Thursday, December 25, 2014

A new beginning

by Elizabeth Gilbert

Dear Ones -
A woman asked Pastor Rob Bell yesterday how you can tell the difference between when your soul is talking to you, and when your ego is talking to you.

Rob started with an explanation of the ego, as a force that is never satisfied. Nothing will ever be enough for the ego — not enough money, not enough praise, not enough shoes, not enough Facebook likes, not enough donuts. (He didn't say the bit about donuts, but you get the point.) And when the ego DOES get something it wants (success, attention, a swimming pool), all it can do is crow about it.

As for the soul, though, all it wants is joy and light and love...and excitement. When you are living the life that your soul wants to live, you will wake up each morning and say, "Oh my god, I can't believe I get to do this today!" (Whatever "this" might be — write this book, work in this garden, live in this house, see this friend, eat this food, raise these children, walk in the woods with this dog, go to this job, visit this family member, etc, etc...)

There is a place in our lives for our egos. (As Martha Beck, another great teacher always says: "Don't leave home without it.") You need some ego, to shore up your boundaries, to give you a sense of self, to keep some fire in your belly.

But don't let your ego make the big choices for you. Because it will do nothing but forever demand more, more, more, more. It will always say, "We don't have enough yet."

Look for the things that make your soul say, "I can't believe how lucky we are to have this!"...and try to surround yourself with as much of THAT as you can. And don't sacrifice the things that make your soul come alive for the things your ego demands.

Boosting iron

Some afternoons lately I’ve been feeling pretty sleepy. As a professional convalescer, I embraced cat naps with open arms. However when I received my third trimester blood results back last week and saw that my iron stores were on the floor, it all started making a bit more sense.

I’m not a vego by any means, but I just haven’t craved red meat through my pregnancy (plus I’m not great at cooking it) so I haven’t really thought about it.

-Eat more beetroot, organic dried apricots and prunes, parsley, pine nuts, green leafys.
Red meat twice a week.

-Take BioMedica BioHeme capsules twice a day, then I’ll retest my bloods in about 6 weeks to make sure it’s having an impact.

-If I have a chai, make sure that I take my iron supplement and multi at least an hour away (black tea contains tannins that inhibit the absorption of iron).

-Each day I’ve been making up a pot of nettle tea, letting it cool and then pouring it into a couple of glass water bottles in the fridge. It tastes a bit barley grassy, but it’s really refreshing.

-Exercise is an awesome way of increasing your body’s red blood cell production.

-Increase vitamin C-rich foods to help the absorption of iron. Lemon juice in water before a meal is great.

Did you experience low iron during your pregnancy? What did you find the most effective way to get your levels up?

The Name Game

My husband and I were completely sold on our baby-to-be’s name even before it was conceived. But in the last month they’ve completely gone out the window. As a matter of fact, our ‘boy name’ has become our ‘girl name’.

I can think of probably eight girls’ names I like, but only maybe two for boys. Then you have to make sure it doesn’t rhyme with anything like ‘snot’ (sorry to anyone named Scott reading this) plus it can’t be a name of someone you used to go out with or didn’t like at school.

We’re also avoiding telling anyone our names to avoid “Oh… *pause* that’s an interesting name…”

Did you name your child after someone? Did you tell your friends and family the names or wait til after the birth to decided what he/she looked like? Did you look up the meaning of the name?

Emma the Naturopath xx
(30 weeks –size of a butternut pumpkin… Dear Lord!)

"She did not need much,
wanted very little.
A kind word,
fresh air,
clean water,
a garden,
books to read,
sheltering arms,
a cosy bed,
and to love and be loved in return"
-Starra Neely Blade

123. Top Five Things I LOVED This Week:

1. Deep baritone croaks from frogs in drain pipes during the rain on Monday night.
2. Funny car names. My silver Nissan Bluebird is affectionately known as High Ho Silver and my husband’s white van is better known as Barry White (custom-made pirate curtains and all). What’s yours?
3. Mangoes every damn day.
4. An iPod full of new and old music. So many memories flood back of countless hours spent in highschool learning Pearl Jam’s Daughter on my guitar, living in Byron when I was 18 driving around in my old Gemini with Everyone Deserved Music by Michael Franti, lying on the beach in the Maldives listening to my new Jack Johnson album that I bought at the Singapore airport, singing along to Bob Marley with dad at the top of our lungs in our family car (yes it was High Ho) when I was little…
5. That feeling of satisfaction when you finally finish a book that you’ve had to re-borrow from the library four times. Don’t let me borrow your books, I am the sloooooooowest reader ever.


I have made a heart-based decision to close Essential Health. We have been open for 9 and a half years, founded by my parents in May 2005. I love the shop. I love our customers and clients, but it’s time to start the next chapter.

Years ago I remember watching an interview that Oprah did with Jerry Seinfeld about why he stopped filming his hit TV show because its success and popularity. He humbly spoke about elegant sufficiency. “You know when you’ve had a really delicious meal and you put your knife and fork down because you’re satisfied and know you’ve had enough? One extra bite would be too much and you just want to leave the restaurant satisfied rather than overdoing it.”

That pretty much sums up how I feel about Essential Health.

As soon as I made this decision on Tuesday night and said it out loud, my heart just beamed with happiness as I know that this is the perfect decision for my little family and I. I want to peacefully raise my child and give my husband back his calm happy wife. I have so much respect and admiration for women who do the whole baby plus work thing, but in the words of Elizabeth Gilbert “that’s somebody else’s dream”.

The ‘Emma the Naturopath’ Facebook page will keep still keep churning out the Top 5’s and Maternal Mondays plus my usual ramblings. You’ll still see me around town, but instead of rushing to the bank, carrying mail and invoices, I’ll be pushing a stroller with a smile on my face.

“The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it and enjoy the dance”
-Alan Watts

Loving this...

