those horrendous barking coughs. As a result my body has been fighting it like crazy and that goes hand in hand with some very sleepless nights. It is true though that babies are born with universal intelligence. She knew exactly what to do. Lie down. Stop. Screw up the to-do list (which must have been stressful for her – she had to reschedule ‘chew remote’ and ‘chase dogs’). Cry those emotions out. Feel sorry for herself. Be gentle. Sleep.

Taking my cue from her I listened to what it was my body wanted. It wanted warm, grounding, healing soup. So I chose beautiful seasonal organic produce, chopped it all up and made a soup that can only be described as Bloody Bonza, Mate. (apologies to the non-Australian contingent of this readership). I then supercharged it with a whole load of ancient superfood spices and Bob’s ya uncle.

So I stopped with my daughter and we cuddled and I watched Death at a Funeral for the 34,824th time. It was lovely. 

And the more we slurped down the better we both felt. Our healing could be due to all the Vitamin C in the pumpkin and sweet potato though it is much more likely because of the soups magical powers. 

So if you are feeling sick or you just like delicious soup – this is for you! Lucy loved it…

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Healing Winter Soup

Vegan – Gluten Free – Paleo

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Ingredients

  • 1kg Pumpkin (Yam), cubed into 4cm cubes
  • 1/2 large Sweet Potato (Kumara), cubed into 2cm cubes
  • 1 leek, thinly sliced
  • 1 Onion, finely diced
  • 2 cups Stock or Water
  • 2 tablespoon Coconut Oil
  • 3cms knob of Ginger, peeled and finely diced
  • 3 cloves Garlic, finely diced
  • Bunch of Coriander (Cilantro)
  • 1 tablespoon Turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon Cumin
  • 1 teaspoon Coriander seeds (Cilantro)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Nutmeg
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Optional

  • 1 can of Coconut Cream
  • Dulce Flakes

Method

  1. Heat Coconut Oil in large pot
  2. Add Pumpkin, Sweet Potato, Onion, Ginger, Garlic and the stem and roots of the coriander bunch. Stir until the onion is soft.
  3. Add Leek, Turmeric, Cumin, Coriander Seeds, Coriander Leaves (save some for presentation) and Nutmeg and stir until the spice has thoroughly coated the contents of the pot.
  4. Add Stock or Water and bring to the boil
  5. Then simmer until soft (approximately 20 minutes)
  6. Allow to cool slightly before blending (either in blender or with stick blender)
  7. Serve hot. If using coconut cream skim the cream off top with teaspoon and swirl on your soup for extra prettiness. I also dusted mine with Dulce Flakes.

Bored of the soup?

If you are halfway through your pot and are getting a bit tired of the same taste there are a few options.

Thai Pumpkin Soup – Add coconut cream, a pinch of cayenne, lime juice and your salty seasoning of choice (coconut aminos, tamari or fish/soy sauce). Add them all to taste and BAM – you have yourself a zesty pumpkin soup.

Curry Base – I sauteed some broccoli and onions in some spices (garlic, ginger etc) and then added a few ladles of soup. Served it on a bed of quinoa with a health handful of raw cashews for a super simple lunchtime curry!

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What about you? What is YOUR favorite healing food when you are feeling under the weather?

A Wonderfully Awful Diagnosis

Image by Emma Hack

Image by Emma Hack

Have you ever had one of those moments where everything all of a sudden just clicks? Yesterday I did.

And I am wondering if my epiphany can help you too.

It all started with Dry July

(which was actually not that dry)

Any Instagram or Facebook friends here would know that I have been participating with a group of girlfriends in a Dry July detox. Under extreme sufferance. I committed to a month of no animal products, refined sugar, gluten and most importantly – god forbid – no alcohol!

And while my food choices have been impressive I will be honest – for the first 14 days of Dry July I had a glass of wine every day. Sometimes two. Or three. However after a few pep talks to myself I complied and I have been delightfully committed to being alcohol-free. Not known for my self-discipline within the realm of burgundy deliciousness I have completed shocked myself.

