NOURISHED WITH REECE CARTER

reece carter

"Become an active participant in your health" - Reece Carter

Reece Carter, also known as Herb Nerd Reece, is an author, naturopath and herbal medicine expert.

His passion for health, fitness and all things green is infectious, and inspired him to complete a Bachelors degree in Health Science. From the planter box to the pantry, this man has the answers.

This month sees Reece launching his book, The Garden Apothecary. We originally met at the book launch of an industry friend, his calm energy and obvious passion for wellness made it a no brainer to invite him to guest on NOURISHED. 

His work has featured in GQ, as well as in countless magazines, blogs and is a regular guest on Channel Seven's The Morning Show to talk all things nutrition and herbal health. 

We discuss:

+ How Reece fell in love with herbal medicine through his own health struggles

+ The role Eastern and Western medicine play in a wellness journey

+ Easy and practical remedies you can make at home

+ What you can expect to learn from his new book, 'The Garden Apothecary' (PS I'm no longer dating the Tom Ford face mask guy...! THAT story will feature in an upcoming blog post...)

+ Balancing the masculine and feminine energies within each of us

+ Reece's personal self care rituals and owning whatever mindfulness practice feels right - for you

Find out more about Reece at: http://www.reececarter.com.au/

I'd love to know what you thought about our conversation in the comments below - how does herbal medicine play a role in YOUR life?

Thank you for listening!

In love and gratitude

                     

SLEEP YOUR WAY TO WELLNESS

NB: THE OPINIONS EXPRESSED HERE ARE MY OWN, AND I AM NOT PAID NOR ENDORSED BY ANY OF THE BRANDS ABOVE

NB: THE OPINIONS EXPRESSED HERE ARE MY OWN, AND I AM NOT PAID NOR ENDORSED BY ANY OF THE BRANDS ABOVE

A deep, restful night's sleep is a powerful productivity tool, key to any self care practice and a natural mood enhancer. However, if it becomes increasingly elusive, it can be the source of a lot of stress, anxiety and dis-ease in the body. As our modern life places more and more demands on our nervous system, with access to information 24/7, lack of sleep and it's overall quality is becoming a common complaint. Amongst my own Wellness Coaching clients, it's a major cause of concern and a trickles into every other facet of their lives.

Personally speaking, I'm an incredibly light sleeper - the slightest noise from the local wildlife in my area or garbage truck wakes me up. The worst time for me is 3-4am. If I wake up at this witching hour, it's unlikely I'll get back to sleep until 5am, which is when I usually get up in any case. This in turn causes me to lie there, with thoughts looping around and become increasingly frustrated! My sleep quality drastically suffered when I first separated from my ex husband. The huge life changes and no longer having a warm body in the bed next to me meant that I was tired and drained all the time. 3am became an hour I learned to habitually dread.

It's no secret I'm a huge advocate of morning routine's as a way of powerfully starting your day. However this struggle with sleep has encouraged me to create my own night time ritual, and the difference it has made is truly life changing. This is in no small part because it's simple, effective and easy to implement - the three pillars of healthy and sustainable change. Take what resonates with you, leave behind what doesn't and even try implementing one or two of the tips below at a time.

My night time ritual:

1. Mighty Magnesium - One hour before going to sleep, I take 1 magnesium tablet. This complex promotes muscle relaxation, helps nervous tension and mild anxiety. As such, it's incredibly conducive to helping you not only fall but stay asleep.

2. Digital Detox - This hour prior to sleep is then dedicated to calming down my nervous system. My phone is switched to night mode and my laptop is shut down for the day. I also dim the lights in my bedroom and turn on my salt lamp, which assists with our circadian rhythms (the bodies biological clock). I might turn on some meditation music, or read my book - anything that calms my mind and doesn't involve a screen emitting blue light on my face!

3. Tea Time - Whilst I'm winding down, I make myself a cup of Evening Tea. There are plenty of brands that make a herbal blend to promote relaxation, and this particular one is made up of Lemon Balm, Fennel, Chamomile, Lime Tree, Peppermint and Lavender. It never ceases to amaze me how half way through the cup, each time, my eye lids begin to droop!

4. Lavender Love - This is the newest addition to my ritual, and it makes me feel so incredibly nourished. I place 1 drop of Lavender oil on the soles of my feet, the middle of my chest, my temples and finally on my pillow. Touching my body in this way, slowly and lovingly rubbing the oil in, really encourages deep feelings of self care. We often underestimate the power of smell, and I'm quickly realising that my body now associates the oil with the thought 'lights out!'.

Since incorporating this ritual in my life, I've noticed that I now not only stay asleep, but the quality is so much deeper. As a business owner, I love what I do and who I serve - but like all of us, my average day pulls me twenty different directions! Dedicating this last hour to stillness and softness means that I am falling asleep with a gentle smile on my face, rather than allowing my mind to pull me into stories of the past or future.

Here's to you taking some time out this evening and creating a ritual of your very own. I'd LOVE to hear from you in the comments below - what's 1 tool that you'll be trying out tonight?

Inspire a soul sister to create a ritual of their own, press share below xo

In love and gratitude

                      

NOURISHED WITH CHEF SHINE

"YOU DESERVE TO FIND WHAT LIGHTS YOU UP, FROM THE INSIDE OUT."

Chef Danielle Shine is a Natural Foods Chef, Hay House author, TV presenter,  health coach and yoga teacher - my kinda woman!

She worked for many years in the fast-paced world of international fashion and entertainment PR in London. Although she loved her job it didn’t love her back – extremely long hours coupled with never ending demanding projects caused Danielle to fall out of tune with herself and her body.  

Over the course of a couple of years, Danielle re-modelled herself from the inside out, emerging as a healthier, happier, more mindful and passionate human being. 

She lives between London, New York and Sydney cooking her way down a path more purposeful and joyous.   

During this intimate conversation, Danielle draws on her own life experience as a wife and business woman about to launch her first book. We discuss:

+ Why women fall out of tune with their bodies

+ Following your intuition on your journey, even when loved ones disagree

+ Busting the myth between self-ishness and self-lessness, and softening those feelings of guilt

+ Chef Shine's personal self-care rituals - that are non negotiable!

