Posts Tagged ‘holistic’

The Wellness Coach

I’m so excited to introduce our guest blogger today. Lisa aka The Wellness Coach is truly an inspirational young women who’s daily struggle with an auto immune dis-ease hasn’t stopped her reaching for the stars.

I first met Lisa through Bikram Yoga & was so honoured to have her take part the first ever class I taught as a rookie teacher. Since moving back to her native Ireland Lisa has started her own holistic nutrition coaching business. Using her own life experience of healing through whole foods & a holistic lifestyle to advise others on how to transform their life for the better.

Here’s Lisa’s amazing story…

I have several memories of how I felt back when I was 14 years old and all of a sudden my life became a daily routine of medication, injections, doctors, tiredness, and pain.  Sitting in my bedroom with a psych doctor asking how I was, struggling to get down the stairs and clinging onto the banister for the fear of the pain that would shoot through me, missing school and being home tutored, over hearing the home tutor insist I repeat a year at school, I refused.  Being stared at.  Needing help to carry my bag.  Being felt sorry for.  The worst feeling to sum it all up was a complete loss of control; I was removed from my happy normal life and taken to this alien existence.

It began in the summer of 1997, my knees ballooned up, it was hilarious at first, “look at my knees, they’re like footballs!”  By November 1997 it was time to see a private consultant, Leukaemia or Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) he suggested, thankfully it was RA and so ensued an intense bout of attack via medication.  It was December, I was in a hospital miles from home and the Christmas tree was twinkling in the ward.  I was very upset, very lonely, very confused and very sick.  My friends had moved on, they had little time for me being teenagers, completely understandable.  My mummy became my best friend.  Every day was a struggle, no one really understands it, the pain, the fatigue, but worse still the side effects of the medication they pump into you to deal with this attack on your immune system by your own body.  If I was diagnosed now, 16 years later, a lot of the damage that had been done would’ve been avoided as medication advances and progresses over time.  C’est la vie.  In this life you learn to deal with the hand that’s been dealt to you…or you crumble and accept defeat.  I’m a fighter, so I fought.

Rheumatoid Arthritis it was, not a day would go by without it being mentioned at least 10 times to me, this new word, this new world, was now my new best friend and ironically I did actually meet some real nice friends as a result of my summers spent in Musgrave Hospital kids ward.  My doctors were, and still are amazing, they make a 14 year old kid feel like they’ve climbed and conquered Everest with each and every injection given.

I went to school, I worked hard, I took each day an hour at a time.  I did well.   I passed exams and did a lot better than anyone expected.  On the outside people would tell me, and still do, ‘You got better’.  I didn’t.  I chose health and fought for it every day, I still do but now it’s much more enjoyable as I high five feeling great!  They say, whoever ‘they’ are, that you don’t appreciate your health until it’s taken from you, very true, and it’s the main reason I’m trying to help others, don’t let your health be taken, you have a choice!

Around my university days I began my journey towards alternative health and that’s when it all changed.  I began to know my own body better than any doctor with 50 years experience under their belt.  They say you need empathy to understand other people, I have walked the walk, I know what it feels like.  Over the next 10-12 years I experimented with my health.

I did the impossible; I was beginning to enjoy proving people and doctors wrong, I loved meeting people and letting them discover that yes, I have a severe form of rheumatoid arthritis, an auto immune disease, bet you never knew!  I walk with a limp I know I do, I will never be able to straighten my elbows, I have poor mobility in my wrists, my back will never be self tanned due to restricted shoulders and I bet I have worse hips than your granny, hee hee!!  I have good days and bad, the bad account for a lot less now than they used to.  Though the bad most people never see.   I’ve been to university, I’ve studied for 8 years since then, I’ve been to Australia medication hassle and change of doctors and all, I am living proof that with inner strength and an open mind to alternative living, all is not lost.

My saviour has been nutrition, hence the reason I went on to study it and became a nutritionist.   Foods heal, foods harm.  We live in a society whereby disease, particularly inflammatory diseases or those ending in ‘itis’ are becoming more and more prevalent, obesity levels are through the roof and a lot of people just don’t know what to eat!   I eat for health, I eat to beat inflammation, I eat for strength, for healthy joints and for energy.  I see each and every meal as an opportunity to regain control of my health and I’m not letting those sip by!  I’m now in the very privileged position of being able to help others recover their health, reigniting their passion for healthy foods and re-discovering their taste buds, I’m inspiring and motivating others, I’m using this challenge I faced as an opportunity.

