Posts belonging to Category 'Alternative Therapy'

Endeavour Short Courses: Gut Health, the Microbiome & Wellbeing – A Review!

“Most people have no idea how good their body is designed to feel.”

– Kevin Trudeau

Fostering and nurturing our brain is what brings meaning to our lives. That’s why Endeavour College’s short accredited courses, we’re talking 20 hours short, were made for those of us with busy lives who want to explore . As soon as I heard the magic number, I signed myself up (full disclosure: Annette really signed me up).

Getting to know my gut, and the benefits of taking care of it well, intimately has been one of the most rewarding lessons of my life in the past few years.

So it didn’t take much convincing for me to take a baby step (frog leap) into being a student again to learn from the experts at Endeavour College with their Gut Health: the microbiome and wellbeing short course.

What’s brilliant about this course is that it is 100% online and you can completely take it at your own pace, with 12 months in total to complete. Excellent for freelancers like me who love that flexibility in their schedule to learn whenever and wherever. Personally, I was looking forward to completing it ASAP, since it was so packed full of juicy information that piqued my interest and I’m always keen to up-level my gut health. But if the gut ain’t your thing, then there are an abundant array of courses to choose – from herbs to homeopathy, wellness business marketing essentials to flower essence therapy – and so much more – there’s something for anyone with an interest in healthy & wellness.

The easy to follow structure of the course is made up of six core topics. Anatomy of Digestion, Your Microbes and You, Diet and Gut Health, Microbes and Mood, Probiotics and Prebiotics (a personal favourite as I always get these two mixed up ) Supplements, Antibiotics (fascinating) and General Gut Health. 

There are super adorable cartoon videos and fun interactive quizzes to test your knowledge at the end of each topic, and I especially loved the additional resources (I’m a gut nerd, what can I say), including the suggested podcast that take you into another realm of deeper learning and knowledge consolidation.

A really great take-away was the positive influence it had on me to immediately want to choose healthier options and think about my health in a different way – plus feeling inspired to share my learnings with my friends and loved ones!

“Hey, how have you been? Do you know the difference between probiotics and probiotics? Well, let me enlighten you…!”

During the course I stocked up on coconut yoghurt & made the delish hazelnut & fig granola recipe that was included, as well as started taking probiotic supplements again – I started feeling the benefits right away.

The course takes it to another level by allowing you to experience first-hand what the impact is on your own life by utilising an interactive learning journal, which I thought was really cool.

What’s more, I received a digital certificate to pop on my resume if I ever find myself working in the field of nutrition.

I would highly, highly recommend the Endeavour Gut Health course, especially for those who have thought about perhaps changing career paths and want to explore their interests in a new industry through accredited learning.

Overall I completed it within 3 weeks, over about 20 hours all up, and found the takeaways to be life changing for health – and I’m still implementing things I’ve learned today – many months later.

If you’re looking for a boost of inspo in your life / health / career – I say DO IT. You won’t regret it. And your gut will thank you. Check out the course here!

Review by Kelly-Anne, graphic designer, spa lover & gut nerd.

Be well,


Here’s How Winter Affects Your Hormones As You Get Older – And How to Balance Them.

The words ‘perimenopause’ or ‘menopause’ and women inevitably come hand in hand with the words – heat, sweat, angry and overwhelm. In fact if I were to describe my own experience it would go something like this: raging hot furnace of overwhelm and anxiety with sleep deprivation, no patience and the memory of a goldfish!

But how do the colder months affect these symptoms? Studies have shown that levels of thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) increase during the winter and decrease during the summer in both healthy people and people with hypothyroidism. Symptoms of raised TSH include low mood, fatigue, weight gain, an intolerance to cold and memory problems, commonly described as a ‘brain fog’.

Winter brings heavy clothing, lack of light, shorter days, changes in exercise routines, cravings for comfort food and if you are like me, red wine! On top of this there are the known effects of seasonal affective disorder, so all these can really exacerbate the symptoms of peri/menopause and make it even more difficult to deal with.

Some of the ways I have learnt to cope with peri and menopause in winter:

1. Layer my clothing and yes, activewear has become my best friend.

2. Stay hydrated – I drink lots of water but aim to do this before 2pm to stop the night time bathroom wake up!

3. Avoid sugar (which includes alcohol), as this is known to exacerbate symptoms.

4. Wake at sunrise – seeing the daylight first thing sets circadian rhythm – this is the ‘sleep wake cycle’ which helps regulate sleep.

5. Body temperature – I sleep with 2 duvets in the winter! Because after my hot flashes I become very cold, so that coupled with very light PJ’s is a must for me. And of course a fan is on 24/7!

6. Be prepared – knowing what meals I will have for the next day (or more if I am organised!) means I tend not to cave for the chips and chocolate that seems to call much louder these days.

