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Positive affirmation: for when life hands you lemons

12 Feb

When life hands you lemons, crack open a coconut!

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I try…Mukti organic skincare

24 Jan
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My Mukti goodies!

Most skin and beauty products are full of crap. They make false claims and contain a cocktail of chemical nasties.

I’ve known this for aaaaages, but have never done anything about it. Why? Let’s just put it down to a good dose of laziness, uncertainty and unawareness.

But as I continue my quest to live more cleanly, I can’t ignore the big loud voice that screams, ‘YOU’RE SMEARING TOXINS ALL OVER YOUR FRICKEN FACE!’ whenever I apply my chemist-bought cosmetics and skincare. I know, it’s a really mean voice!

Hunting for natural beauty brands

So I started researching. Spent a good few hours on it. And all signs pointed to Mukti.

The organic botanicals company was started on the Sunshine Coast in 2010. its founder Mukti was frustrated by the lack of natural, authentic and honest products on the market. So she developed her own delicious spread of cleansers, moisturisers, serums, acne treatments, eye gels and more.

All products in the range are certified organic. And they feature yummy ingredients such as aloe vera, shea butter, coconut oil and sweet orange.

Roadtesting Mukti

I picked the cleansing lotion, balancing facial creme, botanique shampoo and conditioner and pink grapefruit body wash.

And because my body is still in a bit of a hormonal minefield – after coming off the contraceptive pill a year ago – I figured I’d try the sebogel. Health bloggers rave about this spot repair treatment.

All of this cost me as much as my rent. But just like eating cleanly, I believe nourishing your skin with natural products is absolutely worth it.

I practically sprinted to the post office today and tore open the box of Mukti goodies!

I’ll give them a go tonight and pop up a review soon. 🙂

* This is an unsponsored post

Run for your life

19 Jan

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I just staggered home from the most mind-blowing, awakening, astronomical beach run I’ve ever experienced. Finally, I get what those steroided folk always rave about – the exhilarating endorphin rush.

It could be because I scoffed 10 homemade raw cacao balls this afternoon and had superfoods surging through my system. Or maybe after a relaxing weekend, my suppressed inner lion wanted to roar.

It’s definitely something to do with letting go.

Yes, my hypersensitive, anxious soul let go. For one hour. And it was so fabulously freeing.

Slapping big broad feet on the wet sand, jumping over drain pipes, dashing into the surf to cool off, letting my hair get sticky and matted and wild. Feeling flushed.

Basically, not giving a fuck. 

Preeetty sure I looked like a mad woman. Smile plastered across my face, running at a frantic pace.

Running. For. My. Life.

I ran three and a half lengths of Manly Beach. Without a stitch in my side. Without a rolled ankle. Without losing my breath. For seven or eight kilometres. Usually I struggle after four.

It felt like a fire – starting off with a flicker and fast turning into a gigantic fireball. Dare I say it, it was almost orgasmic. Every inch of my skin tingled. It was magic.

Powering me along was a remix of ‘Strong’ by London Grammar. There’s something about the pulsing beat, building tempo and powerful lyrics that spur me on.

I’ll be back at the beach tomorrow. I hope to get high again.

I can’t relaaaaax, I’m anxious!

19 Jan

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For years, yoga instructors have told me to ‘relaaaaax’. Massage therapists have told me to ‘relaaaaax’. And yesterday, a new friend who’s training me in a new sport (I’ll tell you all about that once I’ve pitched the magazine story about it) told me that to truly master the technique, I needed to ‘relaaaaax’.

I know this. I’m aware of the tension in my shoulders and neck. Aware I look worried a lot of the time.

But I just can’t relaaaaax!

Meditation, massage, yoga, willing myself to chill out…they all feel incredible at the time, but then I go back to being tense.

So what’s the deal?

I’ve realised it’s not tension, it’s anxiety.

That’s a tough thing to admit. Moi? Anxious? Quelle horreur!

