So, long story short, I haven't purchased make up for many, many years.
When I started my low-tox lifestyle transition after my daughter's birth, I threw out make up I'd held on to for years (as in 5+ years old). Shock horror, am I right! GROSS.
I've been wearing sunscreen and mascara, or a simple BB cream for years now with the occasional eyeliner when I needed to really spruce up.
My daughter is now 18 months old and I'm quickly approaching my mid 30's. The last few months, I've felt as if BB cream isn't cutting it. Don't get me wrong, I'm obsessed with my La Mav BB cream and tell everyone about it. I just felt like it was finally time to simply add something to the mix and help this tired mama perk up her appearance just a bit.
But where to start?
What are those puffy egg looking things used for anyway?
I had no clue, but I decided to see what had happened within the beauty world the last decade.
I'd recently seen Mon from The Beauty Journal feature some clean beauty items on her instagram that peaked my interest. I wanted them to be cruelty free, non-toxic and "clean" because it would be pretty pointless to lead a low-tox life in every aspect except what went directly on my skin.
I decided to check some products out online from Conscious Kin. If you live in Brisbane, I highly recommend visiting their stunning shop which is tucked away on the gorgeous James Street. They also just opened a new shop in the Gold Coast as well if that is closer to you. If you're looking to make some clean beauty swaps, Conscious Kin is a great place/website to start your journey.
What are your favourite clean beauty brands? Tell me in the comments below!
Jackie's passion doesn't stop there though, as she has also just launched a brand new business venture, Eunoia Soul Rituals, which is officially open for business as of today! They combine holistic skin care with soul rituals. What does that mean exactly? Each month has it's own theme which has been curated and handpicked, featuring a box with a collaborative product from an Australian small business, an e-ritual, and other precious goodies. Their first month kicks off with the always welcomed, Self Love.
Welcome Jackie! So happy to chat with you today. Let's dive in.
What is the first thing you do every morning, and the very last thing you do every night?
As a pilates instructor, I have some very early mornings so I can't always complete my full routine each day. But most days I do love to wake up naturally, make myself a tea or coffee and sit on my rocking chair outside and read. It is my absolute favourite way to start the day. I love to pull an oracle card or two as well just to get a little clarity on my day ahead.
The last thing I do each night before bed is a meditation. I use the insight app and it's been my favourite way to wind down at night. I try to do two meditations a day for at least 10 minutes each time. It really helps me to stay calm and grounded and I love that time alone with myself.
Give us your life motto in one sentence.
Follow your bliss and the Universe will open doors when there were once only walls.
Can you tell us a little about how your love of food came about, and why you decided to get your Bachelor of Health Science?
Growing up, my mum and Nana instilled a love of food and cooking in me. My mum would make incredible meals every single night and I would always have a lunchbox packed with fresh, healthy food at school. It was my mum who taught be how to cook and really showed me how fun and creative cooking can be. I'm a very creative person, so making up new recipes and finding new ways of using healthy ingredients is a passion of mine. I decided to get my Bachelors for a few reasons. It was definitely because of my love of cooking and food, but I think it was also because my father had some health issues and turned to natural medicine for help. That particularly inspired me to look into getting a degree in natural health.
"Keto" has been thrown around the news and we hear so many podcasts talking about it lately. Can you explain the Ketogenic diet in layman's terms for us?
Yes, it does seem to be very publicised lately. I specialise in the high fat, low carb diet in my clinical practice which has been tricky. I think generally people have the wrong idea about what a ketogenic diet looks like. It's not lashings of butter and fat, and it's certainly not all meat and no veggies. I see people recommending that way of eating on social media and it makes me so upset! A proper ketogenic diet contains veggies, meats and fats, but not in extremes. It is higher in fat than the average Australian diet, but only slightly.
A ketogenic diet induces the process of ketosis in the body, whereby the body burns fat as fuel. What's so cool about the human body is that we can change it's fuel source. Most people's metabolism runs off carbs or glycogen as fuel, but when it's depleted and we add in extra fat, we use that fat as our fuel instead. That's ketosis in a nutshell.
Natural medicine is _________________
... preventative medicine. We aim to prevent disease by changing your diet and lifestyle and also to treat the cause of disease, not just the symptoms.
I loved this blog post of yours about the importance of reading food labels. What's one piece of advice that you would give to the average Australian who isn’t reading nutritional food labels?
Thank you! The one piece of advice I would give that's really easy to remember is that the ingredients on your food labels are listed by quantity. Which means the first ingredient listed is what makes up the majority of the product. So what I say to my clients is that if you see sugar in any form in the first 4 ingredients of your food label, don't buy it, because sugar makes up the foundation of that product.
How did you come to find your personal pilates practice, and what's the best part of being a pilates instructor?
I have practiced pilates for a few years now, but I think I really came to love it when I began practicing reformer pilates. It's so hard, but fun, and every session is different - which I love! Pilates is incredibly challenging, but it's easy on your joints. Before I started pilates, I was a runner and I would always have sore knees and ankles, and I'm only 23! Now, I'm so much stronger and more fit, but I never feel like I'm injured. There are many things I love about being an instructor. It's so social and I enjoy watching people progress, but I think my favourite thing is that I get to wear UGG boots and leggings to work every day!!
You recently found Sustomi's incredible range of beeswax food wraps, (which I'm obsessed with too)!
What are two other ways you have become mindful and responsible in reducing your waste?
They have been life changing! There's a few things that I'm doing, and these are just some small changes that anyone can make. I use a glass water bottle, I have a keep cup for my coffee/tea, I use glass Tupperware, I rinse out all of my jars (like peanut butter jars) and use them to store nuts, seeds or meals and I bought a soda stream instead of constantly buying new plastic packaged sparkling water.
Even with starting my new business, Eunoia, I've been really mindful about what packaging we're using. All of our products are in glass instead of plastic and we've used recyclable cardboard for our boxes. Just small, easy things that make a big difference.
Speaking of Eunoia Soul Rituals, you've officially launched today, congratulations! How did you come up with the name Eunoia and what was your inspiration?
Thank you!! I first stumbled across the word ‘Eunoia’ on a tumblr account, late at night no doubt, when I was a teen. Although I had no idea why at the time, the word Eunoia and it’s meaning ‘beautiful thinking, a well mind’, resonated with me deeply. It stuck with me for years and the words have become my screen saver through many a difficult time as a little reminder to evoke my own ‘beautiful thinking’.
