Canggu, Bali, August 2016

Buddhist Monastery, Banjar, Bali, August 2016

Yogi at Hindu Monastery, Kauai, Hawaii, March 2014

The Low FODMAP Diet 

If you suffer from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), gas, bloating, bowel incontinence, constipation, diarrhoea or other digestive disorders, you may be surprised how something as simple as restricting certain foods from your diet can dramatically reduce the symptoms you’re experiencing.

An example of such diet restriction is a low FODMAP diet. FODMAP is an acronym for fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols, which are types of carbohydrates that may stay get stuck in your gut and ferment there.

What exactly are FODMAPS?

The mentioned saccharides (sugar chains) and polyols (sugar alcohols), if left undigested, end up in the lower portion of the large intestine. Here, there are broken down by bacteria.
Based on an Australian study published in the Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology last October 2009, this fermentation process sucks in water and lets out hydrogen, carbon dioxide, and methane gas which collectively expand and stretch the intestinal walls. This leads to bloating, abdominal or pelvic pain and distension as well as other related functional gastrointestinal symptoms.(1)

Here are examples of such carbohydrates considered under FODMAPS:

  • Fructose (a monosaccharide): corn syrup, honey, fruit sugars, agave
  • Lactose (a disaccharide): Dairy such as yoghurt, cheese, milk
  • Fructans (oligosaccharides): Wheat, asparagus, onions, artichokes, garlic
  • Galactans(oligosaccharides): Legumes like lentils, soybeans, and beans
  • Polyols: fruits with seeds or pits such as avocados, cherries, apples, plums, peaches, and figs.

When you consume FODMAPs, they may pull water into your small intestine, leading to diarrhoea. In people with IBS, FODMAPs can travel to the gut or large intestine without being digested fully. Bacteria in the gut interact with these undigested food particles which cause bloating, gas, and pain.

Note, however, that not everyone is sensitive to the same type of FODMAPs. Therefore, it is crucial to identify the actual culprit.

What is the low FODMAP diet?

The low-FODMAP diet is a dietary plan that avoids or removes FODMAPs completely for up to four weeks. It is designed to relieve patients from digestion-related problems caused by FODMAP. It is assumed that if FODMAPs are the actual cause of your condition, you will feel better during or after this diet.

In this diet, you are still allowed to eat a lot of food choices. The only difference is limiting your carbohydrate intake to only the foods with low FODMAP content, hence the diet’s name.


Aside from those already mentioned, here are examples of foods that are high-FODMAP and are not to be consumed by someone under the diet.

  • Anything made with whole grains like wheat, rye, or barley
  • Artificial sweeteners like those in chewing gum and other candies
  • Watermelon
  • Cauliflower
  • Dried fruits
  • Mushrooms
  • Cashews
  • Ice cream
  • Pistachios

On the other hand, here are low-FODMAP foods that are recommended for consumption:

  • Kale, spinach, and other green leafy vegetables
  • Almond
  • Tomatoes
  • Bananas
  • Coconut
  • Bell peppers
  • Tangerines
  • Blueberries
  • Carrots
  • Grapes
  • Oats
  • Cucumbers
  • Potatoes
  • Quinoa
  • Rice
  • Soy milk

Of course, there are other food choices that make it to the high-and low-FODMAP lists. So, it is still recommended to consult a dietitian and gastroenterologist to limit your FODMAP consumption without sacrificing a well-balanced, healthy diet that provides all your nutritional needs.

Who will benefit from a low-FODMAP diet?

Since it is designed to relieve symptoms related to digestion, it can benefit anyone who is suffering from such. However, it is now emerging as a treatment for other conditions such as:

  • Specific autoimmune disorders like eczema, multiple sclerosis, or rheumatoid arthritis
  • Other Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders (FGID)
  • Fibromyalgia, recurrent migraines, and other conditions known to be triggered by eating specific foods
  • Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO)

A low-FODMAP diet has also been specifically proven to be a treatment for Irritable Bowel Syndrome or IBS.

A study published in the Gastroenterology and Hepatology Journal in 2012 suggested the low-FODMAP diet as a treatment for IBS(2).

About four years later, another study published in the Clinical and Experimental Gastroenterology Journal cited evidence on the efficacy of the low-FODMAP diet.(3) Reportedly, it caused relief for up to 86% of IBS patients that participated in the diet, with significant improvement in other gastrointestinal symptoms like bloating, abdominal pain, diarrhoea, constipation, distention, and gas.

Severe constipation can be debilitating and can lead to straining during bowel movement, haemorrhoids, and bowel prolapse. However, it is still recommended to be a short-term diet since the long-term effects are still unknown. Strict low-FODMAP dieting is also not advised due to the risk of inadequate nutrition and negative effects rooting from changes in the gut microbiota. FODMAPs are not actually all bad, many foods rich in FODMAPs encourage good bacterial growth in the gut.

In fact, about 3 out of 4 people with IBS were found to have eased symptoms right after starting a low-FODMAP diet while the most relief was experienced seven days or more into the plan, according to a study published in the journal Gastroenterology.

However, before starting a low-FODMAP diet, it is crucial first to confirm that you actually have IBS which can be improperly misdiagnosed or mistaken for bladder pain or uterus pain. These are entirely different conditions that require a different treatment approach.

How a low-FODMAP diet is followed

Following the diet does not simply involve getting rid of FODMAP-rich food, but is more complicated than what you could be expecting. It involves three different stages: restriction, reintroduction, and personalisation.

Stage 1: Elimination or Restriction

The first stage involves strictly avoiding high-FODMAP food for no longer than about 3 to 8 weeks only to maintain your gut health. Some people already notice symptoms to subside and improve during the first week, but many continue to finish all eight weeks.

Once you have found relief for your digestive symptoms, you can continue to the next stage. If your issues were not resolved, like what happens to about 30% of the people who try the diet, talk to your doctor about other non-diet treatments or alternatives.

Also, review and recheck your ingredients list and FODMAP information, and look at other factors that could be contributing to your IBS.

Stage 2: Reintroduction or Rechallenge Phase

The next stage involves reintroducing high-FODMAP foods through a system. Its purpose is to identify which FODMAPs are tolerable and establish your tolerance or threshold level because most people are only sensitive to a certain type.

