BOOK NOW
BOOK NOW

7 Steps to Spring Cleanse 

A change of seasons is a natural time of transition. Spring in particular, is a time many feel compelled to hit reset on their lifestyle choices. Embracing the fresh crisp air and keeping an open mind, I invite you to try these cleansing tips as you move away from the colder, darker months into the sunshine and vitality of Spring! 

Begin your day with the juice of ½ lemon in 250 ml warm water – lemons are not just a good source of vitamin C, lemons also support the hard-working liver, our main detoxifying organ. They strengthen liver enzymes and promote the secretion of bile, which in turn aids digestion. A detoxification agent, blood purifier and digestive aid, they are in actual fact alkalising once within the body (despite their acidic taste!).

Sip on herbal tea throughout the day – if a hot drink isn’t your cup of tea, try it iced! Dandelion tea in particular is a renown tonic with vast medicinal properties. It is fantastic for getting rid of bloating as it too stimulates bile, necessary for the proper breakdown of food and ensuring we absorb our nutrients efficiently, as well as having a diuretic function = say goodbye to water retention! Another good option is green tea which is loaded with catechins, potent antioxidants that also supports the liver… sensing a theme here?! This cleanse tea combines a few healing, digestive-assisting herbs and is a great spring-time brew.

Include vegetables at every single meal – especially cruciferous vegetables which contain sulphur, folate, calcium, iron vitamins C, E and K to support our overworked livers! Vegetables are also alkalising and full of fibre to ensure we are “eliminating” properly. If breakfast is usually a sweet meal such as porridge, chia puddings or bircher, try consuming 1-2 tsp of a quality greens powder just after your meal- I like this one.

Try 1-2 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar in water 15 mins prior to meals – it might seem as though this magical elixir is included in every “health” oriented post, but the truth is, it seriously is that good for us, and has so many roles to play. Ensure you get one that has the “mother” in it, like this one. The bitter taste stimulates digestive enzymes which helps us break down and reap the benefits of our food. As it is fermented it is incredibly beneficial to the growth of our good gut flora. It is also fantastic for preventing/reducing bloating and reflux, and detoxes us by altering our blood pH to becoming more alkaline.

Ensure your bowels are moving daily – if not twice daily! Magnesium, a mineral that can be found in foods or supplemented, helps ease constipation by relaxing the muscles in the intestinal walls. Try this internal magnesium powder, which relaxes the body and can help move “things” along, or for some more external relaxation (which can also help!) try these bath salts. You can consume magnesium in green leafy vegetables such as spinach, legumes, nuts, seeds, and whole grains, but for chronic constipation, this may not be enough and supplementation may be appropriate.

Declutter – fresh space, fresh mind, fresh outlook. Clean out the wardrobe, the pantry, the fridge and the cupboards! Maybe change out the screensaver on your computer, the arrangement of small furniture items in your living space, buy a new indoor plant, and consider diffusing essential oils in your home or using them instead of perfume. Lemon, orange, grapefruit and peppermint are all great detoxifying and purifying oils to try!

Commit to purchasing from your farmers market – to avoid pesticides and waxes on our beautiful fresh produce! It is a great way to get in an active catch up with a friend; a stroll through the markets as opposed to opting for coffees, wines or heavy meals. It is also the best way to shop in season, pesticide-free/organic, affordably. With the Spring weather, there is no better reason to get outside and support local farmers!

 

Detox support – if you really feel like you have a lot to get rid of and need the extra support, take your cleansing up a notch by employing these foot detox patches. According to ancient Eastern medicine, toxins build up in our bodies throughout the day, travelling to the lower extremities such as the feet at night. These detox foot patches have been designed to absorb such toxins as the blood circulates throughout our bodies during our sleep.

How to Stay on Track during the Holiday Season

‘Tis the season to be… happy? tired? overwhelmed? overworked? celebrating? Whatever it is you are feeling right now about 2016 coming to an end, holidays upon us, and the prospect of 2017 on the horizon, really take this time to wrap the year up nicely. Don’t let well-formed healthy habits dissipate, and if they haven’t formed yet, don’t wait until Jan 1st 2017 to put them into place! The time is always now to put your best foot forward. I know that there is probably a lot of temptation throughout December, so I have put together a little survival guide. You don’t have to take all of these suggestions, find the ones that speak to you and make it work with your schedule. Every little step toward good health counts. So let’s get started!

