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).

Meat

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.

Fish

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.

Sweeteners

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.

Alcohol?

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.

Probiotics

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

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!!!

 

Wellness Women We Love: Therese Kerr – KORA Organics

Therese EH ambassador

When you hear the words ‘Kerr’ and ‘KORA’ together your mind probably jumps straight to images of radiant health, organic living and (in the words of Zoolander) really, really ridiculously good-looking people. And whether you are talking about the face and Owner of KORA – Supermodel Miranda Kerr – or her mother and Former General Manager of the company, Therese, you would be correct.

Therese was given a life-or-death ultimatum that forced her to evaluate the everyday decisions in her life and change path to a life focused on nutrition and wellness. Therese now lives a spiritual existence that is deeply rooted in positive psychology, organic produce and connection with nature. Her enthusiasm for spreading the good word is contagious and inspiring and I am sure her upcoming literary debut will be testament to that. Her website www.theresekerr.com is a daily dose of clean-living for the body, mind and soul.

I am beyond delighted to present the utterly gorgeous Therese Kerr…

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?

Hmmm…. Brendan James:  “All I can see”. I love this song, it starts with: “I want to walk through this doorway, I want to open my mind, I want to pledge my allegiance to all I can find, I want a car that will crash through the barriers to a road no-one knows, I want to feel less controlled, want to bend and I want to land far from home………”

It goes on to say: …… “So if I cannot learn to journey and return, to never rest til I see all I can see…..

I want to learn a completely new language, one I don’t understand,  I want to help someone lost, someone helpless, with the strength of my hand (that’s my favourite bit) …. And feel their hope in my tears

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

The turning point in my life was when I lost my spleen due to tumours. I always thought I was healthy but I never truly understood the impact of applying chemical-laden products to my skin or eating non-certified or market-fresh produce. I also never truly understood the impact of stress or suppressed emotions on the human body – I now do. Having tumours in my spleen inspired me to truly look at my  life in every aspect, to question my life in the fullest detail, to look at why I behaved in the manner I did (pain in the neck over-rated achiever) and to transform so many areas of my life. Things happen to us in our past and I share a lot of my story in my new soon-to-be-released book “Live, loving you – living from the heart”.

The challenge is that we make those things “mean” something about us. As human beings, we are “meaning making machines” and unfortunately we live into the story we create and our story becomes our reality and most of the time the “story” is so just that “a story”.  My mum died when I was 17 and pregnant with Miranda. When mum died I created a “story” that firstly because I fell pregnant in the first place I was an embarrassment to her and secondly that I would prove to her that I could be anything she had hoped I could be. Basically, when mum died all I wanted was to make her proud of me.  So for twenty odd years, I worked my backside off, always striving to be the best I could be with an attitude that I could do anything but I never understood, until I did a lot of work on myself, why I was so driven. You see, the story became my reality. The truth is mum died and she would have been proud of me anyway.

I have done so much work on myself over the past twelve to thirteen years.  I am not the same person I was and I will continue to evolve in every minute to hopefully always be a better version of me.  I have true power in my life over my past, I have a calm and a peace within me that I never thought was possible, even when difficult things happen, I am still at peace and know that it is all part of the bigger picture of my life and whatever happens, happens because there is a lesson to be learned and an opportunity for growth on a persona level.

I am blessed to live a life I love, because I choose to live a life I love and create my “being” every day.  After all, we are human beings, not human doings and by choosing our “being” we get to say how life goes moment by moment and that is such a blessing.

Further, health happens by choice, not by accident. We cannot live in today’s society and expect health to fall in our lap, that won’t happen. With the highly refined, highly processed, high sugar-content foods that most people fill their body with, and that coupled with the amount of chemicals, preservatives, colourings, etc that traditional food and personal care products contain, our bodies are basically working over time just to survive, let alone prosper. Just about everyone’s liver is so taxed at trying to rid their body of toxins that it can’t perform vital roles like breaking down fat and chemicals, toxins etc in our body effect all of our organs and every part of us.

Personally, I want to be around for a long time, but I only want to be around for a long time if I am healthy and enjoying life. I am 48, my mum died of a heart attack as a result of over work, stress and possibly genetics at the age of 50. I want to be around and be vibrant, lit up and alive by life. I have been told that our cells have the ability to live to an average age of 122, yet how many people live anywhere near that?

