Focussing on grace and compassion for my Inner Radiance workshop at Lululemon this week . Inspired by Oxfams 3 things campaign
30 Nov 2012 Leave a Comment
I ran an Inner Radiance workshop recently, and encouraged the participants to start a Gratitude journal for the month of December. December can be a time for work Christmas parties, catching up with friends/ family/ a holiday.. present buying.. Late night shopping, turkey baking on hot Christmas days….
Things can get a little full on at this time of the year. That’s why it’s good to have some useful ‘coping’ tools. A gratitude diary is one such tool. By acknowledging the little things that make you smile each day. You learn to appreciate all the things in your life.
The first day of the month is always a fantastic time to start something new. I’m going to encourage everyone to start a gratitude journal starting this Saturday Dec 1.
Purchase a journal dedicated to the month of Dec, and each day record three things that made you smile. It will help you take notice of and appreciate the little positive things in your day. It’s also a great tool to help you set some real new years intentions at the end of the month.
Here’s a poem to help get you started…
Both abundance and lack exist simultaneously in our lives, as parallel realities.
It is always our conscious choice which secret garden we will tend…
when we choose not to focus on what is missing from our lives but are grateful for the abundance that’s present – love, health, family, friends, work, the joys of nature and personal pursuits that bring us pleasure
the wasteland of illusion falls away and we experience Heaven on earth
- Sarah Ban Breathnach
14 Sep 2012 Leave a Comment
Spring spring such a joyous thing
This first day of spring
The sun was out, the sky the bluest blue
Cherry blossoms waiting to be found
Picnic season has come around
As you can tell, Spring is my favourite season, a time of growth and movement. Spring is a fantastic time to start something new. This is why we spring clean the house, to get rid of the old (winter hibernation) and allow in new energy/ new potential. The organ related to Spring according to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is the liver. The liver is the general of the body and is in charge of the free flow of energy.
We have a saying in Chinese Medicine
Tong zhi bu tong, bu tong zhi tong
Which translates as:
Free flow means there is no pain, pain means there is no free flow
Therefore if the liver is balanced and harmonised, the blood will be able to flow freely and there will be no pain.
So how do we harmonise the liver?
The liver belongs to the wood element, and its colour is green. Eating green leafy vegies can help keep the liver happy. We also want to avoid the things that can unbalance the liver such as very spicy foods, fried foods, take-away foods, excess alcohol, irregular eating patterns and stress.
Spring is a fantastic time to start bringing back healthy salads into your diet. Some greens to consider trying could be kale, silverbeet, bok choy, broccoli, broccolini, spinach, rocket, rainbow chard…
Salad can be a lot more interesting than iceberg lettuce with some tomato and dressing:)
Experiment, have fun making salads, most of the leafy greens can be eaten raw. Kale is lovely with a squeeze of lemon juice and a touch of salt. You can even use your green leafy vegies to wrap your meal using avocado as your butter, kind of like a literal salad sandwich (see pic below)
Make your own salad dressings with apple cider vinegar, balsamic, olive oil, lemon juice, sesame oil or avocado. Add some nuts and seeds…and you have a lovely delicious tasty healthy meal.
and it is as delicious as it looks
Here is an example of a lovely green spring inspired salad
Green bean and avocado salad
Handful of green string beans topped tailed, cut into 1/3’s
Small red capsicum diced
Fresh corn off the cob, ¼ cup
A few Snow pea sprouts or mung bean shoots
½ cup Roughly chopped nuts (cashews, almonds, hazelnuts)
Handful baby spinach
½ avocado diced into cubes
Mix all the ingredients together except for the dressing ingredients.
Add avocado, a splash of balsamic, squeeze of lemon juice, toss gently.
Enjoy your crunchy raw treat
Natural body rhythm
Spring is a fantastic time to start waking up earlier, in harmony with nature. When you are eating the right foods in tune with the season, such as leafy greens in Spring, you are helping to reset your body clock back to its natural state. You will find yourself waking up earlier and perhaps even ‘springing’ out of bed Walking bare foot in the grass is lovely and grounding, and can really help when you have millions of thoughts running around inside your head. Any chance you can get to go outside, please do. Your body has no doubt been missing the sunshine over the long winter months.
Meditation for spring
Meditation is another lovely way to help bring you back into balance. It’s lovely to wake up in the morning and sit in quiet meditation for a few moments before you start your day. It can be as simple as sitting comfortably, hands resting in your lap, or on your knees, and becoming aware of your breath. Slowing your breath down to breathe deeply into the tummy… and gently pulling the tummy back to the spine on the exhalation.
