Faded desires

I wake from my afternoon nap in a panic. The late golden sun melting below the palm trees, the wind creating dancing shadows of jagged palm fronds across my turquoise bed sheet. The scent of smoke from a nearby fire drifts through the cracked window, reminding me of the many remote and tropical islands of which my younger self ventured through.

Suddenly, all of my surf trips flashed before my eyes. That was it. No more of those wild days. But then slowly, panic gives way to acceptance. A giving way that has been weaving its way throughout my mind for the past couple of years. A feeling that was certainly not always easy to grasp. 

In the very moment of exploration, I know I made the absolute most of it. I couldn’t have lapped up any more of it had I tried. Though, coming out of the other side of filling everybikini body spare moment immersed in the ocean, it’s a relief to not be 100% engrossed in it anymore. It’s a making way for something even greater. 

My cup has well and truly overflowed with fullness for all the waves I’ve been privileged enough to ride. As I write, I sit with my mug of liquorice tea, while the first of the winter swells grace the shores. My rusted bicycle recklessly leans against a tree trunk from my early morning surf check. One where many hungry surfers lined the carpark, frantically getting into their wetsuits, eager to steal even one great ride. And yet, I felt a great calmness as I cycle away, no longer having that burning desperation to be out there. 

It was only a few years ago that I would punish myself for missing even one morning surf. The times when I did surf early, I’d then need to be out there in my lunch break and again after work. A complete and utter obsession. 

Now, a mysterious anticipation lingers in my mind. An anticipation for the next chapter to come. Curiosity tends to hijack many moments throughout my day; how great it must be on the other side. It must be something pretty incredible if it’s going to be any greater than my love of surfing.

Of course, this passion for surfing is never going to vanish and it will always remain a key foundation. 

Rather, there’s some kind of interlude playing out. 

A slow burn. 

There’s no longer a fearful clutching at something that feels like it’s slipping away. In recognising the need for that interlude, alluring visions flash through my mind. A tiny hand in mine, small and clumsy steps, wide and sparkling eyes as we slowly make our way around the edge of a remote island.

Advertisements

The power of the period

As a surfer, it took a while for me to realise the importance of a backup sport or hobby to indulge in while the surf was unfavourable. I learnt over time, that to 100% obsess over surfing only caused frustration when nature wasn’t playing along. That’s where strength training came in. Oh and an incredibly inspirational boyfriend. The thing was, every time it got to that time of the month, I felt I had to sit out for almost a week because I was taught through yoga to be gentle with my body around moon cycle. It wasn’t until I looked into research that the week of strawberry fields was one of the most powerful weeks, in terms of strength goals in the gym. This might be a time for males to tune out… 

When you get your period, sometimes all you want to do is pass out on the couch in and around coping with your already busy lifestyle. Some women get hit harder than others, lower back pain, bloating and heavy bleeding, being the joyous symptoms that come around all too soon every month. No matter how many inspirational workout clips you watch on your Instagram feed, it really isn’t enough to motivate you to get your butt off the couch and to the gym. But that’s all about to change. 

Being on your period is the only time you’re not concerned with getting pregnant 

Bold statement yes. But biologically and evolutionarily it’s true. Testosterone levels are atsmall bikini their highest when you’re menstruating, given there is more biologically active testosterone available during exercise. So pretty much during this period (no pun intended) you are closer to being a man than ever before!

I think that in itself is pretty amazing, given guys go about buying testosterone supplements, yet as women we have free flowing hormones given to us naturally every month! I see this as a huge advantage for females! That’s right, bleeding can be a gift! 

Muscular strength increases 

I found a study out of Sweden that showed that by training within the first half of your menstrual cycle, had the biggest effect in terms of muscular strength, power and muscle mass. This is so important if you’re into heavy lifting and can be a time when you break previous records in how much weight you push or pull! This adds an extra level of confidence for your next session. 

Personally, when I discovered those studies, it was enough motivation just to hold that thought in my head to drag myself into the gym on my period! The placebo effect alone truly plays wonders on the mind. Throughout a heavy weighted set, I’d be telling myself “oh wow I really do have more strength!”

So it’s time to let go of the thought that you cannot train on your period, or that your period is some kind of curse! Take your power back. Training large muscle groups, such as quads, buttocks and hamstrings requires at least one heavy training session a week to truly see results. So now you have every reason not to sit out one of those important sessions every month! 