In this step, you have to test specific FODMAP foods for three days each. Preferably, do this under the supervision of a dietitian. All throughout this stage, your low-FODMAP diet continues. Meaning, even if you can tolerate a FODMAP food, you still can’t eat it regularly until the next stage.

Stage 3: Personalization

Also called the modifies low-FODMAP diet, this still restricts your FODMAP intake. However, the types and number of servings will be adjusted to cater to your threshold as determined in the previous stage.

This is an important stage which will determine your diet flexibility and variety. These are associated with long-term improvement in your quality of life, overall well-being, gut health, and compliance.

Benefits of the Low FODMAP diet

More than 30 studies(4) have proven the low-FODMAP diet to provide the following benefits:

  • Reduce digestive symptoms including bloat, reflux, bowel urgency, prolapsed bowel, constipation, diarrhoea, and stomach pain.
  • Better quality of life

Numerous studies have provided evidence that a low-FODMAP diet can be beneficial for patients suffering from IBS and other gastrointestinal conditions. If you have any of these, give the low-FODMAP diet a try. It might be the answer to your digestive problems.

Add this shot of sunshine to your morning routine, to maintain winter wellness & boost the immune system!

  • anti-inflammatory
  • anti-oxidant
  • helps digestion
  • reduces nausea
  • helps fight winter bugs
  • good source of vitamin C
  • prebiotic 
  • good fibre
  • benefits your skin & so much more

Blast in your nutribullet (or something similar):

1 cored apple

juice of 1 lemon

1/2 tsp fresh ginger

1/2 tsp fresh turmeric

tsp oil

2-3 grinds of black pepper 

The oil & pepper helps the goodness of the other ingredients to be absorbed & utilised by your body. I add a little water so it is easier to drink. Serves 2 peeps. Bon appetite! 

This shot makes you glow from the inside out.



Create your awareness around the connection of gut health, emotional well-being, energy levels, immunity & weight management. Let us help you gain a fresh perspective on low moods & anxiety.




A therapeutic style of yoga from Hawaii, that connects breath, posture, mindfulness & movement practices into your everyday. A tool to help align yourself with your passions & purpose. Yoking all facets of yourself - mental, emotional, spiritual & physical.




Finding your own unique meditation practice to bring more joy, stillness & presence into your life.  




Lift your spirits, creating your own rose facial spritzer & essential oil blend to take home. The perfect calming, anti-aging & hydrating products for sunny days. 




Delicious & nutritious vegetarian food & you don’t have to lift a finger! Tea & coffee provided. Sorry no meat, drugs or alcohol. Re-energising & gentle bush walk with coastal views. 




Connecting with like-minded individuals, while exploring the intricate connection of your mind, body, spirit & surroundings.




Free use of Sauna.  Massage treatments, as therapists are available, at an extra cost.  $40 30mins & $80 60mins.




Two nights twin shared accommodation, towels & bedding included. Some single rooms available.




$450 per person. An additional $60 single room supplement available - limited number only.




Wifi available in the main centre building. Mobile reception available.




608 Manaia Road, RD1, Coromandel, 3581. Allow 2.5 hours for your drive from Tauranga.




Enter into your calendar now! Friday 27 September 2019, check-in 4pm includes dinner, to Sunday 29 September, check-out 2pm includes lunch Sunday. Book now, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

How to relax for stress relief


Historically, relaxation has often been associated with “wasting time”, however, this is something we need to shake. Regular relaxation and stress management are important for physical and emotional health. Here are a few tips on how to relax your body and mind…

If your body’s stress response is triggered throughout the day and if it doesn’t know how to return to its regular state of relaxation afterwards, you may find yourself in a state of chronic stress.

Chronic stress is the type of stress that can do a lot of damage to your health, contributing a whole host of stress-related health problems, including heart disease, the common cold, and high blood pressure, just to name a few. Learning relaxation techniques can help you restore your body to its natural state when you’re feeling stressed and will help you deal with stress in a healthy way in future. If you can become less reactive to the stressors that you face and can recover more quickly from it if you do react, your body and mind will thank you for it.

Relaxation can occur when you’re taking some downtime, i.e. sitting in a comfy chair, reading a good book. But sometimes it’s helpful to have a more structured plan for relaxation as, in the face of stress, you’ll have a whole toolbox ready to help you recover. It will also mean you actively choose strategies that build resilience rather than merely distracting you from what’s creating stress for you on a given day. Learning to relax your body and your mind can be more effective than either one on its own, obviously.

How to relax

Here are some of the best relaxation strategies you can use to combat stress…


Breathing exercises should be your first line of defence against stress. The beauty of these for relaxation is that they can be used anytime, anywhere, and they work quickly. They’re also very easy to master. Start with deep breathing. To do this, breathe in through your nose and feel your chest fill with air. Then, breathe out through your nose. As you do so, place one hand on your belly and another on your chest. Focus on feeling your belly and chest rise as you breathe in, and fall as you breathe out.  


How to relax: Meditation

The wonderful thing about practising meditation is that it allows you to “let go” of everyday worries and literally “live in the moment.” People who meditate regularly report improvements physically, mentally, and spiritually, using it as a technique to not only combat stress but prevent it in the first place. To begin a meditation practice, you will need to find a quiet spot, away from the phone, television, friends, family, and other distractions. Meditation practices often involve learning breathing or mantra techniques. Initially, your mind may wander when you first start meditating, but by training your mind to focus on the moment, you will feel relaxed and more centred. Most experts recommend meditating for about 20 to 30 minutes at a time. Beginners may find it difficult to meditate for this length at first, but don’t despair. It will become easier once you are meditating regularly.


Playing music is a great way to relieve stress and promote relaxation. When at work, keep a pair of headphones at your desk so you can enjoy your music for yourself. This technique often helps to provide a safe space to help you to recharge, even if you are in a room full of people. Because music brings real benefits in terms of wellness (music therapy is a growing field), it can be conveniently used effectively for relaxation as well. 


How to relax: Exercise

It may seem that exercise is the opposite of relaxation, but a good workout can actually make you feel more relaxed afterwards for a few reasons. First, working out can be a good way to release stress and blow off steam. Second, the endorphins released during a good workout can aid relaxation quite nicely. Additionally, exercise can get you into a state of flow where it’s difficult to stay stressed—your body has to move toward relaxation as your stress response begins to reverse.

