A Vegan Adventure to Antarctica – Part 1 Journey to South America

For as long as I can remember I had been pulled and determined to travel to Antarctica one day. I can still remember the excitement when we booked our travel package through Webjet. You know how you felt as a little kid before Christmas? Eagerly waiting to see what surprises were under the tree and of course the experience the magic. That was me when we booked.

We first had to travel from Perth to Sydney to catch our flight with Latam through New Zealand to South America. In Sydney it came as a shock to us when the lady at the counter told us that we had not been booked on this flight and that she would have to contact customer service in South America to get our booking fixed. At that stage my heart of course started raising what if we would not be able to get on this flight? Would we still be able to make it in time to Buenes Aires? After an hour of waiting and listening to our friendly lady at the counter trying to communicate with someone in South America that spoke little English we finally managed to get seats on the plane. What a relief.

Flying as a vegan with Latam was an experience. Let’s just say in South America they believe that eggs and fish are vegan. I was not impressed with the food at all as it didn’t meet my dietary requirements or was burned even though we had put in a request at the time of booking the trip. So often I would end up with a small bowl of fruit.

On our flights to South America we met a lot of fellow travellers that were just as excited to be experiencing Antarctica very soon. Once we arrived in Buenes Aires we were tired but happy knowing that we would be able to have a night’s rest before catching a small charter flight to Ushuaia the next morning. We were meant to be picked up by a coach which to our surprise never showed up. We ended up teaming up with another couple to take a taxi to our hotel. The journey to our hotel should have taken 45 minutes but took  over 3 hours. A Mardi Gras and two sporting events were taking place that made it near impossible for our driver to get to the hotel. You know the saying you never know what you have got until it’s gone. Let me assure you we did regret it that we did not take advantage of the toilets at Buenes Aires Airport.

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We only had about 4 hours of sleep when we got to the hotel before we had to get up in order to grab breakfast on the way to catch up charter flight to Ushuaia. There was tea, juice and fruit that I could have. After our short charter flight we decided to take the optional tour to explore and see Tierra del Fuego National Park. I can only recommend it. The landscape is stunningly beautiful.

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While there we also were able to get stamps in our passport at the post office “at the end of the world” (Argentina).

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Post Office at the End of the World (Argentina)

Watch out for my next post where I continue from when we board the Ms Midnatsol…

How to Become more Disciplined?

Whether you believe you can or you believe you can’t, you are right. Our believe system determines our actions or the actions that we do not take.

For example if I am a smoker and I say “I will try very hard to stop smoking but you know I have been a smoker all my life”, then this means that we are highly unlikely to achieve our aim. The reason is because early on I decided that I am a smoker and that this is part of my identity.

If you are struggling in any area of your life, I challenge you to examine your believes. What do you believe and is there something that may be holding you back?

One of the crucial steps we need to take in order to change our actions is to shake up our old believe systems and replace them so that they support our goals and ambitions. Once our believes are aligned with where we want to go it’s like that road block diminishes and the road becomes clearer.

How to be Happier at Work?

Do you know those mornings when the alarm goes off and you wonder how you will ever make it though another day at work? When you drag yourself out of bed because just the thought of work has kept you up. When you start counting down until the next weekend before you have commenced work on a Monday.

I came across this interview on the weekend on how to be Happier at Work. They talked that surprisingly studies have shown that you do not necessarily need to love your job or be passionate about to be happy at Work.

People with a best friend tend to be the happiest at work. First this came as a surprise but as I thought about it, this idea fell into place.

I thought back to the places I had worked where I was happiest and in all these places I had very close friends that I looked forward to seeing every day.

In addition you can create a happier workplace by getting together with friends for walks or socialising to encourage a community feel.

Please let me know your thoughts on happiness in the workplace below. Perhaps you have figured out other ideas that have made your workdays brighter; please share.

How to find Yourself?

Most of us have found ourselves at times wondering what happened. Where we just wonder which way to go, feeling lost and confused. Most of us have also felt depressed at times, almost like a part of themselves was missing. We wonder how we lost ourselves and how to feel like ourselves again.

Those feelings stem from our expectations from what our life should be like. Perhaps we have pictured our lives to be married and in the most loving relationship with kids happily ever after. If we then have worked ourselves up the corporate ladder and are living on our own, we often find ourselves feeling unhappy and depressed.

