Posts belonging to Category 'North of River'

Perth Wellness Retreat: Nature's Paradise, Mundaring.

Every now and then, I have what I like to call “ahh” moments. Something will cause me to pull my focus out of the hustle and bustle of everyday life, to sit back and appreciate the beauty of what is in front of me. I had one of these “ahh” moments as I arrived at Nature’s Paradise Wellness Retreat. Situated in Mundaring, about 45 minutes drive from central Perth, it feels a million miles from the daily grind, without actually being that far away at all.

Nature’s Paradise opened at Easter just this year, and owners Neil and Jenny have worked wonders to create such a beautiful space. The forest provides a breathtaking backdrop, and the retreat itself is a grand beauty. Neil welcomed me as I arrived, and gave me a tour of the retreat, which features 3 suites, each with access to the wrap-around balcony, plus a library, a guest retreat area and communal dining and sitting areas. The guest retreat area comes complete with an outdoor, claw-foot bath, hammocks, a massage room and infra-red sauna – just what this city girl’s aching muscles called for!

♥ The view from the Library

♥ The guest retreat area, with hammock seats and bath

♥ The outdoor bath

After showing me the house, we moved on to the gardens. Neil has worked incredibly hard to bring Nature’s Paradise to life, and his passion for the retreat is infectious. We toured the veggie garden, which provides an increasing amount of the produce used in the kitchen, and the various rock paths Neil has created to cater for guests who want to get some fresh air without straying too far from the comforts of their room. I wanted to see more of the forest, and Neil was more than happy to oblige- we walked for about an hour through the trees, stopping to take in some beautiful views of Mundaring Weir and the dam, as well as dropping by the Learning Centre, before coming home for a relaxing herbal tea and a chat with Jenny. On our wanders we spotted an echidna, wandering very lazily over the trail, which shows just how close to nature this retreat really is!

♥ The veggie patch

♥ Mr Echidna

♥ The views of Mundaring Weir

♥ The beautiful forest surrounding Natures Paradise

I have to be honest, at this point I didn’t think my visit could get much better, but it did! At Nature’s Paradise, all food is catered for- guests have access to fresh fruit and vegetables, tea and coffee, plus delicious treats made by Jenny throughout the day, and meals are served in the dining room which showcases the stunning forest scenery.

All food is vegetarian, organic, made in-house and mostly prepared according to raw food principles, but meat-eaters do not despair, you won’t feel like you’re missing out at all!

Dinner began with a pumpkin soup- warm, hearty and delicious, served with spelt bread, butter and olive oil with balsamic.

Next was Nature’s Paradise’s specialty- pizza! This pizza was no Domino’s variety though- made in a dehydrator with a buckwheat base full of herbs, and topped with avocado, olives, mushrooms, onion, capsicum and a cashew ‘cheese’, it tasted amazing and was as good for my body as it was for my taste buds! The recipe is a well-guarded secret, but Neil did share some tips with me which I am keen to try in my own kitchen!

The meal would not have been complete without sampling some of the home made ‘fruit & nut’ chocolates, which were absolutely divine!

Earlier during my tour of the property, I had gushed over the beautiful claw-foot bath on the deck in the outdoor guest retreat area. Jenny was kind enough to run me a macrobiotic sea salt bath after dinner, and as I lay in the bubbling water, looking up at the trees in the night sky, the cool air above me, I couldn’t remember the last time I had felt so relaxed. It was truly something special.

After my bath, I returned to my very spacious room, with its luxurious king-size bed and spa bath ensuite, and fell straight asleep (no prizes for guessing that I slept like a baby!).

♥ My very spacious Grande Deluxe room

Unfortunately I had to get up well before the sun in order to get back to my day-to-day responsibilities, but even then, Jenny made sure that a beautiful continental breakfast was laid out for me. Had I stayed, I was told that I could have expected a beautiful cooked breakfast, including eggs, buckwheat pancakes, fresh fruit and juices, plus tea, coffee and almost anything else my heart desired!

