Chemicals, Kids and what we as parents butt-up against as we try to raise healthy children in a toxic world.
For me to be good mama, I sometimes need to get away. I struggle with this at times…the martyre comes out ‘My children need me and I’m the only person to meet their needs!’ (I also think this stems from the neoliberal notion of living in individualised families without connection to a larger community) and then there’s the creeping fears that something will go virulently wrong when I’m away and I will feel the gravity of immense guilt for not being there. But when I can sit with these fears (and my own martyrdom) and let someone else (usually Jase) take the load for a while, and I relax into the embrace of being alone, I always come back home seeing the magic in my life, my children, and my partner again.
This time, I’m in San Francisco. Exotic I know! Five days of writing, meditating, eating, and another four days at an epigenetics conference in the heartbeat of San Francisco.
Travelling to the US always feels like coming home to me. I guess its because I was born here, and have travelled here many times before. There are parts of the US that touch me in ways for which I struggle to find words. Where I am staying now is such a place – Muir Beach. It’s near the majestic redwoods, close to organic markets, a beach, walking tracks, and the Green Gulch Zen centre. When I arrived yesterday it was like I was able to finally exhale – like taking off a pair of tight shoes.
Staying at beautiful places when I travel is important to me. I won’t go unless I can stay at beautiful places. Where I stay has to be a sanctuary for my soul – where it can rest for a while and feel a greater sense of harmony and ease. Here is such a place. And I give myself permission to find ease again.
[We highly recommend the services of airbnb when our family travels - we find our funky places to stay via them – alot.]
Have been on and off for years, but have moved on to Coconut Oil more recently, which tastes simply luxurious compared to the Sesame Oil I’d been having years ago. Inspired by Jess Ainscough’s (aka the wellness warrier) post about oil pulling, I too wanted to share my expereinces of oil pulling, particularly from a mama’s perspective.
I started oil pulling after the birth of Adiva, about five years ago. An Ayurevdic health practitioner started me on the practice after experiencing a pregnancy that was bound with severe Hyperemesis gravidarum (HG) a form of morning sickness with unrelenting, excessive nausea and vomiting which went on throughout most of my pregnancy. And because I vomited so much during pregnancy, sometimes 10-15 times a day, my teeth and gums now carry scars that will never go away – deteriorated tooth enamel from the acid, cracks, and sensitive gums. (The pregnancy with Jedda was much the same). Pregnancy is notorious for the development of teeth issues – we carry 50% more blood in our bodies, we often have food sensitivities, and we are growing a baby that takes from our body what it needs, sometimes at the expense of the mama.
Hence my now passion for oil pulling.
But what is oil pulling (OP) you may ask?
It’s a little known fact that Ayurevdic medicine historically prescribed Sesame Oil swishing in the mouth as one of the daily routine habits in the morning for oral and dental hygiene (yes, Jase initially liked to make giggly boy chatter about ‘oral oil pulling’ – classy I know. I think most partners will probably make the same simple jokes). Oil pulling was introduced to the modern world in 1992 by Dr. F. Karach, MD. Dr. Karach claimed that oil pulling could cure a variety of illnesses ranging from heart disease and digestive troubles to hormonal disorders.
How does it all work?
My morning ritual, while making our morning tea, is to swish coconut oil in my mouth for about 10-15 minutes. Because it has been chilly in the morning here in Brisbane, sometimes I need to put the coconut oil jar in hot water for a minute so that it turns from a solid block back into liquid. And sometimes if I don’t have time, I will put a tablespoon of the solid block in my month until it melts and then swish. Not as pleasant, but still effective nonetheless. I sometimes also add a couple of drops of oregano oil (great anti-bacterial and anti-fungal oil) and simply spoon it into my mouth. One tablespoon is all you need. Then I swish the oil around my mouth for 10-15 minutes (and 5 minutes if that’s all I can manage for the day and 20 minutes if I am having a peaceful morning). And believe me this really is the best start to the day!
Remember, don’t swallow the oil, the swishing will render it full of toxins. And brush your teeth and rinse your mouth thoroughly oil pulling.
