Thursday, 29 December 2011

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Thursday, 13 October 2011

Stress Less

I have always found dealing with stress particularly challenging. Sure it's easy to live a stress free existence when everything is working out, but how you feel when the chips are down is a better indication of your ability to deal with stress.

For me, stress manifests itself in a physical way: my skin breaks out, my hair becomes thin and frizzy, my digestive system pretty much packs up shop, I am tired, irritable and prone to snapping at anyone in a 10km radius... I also worry about the long term implications of this stress, such as prolonged insomnia, diabetes, heart conditions, high blood pressure and headaches.

Dealing with stress is easier said than done, but there are some key techniques to keep in mind during stressful periods to help alleviate some of the grief and help set you on the right path...

1.  Meditation
The most fundamental technique used for managing stress and relieving anxiety is meditation. This can be as simple as sitting alone in a quiet place and focusing on your breath. Try a 'breathing square': breathe in for three seconds, hold for three seconds, breathe out for three seconds, pause for three seconds and repeat. You can also try repeating a mantra or affirmation to yourself, allowing the words to wash over you, try "I am calm, I am in control"

2. Diet
In stressful situations the last thing your body needs is blood sugar spikes caused by high g.i. and sugary foods - opt for fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains such as oats, grainy bread and rice, nuts, lean proteins, low fat dairy and eggs. These natural foods will stabilise blood sugars and leave you feeling settled and in control

3. Go for a walk
Getting outside and going for a nice, leisurely walk in nature can be a great way to clear your mind and reduce your overall stress levels. For an added bonus walk with a friend that you can talk to or confide in or better yet a dog - an instant pick me up is seeing a furry friend, tail wagging happy to see you!

4. Take a shower and make a herbal tea
When I have had a bad day, nothing feels better than jumping in a nice hot shower and literally washing the day away! Settle down with a good book and a herbal tea - make time for yourself!

5. Pamper yourself
Apply a face mask, a hair treatment and give yourself a manicure - these little things can make you feel much better and help you to forget about the stresses of your day!

6. Comfort Foods
Yes, comfort foods. We all have our favourites and can use an indulgent treat from time to time. The key is to use this treat effectively - don't blow it on cheap chocolates or biscuits; make it special! Try some Lindt dark chocolate balls (yes, you can tell yourself that you are getting an antioxidant fix!) or try cocoa nibs, natures special chocolate surprise. Opt for Greek yoghurt with berries and agave syrup (natural sweetener from a cactus plant). Try Chef Kate McAloon's healthy treat, a Raw Chocolate Torte with Coconut Nut Crust!

We all suffer from stress, but if we try and master these techniques when our stress levels are low, we will be able to implement them quickly and effectively when stress kicks in!!

How do you manage stress?

Love and light,
Lauren xxx

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

That Summer Glow

As we approach our Australian summer, we automatically get into ready mode: playful prints, colourful clothes and accessories, and natural hair and make up. The only problem is if your hair and skin isn't as ready as you are to be au naturale summer may be met with more fear than excitement!

So take this as your springtime warning! Take charge of what is going in you body and on your skin to prep your body for the upcoming summer season!

1. Increase your intake of water - flush the toxins out of your body! Aim for 2-3 litres per day
2. Increase you in take of fresh fruits and vegetables - in every way you can! Raw, steamed or lightly sauteed is best! Tip: if I am needing to up my intake I find that juicing is a great way to bump up my fruit and veggie count for the day!
3. Sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen! - Yes the Aussie sun is tough on our skin! Slather on some SPF30+ every morning in order to protect yourself from the damaging rays! Tip: I love to use coconut scented sunscreen, which is a tropical treat for the everyday :)
4. Organic, chemical free moisturiser - your skin is your largest organ, and absorbs everything that it encounters! Just as you fill your body with organic produce, do you skin the same service and prevent chemicals blocking your pores and damaging your skins sensitive outer layers
5. Wash your face morning and night with a warm cloth to ensure that all the grit and grime from the day is not spending the night sinking into your skin and you wake up feeling fresh!

Follow these tips and you will have summer skin ready in no time!

How do you prepare for summer?