Nature’s Paradise is perfectly named- it is exactly that! Neil and Jenny are fabulous hosts- so welcoming, generous and knowledgeable- and they have created a place that truly caters for every interest. Whether you want to relax in the gardens, soak in the bath, challenge yourself with a personal training session, meditate or hike in the forest or ride trails through the trees, they have thought of it all! I have been reading lots of articles lately about the benefits of spending time with nature, and I absolutely agree. I left Nature’s Paradise feeling so well-rested, renewed and reinvigorated and would recommend it to anyone looking for a retreat to truly nourish mind, body and soul.

You can visit or telephone Neil 0412 977 487 or Jenny 0403 718 050 for more information.

What do you enjoy doing to “retreat”? What makes you feel rested and renewed? Let me know in the comments below!

Article by Katie, a wellness-focused career girl with a newfound appreciation for the power of nature.

Be well,



Winter Wellness at Karrinyup Shopping Centre!

With the winter months well and truly upon us, it can be so tempting to go into hibernation mode and indulge in comforting foods while our fitness levels quietly disappear. As tempting as this sounds, you might be regretting all those sticky date puddings come spring when pretty little dresses are back in season. Just because its cold and wet, doesn’t mean your health and wellbeing should take a backseat; in fact, with so many cold and flu bugs around, winter is the ideal time to boost your health and immune system.

If you are looking for a place to stock up on all things health and wellness, then Karrinyup Shopping Centre is your one stop shop. Aside from retail giants David Jones and Myer, Karrinyup has a huge offering of health, food and sports stores that are sure to inspire some winter wellness! I spent a day at Karrinyup road testing all of the best places to get your wellness fix, check out what I got up to…

♥ lululemon Karrinyup yoga ambassador Susie McLachlan

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Everyone’s favourite yoga brand has tapped into a great community initiative and offer complimentary yoga & fitness classes in store. I’m not one for early Saturday mornings, but there was something so serene about starting my weekend with an 8am Yoga class. Lululemon’s classes are for everyone, so think gentle stretching, deep breathing, meditation and flexibility. It’s a bit distracting lying amongst all the colourful Luon and Wunder Unders though – I was picking out my favourites during downward dog, and just had to reward myself after the class!

Lululemon Karrinyup offers instore Yoga classes every Saturday morning, check out their community page for more info.


After my Yoga class, I floated down the shopping centre to T2 where I spent some time tasting the newest brews on offer. Shopping in T2 really is a treat for the senses, not only does the tea taste and smell amazing but beautifully decorated and bright tea wares fill the store, celebrating the history and art of brewing and drinking tea. My favourite T2 treat is Buddhas Tears, a light green jasmine infusion that delights the senses and warms the soul. Whether you’re really into your tea, or just like the odd spot of English Breakfast, T2 has something for everyone. They are even selling tea biscuits, jam and iced tea now!

The Coffee Club

The Coffee Club have really spruced up their menu of late, with a large range of healthier meals now available. I stopped by for breakfast, and absolutely devoured the fruit and nut muesli with yoghurt and honey! The atmosphere at Coffee Club is nice too, amongst the buzz of shoppers (staying out of the winter weather probably!) So get along to The Coffee Club, order a fresh juice and a healthy brekkie the next time you’re at Karrinyup and enjoy excellent customer service as well as a nutritious meal!

Karrinyup Fresh

I love supporting local fruit and veg shops; they seem to be offering such a better product than most supermarket chains. The locally sourced, organic produce is of such a high quality and is really quite kind to your wallet too! Karrinyup Fresh have a great range of fruit and vegetables available, with a lot of Western Australian produce on offer. I also noticed a lot of items that are hard to come by which you might find in the ingredients list of a yummy Asian noodle or curry dish. Stock up on veggies and make some tasty vegetable soups to keep you warm this winter!

Healthy Life

Healthy Life has been providing premium quality health foods and advice for Australians since 1968 – helping customers achieve and maintain their best health and sense of wellness. Healthy Life have a huge range of vitamins and mineral supplements (stock up on Vitamin C and Echinacea to ward off winter colds!), whole foods, herbal teas, beauty products and sports nutrition and supplements. I picked up some Eco Cacao Powder which I love using for baking!