But wait?..

I expected a near-instant transformation. I felt that my bloating would disappear, my mood would lift to dizzying heights, I would lose weight and the oppressive fog that had settled in my brain would evaporate.

Nope.

Even without the alcohol I felt permanently hung-over. I felt jipped and to tell you the truth my husband may have had to wrestle the champagne bottle from my desperate, disappointed hands at one point.

As hard as I tried to be patient I felt disheartened, especially when everyone around me was reporting these fantastic results – better skin, better sleep, weight loss, feeling happier. All those things I had wanted.

The nosedive continued and I started thinking about what I was doing wrong. Why wasn’t I reaching my goals after 3 years of trying damn hard at nearly every of eating style around? Vegan, high-carb, low-carb, no,-carb, juice cleanse, paleo and vegan a couple more times. I had tried everything and still wasn’t seeing results. I wasn’t losing weight, my brain was still foggy, my digestion was still shit, I still felt anxious a lot of the time. Even recently while I have been eating a totally alkaline diet and meditating twice daily my wee is still showing up an acidic pH. Something about the picture was wrong.

I tried to lift myself out of my funk by procrastinating and reading some wellness-nerd literature. All of a sudden three words jumped out at me; The Candida Diet. What the hell is that? I know what Candida is and I certainly don’t want to eat it. So I clicked on the link.

And then I REALLY clicked.

EUREKA!

The symptoms of a Candida imbalance read like my past 3 years of journaling. In fact in my very public journal (this blog) I have spoken about these symptoms here, here and again here. Here are a selection of symptoms that really got my attention.

  • Inability to focus
  • Inability to lose weight
  • poor memory
  • brain fog
  • irritability
  • anger
  • dizziness
  • depression
  • panic attacks
  • recurrent Urinary Tract Infections
  • cravings for sweets and alcohol
  • insomnia
  • skin sensitivies such as allergies
  • flatulence (‘fraid so)
  • bloating
  • unexplained stomach pain

Sounding familiar? The list goes on. Click here to see it for yourself if any alarm bells are going off right now!

For me it was like the crack of the cosmic egg of my universe. EVERYTHING MADE SENSE. I wasn’t crazy. I wasn’t a hypochondriac. I don’t have some mystery disease. I wasn’t half-assing all my attempts at healthy living. I just have an unhealthy gut. Oh, the sleepless nights and wasted time I could have saved had I known.

What the hell is it?

Basically its all about the ‘Gut Flora’. If we are thinking of it in terms of gardens, Candida is the weed (a pathogen / bacteria) that exists within our guts and is kept at a healthy level by our guts diligent little gardeners (the microorganisms). The problem comes when there is an imbalance in your microorganisms: similar to weeds, the Candida multiplies and basically pollutes your gut. It pollutes your gut by releasing by-products (like uric acid and neurotoxins) that can then cause a host of nasty symptoms (such as the ones that I listed above).

How do you get it?

It has been estimated that up to 70% of people have Candida in their guts and that is not always a problem, unless there is an imbalance. Here are the three common causes of an imbalance;

  1. A course of antibiotics
  2. Eating a high-sugar diet 
  3. A long period of stress

I traced back to when I first felt unwell and saw a surge of these symptoms and it makes a lot of sense. 2006 I was a uni student living off a fairly poor diet that included an excessive amount of alcohol (aka sugar) and my dad had just been diagnosed with cancer (cue long period of stress). There was definitely a course or two of antibiotics in there as well. Then my body seemed to magically correct itself until 2010. A course of antibiotics, a very financially stressed time and (again) a diet that included an excessive amount of alcohol/sugar. 

By the time I was starting to put these pieces of the puzzle together I was virtually crying tears of relief. 

What next?

Since diagnosing the problem has taken so many years surely this solution of a couple of months should be simple. Surely. Simple? Yes. Easy? No! It is going to take an awful lot of drive – but that I have! Basically Candida feeds off sugar and so I have to completely starve it.

