Friday, 20 April 2018

Green Tea ... a miracle cure in a tea pot!

In recent years information and articles on the incredible benefits of natural plants seem to be almost a daily occurrence. Tea’s made from plants particularly piqued my interest.   Green Tea has long  been touted as a miracle drink and is something that I drink almost daily so I'm often asked why I drink it? Many people tell me that they don't like Green Tea but I often explain that it's not about liking it, it's about liking yourself. The immense benefits outweigh any unpleasantness that a little honey or sugar can fix, it's also worth noting that if your Green Tea sits for too long I find it goes bitter, so drink it fresh. Also choose a good quality organic tea, never underestimate how important your choice of tea is, I've had some awful tasting conventional Brand Green Teas in my time.

Sadly much of the clinical research I found and referenced use animals in what was otherwise very positive research outcomes. The upside, research on this beneficial tea and its compounds isn't quite so awful for our furry friends and what is good enough for them is good enough for me. So I've endeavoured to down a pot of green tea each day and see if I felt any different.

My terribly scientific study resulted in me managing to boost my energy levels enough to now walk 8 km a day with a step average of about 18,000 steps a day. I've lost 2 kg and 2 inches off my waist, 1 inch off my bust (not so happy about that) and another inch off my hips. Even more interesting was that I managed to escape the dreaded flu despite my household being struck down with the most ghastly illness…whilst I on the other hand was skipping and whistling in great spirits, feeling energetic and ready to conquered the world. Surely that's got to count for something in clinical research terms. Ok maybe not, but certainly the information I gathered below goes a long way to supporting the notion that anyone wanting to improve their health, fitness, weight, disease prevention and longevity certainly need to take the time to explore potential life altering Herbal Tea options. I know I’ll be keeping Green Tea as part of my lifestyle choices.

So what's all the fuss about Green Tea

Green Tea is loaded with powerful antioxidants, but did you know these substances can reduce the formation of free radicals in the body, protecting cells and molecules from damage. Free radicals are known to play a role in ageing and growth of diseases, so it only makes sense to include green tea in your daily diet.

Further investigation uncovered it fights health problems, ageing and disease including breast cancer, prostate cancer and colorectal cancer, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease, even the common flu and oral hygiene issues, Type 2 Diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity, abdominal fat and it has been proven to assist longevity.

Research has found that women who drank the most green tea had a 22% lower risk of developing breast cancer, the most common cancer in women. One study found that men drinking green tea had a 48% lower risk of developing prostate cancer, which is the most common cancer in men. A study of 69,710 Chinese women found that green tea drinkers had a 57% lower risk of colorectal cancer.

If that's not enough the benefits of the bioactive compounds in green tea can have various protective effects on neurons and may reduce the risk of both Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.

Studies show that the water-soluble polyphenols (frequently referred to as catechins) in Green Tea can kill bacteria and inhibit viruses like the influenza virus, potentially lowering your risk of infections. This anti bacterial property also help prevent plaque formation on the teeth which is a leading contributor to cavities and tooth decay. Further studies have shown Green Tea is effective at reducing bad breath. 

Studies show that green tea can improve insulin sensitivity and reduce blood sugar levels. One study in Japanese individuals found that those who drank the most green tea had a 42% lower risk of developing type II diabetes. According to a review of 7 studies with a total of 286,701 individuals, green tea drinkers had an 18% lower risk of becoming diabetic.

Improves brain function and may reduce anxiety

Green Tea contains Caffeine (so don't do what I've done on occasion and had one near bedtime). Caffeine has been intensively studied and consistently leads to improvements in various aspects of brain function, including improved mood, vigilance, reaction time and memory. However... green tea also contains the amino acid L-theanine, which is able to cross the blood-brain barrier and great news for many is that it has anti-anxiety effects. It also increases dopamine and the production of alpha waves in the brain and can actually improve brain function. So if you've got a big report to write, or stress at home and work, maybe choose a Green Tea rather than a coffee to help get you through. 

