Sarah Short Circuit

Heal, Nourish, Nurture

Tag: Change (page 1 of 3)

Camp

Take me back to last weekend, the long weekend, the first weekend in a very long while our little family got to escape the city and go bush! As we were packing on autopilot and as we relaxed into a simpler rhythm of camping I reflected how things have changed for the better…

  • Camp meal planning no longer involves packet rice and packet pasta but a whole heap more vegetables and knowing your butcher
  • The night before camp now includes meal prep like this amazing roasted spicy capscium dip

Happy hour around the camp fire

  • Husband did the last minute camp shopping and was horrified when he reached for the some of the foods we used to pack only to turn it over to read the gazillion numbers and non-food ingredients. Safe to say they went back on the shelf.
  • Husband was so proud when he got home from shopping with the water pack being fluoride and additive free. Next time we will double the water as we all drink it in greater quantities than last camp trip.

Fresh water

  • Making quick green smoothies for breakfast on the go rather than drive through Maccas (I use banana instead of mango)
  • Pit stops for a toilet break at Maccas confuses Master 4 ‘Isn’t this yucky food?’
  • Snacks for the road trip are no longer bags of lollies but a box of bliss balls and some mixed nuts & seeds.
  • Energy for the long road trip is fuelled by the car diffuser wafting Energy and Vitality
  • I had massively over-catered as we no longer eat many snacks and our meal sizes are smaller as they are so much more nutrient-dense
  • Setting up the campsite Master 4 remarked ‘Where is the TV?’. We were only one of two groups camping on the unpowered sites, everyone else was connected to power either camping or in caravans.
  • I discovered not 1 but 4 packs of pain-killer tablets in our camping gear, I used to have a pack or two everywhere I went. Now I rarely need them and if I do get a headache or tummy ache I reach for my peppermint oil.
  • Everyone is happy with bacon and eggs for breakfast everyday
  • I found a jar of Vegemite and a pack of gravox in our camp cooler bag and husband and I both laughed as we no longer eat these! In the bin they went!!
  • Sharing amenities with other people is an assault on the senses with the toxic personal care products people use. Waiting for shower with a row of teenage girls washing I felt myself holding my breath.
  • Preparing much of our food at home cut down on the waste we threw away, with only a shopping bag of rubbish over the long weekend and a few plastic items to recycle (any cardboard got incinerated on the campfire!)
  • Master 4 got some nasty insect bites on his hand that turned into welts and I was able to soothe the sting with lavender oil. One night I tucked him into his sleeping bag and zipped up the tent to then hear a wail of ‘Mum, I NEED my lavender!’
  • How convenient we have set our lives to be and how little we move our bodies. Walking to the amenities or the camp kitchen or the kids activities multiple times a day you certainly feel exhausted at the end of the day. Go-karting takes the exhaustion to a whole new level!
  • Being outside all day and all night exposed to the sunlight and moonlight as well as the fluctuations in temperature is a great way to reset your circadian rhythms and recharge your mitochondria. I made a conscious effort not to wear my sunglasses all weekend!
  • Total disconnect from social media and reconnecting with family was the ultimate recharge I needed
  • The realisation how light saturated we have become when you go bush and gaze up into the clear night sky to see a spectacular sight of stars.

Starry, starry night!

Already planning the next camping trip…Do you have any tips for camping while keeping in tune with a healthy lifestyle?

 

Cracked

Finally cracked it! 40kgs weight release!! I’ve been on a long plateau of almost 40 for months. So proud of myself for how I’ve come in the past 2 and half years. Remember it’s not all about the numbers; it’s about the quality of life you live and the state of your health. The numbers on the scale are not are reflection of who you truly are.

However, I did not set a goal to lose 40kgs. I didn’t even set a goal to lose 10 kgs. Goals have never sat right with me, I always feel like I am setting myself up to fail. For me goals are overwhelming. Instead, I started to ask deep questions of myself, what was I doing? What can I do better? I kept going with what felt right, finding things that I love, taking responsibility for my health.

Living a values based life is the crux of it – Brooke McAlary

I felt I needed to slow down. There is no one size fits all ideal of the slow life and I loved listening to this conversation Caring more and caring less. Slow living defines life based on what we don’t want it to look like. Standards trying to live up to, are they really that important? Are they really what we should be chasing? Slow living is about where our mindset is, taking time to answer your own questions, figure out what you want and forming your life from there.