124. Top Five Things I LOVED This Week:

1. The thrill and anticipation of watching ominous storm fronts roll in each afternoon. Gotta love summertime in subtropical climates.
2. Wearing my super incredible heels –even if it does mean that I have to get my husband to do them up because I can no longer bend down.
3. Lovingly tending to my beetroot and oak leaf lettuce seedlings.
4. The most perfect dream catcher I’ve ever seen that my thoughtful friend made us for Baby Caller’s room. It’s got little pearl, turquoise and wooden beads and white feathers on the frame with a clear quartz attached to the centre of the hand-woven web. Go admire Chrystal’s creations on Insta: @seagypsytreasures
5. A morning spent eating buckwheat waffles, stand up paddle boarding at high tide, then tea and fresh banana bread in the garden. Happy bday Father Bear xx Hope you enjoyed your new goggles and locally made salami! Italians are easy to please.

Emma the Naturopath xx

PS. “When a woman conceives her true self, a miracle occurs and life around her begins again”.
-Marianne Williamson

Choosing my family over my business was easily the biggest decision I’ve made in the past 29 years, but my heart told me to jump, so that’s what I’m doing.

I’ve felt so touched this week by constantly being told by my clients, customers and friends “Congratulations, you’ve made the right choice”. I have received hugs, smiles and flowers from countless people each day for how grateful they are to have had Essential Health in their lives the last nine and a half years. The feeling is mutual.

Have a beautiful week x

Essential Health

0266 514 533
Facebook: Emma the Naturopath

Saturday, November 29, 2014


Almond milk
Frozen mango
Red pawpaw
Coconut oil
Barley grass powder
Pea protein powder
Chia Seeds
Whizzed up in our pimping BioChef blender

What was in your smoothie this morning?

118. Top Five Things I LOVED This Week:

1. Watching a young tradie pull his ute over and scoop up three tiny plover chicks and reunite them with their mummy and daddy who were distressed that they couldn’t jump up the gutter. Bless. I on the other hand have taken out a restraining order against all plovers...
2. Pomegranate sorbet after wandering through the Bangalow markets.
3. Stopping over at our favourite antique shop on the drive home. Yes I did need that goose-shaped serviette holder.
4. The craziness of the teepee markets at the Byron Bay Surf Festival.
5. The sweet elderly customer who knitted a pair of booties, mittens and a little hat for my bub -all wrapped up in waxed baking paper!

Emma the Naturopath xx

PS. “The most important decision we make is whether we believe we live in a friendly or a hostile universe”
-Albert Einstein

It’s good just to check in with ourselves every now and then to see how optimistic our view on our world really is

119. Top Five Things I LOVED This Week:

1. Listening to ‘Turn Your Lights Down Low’ by Bob Marley and Lauryn Hill.
2. The cat that sat on our window sill at 2:30 this morning and began serenading us at the top of its lungs. We were in hysterics.
3. Sneaky Spell purchases…!
4. Incredible jacaranda trees lighting up my life like exploding purple fireworks.
5. Mum’s perfect lamb roast and veg with homemade mint sauce followed by a gluten-free apple and date lumberjack cake =food coma for days.

Emma the Naturopath xx

PS. There are three things my dad has always tried to instill upon me for as long as I can remember. The first is to not attach unnecessary emotion to a situation. The second is not to live beyond your means. And the last is to have patience...

I’ve always sucked at the latter. It’s a work in progress.
The yoga affirmation card I pulled out this morning read:

PATIENCE (Kurmasana Pose –Tortoise Pose)

Patience is not a command to wait.
It’s a relaxed approach to this moment,
so the next moment can reveal itself with ease.
Your patience creates excellence.

What an eloquent way of describing patience… Please borrow this sentiment this week if it resonates with you. It hit the nail on the head for me.


I’ve always had such a fear of giving birth.

After a lot of reflection, I figured out that the fear stemmed from the lack of belief in my own body as I felt that I was “too yin”. I thought the tougher, stronger and “more yang” you were, the better you would be at birthing your baby. “Why can’t YOU do this?” I’d say to my husband (the most yang person I know).

But after doing the HypnoBirthing course, hearing positive birth stories from women I align with and reading Sarah J. Buckley’s book ‘Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering’, I have really transformed my feelings.

This passage by Buckley completely clicked for me:

“Surrender is not a popular virtue in the West. In fact, surrender is often seen as weakness in our culture; we are instead encouraged to be active and in control of our lives. This very yang, masculine attitude may serve us in some circumstances, but we cannot birth our babies through sheer force of will. We need to learn more subtle –yet equally powerful, path of surrender.
When we surrender conscious control, we allow our deeper innate rhythms to surface. In allowing her labour to go at its own pace, without hurry or interference, a woman learns to trust her own , and her baby’s, natural rhythms.

In surrendering to birth, we also learn about our role on the Earth: we are neither the rulers nor the architects of creation. Life comes through us, simply and gracefully, when we allow it”.

Did you have fears around giving birth? What helped you and what did you discover about yourself?

Emma the Naturopath xx
*picture taken last wk at 6 months*
(27 wks –length of a continental cucumber)

I am so head over heels for what Elizabeth Gilbert wrote last week about staying true to yourself that I just had to share it:


Dear Ones -
I found this picture today that my husband took of me in 2011, doing research for THE SIGNATURE OF ALL THINGS. This photo captures exactly what I did for three straight years. I sat in a chair, reading books about botany, evolution, abolition, women's history, missionaries, Dutch 18th century commerce, and order to fill my brains (and index cards) with enough information to write that novel.

There is no situation in which I could possibly be happier than this — submerged in the vocation that I love, vanishing for hours a day into my work.
Un-showered, greasy hair, eyes tired, totally falling down the rabbit hole of research...this is me, living my dream.

I was thinking today about all the other paths that I did not take in life, no matter how shiny and appealing they may have looked. I've had the possibility of living so many different kinds of life that could have been a dream for somebody else. I never choose those lives. I've never lived the dreams that other people wanted for themselves — nor have I lived the dreams that other people may have wanted for me.

I never had children...because that's somebody else's dream.
I never took the opportunities that were offered to me after the success of EAT PRAY LOVE to have a TV show of my own...because that's somebody else's dream.
I never took a good steady job teaching writing at a nice college...because that's somebody else's dream.

I didn't remain in Bali or Rome, gorgeous as those places are...because that's somebody else's dream.
I turn down 99% of the invitations I get to attend to fancy parties and stellar gatherings...because that's somebody else's dream.