Simply “choosing health” even when you have a super active, busy life is the answer. I am committed to my health (mind, body and spirit) and I am further committed to continually gaining and then sharing knowledge – the purpose of my website is to do just that – share information such that people can take from the information, anything that serves, leave behind what doesn’t and in the process, hopefully, leave with the ability to at least make informed choices for their own personal health and the health of their family.  I intend to be a vibrant, spontaneous great great grandmother.

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

Give my husband a kiss, and my dog a cuddle

Meditate for anywhere between 20- 50 mins depending on my day

Post my instagram affirmation or positive post to the world.

Complete my gratitude journal and thank the universe for everything

Make a “Juic-thie” (a combination between a juice and a smoothie – my own made up name – recipe is on www.theresekerr.com)

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

That’s easy:  “There is no difference between certified organic fruit, vegetables, foods and products compared to general products” – crazy!!! There is a huge difference and the only way to know is to change over and discover this for yourself.

It is said that the average woman applies between 200-500 chemicals a day to her skin and we wonder why we have hormone and health problems. What we put on our skin, soaks in so don’t put on your skin what you would not put in your body – consume only certified organic food and apply only certified organic products to your body, it is really that simple.  Take a look at Dr Libby Weaver’s posts on my website for the impact of chemicals in skin and personal care products on the reproductive organs.

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

Like Miranda, I believe in the 80/20 rule but in saying that anyone who invites me to dinner knows me well enough, (or I make sure they do) to know that I prefer to eat only certified organic foods when possible.

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

Well, most unhealthy eaters love sugar and sugar is so addictive – the more you have, the more your body craves so the sooner you can get away from sugar, the better.  I would make “Jen’s scrumptious Pear Cake” (from my co-authored book: Lunchbox Solutions which can be found here – that is the full interactive I-pad version, there are other version, I.e. A light interactive version without the videos or there is a pdf version that can be opened on a computer if you don’t have an iPad. It is  interesting to note that some of our chapters are #1 downloaded worldwide on iTunes in various categories which is very exciting and we have been receiving constant wonderful testimonials from people using and loving our book – so simple and so user friendly).

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

Plenty….

1)             Coconut Oil – it is a MCA (medium chain fatty acid and converts to energy in the body as opposed to converting to fat, reportedly assists with prevention of Alzheimer’s, boost the metabolism, is great for purging – I.e. Removing toxins from the mouth, is the only safe oil to use when cooking as it has a high heat tolerance… and the list goes on)

2)            KORA Organics Certified Organic skincare – it is amazing and as the ex General Manager of KORA Organics I saw so many great testimonials with our products. KORA is only skincare, but I am bringing out my own range of Certified Organic Haircare and personal care products soon. The product range will consist of the following:

  • Shampoo, Conditioner and Certified Organic Argan Oil Blend
  • Deodorant
  • Tooth Mousse
  • Moisturising Hand Soap
  • Moisturising Hand Lotion
  • Sanitising Hand Gel (Hand Sanitiser)

How do you ‘zen-ify’ your home?

Every morning I “play” my Tibetan singing bowl and carry the intent for the new day from my mediation and create the energy for my home.

I light incense on the odd occasion and sometimes burn sage to clear any energy.  I have my blinds up so as to let natural light in and I play music a lot of the time. I personally very rarely watch TV so that energy is not in the house at all until sometimes in the evening when my husband comes home from work and watches the same.

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What is your favourite imperfection about yourself and why?

I have several keyhole scars on my belly where I had to have my spleen removed. These scars remind me of the journey I have undergone from having first had tumours to now. Having had tumours in my spleen was a blessing to my life. I would not be who I am but for that experience and I would not have made health my life if that had not happened. I am so fit and healthy now, I honestly feel like I am 20 years young! I recently did an Ayurvedic Retreat at Sukhavati Retreat and Spa in Bali (one of the most amazing experiences of my life – the treatments were world class and the Balinese people have a grace, in my opinion, that is unmatched by any other culture) and the Ayurvedic Doctor could not believe that my Dosha’s were perfectly in balance and my pulse was perfect – so I must be doing something right.  Stay tuned as I am bringing out health and wellness programs to share everything I do in relation to wellness with the world.

What is one question that everyone should ask themselves?

What is my health worth to me?

