Why It Is Important To Speak About Mental Health | World Mental Health Day October 10 2018

It’s okay, to not be okay

I have been really saddened recently by the amount of people known to me, friends and family around me, or in the public eye who have been struggling a little bit with life, most silently thinking they have no one to speak or open up to. This is not something new for me, unfortunately growing up I saw this a lot around me and found that people were always very shy or ashamed about it. Fortunately, this seems to be something that with time is getting better and we now have days such as “World Mental Health Day” to diminish some of the stigma that surround it. But I do think that there is more we can do.

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Without walking someones path, you will never really know what it’s like to feel the way that person does or be in their particular circumstances and why they find themselves so close to the edge. Its sad that in our current society, it’s a very common way to feel.

A lot of people I know, including myself, at many stages, struggle with Mental Health. It is something that doesn’t pick and choose, or discriminate. It doesn’t matter how much money you have or if you are perceived to have the perfect life. This has been highlighted more recently with the loss of public figures or celebrities such as Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain.
There are probably more people than you realise who are suffering or struggling with their mental health in private.

Everyone handles and deals with their health and emotions in their own way. Everyone has a different mindset. But this, is the reason more people need open up and bring to light these issues and talk about our worries and concerns. Life isn’t always simple. For a lot of people, life can be predominantly more complicated than simple and have more downs than ups. So having the ability to step forward and help another person open up or realise that support is around them can really help those who need it the most.

You may find it hard or not be able to empathise with someone when it comes to mental health but whatever it is that that person is dealing with, being there to be a support, even if its just them having someone to talk to can really help.

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Mental Health should be on the same level as physical health. When you see someone who is in a cast, or wheelchair or has fallen down some steps. Many people will run to the aid of that person, asking how they can help. “Can I push you somewhere”, “Lean on me and ill take you to that chair”, “Are you okay, is anything hurting?”.So why when you see someone who is looking sad, crying or you know might be going through something that we don’t do the same?

How hard is it to go up to someone, whether you know them or not and ask, “are you okay?”, “can I help in any way?” or with that person who you know who has gone through something saying “Please know that I am here for you, let me know if you need anything”

People with mental health conditions deserve just as much support and compassion as people with physical health conditions.

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I am not an expert, nor do I have all the answers. But if this post can help even one person reach out when they need help, or have someone reach out to a friend or stranger in need then perhaps more people can spread the message that it IS okay, not to be okay.  There is no weakness in asking for a bit of help or finding support. Be proud of yourself for doing so. Those around you will only have a great amount of respect for you.

Struggling with parts of life is okay. Just remember, things do get better, especially when you open up and talk about it. You are loved and cherished more than you know.

Continue reading Why It Is Important To Speak About Mental Health | World Mental Health Day October 10 2018

Autumn Reflection

As you may, or may not have noticed, things have been a little quiet around here the past few months. Once my backlog of blog posts ran out, I kind of, lost it.
At this time of the year, I find that I can almost become another person. My mood changes and I generally just feel a bit dull. I think they call this SAD or Seasonal Affective Disorder but you know what, that’s okay. It really hasn’t been that bad, I think I just do not respond well to the cold weather & the sun going down at about 4pm!

However, things haven’t been all bad so lets recap the past season and see what I have really been up to!

Jose Gonzalez in Concert

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This was something that happened way back in March! but even now when I think about it, it has for sure been a highlight. We did go and see him once before when he played at the Melbourne Zoo twilights but this was so much better and more personal. There was even an hour of Q&A which we attended beforehand, such a treat!

If you haven’t heard of Jose, or listened to his music, go ahead and have a listen. Its really something quite beautiful & different.