I sold my big beautiful house with its fabulous gardens and lovely library...because one day I looked around at that gorgeous home and realized: "This is somebody else's dream." (Happily, I sold the house to the family whose dream it actually was. So we all win.)
I never hired a team of personal assistants and staff and consultants to help me "grow my brand"...because that's somebody else's dream.

I know what makes me come to life — working on my books — and this picture tells the whole story. Knowing what makes me come to life has helped me to distinguish between my dreams and the dreams of others.

Ask yourself this question, whenever you are given any choice or opportunity. Ask: "Will saying YES to this path bring me closer to the source that brings me to life? Or will it take me further away?"
No matter how alluring, no matter how beautiful, no matter how sparkling and fancy and delicious — do not say YES to other people's dreams.

Do your own thing. Live in your own waking dream. Stubbornly.

Even if it means not washing your hair for a week. (ESPECIALLY if it means that!)


Emma the Naturopath xx

Essential Health
0266 514 533
Facebook: Emma the Naturopath

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Do nothing

"How beautiful it is to do nothing, 
and then to rest afterwards"

-Spanish proverb

116. Top Five Things I LOVED This Week:

1. The insane icing on the vegan, wheat-free chai carrot cake we shared at Santos.
2. Our new BioChef blender that I ordered through work. A little Father’s Day present to my husband from our unborn baby –gosh it’s a generous little foetus isn’t it? This blender could liquefy a brick!
3. Sitting in a chattery church waiting for the ceremony to begin, then all of a sudden a wave of Chinese whispers swept through the crowd of “She’ here!” and everyone hushed.
4. A refreshing swim in the eery tea tree lake at Lake Ainsworth.
5. Nathan’s chai, Eliza’s foot massages, the way Noa always thoughtfully sets the table with a plant, Blossom’s shy smiles and River’s belly kisses.

Emma the Naturopath xx

PS. In the words of Elizabeth Gilbert:
“Embrace the glorious mess that you are”

117. Top Five Things I LOVED This Week:

1. The new Country Road campaign featuring Gemma Ward with her baby girl. YouTube the clip.
2. Vicariously eating whatever Jamie O is cooking during his Comfort Food series. Did anyone see that lobster macaroni and cheese the other week? Or the one with the sticky date pudding? I feel as though I’ve gained 6 kilos after watching an episode!
3. The little chats I have with my newly planted seedlings. “Oh aren’t you getting big!” “Are you thirsty? Do you want a drink of water?”
4. That luxurious hour of solitude after my husband leaves for work at 7:30am til I have to leave the house at 8:30am. It’s usually spent sitting on the east side of the house which has been warmed by the sun, sipping a smoothie or green juice while scrolling through beautiful pics on Tumblr or watering my garden. Can you tell we don’t have kids yet?
5. Spending a Saturday afternoon drinking tea and making a raw vegan choc mint tart with my Mother Bear. (Recipe posted this week).

Emma the Naturopath xx

PS. I randomly pulled out one of my trusty yoga affirmation cards yesterday while in a complete fluster. It was Utkatasana Pose and the heading was ‘CONTROL’.

It read: Do not make a decision simply to end your discomfort of ambivalence. Connect to your strength. Allow the right choice to find you.

It can be incredibly tempting to take the easy way out to escape a physically or emotionally taxing situation… But it’s important to trust the timing of your life and live gracefully with patience in your heart. In the end, everything always works out for the best xx


The cacao nibs in the base give it an awesome crunchy choc chip texture and the minty-ness of the filling balances the sweet chocolatey-ness of the base! Now let’s not get carried away here, yes the recipe is raw and vegan with descent ingredients, but sugar is sugar so save it to have as a treat rather than for breakfast Enjoy!

1 cup almonds, ground into a meal
3/4 cup pitted, packed medjool dates
1/4 cup cacao powder
1/4 cup cacao nibs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

In a food processor, mix ingredients into a moist dough that presses together easily. Add a couple of teaspoons of water if needed. Press the mixture into a 6" tart pan. Set aside.

2 1/2 cups cashews, soaked overnight in water then drained
1 cup lightly packed mint leaves
1 cup water
1/3 cup + 2 tablespoons agave
8 drops mint extract or essential oil
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Pinch of Himalayan salt
3 tablespoons cacao butter, melted
2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted

In a food processor, combine everything until smooth and creamy. Taste the mixture - add more mint extract (or mint leaves) if needed. Pour into the crust and freeze overnight. Leave in fridge for 3 hours before serving.

There was a fair bit of mint filling leftover (maybe we'll add less water next time?) so we poured it into little ramekins and popped them in the freezer then ate them like little mint mousses the next day.

Emma the Naturopath xx

*SHARE this post or TAG a friend who loves you to subtly encourage them to whip this up for you*


I have been offered SO many hilarious old wives tales about how you can tell if you’re having a boy or a girl. As soon as you tell someone that you didn’t find out the sex they’ll give you a theory based on how you’re carrying, if you had morning sickness or not, etc to give you a psychic prediction. Last week someone told me the sex of the baby was determined by whether the man or woman initiated the love making that resulted in the pregnancy! You just have to laugh

What wild stories have you been told or what do you swear by?

Emma the Naturopath xx
(24 weeks –length of a cob of corn)


Every night I massage my feet with some moisturiser and a few drops of lavender oil and then pop a pair of socks on and snooze the night away.

I think its the combo of the calming aromatherapy, the reflexology points and just a little self-love ritual to say "Thanks for carrying me around all day feet!"

Also a fan of magnesium as well as turning off all technology (phones/TV/laptop) by 9pm and reading in bed.

What night time ritual gets you counting sheep?



I’ve just started flicking through Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering by Australian doctor Sarah J. Buckley. In a nutshell, we are reminded to have faith in our ability to birth our child as it is part of our innate wisdom. She affirms that by encouraging a trust in our intuition and body knowledge, this will assist in promoting a confident and calm birth: “In these circumstances, a labouring woman can let down her guard, switching off her rational brain and opening to the ‘unreasoned impulse’ of her instincts”.