Breathing in for a count of 5…out for a count of 5… just focussing on the breath.
Once your mind has slowed down a little, you can bring your awareness to your hands… see if you can feel them tingling a little… bring your awareness to your arms…your shoulders..
Bring your awareness to your feet, can you feel them tingling… your lower legs…thighs..
Bring your awareness to the base of your spine, going up one vertebra at a time till you reach your neck. Bring that awareness to the back of your head, forehead, eyelids, eyebrows, nose, mouth, lips, tongue, chin, jaw.
Allow yourself to just be aware of the gentle pulsation going through you. You may even feel a little warm. If you find your mind straying, just come back to the breath.
Allow yourself to slowly come back into the room, breathing a little deeper, wriggling fingers and toes, slowly opening your eyes when you’re ready. Thank yourself for taking the time to harmonise and help bring your body back into a peaceful calm balanced state.
Spring can signal hay fever time in some people. Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine techniques, can help you find out the reasons why. The causes of hay fever can be dietary related, improper food for your body type, erratic eating patterns, related to stress and other causes… Regular Acupuncture treatments can help you gently strengthen your immune system, so that you are less likely to suffer the uncomfortable symptoms of runny nose, itchy eyes, and irritability
A great technique to help strengthen the immune system involves tapping an acupressure point in the middle of the chest. This is known as Ren 17, or Sea of Qi
Tapping this point 36 times while stating to yourself,‘ I am healthy’ or ‘my immune system is strong’ ‘my lungs are strong’, is an incredibly powerful positive affirmation to the self.
Try to incorporate it into your morning routine under a hot shower.
* Having hot water with lemon and ginger in the morning can also help ward off colds and flu.
Cold and Flu
Spring is a time of change of season and extreme weather, gorgeous sunny picnic days one day, raining and hailstorms the next…and it could even be in the same day… if you’re a Melbournite
This means that your body has to continually adjust to different temperatures. Many people come down with colds in the first weeks of spring, due to the onset of windy weather. It is important to always keep your neck and lower back covered… keep the scarves and cardigans handy when it’s cool or windy outside If you get caught in the rain or the cold, have a hot tea with ginger when you get home. Ginger helps gently warm you, and can prevent the onset of a cold.
If you do happen to come down with a cold, drink plenty of warm fluids and rest for a few days. Your mum possibly gave you hot honey lemon ginger tea as a child. Keep drinking this tea throughout the day as is it is antibacterial, antimicrobial, warming, tastes really yummy, and is one of the simplest most effective ways of treating a cold.
For the more adventurous, at the onset of a cold you could try hot water with two fresh spring onion stalks and fresh ginger boiled for 10 mins. This tea can make you sweat and bring on the cold quite strongly, so it’s best to hop into bed and sweat it out. The best thing about this tea is it generally gets the cold over and done with, in a few days…rather than a couple of weeks.
Alternatively you could come in for an acupuncture treatment. Acupuncture if given at the onset of a cold, can help strengthen the immune system and can sometimes if treated early enough.. fight it out of the body on the spot
Spring is such a fantastic season of new energy and growth….
Try incorporating more leafy greens, hot water with lemon juice in the morning, walks in nature, and some meditation. If you set up the foundations now, you will have an amazing rest of the year
Namaste – may the light in me recognise the light in you
Food for the Seasons; Prof L Wong, K Knapsey; Griffin Press, Australia, 2002
Chinese Medicine- The web that has no weaver; T J Kaptchuk, Random house, Australia, 2000
31 Aug 2012 2 Comments
I started August with the intention to buy nothing new. It had been on my mind for quite some time… Thinking, how hard could it be? I allowed myself a little breathing space. I could continue to buy organic food (as I don’t have a garden and I didn’t wish to starve). I would be able to purchase public transport tickets. My bike can only get me soo far.. and isn’t as fun when it’s cold and raining. I would also continue my dancing classes (limiting to 2 nights/week).
So bearing all this in mind, I decided I would reword my intention and make it to ‘physically buy nothing new’. It seemed a lot easier to face and workable.
Day one arrived and I was fresh and ready to embrace a life of simplicity
It all started well, buying my fresh food from the organic store, enjoying cooking at home. Inviting friends round for tea. Then I started to get invites for coffee, chai, business meeting catch ups.. . I attended these, with the intention of purchasing my coffee, or chai, or hot chocolate. At the end of every single meeting… my drink was paid for by my companion. (having not breathed a word of my ‘buy nothing new’ status.) I found it quite interesting that what I had set into the universe was working.
