This week I've been lucky enough to chat with Casey-Lee, nutritionist and naturopath and creator of Live Love Nourish who offers real food recipes and nutrition and lifestyle tips for a healthier and happier you...
Casey-Lee you’ve created such an amazing company around educating and inspiring individuals to improve their health. Can you please explain your inspiration for becoming a qualified nutritionist and naturopath, and why it means so much to you to support people with their health and wellbeing?
Thank you so much for your kind words. There is no greater feeling than to feel your best and healthiest self so I became a qualified nutritionist and naturopath to help inspire others that they too deserve to feel great and through nutrition and lifestyle we can greatly influence how we feel and our ability to bring ALL of us to our lives; to our family; to work; to our friends; to whatever makes up your life. When we look after our health and our body we are able to enjoy life to the fullest.
My aim is provide simple and practical holistic nutrition and lifestyle advice to support others to love and nourish their body for healthier and happier life.
You’re a nutritionist, naturopath, whole foods recipe developer, freelance wellness writer, content creator, health and nutrition ambassador, food and health blogger and a Mum! (Deep breath!) Is there anything you can’t do!? Share with us what a day in the life of Casey-Lee looks like. Haha, yes there are many different arms to my brand Live Love Nourish, all of which are incredibly fun ways to share my passion for health and wellness.
My days are all very different and most depend on my toddler and her activities. A typical day might be starting the day rising early to enjoy some “me time” and a cup of herbal tea or bone broth just before Gracie (my toddler) wakes, followed by making breakfast together and going for a walk in the sunshine. The bulk of my day is made up of: when she's awake we play and when she's asleep I work on the business whether that be recipe development, writing blog posts, supporting the members of my online nutrition program etc. Our evenings are mostly spent in the kitchen together, getting Gracie involved in preparing dinner and family time.
You offer a Live Love Nourish 8 week program, can you share how this came about and how this program works?
I believe that in order to feel our best we need to consider a holistic approach to our health that considers our nutrition, lifestyle as well as our relationship with ourselves and food. When you are making choices that nourish your body and support a healthy life your body rewards you with energy, health and feeling and looking your best. This is why I created the Live Love Nourish 8-Week Program; an interactive online guide for living your healthiest and best self.
The program aims to inspire you to nourish your body with 8 weeks of healthy meal plans, easy recipes and nutrition and lifestyle guides for increased energy, finding your natural weight, improving your gut and digestive health, balancing hormones, curbing sugar cravings, developing a healthy relationship with your body and nourishing it with real food.
No matter where you are on your health journey, whether your are just starting out or are living a healthy lifestyle, I created the program to support others to feel healthier and happier. The program provides qualified advice, practical tools and support to develop a healthy and positive relationship with food and your body; because I believe a healthy outside starts on the inside. You can find out more about the program on the Live Love Nourish website.
You feature so many delicious, healthy and nutritious recipes for LLN. I love the fact that they are easy recipes, simple for anyone to follow and that they are all free from gluten, dairy and refined sugar! Can you share with us your favourite recipe at the moment and the health benefits it provides?
I believe that health and nutrition should be simple and achievable. As a mum I absolutely understand how busy life can be so I create my recipes with this in mind as well as with the understanding that our bodies thrive on simplicity. One of my favourite simple recipes at the moment is my sugar free banana bread. Made with just 5 ingredients, it’s rich in protein and healthy fat to keep you full for longer and reduce sugar cravings, and being naturally sweetened with banana only its sugar and sweetener free which is of course great for our bodies, helping to maintain a healthy weight and keep blood sugar levels stable. You can find the recipe here.
One of your focuses is improving gut and digestive health and I know this is a common challenge many of us face due to intolerance's and so on, what do you suggest are the best wholefoods to improve our gut health?
Yes, the state of your gut and digestive system greatly influences your health and can even effect your metabolism, mood and immune health. Generally a whole foods approach to our diet is a great support for gut health. Specific foods that can positively influence gut heath include gut friendly foods such as fermented veggies (such as kimchi and sauerkraut which are rich in probiotics), prebiotic rich foods (gut bacteria feed on prebiotic foods) such as apples, asparagus, bananas, onion, leek and garlic (depending on tolerance), bone broth and veggies rich in fibre.
Have you found that the concerns or focuses on health and well-being when it comes to naturopathy and nutrition has changed over the years and if so, what is the current focus point/s for individuals turning to you to improve their health?