 

How to master your flow state and score more waves

Karma and energy. Could these two dominating aspects of existence have anything to do with being in the right place, at the right time, for that one perfect wave that stays in your memory for a lifetime? Of course there’s such thing as fluking, but I think that there’s something bigger at play.

I mention the point because I’ve noticed that when I sacrifice time to give back to others, I’m always rewarded with an unmistakeable magic session. I’m not saying immediately after time spent giving back, but at any near time in the future.

When I find myself scoring that session, my instinct tells me it’s because I’ve carried out surf paddlegood deeds. Of course that’s not the motivating factor behind any type of volunteering, or labours of love, to expect something in return. But it’s nice to know that someone is watching over me, and sending gifts relevant to my greatest passion. I have a feeling that Huey and other universal figures are responsible.

And what about energy? I’m sure you’ve noticed that one guy in the water that lets out an aggressive grunt, when he can’t paddle onto a wave. He’s likely carried negative energy from his day into the water, and placed high expectations of washing that frustration away. He’s also the one that hands out disposable death stares, to all the guys scoring the best waves. If you’ve tried to surf when you’re angry, you’ll know the impossibility of the task.

Of course a much more rewarding state of mind to harness, when in the line-up, is when you find yourself in the flow. On land, you’ll recognize this state by a series of events or situations, sometimes even the occurrence of miracles. You’ve probably noticed a flow state as:

  • Doors keep opening for you.
  • The multiple occurrence of events that send shivers up your spine (described as the touch of spirit).
  • Vibrant people seem to keep coming into your life- even a stranger crossing your path that captivates you with their high energy.
  • That feeling of déjà vu is rampant. I’ve heard that’s a little sign from the universe that you’re exactly where you need to be in life. That feeling that you’ve been there before shouldn’t be written off as cliché.
  • All those little coincidences that are actually meaningful synchronicities or signs (a term first coined by the great Carl Jung) and better described in “Catching the bug of synchronicity”.

Basically you attract all the best that life has to offer.ocean beauty

Just with events on land, there’s no forcing things to happen, as it starts to become unnatural. And it’s exactly the same in the water. You have to bring a special kind of mindset with you.

This is where you really start to enjoy any conditions you paddle out into.

If you’re reminding yourself how much you love to be caressed by the warm waters of a vast ocean, watching pods of dolphins frolic in the deep waters, that feeling of a moving wave under your feet, and just being there without any expectations, then you’re going to withhold a high energy through gratitude.

Comparatively if the conditions are terrible, and you haven’t managed to catch any waves at all, you might ask yourself why you even bothered to paddle out in the first place.

Instead, look through a different lens. Know that your surfing improves with every paddle stroke. Master those junky waves, so you can truly appreciate the flawless ones. womens surfingMany of the world’s top aerial surfers crave onshore conditions to improve their airs.

Even if you’re just sitting there, you might be surrounded by one of the best sunsets or a passing thunderstorm. These moments from nature can even be missed, when you’re so caught up in needing waves, or tactically keeping on the inside of another surfer.

When you drop the neediness, and the high expectations, or any expectations at all, then you’ll feel that flow state that you’re after. You’ll be rewarded in the surf when you dedicate time to others on land. Keep in mind that Huey always watches your efforts. If you drove for three hours and didn’t score. He’s watching. If you paddled out every day of the month just because your passion is that high, he sees that too. So where’s your karma and energy sitting at?

 

 

Why women were born to surf.And have babies

I recently caught up with a pretty special lady that I met through a mutual friend out in the surf. We each shared our vastly different experiences coming back from Indo trips over the years. Let’s just say her Bali belly was of a different nature to that of a non-refrigerated plate of nasi goreng.  In fact, she’s the only women I’ve met where I’ve recognized the striking connection between surfing and childbirth. I was rather intrigued by her sophisticated transition from a lady surfer to a baby’s mamma. As we sat over lattes at her local beachside café, she gracefully caressed her now six-month old, revealing her lavish smile as she retells the most defining chapter of her life.  