You see, I believe everyone and I mean everyone should use certified organic products on their skin and use certified organic personal care products and should also eat certified organic food.  I also believe people eat far too much and we recommend buying your certified organic produce from a farmers market and eating less  don’t eat until you are over full, that is a mistake we make, eat until you feel just comfortable (note: all of the farmers markets in Australia are shown on my website under “Wellness Directory” http://theresekerr.com/market-directory/ )

If you swap to certified organic I believe you will reap the rewards and your body will thank you, I see it every day

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

Buying certified organic. Certified Organic not only benefits you, it also benefits the planet. I buy certified organic for two reasons:

  1. healthier for my body
  2. Certified Organic products including skincare and personal care products, fruit, vege’s etc are free from pesticides, insecticides, TEA’s, DEA’s, Glycols, Parabens, Synthetic and Artificial ingredients, Sulfates, Ethoxylates, Formaldehyde, Formaldehyde derivatives – just to name a few/

Don’t be fooled into thinking “Organic” is the same as “Certified Organic” – there is a huge misrepresentation around the world in relation to the use of the word “Organic”. Only Certified Organic products are the ones that don’t contain all of the nasties. Certified Organic has to contain the wording” “Certified Organic” and have to have the name of the certifying body somewhere on the packaging plus in most cases the logo of the certifying body.  Do your research and know that companies can say a product “Contains” Certified Organic ingredients or can say: “Containing Certified Organic Ingredients” but the product, because it is not certified will more likely than not still contain chemicals – the only real exception being if the company hasn’t been able to afford to certify their products, but if that happens, who is the governing body ensuring what the company is saying is correct? There is a big difference between “Organic” and Certified Organic and we only recommend “Certified Organic”, not just “Organic” and/or “Natural ingredients”.

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

Let your little light shine. Stop trying to be everything you think other people want you to be and just be the magic of you.  You are a unique and incredible gift to the world, go out and be just that. Let go of limiting beliefs (they aren’t real anyway) and go make a difference to the world.

http://ThereseKerr.com/utopia-womens-wellness-event/  Jessica Ainscough Ashy Bines and Tara Diversi.

Can’t get enough of Therese? Of course not! Find her here…

Twitter: @Therese_Kerr
Instagram: @theresekerr

Wellness Women We Love: Jessica Ainscough – The Wellness Warrior

The world is simply abounding with amazing, wonderful women that are doing so much good! So from now on every Wednesday** I will be interviewing an amazing woman that is sending some serious good juju into our world… because goddamn they should be celebrated!

For anyone who has read this blog for a while you would be aware that there is one woman in particular who inspires my life…

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Jessica Ainscough. The Wellness Warrior. Blogger. Health Coach Extraordinaire. Public Speaker. Author. #girlcrush.

She is a bonafide superstar in the health and wellness world and is doing a damn fine job at spreading the message that our bodies can heal themselves. Jess kicked cancers ass via natural therapies, positive psychology and basically just simplifying her life (less stress, getting back to nature).

She also changes my life on a daily basis through her Lifestyle Transformation Guide. I am part of her tribe and while I continue to work through her program I am constantly bolstered by encouraging emails from her, answers to my silly questions and an awesome community to boot. She gave me to tools to get myself healthy. She inspired me to take the step that found me on this path… going in a direction I am finally happy with.

Basically I am unbelievably honoured to have Jessica Ainscough as my inaugural Wellness Women We Love.

Bucket list item… tick.

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

Dark Fantasy by Kanye West.

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

A double kick up the butt from the universe! I was leading a lifestyle that was a tonne of fun, but not good for me in any way. I was working long hours, eating food that came from a microwave, and drinking like a fish four nights a week. When I was 22, my body gave me a huge ultimatum in the form of a terminal cancer diagnosis. With no conventional treatment options available, I had to radically change my lifestyle and commit 100% to healing myself.

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

I start my day with a walk up Mt Coolum or a walk by the beach, followed by oil pulling, dry body brushing, and meditation. I finish up my meditation with this mantra: ‘Always speak your truth, always follow your intuitive, always act with love and kindness.’ Then I pick an Angel card to find out what my angels want me to know for the day.

