Wellbeing

Balance and Synchronicity

Have you ever had the experience where you have been thinking of a long lost friend who lives far away, and she calls out of the blue?

Why is that? Is it just a coincidence?

Image via Michael Grab

Image via Michael Grab

Hello Friends! We don't believe you found us by accident!


As you join us on our journey to Evolving Health and Wellness, take a look at these Meaningful Coincidences in a new way, if you haven't already, and see that so often there is a reason behind them.

These Meaningful Coincidences have been labelled Synchronicity and were first described by Carl Jung, who was a Swiss psychologist in the mid-1920s, and a student of Sigmund Freud. 

Not much is written about it - we are all too busy running around to take much notice of it. 


It's all about the Law of Attraction. Like attracts like!


If you're open to the Universe and you're actively seeking something - it will come to you!

And it happens more easily when your Mind, Body and Soul are healthy and in sync. 

As you develop your Balance and learn to understand Synchronicity, I'm told, you become able to summon things to you as you desire.

I'm fascinated by the idea that you can just think of something and it comes to fruition! 


+The times that you think of somebody that you haven't seen in a long time and all of a sudden they appear in front of you in the street!

+The times when you arrive in a carpark just as somebody pulls out in the perfect spot! 


The reverse can also be true. Like when you try too hard at something that you just know in your gut just isn't right.  

I'm having fun at the moment with my 20 year old son who is a natural cynic. I'm trying to teach him about The Magic of Life. Magical coincidences are happening around him all the time, and as we talk about them, he chooses to roll his eyes at them :)

I'm sure The Cynic will be quietly watching the Universe with interest, although.. he may keep his observations to himself!

Watch for it and see what happens and let us know of your experiences! 

 

-Hugs, Margot x

Exercise: Finding the Right Amount for You

Are you feeling exhausted, lacking motivation to exercise or suffering from recurring injuries? I had the same experience. After years of spending hours in the gym and hitting the pavement, it came as no surprise that I eventually burnt out. 

I made the decision to stop all exercise to help recover my body from the thyroid hormone imbalances, adrenal exhaustion and other deficiencies that prevented me from having optimal energy. As my energy improves, I have built up to walking every day, incorporating yoga and other activities that I enjoy.


I have a challenge for you.. Discover ways of moving that work for you, not against you!


If you are in the process of healing, or even struggling with low energy or recurrent injuries, it may be time for you to reevaluate..

+what type of exercise am I doing?


+how often am I exercising?


+why am I exercising?


+could exercise be increasing a stress response in my body?


+how can I incorporate movement to strengthen my body and reduce stress?


+how can I incorporate more play into my life?


Moving daily is essential for your mind and body. Walking, yoga and other low impact activities can help reduce stress, rather than increase inflammation, as can be the case with overtraining. Movement isn't restricted to exercise. I love biomechanist Katy Bowman’s take on movement:


“In the same way eating one meal’s worth of calories (700) a day doesn’t fuel us in the same way a full 2500 calories does, our approach to exercise–an hour a day–is the equivalent to movement-starvation…

It is critical that we read the fine print on the ergonomic prescription label: WARNING. BEING STILL IS DETRIMENTAL TO YOUR BODY…

To sit on the floor is to demand your body expend energy: increasing muscle mass, and tissue length, shuttling more blood and taking in more oxygen. All because of how and where you sit.”


So sit on the floor, constantly change your seating position to develop strength and alignment throughout the body. Just move! Move in different ways. And play. Find ways to move that work for you and heal yourself, reduce stress in your life and have more fun!


-Fran

 

Social Media Shutdown

Ok, I admit it! I have a social media addiction! Especially since starting up with the whole blogging thing, I fill the gaps in my day with checking Instagram or WordPress. Sad, huh?

I thought so too!

Now, my top priorities are creativity, productivity, learning a lot and living in the moment.

Image via gapingvoid.com

Image via gapingvoid.com

So I am taking steps to cut back..


+Switching off all instant notifications on my phone


+Switching my phone off at work and hiding it in my drawer


+Switching my phone to flight mode (at least) half an hour before bedtime to wind down


+Making time for stimulating, fun activities (so I don’t even think about checking my phone)


Weekend getaways are a perfect way to kickstart breaking the addiction! Last weekend I was away with the boyfriend, and it was so great to be present and enjoy the moment, and not feel drained by the constant presence of connectivity. I didn’t touch my phone for two days, and I felt energised and a sense of peace and calm at the same time.

