Tag Archives: wellness

Check yo’ Vata for Winter

I fucking hate winter. Wind makes me angry and my hands and feet are almost always cold. I get chilblains on my fingers and toes and have to wear ridiculous amounts of layers to leave my house. Although I do love Wintery fashion – boots and scarves and fingerless gloves oh my!

I live in Canberra which seems like a crazy thing to do given how strongly I dislike the cold. For those who don’t know, it gets super cold here but not cold enough for snow… we just get the freezing cold air off the snow capped mountains and frosty iced over cars.

As it write this, it’s 11 degrees and has been raining for 3 whole days, the sky is grey and bleak and I am cold.

Although it may seem like it right now, this post is not just a big rant about me being cold and wanting to move somewhere warmer… It actually is meant to be helpful to those out there who also hate the cold with enough fiery passion that they should be warm forever and ever, but sadly are not.


 

Here’s something you might not know – I’m a little bit into Ayurveda.

I’m not going to go into too much detail of what Ayurveda is as I am not an expert, but basically it is a holistic system for health and well being that is focuses on prevention of illness and disease by maintaining balance in the body. It can be traced back over 5000 years and is traditionally practiced in India, although is now becoming more and more common in western society.

Doshas.
These guys are Ayurvedic categories used to help us understand the ingredients that make up each of us as individuals. Our physical body, mind, beliefs, tendencies and behaviours are all considered to give an indication of our Dosha or ‘type’. Most of us fall into one or two Doshas but usually have a dominant one. Again, I am not going to give you a huge Dosha lesson here but in a nut shell:

  • Vata = Air and ether (wind)
  • Pitta = Fire and water
  • Kapha = water and earth

Vata are flighty, cold, restless and spontaneous, fidgety and introverted (like me). If you are a Pitta you might have a fiery personality, a warm body, you might be determined, motivated, focused and intense (like my sister Anna). Kapha are very grounded, steady, strong, calm and slow to anger. They are social and generous and likely to be cuddly (like my Mum!).

So Vata has a great idea to have a big party and then gets distracted by something else, Pitta takes charge and organises everything and Kapha stays till the end and then helps clean up.

Keeping all of the elements that make up the Doshas in balance has a flow on effect to how we feel, think behave etc. I hope that makes enough sense that it’s not too woo-woo for you! Sarah Wilson is actually pretty ace at explaining it and has some great insight into why this stuff is important for all of us, not just Vatas. If you want to learn more without getting overwhelmed I suggest you try reading this..

If you want to learn your type google “Ayurveda dosha” and take a little quiz – it can be a fun to read through the characteristics and see where you sit.


 

I am Vata, massively Vata and surprise surprise – Vata’s HATE the cold.

Anyway, this whole Ayurveda lesson was a round-a-bout way of me getting to some simple Ayurvedic tips to help keep my fellow Vata peeps from turning into hibernating bears over winter.

  1. Routine. Too much Vata energy can be reeled in by simple routines. So for me, I start my day with a little yoga (usually 15-20 mins) and then sit down for 5 minutes of breathing. Usually I finish this up with a quick prayer or intention or whatever I feel like on the day. Then, I make myself a cup of tea and climb back into bed with my husband and the cat.
    I love having this time to myself each day and honestly can’t say how helpful it is for setting me up for a good day.
  1. Build Heat. Vata as a ‘type’ lacks in heat which is why we are often cold. Building heat in the body in the wintery cold weather is super helpful for not only balancing an out of whack Vata, but to warm you up… der. 
    So I aim to build heat and increase circulation each morning with a short morning yoga practice. Go easy on your bod if it’s feeling a bit stiff early in the morning. I recommend some slow and steady sun salutations to get everything flowing. Sun sals for the win!
  1. Warm foods. It’s pretty unlikely you will find me sipping on a green juice or crunching on a salad in winter. It simply makes me too cold. Instead I enjoy copious amounts of herbal tea and warm water with lemon. I try to eat most of my food heated and cooked (nothing raw and nothing straight out of the fridge) to a) warm me up from the inside and b) take some pressure off my digestive system (it gives you more energy to actually keep warm if your body doesn’t have to put all its focus into digesting your raw dessert addictions). I also add warming spices to my cooking: Cinnamon, chilly, ginger etc. You know the drill.
  1. Meditation. Vata can easily become anxious and feel like the mind is swirling with thoughts. It’s not a fun headspace to be in and can cause stress and overwhelm. Adding more meditation to my day helps to reduce some of the noise in my head and really does keep my moods feeling more balanced. I know that it can be hard to sit yourself down in the quiet ready to find your zen only to be overrun with thoughts, and thoughts about the thoughts you are having. The trick for me, is to do it routinely. Because I’m a Vata and I need routine… and to come back to the breath. When my head gets too spinny I just focus on breathing in and breathing out until I feel settled and nice again.
  1. Moisturise. I shrivel up pretty quickly in these Wintery months. My skin dries right out faster than you can say “crazy Vata lady”! So I make sure I eat lots of good fats and oils to work healthy skin magic from the inside and I put in extra effort to moisturise my skin with good quality oils (at the moment I am using a Grown Alchemist face oil with an extra drop of lavender). Take it as an opportunity to be nice to yourself rather than it being a chore. If meditation really doesn’t work for you then perhaps this is another option – try taking 5 minutes before bed to sit down and focus on gently massaging your bod with some yummy oils.

Do you know your Dosha? Holla at me with any tips you have to keep your Dosha in check. 

