Preparing for the ER. I get it, I sound whack.
How can you prepare for an emergency? Hence the name, emergency, urgent... but here is the thing, just hear me out. You might read this blog post and add something to your First Aid Kit. Or, maybe you read this and take a subconscious mental note that will help you in the future.
Here are a few things we did, or wish we had done, prior to our awful night and first experience in the the ER with our 1 year old:
Bring a book, or books from their normal routine
I wish we had a book to distract her when she was in a good headspace between vomiting. She LOVES books and I think she would have really enjoyed having a few of her favourites there. If your kid is proficient with the Ipad, bring it. It's always better to be over prepared than underprepared, especially when you don't know how long your stay will be. We don't normally give her our phones, but we happily made an exception and tried to distract her with baby shark and the wiggles which worked for about 20 precious mins.
Make sure you bring a lovie (stuffed animal) they cherish
Anything that will make them feel like they are at home. We brought her huge (almost as big as her) bunny which she calls Be Be. It was nice to have and offered her a lot of comfort just having it around, not that she even cuddled it all that much - but having a piece of home was important I believe.
Bring a change of clothes for bub and wear SHOES
At least one change of clothes, preferably 2-3 sets. Make sure they are wearing socks at a minimum, but preferably closed toed shoes.
Hospitals are rampant with staph and other bacterial nasties, so keep covered up..... all of you. I once met a women who got an infection in her foot after wearing flip flops in the hospital, and it robbed her of quality life immensely, maiming all her muscles into a Swiss cheese like consistency full of holes and unable to work properly. True story.
Bring warm clothes for all of you
ER/hospitals tend to be quite cold, and a spare jumper goes a long way (plus you won't have to ask for one of their hospital blankets. Yuck).
Bring all the necessary cards
You might be in a rush and panicking, but make sure that you have your Medicare card and private health fund card with you. If you don't normally carry these around, I would recommend saving the membership numbers in your notes app on your phone.
I didn't know how bad our little girl would be, or how long we would be in the ER, but I instinctively grabbed some organic raisins on the way out the door at 1:30am. She obviously couldn't have any, but they were handy to have for us.
Bring a hand santiser of your chosing
I forgot mine, and regretted it! I personally don't like hand santisers because they are bad for your gut biome, and typically have some nasty stuff in them. However, Dr. Bronner's has an organic lavender hand spray that is to die for and I love having this is my bag when I really need it. And when you're locked in a disease infested hospital, especially with a kid suffering from gastro, that is a good time to be germ free!
Notepad or Notes App
Most of the time protocol at the ER/hospitals is to collect information and access how to move ahead. For instance, you might be asked to know or track when the last time your baby had a drink - did they vomit - did they get diarrhea? Tick, yes/no. Having a pen and paper handy is a great way to make a chart and stay organised so that you can present the doctor with all the crucial information.
Well, that's it. Hope you don't find yourself near the ER any time soon!
Aldi, you either love em or hate em.
I'm an Aldi convert, and lover! From their quirky adds to their no nonsense approach, I'm a huge fan.
And let's get real for a minute: I don't need a grocery store to look like Whole Foods when it's prices are this good. And you know what - I'll happily bag my own groceries without a breath of complaint. I've been bagging my own food for years since living in Europe anyway, so bring on the savings!
If you're looking to save some cash, and also like affordable organic finds, check out my personal Aldi Australia favs:
1. Organic Olive Oil
Delicious, fruity, organic, and oh so affordable.
2. Natural Crunchy Peanut Butter
I usually buy natural peanut butter for $5 a pop at the grocery store. Their Oh So Natural smooth/crunchy peanut butter is a very close second and will save you some cash. This is my go-to peanut butter I'll use for baking, energy balls and smoothies.
3. California Walnuts
I love California walnuts! Call me crazy, but I think they really are the best in the world. They are packaged in plastic, so I just empty the nuts into my glass jars and then recycle the bag with my other soft plastics at Red Cycle.
4. Dry Gnocchi, by Remano
5. Organic Cacoa
6. Organic Eggs x 6
"You eat what you eat eats." This is one of my favourite quotes from the incredible mind of Michael Polen. So if you're eating eggs from a chicken that's been fed GMO corn, then you're eating GMO corn. Ew. Organic all the way.