+ 'Upper limit problems' and why we have feelings of not being worthy

+ Looking at who surrounds you and deciding whether their company nourishes you... or not

+ Why our gut health is directly related to our emotions

+ How to make natural food simple and easy

For great recipes and inspiration on conscious living, visit her online home: http://danielleshine.com/

Thank you so much for listening!

I'd love to know ONE thing you're taking away from episode in the comments below.

In love and gratitude

             

    BECOMING UNSTUCK - KELLY'S STORY

    C0DU4NMXQF.jpg

    When I first met Kelly, I was captivated by her shining blue eyes - that were incredibly sad. It seemed to me that she wanted so much to smile, but had perhaps forgotten how. After various interactions at workshops I ran and speaking online, she made the decision to become a Wellness Coaching client of mine. 

    It turned out that Kelly's sadness ran much deeper than I could ever have imagined - she truly believed that she was trapped in both her financial story and her love life. As a result, she had put on weight and was living a life that she felt was out of her control. How many of us can relate to this feeling? It's a dangerous game when we come to believe that we are victims of circumstance.

    The reality is, we're free to recreate our truth in any given moment.

    To begin with, we ensured that every single wellness coaching session resulted in practical steps that Kelly could straight away implement into her life - mind, body and spirit. We also created a strategy for her to take control of her financial situation, so she could see the light at the end of the tunnel. I could noticeably see a change in her from one session to the next, as though the weight of years of worrying had literally lifted from her shoulders. It's often the case that the small steps we take on our wellness journey seem completely unsurmountable at first. Afterwards, we wonder why it took us so long in the first place!

    Her self confidence had plummeted and this beautiful goddess had convinced herself to stay in a loveless marriage, where her every move was controlled and questioned. This is not to say that relationships are always easy, or that they should be given up on at the first sign of trouble. However, I am a firm believer that when your significant other needs to control how often you leave the house and becomes anxious when you're not there, it's time to strongly reconsider things. Kelly had been to marriage counselling and communicated her desires for more freedom, but the longer she stayed, the more her life became less her own. She showed such tremendous strength and self belief when finally, she moved out. We discussed every step of the separation, and it can be truly helpful to have an objective third party by your side during difficult transitions in life.

    Kelly continues to come to my live events, and every time I see her, I am blown away by how different this woman is to the one I first met! She has cut her hair and changed its colour. She's lost weight and her eyes are glowing. She lives happily alone, comes and goes as she pleases. Previously not a risk taker, she now has a trip booked to India and Everest base camp!

    Let me be clear, none of this was easy for Kelly, and these changes happened over the course of 6 months. The main reason I would say she managed to change the direction of her life was commitment to showing up - to each wellness coaching session and to herself. 

    Holding space for and thus witnessing such change is my purpose, passion, vision and mission.

    Let me guide you through the turbulent waters in your own life. I have my own coach, and live first hand the empowering nature of this relationship.

    This week only, I'm offering 20% off my wellness coaching packages. 

    To accept this offer, reach out to me via email: fiorella@thenourishinggoddess.com

    We'll lock in a free 30 minute, no obligation Skype session for us to get to know each other and for me to explain the process and packages.

    This offer ends Sunday, the 26th of February.

    I look forward to connecting with you.

    In love and gratitude

                                                  

    NOURISHED WITH LEANNE HALL

    Speak to yourself as if you were your own best friend.

    Leanne Hall is an experienced integrative psychologist with a focus on prevention, self-care and sustainable health. She specialises in body image and weight issues, depression, anxiety and eating disorders. 

    Leanne has been a clinician and researcher at the University of Sydney and a lecturer at the University of New South Wales. A qualified personal trainer and nutrition coach, you may recognise her as a TV presenter. She is the mind and body expert for Channel 10's The Living Room and regularly appears on Studio 10 as their go-to health expert.

    During this very personal conversation, Leanne draws on her own life experience as a mother, wife and business woman about to launch her first book. We discuss:

    • The importance of self care as a tool to manage our ‘inner critic’
    • Womankind’s struggle with body image and eating disorders
    • Our eternal search for happiness and a sense of being ‘enough’
    • Leanne’s top tips to manage stress and anxiety
    • How to guide young women through their own struggles
    • Being single on Valentine’s Day and celebrating our relationship with ourselves

    Next month sees the launch of 'Head First, Health Fast', a book that finally covers a smart approach to outwitting body issues and achieving sustainable health and wellness. 

    For more details, please visit: www.leannehall.com.au

    Thank you so much for listening! I'd love to know ONE thing you're taking away from episode in the comments below.

    In love and gratitude

                                  

    HEALING YOUR HEALTH PRACTICALLY: AN INTERVIEW WITH TABITHA MCINTOSH

    "I try very hard to teach people about their bodies, and to be a friend to their own unique circumstances."

    - Tabitha McIntosh

    Tabitha McIntosh is a respected Naturopath, clinical Nutritionist and educator. Tabitha is founder & director of Awaken Your Health in Woollahra, Sydney - where she has run her own private clinical practice for over a decade: integrating Naturopathic healing principles with the latest scientific research to educate and empower her clients. A focus of her practice is working with women, couples, families and infants, educating around the hidden dangers of environmental chemicals, implementing therapeutic diets and using food as medicine to help her clients reach their full potential.

    I refer a lot of my clients and friends to Tabitha, and love her practical approach to health, wellbeing and personal growth.

    In this interview, we discuss:

    + Tabitha's own wellness journey that inspired her to be the practitioner she is today

    + The intrinsic relationship between emotions and illness

    + The huge role that self-worth plays in a healthy lifestyle, and the boundaries necessary to do so

    + How to make better food choices, without beating yourself up 

    + Why iron stores are essential for women's health

    + The connection between gut issues and how we 'digest' life

    + Tabitha's own tips for stressed working women and how she ensures self-care in her own life

    You can find out more about Tabitha's practice here: www.awakenyourhealth.com.au

    **Apologies for the frozen image after minute 22, but at least you can still listen to us, like a podcast!**

    I'd love to hear from you in the comments below, beautiful goddess. What is ONE practical tip that you've taken away from our interview?

    In love and gratitude

                                             

    LET ME REMIND YOU

    Hello beautiful goddess

    I'd like to keep things simple this week, and further inspire you on your wellness journey.