Keep healthy habits

  • Wake up to warm water with ½ lemon juice each and every morning, 30 minutes or more before food
  • Maintain your exercise regimen – don’t let it subside during the holidays too much, as this is likely when you need it most! Start your day with something active, as with all the festive activities/family commitments, you are less likely to get it done later, even if this is your usual routine. Definitely a good idea to get a good workout in before any big celebratory feasts! Try to make it fun- try a new class, commit to walks with friends, enjoy the Sydney summer by exercising outdoors, and on days where you just don’t feel like it (read: slightly hungover), opt for a gentle stroll or yoga class. You’ll be happy you did.
  • Drink lots of water, 2L+… hydration is important at a time where there is lots of “cheersing” going on.
  • Sleep should be a priority, when we are overtired, our appetite takes a hit and we tend to overeat.

Further support yourself

  • Keep breakfast light, healthy and nutrient-dense, think green. Breakfast is likely the one meal that won’t be overtaken by festivities, so make it count! Don’t skip it altogether to make up for the fact that you have big lunch/dinner plans. Please! My non-negotiable green smoothie would be a great one to make a habit of throughout the season.
  • Include 1 tsp-tbsp bee pollen in your day to regulate appetite – easy to sprinkle on your morning smoothie (or oats). Bee pollen helps increase energy, alleviate stress, control appetite (due to its phenylalanine content) and assist digestion, woohoo! Note, be careful to make sure you are not allergic to it first, and do not consume if you have asthma.
  • Prioritise fibre – veggies, fruit, gluten-free grains, starches, ground flaxseeds, chia, psyllium husk – we want to ensure you are “eliminating” properly.
  • If you’re noticing reflux or extra bloat, try having 1 tbsp ACV in warm water 15 mins before meals.
  • Sip miso soup (made at home from unpasturised miso paste over low heat so as not to loose the beneficial properties), as it is very soothing for the gut.
  • Try this super soothing digestive aid in the evenings: 2-3 thin slices ginger, small handful mint leaves (or peppermint tea bag), 1 tsp fennel seeds (if you have). Allow to warm on the stove over a low flame, strain as you pour into a mug and drink to ease discomfort.

Come prepared

  • Don’t skip meals to “make-up for” the spread you know you can’t resist later on, it will just make that big meal even bigger.
  • BYO healthy dish that you know will make you feel good and that you can enjoy and share with loved ones. Choose one from here.
  • Have a healthy snack before the party/occasion to ensure you don’t arrive ravenous – my go-to is always vegetables… a bowl of pan-fried broccoli with garlic, Tamari and miso, sprinkled with chili (boost that digestive fire) and a few tbsp of hemp seeds or pumpkin seeds. Or try 1 cup of this super cleansing soup as a snack.

Navigate the table/bar like a nutritionist

  • Greens, greens, greens at every meal
  • Eat more of the sides and salads, where possible leave dressing on the side, you probably don’t/don’t want to know what’s in it! Ask for a lemon instead.
  • Eat slowly, chew lots, and place fork and knife down whilst you chat across the table. Allow your appetite to catch up!
  • Enjoy alcohol in moderation – you know this one! Enjoy the antioxidant properties of a good red wine, or opt for vodka/white rum/gin with soda + loads of lime or lemon or even a splash of fresh orange juice. Skip the tonic- it is full of sugar. Better still, BYO Kombucha instead 🙂

No deprivation

  • Enjoy that holiday treat you have been looking forward to, mindfully and whole-heartedly. Just don’t keep eating the leftovers for breakfast!
  • Make healthy versions of traditional favourites and keep them on hand – gingerbread bliss balls, shortbread, crumble, coconut rough, egg nog etc.
  • Guilt does nothing for you, so leave it behind! If you do “slip-up” and over-eat or eat something you wish you didn’t, accept it, forgive yourself, move on and don’t let it snowball i.e. that mentality where you feel that if you’re already this far in, why not keep going (all night, or even for days). This guilt can also often be the cause of bloating as well! Love yourself enough to pick yourself back up. In these moments it helps to do something nice like sip a tea, take a bath, laugh with a friend, go for a walk, journal, face mask, breathing-exercises etc. do what works for you.