7. Tamar Valley Dairy Kid's Yogurt (110 grams)
I try not to give my daughter yogurt on the go, but if we have a long road trip coming up, I like to grab one or two of these pouches for emergencies. They have a variety of flavours to choose from, and I pick whichever flavour has the lowest amount of sugar.
8. Almond milk
Inner Goodness almond milk can be found on the shelf or in the fridge at Aldi. The reason I like it is because of the ingredient list and it's also carrageenan free (a must if are consuming plant based milk. Carrageenan is a known carcinogenic!). Make sure you read your labels guys!
9. Goji Berries
These berries are a real superfood and are great value at Aldi, a lot cheaper than buying them in bulk. I add them to oatmeal in the morning, but more often then not, my daughter will eat them dry for a quick snack at the park or on the go.
10. Organic Kombucha (Lo Bros Peach and Ginger and the Raspberry Lemonade)
Everywhere else you'll pay at least $4, or more, for a single bottle of 330ml of 'buch. For $2.79 these are hard to beat, and the two flavours I mentioned above are stand outs! They also have 750ml bottles for purchase as well.
Well done Aldi, thanks for listening to your consumers. You really are a force to be reckoned with!
The first month of 2019 is DONE and dusted. Whhatttttt?
I don't know if you're like me, but I like to touch base and try to keep on track with my goals and keep a clear focus. I've made a FREE download just for you to do exactly that!
In this download I'm sharing 10 "easy as" health tips to help you be a happier and healthier version of yourself. These tips are realistic, achievable and tried by myself - so I know from experience that they should help you too.
So, without further adieu, let's get this party started. Subscribe below, and I'll send you your FREE download today!
I have received a ton of questions on Instagram about natural deodorant, so I thought I'd do a blog post addressing some of the most FAQ's.
I'll be answering in regard to what I use currently, which is Black Chicken Remedies Axilla barrier boost deodorant paste. If you want to read other people's reviews as well, there are a whopping 922 reviews on their axilla deodorant alone.
1. Does it actually work?
Just because it's made of natural ingredients doesn't mean you won't get results!
2. How long does it take to work?
I went through a little bit of a detox period. I'd call this a transition phase as I made the switch from chemically dense, aluminum products to an all natural alternative. It took me about 2-3 weeks to purge all the toxins from my body, so I just weathered through the detox, or reapplied the paste around midday if it seemed fitting. My husband had a similar transition, but from memory his lasted a week or so. He plays sport professionally, and uses the deodorant paste daily with great results.
3. Can I shave before using it?
I find that my skin is a bit sensitive, so if I applied the Axilla Deodorant immediately after shaving, I would feel a bit of a burn (do to the sodium bi carb). I switched to the Barrier Boost sensitive skin formula, and have had no issues since. I can apply it to my underarms as soon as I'm out of the shower after shaving.
4. If it doesn't have aluminum in it, how does it work?
It's not an antiperspirant, so keep that in mind! It's job is to neutralise odours, not to avoid sweating. Sweating is natural body reaction - you shouldn't apply anything to stop that from happening!
A few key ingredients in the Axilla Paste:
Organic coconut oil: acts as an antibacterial agent and neutralises odours
Sodium Bicarbonate: neutralises odours
Arrowroot: absorbs moisture
Kaolin Clay: absorbs moisture and increases blood circulation
Organic Camellia tea oil and Vitamin E: soothes skin irritations
A few key ingredients in the Axilla Barrier Boost Paste (sensitive skin formula):
Magnesium hydroxide: acts as an antibacterial and helps to detoxify the skin
Organic shea butter: soothes skin and is also an anti-inflammatory
Diatomaceous Earth: ph neutral, rich in silica and an antimicrobial agent
Tapioca: absorbs moisture
*Sodium Bicarb free
HOT TIP: The signature blends in both of these products have antibacterial, anti-fungal and antiseptic properties.
5. Does it have a smell? If so, what makes it smell good?
Yes, it smells nice. It isn't odorless. Black Chicken uses essential oils to make their products smell next level nice. A few of the essentials oils they use are: pink grapefruit, mandarin, geranium bourbon, ylang ylang, cedarwood, lime, and lavender.
