Sarah Short Circuit

Heal, Nourish, Nurture

Tag: Exercise

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?

 

The Wellness Summit 2016

The Wellness Couch thank you for a brilliant weekend filled with inspiring speakers and amazing exhibitors, bringing together so many like-minded people to create the change we wish to see in our world! There were even times with the conversations I had with friends over the weekend I thought some of the speakers had bugged our room. Such a powerful weekend!

summit-1

Wellness Summit 2016 Day 1

Back to basics, getting the small things right, simplify. Wellness Summit 2016 Day 1.
The Wellness Guys demonstrated poo to make us think about what sustains you, what goes into your body. Pick the keys moments to make the change.
Kim Morrison – you are here now from all the choices you have made, stay in your authentic self moment by moment. Self-awareness leads to self-discipline leads to self-control leads to self-respect leads to self-love.
Jo Whitton –  steps to healing from mental illness, and make time to talk to your kids. Counselling/fighting fears, chiropractic/natural therapies, supplementation, detoxing home/body, practicing gratitude, sleep, nature therapy, exercise/movement, and hobbies & interests. Support each other. Take the time to heal. Support yourself with like minded people.
Fouad –  part of experience is trust in life. Who is the I behind the concept?
Carren Smith –  if we don’t use challenges for what its purpose was we won’t grow and expand. What came first you or your thoughts, emotions, experiences? We all have to stand up and take responsibility for the way we live our lives from the inside out.

An Unexamined Life is a Life Not Worth Living – Socrates

Tim Robards your body is reflection of the environment you put yourself in, look after yourself first.

summit-3-lt

Laurence Tham – Wellness Summit 2016

No one is coming to save us, it’s your life, take self-control, take self-responsibility, the world does not owe you a single thing.
There are times when you feel on a journey by yourself, others can’t identify, acknowledge the loneliness, don’t try to hide it.
Appreciate the process.
Don’t ignore the conversations with yourself.
Find your child within.
Swim your own race 🏊
Powerful words from Laurence Tham at The Wellness Summit 2016.
And in the words of LT’s gorgeous children Be brave, believe in yourself and never give up

summit-4-bh

Brett Hill – Wellness Summit 2016

It’s not about other people, it’s about you. It’s how you deal or struggle with stress, it’s not about the size, big or small it’s important to you.
How do you keep going? How do you do it? What’s the alternative? What’s my choice?
Focus first on loving yourself. You haven’t been doing things for yourself because of other people. Do things for yourself because you are worth it.
Make the change to get back on track and go be a better version of you with a clearer version of your why.
Stay curious.
Learn about yourself.
Life is a choice. Choose to believe it happened for a reason.
Challenges faced are a good thing, I am exactly where I need to be.
Recovery from rock bottom happens with one choice, gradually you make more choices because you love yourself.
Life challenges, you don’t know why, it doesn’t make sense, you never know what life has got planned for you.
Something comes along and changes your life in an instant.

As I began to love myself I found that anguish and emotional suffering
are only warning signs that I was living against my own truth.
Today, I know, this is “AUTHENTICITY”. – Charlie Chaplin

As tears trickled down my cheek, it was like Brett Hill was talking just to me, not the other 900 people at The Wellness Summit. Thank you Brett for your courage and compassion in sharing your rock bottom with us all

summit-2

Wellness Summit 2016 Day 2

You have a choice! The Wellness Summit 2016 Day 2.
Damian Kristof – make what we do by having a gentle approach, have fun, make connections. What is the best we can get?
Cyndi O’Meara – we have a crisis. Unless you make a commitment to make a change you will be like the rest if people. It’s time for a paradigm shift

Paradigm Shift – A time when the usual and accepted way of doing or thing about something changes completely – Changing Habits

Hilbilby beer pong! Seeing the speakers have fun on stage and pull the fire tonic faces was such a laugh a minute!

summit-5-mp

Marcus Pearce – Wellness Summit 2016

We dampen our incredible life at the expense of others.
Put yourself first.
Use being selfish for positive.
Be mindful of your culture, love your culture, create your own culture, protect your culture.
Your peer group is your culture. Choose it wisely.
Your family is your greatest teacher.
Thank you Marcus Pearce for an incredible wrap up of The Wellness Summit 2016! 