Overcoming that urge to measure your life by any standard, and accepting what is and being mindful of that. – Erin Loechnar

Who says I should live life a certain way? I became more aware of the life I had been living before becoming a mum, trying to live up to societal expectations. I became aware of the life I was creating now with my family, defining my own expectations.

A big key in living a slower life is understanding and accepting that it is what is, you do what you can, you make the changes, you shift, you clarify and live according to your values. – Brooke McAlary

I began to let go of control, let go of trying to keep everything in order, let go of perfection, let go of the shoulds. I started to realign with my values.

We can try to shift every aspect to live the ideal balanced perfect life but still things happen, you have to loosen the reigns and let go and decide you can be with or be defined by the pace of my life or can define what I want from this instead and not let circumstances define who I am and how I react – Erin Loechnar

I started to figure out what is important for me. Stop worrying about things weren’t important and focused on things that were. I started to live according to what was important for me.

I care less and we care more, its the shift in what matters and what doesn’t – Erin Loechnar

This shift in awareness, this shift to a slow life has not been all rainbows and unicorns. There have been tears, fits of anger and frustration. Two steps forward, one step back. Listening to If not crying you are not trying, frustrations come with having a go no matter what you are doing made me realise that my tears are not a sign of failure. “Crying is a sign that going somewhere never been before, you are breaking through stuff, that you are actually trying”.

What I have been through, what I have experienced, and the adversity I have faced has led me to be the person I am today tears and all. “You set out to make a goal, to achieve goal yet when faced with adversity you ask why is it happening to me? Why because you ask for it, because can’t get stronger or smarter without it so how you did you expect to achieve your goal.”

Once you decide consciously to make a decision and accept or not accept certain things into your life, you can control that by putting intention to it and making it a part of who are – Lauren Heys

I may not have consciously made a goal to lose weight but I made a decision that things needed to change in my life. “Attaching meaning to something, you will learn it more.  Space of adversity, when you go through your adversity, cause you will, that adversity is giving you an opportunity, don’t miss this opportunity because you are too busy being a victim,  its something you need to face because facing that and coming out the other side will give you the level up that you need to be the person that you are trying to be. Even single time you look back at your adversity you have gone through in your life you are thankful for it happening. Adversity you go places you have never been before, you realise you are physically emotionally strong enough and to make it better. Pain is to move forward and use as reference point, you so much stronger than you believe you are. Most people are not aware of what they are capable of achieving until they are put into a situation. Not everyone will do it, but at that moment at that level of adversity it became possible.” – Dave Nixon

My pain led me to discover what is truly important to me. Letting go of control means I am in control of who I am. I have a choice.

What am I going to stand for that’s important to me and that my values and morals really dig deep and that are important to me? – Dave Nixon

So how did I get here? I went through adversity. I became a mum, I experienced postpartum psychosis. I had the opportunity to read the Changing Habits Changing Lives book by Cyndi O’Meara of Changing Habits and began to follow the Up For A Chat podcast. No protocols or programs, no quick fixes. Taking the time, slowing down. Self-Awareness. Deciding my impact. Releasing 40kgs, not losing 40kgs for I will not be finding this weight again.  For me it was cracking myself open, changing my habits, just eat real food, daily self care rituals as well as moving towards a slow, simple way of life with a low tox approach. I have a story to tell…

Sometimes the adversity you are going through isn’t for you, sometimes the adversity you are going is to help someone through their adversity in years to come,  all you need to do is tell the story, you just have to get through it “- Dave Nixon

You are on a different road… I don’t care!!

MINDD 2016

The MINDD Foundation is committed to improving the lives of children and families by promoting a holistic approach to healthcare and living. After last years MINDD Forum changing the direction of my healing and recovery there was no way I was missing the MINDD Forum this year, especially with the key note speaker being Kelly Brogan.

Dr Nancy O’Hara was back again this year speaking about ‘It wasn’t me it was my germs’; love this concept! We are depleting our microbiome of the nutrients we need by the way we lead our lives. The majority of our immune system resides in our guts. Gut dysfunction is associated with germs including parasites and yeast. It was interesting to learn that a clostridia infection, a bacteria in our gut, has been found to associated with psychosis. The way to treat gut dysfunction is with nutrition as fresh, organic, unprocessed foods that are varied and rotated; probiotics to control inflammation and encourage gut movement; remove stressors;  and the best way to detox is a minimum of 1 stool per day.