In the chapter Vision and Tools for Instinctive Birth, she speaks of several key methods to enhance the power of our instincts:

-nourishing ourselves with wholefoods for optimal nutrition
-connecting to nature
-bodywork eg. prenatal yoga
-listening to our body clock rather than our watch
-honouring our own spiritual faith and practises
-taking time to contemplate, process and digest our internal feelings that arise through journaling, artwork, meditation and communicating with our partner

“We are all creatures of the Earth, and our bodies need the Earth’s nourishment to work effectively in any instinctive behaviour. For some women, pregnancy brings an urge to garden or to go walking, to hike or just to gaze at the scenery of earth and sky. All of these activities help align us with the Earth, our great Mother, and teach us respect and love for the natural order”.

Self-nourishment on a physical, emotional and spiritual level during pregnancy is a number one priority for all of us, but especially during pregnancy. I feel like when we connect with nature, be it walking on the beach, watching the sunrise or chopping up veggies from the farmers market for a juice, we are aligning ourselves with the flow of life.

Have you read this book or another one similar?
What are your thoughts/experiences regarding “instinctive birthing”?
How did you nourish yourself during pregnancy?

Essential Health

0266 514 533
Facebook: Emma the Naturopath

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Smell the flowers

114. Top Five Things I LOVED This Week:

1. My husband’s eyes growing wide as he turned to me and asked “Was that the baby?!” Pretty special feeling the baby kick for the first time.
2. Walking down the hill from Bronte to the beach and admiring all the charming old houses and the abundance of Australian bush flowers: wisteria, bottlebrush, sea banksias, macrocarpa and wattle. *Photo by Brett the Physiologist*
3. The incredible jasmine vines that were draped from the ceiling beams at the wedding reception. The entire space smelled of Spring and looked magical. Congrats Mr and Mrs Satchwell, it was the most perfect day xx
4. A spontaneous morning involving the Bronte to Bondi headland walk, feasting at the farmers market, meeting up with friends at the chai tent, discovering Orchard St café (kombucha on tap!!) and spending time with more happy friends.
5. Ordering a chai bowl (yes a chai in a BOWL) from Pure Bronte this morning.

Emma the Naturopath xx

PS. “Once a year, go someplace you’ve never been before”.
-Dalai Lama

Invite adventure into your life!


“Experiencing a child growing in your body just gives you such a newfound respect for the human body. It’s just fascinating! It gives you this sense and this feeling of timelessness, this sort of evolution of man and what a miracle it is that you get pregnant at all.

It’s not like you take a special pill and this pill makes the baby grow. The baby just grows, without you even doing anything but breathing and sleeping and eating. That is an amazing feeling. You feel so proud of your body.”

-Liv Tyler

Emma the Naturopath xx
(22 weeks -size of a papaya)


Water bottles are always the “go-to” present for that difficult person to buy for, or an awesome incentive for yourself to stay hydrated! Or come in and stock up on water bottles (and spare lids!) before the kiddo’s go back to school. We’ve got sizes from 350ml to 1.2L in lots of snazzy designs in all the best brands: EcoTanka, Cheeki and EarthLust!

Tag someone in this post who you think would get a bit excited about 10% off all water bottles!

"Happiness is to hold flowers in both hands"

-Japanese proverb

So high on Spring right now... What flowers are you loving? I'm all about the bottlebrush and calla lillies!

115. Top Five Things I LOVED This Week:

1. Hot gf chocolate and coconut pancakes cooked in salty butter. Just a little Tuesday night treat.
2. Whale sightings on a windy headland.
3. The name of my friend’s neighbour’s cat: Sophie PrettyToes. Best. Name. EVER.
4. Brand new bamboo sheets as well as a new king-size quilt and linen doona cover which have been washed and hanging in the sunshine all day. I am SO excited to go to bed tonight.
5. The fact that my overly house-proud husband finds it a necessity to have fresh flowers in the house at all times. No complaints here. *The wonderful picture is courtesy of lovely Sherrin from ST Images

Emma the Naturopath xx

PS. “It’s not how much love we give, but how much love we put into giving”
-Mother Theresa

When you give someone a compliment this week, mean it. And when you help someone out, do it cheerfully. Let’s genuinely care for one another


I’ve always loved cooking and baking (it's an Italian thing), but now that I’m pregnant I’ve really gone into overdrive! I have been scouring the library shelves for new cookbooks and saving recipes on blogs to a special folder entitled “TO BAKE”.

This morning I’ve made zucchini slice, bliss balls, toasted muesli as well as salt and vinegar almonds. Now I'm thinking about what I can cook for dinner... Did I mention it’s only 10:30am? I was at Coles at 7:30am to buy supplies. My husband is beside himself with joy.

When did nesting kick in for you? Were you madly rearranging the whole house or cooking up a storm like me?

Here is the bikkie recipe I baked on Saturday afternoon:

1 cup rolled oats
1 cup cashews
1 cup gluten-free SR flour (I use a box of Orgran from the health food aisle of Coles)
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp ginger (ground or fresh)
¼ tsp pink salt
½ cup honey/rice malt/maple syrup (or 100g coconut sugar)
½ cup coconut oil or organic butter (melted)
1 Tbsp chia seeds

1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees.
2. Throw oats and cashews in food processor and grind coarsely.
3. Mix all ingredients in a bowl.
4. Roll mixture into walnut sized balls and place on a lined baking tray.
5. Bake for 10 mins or until slightly golden. Store in airtight container.

How easy is that? You can be eating hot chewy biscuits in 20 mins from now! Perfect for school lunchboxes, afternoon tea with a cuppa or at 2 in the morning when you’re STARVING!

(Recipe adapted from The Vegan Baker by Dunja Gulin)

Emma the Naturopath xx
(23 weeks –the length of a shallot)

Essential Health
0266 514 533
Facebook: Emma the Naturopath

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Set yourself free

I’m a big fan of gifts from the heart. So how about making someone you love some homemade toasted muesli? Put it in a cute little glass jar and they'll love you forever.