But yes, it’s there.

Apparently when I was 8, I ran home in tears and told my mum, “I’m not going to pass the TEE!” The TEE are university entrance exams. That you take in year 12. Yup, I was anxious about something 8 years away.

Walking into a room full of people has always terrified me. Searching for a friend in a crowded cafe or bar makes me nervous. No idea why. That’s anxiety for you. And being a sensitive soul. 🙂

So rather than focusing on relaaaaxing, I’m going to address my anxiety.

I’ve no idea how, but the search starts now.

Do you have any tips for treating anxiety (naturally)? Would love to hear your thoughts…

The nomad’s guide to putting down roots

17 Jan

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I can’t sit still. Seriously. Even in the cinema, I wriggle and sigh and stretch and play with my hair. Two hours sat in the same seat? Gah!

It could be because my family moved house seven times before I was eight. And after relocating to Perth, no sooner did we settle in a space, we packed up and found another.

So I say I never really had a home. Houses, sure – and some pretty cool ones (including one that was DEFINITELY haunted) – but no home. We were like nomadic animals, roaming about with no destination in mind. We simply spotted a better watering hole and set off.

And in the past year, I’ve moved four times. FOUR!

I’m now back at the beach in Sydney. And part of me never wants to leave.

But the nomad in me is already itchy. Already restless. Thinking about far-flung lands, wondering if the other side of Manly might be more exciting, more me. Searching for a better watering hole.

So how can we nomadic souls stay still?

Because we really, really want to sometimes. I’m nearing 30 and should probably start thinking about ‘nesting’.

That’s not to say I won’t travel and explore and jump around. But I want to be in a place long enough to make connections, meet likeminded souls, contribute to the community and build my business.

It’s funny. I’ve just finished reading ‘The Life You Were Born to Live’ by Dan Millman. It uses the Life-Purpose System to calculate your path. My life path number 34/7 is described as struggling to commit. To work through issues of trust and security (the main life purpose for 34/7s), I need to stop flapping about, stay still and put down roots.

How?

Well, I’ve started with daily meditation. And by meditation I mean – try to block thoughts about what I’m going to do the second meditation ends. And ignore the itch on the end of my nose. And stop wondering how I’m going to be still in life when I can’t even sit still to meditate. It’s a struggle! 😉

I’ve also started getting out more, and trying to be more open in public. I’m meeting strangers in cafes – a few of whom have already turned into friends who are on a similar path. I’m reaching out to other business owners on the beaches, just for a chat, not to sell. Or I’m just striking up conversations with people on the beach…many of whom probably think I’m a tad cray cray. (All of this, by the way, is pretty frightening for a sensitive soul!)

And I’m expressing gratitude, in the moment. Like looking out at the water and saying, ‘thank you that I get to look at this beautiful view’. Or ‘thank you that this time I had the patience to actually bake the cake, instead of eating all the batter  and feeling really really sick as a result.’ Whatever works, right? 😉

Who knows if any of it is working. But so far, I’m still.

Are you a nomad? How do you sit still long enough to put down roots? I’d love your help!

What you need to know about sunscreen

5 Oct

 

 

The other day, I wrote an article for the Natural Therapy Pages about sunscreen safety. Given my pale skin and penchant for living in Australia, which has one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world, I assumed I’d be an expert on sunscreens.

Since I was a kid, the ‘slip slop slap’ message (slip on a t-shirt, slop on sunscreen, slap on a hat) has become somewhat of a national mantra. We’re told to keep out of the sun and not even let a little light touch our skin.

But low and behold, it turns out not all sunscreens are created equal. And even more surprising, experts are now saying we need to expose our skin to the sun – sans sunscreen – every day for good health.

So, here’s the lowdown on sunscreen…

We don’t need to wear sunscreen all the time

I’m still getting used to this one. Recently my naturopath discovered that, like around 70 per cent of the population, I have a Vitamin D deficiency. Most people would think this odd given our year-round sunshine. Could our sun aversion be to blame?

