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! 




Ingredients: 


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 




Directions:

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.


Enjoy!!! 

Friday, 8 December 2017

4 Looks you'll Love these Summer Holidays




Find some great denim options online here https://bit.ly/2B0l58b
White tops are an absolute essential and we've found the best here https://bit.ly/2B3LO3K



Stripes can add a touch of sophistication to a simple ensemble. Find  some of my favourites here https://bit.ly/2B2gh21





Tie tops add a feminine look by highlighting shape in a flattering way. I've found an option for every shape here https://bit.ly/2B3ooeU



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 https://bit.ly/2B3xurG

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.

Grevillea

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 www.naturalattitudes.com, 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 www.lovingrealwomen.com focussed on raising awareness and providing education and resources on the issues of objectification and sexualisation of women.   www.izabellasiodmak.com & www.naturalattitudes.com to make contact, purchase her books or to schedule a session or private retreat.  

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

ORGANIC Date and Chocolate Chip Scones



Did you know dates are a good source of vitamins and minerals, energy and fibre and contain calcium, iron, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium and zinc plus thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate, vitamin A and K?




INGREDIENTS


2 cups of plain organic flour

1 tsp cream of tartar

1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

1/2 tsp salt

60g organic butter

1 organic egg

1/4 cup of dark chocolate chips

5 diced organic dates


METHOD


1. Sift the flour, cream of tartar, soda and salt into a mixing bowl

2. Rub in the butter until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. 

3. Stir in the sugar, add the milk and whisked egg and mix into a soft dough.




4. Turn onto a floured surface, knead lightly.

5. Knead in chocolate chips and dates gently.

6. Roll out to a 1.8 cm  thickness dough. Cut into 5 cm (2 inch) rounds with a fluted cutter.

7. Place on a baking tray covered in spray oil.

8. Brush with milk.

9. Bake in a preheated hot oven, 220°C (425°F), (slightly lower if fan forced) for 12 to

15 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. 

10. Serve with a little butter.


Friday, 8 September 2017

Spring Organic Vegetarian Family Meal

Organic Thai Tofu Patties and Organic Fattoush


Try this simple meal for the family. It's something the kids can make with you and they can try lots of different flavours. You can adapt the recipe right there and then with your little taste testers. 




ORGANIC THAI TOFU PATTIES


INGREDIENTS

350g (drained weight)  firm organic tofu, coarsely grated

1 lemon grass stalk remove outer layer chop finely

2 organic garlic cloves, chopped

2.5cm/l inch piece organic ginger, grated

2 kaffir lime leaves, finely chopped

2 organic shallots, finely chopped

1 fresh organic red chilli, deseeded chop finely

4 tbsp chopped fresh organic coriander

90g plain organic  flour, plus extra for flouring

Pinch of salt

Olive oil for cooking 


Chilli Dip

3 tbsp white distilled vinegar

2 organic spring onions, finely sliced

1 tbsp organic caster sugar

1 fresh organic chilli, finely chopped

2 tbsp chopped fresh organic coriander

Pinch of salt






INSTRUCTIONS


1. To make the chilli dip, mix all the ingredients together in a small serving bowl and set aside.


2. Mix the tofu with the lemon grass, garlic, ginger, lime leaves, shallots, chilli and coriander in a mixing bowl. Stir in the flour and salt to make a coarse sticky paste. Cover and place in the refrigerator for 1/2 an hour to let the mixture firm up a bit.


3. Remove mixture from refrigerator and form into 8 golf ball size balls, with floured hands, flatten into circles. Heat enough oil to cover the bottom of a large, heavy based frying pan over medium heat. Cook the cakes in 2 batches, turning halfway through, for 4-6 minutes, or until golden brown. Drain on kitchen paper and serve warm with the chilli dip in side dish. 


These can be used as Vegeterian burgers. Pop them in a fresh roll with salad cheese and tomato sauce for the kids or add some mango chutney. 