And that’s where it struck me. We jokingly made mention of our cupcake baking besties and their direct experiences of childbirth, and how they differed from those that she knew as surfers. The environment is more of a rough, testosterone filled line-up, where your cute bikini doesn’t mean much in the often dog-eat-dog habitat. And no I’m not talking about the dance of male pursuing female, although I now see it reads alike. I’m actually referring to all the risk factors of surfing, and how it’s a few notches above a mild burn, off a torn oven mitt pulling out that tray of freshly baked cupcakes.

She distinctly remembers hyperventilating on her hospital bed as the nurses attemptedhealthy living to relieve her immense pain with a gas mask. Through belts of laughter, she explained how she ran for the hospital door, ripping out all of her monitors, screaming ‘I can’t do this! I’m leaving!’ as the nurses ran after her.

After realising there wasn’t any going back, and the birth was in fact happening, like right now, she managed to calm her mind, and in turn her pain, from a very different source. One that’s not available in your regular hospital medical cabinets.  She vividly sketched the surface of a calm ocean surface in her mind, breathing deep as she remembered the silky feeling of a summer’s sea caressing her arms and fingertips, as she carelessly paddled through the line-up.

In describing surfing, she explained the all too familiar burning sensation of shoulders and arms, as you desperately desire that one perfect wave. The lifetime of deep fin slashes, bruises, burning reef cuts, jelly fish stings, infections and all other aspects of surfing that seem to add a coat of armour, to what could have been a life baking cupcakes. Not that we hold anything against our cupcake baking queens.

She was of the firm view that women who surf have a higher pain threshold. But I think32204_400218545167_814411_n it’s much deeper than a physical element. Mentally we hold those magical moments out in the ocean in the forefront of our mind. Often drifting off into daydream, far away from our current reality. And I know how much of a lulling effect that has upon flashback. I think the power of the ocean continues to live within, no matter how long it’s been since your last session.

I’m sure there’s that special kinship of once developing in the wound of salty fluid yourself, and that connection to the salt water as a surfer. Something I’m yet to describe in words. As for surfing with a young baby, constantly craving mum’s presence, I’ve never seen a girl so excited to get out into the surf at any given opportunity. It just makes me smile so big. But she just knew in her heart when she was ready. That pivotal moment when she realised there was something bigger to life than just surfing. As for the link between surfing and pregnancy; does it make us invincible? As much as we like to think that, I’m sure nothing will compare to the pain and challenge, we’re just equipped with a certain set of coping mechanisms, that are as unique as our salted gills, absent in our non-aquarian counterparts.

One food additive you need to avoid

One aspect of our modern day lives that I’m incredibly passionate about is learning exactly what’s contained in our everyday foods. We’re simply not eating the way that our grandparents or even parents were eating. Food giants are answering to our ever increasing demand for foods with a greater shelf life, and that are ultra-convenient to our busy lives.  Sure they deserve a pat on the back for their loyalty to our requests, but the downside is that your health is suffering much more than you realise. I’ve learnt an incredible amount of knowledge on additives and preservatives through my health writing, and here’s one additive you certainty want to avoid.

So many supermarkets are recognizing our concern for products that contain unknown chemical ingredients, that many food companies will now splash “additive and preservative free” all over their front packets. Unfortunately, that’s often very far from the truth.

Annatto, or 160B is used to create smooth texture in food products like ice cream, additives and preservativesmargarine and salad dressings. Sure, it comes from natural sources, which allows those food companies to use the slogan additive and preservative free. That’s because annatto is sourced from the achiote shrub seed, however it’s anything but good for your health.

Various health complications

You’ve got to wonder just how many modern day diseases are linked to additives and preservatives in our food? Sure one Magnum ice cream won’t kill you. And that’s not what I’m getting at. Rather, you have to consider how many sources of the foods that you consume in one day, contribute to your overall intake of particular additives and preservatives.

Each country has their own regulatory body to say just how much of an additive oradditives in food preservative is considered to be safe for consumption in each food item. The problem is that that’s only for one food product, yet those same additives or preservatives are scattered across multiple food sources. Consume five food products throughout the day, with that same safe level of an additive and you’re looking at some big repercussions to your health.  Just Google “annatto and IBS” to reveal how many adults suffer from irritable bowel syndrome thanks to this nasty chemical.

Run to your same staple foods for years, or even a lifetime, add into the mix toxic pesticides, cleaning products, pollution and chemical body products, and you can see why cancer and other diseases are rampant as the chemical burden is just too overwhelming to your body. Your body simply does not recognize many of the foreign chemicals.