I came up with the idea of ritual based skincare while I was traveling across Europe last year. In my time away, I spent so many days sitting in parks and coffee shops reading books on spirituality, manifesting, gratitude, abundance - you name it. Just reading about and applying those spiritual practices to my life really changed me and I knew I had to teach these concepts in a more accessible way to women. And what's more accessible that skincare which is a ritual we are already partaking in each day.
What personal passions of yours are found in the essence of Eunoia?
So many! Natural, beautiful skincare, spirituality, rituals and mantras, crystals. Really everything about it is my passion and that's why it's so exciting for me.
What is your favourite crystal and how does it speak to you?
My favourite crystal is probably my smokey quartz. I used it as my gratitude rock - a rock that I hold on to every night before bed while I list off the many things I'm grateful for. I think it's my favourite because it contains so much positive energy from all of my gratitude practices. So many nights I fall asleep with it in my hand just listing off all of the things that make me happy.
Give us your fast five:
I'm reading.... Braving the Wilderness by Brene Brown
I'm listening to.... One of Lewis Howes's School of Greatness podcasts called 'Your thoughts will heal you or kill you' with Marisa Peer on repeat! Amazing!
I'm lusting after... I'm pretty content right now actually.
I'm watching.... Marcella - a crime series. It's great.
I'm asking the universe for... Eunoia to change lives and to help women get in touch with their spirituality.
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.
1. RECYCLE (duh):
This seems like a no brainer, but it's one of the easiest steps you can take by simply putting your rubbish in the correct receptacle. Do you ever feel overwhelmed or confused about what can and cannot be recycled? I found this article super helpful on what the 8 most common recycling mistakes are.
---> DID YOU KNOW: In Australia, 51% of household waste is recycled. If you want to see how we compare to other parts of the world, see this.
2. Have a waste list:
I got this idea from Alex Stuart, author of Low Tox Life. Write down everything you had to throw away at the end of the week. It's similar to having a food journal where you write down everything that passes through your lips. Writing down what you throw in the trash will make you more accountable, and hopefully inspire some creative dishes (soups or curries are always great for "tired" veg). Just be sure the whole family is on board so that your list is accurate and hopefully, together, you can increase your chances of success.
3. Shop seasonally:
This will help you to save money as well and create less waste. When I by things that are not in season, I tend to wait ages for them to ripen, and then sure enough, I've waited too long and it's gone off.
Not sure where to start? Have a look at what fruit and veggies are in season here in Australia.
4. Compost your cut offs:
Composting your food waste will significantly reduce what you're putting out for your curbside pick up.
Not sure what can be composted? I've listed a few obvious things as well as a few surprises:
5. Eliminate single use plastic bags:
Plain and simple. You don't need to put that head of broccoli in a plastic bag to then put it in another bag for it's short journey to your house. The average life span of a single use plastic is a mere 12 minutes. Nowadays you can find awesome, trendy reusable bags. My favourite brand so far is Ever Eco. I love their produce bags which are made from recycled plastic bottles and super easy to clean. They also have some pretty sweet stainless steel straws that we use daily in our home.
Love cling wrap? Well, have you tried beeswax wraps? I love Sustomi and the Source Bulk Foods have good ones as well!
6. Recycle soft plastics:
According to Planet Ark, 22% of the population know about recycling soft plastics. I would personally venture to say that the number is quite lower.
Until recently, I never knew you could recycle soft plastics! What are soft plastics exactly?
These plastics are "scrunchable" meaning you could scrunch them into a ball.
Here are a few examples:
Soft plastics are the number one source of contamination in our recycling system, so please do not put them in your recycling bin at home! You can recycle your soft plastics at your local REDCYCLE.
---> DID YOU KNOW: You can even recycle toothbrushes, toothpaste tubes and floss containers at TerraCycle? Well, you can.
7. Meal plan BEFORE or AFTER you shop:
I don't like meal planning at the beginning of the week. I prefer to head to the market and see what is fresh and allow myself to get inspired. Regardless of whether you plan before or after shopping, have a plan, buy what you need and use it.
8. Say no to junk mail:
When is the last time you actually looked at or read the junk mail? If you head to your local $2 shop, you can purchase a small plastic or metal sign that reads "No Junk Mail," and eliminate a bunch of wasted paper from even entering your recycling bin.
9. Find a community:
Join a local co op or a Facebook forum to help get new ideas, tip and tricks about waste management. Bea Johnson started the Zero Waste movement, and she has a fantastic blog.
You can also connect with her community on Facebook and Instagram.
10. Donate your scraps:
When my compost bin was too full to use anymore, I got in touch with Share Waste and wrote all about that experience here. You can also donate your food scraps and off cuts to your local community garden.
Hope this helped you guys out! I'd love to know your thoughts in the comments!
Looking for more information?
Head to The War On Waste here to see some excellent clips and tips from the show.
Here is clip on how you can fight food waste at home
Good for the Hood (as seen on the War on Waste and Q&A) are based in Sydney and they, "Fight the war on waste in your hood." Download their tool kit here for free!
Like Good for the Hood on Facebook. They also started the 5 for Ryde and share how to make 5 easy changes to reduce what goes to landfill
Thanks to TerraCycle (Colgate and Chemist Warehouse) you can win a community garden for your school
Low Tox Life is now available for purchase in the USA!!! Highly recommend this book!
I am new to this war.
I’m learning every single day.
I have a longgggg way to go, and I’m building awareness constantly.
That’s the thing about this learning curve and mindfulness on lessening your waste . . . you can’t forget what you've learned, and the only way is forward.
That means there are days when I get frustrated or feel like a failure. Last week, I bought a quarter of a watermelon wrapped in GLAD wrap out of habit. I could have bought an entire watermelon, eating some and making popsicles or watermelon margaritas with the left overs. I was only thinking about the immediate scenario in front of me, and that was a simple snack for my daughter for the next three days.
Is it the end of the world? No.
Is that piece of cling wrap going to exist forever? Yes.
Sometimes we need to allow ourselves some grace, especially when making changes to a lifestyle you've led your entire adult entire life! Like Alexx Stuart said in her book, Low Tox Life, “At the end of the day this is a bit like learning a new language. You're not going to be fluent in a week."
