Tag Archives: life

My First Guest Post!

Here is the link to my guest post on Modern Alternative Mama. I am so excited to be given the opportunity to share some tips on minimizing the risk for those with life-threatening food allergies. Head over and have a read – be sure to check back in and let me know what you think!!

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There is a Positive in every Negative

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There is a positive in every negative….you just have to step back to see it. If you hadn’t noticed I recently dropped off the face of the blogging planet! But I promise I am back!

In the last month I have had two nasty university exams that really stretched me both mentally and physically. I have been running circles around myself financially, as my dog destroyed over $1000 of my clients orders (not insured – there went the entirety of my savings) and I got pulled over by a policeman having a bad day (savings already gone – now onto the credit card). My beautiful business partner for the organic juice bar project had to pull out for family reasons and I have also been struggling through hormonal hell whereby my body thinks it is pregnant and is storing water like a sponge…..way too weird to go into any further. All of the above events have contributed to a massive drop in energy, motivation and blog posts as well as money and sleep. In fact, the only thing heading upwards is my weight (due to hormones and not being able to train due to a third degree burn on my foot).

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On a more positive note, I have just returned from a weeks holiday with my best friend in Melbourne! It was downtime that I so badly needed. I had a forced break from everything on the world wide web as we were staying with her brother and had no internet access at home and our days were jam-packed with activity. I also had a break from university and work which was lovely! I felt a little lost but also a little free (may have been the fact that I was also childless for the week). I so often feel as though I am constantly playing roles – mum, wife, homemaker, uni student, support person, business operator, etc and it was actually fantastic to have the freedom to just be Matilda for the week.

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Having some time away gave me space to dream and gain some clarity around my goals, both in the short-term and the long-term. My short-term plan may have changed but my long-term goals remain the same – I want to educate people on health, wellness and provide support for those living with allergies. As the Organic Juice Bar is sidelined for the moment, I can now focus my energy into my Arbonne business.

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With Arbonne, I have the ability to share my passions through our amazing products and help women improve not just their skin but also their self-confidence and inspire them to start their own businesses and reach their personal goals. I have just launched my own Arbonne Website www.matilda.arbonne.com.au to make it easier for my customers to order, so when you have a chance check it out!

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I also realised that I needed to determine how much time I would dedicate to the blog and what I would do with that time. To keep the flow of my blog consistent for all of you, I will blog about 3 times a week with at least 1 post being a delicious recipe for you to try. As I go on over the next few months be sure to let me know how you are finding the quantity and quality of my posts!

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This week I am going to try to sort out my health with a trip to the doctors and to a Naturopath for further investigation. I also need to increase my water intake and decrease my salt intake to combat some of the water retention. Then I am going to slowly get back into training without pushing myself too far. I do not function well without exercise, it really is a stress release for me and keeps my mind clear.

I am feeling good about my plan and am looking forward to sharing my stories along the way!

Much Love Matilda x

P.S Whole30 was an epic fail – I will update you on that tomorrow.

The Challenge Begins…..Whole30 in camp

I started a Paleo lifestyle after initially taking up the Whole30 as a challenge with my girlfriend and her training group. I had always been resistant to low-carb diets, actually any diet that eliminated entire food groups, but after reading into it I thought it was worth a shot. The Whole30 is a super strict Paleo diet that eliminates grains, dairy, legumes and artificial flavours/sweeteners but also eliminates natural sweeteners (honey, maple syrup, stevia) and limits fruit and nut intake. Find full details here.

The first week was hell – sugar detox headaches, low energy, cravings for my morning oats and a lot of negativity and irritability. But sure enough, as predicted, I started to feel better in the second week! I wasn’t bloated, I didn’t retain water, the headaches dissipated and my energy levels not only improved but remained more consistent over the course of the day. I was sold and have followed a Paleo diet since.

I will explore my personal Paleo journey in a future post but this one is all about my husband!  As he works away for a month at a time, my lifestyle day-to-day does not have the same impact on him as it would if he was here. He lives in a workers camp on an island and all his food is prepared and served in a dining hall on-site. He has been so supportive of my lifestyle and how I cook and feed our girls but has been hesitant to try it for himself because of the challenges he faces; having no control over his meals on site or access to stores.