Our expectation, also called our blueprint, paints the picture of what we imagine our lives to be like and can cover all areas of life. As soon as our current situation does not meet the criteria of our blueprint we will find ourselves feeling confused and like something is missing. Perhaps we even feel like we do not know what decision to make or what path to take next.

But how do we find ourselves again and turn things around? First of all we can take the route the majority will take which is to blame someone else for their life or their current situation. However according to Tony Robbins this is like we are drinking our own poison and expecting our enemy to die. It does not make sense and will not make us feel better.

So the only two viable options are to first of all change our blueprint of what our life should be like or work on our life. If we go back to being married happily ever after with kids then perhaps we need to dig deeper to discover the core feeling that we want to feel. Any of our expectations are based on feelings that we want to feel. In this case perhaps we are seeking unconditional love. When we decide to look further we might discover that we already have unconditional love but in a different form. From here we can change our blueprint.

The second option is to work on our life. If we aren’t happy with our body or our health then we can decide to work on it. We can choose to have a workout plan and work on our bodies. We can pursue to eat healthier or we may choose to work on self love. These options are about taking responsibility of our lives and going deeper. This path is not easy and there may be a bumpy road ahead but our happiness may well make it worth while.

 

The Secret Components of Goji Berries

When I first heard about Li Ching Yuen, a Chinese Herbalist, that had lived to the age of 256, I was intrigued. I am always interested in the secrets of people that live well beyond the standard and love studying their lifestyle.

Li’s favourite herbs were the following

  • Reishi mushrooms
  • Goji berries
  • Ginseng
  • He Shou Wu
  • Gota Kola

Goji berries, which are also known as Wolfberries have been used by the Chinese for thousands of years. The little powerhouses of nutrition have also been attributed to being some of the longevity secrets of the Chinese and help support kidney health, blood health, liver health and lung health.

Let’s dive deeper and let’s look into some of the components or nutritional facts that that gives Goji berries its health promoting and immune boosting properties:

Polysaccharides – a long chain sugar molecule and primary source of fibre in the intestinal system that

  • helps to enhance mineral uptake
  • helps to stimulate the immune system
  • helps to stabilise the blood glucose levels
  • helps to promote colon health
  • offers antioxidant protection

Zeaxanthin – a fat soluble pigment and antioxidant from the carotenoid family that

  • supports the immune system
  • helps to protect eye health

Beta-carotene – an orange pigment that is important for the synthesis of vitamin A and that

  • supports eye health
  • supports cell structure
  • supports healthy bones and teeth
  • supports healthy looking skin

Plus Goji berries are a complete source of protein! These berries are truly little nutritional powerhouses that anyone can benefit from.

Two easy ways to take Goji Berries every day

  1. Eat a small hand of goji berries every single day to support your health.
  2. Drink 60ml of NingXia Red daily, which is my favourite drink that contains goji berries (if you decide to use the link below, I thank you for supporting this blog) www.worldofoils.com.au

nxr-glass-and-fruit

On the Rose Trail at Yanchep National Park

Some days are about gratitude for the small things in life. Even though it is currently winter in Perth Western Australia, we were lucky enough to enjoy another 20 degree day.

What a better way to get outdoors than to explore a never before discovered trail; the Rose Trail in Yanchep National Park.

We spotted a few roses and wildflowers along the way while we listened to the sounds of the black cockatoos in the distance. Throughout our 3.5 hour hike we only saw one more person that was hiking.

A fair bit of wildlife was out enjoying the weather too such as a few kangaroos, a legless lizard and a brown snake we spotted on our way back. I was happy that the snake was rather small. We decidedto throw a few rocks next to her to help her gently continue into the Bush.

It seems to always amaze me how the vegetation continues to change in the outback. As we returned home I felt happy and grateful for our nice hike.

A Walk in Nature, Walks the Soul back Home

We all too well know the impacts a crazy week at work can have on us. In today’s world pressures are increasing and it seems to be expected to accomplish more in less time.

All the more important become strategies that help us to look after ourselves. The believe has been around for long enough that taking time for yourself is perceived to be lazy or selfish by many.