Perspective

  • Remember what this time means to you – maybe it has religious significance, or perhaps it is about family time – whatever it is, it isn’t simply food, food, and only food. Cherish the moments not the meals.
  • Write down your goals right NOW so that you have them fresh and clear in your mind ASAP, and begin to work toward them before the new year. Why wait?

I hope you all have the most wonderful holidays!!

Love and health,

Sami xo

Lemon Water Etiquette

When something becomes an everyday habit, it is important to ensure you are doing it right! By now, most of us are making warm lemon water an essential part of our morning, which is fantastic. However, over the years I have noticed people have a lot of questions about how to do it “properly”. Not to over-complicate it, because the very fact you are doing it regularly deserves applause, but here are the answers to some FAQs so that we can all get the most (beneficial) juice from each squeeze ;)…

1. Keep your lemons in the fridge!

To properly maintain their nutritional integrity. I understand it is nice to have a fruit bowl, but to be honest, with fruit and vegetables, water-soluble vitamins and antioxidants are depleted every hour they are exposed to even just room temperature! Best to keep them in the fridge, particularly vitamin C rich lemons.

2. Use cold water first.

When you squeeze your juice into your glass, don’t pour boiling hot water over the lemon juice. Instead, make sure you fill it up about half way with cold, filtered water first, then add the hot water. This will make warm lemon water, and will not destroy the heat-sensitive vitamins, such as vitamin C.

3. Boosters.

Do you ever vary your brew? Try it a little different week-to-week. You could grate some ginger, or sprinkle ground cayenne, turmeric or cinnamon in your warm water. These are stimulating spices that further assist digestive function and metabolism. This can also help if you are getting bored and need a flavour variation.

4. Use a little zest.

Did you know that much of the lemon’s nutrition, in fact most fruit/veg, is in the peel? There are over 60 different types of flavonoids (antioxidants) in citrus, most of which are highly concentrated in the outer peel. Make sure you save some zest for salads, dressings, sauces and marinades, or grate a little into your morning lemon water. If doing this, it is particularly important you are using organic lemons, as the outer skin of conventional lemons can contain concentrated pesticides and/or wax.

5. Consider a straw.

I must admit, I have only started being more conscious of this lately, however there are some that believe the acidic juice (which is alkalising once it enters our digestive system) can damage tooth enamel. To avoid this, don’t stop drinking lemon water! Rather, drink it through a straw. Personally, I’ve not experienced any damage and have been drinking without a straw for years, however if you are worried or have noticed a change, try using a straw to sip your morning warm lemon water.

6. Wait at least 15 minutes.

I try to stretch it out to 30 minutes, and sometimes leave it 1 hour if I sneak it in before my workout. This gives the body time to digest it, cleanse the system, fire up metabolism and prepare you for your first, delicious meal!

7. Rinse.

You may have heard not to brush your teeth straight away, again, in line with it stripping your teeth and causing damage. However you also don’t want to leave any excess juice sitting on top of your teeth all day. So, a swish of water around your mouth is the way to go to cleanse your pallet and rid the teeth/mouth of any excess.

 

That’s it! Now get squeezing and sipping 🙂

Cleansing with Cali Press

Hi guys!

Some of you have asked me about the 3 day cleanse I recently did with Cali Press. I thought I would share my experience with you, discuss what you might get out of it and let you know some juicy ways to enhance a cleanse, should you choose to do one yourself!

What it involved…

I did the Super-Flu fighter Juice Cleanse centered around boosting immunity. Fitting for the season! It has been formulated to ensure that the cleanser is receiving a rich amount of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, flavonoids, and phytochemicals to ward off the winter flu.

IMG_1986

You receive 4 delicious cold-pressed juices a day, full of veggies with a little bit of fruit. You also get 2 warming miso soups, 4 cups of Ovvio herbal tea daily and a “fireball” shot for each evening (that’s 12 juices, 6 soups, 12 teas, 3 shots!). Some of the superfoods used in the cleanse include ginger, echinacea, olive leaf, dandelion leaf, turmeric, green capsicum, kiwi, spinach, kale, oregano oil and lemon. So nourishing!