Step 1. Cleanse

The first week is the most restrictive and consists of a strict diet of organic vegetables only. Absolutely no sweet, starchy vegetables like beetroots (beets), carrots, pumpkin (yams) or sweet potato (kumara). In the initial phase I need to allow the body to kill off as much of the candida as possible and support the liver while it does the hard work. Luckily select herbs, spices and oils are permitted as is steaming and grilling. Phewph.

Step 2. The Diet 

After this initial cleanse other foods are allowed to be introduced. The emphasis is on the word organic. Conventional produce is treated with all sorts of chemicals and farmed animals (including fish) are dosed up with antibiotics. We do not want any more of that in there! So in this stage you can add to the above mentioned vegetables;

  • organic unprocessed meats (except pork)
  • probiotic yoghurt
  • kefir
  • some wild fish (herring, anchovies, salmon, sardines)
  • gluten-free grains (millet, oat-bran, quinoa, rice)
  • herbal teas (except green)

Basically I can eat anything on this list. 

Yes you are correct in noticing a complete omission of all fruit. No honey either. And safe to say Dry July will be extending into September. If you are interested, here is a list of the foods to avoid

On top of just eating those foods I also need to eat a diet that is heavy on probiotics and anitfungals. To give you a few ideas;

Probiotic Foods

  • Probiotic Yoghurt
  • Kefir
  • Fermented vegetables (raw, unpasteurized saukraut, kim chi)
  • Prebiotics (like chicory root tea)

Natural Antifungal Treatments

  • Aloe Vera
  • Black Walnut
  • Caprylic Acid
  • Cloves
  • Coconut Oil 
  • Garlic
  • Goldenseal
  • Grapefruit Seed
  • Olive Leaf Extract
  • Oregano Oil
  • Oregon Grape
  • Pantethine
  • Pau d’Arco

Besides the simple grocery store heroes (cloves, garlic and coconut oil) you can find a lot of the listed items at good health food stores; most commonly Aloe Vera, Olive Leaf Extract and Grapefruit Seed. 

Relief

While Candida Overgrowth is a fairly icky diagnosis to receive – images of a garden in my belly wig me out -I am over the moon about it. Knowledge is power and while I know that I am going to have a hard slog ahead for the next few months I also know the pay-off is going to be so unbelievably worth it. 

So wish me luck on this quest! I cannot wait to update you with my progress as I move through it and I am beyond excited to reveal the new improved Em. What a bloody relief! 

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Did any of this ring a bell for you? Do you think this could also be a piece in your puzzle? Would love to hear about it in the comments.

Wellness Women We Love: Donna McLaurin – MicrOrganics Green Nutritionals

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Donna is one of those people that as soon as you meet you want to cuddle!

After a little bit of online chatter beforehand I was lucky enough to meet her face to face and share a raw dinner at the David Wolfe tour  (read all about that here) which her wildly successful company MicrOrganics Green Nutritionals was sponsoring. Impossibly warm and kind Donna exudes so much enthusiasm for wellness that it is completely contagious. The fact that she still looked so damn cheery and bright-eyed after a massive National tour with Mr Avocado himself is testament to her health-built resilience. Donna is so passionate about her products and message – and so she should be. Her Hawaiian Pacifica Spirulina was recently voted best Spirulina at the Nature & Health Natural Food Awards! And I am sure you have seen her other trademark floating round – the ubiquitous glass froggy straw!

It seems that as Donna’s company grows and grows and GROWS touring is all part and parcel of her busy life. You can catch her in Brisbane at the Utopia Women’s Wellness Event this weekend which features some former Wellness Women We Love Jessica Ainscough and Therese Kerr (among others). That will be followed by the Earth Events sponsored Raw Beauty Workshops with Vegie Head and Amanda Rootsey**. All this while managing three rather gorgeous “kids” (Mitchell 24, Thomas 22 and Jordana 20). Oh and did I mention she is studying at IIN as well?