Ridding yourself of the disassociation with your waste takes time. Changing your shopping habits takes time.
If you’ve been following along, you’d know that our family recently moved to Sydney, Australia. We are living in council parameters of Canada Bay, and it’s so lovely here. It’s right on the water, super clean and pristine. I was really impressed with the caliber of our neighbors and our surroundings.
Within a few days of arriving I bought a Maze compost bin (smaller version of mine, here). I had recently watched The War On Waste, and learned that food scraps that are placed into landfill emit crazy amounts of methane, which is 28 times more potent that carbon dioxide. Eek. In Australia alone, 4 million tons of food ends up in landfill, which is enough to fill 8,400 olympic size swimming pools. That would be a methane powerhouse!
Anyhow, I couldn't believe how quickly we cut our waste down by about 60%. Every night we would add our scraps to the bin, spray them with friendly microbes and use the fermented juices to fertilise our veggie patch and garden. An added bonus is that you can also use the juice to clean the toilets in your home!
Once my bin was completely chockablock (full) I decided to contact the Canada Bay council because we are not in a position to turn it into mulch or bury it where we are living. I asked them what could be done with my compost and why the green bin wasn't for garden waste AND food scraps (as it is in America and other parts of Australia).
This was their response to my email:
Thank you for your email regarding collection of food waste in the garden organics bin. Council supports the recovery and composting of food waste, and previously funded a major trial of food waste collection in the green lidded garden organics bin. Unfortunately, we’ve found that there is currently limited infrastructure for composting food waste in and around Inner Sydney.
(Not going to chat about the email now, too much to say, hah). However, I was pleased to read further and see that the gentleman recommend a website called Share Waste, and also added that I should get in touch with my local community garden because they are always eager for compost.
If you head to Sharewaste.com you'll see their clever tagline, "Give your waste a second chance." It's free to join, and then you simply choose if you're receiving scraps or looking or seeking a compost location.
I found a "host" in less than ten minutes and she lived eight minutes from our house. I got my daughter loaded her in the carseat, and then loaded the compost bin in the front seat with an extra baking sheet loaded with fruit and veg cut offs. (No, I did not buckle them in)!
My lovely host (Let's call her Mrs R) mentioned that she was typically home, but that I could leave the scraps in the compost bin at the side gate if no one answered the door. How handy is that?
When we arrived, I almost didn't knock, but I'm SO GLAD that I did. Mrs R answered the door with a big smile and popped her hearing aids in. I pegged her to be in her 70's and I could tell she had a heart of gold. She took an immediately liking to my daughter and said that we should take her over to see the pet quails in her front yard! After that we each took a hand and helped my daughter walk to our car to grab all the food scraps. We slowly, and patiently, made our way around the backyard where we were greeted by a huge pen of hungry chooks (chickens). My daughter was so excited and started pointing and giggling, "Ducks! Ducks!" Not quite right, but it was pretty darn cute.
Mrs R grabbed the compost and the baking tray and heaved it all into a pile for chooks who proceeded to go nuts, pecking with joy. "They will eat most of that by tomorrow morning, but they won't touch the citrus. Whatever is left will just go into my garden compost."
I said how cool it was so see my scraps going to a good cause and not into landfill, and I explained to Mrs R that I was new to Share Waste. "I've always cared about the planet, but now I'm learning about how I can actually look after it a bit better." Mrs R smiled and said that was normal and that each season of life will teach us different things. I added that I also wanted a green thumb and dreamed of having my own chooks one day, to which is added, "Yes dear, another season, you'll get there." Ok fairy godmother... whatever you say.
As we were watching the chooks chow down, Mr R came outside to say g'day and he offered that we stay for a cuppa in the sunshine on the balcony. I thought that sounded glorious, so we all had a seat and soaked up the sunshine. I had a delicious cuppa and they also gave my daughter a snack too which she had while playing in the garden.
I was deliriously happy sitting there in silence at times, chatting away in others. We talked about their life in Germany, where I lived in Poland, how many kids they had and what life was like in Sydney (we both had recently moved).
To think that waste brought us together is a funny thing. As I drove away from their house I couldn't help but think that I had made two new friends and made some chooks quite happy too.
P.S. After sharing the company with all my Instagram followers, I got a ton of messages from people about their good Share Waste experiences as well. So many of you had found hosts to take your scraps to, and that means, little by little, we are making a small difference.
On Tuesday evening I attended the Integrative Health Mindd meet up at Bondi Pavilion in Sydney. These monthly Mindd meet-ups are presented by local Mindd-certified practitioners, and they're a great way to meet local, integrative practitioners and other people in the community who might have similar interests or need support in a particular field.
There were two key speakers, both of which generously donated their time to the cause of building awareness around wellness and integrative health. What I'd like to do with this blog post is give you a mini sneak peak, in layman terms, about what we discussed and learned over the two and half hours.
The first key note speaker was Dr James Read, a GP who specialises in children's health, gastrointestinal disorders, autism, ADHD, mental health and nutritional interventions for chronic disease.
The main focus of his lecture was on the Gut Brain Axis and the connection between food/ mood and the effects of outside factors like diet and stress on the human body.
Factors in Gut Brain Connection
The microbiome itself is composed of trillions of cells (in the gut alone) and can be altered by many factors, including:
How does the gut brain connection work?
The vagus nerve is the main connection between the gut and the brain. A great way to illustrate this connection is if you know anyone who has ever been really nervous and vomited as a result. In this instance, the vagus nerve transmitted physiological stress to the gut. Another example is patients with IBS, who under stress, can get an immediate increase in abdominal symptoms. The communication goes from the brain to the gut, and from the gut back to the brain.
Scientist have done studies on mice that have zero microbiome (born in a germ-free environment and born by c-section). Scientists have actually been able to change the lab mice's behaviors with "Poo-fusions" (fecal transplant). Taking poo from a mouse that has been programed to have anxiety and putting it inside a germ-free mouse will cause the bacteria free mouse to develop anxiety. Nuts!
Stress can cause leaky gut (I didn't know this!!). As the gut gets more leaky, inflammatory chemicals are released which can cause a leaky brain as well, causing numerable negative effects.
Autism is a gut disease as well as a brain disease. Kids with autism will often have symptoms of pain, bloating and diarrhea, and the severity of the autism correlates with the gut symptoms.