Behavioural disturbances in children

Luckily the Food Intolerance Network has been set up in Australia, to allow parents to share their experience with annatto, and how it affects their children’s behaviour. Timefood additives and time again, reports have been made on disturbing behaviour such as head banging and absolute rages in young children. Unfortunately, links would be very rarely made between that behaviour, and the food they are given each day. Instead, they are likely to be sent to a child psychologist and prescribed some heavy medication.

Annatto is just one of the many additives to be avoided in food products. Unfortunately, it’s just the tip of the iceberg. To me it’s about going back to the basics, without making food boring of course. Setting small goals is a great way to reach your target of clean eating. Start to flip the packet over and read what’s actually in your food, and even challenge yourself to go additive and preservative free for a week or two. I wouldn’t be surprised if some of your pre-existing medical conditions started to dissipate.

 

 

 

The complexity of nutrition

Nutrition is complex. I’ve now been writing health articles for over two years. Sure, a relatively short time, but one that’s involved a wide array of compelling projects from many different clients, proposing assignments from every corner of the globe. All striving to influence others’ lives in a positive way. Each helping to fuel my burning desire to create change.  What stands out to me most, is that nutrition is simply not black and white for everyday people. If the health world was a chess game, some of those claiming to be experts, seem to sit pretty as Kings and Queens, fear-mongering those who make poor food choices, while the laymen remain squirming little pawns, preferring to tune into TV advertisements promising quick health fixes, than to focus on their game plan.

Some days it can be easy to blame. To blame those that choose to eat all the upsized burgers, greasy fries and chocolate. But there’s a big element of lack of education and hidden truths.  I also find a lot of challenge in a predominately flawed Western medical system. A system that only deals with health at surface level. Where it aims to mask symptoms through magic little pills. And they do work. Almost too well. At least until thewestern medicine problem re-emerges and another layer of paint is needed to hide the cracks- by way of second, third, fourth prescription handout.

It creates a mammoth challenge in the changing of behaviour. A challenge big enough to engulf the entire health world. However, bit by bit, the walls of understanding are being broken down. Habits can be engrained for a lifetime and they can be very difficult to turn around, usually without a major life event, such as disease or sickness; to truly be shaken at heart level.

Slowly but surely, more and more Eastern approaches are being carefully intertwined into Western medicine, where the body is treated holistically, not as fragments of a whole.

I don’t hold any qualifications in nutrition, nor do I claim to be any fraction of an expert. Rather, I focus on bridging the gap between latest scientific findings around nutrition, surf lifestyleand the average Joe reading my articles.

I guess you could say that I “speak to experts”. Often health studies don’t make it into the public eye, rather they sit in the vault of medical journals. But these studies can be vital in putting your habits into perspective. I often find myself wading through multiple complex pages written in another language, a language of science, before reaching into my toolbox of words and finding ways to present jargon into bite-size pieces.

I’m deeply motivated to make changes in the way people go about their day in terms of their health and eating habits. I know first-hand how much energy can be obtained from beach girlsparticular food groups, and I want to spread that knowledge far and wide. Life’s too short to be dragging your feet around, viewing your days as hum-drum experiences full of must-do’s. Have you ever noticed someone on a sugar-high or caffeineed up to their eye balls on espresso shots? It’s a manic type of energy that usually has me walking a large circle around them.

One good place to start is in learning about a pH diet..Positive Health Wellness has a great chart here

I’ve seen health content making a difference. I mean the type where readers are inspired to make changes, no matter how small. Where they can paint a clear picture through captivating word form, of what a healthier lifestyle looks like. I can only hope that my work continues to feed that vision.

 

 

 

 

The Progression of Gratitude

Spiritual junkies will tell you that gratitude is one of the key foundations to ultimate enlightenment.  And I’m not judging them because I’m a junkie too. But what happens on those days where everything just seems to fall apart, and all of what your life is made of is seemingly crumbling before your eyes? Well you’ve simply found yourself out of alignment from where you’re supposed to be. Practicing gratitude by starting in a place that feels good, will provide a little bit of fuel to break out of your bad energy, and back into alignment with that best version of yourself.  