Try it for yourself! Shut down this weekend. Take note of how you feel – relaxed? Calm? Creative? Radiant?

Fran xx

Paleo Pancakes

One of my favourite things to do on the weekend is to wake everyone up with pancakes first thing in the morning. I have tried so many different recipes, and this simple recipe is my favourite - nut-free, requires few ingredients, and the pancakes are so fluffy and delicious.

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

8 eggs
4 heaped tbsp coconut flour
1 tsp lemon juice
rind of 1/2 lemon
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup raw grass-fed butter or coconut oil
Fruit and raw honey to serve

METHOD

1. Add eggs, coconut flour and lemon rind to a mixing bowl. Add baking soda to mixture and directly drop lemon juice onto baking soda to allow activation (your own little science experiment!). Mix thoroughly to combine.
2. Preheat a non-stick frypan to medium heat.
3. Melt 1 teaspoon of butter or coconut oil to coat the pan.
4. Add a spoonful of batter at a time to pan until you reach your desired pancake size. 5. Cook pancakes until golden on the bottom, and then flip and cook until golden on the other side.
6. Continue until you have used all of the mixture, continuing to add butter or coconut oil between cooking each pancake (for extra-golden pancakes!).
7. Serve right away with fresh fruit and a drizzle of raw honey.

Slow Cooker Beef Bone Broth

Making your own broth is so quick and easy, involving almost no preparation. I love using the slow cooker as you can simply "set and forget" your broth. Ask your local organic farmer/butcher for grass-fed beef bones. Beef bones are super cheap, and this broth is so nourishing and a delicious base or flavour addition to many recipes.

  Image via crainny.wordpress.com

  Image via crainny.wordpress.com

What you'll need:

1.5kg beef bones 
6 cloves garlic, minced
Water to fill slow cooker

How to do it

1. Add beef bones and garlic to slow cooker. Fill slow cooker until around 1cm from top.
2. Turn slow cooker on high for around 2 hours, and then reduce to low heat. I leave the slow cooker on low heat for around 4 days. If you wish to add vegetables (carrot, celery etc.) add them whole 1 day before broth is finished.
3. Allow broth to cool, then skim fat off top and store. You can use the fat for cooking.
4. Strain the broth, and store in jars or glass bottles. I usually leave half in the fridge to use throughout the week, and freeze the remaining broth in icecube trays and transfer to ziploc bags to store in the freezer.

Banana + Chai Smoothie

I always wake up hours before everyone else on the weekend! So sometimes I have a sneaky pre-breakfast smoothie! This smoothie was a real treat. I love chai tea, and the flavour really added something to this frothy smoothie.

Serves one

Ingredients

1 large frozen banana
6 tbsp coconut milk
1 chai teabag handful of ice
1 tbsp raw cacao nibs

Method

1. Brew chai tea and allow to cool.
2. Throw tea, banana, ice and coconut milk in blender.
3. Serve with raw cacao nibs. Delish!

-Fran x

A Weekend in: Mudgee

I love to eat and I love getting out in nature. Mudgee is the perfect destination for both of those things. I take regular trips to the Mudgee region for great wine and food, to clear my head and immerse myself in nature.

Nature...

On the drive to Mudgee from Sydney, I love to stop in the Blue Mountains for a picnic and some fresh air.

I am always an early riser, even on holidays. On my weekends away in Mudgee, I use this time to do some yoga, go for a wander, or potter in the garden with a cup of tea. On my most recent trip, one of the mornings was spent on an 8km hike to Castle Rock at Munghorn Gap Nature Reserve. Awesome view, awesome company, and lots of wildlife spotting along the way!

Best eats and drinks

Baker Williams Distillery is a must-visit for quality, handcrafted spirits and liqueurs. The Cumquat Liqueur is crafted from my uncle's Cooyal cumquats, and their Butterscotch Schnapps is heavenly!

My favourite food and wine destination in Mudgee is Di Lusso. With a gorgeous dam-side view and Italian-style wine and food, I can't fault it. The Il Palio wine is my all-time favourite red. After lunch, the bocce arena is a great way to pass the afternoon.

