Thursday, 30 April 2015

Adapting To Stress

Adapting Yourself To Stress

How Do You Know You're Stressed?

  1. Weight gain
  2. Dramatic weight loss
  3. Hair loss
  4. Regular headaches
  5. Regular illnesses (immune system suppressed)
  6. Digestive issues

We all experience stress at one time or another, but ongoing, chronic stress can be damaging to our health and way of life.  This has been shown in studies to result in the above symptoms.  If you are at all like I used to be, the weight gain was the most common symptom. It resulted from comfort eating, lack of exercise, increasingly 'needing' a glass of wine to unwind at night, poor food choices and a lack of time to relax. 

So, what can you do about stress, especially the type of stress that you cannot avoid, e.g., commuting, your work environment, children, partners, parents, and the list continues................ 

There are a group of natural herbs that are listed as adaptogens. These herbs are classified by the European Medicnes Agency as:

..substances.. stated to have the capacity to normalise body functions and strengthen
systems compromised by stress. They are reported to have a protective effect
on health against a wide variety of environmental assaults and emotional conditions.

In today's world, we all experience stress in some form or another, we have our unique stressors! How we manage those stressors so that the beneficial effects of short term stress don't remain in our body and create chronic stress is through the use of adaptogenic herbs. 

These I use daily and they are easy to drink, take no time to prepare and the benefits of using them regularly show up for me as better sleep, sustaining my weight loss, calmly approaching stressful situations, and an overall more relaxed outlook on life!  Contact me for more information if you're interested  in adapting better to your daily environment!

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Managing Self Doubt

Experiencing Self-Doubt?

A recent blog I read discussed self-doubt, and how to manage it.  Do you experience self-doubt?  How do you experience it?

I experience it mainly as a voice in my head, saying things such as

  • 'you're not good enough'
  • 'what makes you think you can do this?'
  • 'you're short and stocky build'
  • 'you'll never be a super-model'

Now, some of these voices are mine, and some of them are from grown-ups from when I was little.  It doesn't really matter whether you hear or feel the self-doubt, but being aware of it is a start.

When self-doubt approaches you, do you listen to the words, the feelings? Or do you do something about it?

From the blog I read, here are 5 easy steps to manage your self-doubt - some of which you may already do.

  1. Breathe
    Take some deep breaths when the self-doubt hits you. This not only relaxes you, but also begins your journey of self-awareness of the self-doubt
  2. Identify The Self-Doubt
    Listen to how you are experiencing the self-doubt. If you're like me, it's voices in your head, either your own, or your parents, school teacher............. or it may be that you feel the self-doubt, experiencing fear, doubt, anxiety........................  Once you've identified how you experience  your self-doubt, then you can start to address it. What started it, why are these thoughts/feelings coming up?
  3. Accept It
    Don't battle the self-doubt. Accept it for what it is, take the time to understand where it is originating from, and thus accept it. Don't dwell on it, just be aware of why you are feeling the way you are about the event (it may be a change of eating habits, a change of exercise, or achieving something at work..........).
  4. Talk About It
    Voice what the self-doubt is, and what it is about. This can be either to a trusted someone who is a great listener (and not a 'fixer'), or to a recorder.  Don't pull the self-doubt apart and make it a bigger issue than it is. Simply state what it is, what it's about and then put it to bed.
  5. Be Empowered
    Go and do something that allows you to feel strong and empowered in what you do.  This can be anything that you know you do well, and that gives you a sense of strength!




Monday, 27 April 2015

Is Chocolate On Your Daily Foods List?

Can I Have Chocolate Daily?

I admit to having a passion for chocolate, seriously, who doesn't?  Not many people it seems!!

What is the first thing you think you have to give up when you're changing your lifestyle in order to lead a healthy, sustainable weight loss? Yep, chocolate!

Guess what? You don't have to!!

There are studies that have shown that chocolate may be beneficial tool for those looking to achieve sustained, long term weight loss, with daily consumption of chocolate with a high coca content, i.e., good quality dark choclate!

So, where to find these wonderous treats?  I use Isagenix Isadelights, they are dark chocolate squares that are creamy, guilt-free treats that I use almost on a daily basis.  What I love the most about them, is that one square is enough - not like the lower quality chocolates I used to have, which never satisfied my cravings!
These scrumptious dark chocolate squares are creamy, guilt-free treats that you can enjoy on a daily basis. They are fortified with essential amino acids and B vitamins to help promote positive moods and added antioxidant-rich green tea supports cardiovascular health. - See more at:

Isagenix cleanse, isogenix

These wonderful squares of chocolate are also fortified with B Vitamins and essential amino acids (give you that feel good, positive mood factor!) and green tea (supporting your heart)

Enjoy good quality chocolate today, to enhance and support your Life Journey in the best possible way, I know I do!

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Stress Is Contagious

Did you know that stress can be contagious?

