Friday, January 9, 2015

Looking after number one


Exercise and pregnancy

I thought this picture was most appropriate for this post.

I used to have this idea in my head that when I was pregnant I would work out all the time and look like this awesome Lorna Jane model… Ha!


-I am beyond obsessed with swimming laps at the pool. It’s meditative, I’m weightless, it’s refreshing and so enjoyable that I don’t even realise I’m exercising.
-Each trimester I’ve met up with my lovely exercise physiologist Anna Miley who designs me a personalised program. For my third trimester I’m working on a great stabilising program, mostly using my fit ball and certain yoga postures. Oh and of course pelvic floor!
-My husband is also an exercise physiologist, so I sneak into his aqua aerobics classes with all the grandma’s at least once a week. They have knitted me so much baby gear it’s crazy!
I disregard the whole “This is how much weight you should gain in pregnancy…” conversation and just eat healthily and exercise regularly. I guess the most vital thing I’ve learnt during pregnancy is to LISTEN TO MY BODY and my energy levels.

What sort of exercise were you drawn to in pregnancy? What did you learn about your body?

Emma the Naturopath xx
32 weeks (the size of a wombok cabbage)


At Georgie Cooke’s ‘Resilience and Happiness’ workshop last week, she discussed the importance of self-care when building strength against life’s stressors.

Why is it that self-care is the first thing to go out the window when we’re under the pump, although that’s when we need it most? When we are feeling overwhelmed by life it’s so convenient to not take your lunch to work and grab sushi, have lazy dinners or spend late nights “zoning out” in front of technology.

For our nervous system to thrive we must NOURISH our bodies with fresh food and good quality sleep and NURTURE our souls by convalescing.

I’m putting in long hours at work at the moment and trying to tie up loose ends with the business before I finish up at the end of the year. Oh and did I mention I’m 32 weeks pregnant?! I’ve really up-ed the self-care rituals and instead of crashing and burning, I’ve maintained my momentum.

I currently have an evening ritual of:

-turning the TV off by 7pm
-having a simple but healthy dinner
-soaking in an Epsom salt bath with lavender
-reading in bed by 8:30pm with just my lamp and candles
-meditating for half an hour before I go to sleep

Georgie spoke about an interview in which His Holiness the Dalai Lama spoke about how he meditates daily, unless he has a particularly packed schedule, then he’ll meditate twice. I think that says it all.

Don’t forget to look after number one.

125. Top Five Things I LOVED This Week:

1. Walking into Pushkar and being licked to death by Molly the pup dressed in a Christmas elf costume.
2. Finding a stash of colouring books, stickers and pencils while I was cleaning out my clinic drawers and keeping them aside to give to someone. The next customer who walked into the shop was heading over to the Philippines following week on an orphanage mission and was over the moon with the supplies!
3. Flipping channels and coming across an episode of Sesame Street. I watched it for a few minutes to see what I’m in for in the future and they were talking about YOGA! The kids and this fluffy monster were talking about focus, practise, affirmations and meditation! I swear 25 years ago it was just Cookie Monster scoffing chocolate chip biscuits…
4. Driving to work on Friday morning and hearing Peaches by Presidents of the USA on the radio.
5. Eating hot brown rice nasi goreng for brekkie on a rainy Sunday morning as I type my Top 5.

Emma the Naturopath xx

PS. I glanced at my To Do list this week and it looked a little like this:
-thank_____ for the baby toys
-thank _____ for the artwork
-thank _____ for the baby singlet
-thank _____ for the flowers
-thank _____ for the card
-thank _____ for the ring
The list went on and on about all the kind people who have blessed me with little trinkets and cards over the past week. What a beautiful thing to realise that my only jobs were to offer people gratitude.

“If you want to find happiness, find gratitude”
-Steve Maraboli



There’s less than 7 weeks till Baby Caller will be arriving so my husband and I decided to get things organised!

Some friends of ours so kindly leant us all of their baby gear: pram, capsule, cot, change tale, bath, Bumbo seat, a vibrating and a swinging bouncy chair, play mat, wraps, high chair, etc. We’d heard of so many people that had rushed out and bought EVERYTHING from overpriced baby shops and then found that they hardly used most things as the baby grew so fast or they just didn’t get used.