Other interesting facts we touched on:
The second speaker was Alexx Stuart, author of the hugely successful book, Low Tox Life. Alexx told everyone a bit about her personal journey and the catalyst for her new found health quest which began roughly 13 years ago.
When Alexx was in her late twenties, she was constantly sick with tonsillitis, suffering from the condition multiple times a year. She had taken so many rounds of antibiotics that they eventually stopped working all together. In too much pain to even swallow her own spit, she decided to meet with a naturopath. The naturopath told Alex what to eliminate from her diet, what to add to it and prescribed some funky odoured herbs as well. Within three days Alex was better. After years of pain and the reoccurring atomic bombs of antibiotics, she started to see a light at the end of the tunnel. Alexx began to dig deeper, and most importantly, she started to read labels.
I didn’t start reading labels until recently myself. How idiotic, right? We assume “they” are looking out for us, so why check the labels? If there was anything really that bad in it, surely companies wouldn’t be able to add said ingredient to their shampoos, body lotions, tampons or frozen dinners….right? ... RIGHT?
Well, sadly…. wrong.
Alexx assured everyone life wasn’t all doom and gloom and that there are easy ways to set yourself up for success. If you're just starting out cleaning up your lifestyle, home, diet - break it down into bite size pieces to lead to increase your chances of success.
The Power of Three
Alexx asked us to think of the three most consumed items in the house (food category). It might be apples, bread, carrots…. (the answer obviously varies from family to family). When you've narrowed down your three top consumed items, just switch those out to organic. Nothing more, nothing less….start with those three for a quick win.
Alex also talked to us about mould poisoning, and has made a point to mention it in each speaking opportunity because her mould illness was undiagnosed for so many years and made her terribly ill. If you're interested in learning more about mould and how to keep your home clear of nasties, or want having testing done, look into ERMI or Hertsmi from Mould Lab.
A few quick and easy ways to clean up your life + home fast:
1. EMF's: (Electromagnetic field radiation)
Unplug/ Turn Off your wifi every night before bed. Also, consider using an ethernet cable if you work from home and don't need the wifi signal. People who leave their wifi on at night have a higher basal heart rate than those without it.
2. Elimante synthetic fragraces:
The worst air pollutant is fabric softener- go figure! The goal here is to ditch phthalates which lurk in unnatural air freshers and candles in your home. If you're worried about odours, leave some bi-carb soda behind the toilet in the bathroom and that will do the trick!
In America, a law of proprietary blending was passed in the 70's to help protect companies recipes. This is the reason a product can say "fragrance" but includes hundreds of synthetic, endocrine disruption ingredients under the umbrella of that one word, FRAGRANCE.
3. Get out and about:
Getting outside barefoot and getting your feet on the Earth. I loved this quote from Alexx, "Getting grounded is one of the best antidotes to our modern technology hungry lives." I think it is one of the reasons that I love teaching restorative yoga so much because you have no choice but to disconnect for 60/90 minutes and be with your own company.
I had such a wonderful time and I cant wait to attend Mindd's next event! Thank you again to Dr James Read and Alexx Stuart for the fantastic seminar.
Want to learn more?
Alexx’s book is out now, and as an ebook too of course.
Low Tox Life comes out in America on September 4th.
Alex recommeded a book called Healthy Home Healthy Families by Nicole Bijlsma
Documentaries worth watching: The Disappearing Male, The Human Experience and Toxic Baby
Follow the Mindd Foundation on Facebook to keep up to keep up to date with their upcoming events and excellent research
Defining the Human Microbiome : US National Library of Medicine
Recommended reading material: 10% HUMAN, by Alanna Collen
Listen to Dr. James Read chat with Dr. Suzie about how diets can cause, and treat, diseases here.
Successful business aside, she lives with such intent, focus and love - she just radiates honesty and positivity. Hanging out with Rhi always leaves me feeling inspired, knowledgable and hungry for more discussions around yoga, wellness and family.
As a mindful working mama of two boys, I wanted to learn her secrets... let's hear it from our woman of the hour, Rhiannon.
Give us one sentence to sum up what motherhood means to you.
The greatest gift.
Childbirth was the ___________ because it ____________ .
Childbirth was incredible because it was the most empowering experience of my life, albeit, equally the most painful. My mum always spoke fondly of her 3 birth stories which I believe ignited my strong interest and passion for birth since a really young age. The magic of conception, pregnancy and birth blows my mind. I came to my births full of excitement, and in acceptance of whatever my birth journey would be. Knowledge is power. So, I educated myself on the science of the psychological and physical birth process, and felt armed with understanding, options, and a team of midwives I trusted immensely. I did a lot of birth preparation; from acupuncture, engaging a doula, cranial osteopathy, many herbal teas, eating a (mostly!) good diet, perennial massage, body massage, essential oils, positive affirmations etc. So, when it came to the birth, I surrendered to the experience and trusted that my body would know what to do. And it did. And it was incredible.
Have you always wanted to be an interior designer?
I grew up always wanting to be an Interior Designer or a midwife. While my passion for creating beautiful and functional spaces is still strong, so is my yearning for supporting women through their birthing experience. I have intentions to sit my Doula training in the coming years, so then I can do both!
What has been the hardest lesson to learn as a new mum running her own family design business?
Managing my time and lowering my expectations of my time.
Actively being mindful when I'm in working mode, and equally mindful with my mothering. It's easy to fall into the trap of being on a work call while making dinner with kids hanging off your legs, and getting on top of mothering/household duties when the kids are in care.
I'm constantly working on lowering my expectations of my time, knowing that there is rarely a day or week that all the ‘to do’ boxes are ticked. And that is ok. (I think???!!!)
Speaking of your family business, what’s it like living with AND working with your husband daily?
How do you keep that so called “work life balance” steady?
We never feel as though we are ‘working together’ as our jobs and days are so different. Sometimes we might be working on different projects for weeks or months where our only cross over is ‘on the business’ with bookkeeping etc. Our preferred projects, are the ones where we are engaged from design through to construction, and even then we work in a totally different capacity and different stages throughout the project. We joke that having a company together is probably our saving grace, as we have a greater understanding and tolerance for each other with the long days and late nights. Lastly, and probably most importantly, our success in renovating our own houses and working on projects together comes from a huge respect that we have for each other’s skill set. Matt doesn’t question my design decisions, and I never tell him how to build!