7. Set out my clothes the night before – because I can’t make up my mind in the morning.

8. Talk! Find your tribe – as our hormones change, many of us do too. So finding people that are going through the same thing is so important to feel supported, rather than look at you like a weird alien!

9. Have my workout area set up and ready – if my mat is down then I am more likely to do a workout.

At the end of the day, it is important to recognise that every woman is different, and while some may experience it this way, others will not, so tune in to your body and remember to move, eat, learn and connect in ways that make sense to you.

For over 20 years, Naz has worked and studied alongside specialist trainers, nutritionists, and mindfulness experts to do the work and learn the lessons. Naz de Bono founded Xali, an online platform that helps other women going through hormonal changes, after her own personal experience of going through menopause.

Be well,


Beauty & Wellness Routine with Mukti from Mukti Organics, Eco-Activist, Author & Green Cosmetic Chemistry Pioneer.

First up, briefly tell us a bit about yourself and what you do!

I am the founder of Mukti Organics, author and green chemistry pioneer.

Originally educated in complimentary medicine I have always had a penchant for beauty, botany and clean living. I launched my skincare line 20 years ago, setting the benchmark for certified organic skincare in Australia.

My aim is to reconnect people to nature, creating health and happiness via toxin-free lifestyles and beauty regimes. An apothecary artisan at heart, I have mastered the process of creating dynamic, organic and natural beauty formulations.

My internationally acclaimed and award-winning products combine functional, plant-based ingredients with indigenous Australian actives, nature identical vitamins and peptides that deliver results by boosting skin health, vitality and youthfulness.

What time do you wake up most days and how many hours of sleep do you aim for?

My daily routine is normally to wake around 5am after usually being in bed no later than 9pm. I am for 8 hours. I avoid looking at my phone for 2 hours leading to bed and I use an Oura ring to track my sleep.

What’s your morning routine to set you up for a great day?

I meditate upon rising for 20 minutes. I was trained by Vedic practitioner, Gary Gorrow. This is my daily sanity. I then do 10-15 minutes of holotropic/Wim Hof breathing to alkalize my blood and reset for the day. I walk my dog, (Yuna the jug) on the beach each morning along the shoreline where the water laps at my bare feet to get a negative ion charge. I ensure that I get the morning sunlight into my eyes to reset my circadian rhythm (sunglass free) as well as sunlight on my body (solar panels) to get my daily dose of Vitamin D. This is then followed up by a plunge in the ocean.

Describe a typical day of eating for you.

Everything that I consume is from organic farming. I’m a stickler for nutrient dense food that is going to feed my body and assist me with feeling great and aiding longevity. I’m primarily plant based and eat meat occasionally although it must be biodynamic and grass-fed. I eat fish once a week. I fast intermittently every day for 12-18 hours, so my eating window is reduced. In that time, I will have two meals one that is a protein-based smoothie and the other is a small amount of protein and salad or vegetables. My favourite indulgence is baked sweet potato wedges served with Guacamole.

Tell us about your daily beauty routine! What are your non-negotiables for looking and feeling your best?

My main skin concern is ageing and ensuring that I don’t damage my skin barrier by using too many products.  Less is more when it comes to my skincare ritual and I like to be gentle yet effective with my choices.

First, the basis of any effective skincare routine is a good cleanser. I swear by my Hydrating Cleansing Lotion. Without a clean canvas, products have difficulty penetrating. Next I add my serums, which I call the “worker bees” of your skincare regime!

There are so many serums which I enjoy using, but my favorite is Mukti Organics Vital C Elixir. Vitamin C is an essential building block for collagen which is the primary protein of the skin. A daily dose of Vitamin C morning and evening feeds my skin and helps to mitigate the visible signs of ageing including sun damage and wrinkles.

Lastly, this one is a MUST HAVE and one you won’t be able to live without when you try it. Our new Hyaluronic Marine Serum. It sold out when we launched it last year. This delivers an instant boost of visible plumping to the skin due to its unique ability to hold up to 1000x its weight in water. It is a highly effective means of me preventing the formation of further wrinkles and acts to strengthen my skin’s moisture barrier for visibly improved firmness and elasticity.

I also take a “daily dose” of the evidence-based beauty elixir Bioactive Collagen Booster. It is an internal supplement for skin, hair, nails & gut health.

Do you take any supplements, vitamins or special wellness elixirs? If so, we’d love to know!

As well as taking the Bioactive Collagen Booster I swear by regular body brushing, saunas, ice baths, IV Vitamins, meditation, clean healthy living and consuming minimal alcohol. Maintaining an awareness of the body and functions at a cellular level. If I am unwell, I turn to herbal medicine and supplements. I make sure I get my Vitamin D via the morning sunlight, and I regularly take magnesium.

Focusing on gut health and minimising inflammation is an integral part of my health and wellness regime. I consider this at a cellular level to assist longevity and vitality.