FullSizeRender-11

I have done a few cleanses before, some with companies, some on my own, and I have to say, I am a fan. I feel they are a perfect little break for my digestive system and allow me time to be really gentle and kind to myself. Even though I love to cook, it is nice to stay out of the kitchen for a few days (which can be time-consuming!), reset and recharge. I do find when I do them with external companies (instead of juicing myself) it requires less self-discipline as they make up the rules for you. I believe doing cleanses with the change of season is a great way to incorporate a few each year and ensure you are looking after yourself in this transitional period.

How you will feel…

It really depends on your eating patterns and your digestive system. Of course, if you are not used to eating clean it might have a different effect on you, due to the detoxifying effect and withdrawals (I’m looking at you coffee!). Hopefully this subsides, and after day 2 you feel better than ever!

I personally feel amazing whilst I cleanse. I sleep well, wake up refreshed and feel light and energetic throughout my day. I also find I am more productive. When I am out of the kitchen and my mind is off food and thinking about what I am making for meals, I get a lot more done! Therefore, I feel it is both a digestive and mental vacation 🙂

juice

You might get a little peckish, but it’s nothing that a herbal tea can’t fix. Once you are past the hunger, which is often mental, you will realise you feel quite lively. You learn to drink slowly and mindfully and savour the taste of your juices. You can feel your body drinking up the nutrients and thanking you. I feel like your senses are enhanced and you begin to salivate by the sight and smell of your drinks, which is fabulous for digestion. Your taste buds completely reset, and that first green juice which may have tasted more like spinach than apple on the first day, tastes sweeter by day 3! By the last day, I could really go a fourth or fifth day. And really, we are resilient, we can try just about anything for a few days!

FullSizeRender-7

Things to remember…

This is not a “quick fix” – I don’t believe in viewing your cleanse as a quick-fix to weightloss and a flat tummy, because that is not what they are about and you will likely binge-eat the second you finish. Rather, if you have been indulging too much lately, look at this as a reset and a gentle stepping stone to forming healthy patterns post-cleanse. You are doing something good for your system. The intention is important.

Drink slowly and mindfully – as I mentioned, you want to give your system all the signals it would usually receive when you are preparing a meal. Look at the juice, smell it, sip it slowly, even swishing it around in your mouth. Really savour and enjoy it!

Ease your way back into eating solid food – after a cleanse, it is a good idea to ease your way back into eating slowly. Try not to gorge on every food craving that potentially popped into your head during the past 3 days! I began my day after with a green smoothie full of simple whole-food ingredients (i.e. no powders and packaged liquids). You might then want to munch on some raw veggies throughout the day, make yourself an abundant vegan salad with some good fats for lunch (avocado, extra virgin olive oil, raw nuts/seeds), and enjoy a warming soup or veggie dish with some grains/legumes for dinner. I’d love it if you avoided coffee for the day after too 🙂 Your system is sensitive.

Don’t over-exercise – in line with the below point, this is a time to rest. I understand the desire to do some daily exercise, which I fully encourage, but make sure to check in with how you feel and not overdo it. Pilates, gentle yoga, walking and a short light jog are about all I would recommend, but of course, everyone is different so see how you feel. I did my own yoga each morning, went to one yoga class, one pilates session and did two 45-60 minute walks. That felt right.

This is a time to relax – I understand that the show must go on, and you might have work and duties to attend to. Try to incorporate some restorative practices into your day each day of the cleanse (as we should every day), to truly give your system a well-deserved break.

Additions…

I was very impressed with how easy it was to stick to the cleanse. In the past I have usually completed cleanses that included a smoothie or a nut mylk as well as a few juices daily, so I was worried I would be starving! However, as I mentioned, once you get past the mental aspects you are actually very satisfied. The one time I felt like I needed something more, I munched on some raw nori sheets (seaweed) / added them to my miso 🙂 If you feel like you have to have something additional, I recommend raw nori, a little avocado, some raw celery/cucumber sticks and of course, more herbal teas.

I still had my warm lemon water every morning, as it is part of my morning ritual, and I love it so much. I then would have my Ovvio tea, do some daily exercise and start with my first juice. I also continued to take my probiotics and added a magnesium oxide supplement in the evening to ensure I was eliminating properly.