ORGANIC FATTOUSH 


INGREDIENTS

2-3 pocket pitta bread or Turkish bread

Organic olive oil, for shallow frying

3 organic tomatoes chopped coarsely 

1 organic green capsicum diced coursley

2 organic Lebanese cucumbers sliced 

6 organic red radishes sliced thinly 

4 organic spring onions, sliced thinly

1/2 cup organic chopped flat-leaf parsley

1/2 cup coarsely chopped organic mint


Lemon Garlic Dressing

2 cloves organic garlic, crushed

1/4 cup (60ml) organic olive oil

1/4 cup (60ml) organic lemon juice



INSTRUCTIONS

Halve pitta or Turkish bread horizontally; cut into 2.5cm pieces. Heat oil in wok; shallow-fry, in batches, until browned lightly and crisp. Drain on absorbent paper.


Make lemon garlic dressing.


Just before serving, place about three-quarters of the pitta/Turkish bread in large bowl with dressing and remaining ingredients; toss gently to combine.


Sprinkle remaining pitta/Turkish bread over fattoush. Mix salad and serve.





Wednesday, 9 August 2017

3 Critical Steps to Create a Body you'll LOVE!




It's so easy to fall into the trap of thinking weight loss, fitness and health is about finding the perfect diet, the ideal training program or the best gym…sure sometimes that works, you might just stumble across a truly great diet or personal trainer. I’ve  published some highly successful and inspiring fitness and health stories by extremely credible nutritionists and fitness trainers. So I've been fortunate enough to have some of the best health and fitness advice available. My take on the subject comes from a slightly different place however. I’m not a nutritionist, I’m not a personal trainer, I’m an educator, in the field of business. So what can a business educator offer in the way of creating the body you’ll love? 


My passion is learning, and understanding how people learn and  implement positive change, for me it's about inspiring others to adopt life long learning as part of their lifestyle. My approach to health and fitness is about knowledge and applying it to your daily choices. Just as you would teach a child about the importance of nutrition and movement and trying to align these to their interests and preferences, to motivate them to make healthy choices. Adults too need to make the link between healthy choices, developing knowledge and using strategies that draw upon their unique motivations. 


Poor lifestyle, health, fitness and nutrition has an immense impact on mental wellbeing. It becomes a vicious cycle, when poor diet and lack of exercise creates a depressed state. Then once in a depressed state comfort food and bad habits thrive...further eroding your self esteem. So for me it's about adopting a life long learning approach to your health, and continually  developing your knowledge and adapting your lifestyle habits to create optimum health, not perfection, just simple wholesome living (at least most of the time). Over the last 10 years shifted my lifestyle towards better choices and very simple strategies to maintain my health. Which has had a huge impact, however like most people I still hadn't quite got the balance. Over the last 6 months I've focussed my efforts and the results are remarkable.


So what are the 3 CRITICAL STEPS TO GET THE BODY YOU'LL LOVE?




  1. UNDERSTAND YOU ARE UNIQUE - SO CHOOSE MOVEMENT, FAT BURNING ACTIVITIES OR MUSCLE DEVELOPMENT STRATEGIES ‘UNIQUE TO YOU!’


I’m only a few years shy of 50 (which feels strange to say) I don't feel a great deal different to when I was in my 20’s, I certainly feel stronger and healthier than I did then, even if I was leaner then.  So my needs as far as movement have changed a lot over the years, this is an important factor, remember your unique body is ever changing. When I was leaner (pre-mummy days) I didn't need to burn a lot of fat. I needed to develop muscle, strength, flexibility and cardiovascular fitness. 