There is no such things as junk food; it is either junk or food

– Nancy O’Hara

Great talk on effects of food on anxiety by Trudy Scott, eating real, whole, good quality foods is the foundation to maintaining optimal mental health. A lower risk of depression and anxiety was found with traditional diet of vegetables, fruit, fish, grass-fed meat, and whole grains when compared to western and modern diets in an Australian study by Jacka 2010.

Diet intervention

Trudy Scott

Food is Medicine but there is no “one size fits all” diet. Great talk on Using Bioindividual Nutrition to Personalize Therapeutic Diets. Julie Matthews spoke about how dietary intervention is at the foundation of healing. Individuals have specific dietary needs and diet needs to be bioindividually applied. Keep an open mind as you may need to use a particular diet in the short term or further restrict a diet or prioritize one diet over another or apply more than one dietary principle to improve function with the goal of the least restrictive, most varied diet possible.

no one size fits all

Julie Matthews

What an awesome way to spend a Friday with these inspiring wellness rock stars at the MINDD Forum Food is Medicine day. I loved the cooking demos learning from the best of the best Alexx Stuart, Jo and Isaac Whitton from Quirky Cooking, and Helen Padrin and Charlotte Carr. From digestive calm soup to lemon cheesecake panna cotta to best butter chicken ever to pantry essentials in an non-negotiable hour of power. Nourishing your family with quality, real food is simple, basic to basics home cooking. Change the way we do our shopping and change how we approach new ways of eating. Teach our kids real food, take time to spend with our kids, talk with our kids makes a difference when going through change.

Food is Medicine

Top: Alexx Middle: Isaac and Jo Bottom: Helen and Char

I had the honour of meeting Kelly Brogan MD. Kelly is such an inspiration to me and I am extremely grateful to Kelly for her focus on maternal mental health including postpartum psychosis and showing us that we do have ‪‎capacity to heal‬. Thank you MINDD Foundation for bringing Kelly to Sydney.

Kelly

Kelly Brogan and me!

Listening to Kelly Brogan speak about the root cause of depression and anxiety and the power of our food was awe inspiring. We need to stop looking at the symptoms and start asking WHY? The whys are sugar imbalance, gluten sensitivity, nutrient deficiencies, and thyroid autoimmunity. Depression is an inflammatory response, a symptom not a disease.

Medication is not better than doing nothing. We don’t know what medications are doing to our microbiome. We are passing the damaged microbiome onto the next generation. The principle mental health intervention needs to be dietary recommendations.

We have knowledge inside us how to interact with food in a healing way but it is hijacked early with processed foods. We have to get back to food as information for gene expression and our microbiome. We need to speak to our nervous system in a different way.

Your body’s ability to heal is greater than anyone has permitted you to believe.

“Through the alchemy of my darkest nights I heal and thrive. Today I rise!”

A beautiful and moving video shared by Kelly Brogan at the end of her talk which had most of the room in tears. We as women will transform this world!

Today I rise

Kira Sutherland spoke about the basic principles of healthy living for optimal wellness are natures 7 healers, of which most of us manage to achieve 2-3. However, if we achieve exercise this cascades into other areas and we are almost always then able to achieve all 7 healers. Exercise helps us to be better adapted to stresss, strengthens our immune system, improves our gut flora, helps our organs to detox, has been shown to be just as good as anti-depressant medications but with positive side effects. 

Exercise

Kira Sutherland

Other speakers included Erica Peirson on hypothyroidism in children on how brain development and every cell is dependent on the thyroid horone, pregnancy is a stress test on the thyroid and how the microbiome should be nurtured as much as the newborn itself; Elizabeth Mumper spoke about the Management of Prenatal and Postnatal Risk Factors of Autism and that so many things have changed so quickly for our kids and the basic recommendations for pregnancy include a well-balanced, organics, non-GMO diet, green your home, reduce stress, get enough sleep, regular exercise and avoid toxins; and Annalies Corse on Maternal Health and the nutritional considerations for conception, pregnancy, birth recovery  and the 4th trimester, and that it can take greater than 6 weeks for recovery after birth as this transition can be very stressful both emotionally and physiologicaly which can then further deplete us of nutrients and energy, with a labour + c-section birth the hardest delivery from an emotional point of view.