So food was under control. I made the point to buy only what was necessary. ( good quality organic dark chocolate fitting that description) I began to limit my dancing…to just turning up to social dancing events, and I was riding my bike and walking almost everywhere… was all going well..
Two weeks into August, my flatmate announced she was moving out, to her own place. I wished her well, and set about interviewing new potential housemates. We found someone straight away, and she was able to move in two weeks’ time. It all seemed great.
My flatmate moved out taking almost all of the kitchen stuff with her. We were left with very empty cupboards (which is a great time to clean out cupboards by the way) So empty cupboards meant…one pot for the stove.. a handful of cutlery.. no wooden spoons.. two tea towels…one bowl…no sieve…or toaster or kettle…. (it was beginning to sound like a famous Christmas songJ )
Suddenly cooking became a little more challenging… I adjusted to stirring my porridge with a black plastic spatula (that may or may not have been for making omelettes) I got very good at making stir fries. Cooking on top of the stove was my only option. There were so many times when I thought….’buying a wooden spoon would be very helpful right now. Or perhaps another bowl’, so I didn’t have to wash my one bowl after every meal for my flatmate to be able to use…or some more tea towels…
But I realised this is what ‘buying nothing new’ is all about…working with what you have. Living sustainably and being flexible and creative in the way you do things.
Then my trusty mobile phone…which I had had for over two years…decided to just ‘not work’ for hours on end. This was quite concerning as I run my own business and this is the main way patients contact me. After careful consideration and advice from friends, I went into a phone store and found that I could switch phones and go onto another plan without paying a cent on the day. This fit in with my ‘buy nothing new’ philosophy…I kind of saw it as trading to an upgrade.
This same day of phone upgrading… my brother contacted me to see if I would mind his puppy for a week while he went to the gold coast to visit our parents. I gladly accepted, I love dogs…especially little ones. The next day Oliver came to stay. Luckily all his food came with him… as I was wondering do dogs like stir fries or porridge??… He also came with puppy pads ( he was still in toilet training being only 13 weeks old) I managed to get him to go outside…mostly… but he still went through almost a whole bag of puppy pads. So I was thinking…I’m going to have to go out and buy some more puppy pads…where do you even get them??? I was sure the organic store wouldn’t stock them.
Then I was reading the local newspaper…and remembered back to childhood when we had kittens and would lay newspapers around them…
I wondered if little Ollie would know what to do with the newspaper…I just placed one in his corner, and it worked. Making me realise that we have become so used to convenience and buying things… we even buy special made puppy pads…in plastic wrappers…that look like they would never break down naturally… to save ??? time?
So as I come to the last few days of my ‘buy nothing new’ month… I’m happy to report I’ve actually stuck to my word… and bought nothing new.
And there were so many temptations…
A new pair of shoes for a swing dancing night…so I could co-ordinate my outfit a little better (not a necessity)… my old shoes worked just fine. And there’s always electric tape that apparently I can stick to the base of any pair of shoes…to make them dance shoes J
A wooden spoon, or extra bowls, or tea towels
Books that I wanted to buy (I’ve got to finish my current ones first)
And …It seemed to be the month for ‘sales’ being advertised in all my favourite shop windows…
My new flatmate has moved in… bringing a whole kitchen worth of stuff… It feels so abundant to have a full kitchen again J with muffin tins (waiting to be filled with delicious muffin ingredients) and lots of tea towels…and cutlery.. And a toaster and kettle (though I did enjoy boiling my water on the stove…my one little pot could be used for anything in the end J
Working from home has made it easier, as there’s less temptation.. Though I must admit to having a koko black chocolate strawberry heart while out… (I didn’t declare it to be a ‘no chocolate month’ )
I have learnt my lesson; we really don’t need so much stuff. We have become incredibly comfortable with living a life of convenience, taxis… puppy pads…having 10 saucepans.. , that we end of spending so much just out of habit. When really we don’t need many ‘things’ at all…to be happy
During my ‘buy nothing new’ month, I cut down on my rubbish produced, I was very careful with the food I bought, so it wouldn’t go to waste. It’s amazing how many different meals you can make with kale, carrot, mushrooms, corn and some chopped nuts J I learnt to soak almonds overnight, so they tasted better, and I could eat less of them. I didn’t eat anything that was wrapped in plastic, or was microwaved. So my health definitely improved, and all that walking and cycling, means I may have even dropped a dress size J
I hope maybe my tales can inspire you to think of doing something outside of yourself, to live with compassion and kindness and think about the size of your own footprint on this beautiful planet we inhabit named earth.