Have Fun

Yes, these relaxation methods don’t all have to be clinical and practised. Letting loose and having fun with your family and friends is an excellent way to relieve stress and experience relaxation. Most people don’t prioritise this as an important part of life—they don’t fit time for it in their busy schedules because they don’t realise the value of fun for balance as well as physical and emotional health. So schedule some downtime in your calendar, it’s just as (if not more) important than any other pressing matter.

If you focus on stress management regularly, in a relatively short time you can learn to more easily relax when you need to, and build resilience toward stress.

Read more: A relaxed body promotes healthy eating

Health benefits of Turmeric


While the pharmaceutical industry searches for the ‘magic bullet’ to boost ageing minds, the ultimate mind food has been flavouring Indian curries for 5000 years. We take a look at the health benefits of Turmeric.

Turmeric has been lauded as potentially the most effective nutritional supplement in existence. Whilst this is a huge call to make, the health benefits of tumeric for your diet have been researched over hundreds of studies.

The common Indian spice contains bioactive compounds called curcuminoids, the most important of which is curcumin.

This active ingredient is responsible for its powerful anti-inflammatory effects and is also an incredible antioxidant. Whilst the level of curcumin in fresh turmeric is not that high (by weight), taking extracts that concentrate the content of the antioxidant are incredibly beneficial to a variety of ailments.

Note: Curcumin can be poorly absorbed in the body, foods containing piperine, such as black pepper, can aid in its digestion and absorption. The compound extract is also fat soluble, so taking the supplement with good fats will also aid in its digestion.

Health benefits of Turmeric

Health benefits of Turmeric

It’s anti-inflammatory

Turmeric has traditionally been used to fight inflammation in cases of stomach ulcers, gut inflammation and people suffering from arthritis and colitis.

Inflammation, of the gut in particular, has also been linked to chronic diseases, and obesity, so reducing inflammation can lead to a whole new world of health benefits.

Here are more foods that fight inflammation.

Boosts brain repair

According to a report in the journal Stem Cell Research, turmeric can encourage the growth of nerve cells thought to help aid brain self-repair.

The farming village of Ballabgarh in northern India has lower rates of Alzheimer’s disease than anywhere else in the world.

Clinical studies confirm the common cooking spice turmeric has potent anti-inflammatory effects that may prevent and even reverse the cognitive decline associated with Alzheimer’s and other dementia diseases.

Fighting symptoms of PTSD and depression 

Now, scientists are claiming curcumin, the yellow curry compound found in turmeric, can help prevent fear from being stored in the brain while removing pre-existing fears from the brain’s storage.

Psychologists from The City University of New York are hoping the findings will pave the way for more sophisticated treatments for psychological disorders.

“This suggests that people suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and other psychological disorders that are characterised by fearful memories may benefit substantially from a curcumin-enriched diet,” told Professor Glenn Schafe who led the study.

Similarly, a study conducted by universities in China found that curcumin can have significant antidepressant properties.

Fights infection 

Studies have shown that turmeric has the ability to inhibit the spread of certain viruses and prevent infection.

Curcumin has powerful antioxidant effects. It neutralises free radicals on its own, then stimulates the body’s own antioxidant enzymes.

A word to the wise

If you are looking for supplements online, the FDA in America doesn’t regulate supplements like they do pharmaceutical drugs, as such it is important to do your research and find out exactly what the supplement contains before taking it.

Thanks MiNDFOOD for the article.

Surviving modern motherhood

Authors Michele Powles and Renee Liang. 


Two courageous Kiwi women, one an author and the other a pediatrician, lay bare the raw joy, beauty, discomfort and humour of modern motherhood. The result is uplifting and fearless.

Parenting is messy, hilarious, heartrending, tiring and above all joyful. There is no one right way to do it – but now two brave mums have shared a bit of their journey, and invite you to “laugh and cry along with us.”

Mum is the word for critically acclaimed writers Michele Powles and Renee Liang, with the launch of their new book, When We Remember To Breathe. MiNDFOOD chats with Renee about the new book, motherhood and remembering to breathe.

Tell me about ‘When We Remember To Breathe’, how and why did this come about?

Michele and I had met at writers’ events, and talked about how in early motherhood we’d wanted to record all the special moments, but we were too tired! When we both got pregnant with our second children we decided to write to each other as a way of cheering each other on.

The conversation became more and more frank, with the joyful comedic moments mixed in with the moments of doubt and exhaustion. And as we wrote we developed our friendship. We weren’t intending to publish but after sharing with other mums, including our eventual publisher, we were persuaded otherwise!

How is this similar or different to your other books?

I’ve written three poetry chapbooks, which are small handmade books.  I’ve also published eight anthologies of Kiwi migrant women’s writing. But I’m best known for work which isn’t ‘published’ – I’ve written and toured seven plays, many about growing up Chinese in Aotearoa. I’ve also written words and story for a opera and a couple of musicals, including The Bone Feeder Opera commissioned for Auckland Arts Festival in 2017. Although I’ve always drawn on my own experiences to write, this is the first time I’ve shared something so personal without hiding behind the fiction.

Personally, what has your experience of motherhood been?

I came to motherhood late – I was 39 when I had my first. But I’m also a pediatrician so I had spent years being asked for advice by parents!  Having kids made it real for me, and also taught me that babies don’t read the textbooks on how they’re are supposed to behave.  I was lucky – I had good support and my husband is the best co-parent. I get annoyed when people ask if the kids miss me when I go to work. Of course they do – but they have their dad, and all their grandparents and aunties and uncles to love them and keep them busy!

Both mine and my husband’s parents are immigrants (Chinese and Croatian) so we’re exploring with our kids what it means to come from many cultures  – luckily both sides of the family love to hang out together and eat great food! 

Why should mothers remember to breathe?

It’s like that advice you get on planes – in an emergency, put your own oxygen on first. Mums (and all who parent) need time to be themselves, to find their anchors and to fill their lungs with whatever oxygen gives them life.

Do you have any advice for new mums on coping with the challenges of motherhood and balancing a career?

Now when I see parents and grandparents in my clinic, I just want to give them a hug and tell them how well they’re doing.  It’s the world’s hardest job but it’s also the most important. Accept help when you need it, offer it when you can. Balancing work and parenting is a different choice for everyone. Follow your instincts, ignore the unhelpful ‘advice’ and know your decisions are the best for your family.

