Blog Posts

PTSD Awareness Day

In honour of National PTSD Awareness Day on June 27th (in Aus), I thought I’d write a post around it.

PTSD… Post-traumatic stress disorder. Just so we’re clear.

Beyond Blue describe PTSD as something that develops in people who have been through a traumatic event (typically one that threatens their life or safety, or that of someone around them). As a result of this trauma, the person experiences feelings of horror, helplessness and intense fear – similar to the feelings they felt during the event.

There are four main difficulties for someone suffering PTSD:

  1. Flashbacks to the event
  2. Experiencing heightened awareness
  3. Avoiding triggers / reminders of the event
  4. Feeling numb

PTSD often comes along with other mental health problems at the same time, such as depression or anxiety. Anyone who experiences a traumatic event can possibly develop PTSD.

How can you help?

There is lots you can do if a friend or family member is suffering from PTSD.

  • My first and biggest tip is this: patience.

PTSD is hard enough, and when someone is suffering from the symptoms, the best thing you can do is be calm and patient. Let them know that you’re there with them and aren’t going anywhere.

  • Talk to them and ask them how you can help.

It can be daunting to be this upfront, but asking what they need and what you can do for them can help show the person that you care about them and opens up channels of communication. Common symptoms of PTSD are akin to anxiety and depresssion – suffers can often feel isolated/numb.

  • Seek professional help.

Therapists/psychologists etc. aren’t just there to support the person suffering. If you’re close to someone who is going through any sort of mental health issue, talking to a professional about how you can best support them can be really useful for you as well.

For more info: https://www.beyondblue.org.au/the-facts/anxiety/types-of-anxiety/ptsd

comfort curry

Ok ok ok, I’m not reinventing the wheel here. It’s cold…I want comfort food. Sue me?

I’ve been on a HUGE winter soup/curry/noodle obsession lately. I’ve been really enjoying spending some time in the kitchen on a rainy afternoon with some good healthy ingredients and a pot on the stove. I’ve found a bunch of ‘keeper’ recipies that I’d love to share with you, but I’ll have to stick to just one for now.

Without further ado – the curry that has been fed to many a family member and friend, with joyous outcomes… this is my peer review.

I want to preface this with a disclaimer: I didn’t invent this. I’m sure I found it somewhere but I’ve been cooking it for so long now that I wouldn’t know where to look to credit the original chef.

this thing is #vegan #glutenfree #healthy #delicious and, best of all #easyAF… you’ve been warned.

The Recipe:

  • 1 diced white onion
  • 5 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 2 cups sliced carrots
  • 1 sliced zucchini, sliced
  • 1 sliced red capsicum
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • generous grind of salt (I use himalayan pink salt)
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth (or broth of your choice)
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup (or any natural sweetener)
  • 1/3 cup natural peanut butter
  • 1 pack firm tofu, cut into cubes
  • 1 cup chopped corriander
  • OPTIONAL: rice or quinoa to serve it over

Method:

  1. Add the onion, garlic and carrot to a pot and cook over medium heat in coconut oil, water or broth until they soften (5-10 min).
  2. Add zucchini and capsicum and stir to combine.
  3. Add tomato paste, curry powder, turmeric and salt and cook for a few more minutes, stirring to combine. You can add a dash of water/ broth at this point to help it all mix together.
  4. Add broth and coconut milk and simmer lightly until the carrots are soft and the curry has thickened (about 20 minutes). Stir occasionally to stop it sticking.
  5. Stir in the maple syrup, peanut butter, corriander and tofu and cook for a few more minutes until the peanut butter has mixed through and the tofu is warm.
  6. Optional: Serve with rice or quinoa.

Get your aprons and cutting boards out!

If you try this recipe leave me a comment below and let me know how it goes 🙂

Fireshot

“Rain, rain, go away, come again another day…”

– Me, this week

Oh boy, I have well and truly realised that flu season is upon us.

Today I’m going to share a little natural Health Hack with you that I like to employ during the winter months to ward off any unwelcome illnesses.

I give you…
The Fireshot
(although I’ve found it referred to as several things, I’m sticking with this one)

In a small jar or container combine the following:

  • 3-4 garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • 1 tsp horseradish 
  • Dash of cayenne pepper
  • Fill the jar with apple cider vinegar 
  • Optional: Add some honey (this has added health benefits and cuts through the aggressive taste…kinda).

This will store in the fridge for about 10 days

Dosage:
I shake it up and put 2 tablespoons into a glass with a dash of water and down it every morning when I first come downstairs.

Warning: Its an aggressive but wonderful way to start the day.

A note on the water:
I like to add just a dash, so that I can still have it in one mouthful, whilst cutting through the acidity of the ACV. ACV is amazing – just do a simple internet search and you’ll find the world singing its praises, however its not great for your teeth due to how acidic it is.
Contravertially (in my opinion) one of my mates fills his glass with water, which would of course dilute it FAR more, but I think it’s still gross and only extends the drinking process.

Go free and experiment with your water amounts! You’ve been warned.

So… why the f#*! do I do this?