Living in Activewear

Probably the biggest change in the past few months has been that of my day to day. I went from a 9 to 5 office job to completely changing my career and jumping into the world of health and fitness. It was something that I had wanted to do for so so long but didn’t have the nerve to, but finally after much contemplation, I did it and I love it! Weirdly enough, the thing about this I thought I would love the most, living in active wear, has become my least favourite part. Literally no one enjoys pulling on uncomfortable tights at 5am… and there have been a LOT, of 5ams…

Taking my love of Reformer to the next level

& starting a Pilates Reformer course at Elixr School of Pilates.
Because isn’t that was everyone does when they love something that much?
Probably not, but hey ho, that’s what I did and it has been quite the uh… experience. The course itself is very intense and the face to face component is only 5 weekends with the rest being self taught so a liiitttle out of my comfort zone. But so far, so good. Its been really strange to study again that’s for sure and I have definitely had my ups, and downs and moments of ‘whatthehellamIdoing’ but its all part of the fun! I can’t wait to actually be a qualified instructor as I do have some big plans once the exam is over.
Watch this space

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No-Makeup, Makeup

For so long, I was the person who wouldn’t step foot into my workplace with out a full face of makeup on. Part of my morning routine was getting up 20 mins earlier just to be able to do so. Let me tell you, once I started starting work before 6am that went right out the window.
But I am actually really enjoying it.
It has made me more conscious of my skin in both good and bad ways. In the good ways it has made me really stick to my skincare routine & has somewhat stopped me eating chocolate everynight (because no one needs those sugar pimples) but in the bad ways I really do notice every imperfection my skin has, so i’m having to come to terms with that, which I guess is also a good thing right…
So all I have really been using is my trusty Maybelline Instant Age Rewind, L’oreal Baby Roll Mascara & my Benefit Goof Proof Eyebrow Pencil. And thats it. So simple and easy when its 4:45am!

Walking & Podcasting

This year has really been the year for podcasts. I feel like they are really making a break and you can literally find something for everyone. One of my goals at the beginning of the year was to spend my time walking, being productive instead of just listening to the same Spotify playlist over and over (which I still do sometimes).
So these are some of my favs & ones I would reccommend:

  • Lower your Expectations
  • Talking Tastebuds
  • The Healthcode
  • Wheybox Podcast
  • Ladies who Lunch
  • The Heart of it

This is quite an interesting range, all quite different really but they are what get me through my early moring walk to work without too much fuss.

 

And that’s about it. Autumn for me is definitely one of the more uneventful seasons of the year/ I have been so crazy with all things as above. I will try and keep on top of my blog throughout winter! Especially considering the cold weather gives me a great excuse to sit at home under the heatpump!

 

5 Summer Highlights & Photo Diary | 18′

Travel, Friends, Family, Food & a whole lot of sun!

 

 

Summer this year has been one of my favourites in a while! I feel like for one I actually spent enough time outside, went to the beach more often, caught up with my friends and actually visited my family in NZ.

Summer is by far one of my favourite seasons… for at least the first 2 months, then the heat starts to get too much and you start dreaming about coats and scarves. However, for those 2 months, it is BLISS. Only having to wear one layer

 

 

NZ
Because I wasn’t able to go back to NZ for Xmas this year, I decided that it would be worth going back for a long weekend to see the fam. Let.me.tell.you. Arriving at my grandparents at 1pm after travelling for 15hrs really made me question whether it was worth it for 4 days! However, I always love going back and seeing (mostly) everyone, even if it is brief.

Tennis
This summer, finally, Dietmar and myself have taken up tennis. We have lived in an apartment building for the last 3 years with a tennis court & never made the most of it. Well, times have changed.

Now, I am not great, or even good, at tennis and have lost many a ball over the fence (and thanks to trespassing laws, never to be seen again) however, I really, really enjoy it. Not only does it require a bit of exercise, its been a fun activity for us to do together.
I like this Sunday tradition, hopefully we can stick at it for the foreseeable future and my new years goal of ‘starting a sport’ can be ticked off.

Market Shopping
Market shopping can be a bit hit and miss for me. I do love going to the market on a Sunday… but because of the sheer amount of people that also love it, if you aren’t in and out by 10am, you are in for a whirlwind of 100sss of people. However, generally even if its a bit later we have been going anyway. It works out to be a lot more affordable, we like to support local producers and the quality of the fruit and vege is so much better than the supermarket. They also have a lot more affordable organic options which is a huge bonus!
A highlight of our market shopping each week is stopping by Clement Coffee Roasters for a long black and sometimes a cheeky pastry! Check them out too.