When We Remember to Breathe

When We Remember To Breathe is co-written by Renee Liang and Michele Powles and will be published on 1st May. NZ$25.00 on Magpie Pulp.

By Lena Schmidt

Have you been feeling “off” lately? Are you making silly mistakes at work? Are you sick for the third week in a row? Although any number of things could be the explanation for these distressing circumstances, they could also be indicative of an imbalance in your chakra system. What are chakras? And what are the signs your chakras are out of balance? Chakras are energy centers throughout the body. Although there are hundreds of chakras, there are seven main chakras that are generally focused on. These wheels of brilliant energy line up along the central channel of the body, the shushumna nadi.

The chakras along the shushumna nadi are the power centers where the left channel (ida nadi) and the right channel (pingala nadi) intersect. These energy channels and psycho-power centers make up what is known as “the subtle body.” The subtle body is in a different realm than the physical body and the mind, but has a powerful impact on the body, mind, and entire system. The human body system thrives when the chakras and the nadis are open and prana, or life force, is allowed to move throughout the system with ease. Any kind of disturbance or disease in the body, mind, or spirit can cause blockage and imbalance. The goal is harmony. So if you’ve been feeling out of sorts, take a closer look at your chakras to investigate what’s going on and begin to find balance.

If you are feeling out of balance, consider what you have been consuming (food, drink, ideas, experiences), your current life circumstances (traveling, moving, big transitions), and the current season (wind, cold, rain, heat, dryness). Each of these elements has a potentially big impact on your sweet, sensitive human system as a whole.

In the philosophies of yoga and Ayurveda, where the chakras play an important role in understanding the human system, “like increases like” and “opposites balance.” This means that if you already have excess heat in your body (in the forms of anger or indigestion) and you add more heat (like a warm day or spicy food), you may feel even more heat and agitation than you already do—like increases like. On the other hand, if you add the opposite to that equation and take a cold shower or eat some fresh fruit, you may feel better and more in balance—opposites balance. Caroline Myss, author of Anatomy of the Spirit, and an expert in energy medicine, explains that your biography becomes your biology with each thought you think and each experience you encounter.

Are Your Chakras Balanced?

In general, there are five warning signs that your chakras may be out of balance. In striving for balance, too much or too little energy in each of the chakras creates imbalance. Remember: the goal is harmony—balancing your chakras does take effort. The general warning signs are:

  1. Something feels “off.”
  2. You get sick.
  3. You get sick. Again.
  4. You start making silly mistakes.
  5. Everything seems to be falling apart.

Each of these general imbalances manifests as specific physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual imbalances in each chakra. Let’s take a closer look at how imbalances in each chakra can influence a sense of disharmony in the body system as a whole.

Root Chakra—Muladhara

This chakra, physically located at the feet, legs, and “roots” of your being, is connected with the element of Earth. The root chakra is associated with your sense of safety, security, and feeling at home within your skin. This chakra is also related to your family of origin and your human tribe.

Warning Signs this Chakra Is Out of Balance

If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, you may have an imbalance in the root chakra:

  • Pain and stiffness in your feet and legs
  • Excess flexibility in your hamstrings/low sense of physical stability 
  • Feeling ungrounded, unsafe, and insecure
  • Home life feels chaotic and unsettled
  • Feeling stuck in life/low sense of flexibility

To Bring into Balance

  • Connect with the earth: go for a hike, walk in the sand, or garden.
  • Eat vegetables and fruit—food from the earth.
  • Practice grounding pranayama like sama vritti and alternate nostril breathing.
  • Wear the color red.
  • Stretch and strengthen your legs.

Sacral Chakra—Svadhistana

This chakra, physically located at the sacrum, hips, and sexual organs, is connected with the element of Water. The sacral chakra is associated with your emotions, creativity, and senses. This chakra is also related to your one-on-one relationships and your connection to intimacy.

Warning Signs this Chakra Is Out of Balance

If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, you may have an imbalance in the sacral chakra:

  • Pain and stiffness in your low back and hips
  • Feeling easily overwhelmed emotionally
  • Loss of imagination and no creativity
  • Out of touch with emotions and closed off
  • Sexual and reproductive issues

To Bring into Balance

  • Connect with the element of water: drink water, swim, take a soothing bath.
  • Dance.
  • Get in touch with your feelings through journaling or therapy.
  • Wear the color orange.
  • Move and stretch your hips.

Solar Plexus Chakra—Manipura

This chakra, physically located at the abdomen, mid-back, and side body, is connected with the element of Fire. The solar plexus chakra is associated with all of your thoughts and feelings about yourself. This chakra is about your relationship to yourself.

Warning Signs this Chakra Is Out of Balance

If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, you may have an imbalance in the solar plexus chakra:

  • Digestive issues and abdominal pain
  • Low self-esteem
  • Overinflated ego
  • Inability to commit
  • Inability to follow through with goals

To Bring into Balance

  • Connect with the element of fire: meditate on a candle flame or bonfire.
  • Eat foods that are easy to digest.
  • Get out in the sunshine.
  • Wear the color yellow.
  • Strengthen your core and practice detoxifying twists.

Heart Chakra—Anahata

This chakra, physically located at the heart, chest, shoulders, arms, hands, and upper back, is connected with the element of Air. The heart chakra is associated with love of all kinds: kindness to strangers, romantic love, compassion for others, friendship, family love, and self-love.

Warning Signs this Chakra Is Out of Balance

If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, you may have an imbalance in the heart chakra:

  • Pain in your upper back or chest
  • Tight shoulders or, alternatively, overly flexible shoulders
  • Inability to receive love in any of its forms
  • Lack of self-compassion
  • Feeling a sense of lack or loss with regards to love

To Bring into Balance

  • Connect with the element of air: get outside in fresh air and breathe deeply.
  • Practice loving-kindness/Metta meditation for yourself and others.
  • Practice self-care, self-love, and express love to others.
  • Wear the colors green or pink.
  • Stretch your chest, upper back, shoulders, arms, and hands.

Throat Chakra—Visshudha

This chakra, physically located at the throat, neck, mouth, jaw, and ears, is connected with the element of Ether/Space. The throat chakra is associated with communication, expression, using your voice, and knowing when to stay quiet. This chakra is related to your ability to speak from your heart and mind with clarity and to listen with compassion.