…having just spent a good paragraph telling you how gross it is, I’ve realised I’ve not really sold you on it.

The long and short of it is: it is insanely good for you, and I’ve come to really like the morning kick. It wakes me up, and I’m starting my day off on the right note by putting something great into my body.

It is particularly excellent if you actually HAVE a cold/flu – there are many recipes on the internet for it, you can even buy it pre-made (for the low low price of just one of your kidneys!). I haven’t re-invented the wheel here. However, I like to use it as a preventative measure and for it’s general health benefits.

Here’s a breakdown of the ingredients and just some of the potential benefits of them:

Garlic:

Garlic has been known to boost the function of the immune system. It’s been found to help reduce the length and severity of cold/flu.

Ginger:

Ginger is very anti-inflammatory and helps fight infections (flu)

Horseradish:

Horseradish is a powerful antioxidant, and supports the healthy function of the respiratory system

Cayenne pepper:

Another anti-inflammatory, it gives the shot a kick and really warms you up

ACV:

Bacteria killing!

Honey:

Honey has antimicrobial properties that help it fight some bacteria and viruses (cold & flu!)

That’s all from me folks – happy Fireshotting! 🙂

Disclaimer: do your own research! The internet is a wild place family! This is just me sharing my knowledge and experiences with you. I’m not a doctor. This shot also certainly won’t cure you if you’re sick, but I find it goes a long way to helping prevent or reduce my winter illnesses!

Winter Skincare

We’re officially a few weeks into winter now. I have some seriously mixed feelings about this… I am very much a mermaid and my friends and family joke that I photosynthesize, however…winter means #SkiSeason is upon us, and I’ve set myself the goal of learning to ski this season (I usually board)… I see a lot of bruises in my future!

Winter also means something else – it’s time to amp up my skin care routine. Winter dries my skin out like nothing else, so I tend to spend a little longer and take a little more care with my routine over the colder months. So, lets get into it.

For the bod’:

Scrub scrub scrub!

Twice a week I give myself a good scrub from head to toe with some sort of exfoliator. I tend to gravitate towards coffee scrubs, I find the sugar/salt ones dissolve too quickly and I want something with a little more grit in the winter. But you do you babes.

Dry. Brush.

Oh wow this has changed my world. Admittedly it took my a while to form that habit, I had to leave my dry brush on my floor in front of my shower to force myself to do it, but now I dry brush before almost every shower I take. A few minutes, use circular motions and work towards your heart. There’s a heap of tutorials on how to do it, and you can find a dry brush in most local chemists etc. fairly inexpensively.

Moisturize…again and again.

I do a full body moisturize after each shower (warm water = drying!… Admit it, your showers run hotter in winter.) AND at night before bed (I’m an AM shower-er). I use a different one at night before bed – it’s thicker and creamier and this is excellent but it takes ages to soak in so isn’t ideal in the morning when I’m trying to get dressed and start my day.

In the morning I use a lighter body oil that soaks in quickly and smells delicious to double as my fragrance for the day. (Anything for a shortcut in the morning, am I right?)

Lets talk about the face…

Scrub…again!

I lightly scrub my face when I exfoliate my body, however I use a salt based scrub that’s far more gentle, and I use a very light hand.

Moisturize…again!

I switch my face moisturizer out in the winter months for something a little more full on, and I apply the same principle to my face as I do my body – I use a heavier one at night, and a lighter one in the morning that allows for quick adsorption and doesn’t interfere with make up going over it. Again – I use an oil in the morning and then a heavier cream at night.

SPF

“…wait what? It’s winter, why are you using sunscreen?” I hear you ask. I use sunscreen all year round. Just because the sun isn’t shining doesn’t mean the UV rays aren’t getting through the clouds. SPF is one of the BEST things you can do for anti-aging (as a preventative measure), and then there’s the obvious one…skin cancer. Sunscreen friends, always. I apply mine to my face, neck and chest, and then even run some down my arms if I think they’ll be uncovered at all.

Lips

I use a lip scrub a few times a week before I brush my teeth, and carry a heavy duty lip balm with SPF in it basically everywhere I go.

One last reminder… HYDRATE! You can put endless things topically onto your skin, but if you aren’t drinking water, you’re wasting your time and money on all those products. Grab yourself a cute reusable drink bottle (#SaveTheEnvironment) and get chugging.

The turmeric latte to end all others

Quite frankly, the trend of latte’s is getting out of hand. You can get beetroot, charcoal, turmeric, matcha, unicorn…there are even ones with glitter in them – why you’d want that is beyond me.

I will freely admit that I have tried every type of latte I can get my hands on, and whilst many do have very valid ‘health’ benefits I have to say I think the OG that started it all – the Turmeric Latte – is still the best.

Turmeric has this lovely golden hue thanks to an antioxidant called Curcumin.

“Oh – antioxidants…I know I’m meant to care about them, but I don’t know why” I hear you say.

Curcumin is extremely anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial – read: it’s great for your gut health and your muscles/joints. This also means it’s brilliant for fighting those nasty cold and flu symptoms. YAY!

