Thursday, 1 June 2017

Terra Madre

I totally get it, buying organic or even whole foods can  sometimes be a little more expensive than what most people are used to. Why would  spend money on this sort of stuff when you can buy ultra chemical laden factory packaged foods, pastuerised and homogenised dairy and meat and poultry that is a result of a meat industry that is disrespectfully mass produced? Maybe if you have started to become curious and have begun to educate yourself on what is into and what goes on behind closed doors when it comes to the majority of the food that is available for us to purchase. It is pretty scary and straight up not healthy for us to be consuming on a regular basis. And that is the reason it is so cheap. These 'apparent' foods can be produced at such a cheap cost because the ingredients used to create them are so poor quality, so poorly produced and so anti nutritious. Food either promotes life or death. And these foods promote death. 

Now before anyone gets antsy, let me tell you that I am pretty broke. Yep, straight up. So when I do my grocery shopping I need to be super smart, super frugal and plan my meals and budget like a ninja. Why do I bother? Because I want to be riding a bike with my great grandkids when I am 110 and I don't want to suffer a chronic illness like cancer, arthritis or diabetes when I am in my 50' I prefer to buy nicer food instead of getting pedicures for the time being. 
Terra Madre is a network of food communities, which are groups of small-scale food producers committed to producing quality food in a responsible, sustainable way. 
But it is also an organic whole foods store in the suburb of Northcote in Melbourne's inner north east. I have been told of how crazy cheap their prices are but for a girl that has a fine time searching for the best prices possible, I was pretty skeptical. Buuuuuuut I have eaten my words. Of natural whole foods origin of course. 
I rarely am able to by the organic version of many things, but even the prices at Terra Madre are pretty mean value. I tried searching and searching online for prices before I made the trek (it's over an hour away from me) which was super frustrating, so I thought I would do you all a favour and list the prices of some of the products so you can all get an idea for yourselves. I will update and add prices from my future visits too:

  • 100% Coconut Cream (guar gum free) $.135
  • 100% Coconut cream $0.99
  • Black Beans $1.25
  • Balsamic vinegar 500ml $2.95
  • Cold pressed coconut oil 1L $9.95 
  • Tamari 500ml $6.00
  • Brunswick tinned sardines $1.35
  • La Tortilleria Tortilla wraps $4.95 
  • Raw Honey 1kg $14.00
  • Stevia powder 30gm $11.00
  • Stevia liquid 50ml $11.00

  • Organic walnuts $27.90 kg
  • Organic almonds $27.50 kg
  • Raw seed mix $10.95 kg
  • Dried whole bananas $11.90 kg
  • Dried fruit salad medley $13.95 kg
  • Maca Powder $17.90 kg
  • Raw Carob powder $9.90 kg
  • Raw cacao powder $10.90 kg
  • Hemp Protein powder $9.90 kg

Monday, 15 May 2017

Strengthen to build. Not build to strengthen

In my efforts of regulating my hormones, in particular balancing out my cortisol levels, I have changed up my forms and intensity of exercise as well as other lifestyle factors such as foods and eating patterns, mindful posture and breathing and recognising when I am pushing to exceed where my limits may be  right now. And I am mindful that it is just ‘right now.’ Not forever.
Adjusting my routines and actions (mentally and physically) is going to help minimise the cortisol (the hormone that gets released under good and bad stress) response in my body to help with my energy levels and other niggles. Although exercise can be a fantastic way to reduce stress, depending on your current state and lifestyle it could be making matters worse. This means for me that already has a stressed out system, it is crucial that I am mindful of the type of exercise I am doing. Anything too hard, fast and too much promotes a constant excess of cortisol in my system which can be completely counter productive to building a strong, healthy, functioning body.