6. How long does it last?
I wasn’t sure if this question was meant about daily product results or monthly consumption of Axilla, so:
A. It lasts all day, no need to reapply it.
B. A tub of the paste lasts us between 2-4 months (depends if my husband and I are sharing!)
7. How do you apply it if it's a paste?
Place a small amount between your fingers and rub them together, gently warming up the paste. Rub on both armpits, and voilà! Or, you can just watch this watch this 28 second clip on YouTube.
Still have questions?
Email me or comment below!
Yesterday I had the pleasure of attending the launch of Selph Health Studios in the up and coming district of Rosebery, NSW.
Selph is Sydney’s newest holistic wellness boutique which boasts their own dream team consisting of a nutritionist, chiropractor, acupuncturist, and massage therapist. Selph jumps off the curb, you cannot miss it walking, or even driving by. The large glass windows and wooden detailing catch your eye immediately. Upon entering the industrial studio, turned wellness space, one can’t help but notice all the curves and seductive bends, making the room itself an architectural marvel. This came as no surprise when I learned that the owner’s father is in fact an architect and helped to design the space from scratch. It took them 6 weeks to transform the space into what you can see today, and it’s awe inspiringly beautiful.
The icing on the cake, in my ever humble option, is their intimate yoga studio which is tucked away and adorned with crystals, light floor boards and Lululemon custom mats (with props included). When I arrive at a yoga studio with mats and props awaiting my arrival, I feel an immediate sense of freedom that starts from the time I leave my house without my mat. I love arriving light and leaving even lighter after an hour of connecting to breath and body with the help of asana.
We started our morning with tea and introductions to the Selph team. We had a warm greeting from the owner and founders, chiropractor Evan and entrepreneur Myles Sgammotta, who told us about their philosophy revolving around their four pillars of health: structural, emotional, nutritional and movement. At Selph you won’t get a quick fix, or an abrupt “we can fix that shoulder in six visits.” The practitioners here are dedicated to serving the whole self, the whole person. Their goal is to achieve a balance in your mind and body, and that means looking at the big picture, not an isolated injury. I loved how everyone worked together like a well oiled machine. The yoga teacher might see someone in class with an injury and suggest the chiro, who might treat them and then pass them on to the nutritionist because the issue seems to be aggravated by an inflammatory diet. Conversely, the chiro might have a client with shortening fascia, so he might recommend chiropractic treatment as well as yin yoga to assist with a gentle stretching of the fascia.
The time came for our yoga class! I was so excited for it since I haven’t found a space that really resonates with me since our move to Sydney. Amy Giuliano is the Selph yoga curator and yoga teacher that took us through our practice. I loved her calming voice, appropriate playlist and mindful hands-on adjustments. I also appreciated the attention to details in the intimate space, and particularly loved that there were no down lights shining into our eyes when supine. (If you don’t practice yoga, that last sentence won't mean much to you!)
After our blissful yoga class we crossed the hall and met with Jenny Boss, the in-house nutritionist. Jen gave us a quick overview about where she was from, what she studied and how she would tackle meeting a new client. Jen also explained how important the gut-brain axis is and how she would typically treat the whole person rather than discussing proper food choices alone. What this means is that Jen would go so far as to ascertain if you eat in front of the television. Why would that matter you ask? Eating before the stimulus of the television creates a stress response in the body and inhibits your body's ability to digest maifood properly.
After we heard from Jen, Evan told us a bit about the chiropractic side of the business and we had a play around with his neat homeostasis assessment app that showed us where our bodies were out of alignment with a simple iPad picture he snaps! Evan also mentioned that he uses NET (Neuro Emotional Technique) on his patients as well, coupled with the chiropractic treatments. NET is a stress reduction technique, and the idea is to assist the body in letting go of emotions such as fear, anger and grief. Assisting the body to break these emotional patterns can apparently help to alleviate chronic physical problems lingering in the body. Sounds pretty fascinating to me!
We then had a guided meditation with Amy followed by an out of this world catered lunch. It was the perfect morning of education and relaxation for the body and mind. Do yourself a favour and go check these guys out.
I’d venture to say you can find your sense of self at Selph.
I'm not a huge fan of water in winter, especially this year! It's been an absolute battle for me to get even half the recommended daily dose the last few weeks.