But…….the time has come and he is ready to make the change to improve his health! I can hardly contain my excitement. So tomorrow will be Michal’s Day 1 on his first Whole30. As I am a super supportive wife I will be tightening my diet (good-bye maple syrup smothered bacon) and completing this with him.

We have discussed that although he may not be able to control what oil they cook his food in or demand grass-fed organic beef, he can make the best choices available to him. We have planned a rough draft of good food choices including eggs and vegetables for breakfast, meat and salad for lunch and meat and vegetables for dinner. The list of things to steer clear of includes all sauces, sugar, dairy, bread, pasta, rice, oats, beans and white potato. He has a Whole30 cheat sheet, a notebook to record what he has eaten and his phone to call and ask me any questions. I will be keeping you all updated on our little challenge and hope to prove that even in difficult circumstances you can still make healthy choices. You just need to use some creativity and a great deal of discipline to walk past the dessert each night!

I am so proud that he has committed to this and hope that you enjoy his story as it evolves.

Tough Mudder 2013

Tough Mudder 2013

Go, GO, go…….CRASH!

How does stress affect you? My health is very dependant on my mental state, this is something I have become aware of over time.

My husband works away and last Wednesday came home for his first days back in nine weeks (he has made it home for a couple of day visits during the stint). Managing a roster such as this is exhausting and guaranteed a couple of days before he gets home my body shuts down and I get sick!

This time it started with a cold, sore throat and a headache. I whipped up my go to beverage – warm freshly squeezed orange juice, with lemon & raw honey. It was delicious but the vitamin C boost didn’t kick-start my immune system in time to avoid losing my voice!

Losing your voice is so irritating, especially as you rarely get the chance to speak to your husband in person, and well….you can’t! I ramped up the treatment with daily Olive Leaf shots and Vital Greens and I made some progress.

But after working late Friday night on a massive University assignment and working at the shop all day on Saturday, I pushed myself too far and crashed! I hate going to mainstream doctors (quick to prescribe medication without investigating the cause) but after a week of feeling unproductive and frankly just plain horrible, I booked the appointment, with the goal of  getting better before my husband leaves again in two days time.

To my surprise, the doctor I saw did not jump to prescribe antibiotics nor tell me to take Panadol. He instead asked me questions about what I do, my lifestyle, sleep patterns and diet. How refreshing it was to speak to a doctor that was interested in finding the cause of illness and not simply managing the symptoms.  After answering his questions, he moved the conversation to stress and stress management. I am very aware of my body, my health and my stress levels….but connecting the dots does not mean I am effective at managing the indicators. I over-commit myself, have very high expectations and survive on less than adequate sleep. The two things that keep me functioning are my healthy diet and exercise….but I have been known to overdo the latter also.

He went further and asked me to schedule my week. I smiled and told him that I schedule every hour of my day, a week in advance and find it helps me immensely. He smiled politely back and told me to approach the task differently. He gave me some further suggestions to help me manage my stress levels and keep on top of my health. I left with no quick fix but a regained appreciation of our health system in which I had lost faith.

Tips to Managing Stress

1. Schedule sleep in first – a minimum of 7 hours scheduled (6-8 hours actual sleep recommended).

2. Schedule daily quiet time second – whether it is 15 minutes meditation, reading a book, or taking a bath. Make time for silence each day, this will allow you to come back to centre, reflect on your thoughts and re-set.

3. Schedule in exercise – but ensure you are eating and sleeping enough to support your level of activity.

4. Prioritise & then cull your To-Do List. Focus on ‘must-do’ tasks and designate a specific time block to ‘should-do’ tasks. Drop unnecessary commitments completely and ensure your schedule has not eliminated family time or social life. If it has, re-evaluate and cull some more!

5. Drop your standards. It is impossible to be perfect. Trying to do so will actually make you less perfect, you will be stressed, unhappy, irritable & potentially sick. Set reasonable expectations of yourself and others (my poor husband) and learn that ‘good-enough’ is in fact good enough.

6. Re-establish a social life as yourself, not as a mother, wife, father, husband or friend . Go to the movies with some girl-friends, go for a run with the guys at the gym. The small amount you pay for a baby-sitter is worth the rejuvenation that will come from this time out to be you, doing things you enjoy.