Ironically as I’ve gotten older my need to engage in more fat burning activity has escalated yet my time availability has reduced. This is a pretty common scenario. Life simply gets in the way of focussing on health, fitness and nutrition. So what's the solution…..Exercise needs to be part of your life not a chore.  Undertaking a bazaar fitness training schedule, be it working out at the gym, a personal trainer, or a sport is generally doomed to fizzle out if it is:


 1. Not sustainable- too high intensity especially if your diet won't support this level of workout.

 2. Something you are doing because you have to rather than because you enjoy it. 


Some simple ways to inject movement, muscle building and fitness is to set about discovering which physical activities you truly enjoy. Activities that might serve as an alternative to a gym membership are:

Walking-.join a club, walk alone or with a friend 

Boxing - its a great cardio workout and will help you tone up

Housework - yes housework, if I know I’ll burn 500 calories doing it I’m far more motivated, don't underestimate how physical it can be

Sporting team - football, soccer, tennis, netball

Swimming - it’s great for those with joint pain

Running - very popular but may be a little tough on the joints

Bike riding - again very popular and can be very therapeutic 

Yoga - It may not burn the calories as fast but will build muscle tone, flexibility and strength

Weight training - try it at home or the gym


Everybody is different but I've found the best combination for myself is walking, light weights and yoga. Once you’ve established which exercise suits you it’s important not to burn yourself out. We've all done it. We jump into that new gym membership with guns blazing, then before long we've come down with a cold or one of the kids do and then we get busy at work and slowly our gym membership turns into ‘the subject one does not talk about’ at least until it expires. 


Try out a few different activities, however ensure your final exercise choices are sustainable. If they always depending on a team or too much travel it's worth considering adding a solo activity to your repertoire so that it's always available. (For example I have a running trampoline and a treadmill so I simply can’t make excuses not to walking if it's raining or too hot or cold).  An activity that you can do at least 4 times a week for between 1/2 an hour to 1 hour is ideal depending on your fitness level. 





2.  EAT CLEAN - make it a lifestyle choice!

We've all heard that clean eating is the new craze…but what does in mean to someone who is trying to lose weight or get fit. I've found the most important strategies are to:

  1. Ensure you have a good regular balanced diet, include protein in lean meat or beans, legumes, nuts, fruit and vegetables. I eat primarily vegetarian but I know that the key is balance. Get to know which food works well with your body and which ones don't. Pay attention to reactions and allergies. Every single body is unique and the diet that works for you could be completely different to someone else. Don't fall for the trap of religiously following someone else's diet. Instead keep your food simple, clean, raw as often as you can and reduce eating anything that comes in a box or packet. It's a simple rule of thumb that works. 
  2. Cut the dough, carbs and wheat down. Yes it's hard, but reducing your intake will have a huge impact. These days we have access to a lot of carbs and bread products. Be sensible, don't deprive yourself, simply control yourself.
  3. Reduce your sugar, don't go cold turkey, wean yourself off the sugar slowly. Too many people simply cut it out instantly. However sugar is like a drug, you must slowly reduce your intake or you truly will experience withdrawal symptoms and intense cravings.
  4. Go organic. I'm a huge fan of organic, it reduces the pollution in our environment and our bodies. There is never an okay amount of poison to put on your body, so wherever possible select organic options. The reduction of pesticides, fertilisers, additives, colours, enhancers in your food will dramatically improve your immune system. Poisoning yourself daily is simply not going to improve your health, so cut the chemicals. 
  5. Eating clean should also extend to your skin. Your skin needs nutrients and does not need chemicals and you absorb a huge amount through your skin. Many people don't realise their health is seriously adversely effected by poisoning through the skin. Choose natural and organic hair, skin, makeup, body products and even washing liquids and powders and household cleansers to reduce your exposure to chemicals. Help to detox your body by cutting out products that contain Urea, Parabens, Phthalates, Petroleum By-Products, Propylene Glycol and Polyethylene Glycol (PEG), Sodium Laurel/Laureth, Sulphates, (DEA), Triethanolamine (TEA), Formaldehyde, Synthetic Fragrances, Synthetic Colours, Mica
  6. Purify your water and try to drink  8 glasses a day. I discovered an enormous difference in my health when I started using a home water purifier about 25 years ago. The aim is to reduce exposure to fluoride, chlorine, heavy metals and bacteria in the water. Try to include cleansing teas rather than alcohol, caffeine or any sweet drinks, try green tea, dandelion and turmeric teas. Each has its own unique benefits which we’ll go into in further detail in another article.
  7. Give your body a rest. We have been taught to think we must eat at certain times. However fasting is incredibly good for your body and can in fact help regulate your blood sugar levels. We continually spike our blood sugar levels by eating and snacking more often than actually necessary. If you are not hungry, don't eat. However be very careful of how your body reacts. Starving yourself is not the aim, the aim is to break the cycle of over eating or eating out of habit. Don't allow yourself to become faint, lethargic or starving. 
  8. Having a glass of wine or a cocktail is good for the soul, but having it too often can have adverse effects on your health and motivation. Don't deprive yourself of a drink on occasion but take note of how you feel the day after you've had a few drinks compared to the days you don't and you'll notice it's a lot harder to do a workout if you have been drinking, your limbs may feel a little heavier, your reactions not as fast and you attitude most certainly won't be on point.  It's also worth considering the calories that are in some alcoholic drinks. A glass of red wine on occasion can actually be quite good for your health however any drink that is adding calories without any real nutritional benefit is a bit like sugar and carbs, keep it to being a treat rather than a part of your daily routine. Your body will thank you for it.