Beach
This summer we have definitely made more use of the beach than before. We do live semi close by so we really don’t have too much excuse! But this year I have made an effort to at least try and get down every now and then to soak in some sun, enjoy the sea and watch all the dogs (Screw people watching, dog watching is THEONE).

 

 Being More Active & Meeting Two Inspirational Fitness/Health & Sustainability Dreamboats
This summer has been the first summer… ever. that I have managed to stick to a fitness routine and keep active for the whole season! Seriously proud of myself for that one. My diet as such, has not been perfect but I am trying! I eat a very balanced diet (IMO) and am happy with where I am at (minus the digestive problems but mate, that’s a whole other post).

 

However, this summer I was lucky enough to meet Zanna Van Dyk & Steph Elswood whilst they were on a whirlwind tour of Australia and it was great! They are both so lovely, welcoming and really down to earth. You don’t feel like you are going to a meet-up, more just hanging out with friends! It was so cool. (On another note, Zanna has an amazing blog which you can find here)

Home Made Iced Coffee
This for me has become a solid summery weekend drink. I love coffee, probably far too much.. and am not ready to kick the addiction just yet! but to mix it up I started making an iced version which is DELICIOUS.
Ingredients:
Coffee (Instant or brewed shot of espresso)
Ice – Loads of ice
1 Frozen Banana – Its important that its frozen.
Unsweetened almond milk (or regular milk if that’s your jam)
You could add Stevia/ Coconut Sugar etc if you like it sweeter.
How to: 
Put all ingredients in a blender (minus some ice for later) and MIXX.
Enjoy with the extra ice and a reusable straw with some coconut sugar sprinkled on top (if you are the ultimate environmentally friendly health wanker like myself)
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This summer has seriously been so great! I was happy, fulfilled and just generally in a great place! I am now (kindof) looking forward to the colder weather! (but I will miss my tan!) Bring on the coats and scarves! What was your favourite part about summer this year? And if you are in the northern hemisphere… what are you looking forward to??
 Leave a comment or find me on Instagram and here, Facebook and Twitter.
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Living A Healthy Lifestyle and Finding YOUR Healthy

Focus on yourself, not everyone else

 Being healthy nowadays is such a relative term. What one person deems to be healthy can be completely different to someone else, and to someone who is just starting out trying to become healthier, it can be really overwhelming!

 As someone who has spent the last 5 or so years trying my hand at every diet and ‘lifestyle’ on the market and managing to come out the other side with good and bad experiences, I thought I could give a few handy tips on becoming a healthier, fitter and happier.

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Ditch the diets
I think this one is the most important. The best way to become healthier is to really just go back to basics. Try and get into a solid routine of having a good breakfast, lunch and dinner with minimal processed foods as well as a couple of healthy snacks in between if you feel like you really need it.

Find what exercise works for you
Just because someone tells you that running is the best exercise, doesn’t mean it is. For them it may be, but for you it probably isn’t. Trial and error is your best friend! Try everything you can! Bootcamp, swimming, weight training, pilates, yoga.. there are so many options. It’s important to try out as many things as you can until you find what you enjoy. Don’t just do something because it burns the most calories. Do it because you love it and eventually you will start to feel better and mental & physical results will follow.

Listen to your body
This one is hard and has taken me SO long to get right. It goes for food and exercise. Food wise, if you are following some kind of plan and that plan tells you that you have to eat at 3pm, but you really don’t feel like it, then don’t. Your body can tell you when it is hungry and when it is not. Exercise wise, it is important to recognise the difference between really not wanting to go for your workout and your body telling you that you have done enough. That takes time. But same goes; if you wake up and really do feel far too tired to go for that run, then maybe just go for a walk or stay home and stretch and see how you feel afterwards.

Quality workouts over quantity
Instead of trying to work out 6 times per week and potentially running yourself into the ground, start with 3 workouts a week where you try your absolute hardest and see how you feel. The following week you might be able to add in an extra one.