I don’t see any point in practicing fake gratitude. Sometimes you’re not even conscious that you’re doing it, but when you realise you are, you find it as counterproductive as no 65169_10151137360180168_400812489_ngratitude at all. “I love my job, I love my guy, I love my dog”, won’t get you anywhere if your boss keeps throwing overtime at you, your partner is finding all your triggers to frustration and your dog just pooped on the lounge room floor. The universe will simply align you with more of your dominant vibration, when your words don’t match how you feel at heart. In other words, you’ll get more of the same stuff that’s got you stuck in that point of frustration in the first place.

The universe does not care for the words you mutter; they will simply fall on deaf ears as it only cares for the energy that you vibrate.  

You want to perhaps imagine a life without your job or guy or dog. What would that picture look like? Sure you had to clean up that smelly poop from the floor, but what about when she gives you the saddest puppy dog eyes you ever saw, as you leave the house for work. Where you can see nothing but love in her eyes, and happiness in her wagging tail, when you return home from a long day in the office. Nobody said that gratitude can’t be broken down into smaller bite-size pieces. Just as many jigsaw pieces make up a finished puzzle, so too are many elements involved with each person, object or situation. It all comes down to your point of focus.

As long as you keep the bigger picture in mind. I always understood gratitude to be the cheekythought of blowing the gifts, the love, the connections, the positive circumstances and the miracles in life, so far out of proportion that it ignites an incredible wave of new energy that just overrides life’s nuances. Gratitude has a magical way of pushing away negative aspects of life from your mind. Because you know all too well how easy it is to make a mountain out of a molehill. You just have to choose what hill you want to build higher.

Practicing gratitude takes time and practice to truly nail it. To allow your vibration to match your inner muttered words about how incredible your life is, and everyone and everything that’s in it. As soon as the words and vibrations match- that’s when the magic starts to unfold.

Eastern v Western Medicine

The human body forever captivates me in all of its beauty to carry out its millions of functions, each and every day that you venture around this earth. It baffles me the commitment that the body has to keep someone ticking over, even when they completely abandon their health, poisoning themselves with cigarettes, alcohol and food that doesn’t deserve to even be called food. But the body can also hold a lot of darkness when it comes to disease.  When the body has had enough, it clearly lets you know. I felt this in what some might consider to be subtle, but nonetheless has opened my eyes more to my commitment to health and nutrition.  

One CT of my esophagus, a handful of blood tests, more radiation by way of a procedure in hospital, called a barium swallow, and a whole lot of worry, drew doctors to the diagnosis of acid reflux. Here I was thinking I was dying a slow death, when a sensation of something being stuck in my throat, sporadically occurred over the course of this year.throat.JPG While it ended up being a minor diagnosis, that’s very easily treatable with lifestyle changes, it still woke me up to take more care of my health. I imagine that other diseases on people have the same effect, although I know of many that still choose to ignore the warning signs.

East v West treatment

I very rarely go to visit a GP, perhaps once a year, at least when I’m not head butting reefs in the Philippines. I’ve been very fortunate to find a doctor that practices a blend of Eastern and Western Medicine. His name is Dr Ali and he loves Ayurvedic approaches, one of the most ancient medical systems in the world. It pre-dates Chinese Medicine and Western Medicine combined.

Dr Ali is happy to print me a script of antibiotics, but he’ll forewarn me that it’s a last resort approach, running through the various side effects, such as the destruction of good bacteria in my gut and increase in free-radicals. He will even go so far as handwriting traditional Chinese remedies, or supplements to take if I choose to be prescribed with the antibiotics, in a bid to counteract their damaging effects. The Eastern and Western divide can be described in the following extract from National Institutes of Health:

“Western medicine, while excelling at acute care and surgery, puts great emphasis on the chronic use of drugs to suppress the symptoms of illnesses. What is forgotten is that our bodies have a natural wisdom and intelligence; they have an intrinsic knowledge of how to grow, heal, maintain balance, restore homeostasis, and regenerate. Our bodies have evolved over aeons with these capabilities, but when they are suppressed, for example, when nutrition, exercise, and diet are not given adequate attention, or people ingest toxins, then “lifestyle-related” diseases including obesity, diabetes, cancer, and heart disease are much more likely to arise”.

