Jessica Sepel: the importance of eating mindfully

As babies, we ate intuitively: we fussed when we were hungry and stopped eating when we were full. Then, as we grow up, many of us lose touch with our true hunger signals. We start eating when we’re bored, sad, stressed, or happy. We turn to food to deal with our emotions and use. We forget food is purely available to keep us alive and well. It’s here to nourish our bodies – not solve our emotional problems.

As women, we need to identify those underlying emotional issues that are affecting our relationship with food. That’s the first step. The next time you reach for a chocolate bar or a bag of salty chips, ask yourself if you’re really hungry, or if you’re just emotional. Is there something going on in your life that needs attention?

Once you’ve figured out what’s causing you to emotionally eat, you can begin to change your habits – and heal your relationship with food.

When it comes to dealing with emotions, food is not the answer.

I used to be a victim of emotional eating. Every morning, the number on the scales would determine my eating patterns. If I liked what I saw, I’d feel empowered, and I’d stick to my diet. If I didn’t like it, I’d punish myself through deprivation or the total opposite, by bingeing on the food I’d been missing for so long. I’d berate myself for not having “more willpower” – then the cycle would start all over again the next time I “slipped.” That is no way to live. Trust me. That’s why I’m so passionate about helping women find their way back to eating with love and joy. 

Natural eaters vs. dieters

To banish emotional eating for good, you need to let go of the diet mentality and become a natural eater instead.

Here’s the difference:

Dieters think about food all the time. They become so preoccupied with food, it starts to take over their quality of life. They have an emotional connection to food.

The fact is, food is not there to make us feel better – it’s there to keep us alive.

Natural eaters, on the other hands, don’t class food as ‘good’ or ‘bad.’ They see it purely as a source of fuel and nourishment. They enjoy eating, of course, but they know they’re eating food to survive. That’s it.

If you can shift your mentality and start to see food as a) abundant and b) a source of nourishment, a few things will happen. You’ll start eating when you’re hungry, and stop bingeing and using food to deal with emotions. And as a result, you’ll lose weight.

Diets don’t work because they’re a deprivation game. When we deprive ourselves, our bodies get tricked into thinking food is scarce. They then kick into survival mode, slowing down our metabolism and holding on to anything we feed it. You may lose some weight, but you’ll pile it straight back on. That’s the other problem with diets: they’re not sustainable, and the stress they cause wreaks havoc on your hormones and mind.

Give up the diets. They don’t work.

Post-Easter Cleanse: 6 surprising foods that aid digestion

Are you suffering from a chocolate-coma post Easter, feeling sluggish and a little guilty? Before you go beating yourself up about it, signing up for a marathon and swearing off carbohydrates, remember that it’s normal to indulge over the Easter period.

Instead, why not get back on track by kick-starting your metabolism and cleansing your system by adding some nourishing foods to your diet? We spoke to clinical naturopath and TV Presenter, Emma Sutherland about the best ingredients for improving digestion and here’s what she had to say.

6 natural foods that aid digestion

1. Kiwi fruit

Kiwi fruit has an incredibly high vitamin C content, which helps to boost the immune system. It also protects cell DNA from oxidative damage, improves digestive health and helps to clean out toxins. Best of all, all of these actions contribute to glowing skin.

2. Apples

Apples contain dietary fibre content, which helps the overall digestive process. Apples are high in pectin, which is a type of fibre that binds to cholesterol and heavy metals in the body. They therefore help to cleanse the intestines and eliminate toxic build up in the body.

Apples have also been shown to lower cholesterol and help prevent DNA damage and certain diseases. It is also thought that green apples can help prevent certain skin diseases, so if you suffer from rashes or any other skin conditions, they may be beneficial for you.

3. Beetroot

Beetroot contains a unique mixture of natural plant compounds that make them a great blood purifier and liver cleanser. They are also loaded with fibre and folate, which is great for digestive health.

4. Cucumber

Cucumber not only assists in detoxification and digestion, but it also helps to strengthen and synthesis skin tissue and induces improved blood flow to the skin through capillary dilation. Furthermore, it helps to boost the immune system and alkalize the body.