2 cups coconut flakes
2 cups rolled oats
1 cup almonds (roughly chopped)
1/3 cup sunflower seeds
1/3 cup pepitas
1/3 cup chia seeds
1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
1/3 cup of your fave dried organic fruit (roughly chopped) eg. figs, peaches, sultanas
3 Tbsp organic butter or coconut oil
3 Tbsp rice malt syrup

1. Mix all dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
2. In a small saucepan, melt the oil/butter and rice malt syrup.
3. Pour over muesli mix and stir to coat well.
4. Line a tray with baking paper and evenly spread out muesli.
5. Bake in a preheated oven at 120 degrees for 15-20 mins or once muesli is golden and dry. Keep a close eye on it! Move it around every now and then to get an even golden coverage. Store in a glass jar in the pantry.

To me, toasted muesli is a “sometimes food”. It’s a yummy breakfast, afternoon snack or dessert served with yoghurt and fresh fruit.

111. Top Five Things I LOVED This Week:

1. Picking lemons from heavy branches with dad.
2. Cozy dinners with new friends.
3. Pukka ‘Refresh’ tea that we drink from tiny cups every week at meditation group. I bought myself a box for home this week.
4. I had this dream the other week where I ended up in a library and it was one big party! I knew heaps of people there and I was having a great time! So I took it as a sign and became a member of the Coffs Library. Didn’t have the same nightclub vibe when I walked in, but I walked out with a Jamie Oliver cookbook, vintage Frankie mags, a Sex and the City dvd, a prenatal yoga dvd, parenting books, a cd of Brazilian street music and a kids book called The Penguin and the Cupcake to read to the bump.
5. Doing the Running Festival (I walked) with my parents and husband this Father’s Day.

Emma the Naturopath xx

PS. I want to leave you with a passage my husband read to me the other night in bed from The Way of the Peaceful Warrior by Dan Millman:

An old man and his son worked a small farm, with only one horse to pull the plow. One day, the horse ran away.
“How terrible,” sympathized the neighbors. “What bad luck.”
“Who knows whether it is bad luck or good luck,” the farmer replied.

A week later, the horse returned form the mountains, leading five wild mares into the barn.
“What wonderful luck!” said the neighbors.
“Good luck? Bad luck? Who knows?” answered the old man.

The next day, the son, trying to tame one of the horses, fell and broke his leg.
“How terrible. What bad luck!”
“Bad luck? Good luck?”

The army came to all the farms to take the young men for war. The farmer’s son was of no use to them, so he was spared.
“Good? Bad?”

~Happy pills~

I eat well. It’s part of my job description. But my feelings are, no matter how fantastic your diet is, there is such a demand on the body when growing a baby (and breastfeeding) that it can be tricky to get the right amounts of all your nutrients at a THERAPEUTIC level.

1 x MyGen Fertility Multi
1 x BioCeuticals Ultrabiotic Pregnancy Care

1 scoop x BioCeuticals Ultra Muscleze Night
2 x BioCeuticals DHA Omega


BioCeuticals Ultrabiotic Pregnancy Care (probiotic)
Keeps all the friendly bacteria in good a positive balance in the gut, urinary and reproductive tracts.

BioCeuticals DHA Omega (fish oil)
Prevents post natal depression and assists with nervous system and eye development.

MyGen Fertility Multi (multivitamin)
Tops up all my vitamins and minerals including iodine which is essential for brain development.

BioCeuticals Ultra Muscleze Night (magnesium powder)
Relaxes the muscles and calms the nervous system.

Something worth noting is that these supp’s were prescribed to me by my herbalist whom I have regular consultations with and she keeps an eye on my blood tests. I am also very particular about the QUALITY of my supp’s which is why I take practitioner-prescribed brands.

Which supplements did you find most useful during pregnancy?

Emma the Naturopath xx

(19 wks –size of a mango)

112. Top Five Things I LOVED This Week:

1. The gasp you let out when you see your bank balance dramatically jump up. Then you realise your tax return has arrived.
2. A 10km ride around Coffs creek in the glorious Spring sunshine.
3. A morning meditation class followed by hot gluten-free banana bread with salty butter and cinnamon ricotta. Both are equally good for the soul.
4. Being wide awake at 5:30 each morning because I’m STARVING, then having 3pm naps in the afternoon to catch up. It all started because that’s when my husband gets up to go surfing and now the baby starts moving around at the same time. They share a special bond those two.
5. Finding a fat caterpillar (named Fred) in the bunch of flowers on the dining room table and checking on him every day.

Emma the Naturopath xx

“She wore the scent of early spring on her delicate neck and every kiss I stole tasted of bright yellow flowers and buzzing bees”
-Michael Faudet

Spring is here beautiful people… Soak it up! At a “Spring Health” talk I did at One Conscious Breath Yoga Studio this week, I asked everyone to say a word that they associate with spring. Such answers included:

Jasmine flowers
New beginnings
Lighter afternoons

~The 20 week scan~

My husband and I were adamant that there was no way we were going to find out the sex of our baby until we were holding it in our arms. That was, until we had our 20 week morphology scan last week.

I caved with all the excitement. “Are you SURE we don’t want to know?” I asked my husband repeatedly from across the room during the scan. The sonographer told us to look away if we didn’t want to know, while he zoomed in on the pelvic area. I saw my husband turn around and face the corner while I squinted to work out what the hell what was what on the screen. No luck.

Boy or girl -we’re stoked either way. I want a little daughter to cook and bake with, but the thought of a mini-Brett melts my heart.

Did you find out or wait for the delivery day? What were your reasons?

Emma the Naturopath xx
(20 weeks –the length of a banana)


I was flicking through my I Quit Sugar cookbook the other week (page 146 in the Savoury Snacks section for those of you playing along at home) and stumbled across a super easy recipe for salt and vinegar almonds. The recipe in the book says add 50ml of ACV and 1 Tbsp of salt to 1 ½ cups of almonds, but I’ve experimented and found that the below recipe works best for me.

Add to a bowl:
2 cups of almonds
1 Tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
2 tsp pink Himalayan salt

Stir well so the nuts are coated then spread out in a lined baking dish. Bake at 150 degrees for around 15 mins –stirring every 5 mins til the nuts are mostly dry. Store in a glass container in the pantry. They are sooooo morish hot out of the oven!!