**For all the WA peeps that are jealous of these amazing events, stay seated! Me and some gorgeous ladies are working on some fantastic events for Perth!

I am always totally inspired to see people who manage to stay centered, grounded and conscious (Donna is also a plastic hater!) with such jam-packed schedules. So today I am so proud to present to you the gorgeous and inspiring Donna McLaurin! Just a shame you cant cuddle her through the screen.

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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?

I think the theme song playing would be Blondie’s ‘Heart of Glass’ I don’t know why, I guess I grew up with this song and for some reason I sing it nearly everyday … The other song that came to mind is Queen’s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ as it has so many highs and low, melodies and harmonies and ups and downs – Just like life itself!

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

I was motivated as a very young girl to be healthy and eat health-giving foods, my Mum was a great cook and I don’t remember us ever having take-away even though Mum ran her own business back then, she was an amazing example to my sister and I.

At  21 I was seriously injured in a car accident – I was a front seat passenger in a head-on collision and my face was severely lacerated and I broke many teeth … this led to years of treatment and recovery and a focus on taking care of my health to avoid back pain and joint pain and to heal my damaged face. I do still have some glass fragments embedded in my eyes, so that might also explain the song above!

After the initial surgeries and many years of dental restoration, I tried lots of alternative therapies and became interested in natural health, nutrition and skin care – especially after marrying and having three babies within 4 years! I remember buying an old fashioned Mouli for mixing baby food back then, as we didn’t like the idea of buying the packaged stuff. Now our children are young adults and all are a great example of good health!

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

I have to admit, I’m not naturally a morning person and I’m still working on changing that!

My first wake-me-up is usually a lovely cup of tea that Mark brings me in bed (how spoilt is that) .. then I love to do some yoga stretches – we have a mat permanently set up in what is supposed to be our lounge room!… then it’s a healthy breakfast, usually a Green Smoothie  or a bowl of home-made muesli with berries or banana on top. Then straight into checking emails and attending to social media updates for the business. I’m lucky to be working from a home office these days, so during the breaks I can stretch my legs, put some washing on, make a yummy salad for lunch, get some sunshine and maybe even take the dog for a walk!

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

My favourite nutritional myth to debunk is that all fats are unhealthy.

We now know that eating a low-fat diet is not the healthy way and there are so many good and essential fats that need to be included in our diets – Coconut oil, Olive oil, Avocados and the essential fatty acids found in Microalgae such as Spirulina and Chlorella should be included in our diets every day.

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

I tend to be pretty easy-going when it comes to dietary rules, I live by the 80/20 rule and believe that if your diet is great at least 80% of the time, there is room

for movement when out and about. If it’s something I definitely don’t eat, (or drink) then I just leave it.

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

It would probably be a big batch of Kale chips for starters then include a large, colourful salad with Quinoa or chick-peas plus a beautiful roasted vegetable and onion flan or pie followed by an Avocado and raw Cacao chocolate mousse or a chia-seed pudding.

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

The natural product I would find hard to live without would have to be MicrOrganics Green Nutritionals Green Superfoods, we have it every day, whether in a big Green Smoothie, sprinkled on kale chips or just a handful of vege-caps on the run! We also have a wonderful Reflexologist that my Husband, Mark and I see occasionally to get rid of any aches and pains, he is amazing!

How do you ‘zen-ify’ your home?

We live in a old 1920’s timber home in a semi-rural area and right from day 1 (20 years ago) it seemed to have a great aura about it – there is so much greenery and lovely gardens around it including two very old Mulberry trees with beautifully aged trunks that drip with fruit every year … I love birds and have pairs of white doves all over the place and even some real-live ones that live in an old stable outside and fly freely around the house – we also have a very old pony who comes running to be fed whenever I’m outside and sing the chorus to ‘Heart of Glass’.  We also love lighting candles at night for their glow and aroma and I think all of this helps to ‘zenify’ the home.

What is your favourite imperfection about yourself and why?