5. Celery and celery seeds

Celery is an excellent blood cleanser. It contains many different anti-cancer compounds that helps to detoxify cancer cells from the body and it contains over 20 anti-inflammatory substances. It is particularly good for detoxifying substances found in cigarette smoke.

6. Lemons

We all know that lemons are great for the digestive system, but what is it that they do exactly? Lemons contain high amounts of vitamin C, which is needed by the body to help produce glutathione. Glutathione then helps the liver detoxify harmful chemicals. It is one of the best natural detoxifying ingredients that you can get, so add it to your salads and in your water for the benefits.

Liverlicious Smoothie Recipe

1/2green apple
1/2 cup blanched kale
½ cup spinach
A Handful of mint
A Handful of parsley
A handful of celery
½ cucumber
1 tbs camu camu
1 tsp flaxseeds
½ cup coconut water

Mix in a blender and voila!


Make your own healthy cacoa and coconut granola

With all this talk of finding a granola that’s actually good for you, we thought, what better way to ensure your breakfast bowl is nutrient-packed and nourishing than to make your muesli yourself? So we asked James Duigan to share his delicious cacao, carob and coconut granola recipe that just so happens to tick all our boxes for a healthy granola.

Cacao is the real deal – the untouched, purest form of chocolate without all the sugary rubbish and it provides a great source of health-boosting antioxidants. Carob contains as much vitamin B1 as asparagus or strawberries and is packed with calcium, and coconut is a fantastic source of good fat which helps you to metabolise bad fat.


Serves 4–6


300g coconut flakes, unsweetened

200g mixed nuts

50g pumpkin seeds

30g sunflower seeds

30g cacao nibs

3 tablespoons chia seeds

1 tablespoon raw cacao powder

1 teaspoon carob powder

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

3 tablespoons maple syrup

4 tablespoons coconut oil, melted


  1. Preheat the oven to 150°C/gas mark 2. Line 2 baking trays with baking paper and set aside.
  1. Put all the dry ingredients into a large bowl and mix to combine. Once thoroughly mixed, stir in the wet ingredients.
  1. Lay the granola out evenly on the baking trays trying not to have any ingredients on top of each other.
  1. Bake for 10–15 minutes, or until golden brown, then remove from the oven and leave to cool completely before storing in an airtight jar for up to 2 weeks. (The oil may sink to the bottom of the jar.)

Top 10 foods and antioxidants to fight fatigue

By Stephen Eddey, nutritionist and naturopath, Principal of Health Schools Australia

Are you always yawning once 3pm rolls around? Or maybe you’re getting enough sleep but still waking up tired. The old adage ‘you are what you eat’ may sound outdated, but unfortunately it couldn’t be more accurate. If you’re relying on caffeine to get you through to 3pm, skipping breakfast or not nourishing your body with adequate nutrients, it’s worth considering that the reason you’re experiencing fatigue is that your body’s fuel sources (nutrient stores) are depleted. Before resorting to the office vending machine, consider what your body may be missing, and reach for one of these energy-boosting foods or antioxidants instead. Incorporating the following into your diet throughout the day may be just the thing to keep you powering through until clock-off.

10 energy-boosting foods to fight fatigue

1. Cacao

There’s a reason this ingredient has started popping up in every protein bar and superfood snack you see – it’s one of the most antioxidant-rich foods on the planet. Sadly, your average, store-bought piece of chocolate is made from cocoa – cacao that has been roasted at high temperatures. Raw cacao has a strong, bitter, dark chocolate taste and is capable of boosting particular neurotransmitters that promote a sense of wellbeing – making it a mood booster. Try adding this ‘feel good’ food to milk, find a recipe here.

2. Ubiquinol

You may or may not have heard your doctor speak about the benefits of CoQ10, an antioxidant that is naturally occurring in our body. The majority of CoQ10 in our body is in the form of Ubiquinol and is responsible for not only providing our cells with energy but fighting free radicals, fighting inflammation, maintaining healthy cholesterol and strengthening our hearts. Our Ubiquinol levels naturally decline as we age, starting at age 30, and earlier if we’re stressed and physically active. So if you’re burnt out, there’s a good chance your cells are actually depleted from the energy they need – Ubiquinol. You can find it in food, but you’d need to eat 50 cups of spinach to meet your daily recommended intake, so it could be worth asking your health care practitioner about daily supplementation.