Lorna Jane

Inspirational activewear label Lorna Jane have some great winter styles in store at the moment. Put some colour into your cold morning run with gorgeous new tights and tops in bright pink, purple and orange.

I am loving the new Max Impact Excel longsleeve top in electric purple – guaranteed to keep you warm and stand out in the workout crowd! Make sure you check out Lorna Jane’s gorgeous range of inspirational books and accessories too!


Australia’s favourite bookstore are now featuring a Healthy, Wealthy & Wise selection of books. Handpicked by Dymocks staff, these titles cover a range of topics including health, wellbeing, self help, religion and recipes. I picked up a couple of interesting titles: Religion For Atheists by Alain de Botton and I Quit Sugar by Sarah Wilson. Both of these reads are going to be eye opening for me, I am by no means an atheist but always searching for a bit more meaning in life and as for sugar, well, I know I can’t quit it completely but I’m looking forward to reducing my intake as much as I can!


A day of wellness wouldn’t be complete without a bit of pampering! Belén Karrinyup is the perfect place to switch off from the world and indulge in a bit of luxury for a while. I was very lucky to be treated to a De-Stress Facial, which is a combination of Belén’s signature facial treatment and a 30 minute massage.

This was the most relaxing and rejuvenating hour of my existence. My aching muscles melted away, my skin was deeply cleansed and exfoliated thanks to Dermalogica and I emerged in a state of tranquillity. The staff are fantastic, I was so impressed with their client service and truly felt like a valued customer. I will certainly be back for some more pampering this winter!

Rawsome Treats at Stockholm Café

Don’t forget to stop by Stockholm Café for one of Rawsome amazing treats! These little winners are the perfect snack for boosting energy levels and curbing cravings all in one little raw, organic and healthy treat. They are so yummy you wont believe it’s healthy!

Review by Lucy Anderson.

* Lucy was a guest of Karrinyup Shopping Centre.

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Be well,



Perth Alternative Therapy Review: The Wellness Package, A Fine Balance Physiotherapy, Joondanna.

wellness |ˈwelnis| n the state or condition of being in good physical and mental health :

What do you know about your health and wellbeing? Do you assume that you’re in tiptop shape just because you’re not fighting a cold or don’t have any aches and pains? I used to think a bit like this. I was always under the impression that how I felt physically, reflected exactly what was going on inside. Truth is, there is so much more to our inner health and wellbeing than we actually know about, and sometimes the smallest change in behaviour can have the biggest effect.

I recently completed a Wellness Package at A Fine Balance, a physiotherapy and clinical nutritional practice located on Green Street, Joondanna. Having never had the opportunity to take part in a package like this, I was really keen to learn more about my body and changes I could make in my lifestyle – being a bit of a perfectionist, improvement is something I’m always on the hunt for!

The first part of the package is a clinical consultation with AFB’s clinical nutritionist Joanne. This was a one hour appointment where Joanne assessed all aspects of my diet and lifestyle to work out where I may be limited in achieving optimum wellness. After reviewing my current situation, she proceeded to advise me on ways in which simple diet alterations would be beneficial to my wellbeing. This included dietary recommendations as well as nutritional supplements to complement my diet.

One of these recommendations has changed my life. I have been suffering from headaches for over a year now and after a series of medical tests and checks I was ready to accept that maybe I was destined for a life of debilitating headaches. Not the case apparently! The miracle cure has been a magnesium supplement called BioCeuticals Ultra MuscleEze Energy®. The supplement provides a high dose of magnesium, which is essential for the healthy functioning of nerves, muscles, bones and heart rhythm. In my case, my neck and shoulder muscles were craving a bit more of the old magnesium, since I started taking it I probably get one headache a week now – sometimes none!