The postpartum period is a time when women tend to be amenable to health counselling; this provides a tremendous opportunity for promoting lifelong healthy habits.

– Annalies Corse

Help the brain heal the gut. A major aha moment for me listening to Dr Carlo Rinaudo talk about the role of the vagus nerve. If the brain is not working properly you have reduced brain-gut activation affecting gut and immune health. The vagus nerve is our largest cranial nerve connected to many different organs in our body.

Low vagal nerve activation results in

  • reduced gut motility
  • reduced release of digestive enzymes
  • reduced blood flow which reduces repair and nutrient transport
  • leaky gut leading to inflammation and autoimmunity

The typical response for low vagal tone is a sympathetic dominant state: adrenal stress, anxiety, poor sleep, hormone imbalances and poor posture. The vagus nerve stimulation has used in the treatment of inflammatory conditions, stress, anxiety and depression.

I had vasovagal syncope‬ (fainting) after the birth of my son in the weeks before developing postpartum psychosis. The pieces of my health puzzle are starting to come together.

Vagus Nerve

Dr Carlo Rinaudo

Right time, right place meeting Holly Bridges with a lovely long chat with Holly about the polyvagal theory and the 3 responses to stress: flight, fight and freeze. Our body goes into survival mode, into a state of safety, into a shut down response thanks to a weak control of the vagus nerve. With the help of neuroplasticity it is possible to reconnect the mind-body connection and re-engage the brain.

Holly has a fantastic, easy to read, easy to understand book explaining the polyvagal theory and how this impacts people with Autism. A huge piece of my health puzzle has been ‘reframed’. Thank you Holly!

Reframe Book

Holly Bridges

My books from the MINDD Forum 2016.  So grateful to get my copy A Mind of Your Own signed by Kelly Brogan MD. Finally got my hands on Bubba Yum Yum’s The Paleo Way and get it signed by Char and Helen.

books

Books from MINDD 2016

Save the date for the third weekend in May 2017 for next years MINDD Forum!

 

Functional Nutrition Course

 

Egg Hunt

Easter has been and gone but I’m still on a egg hunt. Searching for free range eggs that are actually free range on the Choice Australia boycott bad eggs. I thought I was making a good choice buying these Aldi free range eggs. Think again!

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Aldi free range eggs

Recently the consumer affairs ministers have voted about the misleading free-range egg labels. ‘Free-range’ can mean eggs produced by hens stocked at up to 10,000 birds per hectare and there’s no requirement for to chickens to actually go outside.

CHOICE as well myself believe we as consumers have the right to know if the eggs we buy are actual free range of 1,500 bird per hectare as per CSIRO standard.

Most major producers of eggs labelled ‘free-range’ stock at 10,000 hens per hectare. Brands with this stocking density include:

  • Aldi (Lodge Farm Free Range Eggs)
  • Coles Free Range
  • Ecoeggs
  • Farm Pride Free Range
  • Pace Farm Free Range
  • Woolworths Free Range

See here for a full list or download the app CluckAR.

Searching from store to store with the list in hand I shopped around finding mostly bad eggs. Until I found these Southern Highland Organics eggs at Mrs Watson’s Cronulla for $8.95 a dozen. Not only are they Australian Organic, they are 800 chickens per hectare. I have heard these eggs can also be found at Woolworths.

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Southern Highland Organics

Not putting all my eggs in one basket, I got in contact with Farmer Luke from Tathra Place in Gymea Bay. It was such a a nice surprise picking up our first monthly order to find chicks in the garage. Love that the chickens are ethically raised pasture fed with no chemicals, no hormones, no antibiotics and no gmos. Tathra Place have a regular egg order list so no chance of missing out on the golden eggs. You can also pick up a carton at Pryde Meats Miranda. Support locals raising and supplying food the way it should be!

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Little Tathra Place chicks!

My friend Stuart also let us know that there is a local farmer at Illawong selling free range eggs at their road stall. I must check this out as $5 a dozen it is a bargain!