3. Blueberries

You probably know this one already – healthies have been touting blueberries for years, as they’re one of the most potent antioxidant-rich fruits available. What’s even better is that freezing blueberries doesn’t destroy the beneficial anthocyanin antioxidants, which may help with both cognitive function (which we all need a little more of post-3pm) and decreasing age-induced oxidative stress.

4. Aged Garlic Extract

We already know that garlic supports healthy immune function, is alkalising in the body and is loaded with nutrients such as zinc that help keep your bones healthy. Recent studies however, have also shown that an advanced form of garlic, Aged Garlic Extract (AGE) has all the beneficial and enhanced antioxidant effects of raw garlic, but without the garlic odour.

Aged Garlic Extract was developed just after WWII when German Professor, Dr Eugene Schwell was tasked with restoring the energy levels and overall health of the Japanese population. He introduced the popular Japanese practice of ageing and fermentation to garlic and found it increased the garlic’s potency beyond its natural levels.

5. Dark Chocolate

Many experts say that chocolate cravings indicate magnesium deficiency, as dark chocolate (read: not sugar-laden) contains a significant amount of this nifty mineral. Two thirds of Australians are magnesium deficient. As magnesium is responsible for controlling the release of enzymes which dictate both energy and stress, a depletion can actually create serious stress and nervous tension, as well as anxiety and insomnia. Do you suffer low energy, eye twitches, or find yourself jolting awake with a ‘falling’ sensation as you go to sleep? These are tell-tale signs that you’re magnesium deficient so tuck into some of the dark stuff and try these sleep-happy apps.

6. Tea

Green and white teas actually contain caffeine, but instead of giving you a ‘jolt’ like coffee, it is more of a sustained, slow release. Both green and white teas are also chock-full of antioxidants that fight inflammation, and are often a great way to make the switch away from excessive coffee.

7. Leafy Greens

Dark, leafy vegetables (think kale, Brussel sprouts, and spinach) are all rich in iron. Iron deficiency can wreak havoc with your energy levels, and many women are prone to such deficiency. Leafy greens also contain folate, which is often deficient in those suffering from depression. Try incorporating a serving with each meal- yes, even breakfast – and see the effect it has on your overall health.

8. Water

I promise I’m not scraping the bottom of the barrel with this one! Dehydration actually has a profound effect on energy levels. When we are dehydrated, our body has to work especially hard to perform the most basic of functions: regulating body temperature, circulating blood and more. If you’re feeling thirsty, you’re already dehydrated, so sip consistently throughout the day to maintain energy levels.

9. Bananas

It may seem like a no-brainer, but there’s a reason why runners often carry these for marathons. Bananas are full of fructose and glucose, both of which are rapidly digested and converted into energy, providing you with a quick boost. Alongside this, bananas contain ample amounts of potassium, a muscle sustaining protein making them perfect for a mid-afternoon snack, before your late afternoon gym session.

10. Curcumin (turmeric)

Turmeric lattes seem to be the latest rage at every hipster café, and they’re more than just a fad. Turmeric contains curcumin, which has incredible anti-inflammatory effects and cognitive-boosting properties. Many experts believe it’s no coincidence that India, where turmeric originates, has some of the lowest levels of cognitive decline in the world. Recent studies have also shown curcumin to have mood and energy boosting properties.¹

Eating energy boosting foods may sound too good to be true, but if you think about it, increasing your intake of the above will leave little room on your plate for processed, sugar-laden and caffeinated food, which is steadily sapping away at your energy levels and overall health. Consider a holistic approach to energy, as opposed to a quick fix, and feel yourself begin to glow!

Why bone broth’s the new latte + a recipe to make your own

It’s curing teenage acne, making Selma Hayek look twenty-five and reviving the dead.

It’s curing teenage acne, making Selma Hayek look twenty-five and reviving the dead; bone broth may well be the magical potion in our eternal quest for perfect health and it’s coming to a boil in the wellness world.

Long been touted as a nutritious liquid, this cure-all elixir is far from new. It’s been consumed for centuries in every corner of the globe – from noodle soup in Vietnam to beef stroganoff in Russia – and is now being served in mugs to the Paleo masses of Sydney and New York City.