I left my consultation with Joanne feeling inspired and ready to make some changes in my diet. I didn’t forget this feeling either, not long after I left the clinic, an email from Joanne came through with some handy diet tips as well as suggested meals and recipes. Talk about motivation! I’ve since taken a very conscious approach to making sure I consume more foods which produce an alkaline environment and help to control inflammation in the body. I believe this has played a major role in helping combat my headaches too, keeping inflammation levels down and helping to support a healthy and balanced immune system.

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I returned a few weeks later to continue my Wellness journey at the hands of AFB’s remedial masseuse, Emma Gater. Remedial massage is the blissful combination of deep tissue massage techniques and works to release tension in the soft tissues to increase circulation, relieve pain and promote healing throughout the body. It is also mighty relaxing!

Posturally speaking, my next and final stop was a clinical Pilates class and postural assessment with clinic owner and physiotherapist Roshan Singh. This Pilates class was nothing like the reformer and mat classes I attend religiously, it was a customised session which assessed my core strength from head to toe and identified particular weaknesses and strengths.

One thing I found particularly interesting was finding out that I actually have muscle wastage in my left thigh muscle as a result of a knee injury from my high school days! I have since been working on building up and strengthening that muscle, to prevent further injuries later in life. Roshan then took a look at my posture, which is the poor victim of various daily wear and tear. It doesn’t really take much to get yourself all straightened out, but the difference a small chin tuck for example can make is huge in the long run.

The Wellness Package at A Fine Balance costs $350 (valued at $513) includes:

• 1 full clinical nutrition consultation
• 1 follow up clinical nutrition consultation
• 2 half-hour massages
• 1 postural assessment with a physiotherapist
• 2 Clinical Pilates classes
• 1 take home massage ball

The package must be used within 3 months of purchase.

Call A Fine Balance on (08) 9444 9663 or email to book.

Think about how comfortable you want to be in your old age, and start working towards it now. Give your body the absolute best it deserves, look after it and nurture it with good food and rest and listen to it when it speaks to you. For it is the investments we make today, that will be worth it tomorrow.

Have you ever considered a wellness package before? If so, what would you like to gain from it? Leave a comment below as I'd love to hear from you!

Review by Lucy Anderson.

Be well,



Exercise Review: Pram Fit at Brighton Park, Scarborough!

Ever wondered how on earth some women manage to get their pre-baby bodies back in what seems like the blink of an eye post-bub being born? It’s tricky enough to get a few hours sleep, let alone a workout in. The ever wonderful personal trainer Sarah Devlin has come to the rescue with a very awesome solution for new Perth mamas – Pram Fit!

I’ll let one of her regular Pram Fit attendees, Meaghan, take it from here…

“Pram Fit is a great work out for mums as it allows us to bring our beloved bubs along with us. I’ve found it difficult to get back into shape after having my baby, as I have no family in Perth and noone to mind her if I want to work out.

I think that if you are going to make the commitment to go, then you really want to see some results, otherwise whats the point? Pram Fit is a real work out tailored to our needs as new mums (of all fitness levels) that gets great results, I can really notice muscles working again that were not used during my pregnancy!

The other great thing is that, like us, Sarah has recently had a baby so she understands how you’re feeling, the niggles and parts of the body that need the most attention after pregnancy & child birth.

So far we have a great bunch of girls that attend and we always have fun doing it, even if on only a few hours sleep 😉

I recommend Pram Fit as to many people and many mums as possible!”

The Details

Cost: $15 per class

Location: Brighton Park, Scarborough (just left of The Wild Fig)

Day & Time: Thursday @ 8:30am

What happens during a class?

The babies hang out in their prams or on a blanket in the shade with toys. The workout is a combination of strength and resistance training using body weight, interval style cardio training, and pilates. Each week someone’s baby is a bit cranky and that is totally okay. You take breaks and mind the baby if you need to and all fitness levels are welcome.

For more details contact the lovely Sarah Devlin on 0431 365 342 or email

Sarah is also available for privates and small group mum and bub personal training sessions too where her and her baby come to you and your baby and give you a great workout!

What do you think of the idea of working out next to your little one?

Be well,