Helps you Burn Fat

Green tea has been shown to increase fat burning and boost the metabolic rate, in human controlled trials. According The the American Journal of Psychology (Addressing the increase in the global prevalence of obesity) ‘Tools for obesity management include caffeine, ephedrine, capsaicin, and green tea have been proposed as strategies for weight loss and weight maintenance, since they may increase energy expenditure and have been proposed to counteract the decrease in metabolic rate that is present during weight loss.

In fact according to a study published in the NCBI, National Centre for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Information, in 2008 called ‘Green tea extract ingestion, fat oxidation, and glucose tolerance in healthy humans’ the study showed that fat oxidation was increased by 17%, indicating that green tea may selectively increase the burning of fat.

Several studies show that green tea leads to decreases in body fat, especially in the abdominal area. One of these studies was a randomised controlled trial in 240 men and women. It demonstrated that green tea had significant decreases in body fat percentage, body weight, waist circumference and abdominal fat. 

Protects against heart disease

Green tea has been shown to lower total and LDL cholesterol, as well as protect the LDL particles from oxidation. Observational studies show that green tea drinkers have a lower risk of cardiovascular disease. In fact green tea drinkers have up to a 31% lower risk of cardiovascular disease.

Increases longevity

Obviously with the amount of health benefits already listed above naturally green tea drinkers increased longevity is a given, however additionally a study of 40,530 Japanese adults (who drank 5 or more cups of green tea per day) were significantly less likely to die during an 11 year period. In fact 23% lower in women, 12% lower in men and death from heart disease: 31% lower in women, 22% lower in men and death from stroke: 42% lower in women.  Another study of 14,001 elderly Japanese men and women aged 65-84 years found that those who drank the most green tea were 76% less likely to die during the 6 year study period.

It’s important to note that higher quality teas may have better quality leaves and greater benefit. Plus research indicates adding milk to tea reduces the benefits. 

For people with anaemia, especially during chemotherapy, it’s important to know that green tea may lower the absorption of iron. This can be avoided by drinking green tea at a time separate from meals, and waiting at least one hour after meals to drink your tea

Helps kill Cancer Stem Cells 

According to papers by Dr. Ajay Goe a Professor and Director of the Center for Gastrointestinal Research and Director of the Center for Translational Genomics and Oncology at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas. “Chemo resistance is the Achilles’ heel of cancer treatment, mostly because of cancer stem cells. While chemotherapies kill tumour cells, they leave the cancer stem cells unharmed. With time — anywhere from six months to a few years — those stem cells can cause a relapse. By then, the tumour is usually more aggressive and harder to treat, and the stem cells become “superman” cells because of their resilience. So, since the cancer is stronger, it can come back with a vengeance and patients may not respond to chemotherapy at all. Green tea, though, helps kill these resilient cells because of unique properties in its active ingredient, EGCG.” He recommend that patients with colorectal cancer take EGCG/green tea supplements, or drink the tea as a natural protection.

Improves Postmenopausal Bone Mineral Density

 According to epidemiological studies the bone mineral density (BMD) of postmenopausal women with a habit of tea drinking was higher than that of women without habitual green tea consumption. 

The active ingredient in green tea, EGCG, can prevent and repair cell damage, including stem cells,  green tea can stimulate the genes that activate stem cells.

The benefits of Green Tea as part of our healthy lifestyle is quite evident. Below I've listed just some of the research papers I found if you would like further information. 

(Note: This article is for information purposes only, seek medical or professional advice prior to changing your lifestyle and diet).

Green tea research

In vivo antioxidant effect of green and black tea in man.

Fluoride content in tea and its relationship with tea quality.

The impact of caffeine on mood, cognitive function, performance and hydration: a review of benefits and risks

L-theanine—a unique amino acid of green tea and its relaxation effect in humans

The neuropharmacology of L-theanine(N-ethyl-L-glutamine): a possible neuroprotective and cognitive enhancing agent.