But why are we trading our morning lattes for a cup of steaming stock?

“Bone broth is typically high in a number of minerals…that can assist in boosting immunity and calming inflammation as well as supporting connective tissue, joint health and overall bone health,” says nutritionist, Bannie Williams. Bone broth is also said to nourish the skin, aid digestion and boost energy.

The nutrients, including magnesium, potassium, and calcium as well as collagen, amino acids and minerals are extracted from the bones by cooking them for an extended period of time, says Williams. This process is assisted by the addition of acid to the pot – like vinegar or wine – which loosens and dissolves the tough bits.

Age-old tradition or short-lived trend? We’ll let you drink and decide. Try this recipe from the expert brewers at Broth Bliss or (if collecting bones is one step too gruesome for glowing skin) pick up the pre-made stuff here.

Broth Bliss Bone Broth Recipe


3kg grass fed beef bones with some marrow or free range chicken bones
250g carrots, roughly chopped
160g celery stalks, roughly chopped
28g garlic
440g onions, quartered
125ml raw apple cider vinegar
10g ginger, sliced
2g turmeric, sliced
2g peppercorns
2g parsley
10 litres of cold water


  1. Roast bones for added depth and flavour
  2. Place bones into a stock pot, add water until bones are submerged
  3. Add apple cider vinegar to draw out the goodness
  4. Simmer beef bones for 48 hours and chicken bones for 24 hours
  5. Add the vegetables, herbs and spices for the last 3 hours of cooking time
  6. Strain your broth and cool
  7. Drink it as a hot beverage or use it to flavour your next meal. It’s delicious in soups, stews, sauces and stir fry.

Jessica Sepel: 4 tips for staying healthy while traveling

Wellness expert, Jessica Sepel reveals how she stays healthy (and still has fun) while travelling.

Healthy living and traveling – these are a few of my favourite things. But healthy living while traveling can be quite challenging! I want to show you that you can make healthy choices during travel. It’s taken several years and even more miles to create a plan of action when I take trips, but now that I’ve got the hang of it, it’s become second nature.

The trick is preparation. Pack smart, research your destination and stick to your everyday healthy habits as much as you can – allowing some wiggle room for local fun, of course! It’s an 80/20 approach. Well maybe it’s more like 90/10 for me. I allow 10-20% of room in my life to have ‘imperfect’ foods. This brings balance to my life and helps me to ENJOY my travels. That’s the point of holidays, correct? Lets not be extreme when it comes to healthy living and eating.

The most important thing for me when it comes to healthy travel is to have as little stress as possible.

There is nothing worse than being excited for a trip but then being nervous or stressed because you’re not sure how you going to manage healthy living on your travels. Well this, my friends, is not healthy. You just have to do the best you can do.

Most people glow with health, lose weight and feel energized on holiday because they have less worries and stress. Stressing out about healthy eating defeats the purpose of this! It takes away the point of your holiday and travels.

How to stay healthy while travelling

Keep moving

I don’t worry too much about formal exercise when traveling, but I do stay active exploring my surroundings. Walking, biking and jogging is always a great way to sightsee. You may even find a fun local yoga or dance class!


Try to spend at least 10 minutes a day alone. Switch off, practice some deep breathing, and journal about your experiences that day. Not only will it help you focus, it will be wonderful to reflect back on!

Legs up against the wall 

I do this whenever I get into my hotel room. It calms my nervous system down and gets the blood flowing around my body.

Do yoga

Believe it or not, you require very little space to get a full body workout. Consider the size of a yoga mat and work within those dimensions. You can easily practice sun salutations and warrior poses, or work your core with planks and crunches. I sometimes do this in the airport and in my hotel room. It looks cool, don’t worry what others think!

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8 ways to naturally ease PMS

Say goodbye to the wild, unpredictable mood swings, bloating and headaches.

PMS for those who have experienced it, can make you feel like a wild woman out of control. What’s worse, more than 75% of women experience PMS each month. When each month arrives it can be a time of frustration, anxiety, depression, moods that fluctuate wildly, fluid retention, bloating, headaches, blended with disrupted sleep.