What are your top 3 wellness non-negotiables?

– Organic Food and skincare

- Meditation
– Living near the ocean

Best place to get a green juice or smoothie in your city?

Vagabond which has just opened at Habitat Byron Bay.

Favorite farmers market or healthy place to shop?

Byron Bay Farmers Market, Santo’s Organics and Wild Things in Melbourne.

What’s your fitness routine & favorite way to get sweaty and where’s your go-to?

My fiancé Matt Chaplin is a personal trainer and we are fortunate enough to have a fully equipped studio where we train daily. For my mental and physical health, this is a daily non-negotiable. I walk every day for 45 minutes along the beach. I train 3-4 times a week with Matt. In training sessions, our holistic objective is human optimisation and primal movement patterns. We focus on longevity, strength, mobility and energy systems that includes breathing techniques and cardiovascular fitness. Matt is a biohacker that tests just about everything. He walks his talk and is one of the most committed and healthiest humans I have met. Clearly, a great influence in my life.

If you could only wear one brand of activewear for the rest of your life it would be…

I prefer to not be brand loyal and to be honest in Byron the less you wear the better as it’s so humid and I’d rather live in my bathers – but I am loving Nagnata. They are extremely stylish and functional; I think their mission and core beliefs around sustainability and longevity of use are amazing. I really try to avoid throwaway fashion.

What is the one beauty or wellness treatment you can’t live without? And your favorite place to have it done?

A facial at the Little Company Byron Bay with Stacey Burt.

You have a big event in 7 days’ time that you need to look incredible for. What’s your plan of attack to look & feel your absolute best?

I would enjoy my morning outdoors, swim in the ocean, get my endorphins rushing for the day. Enjoy a beautiful lunch which won’t make me bloated.

Then before the event I would get my hair freshly taken care of at Organika Hair.

I would pop on a divine gown from Kit X or Zimmerman and lastly, I would go with someone who makes me laugh. To me everything is better when shared with someone who also wants to have fun and doesn’t take themselves too seriously.

And lastly… do you have any top-secret tips you use to keep looking / feeling great?

Get a dog. They will love you endlessly, keep you active and make you laugh. Also surround yourself with likeminded people, in your work & personal life, who share the same values. You can choose the energy you have around you, so choose wisely.

Thank you to Mukti for taking the time to share her inspiring routine with us! You can find out more about Mukti Organics at their website 🙂

Be well,



Why to Add an Acai Bowl to Your Next Beach Date!


One of my favourite things to do in the Perth Summer is, not surprisingly, hit the beach with friends and enjoy our incredibly beautiful coastline.

Deep blue water, bright blue sky & shimmering sand. On any given day above 30 there’s a high chance that I can be found at Cottesloe, City Beach or Floreat, basking in a little sunshine and gently working on my freckles.

Growing up with fair skin means that the fear of the sun has been drummed into me from a tender age, and as such, you’ll also find me covered from head to toe with SPF 50+ sunscreen, a hat & a light shirt for extra protection if needed. Couple this with multiple sunscreen reapplications and a once yearly skin cancer check at my doctors (I highly encourage this for anyone who spends a bit of time in the sun or is fair skinned) and I generally feel like I’m pretty much set up for sun smart success.

However, there is one more avenue we can take in order to boost our bodies’ amazing ability to protect us from the sun, especially when we’re dealing with old mate ‘hole in the ozone layer’ here in Perth – what we eat!

While it may sound like a pretty hippie concept, hear me out, your tastebuds & skin will thank you. Quick Q & A time:

Q: Why are some specific berries, fruits & veggies so high in antioxidants in the first place?

A: Because they have evolved over time to create extremely high levels in order to protect themselves from the sun. BLOODY GENIUSES! One of the main functions of antioxidants in plants is to prevent them from burning & wilting, so certain plants that are exposed to high levels of sunlight work extra hard to produce more, and in turn these benefits are passed on to us when we consume them.

If you’re now wondering what foods are best to snack on pre-beach, try one of the following:

Acai berries. As one of the highest sources of antioxidants, this tasty berry is definitely on the list. Beaches and frozen acai bowls are a match made in sun-protection heaven, and as a bonus cool you down & contain lots of healthy essential fatty acids for smooth skin. I absolutely cannot go past the Acai Bowl at Natures Harvest in Cottesloe, topped with the gluten free muesli & dried figs, followed up with a dip at Cott Beach. It’s the most refreshing way to start a Summer morning!

Cacao anything! Cacao is packed with flavanols (a special type of antioxidant) that improve the bodies ability to protect against UV-induced sunburns. Pick up a NOOD Choc Nut Smoothie and be on your way.

Goji berries. Similar to acai, goji berries are packed full of an impressive variety of antioxidants. My New Roots has an amazing little recipe for Goji Ginger Lemonade that looks incredible & is on my list to try before the next beach date!