Warning Signs this Chakra Is Out of Balance

If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, you may have an imbalance in the throat chakra:

  • Sore throat or laryngitis
  • Jaw pain or habit of grinding your teeth
  • Pain or stiffness in your neck
  • A habit of talking all the time/not knowing when to stay quiet
  • Inability to speak up, set boundaries, or stand up for yourself

To Bring into Balance

  • Sing or chant mantra.
  • Drink soothing tea or lemon water.
  • Practice silent meditation.
  • Wear the color turquoise.
  • Listen to beautiful music.

Third Eye Chakra—Ajna

This chakra is physically located center of the forehead in the space between the eyebrows and inside the mind. The third eye chakra is associated with your intuition, imagination, inner wisdom, and insight. This chakra is also related to your ability to see deep within your heart spaces to the truest, wisest parts of yourself. When the third eye chakra is open, you see the bigger picture and have a positive view of the future.

Warning Signs this Chakra Is Out of Balance

If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, you may have an imbalance in the third eye chakra:

  • Headaches
  • Brain fog
  • Lack of intuitive guidance
  • Lack of inspiration
  • Overactive, overwhelming imagination

To Bring into Balance

  • Listen to and honor the messages your body sends you.
  • Keep a dream journal.
  • Wear the color blue.
  • Practice balancing postures like Tree Pose and Dancer’s Pose.
  • Practice yoga with your eyes closed.

Crown Chakra—Sahasrara

This chakra is physically located at the top of the head and skull. The crown chakra is associated with your sense of enlightenment and remembrance that you are a small part of a greater whole. This chakra is also related to your sense of place in the universe.

Warning Signs this Chakra Is Out of Balance

If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, you may have an imbalance in the crown chakra:

  • Headaches
  • Inability to concentrate or focus on the task at hand
  • Seemingly constant drama in your life
  • Inability to see beyond your own small corner of the world
  • Inability to take on other’s perspectives or practice empathy

To Bring into Balance

  • Practice meditation.
  • Get involved with volunteer work.
  • Keep a gratitude journal
  • Wear the color purple.
  • Practice Headstand and other inverted yoga poses.

The chakra system is one way to understand the human body. Even minor disturbances in the “subtle body” can manifest as pain, disease, discomfort or general disharmony in your body, mind, heart, and spirit. As you make your way on your journey toward balance, bliss, and happiness, consider checking in with your chakras regularly. Investigating the chakras can be a good temperature gauge for the entire system. Allow your journey to be intuitive and guided by your inner wisdom. Happy harmonizing!

*Editor’s Note: The information in this article is intended for your educational use only; does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Chopra Center's Mind-Body Medical Group; and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition and before undertaking any diet, supplement, fitness, or other health program.


Have you ever met someone who seems perfect – polished, attractive, kind, generous, maybe even successful – yet the more you get to know them, the more you realize that they’re actually self-centered, manipulative and deceitful? Their perfection is simply a façade put on so the world holds them in high esteem. 

If you or someone you know is an empath or highly sensitive person, you may easily be pulled in by people like this. I call them energy vampires. They appeal to your generosity, your compassion and your innate problem-solving nature. But, as psychologist Sandra L. Brown, M.A. says, these are “relationships of inevitable harm.”

In my second free video, I delve deeply into the mechanics of energy vampires – how they can zero in on you in a crowd based on your empathic traits and get their hooks in you if you aren’t careful. I will also give you some pointers on how you can protect yourself, and skillfully tiptoe out of their clutches before you fall prey.
Watch Wellness Video 2:
Protect Yourself from Energy Predators with These Techniques

Watch Wellness Video 1 Now
After you watch my video, I am confident you will have a clearer idea of who and what an energy vampire is, as well as what you can do to avoid them for good. If you missed my first video, which will help you know if you’re an empath, you can still catch it here for a little while longer: 
Watch Wellness Video 1:
How Empathy Can Protect You

Watch Wellness Video 1 Now
Once you watch these videos, head to the comment section and share your thoughts about these first two lessons so far on this journey. I’d love to hear about your experiences with energy vampires and as an empath.

I have two more free videos coming your way over the next few days. In the next one, I will show you exactly how you can begin to protect yourself and recover your life force after interacting with an energy vampire. 

And, if you know an empath who may be vulnerable to the energy vampires in their midst, make sure to share this video with them so that they, too, can get some benefit from this invaluable series.

Flourishingly Yours,
Dr. Northrup's Signature
Christiane Northrup, M.D.
If you’ve ever been told you’re “too sensitive” it’s likely you are part of a group of highly sensitive people called empaths.

Empaths interact with the world differently than even an extremely compassionate person. We can sense the true energy of a person, seeing their deep, frequently unseen pain often before they do. We sense it because it shifts our own energy, affecting us on multiple levels.

There’s also another group of people that I call energy vampires. Energy vampires can be exquisitely appealing to everyone. They’re charming, fun, successful, and yet their impact is insidious for those who get caught in their grip. More often than not, those getting caught are empaths who are not in touch with their own light and intuition.

If you are an empath in a relationship with an energy vampire, you may not feel it now, but eventually you will be worn down—both physically and emotionally. As someone who’s been on the frontlines of women’s healthcare for decades, I believe this is actually one of the most under-identified causes of ill health. And that’s why I’ve put together this free wellness workshop.

By signing up to receive my four free videos, you’ll learn simple ways to identify, cast out, and heal from energy vampires. In my first video, I share personal stories and stories of others to help explain what it’s like to be an empath—and then help you understand what an energy vampire is and what happens when you get entangled with them.
Watch Wellness Video 1:
How Empathy Can Protect You

Watch Wellness Video 1 Now
If you don’t know you’re an empath and you don’t know how energy vampires work, you are apt to be preyed upon.

Please be sure to leave me a comment on the video page to share your own experience as an empath or with energy vampires. Also, if you think anyone else would benefit from this video, please share it with them. And stay tuned for my next three videos in this wellness workshop.

Flourishingly Yours,
Dr. Northrup's Signature
Christiane Northrup, M.D.

