Bare foot healing

As I sit down to write this post, my beautiful purple and green fluorite crystal is sitting faithfully beside me. This type of crystal is said to be effective against electromagnetic stress and pollution emanating from computers. I went in search of it about 4 months ago after I noticed that I was feeling extremely drained and ‘heavy’ after moving back into an office job *sigh* Since then and for the foreseeable future, I’m literally surrounded by computers for 10 hours a day, 7 days a week (don’t worry I get 9 days off after working for 26 so its not so bad!)  My desk is beside a giant, communal printer that runs hot all day and to be productive in a busy workspace, I use headphones to shut out the jibber-jabber from the other staff and passer-bys (oh and on average, about 10 times a day my music gets interference from the hand held radios used by the floor and yard staff). Thats a whole-lotta ‘energy’ going on in one little ladies bubble of space, and thats just at work!

 

Anyway, what I’m leading into, is the beautiful, thought-provoking and perhaps dubious concept of Earthing!

 

Earthing? Please explain…

Our bodies are complex (and truly Ah-mazing right?!) As we go about our day to day lives on this glorious planet, we slowly but surly build up a collection of positive ions within our body (aka free radicals). These are emitted from anything electrical (including wiring), mobile phones, microwaves etc. The basic idea behind Earthing, is that when we connect physically to the surface of the Earth (which is negatively charged), we are able to release this build up into the ground and uptake negatively charged ions to regain a state of homeostasis. Simplified – Connecting with the Earth will balance the energies in our body.

 

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Earthing is really simple, all you have to do is walk bare-foot on the earth. And who doesn’t love being bare foot like the a beautiful, all-loving gypsy? I certainly do. There is a saying I really love and one day (when I’m not in a job that requires steel cap boots) plan to call upon often: “If you’re not bare foot, your overdressed”

 

Grass, beach, dirt – whatever tickles your toes. You can lie on the ground and see what pictures you can find in the clouds if you want! Because you see, it doesn’t matter how you go about it, as long as your body connects with the earth. Sitting on a rock and pondering all the good things in life? Yep, that will work too.

 

Haven’t you ever wondered why you feel so grounded and calm when you come back from a stroll on the beach? It probably has to do with the fact that salt and water are extremely conductive! Bub-bye positively charged ions, helllooo balanced bliss!

 

Living inner city with no parks close by? Ask Dr Google about ‘earthing mats’ that you put under your computer chair so you can Earth while you work/study, or ‘earthing sheets’ to get you grounded whilst you’re get your nightly Z’s. I haven’t looked much into these because I’m all about keeping it simple (and although I love the idea of the earthing mat under my chair at work, I don’t have a spare powerpoint to plug it into. Ironic much?)

 

Balance matters…

The purpose of Earthing is that when we balance our bodies energy, our overall health will benefit. I’m talking reduced inflammation & pain, improved blood pressure & blood flow, improved female hormone symptoms, better sleep, reduced symptoms of jet lad and an improved mood (this is the benefit I notice almost instantaneously).

 

If you’re the sexy-science type, see here or here for a bunch of studies on Earthing.

 

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So, what do you think? Sound legit to you? Maybe not, and thats ok. But for me, I know that I DEFINATELY feel better after I’ve Earthed. Feelings are proof enough for me! Maybe your not sold on the idea because its a little eclectic for you? Just consider this: Humans are becoming more and more disconnected from the natural environment and we are completely surrounded by WiFi, mobile signals, radio frequencies and buzzing computers! We sleep on electric blankets with our mobiles next to our heads for goodness sake! Surely this constant stream of energy has a negative effect on our organic bodies? And aside from all this, I honestly believe there are special vitalities/energies out there in nature, not the wizard or fairy-god mother type (come on, I’m not completely loopy!) I’m talking about the energies of the Universe, the forces of Mother Nature. Things that we simply cannot replicate and to be honest, things I can’t even explain – Really, I can’t put into words what I mean so I hope you ‘just get it’….

 

Ok, so the grand take-away from this post is not that I’m a tree hugging hippy who believes there are ‘special forces out there’ (ha ha giggling at how silly this may sound to others!) but that we are surrounded and affected by energies we cannot see. What have you got to lose (other than a build up of positive ions of course) by going bare foot for a while? All I’m saying is give it a go and see how it makes you feel.  