The experts think so. Melbourne pathology director Ken Sikaris has said that our ‘sun-consciousness’ has caused many of us to avoid healthy doses of sunshine.

Like my naturopath, Sikaris’ prescription is to get around 10 minutes of sun exposure each day without protection. This should be in the morning or late afternoon, to avoid the harsh midday UV rays.

Not all sunscreens are created equal

When picking a sunscreen, I tend to go for the prettiest bottle at the cheapest price. I assumed all sunscreens contain chemicals and they can’t be that bad for us if they’re on the chemist shelves, right?

Wrooooong.

Currently, there are two types of sunscreen available in Australia – chemical sunscreens and physical sunscreens. In a nutshell, chemical sunscreens absorb the sun’s rays, while physical sunscreens (which include zinc) create a barrier to block them.

A chemical cocktail

It’s chemical sunscreens that have the health experts worried. They fear the chemical cocktail are absorbed into the blood stream and can disturb hormones.

Fellow health blogger Sarah Wilson recommends steering clear of sunscreens that contain dioxybenzone and oxybenzone, as these are apparently “two of the most powerful free radical generators” out there. She also advises avoiding octyl methoxycinnamate and Para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA). You can read more here.

The best sunscreen

When choosing a sunscreen, after you’ve ensured it doesn’t include the chemicals mentioned above, look for one that provides adequate protection such as SPF 20 or 30. Also check how long it lasts – i.e. whether it’s 4 hours water resistant, or only 2. When you’re frolicking in the waves, you want to be sure your sunscreen is going to last.

Me? I now use Invisible Zinc, because it has a mineral formulation with no hidden nasties. It’s fairly thick and hard to spread, but I do feel better protected than when I wear a watery chemical cream.

WOTNOT, Soleo and Banana Boat also come highly recommended from sunscreen experts.

So there you go! A quick run-down to choosing and using sunscreen. Now, I’m off to the beach (with my Invisible Zinc on, of course!)

Nomnom home-baked kale chips

17 Sep

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With its luscious looks and myriad nutritional benefits, it’s no wonder kale is blooming in popularity.

Nutritionists have been raving about the dark green leafy vegetable, heralding it as a ‘nutritional powerhouse’. And it’s easy to see why with these health benefits:

  • Has zero fat and just 36 calories in 1 cup
  • Aids digestion
  • Filled with fibre
  • High in iron, vitamin K, A and C which boost immunity and maintain health and wellbeing
  • It contains several powerful antioxidants including carotenoids and falvonoids
  • Keeps your liver healthy and is an ideal detox food
  • Has more calcium than milk

Kale is also low in cholesterol and contains omega-3 fatty acids, which help fight against asthma, autoimmune disease and a range of other conditions.

So when I spotted a box overflowing with vibrant bunches of fresh kale at the Marrickville farmers’ markets on the weekend, I couldn’t resist grabbing a bunch. Especially since it only cost $2 a bunch – that’s cheaper than a chocolate bar!

I was excited to try making my own oven-baked kale chips. Here’s how to do it:

What you need

  • 1 bunch of kale
  • Sea salt
  • 1 1/2 tbs oil of your choice (I used olive oil)

How to make it

  • Preheat oven to 190 degrees C
  • Break the kale into 5cm strips. According to Sarah Wilson, the stalks can cause digestive issues, so throw them away
  • Pour the oil and sprinkle salt over the leaves
  • Line the leaves on the tray, careful not to let them overlap
  • Bake the kale for around 5 minutes, or until they’re crispy

There you have it – a quick, healthy and addictive snack that will keep you energised between meals.

Aside from chips, you might like to enjoy kale in a salad, soup, pasta or boiled. I might even try a few variations in coming weeks and let you know how it goes. 🙂

Have you tried making kale chips? How else do you eat kale?

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