Things happen for a reason and I believe the powers that be knew I had the strength to fight this disease and to inspire others, so I’m doing it.  I’ve managed to come off some severe medication through diet and lifestyle, I still take daily meds, and inject myself every 5 days, I probably always will, however this was medication I ‘should’ still be on according to the experts, is medication that is also given to cancer patients.  My hair has never been so long since I stopped it, I’m delighted 🙂

On my journey I also found a great outlet through exercise.  On a recent visit to my specialist I asked “So my knee is giving me jip, anything I can do to help it?’, “Exercise it” she told me, “Oh like squats and lunges?” I ask, “Goodness no, while sitting on the chair at home straighten and drop your leg, definitely no squats”.  I joined Crossfit a month later and am Queen squatter 🙂 I also practice yoga 3 times a week.

I discovered yoga whilst in Australia.  Doctors treat the physical; however, good nutrition and yoga heal both the mental and the physical.  I began to see my body as a whole, to approach it holistically.  The breathing, the stretching, the discipline, they gave me back control, control I had once lost and I thought, I can do this, I can work with my body instead of fighting against it!  Yoga heals in so many ways, it is so much more than a workout, it reduces inflammation, promotes healthy sleep, reduces stress and stretches out my very stiff joints.  They say arthritis can be linked to an inability to let go, I don’t like this thought process as it almost blames the person themselves for having the condition, however I do know that on days where I practice yoga, find my inner peace and learn to let go, I feel better.  I sleep better.  My joints are less inflamed and life is easier.  I’m also an Aries though, I like action, moving forward trying new things, there are more and more people to inspire, and I’m delighted to be helping just one person all the way over in Australia who may read this and feel empowered!  Why stop when you can achieve so much more?  My arthritis has never stopped me doing anything and never will!

I hope my story has inspired you, try the alternatives, use every meal and each opportunity life throws at you to make healthy choices, you really don’t appreciate your good health until it is taken from you.

As they say in yoga, Namaste.  Lisa x

Seren Lisa Mc Wellness coach

If you are interested in Wellness Coaching check out Lisa’s links below:





David Wolfe Australian Tour – Have the best day ever!

I couldn’t miss the chance to see Super Foods guru David Wolfe speaking when he came to town last weekend. The response in Perth was massive. The event sold out so a second was put on earlier in the day due to a bigger venue not being available. Huge confirmation that us Westerners are super keen for such events and presenters. Please do come to Perth we want you, don’t be put off by our remoteness make the effort to visit it will be appreciated. It was great to see the WA leg of the tour incorporated some local businesses as well in the sponsor’s area.

I’ve never been to one of David’s events but from what I had heard and read from he knows how to put on a show. No disappointments at all. David lived up to his ‘entertainer’ label and kept the audience engaged for nearly three hours in an informative, light hearted and easy to understand manner. Of course there was plenty of humour too.

Where to start telling you the details of what I learned? Information overload for sure, in a good way. Most of the Super Food’s spoken about I had heard of, some I wasn’t too familiar with or have ever used. I took pages of notes so I’ll start at the top.

Being a creative person I loved the analogy of food and colour. The colour of the food relates to their healing properties. Eat blueberries for eye health, tomatoes for heart heath etc. It took a while to get my head around ‘black’ foods being the ultimate Super Foods. The photos of black lumps didn’t look appealing. What did I learn at art class? I mixed a bit of every colour in the spectrum to get a ‘pure’ black, same with nature. For example black rice is the most nutritious of all rice & has the most zinc in it. Theses colours switch on certain good genetics in our bodies. Think Chakras, they all have a colour too. We are not just feeding our one physical body but nourishing all four of our bodies the emotional, mental and spiritual. We see in colour so we should eat in colour.

Some of the herbs and Chinese mushrooms mentioned I could not spell or repeat the pronunciation. Their health benefits of longevity and anti ageing sounded awesome. It was sad that some Super herbs such as coca leaves are illegal thanks to the abuse and misuse of them. Some tribes in South American live to be over 100 years old from munching on raw coca leaves straight off the tree. Apparently they are the happiest people on earth. Hmmm funny that?!

Salt came up too and my beliefs were questions. I’m a hard-core pink Himalayan advocate that is still good. David was telling us to go wild & gather the salt from pools by the sea. Get it straight from the source the ocean. No factories or packaging or transporting. Makes sense as long as you are near to sea. The ancient remedy of drinking warm sea salted water is a proven method for good adrenal health as well as a tonic for almost any aliment. We can get our potassium from eating raw foods but it’s hard to find salt in natural foods so we do need to ‘add’ it to our intake. Definitely not the white crappy, chemically bleached ‘table salt.’

