My Top 10 Tips for Mindful Eating

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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.

5. NO DUB STEP!

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

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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!

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

Wellness Women We Love: Therese Kerr – KORA Organics

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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 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

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…

10 Simple Self-Love Tips

Click image for source: Elephant Journal

Click image for source: Elephant Journal

I am a love bug. I have no problems telling the world about all the things I love. Repeatedly. My “About” section is full of love. I tell my family and friends how much I love them daily. I am the annoying one in the car that screams “OHMAGAAAAWD I LOVE THIS SONG”… every single song.

So why is it when I come to myself I get tongue tied? It’s like a first date. My eyes hit the floor. I shift from foot to foot. I get coy.

And a lot of people I know seem to be struck by the same affliction. I have deducted that this is down to two things; either we are embarrassed at the thought of loving ourselves or we truly don’t. Both of those are wrong.

Self-love is not being selfish.

It is about being kind to yourself. Allowing yourself rest. Turning your inner monologue into a cheer squad instead of a lynch mob.  Most importantly, self-love is vital.

So if you aren’t already, it’s time to get on the self love train. Toot toot!

1. Write yourself a letter of advice

I am terrified of flying. So, on a trip to Bali my mum suggested that I write a letter to my imaginary teenage daughter about living a full life. Silly as it sounds, it worked. I wrote rational truth and vicarious dreams and because I technically wasn’t talking to my self-doubting self I gulped it all up. So when I was feeling lost the other day I pictured my 80 year old self writing a letter of advice. It’s a great way to remind yourself that you only live once! (Did I just YOLO?).

2. Practice mindfulness

Meditation can be quite intimidating but it is an unbelievably powerful tool. If you have tried it before and couldn’t quite ‘get it’ then know that you don’t have to master it to feel the benefits. Sarah Wilson (of I Quit Sugar fame) describes it as a “jerky, nervous, chattery [experience] that is far from inspirational”. The more you exercise your stillness muscle the stronger it gets… keep at it. Here are some amazing meditation resources that I use;

  • The Chopra Meditation Center (Yes Deepak!) is a constant source of inspiration not to mention a comprehensive resource. Explore!
  • I love this guided meditation by Melissa Ambrosini
  • Buy some guided meditations either on iTunes or at your local alternative health store. (I can’t recommend this set of 22 Perfect Health Meditations enough – just gorgeous!)

3. Accept compliments

If someone gives you a compliment smile broadly and say Thank You. Hell – agree with it if you want to!

4. Stop pointing out what is wrong

Make a concerted effort to only point out the positives – even if you don’t feel like it. Brainwashed positivity is more contagious than the flu and has an amazing knack for changing your perspective.

5. Take a step towards your dreams (even if it’s a small one!)

You owe yourself your dreams so if you are living a life where you are constantly standing still admiring them you are not going to feel very fulfilled. So, whatever your dream take a step towards it – no matter how small! For example; you dream of being an illustrator? Enter an art competition. You fantasise about living in New York? Stick a photo of Times Square on your computer at work. Want to feel healthier? Join a local wellness Meetup group. It doesn’t have to be anything dramatic… just a little love note to the universe telling it that you are ready for what it’s got to throw at you.

6. Take a step away from social media

It is unrealistic to think of life without social media… it’s here. And thank god because otherwise we wouldn’t be chatting now! But sometimes it can be so damn overwhelming. So – starting today – do something to reduce your usage. Make a rule that you do not check it first thing in the morning. Give yourself allocated social media times – once in the morning, midday and afternoon. Never consume more than one media at once (I.e. watching TV while tweeting; cruising instagram while on the phone etc).

7. Random acts of kindness

If you are low on love for yourself logic would have it that you need to keep as much as you can for yourself. Hoard your happy. However, I have found that as low as you feel if you can muster the energy to do something for someone else it magically makes you feel better. This quote really sticks with me – “Beginning today, treat everyone you meet as if they were going to be dead by midnight. Extend to them all the care, kindness, and understanding you can muster, and do it with no thought of any reward. Your life will never be the same again” (Og Mandino).

8. Dedicated you-time

Allot yourself a specific time once a week where you pamper the fuck out of yourself! Turn off your phone and do exactly what it is that makes you feel fabulous. If that is lighting your expensive candles, pouring a champagne and chillaxing in the bath for 2 hours then go for it!

9. Express yourself

Commit to expressing yourself without judgement. Paint, run, cook, read, dance, go to a nudist beach, sit under a tree alone, sing – do whatever it is that make you feel 100% authentically you. Don’t judge yourself on it (i.e. “I’m not a very good painter”) just let your body and mind move however it feels right.

10. Unleash your inner 12 year old

Go into a room by yourself. Put your favourite song on. Now dramatically mime it. Dance! I have never managed to do this without feeling better afterwards. Laugh at yourself. Don’t take life too seriously.

What about you? Do you have a never-fail self-love pick me up?
Love to hear in the comments.

My Journey Continues to Detoxville

Just in case you have missed my last 5 million posts, tweets or instagram pics … I am on a massive journey of personal transformation.  God that sounds wanky… but it’s true! I said I will always be honest and transparent on my blog and I meant it! For some background on my journey so far see my last post here but in short I am renovating my life and removing everything I don’t need: bad food, thoughts, people and practices. If it doesn’t serve me well I don’t want it in my life. It feels so good to finally be walking my talk. It has been (and continues to be) surprising, confronting, empowering, consuming and energising. There have been setbacks and touchdowns. In fact this past fortnight I have hit my fair share of speed bumps…

What the pHuck?