If the first few times your gag reflexes kick in, decrease the amount of oil you are using and definitely don’t worry about the essential oil. Persist though – it’s worth it.
What are the benefits?
There are so many: • Whiter teeth • Healthier gums • Prevents bad breath • Increases energy • Decreases headaches and migranes • Clears sinuses • Alleviates allergies • Clearer skin • Regulates menstrual cycles • Improves lymphatic system • Improves PMS symptoms…and more…
There’s not much research done. But there’s a dearth of research done on the benefits of both coconut oil and oregano oil that you can’t ignore the practical application of oil pulling. And there is a fabulous book on the topic called Oil Pulling Therapy: Detoxifying and Healing the Body Through Oral Cleansing by naturopathic physician Bruce Fife. He states:
‘The oil acts like a cleanser. When you put it in your mouth and work it around your teeth and gums it ‘pulls’ out bacteria and other debris’.
‘As simple as it is, oil pulling has a very powerful detoxifying effect. Our mouths are the home to billions of bacteria, viruses, fungi and other parasites and their toxins. Candida and Streptococcus are common residents in our mouths. It is these types of germs and their toxic waste products that cause gum disease and tooth decay and contribute to many other health problems including arthritis and heart disease. Our immune system is constantly fighting these troublemakers. If our immune system becomes overloaded or burdened by excessive stress, poor diet, environmental toxins and such, these organisms can spread throughout the body causing secondary infections and chronic inflammation, leading to any number of health problems.’
I think I will always wear the scars of bearing two beautiful girls, but my gums feel healthier, my teeth whiter, and my head clearer as a result of oil pulling. I would love to know your experiences of oil pulling. And if you haven’t tried, give it a pull!
When you are a busy mama raising a home grown family, I find that most of the time I’m not in my body at all. In fact at the end of a long day, just before sleep, I usually find myself saying ‘oh, there you are’, like somehow I’ve lost myself for the whole day only to find me again at bed time. And then I lose myself the very next morning again. Inspired by mindfulness I have started writing a ‘today’ gratitude list. The main gist of this is to write down whatever I am feeling grateful for in your life…right now; here and now; in the present.
This is the first one I am sharing. It’s a lovely practice for busy mama’s. You might want to give it a go. Beauty and simplicity surround us all the time and if we are not careful we can miss it.
I took time to meditate for 5 whole minutes.
I had coconut oil melt in my mouth for breakfast.
My egg yolk is like a creamy sunset.
Someone made me soup at the organic cafe for lunch.
I ate sweet juicy pink guava. They are nearly out of season. Goodbye guava. Thankyou.
I watched Adiva’s abundant joy as she showed me the gap where he tooth once was.
Thinking that it’s time to surrender to the ever-expanding laundry pile. I loose. You win.
I need to ask for more help with my busy schedule.
I watched Jedda sit on the trampoline eating mandarines and talking to her dolly named Raspberry (see photo).
Happy anniversary my dear Jase. Eight of the best years of my life. I feel blessed to be travelling this journey with you.
I was wondering what to do with our beautful rosy and plump Rosella’s in our garden (jam, yes, but I did that last year) so yesterday I made a special ‘taste of the season’ Kombucha and named it Spicy Rosella. It’s amazing. Tenderly hand picked by Adiva and I, steam softened to maintain as much of the potent antioxidents as possible, and sweetened with hints of delicious cinamon quills and apple. If you are in Brizzy come down for taste at Northy St markets this weekend, or give me an email and I will put a bottle aside for you because there are only select number. I feel most happy when I am crafting and creating. Give it go. It’s good for the soul.
We are bringing Kombucha to Northy St Organic Markets! (in fact my post is a little late as we’ve been there for a few weeks now, sorry). We feel so grateful to be so well received in this beautiful community. It’s very satisfying to be around people equally passionate about fermented foods and health. And to be honest we’ve been struggling to keep up with the demand for our Kombucha. It’s been a sell out every week. But we hope we have it all handled now with over 1000ltrs of blissful brewing Kombucha. And we just got word from Saturday’s West End Markets and they have a spot for us too (no weekends for us anymore, but bringing kombucha to the people feels very right).