Have you ever worked with someone who is 'stressed out' and noticed that it affected your energy, your mood or even your work performance?  If you're at all like me, you would've noticed - for sure!!

There's new research out that shows that stress is contagious, just like the flu!

What the reserachers discovered is that the body's responses to stress, i.e., the changes in hormone etc, occur even when you're just watching someone who is stressed!!

Now, I'm sure you're all aware that some stress is necessary in our lives. That short spurts of stress are actually good for our bodies, that it promotes survival in us all.

What isn't so good for us is chronic stress.  This type of stress has been related to obesity and cardiovascular disease so it's something we wish to avoid if we can!!

How To Combat Chronic Stress & Reduce Obesity

As chronic stress has been related to obesity, it would be a fair assumption that reducing one can reduce the other.  So, the question I asked myself was, how do I reduce chronic stress?


  1. Relaxation
  2. Meditation
  3. Deep breathing
  4. Exercise
  5. Adaptogenic herbs
I'm sure you've found plenty of information before on the first four ways of reducing your stress, but what do you know about adaptogenic herbs?

Adaptogenic herbs can affect many different parts of our bodily systems, including our hormones and immune systems.  The active components of some herbs have been shown to regulate the stress response.  Some herbs that I use daily include:

  • rhodiola
  • wolfberry
  • ashwagandha
  • amla berry

Now, I don't take these individually, as that would be just another stress, working out how much to take, when to take them etc. So, I use a wonderful product (yes, I also sell it!!) that assists me in regulating my body's response to any stresses that occur during the day.  So, for example, it may be a physical stress, such as when I'm cleansing my body, it allows me to adapt to reduce my body's stress, or it may be when unexpected emotional stress occurs during the day, my reaction is now moderated due to the herbs I take daily.

If you'd like more information, please contact me to discover how you too can reduce your stress, especially if you're running out of time to undertake yoga, meditation, deep breathing or exercise!

Saturday, 18 April 2015

Comparison Is The Thief Of Joy

Comparison Is The Thief Of Joy

- Teddy Roosevelt

How often do we compare ourselves to others?

  • my sister has it together
  • my flatmate's boyfriend is so nice
  • my friend is losing more weight than me
  • my partner can eat or drink more than me
  • my neighbour has a nicer house than me

Remember to be the best you that you can be - no one else can ever be better at it than you!


Thursday, 16 April 2015

A Fun Month

Over the last month I've taken the time to recharge my batteries and have some time out - away from home.  Working from home, it's vital that I do take the time occassionally to make the move to visit elsewhere.

Well, this last month I've been on a journey.  We started out by taking some time to travel approximately 2,000km and visit Sydney.  Now, I've been there a lot over the years, but it's been some 20 years since we last drove there and back. What a joy to take the time to stop, and literally smell the roses!

We visited friends, we ate wonderful meals, tried different foods, and, of course, enjoyed a glass or three of wine!!

The scenery on the way there and back was lovely too. Can you imagine seeing a bridge across the road, that was full of trees and plants, a real natural bridge for animals (sorry no photo, I was driving both times we passed it!), and also a highwire that was placed for animals to pass over the road on too.

Coming into Sydney was stunning, some amazing engineering work was done to create some of these roads.

Once in Sydney, a trip on the harbour is a must - we also took the option of going to Watson's Bay for fish & chips, a real Sydney treat. As well as getting to sit on the beach at 10pm at night, eating an icecream, listening to the waves (no photo of this either, must learn how to take effective nighttime shots!!).

On our way back up Australia (the only way I can think to describe it), we had the joy and pleasure of detouring to the Hunter Valley. Staying at a vineyard, our views and room was nothing short of spectacular - and while we were based in this amazing food and wine region, we had to do some sampling!!

Well, after a very short turnaround at home, 3 days, it was time for me to board a plane and head of over the Tasman Sea, time to go to New Zealand.  My original home country, and one I still get excited about visiting today.  At home, it was all the usual home comfort foods (including mashed potatoes with butter and milk!), relaxation, catching up with friends and non-stop chatter, while ensuring some things were done on the farm too!

As you can imagine, after nearly a month of some less than desireable lifestyle choices (virtually no walking, some physcial activities undertaken though, seconds at dinner time, dessert at dinner time and sometimes at lunch too, cheese platters to share and a glass of wine to wash it down), it was time to take myself in hand! 

This week saw me introduce myself to my treadmill again on Monday, after a walk in the rainforest on Sunday (really did miss this type of walking), yoga Tuesday, weights Wednesday (and a stunning sky view) and slip back into my routines of good nutrition!  Follow this by some internal cleansing of my overall body and I'm back into the lifestyle groove I enjoy soo much, and the scales are reading the same as before I went away on holiday - not too bad huh?

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Constipation and Dieting

Constipation Can Be A "Stuck" Issue When Dieting

Constipation is known to be an issue when you're dieting.  If you're like I used to be, you were dieting by calorie restriction, thus food restriction.  This leads to poor choices, a slow metabolism and constipation!