Show your support for a boycott of the big producers who sell free range eggs from chickens kept in conditions that don’t meet the CSIRO’s Model Code. Do you give a cluck? Which free range eggs do you buy? Where to do buy your eggs from?

 

Changing Habits

Green shampoo

My girlfriend Katie (@John and Kate’s Plate) and I were recently chatting all things shampoo and it reminded me of my greenwash shampoo experience last year.

I have always had oily hair as long as I can remember. Every time I went to the hairdresser they would comment that my hair is oily, that I am using the wrong shampoo and that I should try this *insert sales pitch*. Personally I thought that my hair has improved since changing my lifestyle but still on the oily side.

Last year I went to the hairdresser and an older lady cut my hair (usually I get a one of the young ones). She looked at my hair and could tell how long it had been since I had hair cut just by the length, so I figured she knows what is talking about. I got the usual your hair is oily response and said that I washed my hair this morning (I don’t like getting my hair shampooed at the hairdresser with all those nasty products). Hairdresser wasn’t impressed.

Any way, she insisted on a complimentary shampoo to show me what my hair would be like with the right shampoo, that my hair would be ‘free-er’; in my head I kept thinking sales pitch. She was talking about a mint shampoo and that the mint stimulates the scalp to increase circulation and help with the production of oil, which I could understand from my understanding the properties of peppermint essential oil. Not knowing what the shampoo was until it was all finished I checked the shampoo. DNA Organics mintiscalp shampoo; I was totally green-washed.

Despite the organic ingredients and essential oils it contained top nasties like PEG and EDTA. On top of this she blow dried my hair which I dislike too (because of how it makes my hair feel dry) but I really didn’t want wet hair whilst shopping.

So how do I know what nasties are lurking in my shampoo? I refer to my Twenty8 Ingredients Card I keep in my wallet (Contact me if you would you like one for your wallet!). Other great resources are Campaign for Safe Cosmetics and the Environmental Working Group SKIN DEEP online database allow us to search ingredients and products and make our home a safer place. This is one of the best places I trust to find out about the products you put on to your body and is designed to help fill the safety gaps left by the unregulated cosmetics industry. You can also listen to this The Wellness Guys podcast with Twenty8’s very own Kim Morrison talking about what is in our personal care products.

Shampoo RedList

From Campaign for Safe Cosmetics

After my greenwash my hair went whispy, felt less oily like squeaky clean, and I was not convinced that I liked the change in my hair. Husband came home and noticed my hair straight away and laughed at the difference at first then wasn’t happy, so definitely a difference that isn’t just in my head. So was my hair feeling like this because of the

a) using a more appropriate shampoo that I am not used to

b) using a shampoo with nasties that have stripped the natural oils from my hair

c) drying out my hair from the heat of the blow drier

or

d) need to investigate further?

I chose d) investigate further, so I asked the Twenty8 Health and Lifestyle Educators brains trust. Questions swirled around – how often do you wash your hair, how hot is the water, to do tie your hair up and have you tried ‘no-poo‘? Fellow HLE Sparkler Alix suggested:

The less you wash your hair, the better for its natural oils. Warm water, rather than hot, is much better for natural oil production. Under the water, before you shampoo it, comb your hair really slowly to help disperse the oils from your scalp to nourish the rest of the length of you hair. If you try and wash your hair once a week, shampoo twice and then only apply conditioner to your mid-lengths and ends. Obviously the more products you use in your hair, or ‘generic’ shampoo/conditioner, the more it strips your naturals oils so your scalp over produces.

– Track2Health

I tend to wash every 3 days or so and not overly hot showers. I only use shampoo and conditioner (which were not the greatest low-tox options at the time) and am not one for haircare styling products. I loved this tip from Alix of combing my hair before shampooing to disperse the oils, which worked for the next hair cut I had as no comments were made on how oily my hair was.  I don’t think I am ready for no-poo yet.

Many of the HLE Brains Trust recommended trying Everescents, so I made the switch. With the Everescents Organic Rose shampoo my hair has never looked so good, I have never used a shampoo that smells so divine, I get ringlets without even trying and many people make lovely comments about my hair. I love the philosophy behind Everescents:

  • Australian owned & made (even the bottles & labels!).
  • Plant based ingredients.
  • Transparent about the ingredients they choose and avoid
  • Contains pure Certified Organic ingredients.
  • Contains no Palm oil.
  • No animal testing.
  • 100% Renewable Energy.
  • Supports Camp Quality

What shampoo do you use? Do you know what is in your shampoo? Found a no nasties shampoo that works for you?

