Wednesday, June 29, 2011

"You're only as good as the company you keep".

I went to a really inspiring talk by Katie Pitsis last night. Katie is an unbelievable young woman who is a representative of the personal empowerment group Free Spirit Girl. Her life revolves around educating teens on positive body image, self esteem and achieving their goals.

When she spoke to everyone about having a great support network, she recited the Daggermouth quote “You can’t soar like an eagle when you’re hanging with the turkeys”.

What are the people you are surrounded by like? Do they talk about their goals and congratulate you on your achievements? Or do they have Tall Poppy Syndrome and whinge about their job/house/partner/body?

I think you can tell a good friend by the feeling you have after you’ve spent time with them. How many friends do you have who leave you feeling exhilarated and excited about life?

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Invite happiness to dinner.

As morbid as it sounds, Brad Pitt’s character in Fight Club was correct when he said “This is your life and it’s ending one minute at a time”.

Life is too short to not burn candles that don’t smell delicious
Life is too short to not have the softest bamboo sheets in the world
Life is too short to not invite your parents over for dinner
Life is too short to not put marshmallows in your hot chocolate
Life is too short to not do absolutely everything in your power to follow your dreams
Life is too short to not experience those countries you always talk about going to
Life is too short to not see live bands that give you a little tingle everytime you listen to their cd afterwards
Life is too short to not wear ridiculously loud socks to pilates when everyone else has on white
Life is too short to not utilise your talents and use them to your full potential
Life is too short to not share your life with someone who doesn’t crack you up on a daily, if not hourly basis
Life is too short to not give a damn about your health

Don't be boring. Make life juicy. xx

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Two a day.

So bananas are still wildly expensive and lovely summer fruits like mangoes and apricots are out of season. Are you still having the recommended 2 pieces of fruit each day? Here's a few suggestions on how to make room for them in your diet:

Easy ways of having your two pieces of fruit each day:
*Make a fruit salad
*Add stewed apples or pears to your porridge
*Add tinned peaches to your muesli
*Chop fresh pineapple and add it to your homemade pizza

*Have strawberries, yoghurt and cinnamon for dessert

*Thread chopped rockmelon, honeydew and watermelon chunks onto a skewer
*Snack on mixed dried fruit such as mangoes, figs, dates and peaches
*Have a handful of prunes

*Add blueberries to homemade spelt muffins
*Take a container to work filled with grapes, berries and mandarin segments
*At the start of each week buy a ¼ of a watermelon, pineapple, paw paw, or rockmelon, slice it up and keep it in a container in the fridge for you to snack on when you want something sweet
*Make a juice smoothie:

Juice Smoothie

1 cup of fruit juice
1 cup of watermelon
1 cup of fresh or frozen berries
1 heaped teaspoon of spirulina

1 Tbsp LSA

1 heaped dessert spoon of protein powder

Monday, June 20, 2011

Snack attack!

How often does this happen to you…

You’re at work and the hunger pains set in. Only trouble is you didn’t bring any (or enough) food with you to get you through the day to leave you feeling energised and happy. So you end up buying a muffin or whatever is convenient to satisfy your hunger, even if it's not the healthiest option...

Be prepared people! The more healthy snacks you have at work, the less likely you are to buy unhealthy food or a coffee during the day. I find that this happens to alot of mum's in particular. Even though they pack their kid's lunchboxes for school, they don't think about their own needs. Pack yourself a lunchbox!

*Stock your shelves with herbal tea bags rather than black tea and instant coffee.
*If you have a fridge at work, keep small tubs of Jalna or Gippsland Valley (green lid) yoghurt, hommus or miso soup paste for whenever you need a snack.
*Keep a zip-lock bag or a small container of nuts and dried fruit handy as well.
*Other foods to have on hand include a packet of corn thins, tins of tuna, bolied eggs, vegie sticks, Carmen’s muesli bars.

*Fresh fruit like apples, mandarins and bunches of grapes.
*At the start of the week bake a batch of muffins make on spelt flour instead of wheat flour. Google “spelt muffin recipes”.

*Or make up a zucchini slice in muffin tins, felafel balls or fish cakes.


Thursday, June 16, 2011

Baby talk.

Planning on having a bubba? Well it’s safe to say that they will come regardless of whether they are planned or not. I feel that it is our duty of care as women of a child bearing age to be prepared to give our future babies the best shot at a healthy life. Which is why today’s topic is FOLATE.

A recent study has shown that women who took a daily multivitamin supplement (especially one specific for pregnancy) had a strongly reduced risk of having a child with autism. Women in the study who did not take pre-natal (before pregnancy) vitamins had an estimated risk of having a child with autism up to seven times greater than in women who did take prenatal vitamins.

Folate/folic acid (vitamin B9) is the key player in the development of a healthy foetal nervous system and studies show that folic acid supplements have the potential to prevent up to 70 percent of neural tube defects such as spina bifida when taken before pregnancy and in the first trimester.

Folic acid is found in barley, beans, eggs, green leafy vegies, lentils, sprouts and soybeans. It’s also found in liver and other organ meats. Whatever tickles your fancy... We don’t judge here at Essential Health.

Take into consideration that folate levels are depleted by the Pill, alcohol and many medications. Deficiency signs include anaemia, fatigue, cervical dysplasia, forgetfulness, headaches, irritability and loss of libido. Does this tick any boxes for you?

When choosing a multi for pre-natal care, pregnancy and lactation don’t just grab any old vitamin that’s on special at the supermarket. Ask your naturopath about a good quality supplement like BioCeuticals InNatal plus Iron which doesn’t contain magnesium oxide like some cheap brands. It also has a decent amount of iodine which is super important for brain development. We need around 400 micrograms a day of folate and 800 micrograms if you’re pregnant or lactating.