    Putting everyone's needs before your own, is not self-care.

    Never speaking your truth out of fear of other's reactions, is not self-care.

    Not booking that doctor's appointment or haircut, is not self-care.

    Filling every spare moment in your calendar with no free time, is not self-care.

    Using food, alcohol, drugs, sex or shopping to feel whole, is not self-care.

    Self-care is: loving every part of yourself, even the parts that you'd like to improve.

    Self-care is: eating your meals in a calm and mindful environment as often as possible.

    Self-care is: saying no to relationship's that are abusive on any level.

    Self-care is: inviting your light to shine and playing bigger than the ego allows you to.

    Self-care is: living a life where you nourish the goddess within.

    How can you take better care of yourself this week?

    Write your self-care promise in the comments below, and I'll keep you accountable.

    I personally read and respond to every comment I receive.

    PS Thank you for your patience and support this year as my life has gone through several growth spurts and changes. I feel honoured to have women like you in my life xx

    In love and gratitude

                                                                                                    

    STRESS & MEDICINE: AN INTERVIEW WITH DR RACHITA REDDY

    Dr Rachita Reddy

    "You can't tell each person to do the same thing -

    it doesn't always work with them."

    - Dr RACHITA REDDY

    Hello beautiful goddess

    I'm very excited to be sharing this interview with you today - the first in a 3 part series of seriously inspirational women I met on my recent trip to the US. 

    Dr. Rachita Reddy is a Nephrologist and Internist, who specializes in kidney, metabolic and electrolyte imbalance. Her true passion, however, is high blood pressure management and weight loss strategies. Dr. Reddy’s patients lose on average 10 kilos and reverse their high blood pressure with her customized plans that target nutrition, stress, hydration, fitness, sleep and more. Her true fulfillment comes from seeing patients get healthier (rather than simply keeping them from getting worse). Her mission is to share her message and expertise globally - rather than just for those that walk into her office.

    I met Rachita when I was in New York, and fell in love with her positive attitude and passion for health and wellbeing. We connected over our concern that women need to take better care of themselves. It is so necessary, deserved, and commonly overlooked in the daily routine of female professionals, mums, wives, girlfriends and all the other roles that women fulfil on a daily basis.

    Today’s chat promises to be a juicy one, as we explore health and wellness, and stress in daily life from a medical perspective. We discuss:

    + How Rachita manages to juggle being a successful doctor, mother, wife and also stays fit, healthy and balanced

    + Tailoring stress management therapy to each individual, rather than a 'one size fits all' approach

    + Tips that you can implement and tailor to your own life, with consistency being the key

    + Dr Rachita's daily routines that help her to practice what she preaches

    To find out more about this trailblazing woman, please visit: www.reddy4healthybalance.com

    What insights did you gain from today's interview? What stress management tips did you like the most? Do you prefer medicine to have an integrative approach? I would love to hear from you in the comments below. Please also share this post with any sister who would benefit from some soul reflection on ensuring wellness is a priority in a busy schedule.

    Thank you so much for watching this week’s Monday Meditation.

    In love and gratitude

                         

    DO YOU EVER DRINK TO 'RELAX'?

    Hello beautiful goddess

    This week's post is a tough one to write - it's about a subject that affects not only myself, but every single one of us on our wellness journey: alcohol.

    Many of you know my story of being a wild, rebellious 20 something year old - who lost herself and her periods after an horrific break up. Needless to say, alcohol was one of my go to fixes to feel 'full', to make up for everything I felt was lacking in my life. Shots, mixing grape and grain, binge drinking - it really didn't matter to me, as long as there was fun to be had and the potential to self destruct. 

    You may also know the story of my 15 year corporate career, which was deeply unsatisfying and based on shutting down my soul's intuition that there must be more to life than this. There were oftentimes I would drink a few (or more) glasses of wine after work, telling myself that it's what I needed to 'relax'. So much of the world's drinking culture is based on exactly this - the need to numb the day's events, and descend into a place where it doesn't seem quite as bad. 

    I never imagined, that as a wellness coach, it would be one of the most destructive forces in my marriage. Culturally and professionally, alcohol permeates both aspects of his life. It can be incredibly hard to live with someone who once believed that 3-4 drinks (or more) every single day is 'fine'. When we are at our worst, he has been consistently and excessively drinking. When we are at our best, the focus is on health, connection and mutual interests. This is something I have never wanted to publicly admit, but I feel that it is necessary to demonstrate how much it can actually break down a relationship over time. 

    It is however, a very personal decision to make. I for one, am not one of those 'wellness people' who preaches a no tolerance policy to alcohol. In fact, I actually quite enjoy a glass of organic red wine with a nice dinner every now and then! I do honestly think that alcohol is not a problem in moderation. Fertility expert Dr. Nat Kringoudis recommends that women who are trying to conceive should have no more than two drinks a week. On the other hand, my mentor, doesn't like drinking at all. You can read his perspective on the subject here: Why I don't drink alcohol - Tom Cronin

    My greatest concern, beautiful goddess, is how we view alcohol as a way to Unwind After 5. A client recently shared with me their realisation that as a corporate worker, her life had pretty much consisted of work and socialising i.e. drinking. She had read something prior to our session that pointed out how our days are split into 3: 8 hours sleep, 8 hours work, 8 hours of free time. This was deeply thought provoking for her - how was she spending her 8 hours of free time...? 

    One of my key messages has always been to never rely on anything external to feel full, whole or even just plain functioning in your own skin. There are so many ways this can be achieved, such as:

    • Meditation
    • Yoga
    • Exercise
    • Time in nature
    • Hobbies
    • Take a bath
    • Volunteer
    • Quality time with loved ones
    • Massage
    • Read an inspiring book

    If you are desk bound in your daily life, my strongest recommendation would be to find more ways to be fulfilled at work. To sleep/rest/eat well. Spend more time with people who actually nourish you and leave you glowing by the end of the interaction. 

    My invitation to you, beautiful goddess, is to have a deep think about how alcohol plays a role in your life, and not feel the need to eradicate it completely, just notice when you tend to drink more. How can you fill your own cup from within, without needing a bottle to do so. When you rely on yourself, and only yourself to feel centred, you'll realise how amazingly strong you truly are as a woman.