My favourite imperfection about myself is the scars on my face from the accident – no-one else can really see them anymore, but they are part of my journey and made me what I am today. I am grateful for the empathy and understanding I now have for others, that the early lesson of going through such a trauma has taught me.

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 What is one question that everyone should ask themselves?

I think everyone should ask themselves ‘what can I do today that will make this a better place tomorrow’ – whether that be to use less plastic, create a garden, forgive a wrongdoing or just have some time out and play with a child … every little positive thing can make a difference.

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

The most conscious decisions I try to make as a consumer involve using less plastic – taking re-usable bags to the shops, only buying products packaged in pure glass, re-cycling where possible, putting leftovers in Pyrex bowls with lids instead of Tupperware or cling-wrap etc.

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

Stop and Think about what we are doing and what can we change to make this World a better place.

Ah. Breath of fresh air. Want more? Find Donna and her amazing products here…

Website here.

Facebook page here.

Instagram here. (or search for @thegreennutritionist).

Twitter here.

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Isn’t she just gorgeous! What was your favorite part of the interview? What INSPIRED you? I would love to hear in the comments…

Wellness Women We Love: Lynn Gilmartin – Pokernews.com

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The job title you will find in Lynn’s email signature is “Professional Life Lover”.

And love life she does! Hailing from Melbourne, this strawberry blonde mega-babe spends her days travelling the globe as the host of PokerNews.com. You think you’ve collected some passport stamps in your time? In the past four years Lynn has visited an impressive 27 countries and 128 cities within them. Nothing will make your feet itchier than trawling through Lynn’s amazing blog and reading about her adventures through Australasia, Europe and the America’s.  And it is within these nomadic posts that you’ll also discover  that Lynn’s heart is as gold as the sparkly outfits she dons in the Poker Room. This post (click here) about Lynn meeting her sponsor child, Bret, in the Philippines had me in floods of tears! And it doesn’t stop at people – it was actually our shared love of animals that first saw Lynn and I find each other. She adores them. Heart of solid gold.

So, you would think that travelling the world as a popular host would be busy enough, but Lynn’s drive to squeeze every inch of awesome out of her life see’s her jam-packing even more into it! While studying at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition she has managed to meld her passion for wellness and travel into her Video Series Stay Stacked focusing on wellness for Poker Players (though the tips can be applied to any health-conscious people). She also hosts the hilarious Pretty Broad podcast series with two of her soul sisters. Feeling puffed yet?  

Basically, Lynn unintentionally forces you to reevaluate your life. Whenever I see her Instagram or read her blog I feel an urgency to make sure I am getting everything I can out of every minute. She absolutely decimates the notion that you have to choose “life” or a successful career.  She is the poster-girl for dreaming big and crazy. She is seriously inspiring and I am beyond excited to present one of my wellness heroes to you today. Everybody! Lynn Gilmartin: Professional Life Lover. 

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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?

Thank you SO much for having me!!

Absolutely anything by Michael Jackson – dancing makes me feel so alive, and there is no music that makes me want to move more than his beats. He was, and still is, an amazing inspiration to millions.

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

I am blessed to have incredible parents who have taught me so much about life since I was a child. They’re both so motivated with lots of interests, and love to do what they love – my mum is a make-up artist and an astrologer, while my dad is tradie and plays the bongos in a folk band. He even has certificates in reiki and reflexology. Since a teenager, my nickname has been “LG: Life’s Good”, which I adopted as my motto and always lived by it, so the journey has always been there for me in some form. There have been some major lessons throughout my life as we’ve all had, but the real turning point was exactly on year ago, where I just had a click – I saw how negative my thoughts were and I decided to look at things differently. I was then able to see that I had literally been creating the life that I always wanted, yet I just kept looking for more “things” to make me happy, not even seeing that I already had everything I needed. That perspective changed everything… I began to fall completely in love with me.

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

I will always take those first few minutes as soon as I wake up to check in with myself and see how I’m feeling. It takes me a while to get ready for work, so I always give myself enough time to do it slowly, which allows me to listen to talks by some of my favourite authors. This is a habit I adopted from my mother – I grew up listening to the mumble of talks from her bathroom, and still do hear it when I’m home!