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

That being healthy is boring and bland. It’s the most fun thing ever!! Those of us over here on the clean side feel like we’ve been let in on a big secret. I love seeing people’s faces when they taste the food that I eat on a daily basis. Most of the world has no idea about raw desserts, natural sweeteners, the fact that you can make milk and cheese from nuts, and that green smoothies taste incredible.

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

Unless I’m going somewhere that will serve me organic food, I take my own. I pack an esky full of yummy home-made food so that I don’t feel deprived while I watch others eat. I even went to a Thai restaurant recently and took my own coconut curry. I just always call ahead first to make sure it’s okay.

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

I would probably make healthy Mexican – spiced beans, guacamole, cashew sour cream, homemade chilli sauce, lots of fresh salads and potatoes cooked in coconut oil and spices. Then for dessert, it would either be raw chocolate brownies or a raw avocado-lime cheesecake.

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

Coconut oil! I use it for everything – cooking, moisturising, hair mask, make-up remover, sunscreen …

How do you ‘zen-ify’ your home?

First, I make sure my home is always flooded with natural light and air. I have doors and windows open all day. I also have house plants displayed around the place to add to my air quality. I have so many Himalayan salt lamps in my home that the place glows orange at night. These guys neutralise positive ions by emitting negative ones, to create a healthier space (particularly good around electrical items). Plus, I have an oil diffuser going most of the day spitting out beautiful essential oils in scents like peppermint or lavender.

What is your favourite imperfection about yourself and why?

I’m very loud. People are always telling me to use my indoor voice, but I don’t have one. I’m not sure why I like this. It used to be embarrassing, but now I just think it’s funny.

What is one question that everyone should ask themselves?

Am I experiencing joy on a regular basis?

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

Always buy, eat, apply and clean with 100% natural and certified organic foods and products.

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

Be kind to yourself. Do what makes you happy. Eat real food. Drink green juice.
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Find Jess

Twitter – @jessainscough
Instagram – @jessainscough
**Editors Note: I am aware it is Thursday but I had major technical issues yesterday. In future WWWL will be every Wednesday. Damn interwebs!

Wellness Soulpreneurs and Flower Crowns

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Saturday was toe-tappingly, heart-warmingly, soul-squeezingly awesome.

It was the launch of the Perth Wellness Soulpreneurs meet-ups. Basically, a whole bunch of really inspiring women who are all working and blogging about wellness in Perth decided to get their butts together and watch the magic happen. And happen it did.

This get-together was organised by the effervescent Jacqueline who (along with Annette from Wellness WA) is going to be launching a Perth-based cold-press juice delivery company Pure Glow Cleanse –Hallelujah!

Photo courtesy of Vegan Sparkles

Photo courtesy of Vegan Sparkles

Our morning started with a private class of Vinyasa Yoga which was taught by two very passionate and nurturing Yogini’s Donna and Kate from The Yoga Vine. There were plenty of bend-backs, downward dogs and Donna-asana’s to be had. I felt SO invigorated and I was not the only one to comment afterwards that it had inspired me to get back to the mat. Kate then gently guided us into an extended meditation. It was so lovely (and dare I say a little poignant?) to practice being still in the middle of the bustling city.

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After we had namaste’d it out, Fiona Ferreira from Left of Centre Therapies took the stage. The softly spoken Reiki Healer explained her work and love of crystals with the most touching of speeches followed by a quick Q+A. One thing that really resonated with me was when Fiona explained that we are all born with an empty back pack and through our lives we fill it with all of our good and bad experiences. Healing is taking the bad baggage out. Just lovely.

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By that stage the Cocobella coconut water could not keep us satiated and the pack made our way to The Green House for food, tea and chats. I had food envy over every single person’s plate – even my own! Can that even happen? I say ‘Yay’. Special mention has to be made to the Baharat Cauliflower which will feature heavily in my dreams for the next millennia.

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Then – my favourite part of the day. Actually… favourite bit out of most days ever. We moved to a tiny patch of grass that was surrounded by busy shopping malls and towered over by cold skyscrapers. The super-gorgeous Jacinta from Cintism then led us in a flower crown tutorial. The (by now) 7 of us were like kids. From fits of giggles to excited squee’s and then looooong concentrated silences we all made the most stunning floral headpieces – each piece speaking volumes about the makers personality. I have two hen-nights to organise and I am so excited to have found Jacinta’s workshops for them; flower crowns trump cheesy devil horns a million times over!