    What insights did you gain from today's post? What role does alcohol play in your life? Has it changed over time? I would love to hear from you in the comments below. Please also share this post with any sister who would benefit from some soul reflection on feeling full from within.

    Thank you so much for reading this week’s Monday Meditation.

    In love and gratitude

                              

    I DIDN'T FORGET ABOUT YOU, BEAUTIFUL GODDESS...

    It has been a while since we've connected, beautiful goddess, but I want you to know - you are never far from my heart. February was a MASSIVE month at Nourishing Goddess HQ. Shall we catch up?

    1. Moving House  
    At the start of the month, I moved into a beautiful new apartment 10 minutes drive from the beach in Sydney's Eastern Suburbs. It also means I have a brand new office to weave my magic out of. It's set in a much more tranquil setting than my last home - a huge thank you to my coaching clients for their patience with all the noise from a bustling inner city suburb! 
    Biggest Learning:
    As well all know, moving house doesn't always bring out the best in us. However, for the first time, this was the most seamless experience. As I always recommend, if you can - hire someone to help with whatever you need assistance with. The difference this made was palpable, and allowed us to self-care whilst leaving the professionals to do their job! 

    Self Love: The Key to Wellness

    2. Self-Love: The Key to Wellness
    My first live event of the year was a powerful talk on Self-Love. Speaking to a sold out crowd of women, who wanted to learn how to accept and eventually love themselves for who they are, was one of the highlights in my career so far. This talk was so popular in fact, I am tempted it to run it again later in the year for those that missed out. Are you one of them? Want me to bring the talk to your city? Comment below and let me know! 
    Biggest Learning:

    Self-Love is a juggernaut of a topic, and needs to be broken down into practical, achievable daily steps. We all want to feel good in our own skin, and worthy of a life where wellness shines from the inside out.

    Selena Soo GKGC

    3. New York, New York
    I spent two amazing weeks in New York, attending a series of events held by my business and PR coach Selena Soo, pictured here. My dream is to help and inspire as many woman as possible on their journey of wellness and self-care, which is why I wanted to work with Selena. She literally opened up her contacts book to all of us present. Rubbing shoulders with the former editor of Oprah Magazine and Marie Forleo's copywritier, for example, was seriously inspiring and if I am totally honest - overwhelming. It reinforced the notion that even as an industry leader, there is still always growth to be done!
    Biggest Learning:
    Stick to your routine, as much as possible, when travelling. Meditation and exercise were still part of my daily life, but my eating and sleeping habits went down the drain. New Yorkers know how to work, and they know how to party! Sometimes I said no to going out, even though I knew there would be the potential to meet influential people, because I needed sleep. Other times, I definitely enjoyed myself, because even meditation teachers know how to have fun! Coming back home has really allowed me to find balance between the two again, and I feel incredibly grateful for the whole experience. 

    So what's next?

    1. The Morning Routines of Empowered Women - SAVE THE DATE
    Join me for this interactive webinar from the comfort of your laptop in the office, home or home office. Save the date in your calendar now, and get ready to rise, out of bed and into life. No promotions or sales at the end, just free information and bonus goodies for you beautiful goddess, because I care x

    2. Women's Wellness Workshop - SAVE THE DATE
    Insight, without action, never leads to change. In this 3 hour workshop, I'll arm you with the tools you need to holistically approach wellness and self-care in your daily life. The usual goodie bags will be there for you upon arrival, but this time I have a very special treat for you. Leanne from The Nourish Movement will be joining us as a guest, and spoiling you with edible inspirations... Tickets will go on sale soon!

    Bagus Jati.png

    3. Bali Yoga & Meditation Retreat
    I am so excited to offer you a 20% discount on this amazing retreat I am running with my mentor, Tom Cronin of the Stillness Project. We are hosting a 6 night retreat in Ubud, Bali, May 10th to 15th. You can find all the information you need here: http://stillnessproject.com/bali-retreat/ I really hope you can join us on this life changing journey fuelled with fresh organic food, two complimentary massages, the warm air and calm stillness of the beautiful serene location. Come home completely rejuvenated and revitalised!
     

    And finally...

    Been wanting to ask me a question for a while?
    Make a suggestion?
    Yearning to read about a topic I've not covered yet?
    I read and personally respond to each and every comment I receive.
    Nothing brings me greater joy than hearing from you, beautiful goddess.

    Leave your comment at the bottom of this post, and let me know how I can best serve you on your journey x

    namaste


    RELIABLE HEATH & WELLNESS: AN INTERVIEW WITH THE DAILY GURU

    Hello beautiful goddess

    I couldn't think of a better final post for 2015, than by sharing with you a truly heart felt interview with Bec Caines, founder of The Daily Guru. Australia's answer to Arianna Huffington, Bec was inspired through her own journey to create an online resource of all things personal development and wellness. With the recent Belle Gibson debacle in the not too distant past, it has become more important than ever to really know who you can trust - with both your health and money. 

    From running a national Self Love Series conference, to hosting talks by industry leaders and business coaching, Bec never ceases to inspire me. I consider myself very fortunate to call her a friend and industry sister. Regardless of whatever industry you're in, it's only by forming a support network around you, that you can truly thrive. This woman truly is an embodiment of professional, personal and emotional well being.

    In today's interview, we discuss:

    + Seeking out reliable practitioners to help support you on your wellness journey

    + Bec's biggest learnings as a business woman setting up The Daily Guru, personally and professionally 

    + Continually and constantly growing into deeper levels of health, and realising that there is no final destination

    + How to find time for yourself to achieve balance and what it looks like for you - not anyone else

    + Using social media more mindfully

    If you'd like to discover the amazing online resource Bec has put together, please visit www.dailyguru.com.au

    What insights did you gain from today's interview? Have you had a really positive experience with a wellness practioner? How did you hear about them? I would love to hear from you in the comments below. Please also share this post with any sister who would benefit from some soul reflection on the road to better health.

    Thank you so much for watching this week’s Monday Meditation.

    Wishing you and your loved ones a safe, happy and relaxing holiday season.

    I'll be back early January, and cannot wait to connect with you in 2016.