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

I love debunking the idea that you need dairy! Oh I get such a kick out of seeing peoples faces when they realize how brainwashed they had been for so many years. It’s like they just walked into a twilight zone.

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

I’m not strict on myself. I’m lucky to not have any dietary intolerance’s  so for me, I believe anything is fine in moderation. I’m constantly crowding myself with beautiful, nutritious food that I hardly leave any room for the “bad stuff”, but I don’t really look at much as non-negotiable (except for meat on the most-part). I still allow myself to eat whatever I want. This is why I don’t use labels – I don’t call myself a vegetarian or vegan. When people ask, I just say that I don’t eat meat. That is what made the transition unbelievably easy. I didn’t attach any pressure of rules, I just made a simple decision to try replace something with something else, and it all snowballed from there – I haven’t eaten meat in almost a year now, and it has been effortless.

If I knew the meat came from a humane source, then maybe I would try that meal, however, I still haven’t done this because I’ve never really felt the want to, as there’s always a delicious alternative. I’m also big in leading by example and showing how easy my choices are. When I first cut out meat, my friends would make a big deal out of choosing a restaurant that caters for me, when that’s the last thing I’ve ever wanted. If I had to, I’m more than happy to just casually pluck the meat out of the meal and enjoy the rest of it, or load up on the side dishes.

So because of this, my transition has been nothing but exciting and enjoyable. I never feel restricted; I just adore showering my deserving body with love!

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

I once whipped up a delicious thick shake with avocado, spinach, almond milk, raw cocao, maca and some berries and banana for 10 friends. I didn’t tell anyone what was in it until they had all tried (and loved!) it. I asked them all to guess what I had thickened it with and no one came close. When they heard it was avocado they nearly fell off their chairs – a combination they had never heard of. I find that so much fun!

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

Osteopathic treatments are a must for me – especially after a long flight. I can really feel the relief and the free-flow of energy after getting adjusted back into alignment.

How do you ‘zen-ify’ your home?

My home is usually a hotel room, so I like to pay extra attention to adding the zen!

always pack an all-natural, soy wax candle, and I have a small Himalayan rock salt candle as well, which emits negative ions to help freshen the air and counteract all the wifi and devices (my boyfriend and I are Apple addicts).

I also carry an aromatherapy spray to spritz around the room. At the moment I have a blend for purification – but I only know that because the bottle says it! Next on my list is to learn more about aromatherapy.

As soon as I check-in to a hotel, I will instantly unpack my suitcase and hang my clothes (I travel with my own light hangers, as there’s never enough – this helps with the uncluttering). It only takes about 15 minutes, and if you don’t do it as soon as you arrive, then you never will, and will end up spending a week living out of the explosion of clothes on the floor on top of your case – and there’s nothing zen about that!

What is your favourite imperfection about yourself and why?

I can get cranky as all-hell sometimes, and it serves as the perfect contrast to remind me what I choose not to be.  Of course I still allow it, as the crankiness is there for a reason and I need to discharge the emotion, but then I get another reminder about how much I’ve changed. It’s no longer about the person or event that is pissing me off. Instead, I check in with myself to ask, “what is this reflection showing me”? It’s all about my own stuff, it has nothing to do with what is happening, and that’s such an easier way to handle any situation. It’s a fun place to be rather than carrying around blame and judgment all the time.

What is one question that everyone should ask themselves?

How do I feel?”

I ask myself this constantly. From the moment I wake up, to when I go to bed. It’s so easy to forget about yourself completely and be too externally focused. Now, I’m always checking in with myself and it feels just as good as hearing “I love you” from the person you love, because that’s exactly what you’re doing to yourself. Giving that little girl inside (as my mum puts it) the attention that she deserves, then removes your need to seek it outside of you, which will never be as fulfilling anyway. Quit the wild goose chase – you’ve got everything you need inside there!