 

 

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Eat those yolks!

You know what really drives me (bum) nuts? When people throw out their egg yolks because they think they are unhealthy. *sigh* It really breaks my heart that a whole food, created by nature has been given such an un-deserving bad-wrap when eggs (especially the yolks!) are in fact so healthy for us that I’m determined to make sure my readers are benefiting from eating the whole egg!

 

Eggs were thrown under the bus years ago because they contained saturated fat and cholesterol – oh my, such dirty words out of my mouth! If you don’t get my joke you better read my posts on fat here and here to get with the program (girlfriend). But in an egg shell, eating saturated fat and dietary cholesterol won’t make you fat OR give you heart disease. There is NO reliable evidence in the science literature showing that these long believed (and preached) ideas are true, quite the opposite in fact!

 

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Ok before I get lost waffling on a fat-induced tangent, lets look at the benefits of one of natures most perfect foods! I’ve said it before, Mother Nature is a clever, wonderful lady and she has a real knack for packaging all the nutrients and cofactors needed to digest and utilise both macro and micro nutrients within a food into a neat little package, such as the egg. We aren’t smarter than her, so lets not mess with what she has provided by throwing out the yolk ok. Not to mention that this is terribly wasteful, and you know how I hate waste.

Ok, to the benefits:

  1. One egg will provide 13 essential nutrients and guess what, they are all in the yolk! So be sure to eat those little suckers and stear clear of the egg-white omelettes ok.
  2. They are an egg-cellent (too cheesy?) source of  B vitamins which are important for people who live a stressful life. Unfortunately this seems to be everyone is this day and age, no?
  3. They are high in Vitamin A which we need for so many functions in the body we can’t count them on both hands. But to name just a few; vision, immune health, skin health, antioxidant activity and gene transcription (i.e. reproduction)
  4. Vitamin E. This wonderful wonderful vitamin will help protect us from heart disease and some cancers, both of which are sadly prevalent in the Western World.
  5. Vitamin D, which so many of us are deficient in, is needed for mineral absorption and healthy bones. We literally can’t utilise calcium and phosphorus without it.
  6. Eggs are also a great source of iodine which is needed for your thyroid gland to produces hormones. If your thyroid isn’t functioning properly, it can have devastating results on your overall health (think menstural problems, chronic constipation, weight issues, depression and anxiety, fatigue…the list of yuckiness goes on)
  7. Eating eggs daily will provide you with a better dose of vitamins than most multivitamins will. Real food trumps! And – eggs are a true superfood, are you picking up what I’m putting down girlfriend?

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Now to those crazy myths:

Eggs contain cholesterol so we shouldn’t eat them. Lets get something really really important straightened out. High cholesterol is a symptom of inflammation, its not the cause of anything, including heart disease.  Think of it as a bandaid, its there to help heal whatever is going on that’s causing the inflammation. Without cholesterol we would be dead! Its an essential part of all the cells in our body. And the other important thing you need to understand is that dietary cholesterol only contributes a very small percentage to the amount of cholesterol we have in our body. If we eat lots, our body will down regulate how much it produces, if we eat very little, it will create more! If your interested in learning more about cholesterol check out here or here

They are high in saturated fat which is bad for us. I’m happy to bang on about the saturated fat thing aaaalllll day! We do. not. need. to. avoid. saturated. fat. Period! Its both perfectly healthy for us to consume and its a vital part of our human bodies. But, don’t take my word for it! Check out just a few articles I have read from wellness guru’s and experts who are spreading the same message:

The Natural Nutritionist discusses the importance of fat in hormone control

Dr Mercola says saturated fat is the forbidden food we should have never stopped eating.

Sarah Wilson has a similar post to mine (read part 1 here and part 2 here) discussing exactly which fats we should be eating.

Authority Nutrition cover the topic in more depth.

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Not all eggs are created equal!