 

April No-Fool

It’s that time of the month, that time of the year where we feel like we are haemorrhaging money. It’s a joke, particularly has it always occurs on 1 April. April Fools! I am not laughing. Strata, Internet, swimming lessons, shopping day and to top it off the car service: all in the one day. However, unlike last year where things were tight, too tight, this time it is manageable. Now who is laughing?

So how did we go from $0.05 to manageable?

  • Track spending

Though I was monitoring our bank accounts daily I struggled to keep track of exactly how much I could spend. I had a budget and I knew what amounts corresponded to which category however working out how much I had left that I can spend versus what needed to stay untouched was a challenge. I had listened to Michelle House on a few podcasts of Carrens Couch and knew that she was a budgeting expert. After reading her blog on how to track your spending I downloaded ‘PocketBook’ app and have not looked back. This app has been a fantastic tool with its safety spend feature and bill tracker. It gives you notifications of when you have upcoming bills, warning when you are getting close to reaching your safety spend and summaries each week of how much you have spent and it is more/less than the previous week. It is great how I have an app that adds up ALL my spending and I can’t hide or overlook anything! The best thing is that this app is free, simple to use and syncs to your bank account so manual entering.

  • Christmas Un-hangover

Working through the 52 week money challenge in the last 6 months of 2015 was certainly a challenge as the amount increased each week. Sticking through the money burn rewarded us with a credit card free Christmas with all our spending, including hosting Christmas at our place, paid by our Gifts savings account. It was a fantastic feeling in January to not have to worry about a Christmas spending hangover. This year we are putting aside a regular amount of money each week into our Gifts savings account. The bonus is that we have money put aside for gifts throughout the year for birthdays and other special occasions as well as Christmas which makes for a stress-free gift giving experience.

  • Credit card paid off

A side effect of tracking our spending was working out extra repayments to put towards the credit card. With the goal of paying off the card before the annual card fee kicked in in March, we paid off every little bit of spare cash we had. As the balance came down I reduced the card limit as a way to stop any chance of temptation or budget blow out. We made out final repayment on 26 February 2016, just in the nick of time!

  • Debt repayment

While we still have some other debt hanging over our heads, moving towards a simple lifestyle and a slow home has given us the opportunity to reduce our spending and consumption. I make the majority of our food from scratch, I buy food and supplies in bulk where possible, I make home-made cleaners, I am working towards becoming self-reliant.  I have also found a great way to track how much I have paid off our debt thanks to @beingdebtfree_1dollaratatime on Instagram (4 Jan 2016) . Draw up a table with 3 columns, column 1 is date, column 2 is percentages i.e. 5%, 10% etc and column 3 is the corresponding percentage amount of your total debt. The bottom row is starting debt (I flipped it around so starting debt is a the top). We are at 5% and this is not including paying off the credit card, onwards and upwards from here!

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Buying from bulk from Honest to Goodness

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Bargain buys from the supermarket

  • Emergency fund

While paying off the credit card we were able to have $1000 put aside in our emergency savings account. I follow a few Aussie people on Instagram who work towards Dave Ramsey’s Baby Steps and this motivated me to get stuck into step 1 and 2. This week the tyres on the car needed to be replaced so we dipped into this account where in the past we would have used the credit card. It was a huge relief knowing that we had the money for such a big and unexpected expense. Our goal is to save up 3 months for joint expenses after we smash our debt repayments.

Do you use apps to track your spending or are you a pen and paper kind of person? Are you working towards paying off debt? Share what is working (or not) for you.

 

Down to Earth

I finally got my very own copy of Down to Earth by Rhonda Hetzel. This has been my go to guide for everything simple living from housework to life stages to savings to finding your rhythm. I am so grateful for the numerous times I have borrowed this book from the library. This week I was looking forward to meeting Rhonda this week on The Simple Home book tour! She has been such an inspiration in the changes I have made in my life.