So if you are in the Brisbane area come and visit us for a sample. We have four different Kombucha varieties: i) Buchi Mama Origional (made on the SCOBY mother and that’s all); Deep Green Kombucha (yes, we use the Miessence Deep Alkalising Green mix with loads of blue green algae (spirillina), wheat grass, barley grass, kamut grass etc); Ginger Tumeric Kombucha (packs a punch for people who like that ginger kick); and Hibiscus Pine Lime Kombucha (this was made for people transitioning to Kombucha and who need a little sweetness in their drink).
And for people who are not in the area, but in Australia, you can still contribute to our crowdfunding (Pozible) for the next few weeks and we will send some delicious Buchi Kombucha your way. Check out our site http://buchi.pozible.com and make a pledge. Don’t worry about your location, we’ll be shipping Buchi all around the country to say thanks for your support.
I don’t know about you, but I’m still ‘pushing’ through life, despite my earlier reflections. I grind away at a marking essays. I push through the pain to get to an article done. I force myself to drink that green smoothie in the morning when I don’t feel like drinking it. I fight through a headache. Some would say that this ‘pushing’ is an admirable quality – committed and not afraid to go after what you want. But to be honest it doesn’t feel so good being a bulldozer. I’m often in struggle. And it’s exhausting. And there’s no peace.
I heard Sheryl Crow’s song on the radio this morning, ‘Soak Up the Sun’… and the line: ‘It’s not getting what you want, it’s wanting what you’ve got’ that reasonated with me. Graditude. Living in the flow. And when there’s no flow, to let go.
There’s another great quote by Abraham-Hicks that reminds me of my pushing and righteous. I hope you like it and it gives us all the grace to let go…
In my last post I said to stay tuned for more information about going commercial with Kombucha…and here it is! Jase (my partner) and our dear friend Matt are now brewmasters for Buchi (pronounced ‘boochi‘) Kombucha and are seeking crowdfunding so that the people of Australia will be able to access high quality, low-cost, local, sustainable, certified organic, raw Kombucha. And for people who contribute to the crowdfunding project they will all receive some awesome in-kind rewards…umm Kombucha!
Kombucha is a fermented health elixer that is just packed with vitality and goodness. The bacteria converts sugars into health giving organic acids such as glucuronic, lactic and acetic. So it’s nutritious, detoxifying and delicious all at the same time, and linked to a range of health benefits including organ cleansing, detoxification, improved digestion, better skin, stronger immunity and anti-aging benefits.
The link and video below show the boys, their passion for Kombucha, the business plan, why its a glocal production, and how to get some free Buchi by becoming a supporter and contributing to the crowdfunding. Have a watch and vote with your dollars:
>CLICK HERE to support Buchi Kombucha and find out more about this amazing project.
It’s been a few months since my last post – the longest writing drought since I started writing this blog nearly three years ago now. I’ve felt somewhat paralysed to write lately, not exactly knowing my path in life anymore, feeling unsure, sensitive. In numerology I’m in a year one of the nine-year cycle. A new beginning which holds the promise of new adventures and daring feats, and yet while the prospect of starting something new is certainly exciting, it is also a little daunting….and to be honest it had me a little stumped as to how I move forward. And when I do take steps it’s often feeling a little ungainly, like a newborn colt trying to stand up after birth.
This year I’ve said goodbye to my postdoctoral research (although my next book is still in the wings) and old ways of doing work. Jase and I have made the decision to take concrete steps towards financial independence and freedom of time. We’re getting responsible for generating our own ethical wealth and want to break the cycle of trading our time and money (for someone else). Our experience of working is one reminiscent of Robert Frost‘s quote ‘By working faithfully eight hours a day you may eventually become the boss and work 12 hour days’. Instead, we want to move even closer towards more everyday sustainable living, conscious health, deliberate wealth. And the path is not always so clear how we do that yet.
What is clear though is that to get something we’ve never had, we need to do something we’ve never done before. So I have started to do just that… and I try to remember that from little things, big things grow!