    In love and gratitude

    Signature.png

    THE KEY TO FINDING YOUR YOGA

    the nourishing goddess yoga

    "You cannot do yoga. Yoga is your natural state. What you can do are yoga exercises, which may reveal to you where you are resisting your natural state."

    - Sharon Gannon

    Hello beautiful goddess

    Whenever I mention that I am a yoga teacher, I get a mixed response. Some people are delighted and tell me about their own journey with the practice and how much it has lit up their lives. Others wrinkle their nose and express their deep dissatisfaction with a class they once went to, and never came back. And when I mention that I only teach privately, in either a yin or restorative style, the eyebrows really go up! I get it though, as my style of teaching has developed over the past 9 years, as has my own personal practice. 

    What we're seeing at the moment is a barrage of picture perfect images on social media of top teachers and students from around the world, dressed in the latest designer threads and looking as serene as the night's sky. This makes my heart ache for the would be students out there who would love to go to a class, but feel completely intimidated and relate the art of yoga solely to the poses. Nothing could be further from the truth. The real yoga begins when you put down your green juice, and step off the mat.

    When I first began attending classes in earnest, it was at a very dark and lonely time in my life, full of drug abuse and being completely disconnected from my body. I would lie in savasana, and wonder why tears were streaming down my face in this final pose of the class. My preference was for poses where I could push and punish my body even further - which resulted in many a yoga injury that I still carry around with me to this day.

    I also feel that this disconnect lives in a few teachers out there, as we need to realise just how much one tiny action or sentence can really affect our students. I remember attending a popular Sydney studio to try out their particular style, and was genuinely excited to be there. Laying down my mat next to my girlfriend, who was a regular there, the feeling of joy soon turned to dread. The teacher began the class by asking who was new that night. Imagine my dismay when mine was the only hand raised! She instructed me to move my mat to the back of the class, so I could better observe everyone else. The style of yoga and the teacher were not a match in yogi heaven for me, and I walked out of the class after 20 minutes, something I have never done before or since. 

    Perhaps my worst experience was on a yoga retreat in Byron Bay, with a prominent teacher from the area. Handstand has never been my favourite pose and she literally smacked the back of my arms and barked "use your upper body strength!". To make matters worse, my neighbour turned around and asked me "have you ever even done yoga before??". 

    I highlight these memories for good reason. I also remember the really amazing moments of deep bliss and release.

    My first yoga mentor came in the form of a curvaceous Ryoho teacher, which is a beautiful Japanese style, based around the seasons and energy points in the body. I attended her classes religiously, as I finally felt that I had found a teacher who would not only teach the poses, but teach us about life. She would remind us that we couldn't fill what was missing from the inside with sex, drugs, alcohol, shopping sprees - which was precisely what I was doing at the time. Her deep wisdom and gentleness is one of the very reasons why I am still alive I believe. She's also the reason why I became a yoga teacher. I wanted to make my students feel the way that she had made me feel. I wanted the yoga poses to fit my students, and not the other way around.

    Once I had signed up for my Advanced Diploma of Yoga Teaching, my second yoga mentor came into my life. One of my lecturers at college, she was a walking goddess. She offered me a mentorship at her home studio, and I jumped at the chance. Classes were taught in Winter by the crackling fireplace and in Summer on the terrace as the sun went down, to a chorus of wildlife. It was a special time in my life as an apprentice yoga teacher, and one I will never forget.

    So why am I telling you all of this? To encourage you to find your yoga. Whatever style, whatever teacher - make it yours

    If you've had a few bad experiences that leave you never wanting to go back, think of it almost like dating! You have to kiss a lot of frogs to find the prince - I've found in my experience that the same goes with yoga styles and studios. I've now found my bliss in the soothing waters of yin and restorative yoga, because I love the way my body feels emptied of all stress afterwards. It has taken me years to get here, and I now do sweaty aerobics to actually work out, and use yoga to stretch out my muscles and joints from the hard work in between. 

    I'd like to share with you two practices for you to try at home:

    My favourite Restorative Yoga practice

    My favourite Yin Yoga practice 

    What insights did you gain from today's post? What have you learnt from your yoga journey? How has your practice changed and evolved over the years? I would love to hear from you in the comments below. Please also share this post with any sister who would benefit from some soul reflection on finding their yoga.

    Thank you so much for reading this week’s Monday Meditation.

    In love and gratitude

    Fiorella Kis-Major

    MINDFUL EATING & BODY IMAGE: AN INTERVIEW WITH HOTCHICKPEA

    Photo credit: Tory Dube

    Photo credit: Tory Dube

    Hello beautiful goddess

    We truly live in a global community nowadays, connected to all four corners of the globe via the magic of the Internet and technology. This allows us to find teachers not only from our own country, but also far and wide. I came across the work of NYC based Tory Dube, founder of Hotchickpea, and fell in love with her message around mindful eating and body image straight away.

    When I also came across her articles on Mind Body Green, this was the final encouragement for me to reach out to her.

    I now consider myself fortunate to call her a collaborator in all things health and wellness.

    In today's interview we discuss:

    + The difference between 'healthy eating' and actually eating healthy foods

    + Exploring raw foods and vibrant nutrition

    + How to regard your life and health holistically 

    + Tips for office workers to thrive throughout the day

    + Witnessing our emotions and how they are linked to what we eat

    You can find out more about Tory at: www.hotchickpea.com

    What insights did you gain from today's interview? Has healthy eating been a struggle for you to achieve? How has your relationship with body image changed? I would love to hear from you in the comments below. Please also share this post with any sister who would benefit from some soul reflection on mindful eating.

    Thank you so much for watching this week’s Monday Meditation.

    In love and gratitude

                       

    IS YOUR WELLNESS JOURNEY ALIENATING OTHERS?

    WellnessJourney

    Hello beautiful goddess

    Once a month, I'll be recording a special video blog for you. 

    It can be nice way to get to know a person's expressions and voice, rather than just reading typed words on a screen. Think of this as our chance to catch up for a chai!

    In today's Monday Meditation, I'd like to share with you my top 3 tips for overcoming the sinking feeling that your wellness journey is alienating others.

    When you're making changes in your life, no matter how positive, it can be a vulnerable and lonely place. Take heart, know that you are on the right track - I'm here for you.