What determines success in your eyes?
Being in a place of absolute happiness and inner peace, regardless of the external situations surrounding you.
Brené Brown says "Unused creativity doesn’t just disappear. It lives within us until it’s expressed, neglected to death, or suffocated by resentment and fear.”
What are your thoughts on this?
When I first heard this I instantly had a pit in my belly. That told me I was guilty of not fulfilling my creativity. I don’t find myself having blocks of time in my daily/weekly agenda to indulge in creative activity, as I wish I could. (I dream of one day having a sun-drenched studio space where I can paint uninterrupted for days on end!!)
I try to increase my ‘creativity’ in my everyday tasks. I take that little bit of extra time to wrap a gift to my liking, rather than quickly throwing some wrapping paper over it. I try to cook at least one meal a week that allows me to explore a new recipe and spend some time enjoying the process rather than rushing through it. Or something as simple as after cleaning the house, picking some flowers from the garden to sit in a vase on the table.
As my girlfriends would know, I hate ironing! I wait until the pile is huge and then listen to a good podcast while I work my way through it, which has now turned into a task I hilariously love! I try to make the otherwise mundane tasks seem somewhat more enjoyable and creative.
How talented is she?!?
If you could live anywhere in Australia where would you choose and why?
We’ve recently relocated to the Mornington Peninsula and we are absolutely loving the slower paced beach lifestyle. If I could bring the Queensland weather down permanently, this place would be flawless. I hate the cold! So Queensland would be my pick, if I could just convince Matt.
I love yoga because...
I feel my body and mind strengthen in every practice. Like meditating, it’s the only real time I tap into my body, and all the other noises and distractions fade away.
You are an avid vedic meditator? Can you tell us a bit more about what that journey was like, and why it resonates so deeply with you and your family?
Both Matt and I started mediating in a state of desperate need to change our situation with daily stress and anxiety. We both found some relief once we started practicing, but it was only when we fell off the band wagon some 6 months later that we realized the positive impact it had made on our lives. Without the daily practice, our heads spun back into chaos and mess, a place that had felt normal for so many years, yet suddenly looked like absolute insanity!
So, we committed to our practice again, and haven’t looked back. We don’t always manage to get in the 2 x 20 minute daily sessions, but our early morning sessions are non-negotiable. Our boys are very aware of our meditation practice, and Bobby will be able to learn it soon once he turns 5. They will have the greatest kick start being able to incorporate meditation into their lives from such a young and moldable age. As the Dalai Lama said; “If every 8 year old in the world is taught meditation, we will eliminate violence from the world within one generation.”
Your recommendations got me onto some of my all time favourite brands like Peace Love and Vegetables, Dr Bronner's and Love Tea
What are your 5 top, non-negotiable MUST HAVES at home?
That’s a hard question because I'm so passionate about mindfully choosing ALL things that we surround ourselves with!
Southern Cross Pottery water filter for our clean water.
Abode for ALL our cleaning and washing products.
InBed bed pure linen bedding.
Pana Chocolate OR Alter Eco chocolate.
For energy & space clearing consultation you can’t go past Leanne Dawson in Melbourne.
Give us your fast five:
I’m reading… Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself by Joe Despenza.
I’m listening to… a Classic Acoustic playlist on Spotify.
I’m loving… My early morning routine.
I’m loathing… the Melbourne cold.
I’m lusting after… The Leeroy sofa by Grazia.
Business Chicks exists to make the world better for women
I've been following Business Chicks on Instagram for a few months now, but I had no idea how vast their network was until this week. I attended their 2 day 9 to Thrive event in Sydney on the weekend, and boy did it blow me away.
On day 1, I grabbed my copy of Winging It (in the hopes of meeting Emma Isaacs), planned my route, packed the pram + nappy bag because I had to bring my daughter with me. I knew the schedule, roughly, and that was about it.
When I saw the venue from afar, I was shocked, it was next level big. I was pretty self-conscious about arriving with a bub, and sheepishly asked the hostesses if it was OK to bring the pram in. All the business chicks support staff were in Grease Lightening-esk pink jackets were so kind and welcoming. They assured me that it was fine and pointed me in the direction of the creche as well as the Thank You baby room (which was amazing)! Off to a fab start: no line; efficient sign in, warm welcome... what's next?
The Royal Hall of Industries is MASSIVE. Business Chicks was hosting a legit business expo with the top brands and companies in Sydney. There were banners with inspiring quotes on them, pink everywhere, gift bags and merch galore. There were over 100 exhibitors at the expo That's right, 100.
A few stand outs were:
Bumble Australia was offering free headshots (including hair and make up touch ups).
The Green Elephant Creche was so cute!
On the spot monograming of some fab leather pieces
1 on 1 financial consultations
I made my way to the main stage, and got a seat to see Roxy Jacenko's interview. There were thousands of people there. Some were engrossed in the panel discussions, others perusing the stalls, buying merch or signing up to become Business Chicks members.
There was such a buzz about the place, there is no other way to explain it. Girl bosses were everywhere drinking coffees, pink frośe, taking quirky photos, handing out business cards.... the place was pumping. Women from all walks of life were there just living their best lives. There were gals in ripped jeans, gals in fancy frocks, mums juggling bubs, girls in their early 20's, women in the 50's.... all there for different reasons, but sharing the common thread of wanting to make the world a better place for women.
I did get to meet the inspirational Emma Isaacs which was the highlight of my day, and such a treat given my earlier than planned departure because things didn't go as expected with my daughter.
I wanted to hear from these working mums about how they execute their days and managed to keep their shit together (on the outside at least).
The line up included:
Kemi Nekvapil, Melbourne based coach, and MC of the panel.
Sally Obermeder, media personality and owner of SWIISH
Rachael Finch, model and fitness guru + owner of Body by Finch
Emma Isaacs, founder and global CEO of Business Chicks, and mother of five
Antonia Kidman, Australian journalist, author and mother of six children
The women were all so natural and it seemed like they'd been friends for years. I was absorbed in the discussion, as you do when in a room of successful, hard- working mums telling you their secrets.
Kemi didn't pull punches, asking the tough stuff and sparking excellent, engaging conversations. One of my favourite quotes was a mantra that Sally shared, which had been passed on to her from her sister Maha Koraiem.
"Do only what you can do."