L-theanine, a natural constituent in tea, and its effect on mental state.

Involvement of GABAA Receptors in the Neuroprotective Effect of Theanine on Focal Cerebral Ischemia in Mice

Obesity and thermogenesis related to the consumption of caffeine, ephedrine, capsaicin, and green tea

Green tea extract ingestion, fat oxidation, and glucose tolerance in healthy humans.

Green tea, black tea and breast cancer risk: a meta-analysis of epidemiological studies.


Prospective cohort study of green tea consumption and colorectal cancer risk in women.

Neurological mechanisms of green tea polyphenols in Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases.

Simultaneous manipulation of multiple brain targets by green tea catechins: a potential neuroprotective strategy for Alzheimer and Parkinson diseases.

Potential Therapeutic Properties of Green Tea Polyphenols in Parkinson’s Disease

The bactericidal activity of tea and coffee

Antimicrobial effects of green tea polyphenols on thermophilic spore-forming bacteria

Anti-influenza virus activity of green tea by-products in vitro and efficacy against influenza virus infection in chickens.

Antiviral effect of catechins in green tea on influenza virus.

Green tea catechins, EGCG and burning fat

Anticaries Effects of Polyphenolic

Combination effects of antibacterial compounds in green tea flavor against Streptococcus mutans

Antibacterial Activity of Iranian Green and Black Tea on Streptococcus Mutans: An In Vitro Study

Green tea: a promising natural product in oral health.

Anticariogenic effects of green tea.

Effect of green tea on volatile sulfur compounds in mouth air.

Effect of tea catechins for halitosis and their application to chewing gum  [1991]

Inhibitory effect of Chinese green tea on endothelial cell-induced LDL oxidation

Inhibitory effect of jasmine green tea epicatechin isomers on LDL-oxidation

Influence of green tea and its three major components upon low-density lipoprotein oxidation

The Relation between Green Tea Consumption and Cardiovascular Disease as Evidenced by Epidemiological Studies

Dietary patterns and cardiovascular disease mortality in Japan: a prospective cohort study

Does Tea Affect Cardiovascular Disease? A Meta-Analysis

A Green Tea Extract High in Catechins Reduces Body Fat and Cardiovascular Risks in Humans

Effects of catechin enriched green tea on body composition.

Effectiveness of green tea on weight reduction in obese Thais: A randomized, controlled trial

Green tea consumption and mortality due to cardiovascular disease, cancer, and all causes in Japan: the Ohsaki study.

Green Tea Consumption and Mortality among Japanese Elderly People: The Prospective Shizuoka Elderly Cohort

How Green Tea kills cancer stem cells

Green Tea helps fight lung cancer

Green tea catechin enhances osteogenesis in a bone marrow mesenchymal stem cell line

Monday, 18 December 2017

Organic Mulled Wine

Organic Mulled Wine is a great treat, especially on a cool night. So with some mild weather forecaster for Melbourne this Christmas Eve and Christmas Day why don't you warm up a batch of this to share while you wait for Santa! 


10 cloves

2 cinnamon sticks
1/4 cup caster sugar

1 roughly grated nutmeg
2 cups water
Rind of 1 orange roughly grated
1 apple, roughly chopped (skin on)
750ml fruity red wine (such as a merlot)

Orange slices to garnish 

You can garnish with cinnamon stick or anything you like to make it look pretty 


1. Heat cloves, cinnamon, sugar, nutmeg, water, orange rind and apple in a large saucepan over medium heat.

2. Bring to the boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes.

3. Add red wine and simmer for another 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Strain and serve immediately.