Can you relate to this? I've come up with 5 easy ways to help you ditch that dry habit and help your body, and skin, get the hydration it needs.
Hydration 101: As most of you know, your skin is the largest organ of the entire body. Interestingly enough, the skin is the last to receive moisture since the body prioritizes your vital organs (such as your heart, kidney and liver) to get hydrated first.
So if you're like me, you might not feel as thirsty in the winter, but for your skin's sake you actually need more hydration.
TIP: If you want to learn more about seasonal weather and skin, read this fantastic blog post by Chey, the owner of Black Chicken Remedies.
1. Start your morning with a nice long drink
All night long we dehydrate, so in the morning we often look, and feel, like a dry sponge! Start the day with a nice long drink to help you replenish what was lost over the last 8 hours of sleep.
2. Track your sips
Most devices have a way to track your water intake nowadays. Fit Bits are great, and you can also use your iPhone to track your daily pogress. If you're really bad at remembering, you can even set a silent alarm on the hour (or whenever you want) to vibrate on your wrist, gently reminding you when it's time for more H20.
3. Drink more tea
I know quite a few people who just really dislike drinking water. Period. This becomes even more difficult to conquer in winter in a cooler climate. Your first option is to switch to drinking room temperature water if you haven't already tried that. Drinking tepid water is better for you anyway. If that still sounds unappealing, try tea. Tea is always fantastic in winter, I mean, you can't beat a cuppa on a cold day. Remember tea has about 1/3 as much caffeine as coffee, so don't overdo it. Another delicious and healthy alternative is hot water/very warm water with the juice of half a lemon and raw honey. It's so delicious, good for gut and very invigorating.
4. Tantalize your tastebuds
If water doesn't sound good, try to take it up a notch. Flavoring your water with fruit and herbs is a deliciously easy way for you to make water more interesting.
My fav combos are:
Strawberry + basil
Cucumber + mint
Pineapple + mint
Cucumber, lemon + parsley
Lenanne Ward, The Fitness Dietitian, has just released some super nifty infusion bottles that have an inbuilt diffuser for your favourite fruit or herbs. They are BPA free, 950ml and only $22.
5. Eat foods with high water content
Ok, so this is doesn't really count as "drinking" your water, but it still works in my book. It's easy to forget that fruit and veggies have a ton of water in them too. Try eating lots of fibre as well a foods with high water content as this will help to keep your body nourished. Not sure where to start? Some foods with high water content are: grapefruit, watermelon, cherries, grapes, zucchini, cucumbers, tomatoes, and celery.
Do you always drink like a fish, or have you noticed a drop in your water intake this winter?
According to Mr and Mrs Sonnerburg (married couple who are both microbial scientists), rule #1 is to avoid antibiotics.
Now, before we begin, news flash: I'm not a doctor, I'm not a nutritionist or nurse. I'm just passionate about this topic, and all I'm doing is sharing with you what I just did after taking a course of antibiotics.
I found out about this prebiotic from the pharmacist who filled my script. I said I
wanted something that didn't need to go in the fridge. I wanted something that
would keep my gut healthy and also help to avoid the common occurrence of thrush
post antibiotic treatment.
She recommends taking it at the same time as my antibiotic because it helps to keep
the mucus lining healthy. Just 1 capsule of the SB Floractiv contains 5 million CFU
(colony forming units)!
I typically prefer a non-dairy lifestyle. I quit milk many, many years ago for health reasons (I needed to lower the inflammation in my body). I still have cheese occasionally, and that's a treat for me. So, a lot of people ask me, you're anti-milk/dairy, but you drink Kefir? I gave kefir to my daughter for it's incredible health benefits, but wasn't drinking it myself. Why not? I didn't have a good enough answer, so two months ago I started to drink it and I've been thrilled with the results. My favourite Functional Medicine Doctor, Chris Kresser, wrote a fantastic article about kefir and if you're on the fence about adding this superfood to your diet, READ IT!
Kefir is derived from the word "Keif" meaning "good feeling." It's a fermented milk product that has been consumed for centuries. Kefir can be made from cow, goat or sheep milk- but it's also easy to make your own at home (something I'm going to try very soon). The main reason people drink kefir is because of the biennial bacteria and yeasts, but some people might be surprised to learn that kefir is also loaded with vitamins, minerals and essential amino acids.