Yet those people that do know that they need time to balance themselves out and look after their needs in many cases are healthier and happier. This type of practice does not have to be fancy or hard.

It could be as easy as taking a long walk in nature. Have you ever noticed how you feel when you spend time in nature? Many believe that it helps to return our body to balance and support our health. Some believe that is helps to bring out more positive emotions.

On a personal note when I experienced a complete burn out a few years back I spend lot of time in nature and it helped me cope. My walk was what I looked forward to every single day and I still continue walks almost daily.

Last weekend my husband and I went for a roughly 12km hike on the ghosthouse trail at Yanchep National Park. I was quite amazed on how the landscapes kept changing. And after our achievement we had the best night’s sleep.

As always I would recommend to try out spending time in nature for yourself and see whether it works for you and how time in nature makes you feel.

Easy Thermomix Flatbreads

Last night I made some incredible flat breads that I filled with homemade falafels, tahini sauce, avocado and lettuce. To say they turned out tasty is an understatement. They were a dream come true.

To be honest when I first read that they would be baked in the oven for 4 minutes I was rather skeptical but the texture was perfect and they also did not break after we stuffed them really well with all the goodies that made up the filling.

I am a pioneer when it comes to the kitchen and rarely do I make the same recipes very often. Apart from of course my favourite smoothie recipes or hummus. I don’t think I could ever get an overdose of hummus plus I need to ensure that I do not suffer from a protein deficiency as a vegan 😉

Let’s get to the flat bread recipe

  • 180g water
  • 1 tsp dried yeast
  • 260g flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • oil

  1. Add the water and the yeast to the mixing bowl.
  2. Heat for 2 minutes on 37 degrees speed 1.
  3. Add flour and salt and mix for 1 minute on speed kneading.
  4. On a floured surface divide the dough into 8 balls.
  5. Brush the dough balls lightly with oil.
  6. Leave to rest for 10 minutes.
  7. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.
  8. Line a baking sheet with baking paper.
  9. Roll out each ball of dough into 12-15cm rounds.
  10. Be careful to ensure no holes appear in the dough.
  11. Transfer the rounds to the baking sheet.
  12. Bake for 4 minutes in the oven.
  13. Leave to cool and enjoy with your favourite topping or filling.

Please let me know how you go with this recipe and what your favourite filling is.

 

falafel 2

3 Easy Things to Do from Today for More Energy

We all too well know those mornings when we hardly hear the alarm in the morning and would rather stay in bed. When it seems to be a drag to pull our bodies together and take that first step out of bed. And those mornings where the warm and super soft blanket seems to swallow us and somehow holds us captive.

Other days we find ourselves hitting a low in the afternoon. I am sure we all know that afternoon slump that can strike anywhere after lunch. Those slumps where the brain cells seem to shut down like a computer does. With a long to do list ahead of us while we are struggling to restart that computer.

Or we know those times when we come home, perhaps after a day at work, and we have the best of intentions to get some things done before we snuggle into our warm cozy bed. Those nights where all you want to do is to relax onto the couch with a blanket and a hot chocolate.

Today I am sharing 3 easy things that you can start implementing today for more energy and vibrancy:

  1. Start your day with lemon water. If you haven’t heard of lemon water, it basically involves filling up a jar with 500ml of water and the juice of half a lemon. If you like you can also sweeten it with some maple syrup or some honey. During the night the body cleanses. If you have lemon water you assist this process in the morning so that it can continue with this process until you have breakfast.
  2. Move your body for at least 30 minutes a day. This may sound like a lot, but once you note down some ideas on what you can easily incorporate, it may be more achievable than you think. For example I love to go for a walk during  my lunch break. There is more than one benefit to a lunch time walk. I get fresh air but I also get exercise. I also find that this helps me to stay more alert in the afternoon.
  3. Get sufficient sleep. This is so important and most of us don’t even realise how crucial sleep is to our productivity and our energy throughout the day. It may take some experimenting to find out how many hours of sleep that you do need. Sleep is when the magic and recovery happens. I can certainly tell when I do not get sufficient sleep. Have you ever heard the saying that we speed up by slowing down?

What practices do you currently have that help you  have more energy throughout the day? Please share them in the comments below.

 

Do Affirmations Work?