Only do what you can do, and that's it. No more, no less. If you can't do something, outsource it. Take immediate control of the things that you can do, and focus on them.
How bloody simple is that? Makes so much sense - it's actually infuriating.
Why do we feel the need as women to hustle ourselves into the ground like some kind of martyr? Is this some kind of self-inflicted torture? Do we all have imposter syndrome? I sure as hell don't have anything to prove to anyone, or to social media, but I'll be damned if I'm not happiest when I'm flat out busy or flogging myself, getting shit done and kicking goals. Sometime I need to scale back on what those goals actually are. On any given day, it might be that I simply got to brush my teeth before 2 pm, I'll have to chalk that up as a win.
That's the beauty of this journey. Life ebbs and flows, motherhood is the constant, and work is the delicious cherry on top.
How do we marry them all?
That's a damn good question.
The gals gave various pieces of advice, but a common denominator seemed to be self-care. There was also a large agreement to not let mum-guilt get to you because it doesn't serve you, your partner or your children. It just weighs you down and makes you doubt your capabilities, and that's the last thing you need when you're already trying to wear all the hats your family needs.
I also was lucky enough to catch the tail end of the "How to start a business online" talk and I really enjoyed the "Tech Talks" with three leading women who are making waves in the tech world.
Below were a few of my favourite nuggets from the day that are worth remembering, and sharing.
"I believe that my relationship with my husband is as important as my relationship with my children. They wouldn't exist if our relationship didn't exist."
"It's not easy and it's not seamless, and shit goes wrong every day."
"Mother guilt is a waste emotion."
"Being underestimated is a powerful position to be in. It gives you the opportunity to prove people wrong"
I highly recommend getting your friends together if you're in Melbourne or Brisbane. Or, go alone like I did on day 1. There are plenty of people to meet, conversation starters and lots of fun to be had.
Make sure you are following them on their socials and subscribe to their newsletter to see what exciting things they are to up to, who is speaking, and how to win tickets to their next event.
Want to know more?
Connect on Facebook or Twitter
Melbourne, August 24th - 25th (Click here to see the schedule)
Brisbane, October 19th - 20th (Schedule is not yet released)
A brief backstory for you all. I tried to eat a wide variety of healthy foods when I was pregnant because I wanted to give my daughter the best start at a diverse pallet, as well as excellent nutrition obviously! However, when the time came to introduce solids, I was so was incredibly anxious. I had no idea where to begin, what to start with, how much was too much food...? I found myself asking all my friends about it, and eventually my sweet friend Kyla gave me Annabel's Complete Baby & Toddler Meal Planner. I'll never forget opening her book, reading the introduction and feeling such an incredible wave of relief. I was instantly inspired, and felt my confidence building with each homemade meal I prepared from her book. I started to create my own recipes and my passion for eliminating the expression "kid food" in our home has been a huge success and quite an enjoyable challenge. Some of the most engaging posts on my Instagram are surrounding the meals I make for my daughter.
Annabel's story is complicated and beautiful, stemming from the loss of her first born daughter. Annabel wanted to create a legacy in her daughter's memory, and she has done that in spades. She is has pioneered the way babies and toddlers eat in the UK, and now you can find her products in countries all over the world as well.
So, without further adieu, let me introduce to you the one and only, Annabel Karmel.
WELCOME Annabel! Let's dive in, shall we:
Describe your personality in three words.
"Obsessed with Food!"
Your passion for cooking began when you were living in Holland. What was that experience like for you as an expat and a cooking novice?
A lot of people don’t know that I actually started working life as a musician. I was a talented harpist and studied classical music at the Conservatoire in the Hague, Holland. It was while I was living in Holland that I very quickly realised I had to fend for myself. Part of this meant that I had to figure out how to cook, and it was during this time that my love of cooking really began. Each week my mother would send me recipes which I would try out and by the time I returned home, cooking had become a real hobby of mine.
What is a day in the life of Annabel Karmel like?
No two days are the same! I definitely don’t ever sit still and I am extremely hands on. I like to be in the office as much as I can, so that's where you'll find me when I’m not out at various meetings with brands, retailers, suppliers, attending an event, filming or working on my next book! Our digital team, PR, marketing and sales departments are the eyes and ears of the business, so we regularly come together to discuss how we can continue to build the brand, act on our successes and share new ideas.
I still dedicate one day a week to developing new recipe ideas, so every Tuesday you’ll find me cooking up something new in my kitchen. I love having this day out of the office, away from my desk, to get creative and discover new foodie favourites – some of which can often spark the idea for a new book. I trial and tweak ingredients, texture and method until I’m happy.
I don’t ever want to stop this aspect of my job as it’s where it all began for me back in 1991 with the Complete Baby & Toddler Meal Planner. Evenings and weekends are all about family and friends and one of my greatest pleasures definitely has to be dinner with my three children – Nicholas, Lara and Scarlett. Now they are in their twenties! You really have to grab these opportunities when you can!
You have three beautiful children as you mentioned above. Were they picky eaters, and what did they teach you about motherhood?
Perseverance! Any parent out there with a fussy eater will appreciate the vulnerability and frustration you can feel.
When I started out, there were no recipe books out there that provided meals which tasted as good as the recipes I was preparing. My ingredient combinations were truly unique. Getting a child to eat well can be a real challenge (and utterly draining), but I kept at it, and it’s because of Nicholas’s fussiness that I am where I am today.
My children are now all grown up in their twenties, but if it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t have become such a celebrated author and a leading name in baby and children’s food. They are my daily motivation, and I couldn’t have taken on this journey without them. My passion for what I do seems to have caught on with my daughter Lara who joined the business in 2016.
What's the best piece of advice you could give to our postnatal readers?
If you’ve just welcomed a very special new member into the family, then – congratulations! It’s such an exciting time but your day-to-day is set to get a little bit more jam-packed! It’s important for you to continue to eat well both for you and for your baby.
Here are my top foodie tips for new mum "Kate" starting her incredible journey:
1. If breastfeeding, your fluid requirements increase dramatically so keep a close eye on your daily intake and remember to stay hydrated. Kate should be drinking lots of water, herbal teas or unsweetened fruit juices, and keep a bottle of water handy when she breastfeeds.