I heard a beautiful quote yesterday.
‘ if I have two coats…I will keep one and give the other away to someone who needs it more than me’
On that note I’m off to the opp shop to deliver my coats … so someone who needs them more than me can stay warm
Namaste – may the light in me recognise the light in you
My trusty kitchen companions… they stood up to the test and passed with flying colours
21 Aug 2012 Leave a Comment
i found this strawberry heart when i was working in an organic food store. It was such a lovely surprise, and soo lovely to share my ‘find’ with my co workers. It reminded me that ‘love is everywhere’
18 Aug 2012 2 Comments
I thought I would write a blog on food combining, as there seems to be a lot of information to be found on the web. I wanted to give you the reader, as clear a picture as I could to help make this concept easy to understand and most importantly to follow. This information is intended as a guide, it is my own research. I have found this works, and I wanted to share it with you.
I believe food combining is where it’s at, in terms of a healthy digestion. It makes sense from both a scientific point of view, and an intuitive feel.
You may be eating all the right things, whole foods (fruit, veggies, grains) , avoiding sugary snacks, limiting wheat intake, on a raw food diet or paleo diet…yet still be troubled by an imbalanced digestive system. I’m here to try help you bring back that balance.
Let’s start with a little science…
Food digests and is processed at different rates in the body. Fruit is generally absorbed within 30 – 60 minutes. A heavy meal such as meat, or complex carbohydrates such as pasta can take up to 4 hours to digest.
If you were to eat a typical meal of meat and three veg, followed by some fruit for dessert.. You would find it difficult to digest this meal, and would probably experience indigestion symptoms of burping, reflux, abdominal pain, bloating, constipation, wind.
If this was your general diet, you could also experience daily symptoms of tiredness, lethargy or you may be finding it difficult to lose weight.
The indigestion is due to the food being eaten in the wrong order.
Ideally you should eat your fruit 30- 60mins before a meal, to give it time to digest, and allow the nutrients and vitamins to be utilised effectively.
So we now know that fruit takes 30- 60 mins to digest. When you combine this with meat and vegetables as in a typical dinner and dessert, you are effectively keeping the fruit digesting in the stomach for much longer than is necessary.
If we go back to chemistry class, you may remember that when you digest/ add acids (such as is found naturally in your stomach ) to fruit for an extended period it ferments to become alcohol. The fermentation process is a lot of bubbling and gurgling, as it changes to a lighter gaseous expanding state.
Therefore all this bubbling and gurgling is going on in your stomach (sometimes you can even hear it!) when you eat large complex meals (meat, grains, veggies, followed by dessert) This is experienced as bloating, wind, hiccups, burping, abdominal pain. ( all signs of indigestion)
Your stomach can’t separate the fruit and the meat into separate compartments…it all goes in together.
If we don’t want to experience abdominal pain, bloating, wind, indigestion. Then we need to follow a few simple food combining rules.
Firstly we need to know the rate at which foods are absorbed.
Rates of digestion
|Grains and Beans||
|Meat and Fish||
So now we know the rates of digestion, it’s important to know the different food groups..not all veggies are created equal
Basic food groups
Protein – meat eggs, dairy nuts and seeds
Fats – oils, butter, avocado
Starches: Breads, pasta, rice, potatoes, and legumes such as lentils and peas
Sugars: Refined sugar, honey, jams, syrups, sweet fruits (bananas, dried
Vegetables: Leafy greens, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, celery, chives, cucumber, capsicum, garlic, green beans, leeks, onion, parsley, radish, rhubarb, turnip zucchini
Starchy Vegetables – potato, pumpkin, beetroot, carrot, corn
Grains – Quinoa, millet, amaranth, oats, rice, spelt, wheat, flour
Acids: Vinegars, pickled goods, grapefruits, orange juice
Melons: Watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew
Based on the rates of digestion, here are some simple rules to follow for optimal digestive health
- Eat fruit by itself, fruit digests in approx 30 – 60 mins. It’s best eaten 30 mins before a meal, Eat fruit for breakfast, or between meals, as a snack.