    ACCESS VIDEO HERE

    I would love to hear from you in the comments below - do you enjoy taking a moment to watch this type of content? Do my 3 tips resonate with you?

    Thank you so much for watching this week’s Monday Meditation.

    In love and gratitude

    Signature

                     


    TO SELF CARE OR NOT TO SELF CARE...?

    selfcare.jpg

    Hello beautiful goddess

    Today's post originally had the title of 'An Afternoon with Marianne Williamson'... I was fortunate enough to have bought a ticket to her sold out workshop in Sydney yesterday. Marianne is an internationally acclaimed spiritual author and lecturer. Sponsored by The Wake Up Project, the workshop was positioned to help attendees "discover how to transform your relationships to unleash love, fulfilment and genuine happiness". Sounds pretty powerful right? 

    However... the Universe in all of her wisdom had other plans for me... I got my period the day before, and was in deep pain. Although I manage my hormones and cycle as naturally as possible, once a month I'm usually wiped out of all energy and reserves. No amount of pain relief or hot water bottles seem to help, unless I simply surrender to the warmth of my bed and focus on my breathing.

    It has in the past brought up feelings of panic and frustration, when the first contractions of discomfort begin. I would then push through, show up with a mask of disconnection from my body and generally have to leave whatever commitment I had early to arrive home in an exhausted, crumpled heap. These days, if I am the one facilitating an event, or have an appointment with a client, I still how up, but from a much more vulnerable and softer place. 

    When I woke up yesterday, I knew that I had two options: to self care or not to self care. If I went, I knew that I would be uncomfortable the whole day and not take in much of what the divine Marianne was sharing. I knew that I was already pretty drained and would end up with an even bigger deficit of energy. And I knew that the two main reasons I wanted to go were to 1. not lose the money I had spent on the ticket and 2. I was meeting a goddess there who has recently come into my life and already means a lot to me. Basically, I didn't want to let my bank account or her, down. 

    After much soul searching, I listened deeply to my heart. She was begging me not to go, to stay in bed and self care. After all, isn't that what I would have recommended to a client, if she would ask me? A thought did cross my mind during the morning - perhaps I could go for a few hours, sit at the back and then leave when I've had enough? Thank goodness I listened to my heart and stayed put. After lunch, the pain came back with a vengeance and it was all I could do but fall asleep on the couch in my husbands arms, wrapped in a blanket. 

    So, beautiful goddess, I put it to you that our bodies will seemingly 'fail' us from time to time, throughout our lives. It may be before an important work meeting. It may be on someone's birthday. It may be prior to a catch up with someone you haven't seen in a long time. Or it may even be when you have tickets to a special event that you have been looking forward to for some time. But the honest truth is, that after choosing self care, I feel so much better today. Which means I can write this post to you. Which means that my energy reserves are nice and full again. Which means that I am able to practice what I preach.

    I realise that what I am suggesting goes against everything we are told by our families, peers and even advertising. "Soldier on", "power through" or "suck it up, princess" are common positions to hear. But where does that get you, in the end, really...? I will admit to feeling pangs of jealousy over the last 24 hours, whenever I come across the post of an industry peer, with a photo of Marianne on stage. But I trust the Universe. I know that this all happened for a reason. And life takes on many twists and turns... perhaps I will be able to see Marianne in the future, and be in a different place to really hear what she has to say...

    Have you chosen self care instead of soldiering on? What feelings did this bring up for you? I would love to hear from you in the comments below. Please also share this post with any sister who would benefit from some soul reflection on self care.

    Thank you so much for reading this week’s Monday Meditation.

    In love and gratitude

     

    FiorellaSignature

                 

    STRUGGLING TO FIND TIME FOR YOU?

    MorningYogaPractice

    "When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive - to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love."

    Marcus Aurelius

    Hello beautiful goddess

    One of the most common complaints I hear coming from my mouth, that of clients, peers, friends and family is that we have "no time". I've previously discussed the glorification of being busy, and how it serves no purpose other than distraction from our inner workings. As a passionate advocate for self care, I'm often prescribing my clients the task of finding time to look after themselves - from the inside out.

    If you're struggling to find that time during the day (at the risk of upsetting the night owls amongst us), may I perhaps suggest getting up an hour or even two, earlier? I've been practicing a morning ritual for the past year, and cannot begin to describe how much it has changed my life. Far from a cliche, nothing has brought as much peace and clarity into my world, as this. 

    I'm sharing my morning practice with you today, not in the hopes that you will copy it step by step (in fact, I hope you don't) - rather to inspire you to create one that has true meaning and value for you. And if you are a night owl, then may I suggest incorporating a similar habit in the hours preceding bedtime. As with yoga, it's all about making the practice fit in with your lifestyle, and not the other way around.

    1. Meditation - As soon as I open my eyes, I sit up in bed and meditate. As a teacher of the tradition, I will be honest and say that the style and duration varies daily. Sometimes I repeat a mantra in my head silently for 20 minutes. Sometimes I pray to Ganesha, remover of obstacles, to clear and cleanse certain aspects of my life. Other times, I listen to recorded meditations. I find that it's not the style itself, but the commitment of a daily meditation that makes all the difference for me. If I don't meditate in the morning, and I haven't had those moments of stillness with myself, it can change completely how I feel. Don't be afraid to try it, or become convinced that you need to get it right the first time. I'm still learning and evolving the ability to tame the 1000 chattering monkey's roaming wild in there! Even sitting for 1, 2 or 3 minutes and following your natural breath pattern is a great way to start. I'm also very excited to announce here for the first time, that I will have my own recorded meditations for sale via this website soon...!

    2. Gratitude Journal - Once I've finished meditating, I pull out my Gratitude Journal and write down 5 things I am grateful for today. They can be moments from the day before, seemingly trivial things such as no traffic on the way home, or repeating my appreciation for having a healthy body in perfect working condition (perhaps with a few quirks here and there!). My favourite thing to do is flip back on the weeks and months past, and realise just how much there is to be grateful for. It helps me to jump out of bed feeling just that little bit lighter and happier. Being grateful can also improve your health - according to a 2012 study published in 'Personality and Individual Differences'. Grateful people experience fewer aches and pains and they report feeling healthier than other people. Not surprisingly, grateful people are also more likely to take care of their health.  