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Rhonda and I at the Library Talk

On Thursday I attended Rhonda’s library book talk at Kogarah Library talking about all things simple living. Rhonda chatted with us how she went from overwhelmed, stressed and burnt out to taking control of life, being self reliant, happy and content in her simple home. Rhonda stopped work and had to replace the income and reduce the cost of living so she started with her food budget. From trying different recipes, new ways of shopping, ways of storing food and not wanting to waste food, Rhonda made her food from scratch and found that it was easier, cheaper, tasted better and was fresher than store bought food. From her food Rhonda moved to reducing the chemicals that she was brining in her home. Rhonda was all about taking the good parts of the old ways and bringing them into the now, simple living with a focus on her home. We all have a busy life and we can pick and choose different possibilities of simple living, and once you are organised usually things are easy on a day to day level.

So many gems of wisdom

  • There are a wide range of things possible to a simple home
  • Being organised is important
  • Buying things we keep, like clothes, are assets and we should look after them
  • Money is a tool
  • Choose local over organic
  • Make your own laundry liquid
  • Many don’t look after themselves, be kind to you
  • Craft used to be part of housework

Check Down to Earth out in your local library or get a copy from Biome. You can also listen to Rhonda here at The Slow Home Podcast.

A big thank you to Rhonda for sharing her know-how and her new book The Simple Home with us. It was a pleasure to meet you and thank you for signing my copy of my book Down to Earth.

 

 

 

Mrs Wishy Washy

Since first reading Down to Earth by Rhonda Hetzel I have wanted to give it a go in making my own laundry liquid. I thought it would be hard, time-consuming and fiddly. How wrong I was!

I made my first batch just before Christmas and this has lasted just under 3 months including many washes for night time toilet training. No longer washing day or night cloth nappies gave me a great opportunity to start to make my own laundry liquid. For laundry powder and liquids suitable for cloth nappies look here.

Laundry Liquid

Laundry Liquid Step by Step

There are only 3 ingredients to homemade laundry liquid, 4 if you count the water. Soap, washing soda, and borax. The recipe I started off with was Rhonda’s blog Down to Earth Have you tried homemade laundry liquid, and Homemade laundry liquid revisited. However I was not keen on the borax, as I think ant poison straight away and I am unclear of the environmental impact. Rhonda’s blog posts have some great comments and tips at the bottom from many of Rhonda’s readers.

The recipe I choose to use was Melissa from Frugal and Thriving, a borax free recipe. This week I made my second batch.

My product cost:

  • 7.95 soap
  • 3.99 washing soda 1kg
  • Half an hour of my time

Cost of Ingredients:

  • 7.95 1 bar of soap
  • 1.00 1 cup of washing soda

Total for 10 Litres = $8.95, that’s less than a $1 a litre!

Many of the recipes I found on how to make laundry liquid or powder recommended using any old soap, or sunlight soap, or lux flakes for ease of use. Soap ain’t soap!

  • Lux flakes Ingredients: Soap, Perfume.
  • Sunlight Soap: Sodium Tallowate, Water, Sodium Cocoate, Glycerin, Sodium Chloride, Fragrance, Etidronic Acid, Tetrasodium EDTA, CI 11680, CI 16255, Potassium Hydroxide.

Sure this may be the cheap, standard option but I want my laundry liquid to be safe to use with no nasties like fragrance, perfume or EDTA. I refer to my Twenty8 Additive card when I am out shopping to check what ingredients to avoid in my personal care products. You can also refer to Chemical Maze or Skin Deep to look up the ingredients and check for yourself what is safe for you and your family.

I went looking for soap and I choose Dr Bronners Pure Castile Unscented bar soap; safe ingredients but compromising on palm oil, sorry orang-utans.

I choose the unscented soap so that I can add my own essential oils and know the quality of the essential oils that are being used with my laundry. I choose what is safe for me and safe for the environment, nothing synthetic or adulterated. I add 3-5 drops of Eucalyptus essential oil to each load as a stain remover as well as its high anti-bacterial, anti-viral and antiseptic properties. Every few loads I will add 3-5 drops of Tea Tree essential oil to a load for its anti-fungal and antimicrobial properties.