IMG_1987

Some juicy ways to enhance a cleanse…

Here is a list of great activities you can do to take your mind off food and enhance the cleansing process (note: just do what you can!)…

  • Dry body brush
  • Full body exfoliation
  • Facial or DIY facial
  • Long bath with essential oils
  • Diffuse/sniff essential oils
  • Yoga – self-practice or a gentle flow/yin class
  • Walking
  • Infrared sauna
  • Colonics
  • Float tank
  • Massage
  • Reading
  • Journalling

So, are you ready to embark on a cleanse yourself?! As you can see, it can be quite delicious in both taste and experience! Cali Press is offering a 10% discount off cleanses for the remainder of July, just use the code SAMI10 at check out.

I hope this was helpful! If you have any further questions, please email me 🙂

Love & health,

Sami xx

meee

How to cater a clean camping trip

Need a break? Fresh air? Moments of solitude and stillness? You truly don’t need to go miles away to feel very far away from “it all”. Over the weekend, my lovely friend Sam (yes, we are both Sam’s!) and I packed up our things, loaded her car and headed just 1.5 hours away to Cattai National Park. It was spectacular! As soon as you enter, your phone reception dwindles, you hear the sounds of lyrebirds and rustling trees, you breathe in the fresh air and take in the gorgeous views of the Hawkesbury. Not to mention coming face to face with Kangaroo’s! There is something about being surrounded by tree’s and the autumn leaves without a building in sight, you just feel calmer.

To compliment a relaxing weekend away resting mind and body, it only seems fit that you would support your detox with delicious, healthy food. Without a fridge and all the utensils, it can seem a little daunting. Must we resort to drive through food on the way? Sausages on the BBQ? Soggy sandwiches? No, no, NO! That would never do for two nutritionists in the making! We hustled the night before and came up with a beautiful menu that served us very well for the weekend. We ate like queens!

So to take the pressure off you, and to encourage you to plan a camping getaway yourselves, I thought I would share some good ideas to take with you on a trip. These can be applied to any getaway you have in mind, really. Overall, it is important to take into consideration how long your stay is to work out how much you need to bring, and structure when you are going to eat what by working out what keeps the best. For a 1-3 night stay, these options will all work perfectly!

Helpful supplies:

  • A gas stove with a large pot (helpful for heating up food, teas etc)
  • Esky/cooler with ice packs (Definitely need)
  • A chopping board
  • Bread Knife
  • Paper/plastic bowls, plates, cutlery (or some from home, if you only need a few)
  • lemon squeezer/juicer
  • Glass Tupperware, for storage of the below meals, and/or double as serving bowls
  • Napkins
  • Tea towels
  • Sponge
  • Detergent
  • Hand sanitizer

Menu ideas:

BREAKFAST

  • Green smoothie – e.g. 1 cup water, ½ lemon juice, 3 cups leafy greens of choice, 1 large stalk celery, ½ cup frozen mango, ½ banana, 5 drops vanilla stevia
  • Bircher muesli, soak the oats in coconut water
  • Chia pudding
  • Pre-made muffins
  • Sliced bread with smashed avocado, lemon juice, salt and pepper
  • Warm breakfast? Bring oats or quinoa, banana, stevia and cinnamon and make a porridge with water on your stove top

LUNCH/DINNER

  • Kale and brussels sprout salad with cherry tomatoes, avocado, herbs, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, nutritional yeast (this will last well for 2 days as the dressing breaks down the tough raw kale/brussels) with roast sweet potato
  • A whole raw sweet potato, to roast on the fire’s embers, in tin foil (if permitted)
  • Pre-made veggies burgers/patties with salad or roast veggies
  • Bruschetta – bring a loaf of quality bread, avocado, chopped tomatoes, basil, pomegranate, hummus, pesto, antipasto veg etc.
  • Zucchini Lasagne
  • Cooked quinoa with stir-fried veggies, heated up on the stove or eaten cold
  • Vegetable stock soup with lentils, chopped kale and wild rice or millet, heated on the stove
  • Pumpkin soup, heated on stove
  • Tempeh stir-fry, heated on stove