    3. Make Your Bed - This part may bring back memories of a cranky mother reminding you over and over again to do this! However, making your bed is a step that’s quick and easy, yet makes a big difference. Everything looks neater. It’s easier to find your shoes. Your bedroom is a more peaceful environment. For most people, outer order contributes to inner calm. Yes, it's a small gesture. But there is power in simplicity. It can also help to remind us that things so often seem insurmountable, but are overcome by taking consistent and regular steps towards change.

    4. Simple Detox - Once I've left the bedroom, it's straight into the kitchen for some warm water with slices of fresh lemon. I realise this is not groundbreaking stuff here, but do you know just how many benefits this powerful little drink has? It supports the immune system, aids digestion, repairs the skin, reduces cravings, balances pH levels, cleanses the urinary tract, freshens the breath, promotes healing and detoxifies the liver. The key is the Vitamin C and potassium levels in the lemon, and its alkaline nature. Ideally, you should drink it before eating breakfast and with warm water, not hot.

    5. Exercise - Like my meditation practice, my exercise routine varies daily. It can be as gentle as a walk with my dog or restorative yoga, as intense as High Impact Interval Training (HIIT), or as simple as sit ups. Whether I'm writing an article, speaking with a client via Skype or driving to an event, my life isn't as physically active as I'd like it to be for the majority of the day. By day's end, I would be far too tired to move my tush, so I find morning works best for me. I won't go into the benefits of exercise, as they are promoted far and wide, but I will gently remind you that this beautiful body of yours is the only one you're going to get.

    6. Nourishment - By this point, my stomach is usually saying "Good morning!". Breakfast is truly the most important meal of the day for me - without it, I cease to function and become quite 'hangry' (hungry and angry at the same time, striking fear in the heart of my husband). Depending on the season and my mood, my breakfast revolves around 4 main staples. In warmer weather it's a smoothie with literally everything but the kitchen sink - fruit, nuts, seeds, superfood powders etc, or gluten free muesli with yoghurt and cinnamon. When it's colder, I either have an omelette with fresh herbs or quinoa porridge with chia seeds and goji berries. The thought of any of these may make your stomach turn, or heart sing. Find what works best for you and your body, the wisdom of its true needs may surprise you!

    After a soothing shower, I am ready to begin my day. As always, I believe in authenticity, so will confess that variations to this routine can vary wildly, because life happens. However, the two steps I simply will not miss is meditation and my gratitude journal. I highly encourage you to find a self care ritual that will add deep value to your day, no matter how elaborate or simple.

    Already have a morning/evening ritual? Overwhelmed by how to exactly start? I would love to hear from you in the comments below. Please also share this post with any sister who would benefit from some soul reflection on their wellness journey.

    Thank you so much for reading this week’s Monday Meditation.

    In love and gratitude

    FiorellaSignature

                                                                                        

     

    HOW LOSING MY PERIOD SAVED MY LIFE

    losingmyperiod

     

    Healing is a matter of time, but it is sometimes also a matter of opportunity.

    - Hippocrates

    Hello beautiful goddess.

    I stand before you as a woman comfortable in her own skin (most of the time!), confident in her vision and mission, with a circle of support around her that makes her feel like the luckiest person alive. Today, I'd like to share with you my story... a story from 10 years ago, where my own journey towards wellness and self care truly began. 

    Back then, I'd just split up from my live in boyfriend, and I didn't realise just how tender and naive I still was. He was every parent's nightmare, which made him all the more appealing for me. His lifestyle was incredibly self destructive, and it was one of the many factors that eventually tore us apart. My understanding of relationships at that point was based on everything the media and Hollywood had sold to me - two halves equal the whole. It's 'romantic' if a relationship is torturous, it means you truly 'love' each other. After two and a half years of this emotional turmoil, our relationship came to a crashing halt when I discovered that he was being unfaithful. The realisation literally broke my young soul into pieces. 

    This event spearheaded what would become the most horrific year of my life. I found depths of self hatred and punishment that I never even knew existed within me. All of a sudden I wanted to be out at night, every night, as often as I could, to avoid the stillness of being alone with my thoughts. The people I surrounded myself with didn't have my best interests at heart, and were similarly lost and confused. Drugs, alcohol and overspending were my go to 'fixes'... and a revolving door of men who I would never, ever have been drawn to had I not been in so much pain. It came to the point where I forgot what it was that I was trying to forget.

    How I am still alive today only further confirms my belief that we have guardians watching over us. I would intentionally put myself into dangerous situations, take a concoction of substances in one evening, or squash my inner voice into the tiniest recess I could find. If I'm perfectly honest, I would have gone on with this behaviour for a lot longer until I wound up dead, or worse, had my body not sent me a very strong message. For a while, I tried my very best to ignore it. After a few weeks I had no choice but to listen... my lower belly was on fire. Not with an STD, but a serious infection of my ovaries that needed some of the strongest antibiotics I've ever taken. Moreover, my periods had stopped completely. The thought of not being able to have children some day because of my actions, shook me to my core. It made me truly question why I was still acting out, when essentially our break up was the best thing to ever happen to me. 

    During the healing process years later, I would often go back in my mind and give this incarnation of myself the deepest, most loving hug I could muster in my imagination. I was operating from a place where I had put so much of my self esteem and purpose into the hands of my ex. I was not whole, or taking time to look after myself, because I didn't feel that I deserved it. Rather than filling myself up from within, I wanted something or someone to desperately fill that void. 

    I remember coming out from the doctor with the prescription in my hands, and crying in my mother's arms out of relief mixed with fear. From that day onwards, I began to pull back from my night life, and nurture myself. Thanks to Traditional Chinese Medicine, Yoga, Meditation and whole foods, I took ownership of my health and wellness - and my periods eventually came back. 

    My message for you today, beautiful goddess, is to listen to your body. If it is sending you a signal where something doesn't feel right, is sore, doesn't operate as well as it could - get it checked out. Never take your health for granted, as this body is the only one you're going to get. Speak to a friend or family member, and ask them to go to the doctor with you. Often times we're scared of what the results will be, but it can be a lot worse if you keep putting if off for weeks, months or even years. I really encourage you to be proactive and find the answers your body is asking you for.