So this is how I have become unstuck (sometimes anyway)…
In January I started making my own sour dough bread. Our family mission is make and bake our own real bread from now on. To do this we have become the proud parents of a beautiful sourdough ‘starter’ culture that we feed and house and in return she provides us with a spectrum of bacteria that raises and ferments our dough and tastes sour and magnificent. Nothing better than a warm sourdough bread for in the morning with real butter…and lots of it! We get beautiful creamy yellow butter made from cultured cream from Northy St organic markets here in Brisbane. We have churned our own butter before, but it’s not particularly cost effective so far. So until we have our own cow, we will stick to with the butter that the butter man sells at the markets.
Later in the month I conquered the software program Prezi and made my own ‘Start your own ethical organic business in 2012’ presentation (with the help of some supportive friends). It took me a while to get my head around this program, but it was worth the brain strain to produce a presentation that is visually stimulating and compelling. I have been delivering this presentation across Brisbane and to international audiences via webinars. If you want to check it out, just let me know.
In February we started making our own kombucha. Kombucha is a passion of ours, as are fermented foods generally. Jase is now our very own brewmaster and making us our very own delectable fermented brews. Like our soughdough starter culture, we are now the house to many healthy kombucha ‘mothers’ who’s symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeasts breathe life into our sweetened tea. The microorganisms ferment the tea, converting the sugars into health giving organic acids such as glucuronic, lactic and acetic. So it’s nutritious, detoxifying and delicious all at the same time. We have equally passionate friends who are embarking on this endeavor commercially with us. Stay tuned as we go into large production later in the year…
And then there was the Earth Frequency Festival in the Sunshine Coast…
And at the Bodhi Festival in Newcastle we had a Miessence nutritional stall and I managed to sneak in a yoga practice and a healing with the Shanti Mission…
And in March was the Glocals Forum organized by Organic Farm Share that I spoke at. I felt particularly honoured to be on the panel and alongside some of the most incredible local community leaders. Glocal is a term which defines local leaders actualising transformative ideas that have the capacity to regenerate both society and the environment we currently live in. And it’s a privilege to be part of the organic farm share community.
This is a year that is certainly thrusting me, us, our family into new projects. I don’t know yet how to make these passions into a generous sustainable income for my family, or how they fit together, but I am clear that taking small steps in sustainable living is crucial to living a more connected, content life. And if you are like me, taking small steps do not come naturally. I usually have a clear path. So here are a few tips I’ve learned over the last few months to cultivate more trust and patience:
Trust my Intuition: Intuition is our ability to hold space for uncertainty and our willingness to trust the many ways we’ve developed knowledge and insight, including instinct, experience, faith, and reason. When I feel overwhelmed by uncertainty I often panic and make my decisions with my head rather than my heart. I don’t listen to that strong, initial gut response and I start polling people around me for an answer.
Feel More – Think Less: ‘Drop’ into yourself. Ask yourself what is the next step that makes you feel happy, that feels ‘right’.
Exercises in gratitude: In times when I feel uncertain as to my path I can often spiral into a self-conversation about scarcity and I wait wondering when things will all fall apart around me (or that I will fall apart). I am learning to sit with uncertainty and be appreciative for what I have in these precious moment. I’m not sure that it will ever be easy for me to do this, but I have learned to trust this practice.
I grew up in a family of readers. Everyday from the age of 4, my mother would send us to our rooms to read for at least 1 hour. It didn’t matter that my brothers and I at that time couldn’t read. We all sat in silence and flicked through the colorful pages of books. This ritual still lives inside of me today, and I am passing it on to my chicks. And as I am reading them Dr Seuss I am reminded by his famous saying ‘The more you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.’
There are many books that have helped me become a stronger and more vulnerable woman in 2011. Here is my top 10 list in the hope that others on a similar journey will find these useful:
What were your highlights of 2011? What books would recommend to others? I for one am keen to know….
This is an article I am proud of and feel grateful to Peppermint Magazine for publishing it. I have also had quite a number of people email me as a result of the article expressing thanks and appreciation. I feel deeply honoured by their corrospondance to me. Click the link to read the entire Habitat Article…. Enjoy!