 Start small
Small changes can make the biggest difference.
I think it is so important not to go all or nothing. 90% of the time you end up burning out after a couple of weeks rather than making it a long term thing. You don’t have to completely change your lifestyle overnight, (if you have, then seriously, good for you) , you are allowed to take time. Doing small things like getting your exercise up by going walking at lunchtime or drinking one extra bottle of water in a day, or cutting out the sugar in your coffee really makes a difference over time.

 Find something positive in every day
Life is just one big annoying mind game and sometimes it can feel really overwhelming. At times like this I like to take a breath and just think of things that I am grateful for or something positive that has happened in my day, even if that is something really small such as appreciating that delicious coffee that gets you through that Monday afternoon.

Keep accountable
If you are really struggling with feeling unmotivated to go to the gym or are having self control issues in the food department, keep accountable to someone or someones’. Whether that’s booking into a class at the gym with a friend or using an app such as Snapchat or Instagram to send pictures of your meals to your bestie. These things can help you to make better choices overall.

Don’t beat yourself up, just try again tomorrow.
Changing your lifestyle generally doesn’t happen overnight. Give yourself time. In the great scheme of things, that extra meal you had is not going to matter. That pizza you ate, or that workout you missed, isn’t going to destroy your progress. You really just need to give yourself time. You are human, we all have bad days, so eat that pizza, it is completely normal.

When it comes to health & fitness, everyone is different. What works for someone, won’t work for someone else. Or it might, for a while. But to be a healthy and happy person overall, you need to find what works for you, what YOUR healthy is.

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Please note: I am not a qualified Dietitian, Nutritionist, PT or Health Coach. Please contact a professional if you would like in depth advice on anything mentioned.

Roasted Sweet Potato & Pumpkin Soup Recipe

For anyone new here, I will put my hand up… I. Hate. Winter.

For me, there are two good things about Winter. Soup and the fashion (Coats, Scarves, Boots…). You would think that considering I am a winter baby, I would be all about it. but I have come to realise that this definitely not the case!
I can not stand that it is dark by 5pm. It’s cold. It rains a lot. The days just feel shorter. But anyway…

ROASTED SWEET POTATO AND PUMPKIN – SERVES 6

This is probably one of my all time fav winter soups and its super quick and easy to make.

1/2 Whole Pumpkin Ground Spices (Cumin, Pepper, Salt, Smoked Paprika, Coriander)
1 Large Sweet Potato 2 tbsp Olive Oil
1 Carrot 1 Zucchini
2 Onions 2 Vegetable Stock Cubes
2 Garlic Cloves 165mls Coconut Milk (Optional)

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Step One:  Preheat oven to 180C fan bake & Boil a jug fill of Water Step Two: Chop Pumpkin and Sweet Potato, spread on a baking tray and drizzle over olive oil and add spices of choice.
Step Three: Cook Pumpkin and Sweet Potato for approx 40mins (turn half way) Step Four: In a large soup pot, saute Onion, Garlic, Salt & Pepper
Step Five: Grate (or chop) Carrot & Zucchini and add to the soup pot Step Six: Once the Sweet Potato & Pumpkin have finished roasting in the oven, take out and add to the soup pot
Step Seven: Add in the boiling water along with the 2 stock cubes (If you had fresh herbs such as Rosemary or Thyme, you could add these in here too) Step Eight: Put a lid on the pot, turn down to a low heat and simmer the soup for 30 minutes to an hour (30 mins if you are in a hurry, longer if you have time).
Step Nine: (Optional) Add in the Coconut Cream. Step Ten: Once you have taste tested and added more salt and pepper if needed, BLEND. You can do this in an actual blender or with a stick blender (I would recommend option B).

 

WARNING: Blending hot soup can be really dangerous! So if you have time, wait for it to cool down before blending. If you can’t wait, please be careful.

Serve with some fresh sliced bread toasted under a grill and spread with Garlic or topping of choice. If you have some Sesame or Pumpkin Seeds, toast those up and put them on top too!

TIP:
If for some reason you have made the Soup too salty, you can always boil some potatoes to add into the soup – as you may not know this until the end of the process, it would extend the time it takes to make the soup, however, it will save the soup instead of having to start again!