    For anyone suffering from reproductive issues, I cannot recommend highly enough Dr Lily Liu, who through Chinese herbs and acupuncture healed me back to health. 

    I would LOVE to read your comments below - has your body sent you a strong message in the past? What did it take for you to finally listen?

    Thank you so much for reading this week’s Monday Meditation.

    In love and gratitude

    xFiorella

    WIN THE ULTIMATE GODDESS PRIZE PACK

    TheNourishingGoddessCompetition

    Beautiful goddess, I am really excited to be running this competition, where I'm giving away some truly divine prizes:

    - A copy of 'The Red Tent', by Anita Diamant
    - Self-Care card deck, from Cheryl Richardson

    - Pukka 'Womankind' organic herbal tea
    - A ticket to my Full Moon Women's Circle 
    - 1.5 hour Wellness Coaching Skype session with me


    This prize pack is worth a total of $250!

    All you have to do is sign up to my mailing list via the website: www.thenourishinggoddess.com

    If you have already signed up to my mailing list, then simply share this post on social media, and tag me:

    Instagram: @The_Nourishing_Goddess

    Facebook: @TheNourishingGoddess

    Twitter: @Nourishing_Gdss

    PLUS - when you or your friends sign up, you will be sent a FREE 10 minute guided meditation!

    The lucky winner will be announced on Monday the 1st of June.

    Good luck! xx

    (Please kindly note: The crystal & flowers are not included in the prize pack)

    DEMYSTIFYING WELLNESS COACHING

    Wellness Coaching

    Hello beautiful goddess

    I hope that you have been enjoying the 'Demystification' series, as we've delved into the ins and outs of Restorative Yoga, Meditation and Women's Circles. 

    This week, I have created a video blog for you on Wellness Coaching, which explains how I operate and how I differ from other coaches on the market.

    VIEW VIDEO HERE

    We are so fortunate in this day and age to have an abundance of wellness products and services at our finger tips to help us be the healthiest we can be - but it must be the right match for you

    It needs to practical and relatable for you, if it's not, then it won't find a place in your everyday life - allowing true change to occur.

    My passion is to be of service to women - to empower them to self love and self care in order to function from a more calm yet productive place.

    If you feel you may interested in working with me on weaving more light and love into your day, then please get in touch. I'm very pleased to offer a complimentary 30 minute Discovery Session, where we can chat via Skype and find out if we're the right fit for each other. This is a great way to get to know each other and a sense of how I may be of service.

    I'd love to hear from you in the comments below. What did you think of the Demystification series? Which of the four issues did you enjoy most: Meditation, Restorative Yoga, Women's Circles or Wellness Coaching? If you think a beautiful goddess in your life may benefit from any of these services, please share it with them.

    In love and gratitude

    xFiorella

    MONDAY MEDITATION - DEMYSTIFYING RESTORATIVE YOGA

    "True Yoga is not about the shape of your body, but the shape of your life" - Anon

    Hello beautiful goddess

    Over the next four weeks, I will be 'demystifying' practices that I believe to be incredibly beneficial for health and wellness, but are perhaps unfamiliar to most of us.

    Yoga enjoys quite mainstream appeal in the West by now, through 'hot' studios, Power Yoga and other dynamic styles. However, when I mention that I teach Restorative Yoga, I am met with a quizzical look. When I show images like the one above of me in Supta Baddha Konasana (reclining bound angle pose), people scratch their heads at the use of so many props. This is such a nourishing style, yet perhaps one of the least well known - my educated guess would be because of how seemingly passive it appears.

    So let us start with a simple definition from Yoga Journal: Restorative Yoga poses have a particular ability to leave us nurtured and well rested. These postures are usually deeply supported by blankets, blocks, or other props and are held for several minutes at a time.

    It never ceases to amaze me how frightened we have become of taking true time out. Of silence. Of rest-ing, instead of do-ing. We beat ourselves up, that we are not doing enough, making enough, pleasing enough. And I get it, I really do. I once needed to always have the TV or music on in the background. Or to talk to fill in the gaps. Or tap my fingers and toes to feel that I was alive.

    Sitting in stillness requires us to go inward, towards our truest feelings, hopes and fears. This is not always comfortable terrain to wander through. But unlike Meditation, you do move slowly from posture to posture in Restorative Yoga. Movement also gives your body a chance to shed its restlessness and busy-ness before settling into a place of stillness.

    It may feel like you are doing nothing at all. But having been teaching for 8 years now, I can tell you that after every single class, the faces of my students warm my heart. They usually arrived stressed, after a long day at work, behind a desk. Their limbs stiff, their faces scrunched up in discomfort. And by the end of the practice, their expression has softened into one of bliss and their bodies have realigned.

    Restorative Yoga is also incredibly healing for those who have any serious joint injuries and have been advised by their doctors to steer clear of any dynamic movement. As the poses are always supported by props, this greatly decreases the risk of any further damage.

    Although they look peaceful, Restoratives can be challenging for beginners. Just because the body rests quietly doesn’t mean the mind will settle into stillness too. Be patient, and be prepared for days when every inch of you rebels.

    In time and with practice, you will be rewarded with the ability to drop with ease into a place of deep contentment. This is what Yoga is all about, after all: stilling our fidgety bodies and calming our rambling minds so that we may rest quietly in the present moment and see clearly the peace that resides within.

    I like to think of our puppy Sakura as one of my greatest teachers. As soon as I get my yoga mat out, she is right there on top of it and me. She loves nothing more than stretching out on her side whilst I go through my restorative practice. The proof is in this photo , where she just refused to get out of the way for it to be taken. She never has any problem with resting after a big run at the park, or beats herself up for taking too many naps. I often say we could learn a lot from the wisdom of animals.

    If you are curious to try Restorative Yoga, reach out and connect, beautiful goddess. I am proud to offer private Restorative Yoga classes in the comfort of your own home, or as part of my Women's Circles. I'd love to hear from you in the comments below. Have you tried this style before? Or perhaps you have another favourite style? Which one and why?

    Thank you, as always, for reading your copy of Monday Meditation. It is an honour to be of service.

    xFiorella