- Eat veggies either by themselves ( big plate of steamed greens, carrots, green beans) or with protein – meat, nuts, soy, beans, lentils
veggies and leafy greens should take up 80% of the plate
3. Eat one protein at a time – meat, or eggs, or nuts
Majority (75%) of daily protein intake should be from seeds (sunflower, pumpkin, sesame) and nuts (almonds, brazil nuts, pecans, walnuts, pine nuts)
Minimal (25%) amount of daily protein intake should be from meat, poultry, fish, milk, cheese, eggs, peanuts, cashews.
4. Eat grains/ starches individually – don’t combine garlic bread with pasta, potato with rice
grains (quinoa, rice) can be combined with non starchy veggies, such as green leafy veggies, broccoli, green beans, kale
5. Eat melons separately to other fruits, as they absorb much faster.
6. Best to eat mono-foods. One type of food at a time, plate of veggies, handful of nuts.
this is how our ancestors ate, and how all other animals eat ( you don’t see a wild lion eating a piece of meat, and then some juicy fruit
7. Drink room temperature water/ herbal tea separately to your meal, allow at least 15mins before or after.
8. Eat slowly, chew your food properly to allow your body to be able to digest your meal efficiently.
Remember, with a little practice, it’s easy to incorporate food combining principles into your lifestyle. You don’t need to change what you eat, as long as you are eating whole foods, whole grains (real food). You just need to change when you eat and what you eat it with.
lecture notes ACNM – Food as medicine 1
A chart for you to print out and put on your fridge, to help you plan your meals
07 Jun 2012 Leave a Comment
I found this on an amazing inspirational site called Om times..and wanted to share it with you…
for those of you willing and brave enough to carve your own destiny
the hero’s path http://omtimes.com/2012/04/are-you-on-the-heros-path/
07 Jun 2012 Leave a Comment
I visited the finders keepers market at the Royal Exhibition Building Carlton Gardens Saturday 21st april, and came across the Oxfam table.. The girls encouraged me to write down 3 things on a blackboard that I was willing to do to help change the world. I wrote down my affirmations..A photo was taken, and my promises were sent into the universe, here they are :
Connect with my community
Volunteer my time
Find the love within and radiate that love outwards.
Connect with my community: having just moved to the northside of melbourne, it’s a fantastic opportunity to get to know my neighbours. Catch up in the park over a game of frisbee. Introduce myself to the local shop owners, keep my shopping local, fairtrade, organic. Have a chat with the elderly, they always have such good stories Get involved in local events.
Volunteer my time: I was quite excited to be able to join the co-op at Friends of the Earth Fitzroy. You can find me there on a tuesday, helping in the kitchen, taking food orders, chatting with customers.. I think it’s a win win situation, as I’m learning how to cook delicious vegetarian meals, while getting to know the locals.
Find the love within and radiate that love outwards : This is actually my mantra for Anahata Healing Acupuncture and Wellness.
I teach my patients to reconnect to their source of love within.. through the use of good nutrition, exercise, relaxation techniques and acupuncture.
I am learning to find the love within by, going back to basics,
* good wholesome food (organic where possible)
* plenty of rest and stillness to recharge
* time in nature (loving the autumn leaves everywhere )
* getting my heart rate up ; through dancing, boxing, running after trams
* spending quality time with friends.
To radiate it outwards, means to smile at strangers while walking though the park to work. Help others if I see an opportunity, Be joyful and radiant, ‘when you smile, the world smiles with you’
I love the fact that anyone can sign up for the site and add their 3 things. http://3things.org.au/ I would love to see all my friends sign up for this site If we each make a small commitment to change our own world..I can only imagine what will happen
the divine in me honours the divine in you
07 Jun 2012 Leave a Comment
I’ve recently come across the word ‘reverence’.. Meaning: to view something in a different light. Today I put this in action.. I woke up with a spider above me, and calmly got out of bed. Then tried to figure out what to do with it. Normally I would have asked a flatmate to get rid of it for me ( which would most likely have involved killing it) The spider sat in my room in the same position all day.. And by the afternoon, it almost felt like a friend. Who are we to judge ourselves as better than a spider??
Soo with love working stronger than fear.. I gently coaxed it down, and placed it in a glass..to release outside. And when I released the spider, I felt great joy.. As I had treated the spider the same as I would treat a friend, gently and with love.. And I understood what reverence meant. To see something ( a spider which I had initially feared) in a different light ( as a beautiful soul, with as much right to be here as you or I ).
Thank you to the universe for this beautiful lesson in unconditional love xo
06 Jun 2012 Leave a Comment
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