I have always enjoyed yoga and have practiced for many years at least once a week. But I cannot think of a time where I have been so attached and notice such a difference to my world as it is making right now.
If I can be completely honest with you guys I have an underlying battle with using food and exercise as a control lever when things around me and in my life feel threatened, shaky and generally out of control. And today I caught it as it was starting to creep in again. Instead of finding some way to fit in more or more intense exercise I was able to tie myself back to what has been a huge inspiration for me lately. And this amazingly graceful human, Laruga Glaser is constantly bringing me back home. To my roots. To my centre. To my heart and my love of yoga.  And what was once, a once or twice a week practice, has now become an everyday ritual. Every morning I get up and get on my mat. Having something like this that is my go to every morning is helping to anchor me and replace the habit of always finding a way to do exercise or movement that my body is not going to thrive from and keeping me from more harm. But what as been the most noticeable change is how I have been more able to deal with stressful events, people and situations and I feel more calm, grounded, balanced and stronger as a result.

Ahhhhhhh the gift.


Saturday, 22 April 2017

Taking a step back to step forward

Today I did a tough workout. Not physically tough, mentally tough. Of course it goes without saying that any physical activity that requires you to actually put in a bit of grunt means there is going to be the mind games that come with it. Where you just want to give up. There is usually some form of talking to yourself like a weirdo to pull you through. We all do it. You might be one of those people that choose words of encouragement as you mentally hold your hand whilst you sweat in between your cheeks (don’t pretend you don’t get ass sweat). Or maybe you are 'that' guy that starts giving yourself a bit of a harsh slap around to harden the fuck up. Either way, as the famous quote by 
Georges St-Pierre goes... 

“the fight is 10% physical, 90% mental”

But I wasn’t grunting at the amount of physical exertion. I was greeting my teeth as I played a mental game of table tennis forcing myself to not over do it, whilst having the frustration of wanting to work hard. This sounds like a bit of a joke right? It's if I am going out of my way to make sure I don’t 
exercise too much. Well I am, not even kidding. It is so hard when you feel like you have energy at that moment to keep going and that you have more in you but you know that it is not the best thing to do. For me today was the first day of understanding and trying to respect my body for where it is at the moment and focusing real hard on letting the words 'AT THE MOMENT' sink in....I am not where I once was and not where I will be. Mmmmm deep. 

Over the years I have been experiencing what I guess you could call a form of adrenal fatigue/dysfunction/cortisol dysregulation......AKA my hormones fucked and my metabolism is all over the place. 

These are just some of the things I experience almost daily:
  • extreme energy crashes
  • endless fatigue
  • migraine like symptoms every other week
  • irregular appetite
  • cravings
  • moods
  • brain fog and concentration problems
  • depression and lack of motivation for life
  • digestive issues  

Oh, and I haven’t had a period in over 6 years with no clear explanation. 

Not ideal.

Lately, things have gotten worse. When you struggle managing your cortisol levels (the hormone that is released when we experience an overly stressing situation, or these days even a mildly stressing one) then this can have a cascading effect throughout your body and entire system. I am not going to go into all of the details of cortisol’s role and interactions in the body because I don't want to turn this into a big information session. Aaaaaaand you can probably just Google it right? I just want to tell you my story and share with you how I go along the way.  A bit of a sneaky peek into my life and what I am experiencing, because we all generally love stalking peoples lives. That is why we love social media.  LOL! But on a serious note, you might resonate with this and choose to find out a little bit more for yourself and to explore your own health while I continue to explore mine. 

Anyone that has an issue with their adrenal glands (and essentially their hormones) or managing the stress on their body may find that any form of extreme physical, mental or emotional exertion can push you over the edge. This can depend on what level you are at and how depleted your system or overworked your system is. Over the last month or so I have experienced lots of these exertions. So I have begun to rely more on stimulants such as coffee (1 a week has always been my limit but slowly 2 and 3 have crept in), chocolate (or should I say cacao because I literally eat it with just coconut oil!) and needing a pick me up from exercise. And trying to get the highs from any of these things have become harder and harder to achieve. The 'feel goods' are not lasting as long and have much bigger come downs.  I have now been gaining weight like a champ all of a sudden day by day and I have been feeling lots more niggles and pains in my body. And after drowning in what felt like a black hole this week, it is clear that something has got to give. And as Einstein said.....