113. Top Five Things I LOVED This Week:

1. The excitement of upcoming weddings: booking flights, finding a dress, buying and wrapping presents. The whole kit and caboodle (not kitten caboodle like I used to think the saying went).
2. Standing out in my garden watering all my plants and then doing yoga after breakfast. My favourite way to soak up some vitamin D.
3. Receiving 3 incredible bunches of flowers in 4 days. My house and shop are filled with colourful poppies, freesias, sunflowers and lillies. Thankyou Tamika, Jas and Bretty xx and once again the talented Precious Petal girls
4. Strawberry lassi: two handfuls of strawbs, fresh mint, a handful of ice, 2 Tbsp goat yoghurt, nutmeg, cinnamon and filtered water. So refreshing.
5. When your friend texts you going “Just made quinoa nori rolls and a spelt orange and chia seed cake with coconut ganache. Would you like to share if we bring it over later?” Um yes Sherrin, Y-E-S!

Emma the Naturopath xx

PS. “We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty”
-Maya Angelou

I have great respect for delayed gratitude. It is always worth acknowledging a well behaved child, a steady yoga pose, a uni graduate or a gradual loss of weight. The sacrifices and discipline we make in the short term equate to admirable achievements in the future. Like they say, there is no shortcut to anywhere worth going.

-The reality check

Since hitting the 20 week half way mark a few things have happened lately that made me take a deep breath and go “Oh my god… We’re actually having a BABY…”

THE FIRST THING: seeing the delicate little baby on the 20 wk ultrasound. It looked a lot less like a squid like in the first scan. I turned to my husband that night with a spooked look and said “It’s never just going to be the two of us ever again…” I suppose it already isn’t.

THE SECOND THING: so many generous people have given us baby gear. My husband brought home a high chair last week and set it up next to our dining room table. Woah…

It’s so ironic because we planned this little baby and we are beyond excited but I suppose I just felt like I’d be pregnant forever because 9 months is such a long time... Do you know what I mean? When did reality sink in for you?

Emma the Naturopath xx
21 weeks

"The act of forgiveness takes part in our own mind.

It really has nothing to do with the other person."

-Louise L Hay

Um, may I just say, WOAH...!

There I was sipping my spiced dande and snacking on blueberries, just minding my own business, then I read this powerful quote that the lovely Georgie Cooke Quantum LifeSkills Coaching & Counselling posted.

All the grudges, resentment, hurt and sadness that we feel towards others is our own "stuff". We have made the choice to hang onto it and carry it around with us. People are who they are and we can't control that. But we can forgive them, and set us both free.

Emma the Naturopath xx

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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Instant friendships


“During pregnancy your body is your unborn baby’s universe. You are the rivers, sunlight, earth, atmosphere and sky for this being growing within you. Your baby’s body, mind and soul intimately intertwined with your own.Together you express the creative flow of life”.

-Deepak Chopra
Magical Beginnings, Enchanted Lives

Emma the Naturopath xx

-16 weeks, the size of an avocado

I actually caught myself thinking “I’m just too stressed to go to meditation class tonight”… I had to laugh at myself!

Even though I’ve practised yoga since a young age and listen to a meditation track on my iPod every night, I had this preconceived idea of what going to an actual meditation class would be like. I envisioned a bunch of gurus sitting around on cushions on the floor, levitating in silence for an hour. Maybe with a bit of chanting thrown in there...

Much to my delight, it involved sitting back in comfy armchairs, drifting off into a blissful state during a guided meditation. (Yes there were times I was thinking about noodles or tomorrow's clients, but it was mostly bliss). Then we sipped delicious organic tea and Georgie chatted to us about practical tools for helping with a “monkey mind” and incorporating a sense of calmness and positivity into our daily lives.

Meditation has countless benefits to our health like lowering blood pressure and easing anxiety, but it’s also just a beautiful self-care ritual –which is generally the first thing to go out the window when we’re stressed!

Georgie Cooke Quantum LifeSkills Coaching & Counselling is a counsellor, psychotherapist, NLP coach, naturopath and full-time ray of sunshine. Georgie runs meditation classes on Mondays 1-2pm as well as an evening class 6-7pm from her gorgeous space on the jetty strip in Coffs, just next to Old John’s. Give her a call 0406 786 395 if you want to check it out. No levitating gurus, just warmth and happiness.

“Within you there is a stillness and a sanctuary to which you can retreat at any time and be yourself.”
-Hermann Hesse

109. Top Five Things I LOVED This Week:

1. My 63 year old Sicilian father writing in a text to me “omg”. Wtf…?
2. A delivery of teddy bear sunflowers from the talented girls at Precious Petals. They are just so beautiful and happy (the flowers AND Nat and Court).
3. Stormy headland walks just on dark with friends.
4. Top knots –on chicks, dudes and kids.
5. Lying in bed half asleep on Wednesday morning and feeling a little tickle in my belly. My eyes opened wide and it happened again. “Oh, good morning” I said aloud as I felt my little baby move inside of me for the first time.

Emma the Naturopath xx

“You have within you more love than you could ever understand”

I believe this is quite literal during pregnancy. But generally speaking, we tend to search for love in external places (in people, places, possessions) to feel loved. Knowing that a LIMITLESS source of love resides within ALL of us leaves me feeling so warm and content. What a beautiful thought to start the week with.


I’ve been really touched by the friendships I’ve formed over the past 4 months. You begin forming connections with people you wouldn’t know from a bar of soap based on the fact that you are both pregnant.

Women who have already had a baby are wonderful to talk with as they provide instant relief and valuable knowledge from their experiences, but talking to another chick that’s also pregnant for the first time turns into an instant friendship.

I find such joy when either myself or a friend or customer sneakily mention that they’re pregnant and it is instantly met with squeals of “I’M PREGNANT TOO”!!! Followed by gushings of “Did you get morning sickness?” and salivating while describing how much you’re craving barbeque chips. Other hot topics include asking what size fruit their baby is, how many times they get up to pee each night and how much you’re turning into a sloth and sleeping all day. These conversations go about one hundred miles an hour and can continue until the cows come home.