3. GET TO KNOW YOUR BODY

This would have to be one of my greatest lessons that I've learnt more recently regarding health. I think a lot of people lose touch with their bodies and forget what it feels like to feel physically strong, in a good frame of mind, optimistic, energetic and motivated. A poor diet and lack of exercise impacts on every part of your wellbeing so start taking notice of everything from aches and pains, mood, energy, attitude and concentration. You might be surprised to see how easy it is achieve a feeling of overall wellness. 


Fitness and wellness

Learning how your unique body works is life altering. Pay attention to how your body responds to exercise. Some examples that I've experienced are the reduction in aches and pains when I’m regularly walking compared to when I stop for a week or so. All too often we ignore the messages our bodies give us. Once again when I've stopped practicing yoga because I was too busy with work or a baby, I could feel my body stiffening and changing. My posture altered enormously and I simply didn't have the energy or feeling of wellness I had previously. 


Calories in and out

Pay attention to your calories in and calories out. A Fitbit (Find FITBIT here  or visit www.amazon.com.auis a fantastic tool for monitoring this. Don't obsess over calories, simply keep a check on it occasionally. I simply punch in my average daily meals and snacks into my Fitbit about once a week to see if I'm staying on track in comparison to the steps I've done and subsequently calories burned. The aim is to check that the calories you are burning whilst undertaking your exercise regime are more than those you are consuming, particularly if you are trying to lose weight. In doing this you are educating yourself to create balance in your diet and exercise. It's a great way to learn which foods have higher calories and which ones are lower, I've had some huge lessons about food choices by doing this, and you will be surprised how many things you have been consuming that have exorbitantly high calories when you thought in fact they were healthy choices. This reeducting yourself will help you make better choices in future. 

   

Find a Fitbit here



Weight

Don't obsessive over your weight it truly is an inaccurate measuring tool. The fact that fat takes up more mass yet weighs less than muscle that takes up less space but weighs more negates the usefulness of monitoring your weight as your main measuring tool. Instead pay attention to how your clothes feel, how confident you feel when you put them on. Use measurements of your arms, bust, waist and thighs to track your body changes, if you must monitor it at all.



In the end the most critical aspect of these 3 steps to create the body you'll love is  how you feel about yourself. I can attest to these lifestyle choices. Some of these changes I've implemented over years others like using the Fitbit to educate myself about calories eaten and burned are new additions. It's taken me sometime to find the right formula. Like most people I've yo yoed with my weight and fitness, I've been a size 8 and a size 16. These days I'm somewhere in the middle. Don't beat yourself up. Trial and error is a part of learning. Remind yourself it's not about what size TV shows,  magazines or social media tell us we must be, it's about how we feel….do we feel strong, happy, healthy, optimistic. Health and fitness is a learning experience and learning is what you are aiming to do. 


Notes:

Always consult a health professional prior to commencing an exercise regime. All exercise and nutrition mentioned in this article are for information purposes only and do not substitute for seeking professional advice.