You don't have to be dieting to experience constipation either, if you took the time to ask the question, I'm sure most of your friends have experienced an episode of being 'backed up'!  

So, how do you deal with constipation?

Here are 5 easy steps to changing your lifestyle and diet to get things moving, even if you're not dieting!!

Image courtesy of Ohmega1982 at
  1. Eat more dietary fibre

    This one is an easy fix, but I hear you ask, what type of fibre can I eat.  Well, you need to improve your intake of fruit, veges, whole grains, beans and legumes. Most people don't get enough fibre, some sources quote that Americans get on average only 15 grams of fibre a day. You need approximately 25 - 35 grams of fibre (soluble and insoluble) a day.  The soluble fibre supports that 'feeling full' sensation, while the insoluble fibre will push waste along in the digestive tract, acting like a broom, cleaning the bowel out!

    Sources of soluble fibre include: oatmeal, oat cereal, lentils, apples, oranges, pears, oat bran, strawberries, nuts, flaxseeds, beans, dried peas, blueberries, psyllium, cucumbers, celery, and carrots.

    Sources of insoluble fibre include: whole wheat, whole grains, wheat bran, corn bran, seeds, nuts, barley, couscous, brown rice, bulgur, zucchini, celery, broccoli, cabbage, onions, tomatoes, carrots, cucumbers, green beans, dark leafy vegetables, raisins, grapes, fruit, and root vegetable skins.

    Tip:  increase your fibre intake gradually, and remember to also increase your water intake
    Swap your white break for wholegrain bread
    Snack on raw vegetables
    Add legumes, nuts and/or seeds to your salads, stews or soups
    Eat whole fruit rather than drinking fruit juice

  2. Move your body more

    Introduce little 10 minute walks into your day.  This improves movement within your gut.
    Try walking for 10 minutes after a meal to reduce discomfort

  3. Drink more water

    Try to drink at least 8 - 10 glasses of water a day.  When your digestive tract is dehydrated, things slow down, harden up and dry out - what you want is a smoother passage for your waste, water moves things!

    coffee and alcohol do not count as water, as they also dehydrate your body

  4. Get magnesium into your diet

    Not only is magnesium good for your heart and the function of your muscles, but it has also been shown to relax your digestive tract muscles and draw in more water.

    Tip: you can source magnesium from your foods, e.g., dark leafy green vegetables such as broccoli, kale and spinach, or nuts, such as almonds and cashews (just don't have the salted versions!!)

  5. Good gut bacteria

    Using good probiotics to support your healthy gut bacteria is good for your ability to absorb nutrition from your foods and promote good digestion, also helping things to move along.

    Tip: kefir and yoghurt are good sources of probiotics.  Remember also to have prebiotics (these support your good bacteria, and can be sourced in your fibre!)

    Remember: if you have chronic constipation, please see a medical practitioner.

    Eat dark green leafy vegetables like broccoli, kale and spinach, or snack on nuts such as almonds and cashews for great sources of magnesium. - See more at:

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

The Laundry & Your Workout

How do the two of these go together - you're hardly going to be running into the laundry, or pumping iron in there either!

Well, recently I read an article concerning the care you take of your workout gear.

Now, be honest, how many of you actually clean up your workout gear immediately after the workout?  Or are you more like the majority and leave it damp and mouldering away in your gym bag all day?

I know, when I was working in a 9-5 job, I'd go to the gym before I'd head off to work, no pitstop at home to hang the clothes up to dry out.  But, with the new fabrics that are all the go for our workout gear, it's almost vital to ensure they are not left sweaty and damp in your gym bag for a long time.

The best idea for your new gear is to hang it up to dry out as soon as possible.  Have a hanger in your car, or in a locker at work, where you can hang them to dry out.  If you do go home, hang them over the edge of your laundry hamper. This apparently stops the fibres breaking down, or becoming too clogged, so that you can ensure your fabrics last up to a year.

Another tip is for your workout shoes.  How often do you leave them damp?  A good tip is to stuff them with newspaper post workout, this will allow the sweat to be absorbed.  Did you know that placing your shoes in a washing machine and then a drier would break up the cushioning??  What I want to know is: WHO DOES THAT TO SHOES?????

Another tip is for your bra - it needs to be washed after every workout, this allows the sweat absorption fibres to be clear and able to absorb more sweat, salt and bacteria, next time you wear it!  Hmmm, lovely thoughts!  Also note, washing your bra in the same wash as your jeans, will damage the bra material, as the rough zipper will rub against it!

Oh yes, and finally, the best tip of all - don't use detergents with added perfumes, or fabric softeners or dryer sheets - these all clog the fibres of the material (bra or workout gear) thus reducing it's ability to absorb your sweat!

It seems that the wonderful new fibres we have in our workout gear today are actually very sensitive and should be replaced every 6 - 12 months.  Will be looking through my gear again soon, seems they must be at their use-by date already.