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One thing I did notice though was how many people didn’t. Seven girls in the middle of the city with about 15 big bunches of flowers laughing and making crowns and most people had their noses down and were rushing through life. I’m not saying that everyone should have been showering us with attention buuut… flowers are damn pretty and a lot of people didn’t seem to notice. And I can guarantee that a year ago if I had walked past on my way to work or an appointment I wouldn’t have noticed either. It inspired me to make a renewed commitment to being present. Instead of constantly focusing on the destination – whether that is an upcoming event, a personal goal or just an actual physical location – I am going to stop and enjoy the goddamn footpath. Enjoy the process, marvel at what’s happening around you, acknowledge when you stub your toe but try not to swear too much and keep moving forward as slowly or fast as you like.

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An amazing day in every way – I am so excited for next month’s gathering. Here are some happy snaps from the day…

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Want to get to know the inspiring women I shared my day with? Of course you do!

Anna – Lifes Shiny Pretty Things

Annette – Wellness WA // Pure Glow Cleanse

Bex – Vegan Sparkles

Claire – This is Lifeblood

Elizabeth – Life with Elizabeth Rose

Fiona  – Left of Centre Therapies

Jacinta – Cintism

Jacqueline – Pure Glow Cleanse

Jia Ne – Jia Ne Teo

Karen – Conscious Cravings

Kavesha – Wellness WA Contributor

Vanessa – learn.grow.heal

What A Wolfe Taught Me (Best Weekend Ever)

I had a life changing weekend. One of those weekends that had me twitching with energy; had my  hand struggling to keep up with my mind; had me laughing hysterically one second then wiping tears away the next. You see, David Wolfe came to town and me and two of my soul sisters (Claire from This is Lifeblood and Emmy from Greens and Growth) made a pilgrimage to Samudra to hear what he had to say. We were not disappointed.

For those of you that are not familiar with David he is commonly referred to as the Rock Star of Superfoods. He spends his life travelling the world educating people about nutrition; particularly raw foods, mushrooms and superfoods.  He is a ball of energy with a mind that is gobsmackingly full of knowledge. His thirst for longevity is only dwarfed by his hunger for cacao. He has wild hair and wears poncho’s made of peat reeds. He is best friends with Woody Harrelson. He talks fast but pauses long.  His written goal is to achieve immortality.

Needless to say he is one of a kind and one of the most captivating and hilarious speakers I have ever seen.

Instagram @oliveonblonde

Instagram @oliveonblonde

The day started with a 3 hour workshop to create the ultimate healing elixir. I used to think my smoothies were fancy with my bee pollen and my maca – but no! Davids had exotic berries, medicinal mushrooms, ancient black algae’s and it all culminated in the 2001: A Space Odyseey music and then the chicken dance. I tried to put a video up but alas, will just have to post it on my Facebook page instead.

Me and my darling Emmy... a little bit excited!

Me and my darling Emmy… a little bit excited!

We then moved through to a lecture (where my mind was blown) which was followed by a Raw Cacao Dance Party; a rave with a cacao ceremony, no alcohol (just superfood cocktails), chanting and dancing until a very reasonable 12am. My blog-babes and I could not stop laughing at how different our Saturday nights had become!

For those curious THIS is what a Raw Cacao Dance Party looks like…

The Cacao Ceremony... chanting included

The Cacao Ceremony… chanting included

Pregnant belly dancers... fibre optic hula-hoops... tunic wearing men... you name it they had it.

Pregnant belly dancers… fibre optic hula-hoops… tunic wearing men… you name it they had it.

My darling Claire shaking her tail feather!

My darling Claire shaking her tail feather!

As I took literally 19 pages of notes I could not tell you everything that needs to be told.

So I have summarised the most poignant things I learnt from his amazing mind. 

Walk with me…

LITTLE BIT EXCITED.

LITTLE BIT EXCITED.

Ask, Look, Find

He told the most hilarious story about being stuck on a long flight with a hankering for organic orange juice. He decided he would search the plane just in case. As he walked past the attendants booth he saw through a gap in the curtain an orange juice sitting on the counter. He poked his head in and asked; “That wouldn’t happen to be organic orange juice would it?”. The flight attendant – apparently a raw food enthusiast – said “David Wolfe! Dude… check THIS out!” before slamming a 2 litre jug of organic kale juice on the counter!