SNACKS

  • Carrots, celery, capsicum, other veggies of choice
  • Hummus, pesto, or dairy-free dip of choice
  • Corn chips/Crackers
  • Seaweed (nori) sheets
  • Olives
  • Fresh fruit that doesn’t require chopping e.g. berries, grapes, apples etc.
  • Bliss balls
  • Vegan chocolate
  • Homemade muffins
  • Raw nuts
  • Dried fruit
  • OR make a platter with all these things for a lunch-time picnic,  like us…

Couldn't have asked for a more perfect weekend, or a more delicious spread with my girl @samantha_elaine_ Grazed on our nutrition platter all day amongst the trees ft. lemon water, Morrocan mint & rose tea, very green fibrous smoothie, matcha raspberry muffins, turmeric truffles, vegan dark choc, fresh fruit & veg, almonds, hummus, corn chips, sourdough.... There really is nothing like a night in nature (with no reception!) to detox mind & soul It has inspired me to encourage you to do the same! Writing up a "how-to camp clean" as we speak Will be up on the blog this week. We most definitely over-catered ! but the good news is, we worked out what works (abundant spreads like this ✔️) and what doesn't (nooo to squishy defrosted frozen slices ). My top tip is the same for a healthy week: #foodprep! And don't fall victim to breaking #healthyhabits you have instilled at home- I still drank my morning lemon water & green smoothie even though I was in the woods See it all on snap: SamiBloom & Sam_Health #veganfeast #overcatered #bestweekend #healthycamping

BEVERAGES

(This is where the stove is handy!)…

  • Filtered water
  • Lemon, for your morning warm lemon water
  • Green smoothie
  • Kombucha
  • Herbal tea
  • Chai tea with almond milk

Make healthy choices prior to your trip so you have plenty of options whilst you are there. This really is an example of food prep setting you up right. Indulge a little! Chances are, you are going to want something sweet around the fire 🙂 so have your dairy-free, refined-sugar-free chocolate, bliss balls or chai tea handy, and enjoy them. Most importantly, embrace your time away and don’t stress about the finer details.

 

My Own Bali Self-Retreat

I don’t believe you have to go to an expensive health retreat to have a healthy experience in Bali. I believe that wherever we go – Bali, Bowral or Bermuda – we can curate our own health holiday.

While I was booking my trip I toyed with the idea of booking a fancy retreat for at least some of the trip. My partner and I do this trade off where he get’s to do what he wants for half the trip (it’s a no brainer – chase waves and surf all day) and I get to own the other half (duh, yoga). So I knew that I had a get-out-of-jail-free card to pick a hotel of my choosing. But the truth is, I ended up finding so many gorgeous boutique hotels that either offered daily yoga themselves or were close enough to a studio that did. What’s more, they were much more affordable, just as luxurious and most even had a couple of healthy items on the menu. But I knew from my previous time in Bali that there is absolutely no need to worry about where will I find gluten-free, sugar-free, dairy-free, vegan, healthy food, because Bali, especially where we were going, fully caters to this crowd.

So I booked into the places that appealed to me, knowing full well that I could create my own cleanse/detox/retreat with all the healthy food and yoga Bali has to offer and a few of my own guidelines to follow. I’m not going to pretend that the below “rules” were all planned out from the beginning – as a health coach and nutritionist-in-training, I guess these sort of came naturally to me as I went. By day 4, as I was sipping my daily coconut poolside, I had an idea that I was indeed creating my own wellness escape and that perhaps some of you who have lusted over a luxurious health retreat might benefit from me sharing my experience with you. So that is all this is – me guiding you on your own no-guilt getaway. All you need to do is pick a destination, do a bit of research on cafes and yoga spots (or gyms, pilates, whatever you are into), and commit to a clean holiday experience. It might seem a bit crazy, planning a trip without planning to drink, party and over-indulge on ice cream, but to be honest it really is what a vacation should be about – relaxing and recharging.

I’d prefer to come home from a holiday with a clear mind, fresh body and rejuvenated spirit so I can settle right back into the swing of things.

The below tips are specific to Bali but there is no reason they can’t be tweaked to a destination of your choice. So without further ado, here is my own Bali self-retreat that I hope can help you on your next trip to paradise!

Daily yoga most hotels offer morning yoga for around $10 but if not, a hotel or studio nearby will.