Botobolar and Broombee both have lovely organic wines. Although I don't drink beer, I always take my friends to check out the brewery in town.

Until next time, dreaming of my next adventure!

-Fran

Breaky Smoothie

I love my smoothies THICK! And with added crunch. This breakfast smoothie is a regular favourite during summer. I always keep the fridge stocked with a variety of frozen fruits, and also freeze things such a spinach and coconut milk to add to smoothies and prevent food wastage!

Serves 1

Ingredients

1 frozen banana
1/2 cup frozen blueberries
1 cup macadamia milk (or milk of your choice)
1 egg (don't eat raw eggs too often, may lead to biotin deficiency)
1 tsp maca powder
2 brazil nuts (daily dose of selenium!)
Dash of ground cinnamon
Homemade paleo-friendly granola
A few strawberries and 1/4 ripe banana to serve

Method

1. Thouroughly blend banana, blueberries, macadamia milk, egg, maca and cinnamon. Should produce a thick 'ice cream' consistency.
2. Pour smoothie into a bowl. Top with sliced strawberries, banana and granola.
3. Eat with a spoon! You won't get through this super thick smoothie with a straw!

-Fran

6 Steps to Healing your Whole Self

Over the last decade I have seen countless doctors. I was told that my unrelenting exhaustion was just a stage, that I would grow out of it. I had almost given up, but mum encouraged me to give it one last go. I found an Integrative General Practitioner who ran every blood test under the sun, and shed some light on the way I was feeling.

We discovered imbalances with thyroid hormones, cortisol, MTHFR genetic mutations, pyroluria and a number of nutrient deficiencies. I am treating all of these imbalances naturally where possible, and I have found that diet and lifestyle factors are just as important as any medication or supplements for my healing.

Due to my Type A approach to life, I am always consciously working to reduce stress and promote peace and happiness. Whether you are suffering from autoimmune disorders, fatigue, depression, or any other condition, you must take a comprehensive approach to healing. We need to heal our whole selves: minds, bodies and the mind/body connection.

Here’s to balance…and scaling life back!


My guide to healing your whole self


+Scale back your life While you are healing, make your life more realistic. Don’t overcommit. Learn to say no.

+Sleep Make time for sleep. Have a hot shower, put a few drops of lavender essential oil on your pillow, and read a good book before bed. Diaphragmatic breathing slows the heartbeat and really helps me drift off to sleep.

+Move I stay active with yoga, rock climbing (when I am up to it), and walks. I do things I love that make me feel happy, without leaving me feeling depleted. Listen to your body, and let go of any feelings of guilt associated with skipping exercise in favour of sleep.

+Nourish your body Eat to nourish your body. Avoid foods that trigger inflammation in the body. Everyone is different, so learn and experiment to discover how best to support your body.

+Love your body Learning to love myself and be comfortable in my skin has significantly reduced stress in my life. Self-care routines such as candlelit epsom salt baths, dry body brushing, deep breathing and slathering your body in coconut oil can really help.

+Be happy Laugh. Sing. Spend time with people who value you. The real you. Spend time alone, and enjoy it.

This journey never ends, but I am learning to appreciate it is a constant reminder to look after myself the best I can.

 

A Note on Healing

A renowned address to incoming medical students reads as follows: "Half of everything we teach you is wrong... unfortunately we don't know which half."

Healing yourself, I mean truly healing yourself, takes dedication to expanding your knowledge and opening your mind, experimentation, patience and strength. Having struggled through varying states of fatigue for the last decade of my life has led me to spend hours poring through health-related websites, books and podcasts to gain an understanding of my health issues and what I can do to heal myself in the most natural way possible.

Be persistent. Be patient.

Doctor Kirk Parsley, a former US navy seal, stated "if you wait around for, you know, a gold standard study to tell you what to do with every patient, you're never going to be able to actually take action..." 

So investigate. Look beyond what standard medical and nutritional "best practice" says and experiment with diet and lifestyle changes that can only nurture your health and wellbeing. Do everything in your power to sleep soundly, nourish your body, be mindful, play and laugh.

Do everything in your power to heal yourself and discover true happiness.

-Fran