Friday, 8 December 2017

4 Looks you'll Love these Summer Holidays

Find some great denim options online here
White tops are an absolute essential and we've found the best here

Stripes can add a touch of sophistication to a simple ensemble. Find  some of my favourites here

Tie tops add a feminine look by highlighting shape in a flattering way. I've found an option for every shape here

The Boho look is one of my all time favourites. It's a throwback to my childhood and has a relaxed whimsical feminine look. You'll find my favourites here

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Garden Inspired Christmas Table Setting

This Christmas bring a bit of the garden inside with some of these simple table settings using plants from garden and local parks. Take the kids on a walk and let them be creative. 

I found some great ways to add a little character by using little hessian bags. Depending on the type of flowers or folage you add it can create a very different look. 

The addition of little paper Christmas messages mean you can personalise them. You can also recycle the bags and messages for another year. 

Any left over folage just pop in Maison jars and decorate the table.

Some common plants around your neighbourhood are geraniums, conifers, Liquid Amber and Acer tree leaves, you can even try agapathus.

Agapanthus are very common. Just make sure you take them from your own garden rather than snip the tops off someone else's. 

Geraniums are commonly found in Australian gardens. 

Acres have magnificent leaves that turn vibrant reds, orange and yellow in Autumn, however their bright summer green leaves are stunning and make a truly joyful display. Here I've added a Liquidambar seed pod.

 You might also have Japanese Maples or be lucky enough to have an Oak tree. 

You'll find a conifer in most Melbourne streets. 

Oak leaves line many Melbourne suburban streets. Tee are quite a variet with many different leaves. 

Japanese Maples have stunning leaves coming in a variety of colours and shapes. This one adds a vibrant lime pop of colour to the table. 

If you have rosemary in your garden try making a little wreath out of it.

Above some of the native plants like Queensland Silky Oak, Bottle Bush flowers and seed pods, Banksia leaves and seed pods and Grevillea make gorgeous Australian themed place settings. You can use ribbon to make it look a bit more festive and you can even use wooden clothes pages as little name cards.


Above: Grevillea

Above: Queensland Silky Oak

Above: Bottle Brush flower (after petals have fallen, prior to seed pods forming). You could use the seed pod or the flowering plant too.

Above: The Banksia seed pod provides a truly Australian asthetic and is reminiscent of Snuggle Pot and Cuddle Pie. You. Oiled also try Gumnuts and Gum Leaves. 

The Bouganvillea flowering in Australia's Summer gardens is a great bright cheering addition. 

 You'll find many white flowing native shrubs at your local park. Get the kids to pick a few little pieces very carefully to fill a little bag. It's a great way to engage them with decorating and appreciating the local flora. Look out for the Australian Native Christmas Bush, the Spirea, or Diosma. 

Some final tips. Prepare your place settings preferably on the morning of your function. You can always collect the folage the day before and store in a cool spot in water. Dab them try so they don't wet your napkins, any folage you suspect have sap coming out you can wrap with green florists tape. Plus always be careful with little ones around any plants, even the most unsuspecting plants can have adverse effects if eaten so make sure babies and toddlers don't handle the folage.

I've enjoyed experimenting with these so much I've decided to do a completely random table setting with a mix of whatever my son and I find on a walk on Christmas Eve. 

Enjoy your decorating and have a fabulous Christmas. ❤️

Sunday, 5 November 2017

Objectification and exploitation isn't it time we demanded a better future for girls and women.