Its important that you purchase eggs from properly raised chickens. Those poor chickens that are kept in a cage to mass produce, are unhealthy both physically and emotionally and this means that the eggs the are producing are poor quality. The other important aspect we need to consider is what the chickens are fed – commercially raised chicken that are fed grains will produce eggs that are up to 19 times higher in pro-inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids. So, to get the very best from your eggs, you need to be purchasing pasture raised. A great place to start would be your local farmers market. Or put ‘pasture raised eggs’ and your home town into google to see whats in your local area. If your local to my hometown (Wodonga) then you can get pasture raised eggs from Holbrook Paddock Eggs which I purchase from the lovely ladies at Dares Fruit and Veges.

If you purchase pasture raised eggs please leave the details in the comment section below incase someone in your area is looking for them.

**Update**  

Here is a full list of outlets to purchase Holbrook Paddock Eggs

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How toxic are your personal care products?

I was contemplating buying some nail polish online recently and was scouring the different ‘natural’ brands, but finally decided its was all too hard because I didn’t know what ingredients were safe and what weren’t. I was a very unsatisfied shopper! It was then I realised just how much my new understanding of toxins (and how adversely they affect my health) has changed my life. Out of interest, I started making a list of what personal care products I used to use and what I use now.  

 

When I look at my two lists I cringe. Holy-snappin-duck-tutles, I used to put a massive amount of chemicals onto my skin. Check out my list, how does it compare to yours?

 

How hippy

 

Did you know that our skin is our largest organ and that it absorbs approximately 60% of what is applied to it?

 

In less than 30 seconds, the toxins in our personal care products can enter our bloodstream and be cruising throughout our body causing all manner of problems – A disrupted endocrine system (read: hormones gone crazy), allergic responses, Oh, and cancer. But of course, there is no mention of that on your vanilla scented creamy body butter is there! You might be surprised to hear that the average woman applies 500 chemicals to her body every day. This is a serious problem, and when I first read about this, I was freaked out!

 

So what prompted my change? Knowledge baby, good old fashioned knowledge and of course, self love. Now that I’m clued up, there is no way that toxic crap is going on my body!

 

More and more people are understanding the importance of looking at the ingredients list on their food labels, but when was the last time you looked at the ingredients in your deodorant or shampoo? I challenge you to read it out loud, I bet you can’t even pronounce some of the ingredients! What the heck is Cyclopentasiloxane? Who knows, but it was getting smeared into my pits on a daily basis 18 months ago! How about Poloxamer 407? I’ve personally never heard of it but I was swishing it around in my mouth after I brushed my teeth with some Carrageenan and Sodium lauryl sulfate. Then I covered up my blemishes with some cyclopentasiloxane! And thats just 5 ingredients from 4 products I was using…. scary right?

 

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The sad thing is that not only do we have to deal with these toxic ingredients in our personal care products, but we also have to deal with misleading jargon such as ‘all natural’ and ‘organic’. There are currently no regulations that govern these terms on personal care products, which means thousands of unknowing women are leaving the store thinking they are going home to moisturise with a natural product, when in fact they are applying a (often expensive) cocktail of toxins to their face.

 

Know this about the beauty industry:

 

Less than 20% of ingredients have been tested for safety AND it’s not mandatory for companies to list ALL ingredients.  Say whaaaat? True.

 

So whats a girl to do in a material world? Go ale’ natural of course. Problem solved (wink wink) No but really, you need to become a label reading goddess. Ignore the crap on the front, thats just advertising. The good bits are on the back. Read every ingredient and if you don’t know what something is, head to the EWG’s Skin Deep Database and look it up. If your feeling overwhelmed, perhaps you can use my list above as a starting point.

 

As a last note, here is beginners list of things to avoid: 

 

“Parabens (propyl, isopropyl, butyl, isobutyl), Formaldehyde, Toluene, DBP (dibutyl phthalate), PEG, Ceteareth, Polyethylene, Petrochemicals, DMDM Hydantoin, Triclosan, Retinyl Palmitate or Retinol, and Oxybenzone. This is merely an entree into the lengthy list of chemicals we’re exposed to.” – The Holistic Ingredient

 

Now go take charge of your health (and your bathroom cabinet!) because your body deserves the very bloody best there is, and that does NOT include cheap, nasty toxins!