There was lot’s of talk about marine plankton and blue green algae. I’m a huge spirulina and chlorella fan. They have massive antioxidant benefits as well as essential omega oils. Again watch what brand you buy there are very few that are harvested, processed and packaged correctly. It makes all the difference to the quality. I personally use Green Nutritionals Hawaiian Pacifica brand that come in dark glass bottle with oxygen tight lids. Our future nutrition is going to rely more on the ocean as a resource. I’m quite excited about the concepts of home grow Spirulina tanks!

In the question time right at the end someone asked the ‘gold’ question. “What do you think of vaccinations?” It’s an area I have been questioning myself & chose not to have travel vaccines last year & I was just fine (if not better as I’d not had a dose of evil chemicals). David clearly stated that no vaccination in the world has ever passed a double blind random control cross over study. That is the ‘5* standard’ scientific test. He said when they do he would happily have them but until then there is clear evidence that vaccines are not 100% safe.

What really resonated the most with me was that we were asked to question those ‘learned’ beliefs that society, scientists, doctors, who ever have drilled into us that ‘are right.’ Especially when the subject of Breatharians came up. We rely too much on what others tell us to be true without going out there & finding it out for ourselves & seeing what works for us. What we can believe is that if we eat straight from nature, out the ground, unhampered & organically we will thrive. It’s the vicious cycle of eat chemicals, get sick, see doctors, treat it with chemicals, then eat more chemicals which is throwing our bodies into mayhem. Eat how nature intended. She did not put batter on chickens for a reason. ‘We’ did and then we get sick from it.

A grand night out and a huge kick up my butt to keep on track. I got home to see a loaf of fresh bakery white bread that would have been lovely toasted with lashing of organic butter. No, I did not partake thinking how bloated I’d be and the fact it would not serve me nutritionally at all. Feed your body love & it will return the love right back to you.

Love Seren xx

Seren Blog David Wolfe stuff

Holistic Skin Care Interview with Peachy Clean

I’m very excited to introduce our guest interview today Haley Thompson of Peachy Clean. This website is a one stop shop for all things natural, organic & nothing is tested on our furry friends. I discovered Peachy myself over six months ago in my quest for toxin free facial care. With such a vast selection of products, all tried & tested by Haley (this lady walks her talk!) & amazing complementary skin care advice via email I can guarantee you will find something to suit your budget & individual requirements.

We’re talking holistic skin care today, read on to find out more…

  • What was your catalyst to move towards natural & organic skin care products?

I wanted to stop poisoning my system and improve my skin once and for all. When I first found out that some (most) of the ingredients in all the products I’d been using since birth were toxic – I didn’t believe it! Surely it has to be safe to be sold to the public? There’s no way they’d be selling me shampoo knowing that the ingredients had been scientifically linked to breast cancer and infertility right? My jaw dropped as I started researching all those ingredients I couldn’t pronounce on the back of my favourite and expensive beauty products. I felt cheated from all my hard earned money, lied to by every advert and campaign and deceived that even when I thought I was choosing safe products – there was almost always something toxic thrown in. I started telling a few friends about it and was just so shocked that no one seemed to know that simply using a face wash could be causing so much harm and the ingredients were often a big contributing factor to the skin problems in the first place! I actively started switching to natural and organic products – not putting a thing on my skin unless I’d researched every ingredient but it was so time consuming and to get the products I wanted was such a hassle! So I decided to start my own boutique where everything is a no-brainer – simple, safe shopping and no BS 😉

  • Can you share with us the benefits of using natural/organic skin care versus the mainstream chemical laden brands?

Having worked in the media as a radio announce, TV presenter, fashion emcee, model and reporter for so long, I get my hair and makeup done professionally quite a lot. My skin was so dry! I couldn’t wear foundation without it almost flaking off – so I spent more on luxury skin care thinking that would do the trick. Nothing worked – it wasn’t until I switched to natural that my skin actually improved. My skin is no longer harassed and irritated by cheap synthetic preservatives and chemicals, instead it was finally getting the nutrients and moisture it needed. Lip balm is a good example of the ‘regular’ skin care cycle – the parabens (preservatives) in regular lip balms actively dry your skin out and leach moisture, so when you but a balm on your lips you feel instantly soothed…until you need to keep reapplying and reapplying thinking that the lip balm is the only thing that works. If you stopped using the lip balm in the first place – you probably wouldn’t need it. It’s the same with skin care – the products I was using were giving me the dry flaky skin even though everything on the jar said the exact opposite!