Unfortunately, the divide between East and West has become all too much for Dr Ali and as he was helping me in my plan to tackle reflux, he told me he was taking off to Colorado in two weeks to study genetics as he’d had enough of the practice.

The Western Approach

I had requested blood tests of my own will, to rule out any issue with my thyroid and of course I was itching for the results. On the day of my appointment with Dr Ali, he had called in sick last minute, so I had to re-book with another unknown doctor.

Let me tell you, he was one of the coldest humans I had ever met. Even his white skinwestern medicine looked cold, as he pressed the dispenser of the antibacterial gel, that sat atop of his desk, lathering his hands in eliminate-all-bacteria, while his eyes glanced over my breasts and legs.

He remained expressionless, as he asked me why I had requested blood results for an issue with my throat. Before I could even answer, he found ways to talk over top of me. Scrolling through the results, he uninterestedly told me all my vitamin levels were fine and he couldn’t see anything worth concern. With a CT of my esophagus and blood tests showing nothing, I knew I had to book into the procedure in hospital.

The Eastern approach

After my results came back from hospital and I returned to the welcoming rooms of Dr Ali, the diagnosis of reflux was noted, but he also told me my blood tests were not great. My vitamin B and folic acid levels in particular, he described in his words as “ratsh*t”! On a running scale of worst to best, I had just made over the worst rating, which apparently was enough for the cold doctor to clear me of any concern. Something he had been taught in medical school Dr Ali mentioned.

The thing that shocked me most, was that the doctor had a discussion with Dr Ali asking chinese medicineif he had followed some particular code of practice, that again. had been taught in medical school in Australia. Dr Ali carrying over 30 years’ experience, in his unique blended approach and  practicing all over the world, mocked his colleague in his chest-puffing capabilities.

Dr Ali went back in the system and read the clinical notes of that doctor, from my visit to receive the blood test results. They were utterly appalling.  Any of the words that I managed to get out that day, throughout being cut, were recorded in the notes in quotation marks as if I was mad, and his final recommendation was to prescribe me psychotropics! Dr Ali laughed and said “well I won’t be doing that anytime soon”. My only guess is that as reflux can be triggered by stress and anxiety, this doctor’s approach was to prescribe me some anti-depressants! That shall fix the problem! I think I’ll stick to my yoga and meditation.

Holistic treatment

Of course a giant wave of relief washed over me as I found out that I was in fact, not dying. Relief turned into excitement in finding ways to better improve my already pretty good diet. The most uncanny aspect about the whole event, is that I’ve been writing health articles for a client on acid reflux for the past three months. I also had a gut instinct long before diagnosis to increase my vitamin B’s (being vegetarian) and had ordered PH test stripsnatural medicin for saliva months before.

Dr Ali handwrote his prescription of various supplements and Chinese Medicine that I could order to best treat my reflux. He also wittingly drew a map to the nearest fresh food market with the best raw treats in town.

It’s only been one week since I got my results, but I feel so full of life and energy, from mindfully increasing my intake of fresh fruit, vegetables from my garden, and Chinese teas containing a mixture of various healing plants and flowers. I’m yet to receive my supplements from an online order, but I think life will become even richer when I do.  I’m so proud of everything that I’ve learnt on holistic approaches to health over the years and everyone that has influenced that. Even though Dr Ali will be off overseas, on another journey and no longer there to guide me, I’m forever inspired to seek out alternative practitioners for any future health issues, and avoid prescription medications at all cost.

Better choices of probiotics

Recently I spoke to a friend about a house party I briefly showed up at and how I had only had two small 330ml bottles of Stones ginger beer. Those two small bottles held almost 60g of sugar as I later discovered. Of course this wasn’t to be found anywhere on the bottle, I had to search the internet. I wouldn’t consume that amount of sugar in many days let alone one sitting! She asked me if I had watched the documentary called That Sugar Film which I hadn’t but was inspired to do so that night. So I did.

People on this planet are growing sicker every day.

It’s a story of a completely healthy guy that gave up sugar but wanted to run quite a that sugar filmridiculous medical experiment to prove to others just how bad sugar is for your health. He went from no sugar in his diet to consuming the average Australian intake of a whopping 40 teaspoons a day. The aspect of the experiment that captivated me most was that the sugars had to be hidden sugars, such as those in breakfast cereals, juices and even savoury pasta sauces.