This wild woman phenomenon is due to the biological and chemical changes that take place during your menstrual cycle. No, you are not crazy! What you are experiencing each month is very real. PMS and irregularities in your menstrual cycle occur due to fluctuations within your hormonal system.

Similar to the changes of season within nature, your body also has its own internal rhythm. When your internal rhythm becomes disrupted through lifestyle changes, stress, environmental toxins, processed foods, lack of sleep and so forth, the balance of yin and yang loses its harmony within your body.

Your time of month should be an easy transition. When a Tai-chi master moves, they are fluid and graceful. In essence, your period should do just that. It should arrive with ease and just flow – physically, mentally and emotionally. Let’s break it down a little further.

A quick lesson in female hormones:

Our brain produces the happy hormones called serotonin. This is the hormone that makes us feel good. When levels are low, depression and even anxiety can occur. Research has shown that low levels of serotonin can be the result of a sensitive reaction to changes in estrogen and progesterone. For this very reason you can feel flat, depressed or anxious around the time of your period.

After ovulation our adrenal gland produces a chemical called aldosterone which can contribute to PMS symptoms such as headaches, water retention and breast tenderness.

Our body produces another chemical hormone called endorphins. Endorphins mask pain and are also released when we exercise. Sometimes painful periods, PMS and depression can occur when our body doesn’t produce enough endorphins. This is why it can be important to exercise during your period.

Our body produces cells called prostaglandins. Prostaglandins help regulate our menstrual cycle and ovulation. Over production of prostaglandins can cause painful periods, cramping headaches and vomiting. Evening primrose oil helps to reduce over production of prostaglandins.

The good news is that you don’t have to suffer anymore…help is on hand. Hooray!

Say goodbye to PMS and help ease your symptoms the natural way:

1. Give yoga, meditation and breathing exercises a try. They can help balance your hormones, calm your mind, and de- stress you. Welcome to the Zen Den!

2. Embrace gentle exercise. We can all do with an endorphin hit. To maintain your internal rhythm, keep your body moving with gentle exercises such as walking, qi gong and yoga. Aim for 20 minutes each day.

3. Say hello to the Magic Moxa Stick. Grab yourself a moxa stick and wave your magic wand over your belly at the time of your period. Moxa will help ease period pain, cramping and create a healthy menstrual flow. Other alternatives are a hot water bottle or heat pack to ease cramps or discomfort. Relaxing and having a nice warm footbath can help to relieve a headache or assist with relaxing the body and ensuring a more solid, sound sleep.

4. Add a scoop of Magnesium Power. Foods that are high in magnesium such as dark leafy greens, nuts, avocados and magnesium powder help assist hormonal balance. We recommend a scoop of magnesium powder post ovulation to help increase your progesterone levels and balance excess estrogen.

5. Avoid foods high in sugar, coffee and alcohol. No processed or packaged foods. By cutting out all the crap, your body will start to love you again. Eating foods high in sugar spikes your blood sugar levels, creating an increase in insulin levels which then affect your hormonal balance.

6. Delve into Acupuncture & Chinese medicine. Acupuncture helps to regulate and balance your hormonal system, while Chinese herbs assist in balancing your entire menstrual cycle and creating a healthy menstrual flow.

7. Enjoy a cup of tea. A cup of tea dissolves everything. Herbal teas such as ginger, chamomile or rose petal tea can be great for warming or calming the body and reducing unsettled emotions or discomfort associated with PMS. The Angea “PMS” Medicinal Tea and The Angea “Flow” Medicinal Tea will treat PMS symptoms, balance your hormones, ease any uncomfortable dullness, uterine cramping and painful periods.

8. Block that Estrogen. There are specific foods that can minimise PMS. Eating foods high in fibre will help relieve constipation, sweeping your bowel, metabolise your hormones and eliminate waste product. Brassica vegetables are high in phytochemicals and potassium which help minimise estrogen dominance and balance your hormones. Try broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, swede, bok choy, brussel sprouts and cress.

Welcome to sharrets – a blog on healthy lifestyle , Exercises , Dietary Health Supplements and provide you much more necessary information and tools to help you feel, look and live your very best. Thanks for visiting !

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