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

 

Race

Ready, set, race!

I’m distracted, left behind in my own world as my legs start to turn over.

Pick up the pace, turn up a gear!

Focus, who am I kidding, my head is not in the room, its off planning what I will do after class, thinking what my son is up to… my thoughts are racing.

“You make me feel good,
You make me feel safe,
You know I wouldn’t have it any other way”

As I am thinking of husband working 6 days a week and missing him heaps the beat of Laserlight by Jessie J brings me back into the moment. I am alive, my legs are spinning, beads of perspiration are trickling down my face. Reality check. This is my time, my moment.

I’ve got that feeling returning, I remember this feeling. I start to feel good as Flo Rida Good Feeling pumps away my thoughts.

Start to climb!

I start to drift off, reminiscing about times in high school as Bomfunk MC Freestyler and Fragma Toca’s Miracle pound out of the speakers, my thoughts seem a million miles away but my legs keep spinning to the bass.

Increase the resistance!

Bring it back, focus, feel the burn. Forget about the thoughts as my body works hard. Get lost in the music not my thoughts. Slow down the race in my head, there is no winner.

Race!

No one gets left behind in the spin room, there are no losers, we are all in it together.

As the instructor wearing a Spider Man suit brings the class to a close I reflect on my spin class today. My head wasn’t in a good space, I need to slow down again. I have lost my rhythm, my routine at the gym and I miss the good feeling.

The gym is my outlet for release and time out. While I am  not a gym junkie, it is a place where I can forget about the world and focus on myself. Feel my body working hard, building strength and letting go of the stress. A place where I can stop my thoughts racing away. Even while I was pregnant we planned enough money in our budget for me to continue with the gym despite people saying we should give up our gym membership with a new bub and a single income. Going to the gym is my time for self-care.

The gym has been a wonderful place for me especially on my journey of healing and recovery. I get to know familiar faces, friendly smiles are exchanged and conversations are struck up with the regulars. On days I am feeling flat and I drag myself to the gym, I get a buzz once I am there and interacting with other people and working my body. The regulars greet me with a smile and a laugh along with words of encouragement as they notice the changes in me, the weight I have lost. Even a personal trainer that I saw 18 months ago at my heaviest did a double take at me recently and came up to me with words of amazement and encouragement.

Though my routine has been shaky of late and my head feels like it’s picking up speed, I know that the gym is where I am grounded, I get that good feeling!

All about that bass

I’m bringing booty back
Go ahead and tell them skinny bitches Hey
No, I’m just playing I know you think you’re fat,
But I’m here to tell you that,
Every inch of you is perfect from the bottom to the top

I’m bringing booty back. I am kicking butt with my weight loss and have reached my next goal – my wedding weight!

Looking back I thought I was destined to continue to put on weight. Year by year since high school the weight slowly crept up. No matter what I tried, what diet I was consuming and how hard I exercised the weight kept piling on. Controlling portion size, low-fat everything, chromium tablets to control sugar cravings, slim shakes, appointments with nutritionists, the list goes on. Clothes became smaller and tighter gradually till I reluctantly gave in to the next size up. I had this image of myself as massive, always bigger than the rest of the girls.

Despite training hard with a PT to look toned and terrific on my big day, my wedding weight to me was huge, the biggest I had ever been. And the weight continued to increase gradually after we were married till I was bigger still. A few years later I then fell pregnant, a guaranteed weight gain. My doctor advised me for my size a weight gain of 10-12kgs was acceptable. I freaked as I had heard stories of other women gaining up to 30kgs whilst pregnant. I wasn’t happy with my body before getting pregnant and seeing my belly grow made me uncomfortable, even though I knew I was growing a beautiful baby. I was reluctant to have photos taken of me while I was pregnant due my feelings of unease with my size.