  • In non-natural skin care products which ingredients are the most damaging to our skin & bodies?

Oh there are so many sneaky ones! The general rule of thumb is if you haven’t heard of it or can’t pronounce it – it’s usually not good. The worst ones to look for are; anything ending in the word ‘paraben’ (this can be methyl, butyl, propyl..etc) – it’s a super toxic and cheap preservative that has been linked to breast cancer, infertility, premature ageing of skin, birth defects, immune diseases… PEG’s and DEA’s – Nature doesn’t have initials. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate – a cheap ingredient that simply makes products foam and actively dries out skin – super toxic! Our skin is our largest organ and it absorbs and drinks up what we put on it so don’t put anything on your skin you wouldn’t eat.

  • There is quite a bit of Green-Washing happening in the beauty market. When selecting natural or organic products is there anything we should be looking for on the packaging to ensure we are getting the real deal?

Certifications are always a good sign – it means that an independent body has tested and approved the ingredients as safe. However not all great brands are certified – it’s a very expensive process and some of the smaller but still completely fabulous brands get by without it so you can’t always judge a product by lack of certification – look out for the main culprits above and remember if you don’t know what it is, wouldn’t eat it or can’t pronounce it, odds on it’s a chemical additive.

Palm Oil is another product to look for – it causes so much devastation in the world and the manufacturing of it is almost single handedly wiping out orangutans and other species. Lots of ‘Natural’ cleaning products use it – it sounds natural but unless it’s from a sustainable source you can bet something or someone died for it to be included in the product.

  • Did you make the change gradually to natural skin care or did you bin everything chemical & start again from scratch?

Oh I binned everything straight away! I freaked right out once I knew the side effects! I even ditched a few of my friend’s products and replaced them with new organic products simply saying “I love you – I can’t let you put this on your skin” – I calmed down a little though ha ha! All you can do is tell people and let them make the choice for themselves. I’m always stunned to find people who simply don’t care. I think “ask someone who is battling breast cancer if they would stop using chemicals if there was even the slightest chance of it making a difference”. Once you switch and once you find a place to shop that you can trust (like Peachy Clean!) it’s easy-no effort required.

  • How quickly did you notice any changes too your skin once you switched over to natural products? 

Seriously within a few days. Hair Care is different – a lot of people try natural hair care and hate it straight away and don’t give it another chance but there will always be a ‘detox’ period. Your hair needs to get rid of the chemical build up from the silicone coating from regular products. Your hair will feel like shit for the first week or two but ride it out ha! Once the build up has been stripped, the incredible natural products can go to work and actually treat and condition your hair (instead of just coating it and making you think it’s healthy). My hair is halfway to my bum and my hair-dresser always comments on what good condition it’s in – natural hair care is so much more effective than regular chemical stuff! Such a myth that you need chemical science to have shiny, healthy hair-it’s the exact opposite!

  • Did you feel your overall health/wellbeing improved once you went organic & natural?

Absolutely – once I started looking at ingredients and actively choosing what was better for me both my skin and my attitude to health changed. I have my green smoothies every day with my superfood supplements – I choose organic – “if you are what you eat, don’t be easy, cheap or fake” 😉 Feeling good is totally addictive 😉

  • Tell us about your morning and evening skin care routine, do they differ? (What products do you use?)

It always depends on what products I’m trialling at the time so I’m really lucky I get to have a fabulous bathroom cabinet that’s bursting with awesome products! My boy has a great routine too-he doesn’t care what he puts on so would always just buy the cheap nasty stuff from the supermarket if he bought anything at all – I love that I’ve seen the difference in his skin too! I love my serum 2-3 times a week for a boost! I use my Weleda Creamy Body Wash every day-it’s like showering in whipped cream and it’s so fab on my dry skin! Always brush with my Vitacare toothpaste (too much fluoride is toxic and we get enough from our drinking water), I love my Sodashi Clay Cleanser (6 1/2 months and going strong! So gentle but a demon on makeup) and also my AEOS Oil De Maq cleanser – I often don’t use a moisturiser after cleansing with this it’s so nourishing! The Sodashi Brightening Marine Mineral Mask is by far the best mask I’ve ever used – I use it before any special event and you can bet I’ll get a compliment on my skin! (Seren: LOVE this mask it is fabulous & lasts ages)

  • Do you have a #1 can’t live without skin care product?