2. Try to up your all-important intake of calcium, iron and fibre-rich foods:
Fibre. Kate should aim to eat at least five portions of fruit and vegetables a day and include plenty of fibre. She can get this much-needed dose from fruit and vegetables as well as wholemeal bread, pasta and whole grains. After childbirth, women can often suffer from constipation - soluble and insoluble fibre can help with this.
Iron. Red meat, dark green leafy vegetables and pulses such as lentils are all good sources of iron. If you’re a vegetarian then lentils are good, but should be consumed alongside a source of vitamin C which has been proven to help enhance iron absorption.
Calcium. Kate should be aiming for 4-5 servings of dairy or other calcium-rich foods each day. A great way to start the morning is with a bowl of granola topped with fruit and yoghurt or some delicious bircher muesli soaked in milk. Plus, it’s two for the price of one in the nutrition stakes - oats and bran are low GI foods, so they will help fuel your body through a busy morning.
We know that the healthy omega-3 fats contained in oily fish are important for your brain, nervous system and vision and they continue to be hugely important post-pregnancy. Try making my super simple Salmon Fishcakes to provide an important and delicious dose of the good stuff! Just remember that if breastfeeding, you should eat no more than two portions of oily fish a week.
What stars had to align for you to go from cookbook author to having your food stocked at Tesco, Morrisons, Woolworths and beyond?
I first gained the confidence to launch my own range of children’s food after learning about the retail sector when acting as an expert to retail giants Marks & Spencer and Boots in the UK. Marks & Spencer had wanted to launch a range of children’s food and, completely out of the blue, asked me to be their food consultant.
I spent nearly two years talking to focus groups and it was a complete education in building a food range from scratch: thinking about who the consumer was, working out the nutritional information, recipe choice, understanding packaging and the importance of pricing.
Three years later Boots asked me to work with them on a baby range that would be jointly branded Annabel Karmel and Boots. They wanted me to decide which products I thought would work in their stores. I designed a range called ‘Make It Easy’, which included both equipment and baby foods, and would be sold on the shelf alongside my books.
This experience was invaluable. Under the aegis of two major retailing companies, I was given the opportunity to listen, learn and become my own expert.
And it was during this time that I learned to tune in and listen to my own instinct. I knew I had it in me to produce my own food range under the Annabel Karmel brand – and it all stemmed from there.
A big part of my mission is to offer healthy meal solutions for busy families. So many parents want to cook healthy meals from scratch, but often hectic schedules get in the way. Busy days still deserve the best mealtimes, and that’s why I’ve created a special range of snap-frozen meals for babies and toddlers in Australia.
Babies will love my nutritiously balanced Peel & Pop Purees made with 100% real fruit and veggies which are snap-frozen to lock in the taste and goodness. I have also developed 15 delicious meals for children aged 1-4. A tasty way towards their 5-a-day, they make for the perfect freezer filler.
Best part about living in the UK is…
I love the food scene in the UK, particularly in London. Going out for dinner and catching up with friends and family over good food is one of life’s great pleasures. Since I love to cook, when I eat out, I want it to be special and food that I often wouldn’t cook myself at home. I adore Japanese food, and there are some incredible Japanese foodie spots here in London.
I also love the great British countryside. My dogs are a big part of my life, and spending time with them is incredibly therapeutic and important to me. If I’m in need of a boost, I’ll take Bono (American Cocker Spaniel), Hamilton (Samoyed) and Sabre (Golden Retriever) away for a weekend of long walks or off to the nearest park for a good dose of fresh air.
You’ve penned 44 cookbooks (and counting)! How do you keep inspired to keep creating year after year?
My vision today is the same as it was over 25 years ago. I set out on a mission to show the world that you can make tasty recipes for babies and children. I want to continue to empower and inspire mums across the world to give their families the best start in life and to raise their children on healthy, wholesome diets.
What, or who, inspires you above all else?
My three children are my inspiration and motivation – and Natasha. I started out on my food journey wanting to give some meaning to Natasha’s short life and my first book was a legacy to her. My passion to succeed continued to be fuelled by Natasha and my three children who are so supportive.
My mother is also a huge inspiration to me. She is a wonderful woman with an amazing work ethic. She is still busy working now as an architect and interior designer.
I absolutely love running my own business, and I still love what I do 26 years on!
What do you love about your work?
Everything! I always say that if you choose a job that you love you will never have to work a day in your life. What you do for yourself dies with you, but what you do for others lives on. I hope that my recipes and the work that I have done in the field of children will continue.
The knowledge in my books and food products makes it as if I'm there every stage of a child’s life, helping to look after them (and mum and dad too). Success in my eyes starts by eating well while pregnant to feeding babies, toddlers and families.
The most famous person I’ve ever cooked for is …
I have cooked for many celebrities and indeed chefs. Although I'm best known for baby & toddler food, I also make delicious food for adults. I'm especially pleased when cooking for well-known chefs as it's a challenge and I think they probably expect carrot puree... but get a gourmet meal that could stand up to a Master Chef grilling!
Your new book Real Food Kids Will Love has just been released! I love scratching the term “kid food,” and your book seems to do just that. What age do you think babies are ready to join their parents at meal time?
Home-cooked family meals are often the best meals. It’s not about spending hours slaving over the stove, it’s about finding solutions that work for your family, and often that means quick, balanced meals which are simple to prepare and taste delicious.
My advice is to try and introduce tasty, healthy alternatives early on. My new book Real Food Kids Will Love brings together delicious recipes for kids aged one to five. It includes all the things mums want such as 15 minute favourites, making your own healthy fast food, and one–pot batch cooking. There is also dairy free and egg free recipes, vegetarian and vegan recipes.... as well as a collection of dishes that young children can make themselves.
2018 / 2019 will be epic because…
I want to continue to innovate in the children’s food sector with even more flavour-fuelled, ready-to-go recipes based on my much-loved trusted cookbooks. We’ll also be working on making our products available for many more parents in even more territories.
We are also heavily investing in our digital channels, so we will be developing even more content and helpful advice for parents. We are also currently working on a number of exciting education initiatives which will equip parents with even more useful tools to be able to give their baby the very best start. Watch this space!
We sure will Annabel! x
If you have any particular questions for me, or about Annabel's books, comment below!