Incidental cardio walking around sight seeing, beach walks, not having a car, snorkeling, swimming etc. will all have you leading a much more active lifestyle then you probably do at home. I was making a conscious effort, where there was a long pool to swim 20-40 laps every other day – a luxury I don’t often get at home.

Ocean swims most days – if you can squeeze it into the schedule, jump into the ocean or pool. There is something so cleansing about this. It is especially nice after your morning yoga.

Vitamin D – 15 minutes of sun exposure each side (laying down) before creaming up with sunscreen and/or sitting under an umbrella. This might sound controversial considering “slip, slop, slap” has been ingrained in us here in Australia, but the research supports this. Sunscreen nullifies your bodies ability to receive adequate amounts of Vit D. Watch this video here for more if you are interested/concerned.

A coconut a day – sometimes 2! You obviously don’t have to if coconut is not your jam but other then the well-renown health benefits (hydrating, alkalizing, rich in potassium, magnesium, antioxidants, cytokinins → anti-aging, anti-cancer effects) It helps you feel like you are on vacay (in case you forgot), replaces the need for a pool-time cocktail and makes a delicious mid-morning healthy snack. Enjoy the young coconut flesh too!

Vegan diet – I always subscribe to a vegan diet when I travel through Asia, and I can honestly say I have never been sick to date. No Bali belly… ever (I’ve been 5 times). This might scare some of you or sound drastic but I truly believe a break from heavier foods such as meat can do your digestion wonders. There is a reason that most health retreats cater this way. It gives your digestion a well-deserved break, alkalises the body, cuts out a lot of processed sh*t and encourages you to eat more plants/raw food. Obviously don’t binge on hot chips and soy milkshakes, but open your mind up to the endless possibilities of plant-based cuisine, try those quirky cafes and most importantly embrace wholefoods.

Find your nearest health cafes – Bali is full of them! My 3 x a day looked something like… B: smoothie bowl or fruit salad with nuts and granola, L: quinoa or red rice salad with hummus, avocado & seeds or jackfruit tacos (!!!), D: Coconut curry with tempeh and extra veggies with a green/fruity juice. Snacks = coconut + flesh and maybe some local fresh fruit. Salaks are a favourite! Oh, and we would often make room for a raw, refined-sugar-free dessert. This is the kind of holiday indulgence I am all about!

10 glasses+ of FILTERED water – again, no Bali belly here please! Stick to filtered water. Obviously so important to stay hydrated in hot climates.

No alcohol – fruit juice, smoothies and coconuts for me!

8-10 hours sleep each night – I slept like a baby whilst I was away. It wasn’t that we were wasting our days sleeping in, but rather, getting to sleep earlier, especially without TV or computers keeping us up and messing with our sleep cycle. 9pm bedtime 6-7am rise!

Reading, writing, minimal social media use each day – do the things that better you not that waste time, make you feel insecure and distract you from the good all around you.

Massages and body scrubs – take relaxation to the next level and treat yourself to one, two, or twelve massages and other beauty treatments to really zen out and indulge your body (it’s not always about our tastebuds). They can be as little as $20 for one hour in Bali, so enjoy it whilst you can!

Meditate – this is one of those things we “just don’t have time for” in our everyday lives, so why not make the commitment to making the time for it now that you are on vacation. If you are new to it, download an app (I like insight timer – they have short and longer guided ones too), commit to 5-15 minutes and do it whenever you can. Feel the benefits and see if it’s something you want to bring in to your life back home.

And don’t forget to bring some of these essentials…

  • Dry Brush
  • Hair serum – anti-frizz, hydrating
  • Face mask – I like this cacao banana one.
  • Hydrating face mist – to freshen up mid-day. I’ve been using this one.
  • Books – lots! Some I brought with me were Elizabeth Gilbert’s “Big Magic”, Michael Pollan’s “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” and Gabrielle Bernstein’s “Spirit Junkie”.
  • Diary / Scrap book
  • Earphones – for those long beach walks
  • Goggles – in case you want to do laps
  • Lavender oil – to induce calm/sleep
  • Water bottle – refill and carry with you

Post Silly Season Reboot!