I’m mindful of not boring my friends with too many pregnancy related tales as hearing them used to make my ears bleed before I was pregnant and I was bewildered how your whole life could be taken over by something like pregnancy and babies… Haha! So other pregnant chicks are the perfect outlet and support! I love hearing stories like “We’ve been friends for 10 years since we met at prenatal yoga”. I look forward to lots of beautiful new friendships that will blossom as our children grow.

Emma the Naturopath xx
(17 weeks –the size of a pear)


Had a great chat to a gentleman today who purchased almond oil and jojoba oil, as well as cedar wood, bergamot, patchouli and sandalwood essential oil and informed me that this is the ULTIMATE BEARD TONIC. Can’t argue with a man with a beard.

Like my friend Zac says “If your dad doesn’t have a beard, you’ve got two mums”!

110. Top Five Things I LOVED This Week:

1. Sitting in traffic for one hour on Monday morning and absolutely rocking out to Everyday People by Sly and the Family Stone when it came on the radio. The people in the other cars were looking grizzly and my car was practically vibrating from having the tunes up so loud. Go listen to it now, guaranteed instant mood booster!
2. Fresh coconut meat smoothies.
3. Mornings off at home while it absolutely buckets down outside. Snoozing, reading in bed with a chai then having a bath before work. There would be world peace if we all started our days like this.
4. The concerned look I was given by the guy serving me at the bottle shop when I purchased a bottle of brandy for making flower essences.
5. Having the house to myself the last three days =eating all the yummy foods he doesn’t like that I LOVE! Mum’s marinara pizza with extra mushrooms and gluten-free pasta with bacon, broccoli, chili, olive oil and a little cheese. The Sicilian in me comes out!

Emma the Naturopath xx

PS. I heard something this week which I LOVED:

"Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results."
-Albert Einstein

So I approached a few habits and relationships a little differently this week, although my ego and comfort zone tried to seduce me to remain the same.

I found it challenging but refreshing.


So here is a 4 month pic of Emma the Naturopath. That's right people... Only 4 months! I was told that I wouldn’t start to “show” until around the 20 week mark. Especially considering it was my first. I was gutted!

However as of week 14 I officially *popped*! Every morning I’d wake up and my muscles felt as though I’d done 1000 sit-ups and my lower abs felt stretched as my tummy moved forward. I began receiving “Nice baby bump!” comments from friends, customers, the lady at the bank and check-out chicks. It was no longer a secret.

I’m so in love with the bump. There is never a moment where it’s not be rubbed by either myself, my husband or a random stranger! It validates why my body has not felt like my own for the last 3-4 months. I caught my reflection in a window yesterday and went “Oh wow, I’m a pregnant lady”. I have felt I’ve also noticed a lot of strangers staring at the bump and then looking up and grinning at me! Haha!

When did you start to show? Are you loving belly rubs off of everyone or do you get a bit freaked out? Do you also stand in front of your wardrobe for 10 mins every morning going "What the hell am I going to wear?!"

"The idea of waiting for something makes it more exciting"
-Andy Warhol

Emma the Naturopath xx

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Saturday, August 23, 2014

New beginnings

106. Top Five Things I LOVED This Week:

1. My immune system. There is truly nothing I value more right now than feeling healthy again after being struck down with a horrific cold.
2. The loud gasp my husband and I let out when we saw a front door mat with a big anchor on it. Everyone within a 5 meter radius at Freedom turned to face us.
3. How kindly forgiving it is painting with watercolours.
4. Eating a delicious lamb roast with vegies at 4:30pm on a rainy Sunday arvo.
5. Seeing Baby Caller up on the ultrasound screen just chilling out sucking its thumb!!

Emma the Naturopath xx

PS. Well I told you I’d have an announcement for you didn’t I… Yes you read correctly!! Emma the naturopath is growing a little human! It’s the size of a lemon and has been cooking for just over 14 weeks now -hello second trimester. Our little Aquarian is due 2nd Feb (my 30th birthday and our 3rd wedding anniversary)! Have you been wondering about all the baking recipes I’ve been posting lately? (aka. nesting).

Never fear, the ‘Essential Health Coffs’ Facebook page will not be bombarded with pregnancy/baby related paraphernalia. An exciting new segment titled *MATERNAL MONDAYS* will be starting tomorrow for those who want to chat about being up the duff and take a little peak into my new chapter!

I fell in love with the following Deepak Chopra excerpt from his book The Book of Secrets: Unlocking the Hidden Dimensions of Your Life:

“If you obsess over whether you are making the right decision, you are basically assuming that the universe will reward you for one thing and punish you for another.

The universe has no fixed agenda. Once you make any decision, it works around that decision. There is no right or wrong, only a series of possibilities that shift with each thought, feeling, and action that you experience.

If this sounds too mystical, refer again to the body. Every significant vital sign—body temperature, heart rate, oxygen consumption, hormone level, brain activity, and so on—alters the moment you decide to do anything… decisions are signals telling your body, mind, and environment to move in a certain direction.”

-Deepak Chopra

Let’s keep moving forward together.



The pregnancy test lit up as soon as I managed to awkwardly pee on it.

“I’m pregnant…” I said out aloud to no one. “I’m pregnant… I’m pregnant... I’m pregnant…”

It wasn’t an exclamation. It wasn’t fearful. They were just two words I’d never said in the same sentence before.

I was home from work that day. I think Ellen was on. I walked back out into the lounge room and sat down on the bean bag, pregnancy test in tow. I sat it on the coffee table next to me and watched it out of the corner of my eye.

“I’m pregnant... I’m pregnant... I’m pregnant...”

Those two words felt odd and surreal. But also made me feel incredibly excited and giggly! It fele so fragile, like if I sneezed, that it might jump out!

It is still unfathomable to me, that my baby grew from the size of a poppy seed to a peach in 3 months, completely made of building blocks from, well, me! Each week I would read things out aloud to my husband like “Listen to this honey!! This week, our baby is growing ear canals!” It absolutely fascinates me.