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Rustic Baba Ganoush

Most baba ganoush recipes call for the pulp of the eggplant only, I prefer not to waste it and therefore end up with a much more ‘rustic’ style of egg plant dip. Its quite wonderful even if I do say so myself! If you would rather a smooth dip, just blend it more!

Ingredients:

  • 1 large eggplant or 2 smaller eggplants
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup tahini
  • 1 garlic clove

Method:

  1. Preheat your oven to 180deg
  2. Cut the eggplant into about discs about 3cm thick and place them onto a baking tray line with non-toxic baking paper.
  3. Place the eggplant into the over and roast until they are well cooked and gooey on the inside.
  4. Allow the eggplant to cool.
  5. Blend the eggplant and all other ingredients in a blender until smooth.
  6. Serve with a drizzle of olive oil, a sprinkle or paprika or fresh parsley.
  7. Store in an airtight container for up to a week.

 

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Emotional eating

I just read this beautiful, powerful quote and it was the inspiration I needed to get this post happening. I haven’t put anything onto this blog before that has made me quite so nervous about sharing, but here I am, ready and willing to bare something quite personal, with anyone who reads my blog. Which is scary because at the end of the day it can be read by anyone!… “Hey there, you… person I can’t see but know is reading this!”  *I’m waving with a goofy and nervous smile on my face…*

 

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Why am I sharing something that makes me so nervous? Because its one of those things that way too many people struggle with, yet no one seems to talk about it openly. At least they didn’t when it was an issue for me anyway. I’m bringing my courage to the table because on this blog, I want to talk about stuff that’s real. If there is one thing that I have learnt, it is that talking helps. Oh my god, it helps! So, if me showing my imperfections and vulnerabilities and risking being the talking point for people is going to help others, then so be it. I have bigger shoulders than I used to and I can handle what anyone wants to say about this post, whether it to me or behind my back – I’m cool with it. The point is that there are so many lessons to be learnt from this situation, for me especially, but maybe for you too.

 

Anyway, here goes:

 

I used to binge eat.

 

Because I was sad. Or angry. Or because I just couldn’t stop once I started.

 

Sometimes it would start with the intention of just eating one (usually something sweet like a Tim Tam) which would lead to another and then another and another and next thing I know, the whole packet is gone. Instant disappointment. Then anger. “I can’t believe I did it again even after I promised myself I wouldn’t. What the hell is wrong with me”. Then after the anger wore off, I would think ‘well stuff it I have already eaten the whole pack so what does it matter now, I’ll just enjoy it today and start fresh tomorrow’. So I’d go searching for something else. Not because I was hungry but because I was telling myself that from tomorrow I couldn’t have this anymore so I better really enjoy it all now.

 

Other times I would get food knowing that I was going to be able to eat it all without anyone knowing. So I’d scoff the whole lot and really enjoy it… Until shortly after and I started thinking about what I had just done. How I’d let myself down AGAIN.

 

Then there were the times where I’d had a bad day or something had happened that upset me or made me frustrated. So I’d turn to food for comfort. But I’d go a little crazy and eat a whole tub of ice cream, then some chocolate and some biscuits. And of course, I’d just end up either sadder or more frustrated because of how I dealt with my bad day, by bingeing!

 

On exactly six occasions, I made myself throw up.

 

Let that sink in for a bit. It’s pretty serious shit.

 

I didn’t do it because I didn’t want to get fat, that was never really an issue for me. I did it because I would freak out about the unhealthy crap I’d just put into my body. I’d feel guilty, I’d feel like a absolute fool. What damage was I doing with all that sugar and artificial crap? I remember waiting for my heart to race once the sugar set in. In hind sight, it probably had a lot to do with the stress of the whole situation, not just the sugar I had ingested. It was on that 6th occasion that I realized something was seriously wrong and that this wasn’t ok.

 

As you can see, I was in a viscous, unbalanced cycle of emotions and self punishment. It went on for months and months, maybe years but it wasn’t constant. I had ups and downs, good months and bad months. But it took a hell of a lot to get over it. LOTS of soul searching, help seeking, self honesty, journaling, digging deep, finding root causes, food education and even a little heart-wrenching counseling. But I did get over it, and here I am, able to talk about it, openly.