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

I stopped eating meat last year as my vote against factory farming of animals. It’s a disgrace, and one of the worst kept secrets in this world.

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

LIFE’S GOOD!!!!

Goodness gracious – wasn’t that girl inspiring!!! What was your favorite part of the interview? I’d love to hear from you in the comments…

The Best Break-Up I Ever Had

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Have you ever had a relationship that has sucked you completely dry? Left you feeling tired and worthless… heavy? The person hurts you time after time yet you find yourself back in their company so often.  You don’t know if you are a sucker for punishment or whether you are just trying to prove them wrong… you just know they are there. Magnetic aren’t they? For the past few years I have been in one of those relationships and on Sunday I got sick of it and left. There was no anger. There were no dinner plates being thrown. No clothes gracefully floating out of the third floor window. No swearing. No crying.

I simply said goodbye and watched her disappear.

I broke up with myself.

The old me.

The me that was holding onto my coat-tails. That was planting seeds of doubt. That was making me give up on my dreams. Sabotaging myself. Talking shit behind my own back. Resenting myself.

The writing has been on the wall for a long time and I finally listened and decided that I deserve better. I want more. I need more.

To say this realisation has been eye-opening would be an understatement. This for me has been an earth-shattering epiphany that all started with Dry July. From 1st through to 6th July I drank every day. I drank even when (if I had listened to my body not my brain) I didn’t want to. At first I found it funny in a tragic kind of way, until it dawned on me that I was in a toxic relationship. The kind I would be whisking my best friend out of in a jiffy. Every step towards greatness I took, my ego undermined.

“You can’t stop drinking – it’s how you relax.

You can’t stop drinking – it’s such a huge part of your personality.

You can’t stop drinking – you aren’t confident when you are sober.”

All bullshit. My own ego was trying to dull my sparkle because she wasn’t ready to let me soar. She was trying to guilt me into staying behind with her, on her level. Comfortable in mediocrity.

But enough is enough. And just like that… I was free. Are you ready to free yourself? Yes you are…

Say it out loud

Have you ever had reservations about a relationship that you have purposefully kept to yourself? You don’t want to voice them to your friends because you know once you say it, it’s real. It’s called accountability – and good friends will hold you accountable for the way you treat and are treated. Step up and be a good friend to yourself. Are you constantly making the same mistake? Are you not living bravely? Are you undermining your greatness?

Acknowledge it. You are in control of every decision you have ever made. Nothing changes until you change. Everything changes once you change.

Tell them it’s over

The hardest part; time to tell them it’s over. And luckily in this particular break-up a letter is totally acceptable! Like most break-ups mine started sheepishly. I wasn’t saying the whole truth but then as I kept talking the words start to flow out of me. I finally got real about all those mistakes I’d made, the bad judgements and the times I let myself down. I was brutally honest. It’s not you, it’s me.

Write yourself a break-up letter. Get out everything you need to. The anger, sadness and regret. Read it a couple of times… you are about to say goodbye. Get clear on why.

Remove the reminders

You may be feeling a little tender at this stage. You are out on your own and in control of your own destiny and it may be tempting to relapse into that negative little comfort zone. You need to ‘ex’ proof your house and remove those reminders that could make you relapse. For me this meant taking the bottles of wine off the fridge. Putting the wine glasses in a different cupboard than the one that I keep my mugs in. Throwing out my sloppy clothes; the ones that are so nice to hide in. Replacing photos.

Remove the visual cues. Vision boards work because they provide a constant reminder of who you want to be. So everything that is in your home is providing a constant subconscious reminder of who you are. If you have realised the two don’t match up – then change it!

Remain dignified

If you do bump into your ex, keep your dignity. You may argue, you may relapse, you may cry or ignore them or whatever. Saying goodbye can be difficult and as long as you stay focused then don’t beat yourself up for the bumps along the way. I am not embarrassed at the fact I ‘failed’ for the first six days of Dry July. If I hadn’t then I wouldn’t have had this giant light bulb explode above my head and illuminate the world!