7. Ask for help and learn to say “no”. I have grouped these together because they come down to the same thing in my experience. We try to satisfy others, not put pressure on them and personally want to be able to do it all ourselves. But what was explained to me today was that relationships have to have balanced energy. There has to be equal give and take for them to be beneficial in your life. Asking for help or saying no is not damaging to your relationship, it is balanced. Your are then setting up the relationship for mutual benefit whereby they will ask for help if they need it but also feel comfortable saying “no” if they need to.

Check out this list of 69 Stress Management Actions  that are quick and easy to incorporate into your everyday life. I hope that these tips can help you refocus your energy and manage the ill-effects that stress pose to your health. I am going to enjoy some ‘Me Time’ with a organic cappuccino and a choc-chip almond meal cookie.

Me Time

 

 

 

“I Just Don’t Have Time”

I am sure we have all said it before, “I just don’t have time”. The issue with this is that it’s a phrase we use when the truth is “I can’t be bothered”. Before I moved back to Rockhampton in 2011, I said this all the time in regards to what I ate, how often I exercised and what social activities I committed myself too. But the reality was there were people that worked just as much as I did, juggled a family like I did, studied like I did and still managed to look after themselves and have a great social life. Now I hear others say it and wish I could show them just how easy a healthy lifestyle is to follow and how it also makes everything else going on easier to manage.

For those of you that don’t know me personally, I am a mother, a DIDO wife (my husband works away for 4 weeks at a time and is then home for 1 week. At the moment this has been extended to 9 weeks away, 1 week home), I work part-time, I am at University part-time, I run the blog and am trying to start a local business. It is clear that I am time poor, often very stressed and always exhausted!! I made a commitment to myself to ensure that I was the best version of me for myself, my husband and my children and this is what I work towards everyday.

That being said fitting in exercise and preparing all my meals from scratch does take some effort, but not as much as you think. Here is how I make it work. Have a read, take from this what you think could help you and comment with any suggestions you have that could help me or others!

1. Plan your week. I plan my week in half-hour increments from 5am – 11pm on my iphone. The app I use is called Schedule Planner and it basically is my diary/scheduler that I always have handy . It is great and really helps you see where you are wasting precious time.

2. Schedule exercise. Think about what time of the day suits you best. Before work, after work, lunch break or when you have supervision for your children. I use the crèche at my gym from 9-30am-10.30am or jump on the treadmill at home after putting the kids to bed. However I am really a morning person and if my husband was home I would be at the gym at 6am so it was over and done with. Book your sessions and block out your calendar. I guarantee no matter how much you don’t want to go, you will always feel better afterwards!

3. Think differently about food. Creating exotic recipes and experimenting with new ingredients, is great, but it is not necessary. The first thing I ask anyone when they ask me about healthy eating is “What is your favourite home cooked meal?”- Roast and lasagne are common responses. Why do people think these meals are so time consuming? They really are not and they are nutritious & so delicious!

I usually put my roast (lamb, chicken or beef) in a slow-cooker at breakfast. Recipe – dump in a load of vegies, add a dollop of coconut oil or grass-fed ghee, and some stock (I use my own stock) put meat on top and turn to low for 8 hours. Easy? Yes and you have meat for lunch the next few days if you buy a large cut. Here is a delicious roast lamb rack with balsamic vegetables that I made this week in the slow cooker – delicious.

Roast Lamb Rack with Balsamic Vegetables

There are many healthy recipes for Lasagne (as I don’t eat grains/dairy I use eggplant for the sheets and skip the white sauce) so find a recipe that suits you! Then on a Sunday or when you have a couple of hours make a double batch and then wrap and freeze! Easy? Yes! When ready to use pull out and reheat in oven.

Other easy options are steak and salad, fish and steamed veg or bacon, eggs & banana fried up in coconut oil (my favourite lazy meal).

4. Have fun! Life can sometimes seem overwhelming and frankly not very enjoyable. It is important to socialize and live your life doing things you enjoy! So take up that invite for dinner – you need to eat anyway! Laugh, play and do the things you enjoy!

So there are a few tips to help you to adopt a healthy lifestyle. When you do, you will be helping your body, your mind and your relationships as you will be mentally and physically able to give your best in all areas of your life.