Within two weeks he developed fatty liver, his energy levels rapidly declined, his ability to focus completely decreased and was well on his way to a pretty dangerous health situation. After all, sugar is a very modern and foreign element of our lives as compared to our evolutionary past. Unfortunately, it’s become the norm to be in just about every food item in our supermarket.

Throughout the film I noticed common food products that I include in my diet but in moderation, as I always make sure I read the ingredient panel on the rear of the packet. However, I was a bit shocked to see him guzzling a milk probiotic supplement you might know as Yakult in Australia.

yakult

Here I was thinking I was taking control of my gut health with my daily probiotic intake, but really I was consuming 9g of sugar per tiny bottle. That’s over  two unnecesarry teaspoons. If anything that’s going to upset my gut balance not keep things in balance. Here are some other alternatives I’ll be indulging in once I use up the last of my Yakult supply in my fridge:

  • Pickles-Traditionally these include pickled cucumbers but any kind of pickled vegetables will boost your intake of probiotics. An easy ingredient to add to any salad.
  • Dark chocolate coated probiotic balls– it’s hard to go past dark chocolate in this convenient form and you only need one to three small balls per day.
  • Miso soup– A tasty form of probiotics you can sip on daily. Just be aware that one cup of miso soup includes 600-900mg of sodium so if you have a lot of other high sodium foods throughout the day, it’s better to keep a watchful eye on your intake.
  • Dark chocolate in general– aim for above 80% to get the highest intake of probiotics. Other great benefits of dark choc is that it’s an antioxidant rich food, great source of manganese and of course tastes great! It’s best in moderation though as you’re trying to lower sugar intake as much as possible!
  • Sauerkraut-One of the richest sources of probiotics and also a very affordable option. I wrote about the benefits of sauerkraut here.

As you can see there’s plenty of options available for alternatives to the cleverly marketed and convenient shot size bottles of Yakult. As Eastern practices are teaching us, health begins in the gut and we have to be sure we are looking after this balance for our overall vitality. Make it a daily habit to include probiotics somewhere throughout your day.

It is becoming increasingly clear that there are untold connections between our resident microbes and many aspects of physiology…” NCBI

 

Wild & Free

Exotic solo travel. Surfing heavy waves breaking over shallow reef shelves. Nipple piercings. Tattoos. Serious injuries in remote islands. Broken relationships. Quitting jobs. Suns and moons rising over inverted oceans. These are just some of the things that come to mind, when I think of my past few years on this spinning globe called earth. Most of which mould and solidify my identity through the many lessons learnt throughout. It’s been fast paced and wild, but more and more I’ve noticed my foot easing off the accelerator and edging closer to the brakes. I’ve heard in life never to look in the rear vision mirror.

I actually forgot how old I was. I spent two birthdays in a row escaping remote islands from the clutch of shattered relationships. In a whirlwind of adrenaline to simply survive, I paid little attention to the spinning cogwheels as my numbers flipped.

On one shoulder jumps a devil screaming my name with a wicked laugh, telling me to keep running at the same pace. Embrace the adventure and keep dodging bullets. But why am I finding myself turning down opportunities to surf big waves. To risk all again and again. Risking all for perfect waves. A quote I lived and breathed with every cell of my body.

I look back on photos taken from the islands. Christ some of those waves. And that’s the cropped-10606336_10152531576460168_8204708269631415799_n.jpgthing with surfing. That ability to push through the fear and just go. Everyone that’s out there knows the possible consequences. I’ve experienced them and came so close to not remembering every day I knew before.  Cracking my head on the reef, to a degree that saw me lose consciousness the following day. My article spread pages of women’s surfing magazines because I wanted to highlight the dangers of solo travel and make it real and personal.

I spent two months at the northern tip of Thailand building this site. Bursting with

Screen Shot 2017-04-04 at 12.22.58 pm (2)

excitement to share my surfing experiences. And I still am. But life is a journey and I want to embrace a post-travel mindset and the challenges that come with letting go of a chapter so incredibly vibrant in my heart.

I know my mum would love to read this. She was always telling me to take out life insurance as I shared stories of big waves. Near drownings, with a smirk on my face as if I just used up one more of my nine lives.  In the equally as grinning words of Gerry Lopez “I’m sure you die just a little”.