Words From Dr Libby Weaver (PhD)

nutritional biochemist, author & speaker

Craving something sweet in the evenings is usually one of these three things

Nutritional: Your food choices throughout the day may have been missing

some key nutrients, and so your body drives you to eat unresourcefully at the 

end of the day in an attempt to get these needs met. This is particularly 

common if you haven't had enough nutritious fats throughout the day, 

if you've missed a meal or swapped food for a coffee.


Biochemically: When we race around all day living on adrenaline due to

our perceptions of pressure & urgency, the body will predominately burn glucose, 

rather than fat, and you will crave more sugar to replenish your stores.


Emotionally: Often our craving for sugar has more to do with an emotional need that 

isn't been met as we seek more "sweetness" in our lives. Identifying this and 

cultivating ways to bring more joy into your life can transform these cravings.


for more info check out



Minimalist meets Bohemian

Welcome to a little gathering of Women, where I will have some beautifully hand crafted jewellery for sale at my home.

It is an opportunity to get together for great conversation, connection, laughter & sharing our dreams, passions & experiences. Feel free to bring a friend.

Drop by for a drink & refreshments from 5.30pm Friday 8th of March at 19B Golf Road.

If you would like to purchase a special piece of jewellery for either yourself or someone special in your life, I will accept cash or you can pay direct into my bank account.

I would love you to join us for a relaxed evening. 

Love, light & laughter Leonie xx




Cold showers may not be your preferred way to start the day, but studies reveal that taking one a day can help make you fitter, slimmer, happier and healthier. Here are 10 reasons it might be worth the “brrrrr” every morning. 


There are two kinds of fat in your body - white and brown fat. White fat forms when we consume more calories than our body needs to function and when we don’t burn those calories for energy, they gather around the waist, lower back, neck, and thighs. Brown fat however is good fat. Its function is to generate heat to keep the body warm. Cold water exposure promotes the production of brown fat cells in our body, and when brown fat is activated due to extreme cold, it burns calories to keep you warm, which in turn, burns the white fat. How effective is this process? Scandinavian researchers found that exposure to cold temperatures increased the metabolic rate of brown fat by 15-fold, which could help a person drop 4 kilos or 9 lbs in a year if sustained.


Because cold causes the arteries to constrict, which in turn reduces pain-giving inflammation, athletes often take ice baths after training to ease muscular soreness. For the non-pro athletes, a cold shower after the gym can provide similar soothing benefits for super-fast recovery which means less stiffness, aches and pains.


Regular cold showers can effectively reduce fatigue. An icy blast boosts  blood flow to the heart, increases heart rate, lung function, and oxygen transportation around the body, which in turn, wakes up those alertness-boosting hormones.


Because cold water boosts metabolic function, the immune system is also given a kick which allows it to release virus-fighting white blood cells that will help you fight illness. Cold showers also increase your overall blood circulation, which can help you avoid hypertension and the hardening of arteries.



For a complexion to be smooth and dewy, skin must produce oil and fat to lubricate the surface layer. Hot water removes this oil and fat which results in a dry and dehydrated complexion. Cold water however tightens cuticles and pores which stops them becoming clogged. Cold water also closes the hair cuticle which gives hair a gleam and stops dirt accumulating in your scalp.


According to researchers at the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine, cold showers can be effective for reducing stress and anxiety. They asked patients with depression to take short, 20-degree showers daily and reported that “cold hydrotherapy can relieve depressive symptoms rather effectively”. They explained cold showers boosted endorphins and hormones in the blood and sent an “overwhelming” amount of electrical pulses to the brain, “which could result in an anti-depressive effect”.


Swapping your piping hot morning shower to an icy one can be challenging. Because the first 30 seconds are the worst, start your shower warm, then simply switch your water temperature from hot to cold every 10-20 seconds. When you’re feeling brave and have the mental toughness you need to survive the shivering, try a full blast cold shower on for size. At first you might begin to hyperventilate, so use your breathing as an anchor and focus on the physical sensations, rather than on your thoughts. Taking a cold shower is an amazing exercise in mindfulness and non-resistance. And then of course there is all those benefits. Worth the “brrrrrs”? We think so.


All the way from Kauai, Hawaii Michaelle Edwards will be holding a training at the Mangawhai Surf Club, with stunning ocean views.

Book now for your place in the workshop in New Zealand, with the creator of YogAlign Michaelle Edwards - registration and further information

Here is Australasia we are amidst a very hot summer season

To keep up your focus & energy levels try increasing your hydration with these two tips

Hydrate from the Inside: To hydrate your skin from the inside, the first thing to realise is that drinking 8 glasses of water a day is not the way!! Instead you must increase your intake of water in gel form— as it exists in foods like berries, cucumbers, oranges, lettuce, and lemons. In fact, adding a lemon or cucumber slice to drinking water with a tiny pinch of Celtic sea salt or Himalayan sea salt will do wonders for the hydrating quality of your water. Adding a tablespoon of chia seeds to water and a pinch of Himalayan salt— and letting the seeds sit for 15 minutes until they swell before drinking will also hydrate your body far better than simply drinking a glass of water. This practice will also eliminate constipation in most cases. 

Remember…….alcohol and coffee are dehydrating. So for every alcoholic drink or cup of coffee you drink, just drink the equivalent amount of water or herbal tea— ideally with a little pinch of salt. You will be amazed at the improvements in your health simply by hydrating yourself optimally. 

Hydrate from the Outside: You can hydrate your skin optimally throughout the day by spritzing with a Hydrating Mist & Toner. Just spray on your face, neck, and décolleté after cleansing & before your moisturiser. Then press the fluid into your skin with your hands and fingers. Since your hands have healing power and are directly linked to your heart, we recommend that when gently pressing the hydrating mist into your skin, you do so with loving intent. Try making your own beautiful Rose Hydrating Mist.

Meditation as Medicine

Would you take a daily pill if it was scientifically proven to benefit your brain by increasing focus; reducing stress, anxiety, and depression; and improving memory, emotional awareness, and overall happiness? What if it wasn’t through taking a pill, but simply the act of sitting still, for even just one minute a day? 

This week’s guest on The Doctor’s Farmacy is here to share that it is, in fact, possible to reap huge benefits in a short amount of time. Journalist and ABC news anchor Dan Harris turned his life around using the power of mindfulness and meditation; he was able to stop self-medicating with drugs, end his struggle with panic attacks, and focus on building a successful, balanced life instead. 