I grabbed a bunch of stuff from work last week like natural dummies, organic nursing pads, herbal nursing tea, lavender oil and almond oil. Then I ordered a carton of organic baby wipes and a 15L drum of natural laundry liquid last week –trying to be proactive.

What did you do when it came to organising all the baby paraphernalia? Did you buy new, borrow from friends or buy off Gum Tree?

What were your ESSENTIALS? What things could you have gone without?

Emma the Naturopath xx
33 weeks –size of a honeydew melon

126. Top Five Things I LOVED This Week:

1. Ferrero Rochers. I nominate the creator for a Nobel Peace Prize.
2. Decorating our REAL Christmas tree.
3. Beach towels with fringes.
4. The guy who fixed my air-con at work after two 30 degree days in a row.
5. A Christmas present to myself: Belle Gibson’s The Whole Pantry cookbook.

Emma the Naturopath xx

PS. I’ve been pausing a lot lately and asking myself “How can I simplify this?” It helps to weed out the superfluous tasks and highlights what is really important. I feel that this takes pressure off of myself (and who needs extra pressure this time of year anyways?) and grants me more breathing space. It’s a way of putting SELF-CARE into action.


-Instead of receiving new 20 emails each day, I’ve been unsubscribing rather than just pressing the delete button til I see them again next month.

-Rather than rushing about after work gathering ingredients and preparing something elaborate for Christmas parties, I’ve been doing the trusty old dip and veggie sticks. Last week I even made a packet brownie mix.

-Asking my mum to help me run the shop so I can do laps and have a sleep. It made me feel human again.

-Accepting offers to go around to my parents’ house for dinner when the last thing I feel like doing is cooking.

How can you simplify your life to allow it to flow smoother?


Not giving a f*&k

Sorry about the ‘f’ word folks, but I’ve got a point to make…

On Friday I had my last appointment with my naturopath before I give birth. She made me up a herb mix and a flower essence and we talked about diet during breastfeeding, what to take to the hospital and bumps in the road like mastitis and colic.

Then she looked me straight in the eye and said “Now Emma, this is the most important thing of all. Everyone is going to give you advice and tell you what you SHOULD be doing. You have to smile, say thankyou and then do whatever the f*&k you want. You know your baby better than anyone and all you have to do is listen to your intuition”.

I’ve encountered a few comments that I’ve brushed off along the lines of:

“Oh but you’ll use cloth nappies eventually though?”

“So you’ll be opting for a home birth I assume?”

“But you’ll have the basinet in your own room for the first couple of months right?”

“You’ll get the whooping cough vaccination of course?”

“You’re going to feed on demand aren’t you?”

“You’ll be having at least 12 months off work won’t you?”

My response: “We’ll just see what happens” with a smile.

I have a selected few women I trust for guidance as well as a couple of friends who I bounce ideas off, plus I just read the books that align with my beliefs. But apart from that, my husband and I look forward to figuring it out along the way!

Did you experience similar situations? What did you do in response?

Emma the Naturopath xx
34 weeks –size of a pineapple

I'm a massive fan of Gwenyth Paltrow's cookbook It's All Good. I just whipped up a batch of her Candy Bars (page 254 for all of you playing along at home).



1 ½ cups raw cashews
1 ½ cups dates, pitted and roughly chopped
½ cup almond butter
½ cup maple syrup
½ cup coconut flour
½ cup shredded coconut (I used desiccated coconut)
½ tsp almond extract (I used vanilla extract)
1 ½ cups dark chocolate chips (60% or higher cocoa content)
1 ½ tablespoons coconut oil (I used organic butter)


1. Grind cashews to a very fine meal in a food processor. Add the dates, almond butter, maple syrup, coconut flour, shredded coconut and almond extract and pulse til you have a sticky ball of dough.

2. Line a baking tray with baking paper and press the mixture into the tray using wet hands. Refrigerate until firm, about 4 hours.

3. Combine the chocolate chips and coconut oil in a stainless steel or glass bowl set over a pot of simmering water on the stove top. Stir the mixture til it’s melted, remove from the heat and pour over the cashew mixture. Return to the fridge and let it cool for about an hour til the chocolate has set.

4. Store in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to a week.
I tried some of the cashew mix when it was in the food processor and it was pretty sweet, so I'd prob leave out the maple syrup next time. But see how you go

Emma the Naturopath xx

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