Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Return of the head cold

I have been struck down with the cold again. When will it end?

I was particularly disappointed this time because I have been working hard to eat and drink the right things so I could build up my immunity and kick these winter germs.

For the record, I hate taking time off work. I hate feeling like I am letting people down, I hate feeling like I am weak and I hate the thought of not getting all my work done.

But yesterday in the midst of mucas, hot sweats and fearing I could potentially burst into tears if someone spoke to me, I took myself home early and slept.

When I woke up today my first thought was, ‘I am not dying, it’s just a head cold, I’m going to work’… but I didn’t.

Somewhere inside my head a wise voice told me to go back to bed.  And with no energy to fight it, I did.

Maybe the truth is no matter how well you eat and how hard you try to keep fighting, sometimes being sick is your body’s way of telling you to stop, slow down and rest.

So here I am, still in my pyjamas at 11am, wrapped in a blanket, drinking tea and only checking my blackberry occasionally.

Hopefully by taking some time out, I can slowly start to feel better and get my immune system back on track.

(Image via Flickr ) 

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Monday motivation – breakfast

As another weekend draws to a close, we take a look at some more ideas to overcome Monday-itis.   
When I worked closer to home, one of my coping mechanisms for Monday mornings was booking in a breakfast date.

A delicious café breakfast and strong coffee with a friend or colleague is a great buffer between the weekend and the working week. It gives you a chance to debrief on the weekend and discuss anything that's worrying you about the week ahead. I am also a firm believer that coffee and good food can fix almost anything.

These days with an hour and a half commute to work, Monday breakfast dates are few and far between, but I can still rely on the healing power of coffee and a yummy breakfast to get me through a Monday morning.

Here are two of my breakfast favs (and apologies if you’re not a fan of bananas). 

Banana Smoothie

This smoothie has been my saviour through week-one of gluten free eating.

Simply chop up a banana (you can add extra fruit, strawberries or berries are great), add two cups of milk (skim or rice), one tablespoon of honey, two tablespoons of LSA (a mix of linseed, sunflower seeds and almonds from the nut section at Woolies), and blend.

A friend suggested adding some peanut butter for protein and to make it a little more filling. I did this today and it was scrumptious!

Toast and then some

My mum started this breakfast meal, and it’s one of the family favourites.

Toast some sourdough bread, coat in honey, add a chopped banana, sprinkle some cinnamon sugar and then finish off with a tablespoon or so of low fat vanilla yoghurt.

Very satisfying and will keep you full until lunchtime.


(Image via everyday occasions )

Monday, 16 July 2012

Bread, how I miss thee

How awful are these winter germs getting around Sydney at the moment?

This weekend after spending a week and a half wrestling with the cold, I decided I'd had enough. 

I had been thinking about food for a while (well I am always thinking about food) but more specifically thinking about how badly I'd been eating lately.

My wedding was the ultimate motivation to get healthy and since then I have done a great job of finding excuses to justify my appalling eating habits. Granted I commute so time is a challenge, but isn't everyone time poor these days? Surely I can be doing better.

Cue Elissa, my dear friend and health food guru. Elissa pointed me to this great website called supercharged foods. Have you heard of it?

It's based on the idea that food can be medicine. Once you realise what good whole foods can do for your body (and what bad foods and ingredients are doing) you can make healthier choices and start to use food to treat issues like fatigue, anxiety and the common cold.

This week while my immunity is still really low, I am taking some baby steps to try and think more about what I'm putting into my body.

1) I have started taking probiotics – have you had your inner health plus today?
2) I have started drinking some great healthy juices (more to come on this)
3) My first big food challenge, I am trying to cut out gluten to see what positive effects it has on my fatigue and digestion.

It's day one and I miss bread already...

(Image via good night, day )

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Stretch it out

There a number of ‘s’ words that come to mind on a Monday morning.
Snooze…snooze again…shut that alarm up…someone please kill me now.
But until recently, stretching wasn’t one of them.
In my attempts to start the day feeling healthier, I have started a morning routine of gentle stretching.
Think about it. You have just spent hours curled up in bed - your brain is fuzzy, you’re tired and your body is stiff. A 5-10 minute stretching routine is a great activity to get you going and provide a physical, mental and emotional morning boost.  
I am not talking about a full-on yoga session, just a few simple stretches to get your mind and body in a better place.                                            
I use a space in the corner of my living room, just big enough to squeeze between my heater, the lounge and the coffee table, because lets face it, it’s cold. And that’s the best part - you can do it anywhere, wearing anything. It is totally acceptable to do your morning stretches in your flannelette pajamas, in fact, I encourage it.
I have even provided a link to a video to get you started.

Trust me, try this for a week and you will start to crave the movement, the feeling of calm, balance and energy it can introduce to the start of your day. If you keep it up for long enough, you might even notice these positive effects carry throughout the rest of your day.
The key is simplicity. Keep to 5–10 minutes as any longer can feel like a chore and eat into precious sleeping time.
Why not give it a go tomorrow?
(Image via matchbox mag )

Sunday, 8 July 2012


I can be feeling great – really positive, soothed and strong.
Then Monday morning comes around.
Often it seems no matter how ‘well’ I feel on the weekend, how much of the right thing I try and do, Monday morning can still roll around and make me feel like I am drowning.
I am sure you all feel levels of Monday-itis on a regular basis. Whether it’s a passing feeling of disappointment that the weekend is over, some extra tiredness after two days of sleeping in, or for some people, the genuine stress and panic at what the week ahead will bring.
Monday morning is when the worst of my anxiety would set in. The alarm would go off (or sometimes I would wake myself automatically in a panic or as the result of bad dreams), and the thought of getting myself out of bed, travelling to work in the cold and seeing people, having to go to work, was so impossible and so confronting, I wished the bed would just swallow me up whole.
The first day of the working week is bound to be tough, but I also think there is something about the morning, when you’re feeling tired, vulnerable and the world is literally dark, that your deepest fears can feel unmanageable and stress can feel insurmountable.
In the coming weeks I will share some of my coping mechanisms for getting through Monday-itis and helping to try and see Monday morning as the start of a new day and a time of renewal and excitement. 

(Image via paris2london tumblr)