Initially, Dan was a skeptic of the power of meditation. He didn't think science could back up the benefits… until he saw the research for himself. 

Studies show that meditation works, in part due to its role in growing the beneficial grey matter in the brain, and Dan witnessed the effects himself once he gave it an honest try. His experience led him to write two New York Times best-selling books on the topic in an effort to help other fidgety skeptics embrace the medicinal properties of meditation. 

Throughout our talk, Dan explains the proven impacts of meditation with a down-to-earth perspective and provides realistic steps for how to incorporate it into your own life, one minute at a time.

Dan shares his personal journey, from experiencing a panic attack on-air in front of millions to becoming a calmer, more mindful person, on this episode of The Doctor’s Farmacy. If you’ve ever wondered if meditation really works and just what the science says, this episode is for you. 

I know you’ll enjoy it as much as I did. 

Wishing you health and happiness, 
Mark Hyman, MD 


Who's motivated to practice more self-love this year? Begin by joining me in taking action to complete Dr Mark Hyman's 10 day detox?

Clean out your cupboards & fridge of all the food that's robbing your mind, body & soul of nourishment. Replace with fresh, local & nutritional goodness.


This time of year I see many patients who feel that their food cravings have gotten out of control. Overindulgence from the holidays has led to a steady stream of poor food choices in their everyday lives. 

From a heightened caffeine addiction to constantly consuming flour-based items and sugary sweets, many people feel trapped in poor dietary patterns after all the celebrations and busyness of the holiday season. But there’s good news! In just 10 days you can feel lighter, leaner, happier, and healthier without those nagging cravings for foods that don’t truly serve you. 

The truth is, we blame people for being overweight and sick, but it’s not their fault. Our taste buds, hormones, and brain chemistry have been hijacked by the food industry. And sugar is a major villain here. Being addicted to sugar and flour is not an emotional eating disorder. It’s a biological disorder, driven by hormones and neurotransmitters that fuel sugar and carb cravings—leading to uncontrolled overeating. It’s why we are seeing an epidemic of type 2 diabetes and obesity but also heart disease, hypertension, many common cancers, and Alzheimer’s.

My 10-Day Detox is the perfect reset button to get back on track. 

I gained a deeper understanding of the biology of food addiction and how it is so often at the root of people’s failure to change their behavior and their diet, and it is through this understanding that I created a plan to help reset your hormones and brain chemistry and turn off inflammation in just 10 days. The result is not only a significant jump-start on weight loss but also a dramatic change in health. Here's the gist of it:

For 10 days, you’ll remove the following foods or anything containing them from your diet:

  • All processed foods.
  • Gluten, dairy, and all forms of sugar and sweetenersincluding artificial ones!
  • Grains, starchy vegetables (like potatoes), beans, and fruit (other than a ½ cup of berries or kiwi a day).
  • Inflammatory beverages (regular and decaf coffee, alcohol, soda, and juice).

And here is what you want to focus on including:

  • As many non-starchy vegetables as you want in all meals and snacks.
  • 4 to 6 ounces of protein with each meal (eggs, chicken, fish, lean animal protein, nuts, and seeds).
  • One serving of healthy fat (like ½ avocado, or 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, walnut oil, sesame oil, extra virgin coconut butter, or nut or seed butter such as almond or cashew) with every meal.
  • Lots of self-care practices: detoxifying Epsom salt baths, deep breathing exercises, meditation, yoga or any other kind of movement you enjoy, and 8 hours of sleep a night. 
  • Keep in mind that quality counts! So choose organic produce, grass-fed meat and dairy, and pasture-raised poultry and eggs, if possible. 

You’ll be amazed at what just 10 days can do for balancing your blood sugar, eliminating cravings, and revving up your metabolism. 

For more in-depth information on the full 10-Day Detox protocol along with my recommendations for how to talk to your doctor, what tests to ask for, the best supplements to support your detox, and more, check out my #1 New York Times bestseller The Blood Sugar Solution 10-Day Detox Diet.

And for some extra support, you can find my Starter 10-Day Detox Kit here.

Wishing you health and happiness,
Mark Hyman, MD

How a Lack of Touch is Destroying Men

By Mark Greene 

Why Men Need More Platonic Touch in their Lives


Platonic relationship modelingThere needs to be more modeling for men of a range of platonic relationships.

The Value of Touch

We have seniors in retirement homes who are visited by dogs they can hold and pet. This helps to improve their health and emotional state of mind. It is due to the power of contact between living creatures. Why are good-hearted people driving around town, taking dogs to old folks homes? Because no one is touching these elderly people.

We know the value of touch, even as we do everything we can to shield ourselves from it.

They should have grandchildren in their laps every day, or a warm human hand to hold, not Pomeranians who come once a week. And yet, we put a dog in their laps instead of giving them human touch, because we remain a culture that holds human contact highly suspect. We know the value of touch, even as we do everything we can to shield ourselves from it.

Animals help to alleviate loneliness for old peopleOlder people are brought therapy animals to alleviate the lack of touch in their lives.

Fear of Judgement

We American men have a tragic laundry list of reasons why we are not comfortable with touch:

  1. We fear being labeled as sexually inappropriate by women.
  2. We live in a virulently homophobic culture so all contact between men is suspect.
  3. We don’t want to risk any hint of being sexual toward children.
  4. We don’t want to risk our status as macho or authoritative by being physically gentle.
  5. We don’t ever want to deal with rejection when we reach out.

But at the root of all these flawed rationalizations is the fact that most American men are never taught to do gentle non-sexual touch. We are not typically taught that we can touch and be touched as a platonic expression of joyful human contact. Accordingly, the very inappropriate over-sexualized touch our society fears runs rampant, reinforcing our culture’s self fulfilling prophecy against men and touch. Meanwhile, this inability to comfortably connect via touch has left men emotionally isolated, contributing to rampant rates of alcoholism, depression and abuse.

The fear around touch leads to isolationThe fear that surrounds physical connection results in men becoming isolated.

The Prohibition Against Platonic Touch

And what if the lack of platonic touch is causing some men to be far too aggressive toward women, who, as the exclusive gatekeepers for gentle touch are carrying a burden they could never hope to fully manage? Women, who are arguably both victims of and, in partnership with men, enforcers of the prohibition against platonic touch in American culture? The impact of our collective touch phobia is felt across our society by every single man, woman and child.