A few years when I first found out about affirmations I was more than just excited about them and the potential of what they could do for my life. I suppose it was a bit like a near year’s resolution. I started doing them on the first day and continued the following days but somehow along the way I lost the habit of doing them.

Over the years I have attempted to re-start affirmations a few times but it never really stuck. In her book “the Desire Map” Danielle Laporte writes that affirmations are like screaming that you are okay in order to overcome the whisper that you are not. If I am really honest with you when I first read this sentence this really messed with my mind because it was so contrary to anything I had read about affirmations before.

Danielle goes on that you should always affirm the truth otherwise you are creating inner tension and conflict. This means that we are plastering over the difficult truths with happy thoughts that are false and maybe even damaging. At this point our mind think that we are lying and there is this inner conflict going on.

Fear is natural and normal and deserves respect and compassion. Research has shown that positive thinking does work and that it can be helpful to talk ourselves through certain situations. However the key for me was that it has to come from a place of truth and honesty.

So if I have an important meeting and I am anxious, it is about telling myself the truth. “I am anxious. I desire that this meeting goes well and that there is a positive and productive outcome. I believe that I have got what it takes and that I often have great ideas. For example when I worked on the project last month I got recognised for the improvements I made.”

By my above approach I stay within my integrity and the whole process is helpful. At no point is my brain thinking that I am lying or not telling the truth. There is no resistance. Just the truth and reality. A life changing approach perhaps. Try it out and let me know how you go in the comments below.

Here are some steps to help through this process

  1.  Look in the mirror and state the truth (any feelings).
  2. Go through some helpful beliefs.
  3. Think back of some past successes.
  4. Say what you are doing and what is working right now.
  5. Put in your desires.
  6. State your intention.

 

 

The Question that Could Change Your Health…

” We long for a body we don’t have, yet we don’t nourish the body that we do have.”

Health is not about deprivation but rather nourishment. We look in the mirror every day and most of us are not happy with what we see and we wish we had a different body. How do we come to make peace with the body we have? Self love and acceptance pays a crucial role in this.

Perhaps the deprivation comes from a place where too many of us think that we are not enough. I remember when I was little I dreamed of becoming a singer. At the time my dad told me that it was very competitive and that it is hard to become the best. Of course my memory from this moment may not be the most accurate but from this I started to believe that I would not stand a chance.

Believes like this can affect us years after if we let them. Our mind plays a crucial role in our success.

What if we asked ourselves every day on how we can nourish and strengthen our body to become healthier and stronger? What could we accomplish and how good could we feel?

Here are 3 simple tips to help you nourish yourself more every day:

  1. Ask yourself what food(s) can I add today that will nourish my body to become healthier?
  2. What exercise can I do today that will help make my body stronger?
  3. Repeat the affirmation “I am enough” and perhaps write it on your bathroom mirror.

 

What If We All Build Each Other Up?

This has happened to all of us. We are in the change room trying on the cutest jeans we have ever seen. As we pull them up we notice that things are looking a little tight. In other words they are looking too tight. Yet we still try and pull. In the end we are forced to give up. We might blame it on our thighs that are too big or perhaps even our hips that are too large. I know I have certainly felt that way in a change room. Immediately you start all the negative self talk. Damn… those chips that I ate. I knew I need to work out harder. Or perhaps.. well this would not happen to. We literally tear ourselves down.

The rise of social media is certainly not helping the situation. We are bombarded with pictures of all these perfect looking people that appear to have perfect lives. But how many of us actually realise that a lot of these pictures are filtered and those people only put the best pictures of themselves out. They only put the pictures out that they want you to see.

We all have insecurities. We don’t all submit that we do. No matter what size or shape we are. What if we build each other up instead of tearing each other down? How would this shift the world that we live in? What if we spread love, love to each other and love toward ourselves.

In her TedX talk Iskra Lawrence covers some tools to help and practice self care and love:

  • List or think about 5 things that you love about yourself
  • List or think about 5 things that you are grateful about which your body has done or enabled you to do
  • List or think about 5 things that you are grateful about.

In the comments below please share any self care or love strategies that you practice and if you like how these have affected your life. This will add to a resource for all of us when we are in those situations where we feel lost or like crying because negative body images.