She is also the founder of Love Mae, which is one of my all time favourite brands that I came across as a new mum myself. As some of you may have seen on my Instagram, I adore their bio-degradable, non-toxic, plastic free, bamboo dinnerware which we use daily for my daughter. I didn't know that their range is actually a lot more broad, including; lunch boxes, stickers, wall decals and kid's room decorations.
I wanted to know more about this ambitious Mumprenuer in Byron Bay, and I want you to know more about her as well!
WELCOME Peta!!!!! SO happy to have you!
A lot of people might not know that you used to be a photographer and a chef before starting Love Mae in 2008. What did you learn most about yourself when you were in these professions?
I learned early on that you can do anything if someone gives you the chance…. and that I work well under pressure. The pressure makes me tap into this "can do" space in my brain and all the noise of failure and insecurity disappears. At that point I can just do what needs to be done. It’s such an empowering feeling, and these days I feel like I can tap into that space whenever I like. My brain is wired to achieve.... some days that is good…. and others it is just purely annoying! he he
What's your house like in Byron Bay? Is it as perfect and whimsical as your designs?
Actually I think I’m a little in between styles at the moment. We moved from our renovated hinterland cottage about three years ago and headed back to the beach… worst house, best location kinda situation. I live about 15 minutes north of Byron in an old holiday house, that is small and desperately in need of a makeover. I’m not too precious though and I can easily wait while we work on the plans. Meanwhile, we can hear the waves and we’ve made it comfortable with relaxed furniture and landscaped the backyard. We spend our time on our large back deck where there is a huge table for hanging out with friends, as well as a lounge area for lazing…. although being winter we spend more time around the fire pit than anywhere else.
My favourite restaurant in Byron is Folk. What's yours?
Oh I love Folk, I could live there… quite literally. It’s hard to talk favourites… do you mind if I give you my Top 5? For lunch, they would be 100 Mile Table (The Best!), The Farm, Luscious, Barrio and the pop up Japanese that you’ll find in a caravan Tuesday to Friday out the front of the surf shop. We are spoiled for choice and that is not even taking into account the cafes and restaurants in the town centre of Byron.
Why did you choose bamboo for the dinnerware range?
We originally used to make our dinnerware in melamine. It took a lot of time to allow myself to free the guilt from producing something so disastrous for the planet and it’s oceans. That stuff will never break down, and I still cringe a little that we did it. When I went looking for an alternative, bamboo was the one that stood out for us because it ticked all the right boxes. What a brilliant thing that these sets will not cause the troubles that melamine and other products do.
What's the very first thing you do every morning?
Meditate…. it’s the only way my brain won’t self destruct. ;-)
Childbirth: Traumatic, transformative or ___________?
Interesting… slightly questionable that it needs to be like that (he he)…. but in the end, amazing! Nothing beats that moment of the last push and the sound of your baby realising they are filling their lungs with air.
My favourite time of day is….
This is hard, I love so many parts of the day. At a push my favourite part is my swim in the ocean. I swim almost every day of the year… including winter. Nothing beats the rush in winter and in summer it’s just pure weightless bliss.
The best thing about being a small business owner…..
Giving a shit about everything… employees, customers, products… even the layout and look of the studio. It feels so good to care and to ride the ups and downs of your own decisions. It’s not like I ever feel in control, but if I lean enough in a certain direction it steers the ship and that feels great.
The worst thing about being a small business owner….
I find hiring and firing very painful. I get so nervous interviewing and need help throughout the whole process. I’m a bit awkward at the best of times and in that situation I’m a mess. As for firing…. no words needed! No one enjoys that process and I’m lucky it's so rare I don’t usually have to worry about it.
How do you practice self care?
Every morning I rise before anyone in my house and sit still for 15 - 20 minutes (meditate), then exercise and finish off with a swim. I’ve only just gotten back to the exercise bit, and I’ve sworn to my body to never give it up…. even when I get back to fitting into my clothes!
Recently I fell off the wagon and it wasn’t pretty. I now find the strength to get up every morning and show the body and mind complete respect.
What’s the best book you have have ever read?
Again I’m sorry…. it’s too much pressure for something I have such passion for… I LOVE reading! Here’s my Top 5.
Aztec, by Gary Jennings (History is so disturbing and intense and this is not for the feint hearted!)
Education of Little Tree, by Forrest Carter (my kind of bible)
The Signature of all Things, by Elizabeth Gilbert
Mallawindy, by Joy Dettman
The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho.
I know that as soon as I press send I’ll think of another 5 books I wish I had of put here. I love books so much.
In your opinion, what determines success?
Perseverance and endurance. You need to wholeheartedly want to complete things no matter the odds. Admittedly, sometimes the stars need to align and I have all sorts of personal theories on that. The important things it to know how to get things done and keep at it no matter how rough the road may seem.
Your work culture at Love Mae is “Family First,” which I love. Over the last ten years, has it been difficult to put your family first juggling life, work and two daughters?
In all honesty, it is easy to create that ethos for everyone that works here, but for me it’s the hardest thing ever. The assembly performance coincides with deadlines for the new range, or the NY trade show falls on my husband's birthday, my girls are sick when I’ve got meetings that took months to get… the list goes on, but I just take each day as it comes. I hope that my girls have memories of my being there for them despite the fact that sometimes I cannot.
What’s one piece of advice you would give to our readers who are new to the War On Waste
This shit needs to be taken seriously….. start making changes! There is so much more we could be doing. And why isn’t unnecessary packaging controlled? Imagine how many plastic containers are being opened right now, whether it be toys or fruit and veg, that are immediately put in the landfill bin. It's insane!
As a mum to two girls, what are your aspirations for them as young women?
I’m not sure this is my biggest aspiration, but it’s a theme in our house at the moment.
We are working on taking responsibility for our own reactions as no-one can make you feel anything unless you give them permission. Sometimes a tilt of the head, a smile on your face and a feeling of curiosity can get you through the most hurtful situations. When people hurt others, it’s because they are hurting. We can help make them feel better if we just know how to forgive and not take things personally. Concentrate on the good of a person and hopefully they will give you that same grace when you are having a bad day. Anything can be turned into a positive if we just leave our defensive responses aside.
What exciting things can we anticipate for Love Mae in 2018/19?
All going well, new products! You’ve no idea how much I wish I could tell you more…. but I’m seriously very excited about the processes we are going through at the moment to make this happen.
This little corner of the internet is for non yoga topics like motherhood, low-tox living and products I love.