This is a probiotic drink that you can buy at the supermarket in the refrigerated section. It contains billions of live, good bacteria. These millions of bacteria join the trillions in your gut in the hopes of helping the number of good bacteria outweigh the bad! It doesn't taste like much, and it's just a simple shot in the morning with breakfast.
Peace Love and Vegetables make my favourite sauerkraut, and I literally eat it out of the jar like peanut butter. This Byron Bay based company makes outstanding raw, organic and fermented produce. The co-founder, Anya, was born in Russia where fermenting food due to the extreme climate was an absolute necessity. In 2005 Anya started to make her own kraut to help heal her gut, and then in 2011 Peace Love and Vegetables was born with her co-founder Adam.
My go-to is the Dill Superkraut flavour and it's oh so delicious. It just so happens to be the first kraut they ever made too! Cabbage, dill and caraway might not sound appetizing, but it's so worth a try. It isn't astringent like a lot of krauts, and I like to add it to lunch wraps or salads.
They have a great Kimchi as well, called Kim-Chi Superkraut. This is a fav in the morning when I NEED to wake up. It's loaded with cabbage, carrot and sweet potato, but the Cayenne pepper, turmeric and black pepper give it a really nice KICK!
Peace Love and vegetables use the L-Plantarum culture starter to begin the fermentation process which means they add the bacteria to the raw veggies to start the process.
If you're looking for an even more natural option, try Kehoe's. Kehoe's is family owned and operated in Australia, which I absolutely love. All their products are grain free, dairy free, gluten free, soy and sugar free with means they are suitable for raw diet enthusiasts, vegetarians, vegans, and paleo alike. Kehoe's use "WILD fermentation" which means that the bacteria that is already on the 100% organic, natural produce is what populates each batch. There is nothing added to it, and it's as natural a fermentation as you can get.
If you want to find a local stockist to try some Kehoe's products, click here.
Fibre feeds your gut biome, so the more fibre you eat the better. If you aren't feeding your gut a wellness blend diet with fibre, the microbes feed themselves by eating away your mucus lining and the effect of this is lowering your immune system! You're more susceptible to something wreaking havoc on your body after a dose of antibiotics because they wipe out a ton of "good" bacteria. This is prime time for food poisoning to take hold, so be mindful of what and where you choose to eat after you've completed your course.
During and after antibiotics I try to ramp up the fibre even more than usual. For me this means fruit and veg at every meal and for morning and afternoon snack too. What does that look like? Here is an example below:
Hope this helps to keep your tummy happy too!
It happens to the best of us! Sometimes we just get run down. Other times we get run down, and then we get run over, and steam rolled. . . resulting in crazy fatigue and what seems like an inability to function in day to day life. Anyone else been there? I sure have.
That was me last week. I was so far gone that I decided to go see the doctor. I got my slips for blood work, and then we chatted about uncomplicated fatigue management for middle aged adults (insert all the wide eyed emojis here- oh, and the one with the lady smacking herself in the face).
While I waited for the blood results to come, I decided to effectively do some research on things to help me get a pep back in my step.
Firstly, fatigue is a symptom, not a condition. It manifests differently for people, but it's typically a result of a combination of factors such as social, lifestyle and general wellbeing issues.
Here are a few things to ask yourself, in the comfort of your own home, to see if you might find the root cause of your tiredness.
I learned that 1.5 MILLION Australians head into the doctor's office for fatigue annually. 1 in 5 people typically feel tired, while 1 in 10 seem to have prolonged fatigue. The best news is that most of the time fatigue can get better with a few simple lifestyle changes.
Here's a short list that I compiled to help you if you're feeling "flat" or struggling with fatigue:
2. Move ya body:
Exercising regularly can help to improve energy levels and lessen feelings of mental and physical fatigue. True story. Boosting endorphins if easy to do, free and will help to carry you through your day. Try walking to work or skipping that Uber if possible. Ask someone in HR at work if they would be interested in offering their employees some corporate yoga during lunch or after work.