“the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result” 

So I am making some changes. After doing lots of nerdy research and speaking with my angel acupuncturist these are the things that I will be focusing on and tweaking as I explore what my own boundaries are:

  • Focusing again on a more gut healing diet and creating my own diet with a combination of Kale Brock's Gut Healing Protocol  and Dr Axe's Leaky Gut Treatment (both of which I have done before) and therefore be minimising foods that I already know put a strain on my body.  
  • Eating much smaller meals but more frequently (every 2-3 hours) giving myself an easy, constant flow of energy without placing strain on my digestive system to break down a large meal. This puts unnecessary strain on your spleen, kidneys and inevitably your liver according to Chinese Medicine. 
  • Returning and revisiting my yoga practice. I have always done yoga at least 1 to 2 times a week  but this will now make up the core of my movement for a while. Focusing on improving my form, learning about muscle groups and strengthening my mind, soul and of course my body. Not only is it calming for the nervous system, it also releases built up negative emotional energy that is living in your muscles which can make us tired, stressed and unwell. It is mentally and physically challenging but also liberating. When you realise that your body can move in such a way, and you discover muscles that you didn't even know existed, you are then able to move, stretch and balance with strength that you didn't know you had. It makes you feel strong and powerful. I am basically going to be able to balance on one arm whilst doing the splits. Shit' gonna get real. 
  • Exploring and identifying my edge when it comes my exercise routine and diet. Not over doing it!!
  • Eat more mindfully and not eating watching or listening to anything other than myself. 
  • Continue with my increasing meditation practice. I have been just doing quick little guided meditations on either at night that include calming and relaxation or positive affirmations as I go to sleep. Or in the morning something to pep me up and feel positive about the day if I feel a lil off centre the second I wake. And I can tell straight away how my mental state is!!!
  • Aim for the same bed time and get up the same time in morning as many times during the week as possible, even weekends. Sleep is a huuuuuuuge focus when experiencing any form of adrenal problems and made a big difference in the past. (I wrote about this stuff in my 'AutoAuto 'Mel' ography )
It might seem like a lot, and I always encourage anyone else that I am helping to make changes to not make big drastic overwhelming goals . That is an epic way to make things too hard to stick to which then just increases the possibility of not achieving what you hoped. But almost all of these things are things I already do but just need some tweaking and adjusting. I am hoping to view it as an experiment that I will continue to share!!!! It's like a sling shot. You need to pull back to propel it forward right?

Thanks heaps for reading and wish me luck!!! Whoop! xxxxxx

Saturday, 11 February 2017

Choc Prune and Ginger balls

Why should you eat one of these?

If you are pregnant, prunes will help boost your iron stores which aids in your babies brain development and provides your child with their iron for the 1st 6 months of life. Also if you are into working out then the iron in prunes can help enhance the flow of oxygen to your muscles making you an energy boss!
 If you are constipated lately then pop one of these in your belly and let the high concentration of fibre in prunes do it’s job by moving water through your system and clearing out the pipes. The fibre will also keep you feeling fuller for longer than the muesli bar!
 Watching your sugar intake? Prunes used to make these balls have half the amount of sugar than dates do, which are often used in raw ball recipes.
 Blood type O? Prunes and prune juice are super beneficial for us!!!

  • ¾ cup of coconut (plus extra for coating)
  • 2/3 cup prunes
  • 1/3 cup cacao
  • 2 tbs coconut oil
  • 2 tbs tahini
  • 1 tbs LSA (or flaxmeal)
  • 1 tsp fresh grated ginger
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • Squeeze of lemon

  1. Place prunes in a blender or food processor and add enough warm water to cover and let sit for 10 minutes
  2. Pour out half of the water and squeeze in lemon and process until you have a smooth paste
  3. Add in all ingredients and blend just enough for the mix to be combined but not pureed.
  4. Let mix sit in the fridge for 5 minutes before rolling into balls and tossing into coconut.
  5. Place in the freezer for 15 minutes before serving.