Keep trying. Keep failing. I promise that the good stuff is just around the corner.

Trust the process.

Welcome your new life with open arms

You are free! It can be so easy to lament what you are missing rather than celebrate all that you are gaining. Change your focus. Last night – the first of my new sober relationship – instead of having lids weighed down by shiraz I was buzzed: making business plans, chatting to amazing inspiring future collaborators, signing up to my local gym, buying tickets to wellness events and studying. This was what I had been drinking to suppress? I thought I was stilling my mind but I wasn’t… I was dulling it. Now that I know what I have been missing I am so damn excited. Tasted so much better than even my most favorite Semillon Sauvignon.

Remind yourself every day what you are gaining. Make a vision board and meditate on it daily. Start every morning with an affirmation. Every day encourage yourself to keep going.

Strut.

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Do you need to sit yourself down and have “the chat”? I would love to hear about it in the comments.

Or maybe you have a friend that seriously needs to break-up with themselves – why not give them the nudge by SHARING this post.

Wellness Women We Love: Alison Morgan – The Relauncher

I think wellness geeks Australia-wide breathed a collective sigh when The Relauncher opened it’s online doors. And the insanely passionate woman that was throwing those doors open with all her gusto was Alison Morgan. Combining her obsession with health and wellness, her business nous, a history in marketing and a passion to inspire, Alison is truly living her best life. And her mission is to inspire and guide you to live yours. In her own words;

Relauncher is a one-stop-solution for all things happy, healthy and beautiful. A place to come to relaunch yourself.  

Just gorgeous. So with no futher ado… I give you Alison!

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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?

Blurred Lines by Robin Thicke.  I love a good beat to walk to.

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

My business, Relauncher, wasn’t initially so health & wellness focused ~ it was through the journey of creating the business that I found my true passions.

I love feeling healthy and totally aware of how my body is feeling.  The results of living consciously is so rewarding on many levels.

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

1I’m getting up earlier and earlier to fit my day in.  I try to wait until 5 most mornings (although I struggle with this sometimes and end up getting up!).

I start off with meditation, then get as much work done before the family rises and the chaotic morning kicks off until school time.

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

It depends on the situation.  If we are out for dinner, it’s not too hard to choose the best option on the menu.

When out at friends places, I just go with the flow and eat what I’m served ~ although most of the time I won’t do dessert.  I was such a chocolate girl in the past that if I get the taste for it too often, I’m sure I’d be craving it again pretty quickly!

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

It would have to be FULL of flavour, so they can see how tasty eating healthy could be.

Entrée Kale Chips, Buckwheat Crisp Bread, Hummus and crisp veggie sticks

Main Wild salmon seasoned with lemon & herbs, served with one of my famous salads with roasted vegetables, hemp seeds & nuts, topped with a tasty dressing served.

Dessert  Raw jaffa tart and a side serving of bliss balls.  Oh, and homemade fragrant chai tea.

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

These day’s I only use natural products.  Once you’ve been using them, you realize how harsh the chemicals are.

My top 3 natural products I couldn’t live without are these soap nuts,  this natural dishwashing detergent , and this lemon myrtle toothpaste which tastes amazing   (there are so many more… I could keep going!)

How do you ‘zen-ify’ your home?

Opening the curtains and letting in fresh air – even on a cold day I need fresh air through the house!

I have lots of plants – in fact I need to get some more indoor plants.

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What is your favourite imperfection about yourself and why?

Getting up early.  It’s a double-edged sword.  If only I could sleep in on the weekends….

What is one question that everyone should ask themselves?

How healthy do I feel?  And really ponder on it, answering truthfully to yourself. Most people have no idea how good their bodies are designed to feel!

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

Create a life you love, and be grateful every step of the way.

How fab is she?! do you want more? Here she is…

The Relauncher Website 

Facebook 

Twitter 

Instagram 

And for any Perth Wellness lovers… how exciting is this?

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