If you need some guidance to get your sweat on, look up local studios nearby that you can visit right before, or immediately after work. If you're struggling with fatigue, you'll most likely get home from work and then talk yourself out of leaving the house again. If time is of the essence, there are fantastic websites such as YogaGlo that offer free trails and you can do the classes from the comfort of your own living room.
3. Social media detox:
Take time away from social media. Have you ever noticed how often you check your phone when you're bored, lonely or depressed? It's scary to think that we've been hardwired by apps to look for positive affirmation from a screen the size of our palm. Even the way in which Instagram pushes notifications is strategic to make you feel a certain way, building an addiction to the little red bubble. I try to limit my social media time because I find that it's really easy to get caught up in the game of comparisons. I wrote more about this in a blog post here, touching on how checking social media first thing in the morning was a sure fire way for me to start the day feeling flat and unmotivated. Just like with the 3pm coffee craving, try to put the phone down when you feel the urge to check your number of likes or scroll mindlessly while at work or on your commute.
4. Head out to go in:
Head outside, to heal within. Try mediation, earthing, floating or yoga. There is a lot to be said for getting out in nature, listening to the birds or letting your toes kiss the sand. Plan your week and spread out your tasks, being realistic about what you can achieve each day. Be sure to include some of this "you" time. It might be as simple as eating your lunch outside on a bench during your lunch break.
5. Bye - Bye blue light:
Blue light (like that of your phone screen), inhibits the production of the hormone melatonin which helps facilitate sleep. During the day, blue wavelengths are beneficial because they help to boost attention, mood and reaction times. However, at night exposure to this blue light will throw off your circadian rhythm, which is your body's biological clock.
Try to make your bedtime routine sacred. Aim to have no screen time 30 minutes before bed, working your way up to an hour or more. If you think this sounds impossible, try to fill in this time as effortlessly as you can. For instance, after you turn off the tele or put your phone away for the night, start your evening ritual. I take shower, brush my hair, floss and brush my teeth, moisturize, wash my face and gua sha which takes about 30 minutes. Then I crawl into bed and read a book to help get my eyes tired and help me to wind down. Getting more sleep is the best way to help fight fatigue.
Hope this helps you guys. Fighting that flat feeling is no fun, but these little tweeks to my routine helped to make a difference.
I had my first experience floating at Bliss Float yesterday, and it was, simply put, incredible.
I'd heard a lot about float therapy and the various benefits, but still had yet to give it a go.
The space itself is like a Byron Bay sanctuary. It's sleek, hip, comfy and welcoming. It's exactly the kind of place that you'd want to curl up and enjoy a book and a cuppa tea.
There are treatment rooms for facials, an infrared sauna and three floating pods. I didn't have time for a sauna, but I will definitely go back because I've never tried an infrared sauna before. I've read a lot about the health benefits of saunas lately and I'd like to implement this as a new part of my holistic, wellness journey.
There is a private shower in each room, which is AWESOME. I had a lukewarm shower and then entered the pod, making sure to use the pillow that was provided. The pillow was really nice because I'm not an experienced floater and it helped give me that added assistance to really let go and relax my head, neck and shoulders. This was such a relief because I hold my tension in all three of these places! I popped my ear plugs in and it was GO time.
The pod itself was so spacious, I had no reason to be claustrophobic at all (what a relief)! Beautiful Chinese flute music played for the first ten minutes and then came on again in the last five minutes. About 1/4 of the way through my hour float, I decided to turn the lights off to get the "full experience." I find it difficult to explain what the experience was like honestly. It's as if I was in a state of suspended animation. You know those scenes in space movies where the actors are outside of the craft, it's so dark and there is no sound whatsoever? It was like that, but in a really neat way. . . a withdrawal of the sense on a whole new level.
When my float finished, I had my second shower to remove the salt water from my body and washed my hair. I dried off, got dressed and headed to the lounge where I enjoyed a delicious cup of tea from a marble cup. It was the perfect way to seal my relaxation time.
I think my new Sacred Sunday Ritual will be to take a yoga class upstairs at Inna Bliss and then head downstairs for a sauna and a float. I couldn't think of anything more delicious!
It really is the premier holistic spa of Brisbane!
Have you ever floated before? What was your experience like?
This little corner of the internet is for non-yoga topics like motherhood, low-tox living and green beauty products I love.