If you try the soup out, let me know how it goes! If its good, share it with Friends and Family – It’s a great excuse to get everyone around on a Sunday for Lunch or as a Starter for Dinner.

NOTE: I am not qualified in Nutrition or anything of the kind (Yet… ;), I just love food and creating recipes!

 

Digital Detox | A Weekend Offline

I confess! I Love my Phone!

And for that reason, this weekend I have decided to try what’s known as a Digital Detox.

Now, the basic principle of this is to completely withdraw yourself from all forms of electronic devices and technology. Personally, I am not going that crazy.

Call me dramatic if you want, but for a while now I have realized that our society is completely engulfed in technology. I myself spend so much of my day either checking my phone, my emails, Instagram (Scrolling, Scrolling Scrolling….)

or Snapchat.. Youtube for background noise? Or while doing my  makeup in the AM? I think so!

Over time I think this can be quite mentally & physically damaging (How many hours of sleep are you actually getting after checking every update on your phone before bed? A Lack of Sleep will create a range of health problems! – Among other things).

Already, there are so many people (including myself) who freak out at the idea of not having their phone or a way to contact people. Now sure, to an extent you do need to have communication now days, but I think it’s just gotten out of control!

So to try and give myself a little break from it all I will be going offline.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I am not going to completely switch off my phone. I live in another country to most of my loved ones so I can’t really do that in case something happens (Bring back the home phone! If I had one that would be what I use!)

But. I won’t be checking any of my communication Apps, in-fact, I have deleted them for the weekend so I am not tempted. I will however, allow myself to watch Netflix here and there and maybe a YouTube video (or two).

Basically, I am going to have some ME time. I am going to go to the gym, read that book I have been meaning to, go for a walk around the gardens and down the Yarra and best of all just spent time with myself (and kitty).

I highly recommend trying this out for yourself at some point. Maybe not for a whole weekend but an afternoon, a morning or even 24hrs away from your phone and computer could do a world of good.

The world, WILL NOT implode if you are unplugged for a while.

If you do try this, do it for YOU. Do it because you are thinking about your own health and wellbeing. Do it because you want to challenge yourself and get out of your comfort zone! Don’t do it because you think it will look good to other people or that someone is trying to force you too. If you aren’t doing it for the right reasons, will you really stick to it?

I will report back on Monday with my thoughts on the whole process. Did I make it? What I loved?  What I hated? Would I do it again? And for how long?

See you in… around 60hours!

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L’Oreal Skin Expert Pure Clay Mask | Review

Masking is one of my favourite pasttimes

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It’s not often that I use a product and can say after the first use that I absolutely love it. But this, is one of those things! By far one of the best face masks I have used recently and, its affordable!! (Currently on Special for AUD$12.69 at Chemist Warehouse).

When I first saw this is in the pharmacy I grabbed it and put it in my basket without a second thought. As this range is fairly new and not very reviewed yet I thought I would give it a go before I am washed with preconceived ideas – and why not write the beginning of this post while it’s currently sucking the life out of my pores!

CLAIMS
Detoxifying and Brightening  

FIRST IMPRESSION

It is heavily scented. But not in a bad way, but in a way that you are glad its only on your face for 15 odd minutes because you really want to get the smell away from your nose.

APPLICATION

I just applied it with my good ol’ fingers. Usually with clay masks I would use a dedicated brush but this one seemed like an okay texture to use my fingers… and it was such a dream to put on.

Thoughts I had whilst it was on my face. Tight after about 5 minutes but not uncomfortable.

WASHING OFF PROCESS

I chose to use a warm washcloth and water to remove it as this is how I would normally take off any clay mask and it worked great. Did not require much tugging at all at my skin to get it off and my face was completely clean after a few minutes.

AFTER THOUGHTS

Skin almost instantly looking really clean and bright – Check. Skin also felt a little dry afterwards but really not that bad. The next day my skin looks amazing. Very fresh and almost radiant looking (If I must say so myself).

OVERALL

Great for if you are wanting a new mask to try that is affordable and actually does more than just make your face look ridiculous for 15 minutes! I will definitely be going out to repurchase the other 2 masks in the range!

Have you tried this mask? Let me know your thoughts!

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