But the glory doesn’t stop there – turmeric is also rich in manganese, zinc, B group vitamins and iron, all of which can help to support a healthy metabolism. AKA: it will help you maintain a healthy weight and keep your body running at optimum speed.

Turmeric is classified as an ‘adaptogen’ (oh, big fancy word – that must be important).

IMG_0430

Basically it means that it can help the body adapt (I see what you did there!) to stressors – environmental toxins, inflammatory foods, and lack of sleep. YAY, YAY and YAY!

So smashing a turmeric latte before bed is only going to do some seriously good things for several areas of your body 🙂

There’s a million and one recipes floating around the internet, but to be perfectly honest who has the time or energy to whip up one from scratch every single freaking evening? Not me.
Instead, I create a big batch and keep it in a pretty jar that I can just scoop a teaspoon out of when I want it.

MY RECIPE:

  • 1 part cinamon
  • 1 part ginger
  • 2 parts turmeric

(Generally what this looks like for me is 1/2 cup turmeric, and 1/4 cup of the other two).

To serve:

  • Combine 1 teaspoon with a cup of almond milk (but you can use whatever milk you prefer).
  • If I’m feeling it I’ll add a 1/2 tsp of coconut sugar – low GI to prevent my blood sugar spiking before bed – because it can be rather bitter

P.S How cute is my teacup and saucer?…purchased in Oxford, England…which I feel was appropriate.

 

What is Wellbeing?

 

“Wellbeing” – The 2018 buzzword. Scrolling social media, watching TV, listening to the radio…it seems you can’t go a full day without hearing some mention of ‘wellbeing’, but what even is it? No one seems to really explain it, they just rabbit on about how important it is.

I think part of the problem is that it has a fluid definition and is influenced by our own personal perspectives and beliefs. What wellbeing means for me, is different to what it might mean for you.

Wellbeing has several domains underpinning it:

  • Self-awareness: this involves being aware of different aspects of your personality including beliefs, strengths, weaknesses, behaviours and feelings. As our self-awareness increases we can learn to change our thoughts and how we interpret things.
  • Healthy holistic habits: Establishing habits that balance our physical, mental and emotional needs.
  • Emotional awareness: Becoming aware of our emotions, and the emotions of others around us. This helps us to work out why we are feeling certain ways and therefore ultimately work through out feelings.
  • Mindsets: Mindsets are beliefs about our qualities (personality, talent and intelligence). These are all qualities that can be developed through active and deliberate effort.
  • Positive direction: Lauriston teaches an understanding and management of self to achieve individual goals. Motivation / self regulation.
  • Positive relationships: When we possess healthy relationships with those around us we are happier and fulfilled and have a greater sense of feeling supported and connected.
  • Looking outward: Understanding that whilst we may be at the centre of our own realities, so is everyone else. Considering others, contributing to our communities and accepting and embracing other people regardless of their nationality, religions, beliefs or cultures is all part of wellbeing.

Wellbeing involves mental clarity, where you can be in a motivated and proactive state of existence. It means being connected in your mind with your body – accepting yourself, which in turn causes a reduction in our negative judgement of others around us. This is a really beautiful thing – to be able to be openminded without judging others for their beliefs, religions, cultures or values.

It also involves your body in a physical sense – exercise, use your body to its fullest potential and listen to it’s needs about your health and fitness.

I recently had what I like to call a “shower revelation” … how do you know when your prime years are? Why not make every year your prime year? Don’t focus on what has been, or whats coming next, get as much as you possibly can from the here and now.

Wellbeing, in its truest essence is the act of being selfish, in order to be selfless. Often our excuses and percieved barriers to looking after our selves are the exact reasons that we need to do so.

So how do we be ‘well’? Here are my hacks:

Make 10 minutes of your day about pleasing yourself

  • Sit
  • Have a coffee
  • Meditate (read my Meditation Hacks here)
  • Walk outside
  • Read solely for leisure

Give to others

  • Donate
  • Volunteer
  • Do something nice for a friend (unprompted or needed)

Be physically active

  • Move your body in a way you enjoy (yes – kitchen dancing counts!)

Embrace the Gratitude 3

  • Every evening, over your wine, or in an ad break, take some time to jot down 3 things that you’re grateful for that day. There are a ton of apps that can help you do this – my fav is “Grateful”

As the sun sets…

Thanks for joining me! The christening blog post for my site feels like it should be inspirational, unique and defining. I spent a long time staring at my flashing cursor before finding the right words – which is to say, there are none. This site is in its infancy, a seed just planted and watered, ready to grow with the right nurture. I hope to create a space where you can feel inspired and motivated, where we can learn from each other and thrive. Sharing my life and my experiences is as much a benefit for myself, as I hope it will become for you.

As I look out my window at the changing colours of the sunset, the patterns the wind is making in the clouds, I know one thing with certainty, I do not pretend to have all the answers, or presume to think that my way is the right, or only way. However, I seek to grow, learn, develop, to evolve. I hope you come along with me.

We cannot become what we want, by remaining what we are. — Max Depree