If he had been sitting next to me and suggested that he was going to go looking for something as obscure as fresh organic juice I would have told him not to bother. Dont be silly. Wrong.

Be silly! Have a curious mind. Throw out preconceptions. Ignore boundaries.

Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.

Alcohol is a wolf in sheep’s clothing

David was unequivocal about this… actually he was kind of outraged. He spoke about the ridiculousness that alcohol drinkers look down on other drug takers and that society considers it in a different class. Alcohol is a drug like no other, and a very dangerous one at that.

But he understood that it is part of a lot of people’s lives and suggested that if you choose to drink that you at least add superfoods to it; add some goji berries to your wine, some chaga mushrooms in your vodka or hops extract in your beer. “At least get your medicine while you drink!”

Ultimately though he feels his superfood drinks are an upgraded technology as you get the high with no hangover. I have to admit after the Raw Cacao Dance Party… he may be onto something.

Leaders are readers.

Word.

Medicinal mushrooms are a non-negotiable

“Mushrooms are an ally to life. All life.” Basically, mushrooms are the most powerful healing foods and can be consumed by anyone… even a newborn. Next week I will go into depth about these mushrooms (reishi, chaga, shiitake, cordyceps etc) and how to incorporate them into your diet.

Turn. Off. The. TV.

A while ago I wrote this post about getting rid of the TV. Slowly however it has crept back into my life. I wholeheartedly blame Offspring (or more to the point… Patrick Reid). And even though I swore I would only watch the idiot box for that glorious hour on a Wednesday evening… sneakily it has snuck back in. So when he said;

“The news does not serve you. It is trying to create your reality. That is a reality of death, violence, crappy politicians. It convinces you of your reality. Where are the reporters now? I don’t see any here in this room where we are all having a great time! That’s because it doesn’t sell”

Roger, roger Universe. Message received.

Always keep moving

If you get too comfortable with life… you check out.

If you ride too close to the edge of life… you check out.

Move every day. Don’t move it – you lose it.

If it doesn’t make you feel good you need to get rid of it

Thoughts, relationships, food, whatever… it if doesn’t feel good get it the hell away from you.

Marshmallows are REAL man!

No amazing revelation here… I just found this totally gorgeous! The original marshmallow (free of artificial sweeteners and colours) are actually found in every ecosystem. Note to self next time I am camping and want to play chubby bunnies!!! The mallow (a root) is pulled up and boiled until it is soft and spongy. It is then dipped in honey and consumed as a sweet!

In the words of David himself… that’s the bomb dot com!

Pessimism and skepticism can destroy the world’s most beautiful moment.

Enough said.

Earthing is vital to health

Get your shoes off… let you feet directly touch the earth. This sounds very hippie indeed but by connecting your body to the Earths subtle electrical field you allow it to naturally discharge stress, pain and inflammation. Sarah Wilson wrote a fab article on it here if you want to learn more. I have always been very resistant to wearing shoes – earning the nickname of The Hobbit among family – and I never had a good reason. I am thinking maybe I instinctively knew it was the right thing for my body. Well… that’s how I am going to argue it now anyway.

Salt water is the most powerful cleanser

Your body will also crave hot salt water when it needs it. Feeling sick? You crave broth aka hot salty water. Sore muscles? Soak in a bath full of hot salty water. Cleanse a wound? With hot salty water. You get the picture. Listen to your body, it knows what to do.

Today is the best day ever.

Every day is! Wake up and say that to yourself every day. Make it the first thing you say to whoever shares your bed, home or life. The future is rushing at us – lets enjoy every second.

With a whole bunch of gorgeous women from the blogosphere and IIN family.

With a whole bunch of gorgeous women from the blogosphere and IIN family.

Have you seen someone speak who completely shifted your paradigm? Or has that come through a book? Would love to hear in the comments!

How To Fall Right

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This week I fell off the horse. And it was a huge horse. You see, for the first time I had hit my wellness stride; my skin was glowy, my eyes clear and my weight was starting to get back to some sort of pre-baby normality. I felt motivated and happy and hadn’t felt the choke of a panic attack in a long while. I couldn’t remember the last time I felt this good. Then… THUD.

I moved to a new home, did renovations on the old one, started my studies with the Institute of Integrative Nutrition and experienced our first month as a single income family. All this with a nearly-mobile six month old and two disgruntled dogs. I lived off crap quick ‘food’, let my exercise and self-love routine slip and got overtired and overstressed.