After the birth I think was on track with the acceptable weight gain. I thought once the baby was born my body would bounce back, that breast-feeding would help me to lose the baby weight. I had this idea floating around my head that I could be a yummy mummy and get back to my high school weight quickly after birth. I was itching to get back to the gym days after getting home from the hospital.

The ideas racing around my head was the calm before the storm of psychosis. With psychosis came the unpleasant side effect of anti-psychotic medication induced weight gain. I ballooned in a short space of time from the olanzapine, gaining even more stretch marks than what I had got from being pregnant. The munchies from olanzapine were terrible, chocolate was my weakness to the point where my husband had to restrict what money I was given when I was in the mental health unit as I would spend it all on the vending machine rather than my computer access. I have been told I was constantly seeking food when I was hospitalised, I had food squirrelled away in my room, was one of the first patients to line up for meal time or assist stocking the fridge each morning and I even pinched other patients food at times.

Once home from hospital I emotionally ate my through my recovery. If I was bored I ate, if I was depressed I ate, if I was procrastinating I ate. Food numbed the pain, food was a way to escape dealing with the reality that I had a psychotic episode. My diet consisted primarily of wheat and dairy – wash, rinse, repeat.

Around July 2013 I hit my heaviest point. None of my clothes fit, it was a struggle to walk up the stairs whilst carrying my son, and I felt uncomfortable within myself. I was searching for answers as to why I developed Postpartum Psychosis. As I researched I found Changing Habits and gradually began to implement slow changes to my diet and lifestyle from December 2013. I reached my first goal of pre-pregnancy weight in November 2014. I had lost the same amount of weight as my son weighed currently. It was like a Biggest Loser moment when the contestants carry a back pack of the weight they used to be as a reminder of their previous self, except I was carrying my son.

In about 14 months I have lost over 25kgs, reaching a goal I did not think possible, my wedding weight in February 2015. People have started to notice the changes, asking me what I have been doing, and how have I lost the weight. I have received gracious comments like my eyes are brighter and more open, I am walking with confidence and that I am looking younger. Some people are not recognising me at first glance, even Cyndi O’Meara in November 2014 at the Awaken the Change Within retreat did not realise I was the same person she had met in March 2014 at the Changing Habits One Day Workshop. I feel better within myself and have noticed I no longer look puffy, the weight is falling off evenly and I have more energy. Though I may be the same weight as when I married my sweetheart, my body is a different shape than before particularly as this body has given birth to my beautiful son. I can look back now and see that I wasn’t huge in my wedding photos, I was a stunning bride that brought a tear to the groom’s eye.

Because it’s all about the bass. Next goal: High school weight!

Changing Habits

Back in the saddle

Bicycle bicycle bicycle
I want to ride my bicycle bicycle bicycle
I want to ride my bicycle
I want to ride my bike
I want to ride my bicycle
I want to ride it where I like

We got out on our bikes on the weekend. It was great to get back in the saddle, to feel the wind licking our face, to feel my legs pumping, enjoying a fantastic morning in glorious sunshine with my family. Riding past the wetlands, local parks and along the beach foreshore breathing in the salt air, plus my son got to enjoy his favourite past time a train ride!

After having our son, bike riding was one of past times that got pushed to the wayside. No time, no energy and no possible way to enjoy it with a young baby. Our ‘Cycling around Sydney’ (Bruce Ashley) book sat on our bookshelf gathering dust.

Now our son is a toddler and since we picked up a second hand baby bike seat we can enjoy bike riding again. Sure it may not be like the Ben Lomond Decent we did on our honeymoon, but a good time none the less!

Get out there and get back on your bike!

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