Much love

Jodie xx

Coping with Cray Cray Sugar Cravings

So you started off with grand plans, you are off the sweet stuff and you are going gun-hoe. This is the your time to make the change. You start off strong with a nice healthy breaky, pack some carrot sticks for snacks and venture into your day with the best of intentions. And then it happens, the afternoon craving hits. And it’s a doozey.

There is a box of chocolates in the kitchen and before you know it you have eaten half the box and are trying to crawl under your desk with eater’s remorse and a sickly feeling in your stomach.

Sound familiar? I thought so… I have been there my friends. Many many times…

I am a huge believer that if we are in tune with our bodies then our cravings are actually super helpful messages from our insides about what we may be needing more of. For example, we often crave chocolate when we are low on magnesium… BUT often our insides get confused by the amounts of gunk we load in and we get warped messages…

Sugar is one of the biggest jerks around craving wise. Once we cut the sweet stuff our cravings are likely to go bat shit crazy and make it very very difficult (but not impossible) for us to resist. That voice in your head suddenly visits with ‘helpful’ suggestions to “just have a little bit, you have been SO GOOD all day long, you deserve it”

Honestly though, you deserve so much more! Your body deserves to be nourished with good quality food and even though it might be difficult in the short term your body will thank you for it later!

I’ve put together a little list of some of the ways I cope with nasty sugar cravings in the hopes that they might just be useful for you too xx


 

  1. Steer clear of sweet foods in the mornings. This includes fruit and carbs. Avoid anything that gives you a taste of sweets and anything that is going to raise your blood sugar. Basically we want to try and avoid waking up the sweet tooth that wants more and more. Don’t be fooled by savoury foods that pretend to be healthy here either! Breads and cereals can be loaded with hidden sugars and high carb foods can spike our blood sugar levels leading to a crash later in the day.Instead, why not try having veggies and some good fats like eggs or avo to keep you going.
  2. Cups of herbal tea! Check out your local health food store and explore the incredible tea range. Brewing and sitting down with a cup of herbal tea can be a perfect distraction for a nasty craving. Teas with berries or lemon are my favourites for this because they have a tart flavour that takes the edge of a craving, without launching your blood sugar levels ski high.
  3. Berries! Berries are a low sugar and high satisfaction treat. I like to keep blueberries in my freezer for emergencies as a delicious snack. Frozen blueberries are the new lollies!
  4. Know that you are worth so much more than a quick chocolate fix. Your body is worth good quality nourishing foods and future you will thank you for making nourishing choices. What is 5 seconds of satisfaction going to give you in the long run? If you are anything like me then the sugar hangover the bad mood that follow just aren’t worth it.
  5. Forgive yourself when you eat something you ‘shouldn’t’. So you ate the chocolate bar instead of the carrot sticks. It’s not the end of the world! Forgive yourself and move on.

Have you quit sugar and have a killer tip for avoiding sugar cravings? I would LOVE to add it to my list. As someone who’s bod finds it difficult to metabolize sugar I can never have too many ways to avoid it! 

 Jodie xx

Blessed by Jess. 6 Things I Learnt From Jess Ainscough

I came across Jess Ainscough a few years ago, when like many others I began seeking ways to improve my own health. She held a space that was informative, caring and welcoming. A place where wellness was cool and stigmas around alternative therapies crumbled away.

I very quickly became fascinated by Jess, her story and the way she lived her life. This girl was living with cancer. Not just surviving, she was thriving!

Jess inspired me to give a shit about my health.

Not because I was afraid of what might happen if I didn’t, but because I wanted to be healthy, I wanted thrive too! I wanted to honour my body with good quality food, rest and meditation.

I learnt many many things from Jess through her wellness warrior blog and her book “Make peace with your plate”. Today I wanted to share a couple of little (huge) tidbits that Jess taught me, that made a massive difference in the way I live my life.

 

  1. The food you eat has a much bigger impact than you realise. So much of our food these days come in packets, is genetically modified and is sprayed in chemicals. We have forgotten where our food comes from and seem to take what we eat for granted. Do your research, find out where your food comes from and take responsibility for what goes in your mouth.
  2. Dandelion tea with a splash of coconut milk and a drop of honey is amazing. It has huge health benefits for your liver (which is super important to me)
  3. Own your health. Jess was never afraid to talk about the wacky sounding health stuff. Drinking clay, oil pulling, coffee enemas… if it’s important to you, then its important full stop.
  4. Your situation is not static. You have so much power in your life to live it the way you choose. So make your choice.
  5. Affirmations and meditation are the bees knees. I used to think they were both silly things for hippies and people who were a bit nutty. Then one day I began trying them both and realised that I felt different. Now I sneak to the bathroom at work for a quiet moment and a quick medi and keep affirmations on post its and reminders on my phone (maybe I am a bit nutty).
    “I Love and accept myself” is my all time fave, an affirmation I received so lovingly from Jess.
  6. Be Kind. Be Brave. Be Well.
    The most important things of all.

It’s fairly easy to see that Jess Aincough was in inspiration and a trailblazer in health and wellness in Australia. I am so grateful to both Jess and her sisters who have taught me so much in the last few years, inspired me to change the way I live my life and encouraged me when I needed it most.  The Wellness Warrior led me to many incredible women with online communities: Rachel McDonald, Tara Bliss, Claire Obeid, Nat Kringoudis, Melissa Ambrosini, Amanda Rootsey and many many more who like me, were blessed by Jess and wanted to share the light.

Forever grateful for your light Jess. Thank you.

Jodie xx