I’ll leave you with an excerpt from Kaz Cooke’s hilarious book Up the Duff about home pregnancy tests…

“What always happened was more like sticking a thimble under a waterfall and then snatching it out again and finding that, although you had wee on your hand, the outside of the jar, your hair, the cuffs of your trousers and some articles in another room entirely, you’d managed to miss the jar.”

*Please feel free to share how you felt in YOUR first trimester and what thoughts ran through your head?

Emma the Naturopath xx

PS. *THANKYOU* all so much for your lovely comments on the Top 5 yesterday, you kind humans :)

"We need quiet time to examine our lives openly and honestly -spending quiet time alone gives your mind an opportunity to renew itself and create order"

-Susan Taylor

107. Top Five Things I LOVED This Week:

1. Eating the best (giant) passionfruit ever that my parents brought back for me from far north Queensland. I literally found myself grinning after I’d finished eating it.
2. Baked beans on toast.
3. The old lady who literally skipped into my shop yesterday announcing “I don’t need vitamins today love! I’m still on a high from last night’s win”!! She was decked out head to toe in Rabittohs gear. Even her matching hand bag was red and green.
4. Mum bringing over a “menu” and a collaged card that I had made dad for his birthday when I was little. Every Mother’s Day/Father’s Day/birthday I would make my parent’s a menu so I could prepare them breakfast in bed. I went to town with the glitter pens.
5. Nayyirah Waheed’s simple and delicate poetry. I’ll leave you with a few of my favourites below.

Emma the Naturopath xx


“she asked,
‘you are in love,
what does love look like’
to which i replied,
‘like everything i’ve ever lost
come back to me”

you touching my arm
setting fire to my mind”

"i am mine,
before I am ever anyone else’s"

-Nayyirah Waheed


If you were to plant a veggie patch, it’s beneficial to prepare the soil, do some research into what plants will flourish that particular season and chose the right fertiliser for them before sowing the seeds right?

I feel incredibly passionate about PRECONCEPTION CARE: getting your body (and mind) “ready” for pregnancy. Not just you, but your partner as well. I know there are a lot of giggles at this concept because realistically not every baby is planned and some conceptions begin after a boozy night on the dance floor! And that’s fine too!

I truly believe that because my husband and I did preconception care for at least 6 months, we were able to conceive straight away and I’ve had such a smooth pregnancy so far (touch wood!). I saw our herbalist who specialises in hormones and fertility, every 2 months and my husband went a couple of times too.

Conception through to birth is such an intricate web of reactions in the body which can always benefit from support. You don’t need to wait until there is an issue with falling/staying pregnant to do something about it. Or to get to a stage where you start trying and then realise there’s an underlying issue.

The sperm and egg will be a blueprint of your baby’s future health. So this is the time for both you and your partner to get super healthy to iron out your allergies, gut issues, psoriasis, anxiety, or whatever so you can minimise the chance of passing these negative health issues on to your bubba.

Your preconception practitioner (eg herbalist, naturopath, nutritionist) will ensure you’re taking the right supplements for YOU, not just any cheap tub of multi’s from the supermarket They will order you the correct blood tests and go over them with a fine toothed comb. It’s a time to clean up the diet, achieve a healthy weight, swap to natural products for your body/home and learn to manage stress better. Also looking at any medications you are both taking, like the Pill.

There are no guarantees that you will definitely get pregnant by doing preconception care. But it helps to put the odds in your favour. What do you think about preconception care? Did you and your partner look into it before having a baby or did you get a lovely surprise?

For anyone interested, my herbalist is Jayne Elder in Coffs Harbour. One of the most incredibly knowledgeable, supportive and joyful women I’ve ever met.

Emma the Naturopath xx
(15 weeks –the size of a lemon)

How beautiful is this yoga card I picked this morning. My husband goes “Oh look, it’s you!”

On the back it says:

TRANSITION: You are changing. Say goodbye to the old and embrace new beginnings with a fresh approach.

Malasana Pose Preparation
(Garland Pose)

When I was driving to work this morning I was thinking about how many things have been shifting for myself and a lot of people around me lately. An abundance of pregnancies, births, passing overs, weddings, resignations, new career directions, moving house. It made me appreciate how BRAVE people are to take a chance and improve their current situations.

I wondered if there was some sort of big planetary energetic shift going on, but I think I’m putting it down to the new season approaching. With only two weeks left of winter I think it’s pretty safe to say that we’re ready for some warm air, bright flowers and new beginnings, which is what Spring is all about: old chapters closing, new chapters opening.

Now is a perfect time to decide what is not serving your life in a positive way and make a change for the better. Don’t be afraid, we’re all doing it!

“When a woman conceives her true self, a miracle occurs and life around her begins again”
-Marianne Williamson

Are there new doors opening in your world at the moment?

108. Top Five Things I LOVED This Week:

1. Waking up in the middle of the night to find that my husband was sleeping holding my baby bump –which has been making a loud and proud appearance these last couple of weeks!
2. My fave Insta right now: Yoga213.
3. Using Frankie posters as wrapping paper.
4. Spending a rainy Saturday morning in bed together going through all the photos from our Japan and Hawaii trip on the laptop (well over 1000) then choosing our faves which we printed and put into albums.
5. The fact that when we go to my parents’ house for dinner, mum makes not one, but TWO desserts. Gluten free blackberry crumble cake for after dinner and then chocolate dipped strawberries to have with our cups of tea.

Emma the Naturopath xx

“Stretching herself too thin.
She breaks her connections.
Staying too busy.
She has no time.
Doing for others.
She neglects herself.
Defining herself only through others.
She loses her own definition
A wise women waters her own garden first.”

-The Tao for Women

You gotta look after number one. I always give my clients the analogy that when a plane is going down, you have to put your own oxygen mask on before assisting others.

This week I’m getting back on track after being so snowed under with work recently. I’m going to a new meditation class tomorrow night. I’m seeing my herbalist. I’ve done my healthy food prep for the week. I’ve written my to-do list so I can manage my time better and have some quality time not doing anything but looking after ME! I can’t wait

Give yourself the oxygen you need this week.

Emma the Naturopath xx

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