Within two weeks I felt that all my hard work – my life-changing life changes – had been undone.

So while I was wallowing in my melancholy I stumbled upon an old photo of my 11 year old self sitting atop my gorgeous dappled grey pony, Trigger. I looked confident and in control – which confused the hell out of me because Trigger (as the name suggests) was a damn psychopath that had tried to end me many times that year.

I wondered how it was that I looked so comfortable when I was riding a certifiable maniac. How was younger me so calm?

It all happened after my first fall. We were having a peaceful stroll when Trigger decided it was time for me to go and madly bucked until I sailed through the air and hit the ground. My confidence evaporated. I couldn’t understand how I had fallen when I had been getting so much better at riding? It completely rattled me. I was determined that it never happen again and said to my instructor….

“Can you please teach me how to ride so that I never fall off my horse again?”

Then she hit me with it…

“Em… you are going to fall off. You are a rider. You can’t ride and expect not to fall”.

THUD.

She continued; not realising the butterfly wings she was flapping and the future epiphany she was constructing.

“…the point isn’t that you fall. Everyone falls. All you need to know is how to fall”.

THUD. Of course I am going to fall off! How did I expect to be trying new or perfecting old without the occasional slip? That’s why I was calm! When something is a certainty it stops becoming a big deal when it eventually happens. When did I forget that?

Life is our ride. Our horses are our actions, skills and dreams. We are going to fall… we just need to fall right.

So here’s all I know about falling off a horse…

Kick your feet out of the stirrups

The horse has started bucking. You knew it was coming just by the way the horse was walking. Now it’s kicking madly and you are just holding on for dear life!

This was where I could see all my habits going out the window… I was eating badly, staying up late, drinking wine every night. I knew it was all wrong but I was just too scared to let go of the reins.

It is time to recognise what is happening and release yourself from the behaviour. It may seem scary to let go – knowing the hard work that is about to come – but once your feet are out of those stirrups you are free. And you won’t get dragged along for the rest of the rollercoaster.

Relax into the fall

You’re in the air now and you have that beautiful, terrifying weightlessness of uncertainty.

For me this was where I surveyed the damage. Accepted all those mistakes I had made. Yep… I ate a box of Kraft Deluxe Macaroni Cheese. It comes with a tin of cheese in it. Just let that sink in for a second – a tin of cheese.

See the positive in your ‘perceived mistakes’. For some reason you needed to fall… there was a lesson in there. For me it ended up making me feel like I made headway on my wellness mission because I did not enjoy one bite of the mac cheese! It was too salty and it stuck to the roof of my mouth. I purged after it which I haven’t done in a long while. I felt awful.

So even though I started off feeling like an awful person for eating this once I relaxed into it I realised that it was the sign that I have changed. I am getting stronger and healthier every day.

Accept that you are off the horse. You have stopped those bad actions. Stop beating yourself up. Relax into the fall. Let yourself hit the ground.

Curl up like a hedgehog

You’ve hit the ground. Now you better curl up so you reduce the chance of getting hurt by the second wave (be they horses legs or self doubt).

Now that you have freed yourself of the destructive behaviour and accepted what happened you need to figure out why to stop it knocking you straight back down again.

For me it was understanding that my to do list was overwhelming me and my new house was so disorganised that I just couldn’t keep my head above water. I called on the support around me so that I could dedicate myself entirely to organising my house. Once it was clear so was my mind.

Self reflect… do need a bit of break? Do you need to realign your intentions? Have your intentions changed? Do you need to reset your goals? Were you just self-sabotaging? If so, why?

Once I understood Trigger I could preempt when he was about to start bucking and why.

Understand your trigger.

Dust yourself off and get back on

My instructor told me that if I didn’t get straight back on then the horse has won. Horses are smart and they will remember exactly what to do to get you off and keep you off.

You’ve had a temporary slip-up: that is all.  Don’t let it become a habit just because you got a bit of a fright.

The longer you wait before you start exercising/saying affirmations/ loving yourself/whatever it is, the harder and scarier it will become to climb back on.

You got this!

xxx

Have you fallen off your horse lately? What’s your fave tip for falling right or getting back on? Would love to hear from you in the comments…