The ever growing access to media images via the internet has brought with it a barrage of objectification issues for young  girls and women. The media and popular culture has always pushed the envelope but now days pre teens can be exposed to and frighteningly contribute to social media  sexual imagery far beyond previous generations.  Gone are the days when  exposure may have been limited to a sneak peek at  mums fashion magazines or even a peek at a Playboy. Enter the age of uploading a half naked or sexually provocative image or participating in explicit and often degrading public sexual conversations with strangers via Snapchat, Instagram, WeChat, Vine, YouTube, Skype, Facebook, Four Square, Twitter, the list goes on.   Today's magazines, movies, music videos and  social media  create ever increasing confusing for young girls trying to develop self esteem and a sense of identity when messages seem to be constantly telling them their identity and value is exclusively tied to their appearance, beauty, body and sexual attractiveness. Exploitation of girls and women is rife, when once mums had to protect their daughters from the Hugh Hefners of the world charming their daughters into getting naked in front of the lenses, nowadays it's the lure of ‘LIKES’ by a new breed of perpetrators sitting online ready to exploit the insecurities of women prepared to emulate porn stars and music video icons to become amateurs social media porn stars for instant gratification with little or no comprehension of the future impacts on their family, reputation or career. Add to this the ever growing evidence of the damage and impact pornography (including amateur social media porn) is having on connected respectful relationships, is it time we as women started to claim back our rightful place as respected and dignified pillars of the community and protectors of this sacred identity. 

In this article written by Izabella Siodmak, Author and Facilitator of Mental and Emotional Wellness Retreats at, Izabella explores the impact of sexual objectification and pornography on girls and women and how they  identify their worth, and how men might improve their relationships with the women in their lives through shifting their attitudes toward pornography be it on film, internet or social media. 

I want to provoke you. Not with my body scantily clad, chest pushed out and lips pouting. This would be forgotten as quickly as a page in a magazine is turned or internet button clicked. I would like my expression to have a more enduring impact upon you and to perhaps have a ripple effect that benefit those whom you love.


It’s obvious we are in trouble. From prepubescent girls dressing up emulating adults posing in sexual positions that are beyond their comprehension to men ignorantly blind to the damaging impact of pornography, the subliminal messages are fast eroding respectful treatment of women. We have desecrated something so sacred and turned it into something so cheap. What can we do to turn this around?


For risk of sounding like a prude, which I don’t care if I do, I’d like to turn your attention to our rightful roles as protectors and guardians of each other. What I’m inviting each individual to do is to put aside your vested interests and payoffs, connect to the bigger picture of humanity and simply stop with the excuses that justify personal habits that are unwholesome. Let’s consider some new perspectives and options that can make a difference and dissolve the conditioning that has made us fall out of sync with our true essence.


Reconnect to your Instincts and Act on Them - If the thought of seeing a barrage of your daughter’s provocative poses and bikini shots on social media makes you feel sick then there’s something to your gut instinct. As a parent it’s your duty to discipline and enforce healthy boundaries. Don’t be fooled into feeling guilty as though you are a  ‘bad parent’ for doing so or for restricting your child’s independence. There are many other ways to healthily allow your child’s independent expression and exposing them to predation and potential exploitation is not one of them.


Speak Up, Say No and Be Protective - The more you speak up and acknowledge the moral inappropriateness and unnaturalness of these behaviours the more permission you give others to see this for themselves too. Say it with clarity, not blame. Set an example that inspires. Boycott products, services and companies that play on sexual image and seduction to hook people in. If a product or service can’t stand alone in its true quality and needs to use sex to sell, it’s not a product worth having. 

Watch touching movies and have the kinds of experiences that foster a reminder of the true values of humanity such as kindness, care and authentic connection. When you, or your children, notice how good this feels it becomes easier to steer clear of degrading experiences that, by contrast, don’t really feel good. When any unnatural and disrespectful acts and behaviours are normalised and people become slowly desensitised to them, it can be easy to miss the truth. However the more you act upon the impulses of your instincts, the stronger they will become and the distracting noise and cheap images fade away.


Examine the Payoffs and Find Healthier Ways of Meeting your Needs - If you watch porn, acknowledge what this is compensating for and vow to address the gap in a more healthy way. Face any relationship challenges bravely. Look beyond yourself and be honest about the impact of this on damaging trust and potentially destroying relationships. Relieve stress through prevention or counselling to gain lifelong coping strategies. Enjoy your life more so this does not become the only way of pleasure seeking. Find wholesome ways of experiencing pleasure that enriches others lives rather than exploits them for your own gain.