The holiday season is upon us and whether it’s Christmas, Chanukah, birthdays, weddings, office parties, or New Years Eve celebrations there’s bound to be some temptations. The best thing we can do during these times is to relax and let go of fears and anxieties around food and deviations from our “routine”. Be kind to yourself, you’re only human, and life is meant to be lived to the fullest! Enjoy these special times with friends and family, knowing that indulgence is part of the health equation. Make the best decisions you can with what’s on offer, and remember the following tips for the next day to get back on track…

  1. Alkalize with lemon / ACV water

This is a habitual ritual I swear by. It rehydrates, alkalizes, fires up digestion and sets a nice tone for the day. Wake up to ½ lemon and/or 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar with warm (not hot) water 30 minutes before your first meal of the day. Make it your own habit!

  1. Lean breakfast – don’t skip that first meal!

I know, I know… the last thing you probably feel like after a big day of Christmas eating is more food, but having a healthy breakfast is essential to getting back on track post celebrations. You want to keep your blood sugar in check so that you don’t wander over to the fridge for some less healthy leftover options around midday. Include lots of fiber, to get things moving inside and flush any Chrissy sins out! My choice: Lean Protein Smoothie – 1 serving rice/pea protein, 1 handful spinach, ½ cucumber, 1 cup frozen berries, mint or basil leaves (optional), 1 cup filtered water, cinnamon, ice. Sprinkle with coconut or 3-5 crushed nuts.

  1. Carminatives – Fennel, Cinnamon and Ginger

Carminatives are traditionally remedies that ease flatulence and abdominal cramping. All three have anti-microbial and antioxidant properties while ginger and cinnamon are also anti-inflammatory. They assist digestion and reduce bloating and flatulence. Research indicates that ginger can also relieve the severity and duration of nausea. Try adding a few slices of ginger to water with a pinch of cinnamon before food, or adding them fresh into your meals e.g. 1 tsp fresh grated ginger and/or ½ tsp cinnamon. Chewing on fennel seeds will reduce bloating and is also known to freshen breath.

  1. Leafy greens!

Nutrient rich and low in calories, fill up on greens! They will help you detoxify, are generally quite cooling and soothing, cancer-protective, extremely versatile and full of fibre to move things along. Blend, sauté, steam, chop or eat raw. They are essential to any good eating plan. Aim for at least 2-3 cups daily!

  1. Stay hydrated

It’s summer in Australia, so staying hydrated is important. However good old H20 also flushes out toxins and avoids fluid retention and bloating… If you aren’t getting enough water your body may hold on to any fluid you have left in a panic = bloat. Stick to flat filtered water, as even though soda’s have no sugar in them the air in bubbles can lead to bloating for some people. For added sweetness or flavour try adding mint or citrus fruits, or drink coconut water or herbal tea. This will also keep you fuller for longer 🙂

  1. Ditch processed foods!

Consume less salt, gluten, dairy, artificial sweeteners and packaged items… These are the main culprits causing bloating and that dreaded sluggish feeling. Try including more potassium rich foods such as avocado, leafy greens, tempeh and bananas in your diet. Potassium is known to counteract salt intake and maintain normal fluid balance thereby reducing fluid retention. Ditch table salt and opt for Celtic sea salt or Himalayan pink salt instead for a better mineral profile.

  1. Prebiotics and Probiotics

If your feeling like your digestive system needs a little extra love, try consuming prebiotic and/or probiotic rich foods. Prebioitics are non-digestible food ingredients that beneficially affect us by stimulating the growth and/or activity of healthy bacteria in the colon and can alter your gut flora favorably to assist with digestion, bloating, flatulence, immunity, nutrient absorption and bowel movements. Good sources include asparagus, onion, leeks, garlic and artichokes. Probiotics also exert health benefits on your gut flora and include fermented foods like sauerkraut, kim chi, kefir, yoghurt, tempeh, tamari and kombucha.

  1. Get outside..

There is nothing that fresh air can’t fix! It is my no.1 mood enhancer. Couple that with exercise, even just a gentle walk or stretch, and you will definitely be feeling less stressed, fresher and lighter! Being mindful of stress is crucial during this time, as a stressed body will not digest as well as a relaxed one. Relax!

SIGN UP TO THE HEALTH & BLOOM NEWSLETTER