How much folate is in your multivitamin?

PS. Rule of three again.
1. I read the research article which inspired me to write the post.
2. A customer came in who’s partner has post-natal depression.
3. As I was finishing writing the post, the local naturopath who specialises in fertility dropped off some brochures.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Inhale... Exhale... Inhale... Exhale...

I don’t know if you’ve caught wind of this awesome thing that instantly improves your health.

Some of the benefits are that it:

Lowers blood pressure
Reduces stress
Builds self confidence

Stops you snapping at your partner
Helps you sleep like a baby
Will have you bounding with energy
Improves asthma

Helps you chillax

Unleashes creativity
And allows a sense of overall physical, mental and emotional wellbeing.

How much does it cost? Absolutely nothing.

Do you need a prescription? Not at all.

What is the dose? As much as you need.

When can I start it? Right this second.

What is it? MEDITATION!!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The fabel with labels.

Fresh is always best. But if you are buying bottled juice, take a moment to read the list of ingredients on the back of the label. Don't just assume that they are 100% juice. I was in the supermarket this afternoon and it wasn't until the 5th bottle I picked up that I found a juice without added flavour. Read the fine print please :)

Winter wonderland.

20 Things we love about winter:

Homemade hot chocolate with extra marshmallows
Bamboo cotton pants
Knitted scarves made by someone you love
Opening the front door and smelling the slow cooker which has been bubbling away all day
Starting to knit a scarf and giving up halfway through
Getting soaked to the bone but then jumping in a hot shower
Wrapping yourself up in towels or sheets that are fresh out of the dryer
Adding more hot water to the bath –for the third time
Pawpaw ointment on chapped lips
Hot water bottles with fluffy covers
The smell of Vicks
Knee socks under knee high boots
Steaming pumpkin soup with a dollop of greek yoghurt
Bone chilling gusts of wind
Empty beaches
Mandarins, pears, leeks, cauliflowers and pumpkin
Having fantasies that we would be awesome snowboarders if we ever tried
Creamy porridge with banana and cinnamon
Peter Alexander flannelette pyjamas
Knowing that every winter day is one day closer to summer

Enjoy the next two and a half months xx

Monday, June 13, 2011


Things happen in three’s right? For example last week I had expensive dental work done, paid my car rego and bought a new 10 class pilates pass. “Ouch” cried my bank balance (and me from the dentist chair).

But a more significant set of threes also occurred last week:

1. Carol: Last year my mum passed on her antique wooden spinning wheel to this wild and vibrant hippie named Carol. Carol started going to spinning classes where she said she would spend the whole 45 minutes swearing in frustration and laughing with joy. She said there was not one class where she didn’t learn something new.

On Saturday she walked into the shop beaming and announced that she had something for me. She placed a crumpled brown bag on the counter and pulled out a pair of soft grey woollen slippers. She knitted them from the first lot of wool that she spun on the wheel. Carol pointed out a thin piece of turquoise wool which she had tied around each ankle and explained that the wool had been on the wheel when mum gave it to her, therefore it must have been the last thing mum had made herself.

Carol gave me the slippers because she said that she wants me to experience the wonderful journey she experienced on this challenge of learning a new skill. And of course, the slippers fit perfectly on my larger than normal feet.

2. Pilates: If you’ve spent more than 15 minutes with me, you will know that I’m head over heels for pilates. I started in February this year and my teacher suggested that I come and check out the advanced class on Thursday night. I went along with a belly full of fish cakes, expecting to sit quietly in the corner to see what I was up for at the end of the year when I was aiming to start thinking about advanced.

“Grab a mat” said my teacher... Forty five minutes later I was a puffed, exhausted and every fibre of my body was pulsing. My triceps didn’t even want to talk to me again til four days later. My teacher gave me the option of staying in Intermediate and building strength or moving up to Advanced if I felt like a challenge. Once she said that word, I knew what I wanted to do.

3. The card: The final piece of the puzzle was when I picked an affirmation card this morning out of the little red teacup next to my bed. I turned over the yellow card and read “CHALLENGE YOURSELF”.

So I opened up my laptop and decided to tell you about it.

When you’re at a cross road next, think “Which one is the easy option and which one is the challenge”?

“Anything unattempted remains impossible”. Unknown Author

"Be not afraid of growing slowly, be afraid only of standing still”. Chinese proverb

“Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful”. Joshua J. Marine

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Mash and mayhem.

I’ve had this obsession lately with mashing vegies. What am I, 6 months old?

When you think of Winter, you think of comfort food. And what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Mashed potato. Along with lamb shanks and apple pie and custard, of course. I don’t believe in mashed potato. I mean, what is it? A big lump of starch. You may as well eat cardboard because at least then you’d be getting a bit of fibre.

So instead, mash up veggies for a nutrient dense alternative. Mash is a great way to sneak lots of vegies into your kids (or boyfriends) diet without them knowing or being able to pick them out. I have a fantastic book called Deceptively Delicious by Jessica Seinfield (yes, Jerry’s wife) that is all about crafty ways to getting your kids to eat better, without them knowing it.

So here is my *special* mashed veg recipe:

*Roughly chop one carrot, one broccoli, two squash and a small sweet potato (high in vitamin A for the eyes). Steam until tender then drain liquid.

*Mash together. Add a few splashes of soy milk.

*Add one cup of cooked brown rice to the mash. Add one tablespoon of pesto or sweet chilli sauce. Season with pepper or pink Himalayan salt.

The best thing about this mash is that it’s super adaptable:

*Place a soft boiled egg on top and have for brekkie
*Mix in a small tin of drained tuna and have for lunch
*Serve as a side dish or even the topping to shephards pie for dinner

So go on, take your anger out on your veggies and start mashing!