Love and light,
Lauren xxx

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Your Daily Superfood

Superfoods are ... well, super. They make you feel like a supermodel and give you the strength and endurance of Superman! However, all this is superfluous (sorry, I had to) if you can't incorporate superfoods into your daily regime without being a real inconvenience then you cannot harness their awesome powers!! So here are a few ways that I sneak superfoods into my day...

* Sprinkle into your porridge, muesli, smoothie or cereal - Maca powder, Acai berries, Goji berries, Cacao, Chia seeds
* Add to your smoothie or fresh vegetable/green juice - Spirulina, Wheatgrass
* Add to your trail mix/nuts - Inca berries, Goji berries

Make sure, as with all great foods, you are getting a good variety and not concentrating on just one. I like to split my superfoods up into different categories and have one a day:
Berries: Goji, Acai, Inca
Greens and Powders: Spirulina, Wheatgrass, Maca
Seeds: Chia seed, Linseed/Flaxseed

This way I am ensuring a great spread of nutrients and also that I don't get bored by having the same foods everyday! Remember too much of anything is never a good thing!

How do you incorporate superfoods into your diet?

Love and light,
Lauren xxx

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Mmm.. Muesli and A Carrot Zinger - the breakfast of champions!

The thing I love about muesli is just how versatile it is -- I have never made it the same way twice!
I love to mix crunchy nuts and seeds with yummy raw oats! This is my current mix, my favourite combination so far!

In a big jar mix together:

2 cups raw oats
1 cup sunflower seeds
1 cup pepitas
1 cup LSA
1 cup linseed meal (for extra omega-3's!)
1 cup crushed nuts -- walnuts, Brazil nuts, hazelnuts, pecans and cashew are great!
1 cup chia seeds
1/4 cup psyllium husk
1/4 cup lecithin  granules

There is no better way to start the day!! I generally wake up to a bowl of muesli topped with fresh fruit salad, a sprinkle of Acai berries and a big dollop of biodynamic, natural yoghurt and a fresh carrot zinger juice!

Carrot Zinger Juice:

1 carrot
1 stick ginger
1 tsp spirulina

Fruit, veggies, whole grains, natural yoghurt and packed full of protein -- yuuuum! :)

How do you like to start your day?

Love and light,
Lauren xxx

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Mind Body Green Posts

I have written some articles for wonderful website Mind Body Green - the go to guide for yoga and wellness! Please have a read and share on Facebook by clicking 'like' if you like it!! :)

Love and light,
Lauren xxx

Monday, 22 August 2011

Protein Tahini-Grain Balls

My fridge is filled with containers of cooked beans, lentils, quinoa, brown rice, nuts, seeds and vegetables ready to be thrown together for a wonderful, healthy lunchtime salad!

So as noon rolled around and my stomach began to grumble, I walked over to the fridge began to feel drawn to the grains and lentils I had cooked up yesterday. Over the weekend, I saw some incredible rice balls in a vegan cookbook and have been craving them ever since - but my excitement at the high protein grain container I had brimming with a mix of yellow, red and black quinoa and amaranth was too much to pass up -- so I grabbed a range of ingredients, experimented and what followed was pure protein bliss!!
A Bowl of Mixed Yum!

1 cup grain of choice (cooked)
1/2 cup lentils (cooked)
1/3 cup tahini
1 carrot, grated
1/4 cup pumpkin, sesame and/or sunflower seeds
1/4 cup dulse flakes
1 tablespoon miso paste

Mix all these ingredients together in a bowl and form into little ping pong sized balls. Heat a fry pan over  medium heat and cook the balls for a few minutes until toasted and heated through.

Serve on a bed of spinach with veggie salad or steamed greens and top with tahini-miso sauce and a sprinkling of toasted seeds

Tahini-Miso Sauce:
1/4 cup tahini
Although the 'balls' didn't last long
when they met with Mr Fork...
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tablespoon miso
1 tablespoon ume vinegar

Delicious, healthy and packed with more protein than Vin Diesel!!

And PLUS! I made some extra balls and put them in the fridge and they doubled as a yummy snack straight out of the fridge when I got home from work -- yum :)

Please let me know what you think, it's a new recipe and any suggestions/comments are very welcome! :)

Love and light,
Lauren xxx