What the pHuck?

I have been eating around 80% organic. I have been drinking plenty of water. I have been moving my body. I have been eating a largely plant-based diet. No grains. So I bought myself some pH sticks** and was not-so-quietly confident about the bright purple result I was about to witness.  You should have seen me approaching the counter – I had swagger (which is particularly impressive considering I was pushing a pram). So, imagine my surprise when my pH reading came up as fairly bright orange 5.5. How on earth was I so acidic? Where could I have gone wrong? I have been a saint, dangnammit!!! Or had I?

** I spoke about pH in this post about Wellness and Green Smoothies but to summarise; an acidic body is a breeding ground for illness and disease, the goal is to stay alkaline.

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Time to get real

The great thing about paring every part of your soul back is that you tend to reveal some overlooked home truths. Things that you may not have wanted to admit or habits that were so ingrained that you were truly unaware you were even doing them. So I looked hard in the mirror and realised there were some hurdles I needed to hurdle before I see the purple.

Acidic Behavior #1: Stress and Alcohol

The Real Deal: Even though I have been working hard on overcoming my anxiety it still rears its ugly head. If I am going to conquer it I need to pull out all stops and work a bit harder. And while the Cortisol (stress hormone) pulsing through my veins is enough to send me into the red I then self-medicate with a glass of red which is extremely counterproductive.

Action Step: Time to count anxiety butt-kicking as my full time profession and shelf the wine for special occasions only. And no Em… Thursday is not a special occasion.

Acidic Behavior #2: Too Much Superstuff

The Real Deal: I have realised that I a woman of excess. I tend to overload myself in virtually every aspect of my life (which includes the good bits). So when I discover a Superfood I tend to assume the more the better. Not so. Nuts are great… in moderation. Raw treats are fun to make… not every day. Coconuts are great… but it is possible to have a meal without one… put the goddamn coconut down woman!!!

Action Step: I am on the right track… I just need a little fine tuning. I have all the right ingredients I just need to get the proportions right to make this cake rise!

Raw Caramel Slice - NOT a healthy breakfast foodFollow me on Instagram @oliveonblonde

Raw Caramel Slice – NOT a healthy breakfast food
Follow me on Instagram @oliveonblonde

Time For A Cleanse

Master Cleanse goodness!Follow me on Instagram @oliveonblonde

Master Cleanse goodness!
Follow me on Instagram @oliveonblonde

So I decided to approach my life detox differently. I have been slowly removing all the bad elements of my life which is a great introduction to healthy changes but it seems I have stagnated.  Time to splash some cold water on me and kick this thing up a notch. So I have embarked on a juice cleanse. Now this is midday of Day 2 and considering I have so far written a page of semi-lucid thoughts and have not started hallucinating I must be doing alright. Pineapple Zanzibar.

Body

I have created my own tailored detox which is a mishmash of the many I have read about. I have combined ideas from The Blue Print Cleanse (which I heard about from ex-pat blogger Willy B Mum) with the Master Cleanse and a few cheeky recipes from Vegie Head. After I finish the cleanse I will write a whole post about it and include exactly what I did and include the recipes and results. I may even be brave enough to post pictures – Eeep. Well nothing like a bit of pressure to motivate you.

Even hubby is getting in on the cleanse action. What an easy packed lunch!Follow me on Instagram @oliveonblonde

Even hubby is getting in on the cleanse action. What an easy packed lunch!
Follow me on Instagram @oliveonblonde

Mind

On top of the juice cleanse I am also mentally detoxing… considering this is a large contributor to my acidic reading. I have started myself on a magnesium supplement as well as taking Australian Bushflower Essences morning and night. I am halfway through the Oprah and Deepak Chopra 21-day Meditation Challenge and my goodness is this making a difference! Throw in the good bits like journalling, sleeping,Vitamin D and letting my feet touch the ocean every day.

Action Steps

So while my post at the end of this will be more detailed this is what I am doing to cleanse myself…

  • 3 days of 70% juice then 7 days of 100% juice
  • Oil pulling every morning
  • Dry brushing every morning
  • Apple Cider Vinegar every morning
  • Australia Bush Flower Essences and Magnesium Supplement every night
  • Regular exercise and sunshine
  • More sleep (if my 4 month old little goose allows!)
  • No alcohol!

Oh yeah… and I got rid of my microwave!!!

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A Final Word

When I have told a few of my loved ones that I am doing a juice cleanse they had a bit of a chuckle at me. They mentioned that I have just about tried everything health fad under the sun and getting rid of my microwave is proof that I am insane! I think it was meant as a snipe but surely there can’t be a better compliment? It shows that instead of accepting a body and mind that I am unhappy with, I will never stop working towards my perfect self. People always say that you should never quit but then sometimes when you put that into practice you are met with skepticism. I say that as long as you never quit quitting you are on the right track. As long as you never stop striving to be the best person you can then you are always improving. Even if every day I only move one step forward it is better than just standing still.

So if you are one of those people too – that is working towards that ultimate goal and trying everything that you can… bloody good on ya! I think you are amazing.

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