A great serum! Serum’s are so under-rated! There’s a difference between ‘nourishing’ and ‘moisturising’ your skin. Nourishing your skin with an awesome serum (my absolute faves are the Sodashi Serums – Seren: LOVE the Sodashi Balancing Serum) means you’re feeding it the nutrients it needs to renew, protect, heal and glow! Especially in winter when a moisturiser just isn’t enough. You only need a few drops so again these beauties last forever – I won’t ever be without a fabulous serum now. It’s a real ‘hero’ product. If I was stranded on a desert island and only allowed one product though I would say my Loving Earth Coconut Oil though because it does everything! I use it as an eye makeup remover, hair treatment, body moisturiser, lip balm, cellulite treatment, rash cream, I even drink a teaspoon a day in my green smoothies and cook with it! Crazy good!

  • I struggle to keep up my full skin care routine when I travel. Have you any tips for not letting your skin miss out with a limited luggage allowance? 

Ha ha! You should see photos from my last trip – I took around 30 of my favourite products with me! My boyfriend just laughed – he knows there’s nothing he can do about it ha! It was like trying to choose my favourite child ha! Both Sodashi and AEOS do fantastic kits – complete routines in smaller bottles perfect for travelling! I’ve used these kits a few times and honestly I was so impressed with how long they’ve lasted!! The AEOS Realive Serum in the AEOS Essentials Kit is still going strong 6 months later! A really great way to try a complete range before buying too. I always travel with my first aid cream – the Savi Soothing Cream. Anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and super soothing and calming. It’s come in handy so many times for everything from stinger bites, surfing rash and coral cuts, to mozzie bites and grazes!

  • How important are diet and exercise to maintaining healthful skin?

Think of it this way – if you drink too much champagne or eat dodgy food, you throw up right? (crass analogy sorry!) Your body is trying to expel the toxins. It’s similar with your skin. If you eat nothing but junk and don’t exercise…the body will expel toxins any way it can – including pimples, excess oil or dehydration from the liver working over time! Treat your body right to feel great but to look great too. Water, Rest, Love, Laughter and great skin care!

  • Going natural/organic can be expensive & off-putting for some people. How would you advise anyone wanting to make the switch on a tight budget?

I used to think this too – I’ve found some really great ranges that are completely inexpensive! Australian Bushflower Essences is a range that has nothing over $28! Weleda is another fabulous inexpensive range! You just have to look. Even with some of the dearer ranges they work out cheaper than most pharmacy ranges – for example, the super gorgeous Sodashi Clay Cleanser is $80 – my last one lasted almost 7 months! I would’ve bought 2-3 other cheaper cleansers in that time and ended up paying more! There’s a great quote by Joel Salatin ‘If you think organic is expensive, have you priced cancer lately?’ – it’s a bit of a scare tactic but it’s true. We only have our health and we only get one shot at it. I’ve included a few great ranges that are inexpensive so there’s no excuse not to ditch the chemicals!

  • Have you tried and tested all the products you sell on Peachy Clean?

Oh yeah! I’m a product junkie and I won’t sell anything I don’t love! I’ve tried a few expensive, well-known ranges and just been unimpressed. I don’t want any false advertising – if we sell it it’s because I’ve (or my guinea pig boyfriend) have used it and found it to be really good!

  • Would you consider starting your own Peachy Clean organic skin care range?

Oh that’s in the pipeline! I want to create a range of my favourite products made from the experience of using so many gorgeous products! It’ll be a long process though!

  • Are then any exciting new products coming to the Peachy Clean website soon?

We’ve just launched our new ‘Wellness’ category – because beauty is on the inside too! We now range of awesome organic Loving Earth superfoods like Acai Berry, Bee Pollen, Maca, Cacao, Goji Berries and Coconut Water powder etc and also glass straws so you can have your daily green smoothie without getting spinach stuck between your teeth or staining them from things like blueberries!  Diet plays a bit part in the health of the skin but also if you’re feeling good and feeling happy – you can’t help but look beautiful! We wanted to provide a more holistic approach to beauty and wellbeing and want everyone to really look after themselves! Beauty really is on the inside 😉

Thank you Haley for a wonderfully informative insight into natural skin care. This has definitely made me pay more attention to labels & watch out for those sneaky toxic ingredients.

If you would like some advice on what skin care would be best for you please shoot Haley an email on: (Please no SEO spruikers or spam) or head over to Peachy Clean to check out all the amazing products.

Here’s to happy, clean & toxin free faces!

Love Seren xx

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 ©Seren Holistic Lifestyles Blog 2013
 (please share the love with full credit thanks)

Click on image to enlarge

©Seren Holistic Lifestyles Blog 2013

(please share the love with full credit thanks)

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