When we asked Miessence Director Narelle Chenery to create a special product for the holiday season, we knew that she would deliver an exceptional treat – and she has! The environmental-saving Darling Salt Glow is an eco-conscious body scrub made from salt sourced from the troubled Murray-Darling Basin located in southeastern Australia. The salt in the body scrub is produced naturally from underground saline aquifers that have been lying dormant for thousands of years. By utilizing these waters the salinity problems are reduced, the environment is improved, and a unique, pure, inland salt is produced. I haven’t found a product on the market that is this environmentally conscious.
The Darling Salt Glow helps to reduce the serious salinity problem in the Murray-Darling Basin. The impact of salinity is immense, resulting in losses in fertile productive land and decreased biodiversity in the native wetlands. An area the size of a football oval is being lost to salinity every hour. So scrub up!
Exfoliation of the skin has significant benefits.
● Blended with nourishing, organic coconut oil ● Delicious organic citrus and spice essential oils ● Revitalizes skin, leaving it feeling silky soft and smooth ● Exfoliates dead, dry skin cells, revealing plump, fresh skin ● Boosts circulation and stimulates the senses ● Smooths rough, dry areas ● Leaves skin supple, glowing and nourished
And here are the certified ingredients for the Darling Salt Glow:
*Cocosnucifera (coconut) oil – Virgin coconut oil from the Pacific Islands, collected, grated, and cold-pressed within hours of opening the nut. Antiviral, antifungal, antibacterial, soothes, softens, smooths. Relieves dry, rough and wrinkled skin.
*Simmondsia chinensis (jojoba) seed oil – Cold-pressed from the bean of the desert plant in Argentina. Emollient, moisturizing, high in vitamins, skin protective, helps regulate PH, soothes inflamed skin.
*Certified Organic Ingredients
The Darling Salt Scrub is only around during the festive season so if you want to try some CLICK HERE
Happy scrubbing for your health and the environment!
Alf is a entrepreneur activist, ethical investor, and developer of regenerative businesses. He is a founding director of several enterprises which have achieved annual revenues ranging from three hundred thousand to twenty million dollars. Alf is the co-founder and co-director of Miessence the worlds first certified organic range of skin care, cosmetics, and nutritionals and co-founder of the Organic Farm Share. I have certainly learnt much from him about growing ethical businesses and the organic industry.
Come and learn about health and the body, toxicity, how you can start and grow a successful organic business, build a passive income and have a positive impact on our planet. CLICK ON THE IMAGE BELOW FOR DETAILS, OR TO RESERVE YOUR SEAT AT THE EVENT, OR FOR MORE INFORMATION, CLICK HERE.
I bet you have heard of them, but may not know exactly what they are and how they operate in your life. This short video by Narelle Chenery from Miessence is a gem. It explains (in just a few minutes) how we accumulate free radicals from environmental toxins and poor food choices, and how we can act to neutralise them with antioxidant-rich foods such as berries and raw cacao.
SAVE 20% off this order and all future orders by purchasing your Miessence Vitality Pack here
for your daily superfood dose of In-Liven Probiotic, Deep Green Akaliser and Berry Radical Antioxidant.
To your health and vitality,
This is an interview I did with the ABC last week about changes going on the chemical regulations in Australia and generally about chemicals and the human body generally. It’s about 9 minutes long. Have a listen…CLICK HERE
Jase and the girls went to the farm on the weekend (I stayed home and completed a presentation for the Australian Public Health Conference on the lack of protective policies in the area of children’s environmental health. Ironic!). When the girls emerged from the car just on sunset their fingers and nails were gruby, their hair was notty and wind-swept, and they were flushed with excitment and joy. Adiva offered me a huge bounty of organic cabbages, sweet peas, turnips and lettuces that she had wrapped up in the picnic blanket. She had proudly picked these with her friend Alf. If you want more information about the Organic Farm Share please click HERE. Otherwise, enjoy the photos. Nothing makes me smile more than children and organic vegetables…
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