Hopefully you’ve found this helpful, do let me know if you have any questions and I’ll do my best to answer them or have a nutritionist do so on my behalf!

Happy beaching! xx

Be well,


Meet Steph Johnson – Yoga Teacher & Manager of COMO Shambhala Urban Retreat

First up, briefly tell us a little bit about yourself!

I’m the manager & resident yoga instructor at COMO Shambhala Urban
. I was first introduced to yoga when i was 16 as method of coping with stress and anxiety. I credit the practice for providing a close-knit community, support and guidance that I so desperately needed, something I’m now recreating with COMO Shambhala Urban Escape, Perth’s urban wellness center in the heart of Perth CBD.

I have practiced yoga for more than a decade, and have completed my Level 1 (350 hour) Integrated Science of Hatha, Tantra, and Ayurveda teacher training with Tamara Yoga, in Western Australia. I have also trained with internationally renowned yoga teachers; Sarah Platt Finger, Alan Finger, Seane Corn & Simon Borg-Olivier.

Tell us about your daily beauty routine! What are your non-negotiables for looking and feeling your best?.

Self-practice! I can not walk out the door without doing my own practice. I HAVE to check in with myself every morning and every night! I’m also a bit of an obsessive shower-er, I have been known to have 4 showers a day… some may call that OCD…

What’s the one beauty treatment you can’t live without? And your favourite place to have it done?

Hair cut!! I started going grey at 24 (eek!) and I cut my hair every 8 weeks.

Who do you trust with your hair in Perth, and why?

Alicia from Baseline Hairdressing in Subiaco, she’s the bomb!

Favourite budget / at home beauty treatment?

Massaging sesame oil all over my body.. it’s whacky but it’s incredibly nourishing & calming and a fantastic remedy for anxious or ‘Vata’ types.

Your three, absolutely cannot live without, favourite products?

Bare Minerals Powder, Nars Laguna Bronzer and toothpaste.

What beauty treatment/ wellbeing activity would you love to try but haven’t yet?

You wouldn’t believe it but i have never done Jacobs Ladder… I seriously have to get there!! Otherwise Indoor Cycling scares the CRAP out of me but I’m game. Also, I’m rather curious about this new buzz on pole dancing!

Describe a typical day of eating for you – brekky, lunch, dinner, snacks, drinks – the works!

Oh gosh, I’m really quite simple. I’ll have a smoothie and a cup of tea before I head out the door. Lunch is generally eggs in some form either on a salad or on toast with avocado and vegemite and dinner is greens with tempeh, salmon or roasted vegetables with some sort of tahini apple cider vinegar. I kind of do things on repeat…

How do you like to get your body moving? Describe your weekly fitness routine.

Yoga yoga yoga! And a walk once or twice a week. I am also occasionally dragged to a cardio session with friends… kicking and screaming though!

♥ Reece Carter (The Herb Nerd!) Dose Vitality Tonic!

Do you take part in any alternative therapies or take supplements? If so, we’d love to hear about it!

I am always trying out weird and wonderful things. I get a remedial massage once a month from Louise @ Resolve Remedial Massage in Claremont, I went through a stage of getting bowen therapy, acupuncture and reiki once a week, I practice a lot of Tantra and I take 5ml of Reece Carter’s Dose Vitality Tonic once a day. Also.. chocolate!! LOTS OF IT! Is that a supplement? (ED: Yes.)

You’ve got a big event in 7 days time that you need to look incredible for. What’s your plan of attack to look & feel your absolute best?

Sleep, meditation, yoga, water and clean eating. That’s it. Not complicated. Straight to the point and very
manageable. I’m not one for big diets or restrictions. These are my non- negotiable and they work.

How do you like to relax? What are your favourite ways to de-stress? Yoga, Meditation and my body coated in sesame oil with a cup of tea and a good book. I’m currently reading: Relax & Renew, Tantra: The Path of Ecstacy & The Girls.

How many hours sleep do you usually get each night? Do you have any bedtime rituals or tips to help you get a great nights sleep?

I sleep 8 hours a night… without fail. I will always have a shower before bed and brush my teeth. Reading a book with a cup of peppermint tea & dark chocolate is a pretty common practice too.

And lastly… do you have any top secret tips you use to keep looking / feeling great?

Be authentic!! Always be yourself. Trying to be something or someone else will only create suffering which in turn will leave you feeling unfulfilled. Being you, being bold and being brave will always reward you! And then of course.. yoga, water, meditation, self-reflection and lots of self care will help you along.

You can find Steph @ Como Shambhala Urban Retreat Perth:

1 Cathedral Avenue, Perth

Instagram: @comoshambhalaperth

If you have any questions for Steph please leave them in the comments below so she can reply! 🙂

Be well,