Tips

  • Use a pot just for soap making – just to be safe. I share my soap pot with my mum.
  • Best made when children are not around.
  • Washing soda can be found in most supermarkets, look on the top or bottom shelves.
  • Have enough containers handy to store more than 10L of liquid as you need space in container to shake before use.
  • The liquid is more like gel and will separate, it is still good to use.
  • Have a scoop to store with your liquid. I choose to re-purpose my plastic 1/3 measuring cup dedicated to laundry. (I have stainless steel measuring cups for cooking).
  • Have a smaller working container for everyday use and decant as needed out of the larger containers. I use a large 10L ice cream tub from my local cafe.
  • Any of the first aid oils would be a great choice to add to your laundry liquid and will give a beautiful and fresh aroma to you clothes and linen.

If you are more a powder than a liquid person, check out Stuart’s recipe.

If you are not keen on making your own laundry liquid, Jo from Down to Earth Mum has some great tips on how to choose the best laundry liquid or powder. My favourite store-bought eco-friendly laundry liquid is Kin Kin Naturals. Some other great laundry options can be found here and here.

Mrs Wishy Washy was a popular children’s book from my 1990s school days which I can still picture in my mind when I do the washing! Have you tried making your own laundry liquid?

Enough

Enough!

I have not done enough for this blog.

I do not have enough time for a blog.

I am not enough to be writing a blog.

In a time when it is all too much, when I have had enough, I reflect on the words of my beautiful girlfriend Christin:

You do enough.

You are enough.

You have enough.

And breath deeply.

Repeat 3 times.

– Wandress Life

I have spent the past 2 weekends away pursuing what I love in self-care and nutrition. Being surrounded in the loving and supportive company of like-minded people gave me an opportunity to reflect.

At the recent Twenty8 HLE Graduation weekend I was asked to recall my experience of being a HLE student only 6 months before hand and share with the current students where I am up to as graduate and what I want to do from here. I had some big personalities in my HLE intake group, even celebrities in my eyes, and in my mind I did not feel I was enough compared to them. I could not do what they are doing in getting the message out there. What I have come to realise is that I don’t have to be like them, I don’t have to do it all in a short amount of time. I have to be me, believe in me, and be me in my own time. This is my journey, no one elses; you cannot compare someone’s chapter 1 with another persons chapter 20. I am beginning to see in myself what others see in me, and this is a big aha moment for me!

My girlfriend Hen recently posted:

No one else has the same beliefs, knowledge or experience. No one knows exactly what’s going on in your universe. No one can possibly have your perspective.

– My Innate Vitality

At the recent Changing Habits Graduation weekend people I was meeting new people who did not know that was going on for me and the darkness that I have pulled myself out of; I came to realise that not everyone needs to know. All people need to know is that I do have a different perspective, no one else has the same experiences as me, no one else has the same learnings as me, and if I share this perspective with others it may resonate with them for them to what to find out more and create the ripple effect of change just from me being the example.

I am enough!

I have been doing a lot the past months raising a family, working, and completing 3 courses in 2015.

This blog is just over 12 months old; good things take time to grow.

My story needs to be shared with the world.

“You never get over it, but you do get on with it”

– Carren Smith

So let’s get on with it!

 

Who ya gonna call?

“For women to remain empowered as they take on the joys and challenges of motherhood ideologies of mothering and femininity must be moderated. They serve to isolate and undermine women as they set unreasonable expectations of women and make fathers contribution an optional extra.”

Recovery from Postnatal Depression: Endurance, sedition and sorting the family baggage – Dr Sue Cowie, International Marcè Society Conference 2016.

Women who experience postpartum depression are greater risk to experience this again in a second pregnancy. Dr Cowie has studied how taking in the context of women’s lives and womens’ experiences and expectations and how they prepare for second birth. Four general circumstances appeared to make motherhood more difficult: traumatic or difficult birth, women’s physical health problems, child’s health and feeding problems and lack of support. Second time experience recovery themes included endurance test e.g. ‘such is life;, it just slowly got better ‘finding the baby more enjoyable’, other to mother experiences in knowing what a child needs, and seditious talk with friends to help feel normal when talking about the depression and postnatal stressors of the new baby. Having a baby the second time after experiencing postpartum depression resulted in the mother having a less idealised view of the baby, more experienced and knowledgeable, and a transformational experience .

Recovering from postpartum mood disorders? Who ya gonna call? We need to start talking more about the challenges of motherhood and talk more about the context of how things get better.

 

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