Men, try to operate from being aware of what you are contributing to in a woman’s life rather than simply using her body for your own pleasure. Relate to real women regularly so your fantasies don’t become disconnected and unrealistic expectations you place upon your reality. Remember that pornography is a commercial industry and you are a pawn being played. It is a manipulative industry that is deliberately scripted and skewed to make money, yet the unhealthy imprints of the messages you receive when you partake can have various long term detrimental impacts upon your life.


When you consider that everything is based on intentions and the energy behind your actions there is very little difference between the fantasy of pornography and rape. Both are about you gaining energy at the expense and exploitation of a woman. As you learn to love yourself and embrace all your emotions you reclaim your own wholeness so then you see her wholeness too, rather than only a body to objectify, conquer or possess. Woman does not exist for a man’s gratification. She is a real person with depth and reflections of truth to offer you. Listen and create a safe space to hear her experience and how she feels about these subjects. Be willing to receive her feedback rather than defend your stance. The equal give and take of energy is important to maintain healthy and robust relationships.

It's worth noting that often pornography performers and prostitutes defend their position publicly emphasising that they have chosen this career because they love sex and pride themselves on being free. The reality is that the women in these industries are often very unhappy and desperate but feel they need to validate their choice to avoid thinking of themselves as victims. 68% of prostitutes were identified as meeting the psychological criteria for a diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder, while 88% stated that they wanted to leave the industry and described what they needed in order to escape


If you are a woman who uses your body image to gain attention, or gives her body away indiscriminately, you might like to consider if you truly feel completely empowered by your choices or are you kidding yourself. Chances are, you're doing it to boost your self-esteem, your wallet, or both. Self-worth and finances are important, however it's important not to compromise things you cannot get back like self-respect, in the process.

Consider how else can you make an living without exposing yourself to real risks? Risks that are not worth any price. How can you be more honest with yourself and what can you choose now that symbolises the ending of you selling out on yourself?


If your self-esteem is low, regardless of what mask you may present to the world, consider how else you may feel good about yourself in ways that make you smile and are satisfying to your heart. Does selling your body truly build you up or does it give you a momentary hit of ego gratification whilst it gradually tears your morale down?


Bear in mind that men who are exploiting you may be reflecting to you the places where you are willing to be exploited. You do have the option of changing your behaviours and therefore changing your reality. This requires awareness, honesty and maturity. By not settling for anything less than what you truly want, and how you know you deserve to be treated, eventually you will experience it.


By getting in touch with what you really want and allowing this to be present in your life,  it becomes easier to say "No" to anything that's far from it. If you want to be loved and cherished you also need to take responsibility for loving and cherishing yourself.  Others will mirror this to you. Contemplate your gifts. Celebrate what you bring to this world. Find healthy ways to express yourself, so that unconsciously you are not so starved of love that you resort to anything or anyone’s attention just to make you feel a little better.


Unresolved trauma can make it confusing for you to uphold healthy boundaries, which means you may not know how to say "no" or to speak up appropriately when you have been/are being violated. Consider getting counselling, especially if you have unresolved trauma or have been sexually abused in the past. No incident is too little or too small to be held with compassion, understood and healed with the right, loving support. True instincts may be buried underneath the layers of protection that you can no longer act upon them. A good psychotherapist can help you understand, emote and integrate the trauma so that you heal, function and make more loving choices for yourself.


Speaking up (rising above self-imposed or perpetrator-imposed shame) to loved ones or discussions with other victims can also be helpful  in preventing the kind of low self-esteem that can make you susceptible to exploitation or being drawn to prostituting yourself and kidding yourself into thinking it's all okay.

Izabella Siodmak is an author, facilitator of 1 on 1 mental and emotional wellness retreats and emotional healing sessions. She loves to support you to love yourself more and to deepen your relationships. Visit focussed on raising awareness and providing education and resources on the issues of objectification and sexualisation of women. & to make contact, purchase her books or to schedule a session or private retreat.