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What I’ve learnt

 

The universe will never give you anything you can’t handle. I really believe this and I also believe that everything happens for a reason.  We are given what we need at the time, not what we want. Everyone wants a picture perfect, happy life filled with glitter and unicorns that fart rainbows. But life doesn’t work like that, it just doesn’t. We are given situations to learn from and to grow from. This situation? Well the universe dished it up and (after a while) I handled it. And, I have learnt more about myself than I can possibly explain. Are you stuck in a situation? Know, that whatever it is, you can handle it.

 

The best lessons are learnt from shitty situations. When you emerge on the other side of something heartbreaking, or something so hard that you thought you may never get through it, you’re stronger, you’re wiser and you’re a better person. In any shitty situation, there is a lesson to be learnt, make sure you find it.

 

Tell the truth. To yourself. To your loved ones. To the world. This is what got me through this binge eating nightmare. Once I started being honest with myself about exactly what was going on, it got easier and I was able to fix it. The truth can honestly set you free. Find the truth then live it.

 

What I hope you’ll take away from this

 

Be nice to people, you never know what they are going through. People judge others every day, but being judgmental is weak and its the easy thing to do -its easier than helping someone or facing their reality (because it isn’t your reality its just so easy to turn a blind eye). People often struggle behind closed doors and do their best to put on a brave face. The next time someone seems short or snaps at you, or is too wrapped up in themselves to notice your new hair, just remember that you don’t know everything that is happening in their life, so be nice and react with love.

If this story hits home, then know your not alone. You are never alone. There is always, ALWAYS someone who wants to help and people that love you. And there are people who know what your going through and people that can help you get back on track. You don’t have to be a slave to a shitty thing like this. Seek help, I am so gosh-darn grateful to myself  that I sought help. You will be too. Hey, if you think it will help, email me!

 

Right now

 

I’m proud of myself. So. Bloody. Proud! And as weird as this will sound, I’m glad that this is part of my past, because in the end, I’m a better person for the journey I have travelled. I’m stronger, healthier, happier. And you know what, I’m so much more open than I used to be! This post was so easy for me to write just now, and I have that same goofy grin on my face I did at the start of writing this, except now, it’s a proud goofy grin, not a nervous one.

 

A special note to my dear family & friends:

Don’t be upset that you never knew about this. I used to be so withdrawn and I bottled EVERYTHING up, just ask my Husband! He had a hell of a time with me not talking about things. But, the past is the past and we are in the here and now. And right now, this issue is not an issue anymore. I’m kicking life’s ass, I promise.     – xxx -

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Easy peasy nut bars

You’ll need

  • 2 – 2 ½ cups mixed nuts/seeds/dried berries
  • (I used cashews, macadamias, pistachios, brazil nuts, hazelnuts, walnuts, pepitas, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, chia seeds, gogi berries and a few dried dates)
  • ½ cup coconut oil
  • ¼ cup rice malt syrup
  • 1/2 tsp Himalayan rock salt or unrefined sea salt

Method

  1. Line a shallow container with baking paper (mine was 12cm x 20cm x 3cm)
  2. Use either a food processor or a knife and your chopping board to break the nuts and seeds down into your desired consistency. (I like mine crunchy, but I discovered the hard way that you can’t leave your nuts whole. My first batch didn’t stay together when I tried to cut them!)
  3. Heat the coconut oil and rice malt syrup over medium heat until hot and runny (they won’t combine completely)
  4. Add the coconut oil/rice malt syrup blend to your mix of nuts/seeds and stir well to combine.
  5. Allow to cool so that the coconut oil is no longer runny and the mix is a little sticky. Then stir the mixture again because the coconut oil tends to settle in the bottom.
  6. Pour half the mix into your baking paper lined container. Put another layer of baking paper over the mixture and press it into all corners (the baking paper allows you to press onto the mix without it getting stuck to your fingers.)
  7. Add the remaining mix and compact as best you can.
  8. Put in the refrigerate for about 2 hours to allow it to set.
  9. Use a hot sharp knife to cut into desired size. (You can heat the knife using hot water)

 

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