Brené Brown, in her ground breaking TED Talk titled The Power of Vulnerability talks at length about the limitations men face when attempting to express vulnerability in our culture. She notes the degree to which men are boxed in by our culture’s expectations about what a man is or is not allowed to do. I would suggest that the limitations placed on men extend to their physical expression though touch. And are just as damaging in that realm.

Men are unable to express their vulnerabilityMen are limited in their attempts to express their vulnerability.

The Awakening of Touch

But here’s the good news.

There are many reasons why full-time stay at home dads are proving to be such a transformative force in American culture. One powerful reason is the awakening of touch. As full-time dads, we are presented with the absolute necessity to hold our own wonderful children. We are learning about touch in the most powerful and life-affirming way. In ways that previous generations of men simply were not immersed in.

Once you have held your sleeping child night after night or walked for years with their hand in yours, you are a changed person. You gain a fluency and confidence in touch that you will never lose. It is a gift to us men from our children that literally has the capacity to transform American culture.

The awakening of touch is possibleThe awakening of touch is possible for men who let go of their fear and reach out.

How to Reach Out

Accordingly, now, when I am with a friend I do reach out. I do make contact. And I do so with confidence and joy. And I have my own clear path forward.

The patterns in my life may be somewhat set but I intend to do everything I can to remain in contact with my son in hopes that he will have a different view of touch in his life. I hug him and kiss him. We hold hands or I put my arm around him when we watch TV or walk on the street. I will not back off from him because someone somewhere might take issue with our physical connection. I will not back off because somehow there is an unspoken rule that I must cut him loose in the world to fend for himself. I hope we can hold hands even when he is a man. I hope we continue to hold hands until the day I die.

Ultimately, we will unlearn our fear of touch in the context of our personal lives and in our day-to-day interactions. Learning how to express platonic love and affection through touch is a vast and remarkable change that has to be lived. But it is so important that we do it. Because it is central to having a rich and full life.

Touch is life.

Like Mark Green’s Facebook Page Remaking Manhood for article updates and more!

Listen to Mark Greene on the UPLIFT Podcast: Mark Greene: Solving the Masculinity Crisis.

Why I’m Not Going to Put You on a Pedestal

By Kate Love on Saturday November 24th, 2018

Image: BingImages

Is it Inspiration or Idolisation?

You can’t knock me off my pedestal. And I can’t knock you off yours. Because there is no pedestal. Not the kind that makes me higher than you or you higher than me.

Not the kind where I look down on you or you look up at me. Where I look up at you or you look down on me. Only the kind where we look across at each other. Our eyes meet. We connect. I am not better than you, wiser than you or stronger than you. You are everything that I am and I am everything that you are. We breathe. We love. We live. We’re here together.

I’ve looked up to my parents. To friends. To people who inspire me. But I don’t need to idolise anybody anymore.

I’ve always put my dad on a pedestal. He is a farmer who loves trees. He built our family house. He is the kindest man I know. My mum was working so he was there every day after school. He cooked dinner and grew sunflowers and rode a tractor. To me, he could fix anything that was broken and build whatever he put his mind to. In my eyes, he could do no wrong.

He is still there for me in so many ways and I care about him more than ever. But it’s time he came off the pedestal. I don’t need to put anybody up there anymore.

There is no reason to put you on a pedestal. Why would I raise you up without raising myself up? If I look up at you then I lose my balance and if I look down at you I lose my balance. I’ve done it before and it has only made me fall down.

The problem with putting people on a pedestalThe problem with putting people on a pedestal is that they fall off.

A Mask of Perfection

You are someone I see every day or someone I’ve never met. My boss, my lover, a friend, my parents, someone I admire from afar. It’s ok for me to be inspired by you but not to idolise you. What happens when I pick you up and place you on a pedestal? Not face to face, not heart to heart. I can’t truly connect with you if we’re not on the same level.

I take away your chance to be authentic or vulnerable or imperfect. I only want to know about your accomplishments: the successful rise in your career, all of the followers that you have on Instagram, the perfect body that I’ll never have. All the things in you that I don’t see in myself.

I ask you to be more than you are. I place expectations on you. I don’t want you to fail.

My dad is the one I turn to. If I have a question I seek him for the answer. And I expect him to always be there. When he hasn’t been there for me I have felt let down. But he is allowed to be imperfect. I can’t keep taking him for granted. He has his own challenges and struggles and commitments. He has flaws of his own but those just make him who he is.

Nobody wants to be put on a pedestal just so they can fall off. Idolisation and not truly seeing you aren’t going to help either of us.

You never asked to be put there. You never asked to be seen as flawless. And when you fail in my eyes you fall. I see that you are not perfect, that you are just like me. I’m disappointed that you’ve let me down. I pull away from you or even blame you for not being everything I wanted you to be. I fell in love with a perfect picture of you that I created. Not the true you.

Connecting heart to heartWe can connect heart to heart when we stand together at the same level.

The Power of True Connection

If I put you on a pedestal you look down at me and why would I ever want that? I don’t love you more than me. I love you just as much as I love myself. I love you as you are. Flaws and all. Because I love myself as I am. Flaws and all.

There is only us. Looking across at each other. Connecting with each other. Saying with our eyes: I know. I know it’s not easy to be here. I know the pain, the struggle, the heartache; I know the love, the purpose, the joy. I know all of that because I live it too.

Not putting my dad on a pedestal doesn’t mean I care about him any less. It means I see all of him. I see his true self. I love his rough hands and his warm smile that crinkles his eyes. I love that he can talk for hours about trees and how they connect to each other. I love that he falls asleep listening to the radio with a cup of tea. I love him for him. And he loves me for me.

Loving my dad without putting him on a pedestal means that we can connect heart to heart. I can connect to everyone heart to heart.

When the pedestal is knocked down and we are standing face to face there is only us. There is no judgement or failed expectations or miscommunication. We see each other and inspire each other and touch each other’s hearts.

You are me and I am you. I lift you up and you lift me up. We lift each other. Not looking down. Not looking up. Looking across. Eyes knowing. Hearts open. I know you. You know me. There is no pedestal.

Thanks UPLIFT for the article.


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