I’ve found that over the years nutrition, naturopathy and health in general is becoming a much more popular topic as well as our understanding of the body and what influences our health constantly advancing. There seems to also be a mindset shift away from dieting and towards ‘nourishing’, which is great to see!
I am finding a lot of people are currently seeking support for practical, simple and time-friendly ways we can nourish ourselves and our families; healing our relationships with food and our body; a whole food focus; reducing chemical exposure and of course supporting those with common symptoms around gut health, digestive issues, hormone imbalances, fatigue and anxiety (to name a few).
If someone is wanting to begin (or improve) their wellness journey, what would be the most important tip you could share with them?
One of my top tips would be to listen to your body and do what works best for you.
Every body is different and your nutritional needs are unique. I believe in listening to your body to discover a diet that best works for you. Your body holds much wisdom inside we just need to pause a little and tune in. Much like the saying “if you listen to when your body whispers, you won't have to hear it scream.”
If you’d like to find out more about Casey-Lee, for more healthy tips and recipes or to download her FREE recipe e-book please visit her website www.livelovenourish.com.au
You can also follow Live Love Nourish on Instagram @livelovenourishaus
As a teenager I thought skin blemishes would be something of the past in our 20's and 30's or even 40's but it seems that pimples and other skin problems exist past the adolescent years! (Sad face!)
I believe our skin health is directly linked to our internal health and pimples are a way our body tells us when there are internal problems or blockages. One of the benefits of seeing a practitioner such as a naturopath or acupuncturist is they are able to identify what is going on in your body to then help with your body on the outside including those annoying pimples!
Over the years I've tried numerous skin treatments, brands and remedies to help to banish those pimples and I have had problems with them on and off even up until now. I've experienced pimples due to diet, stress and hormone imbalances and at times I've had to use herbal supplements provided by my naturopath to assist in clearing out or balancing my internal blockages.
To assist with this I've created, tried and tested affordable natural remedies to assist with my skin health and received positive results. Below are my top 5 remedies to assist you to banish any skin blemishes you may be currently experiencing:
Apple Cider Vinegar
The good old apple cider vinegar is great to use on pimples to clear them quickly and stop others from appearing. You do have to be a bit careful with apple cider vinegar as it's quite strong and may irritate sensitive skin, so please do a patch test prior to using, also be careful to not use too close to your eyes!
I also have a tablespoon of organic apple cider vinegar with a glass of warm water each morning (prior to eating) due to it's powerful healing compounds. Apple cider vinegar includes acetic acid, potassium, magnesium, probiotics and enzymes. It's also great to detox your body, helping you balance your body's PH and can assist to lower your blood pressure.
Organic coconut oil is is packed with antioxidants which has antibacterial properties that cleans and protects our skin, making it a perfect and affordable option to use as a face wash or a moisturiser. As coconut oil protects the skin it's also great to treat burns, eczema, dandruff, dermatitis, and psoriasis.
I've recently added sea salt to my skin care regime after spending a week by the ocean swimming each day and noticing the improvement it had on my skin. Sea salt is filled with minerals, including magnesium, calcium, sodium, and potassium that assists to take care of our skin health and skin function. Not only can sea salt help banish pimples it's also great to balance and improve our skin's hydration and protect our skin on a cellular level to slow down ageing. Dissolve sea salt with some coconut oil for a face wash or use as a weekly face and body scrub.
Aloe vera gel contains two hormones - Auxin and Gibberellins. These two hormones provide wound healing and anti-inflammatory properties that reduce skin inflammation making it perfect for treating sun burns. Giberellin acts as a growth hormone stimulating the growth of new cells, it allows the skin to heal quickly and naturally with minimal scarring.
Aloe vera also contains tonnes of antioxidants including, beta carotene, vitamin C and E that can help improve the skin's natural firmness and keep the skin hydrated which fights ageing. Aloe Vera gel can also be used as a topical treatment on pimples to heal and reduce them occurring.
Aloe Vera plants are affordable to buy and are easy to keep within your home, I have a few around the house and break off a bit of the plant and use it's gel whenever I need.
To assist with reducing scarring, fine lines and correcting dark spots is the magical certified organic rosehip oil due to being full of vitamins, antioxidants and essential fatty acids. Rosehip oil can also assist to hydrate dry, itchy skin. Use as a moisturiser on clean skin or add a few drops to you coconut oil or when creating a face mask or scrub.
Test and trial these remedies and see what works best for you and your skin. Remember as your skin health is a sign of what's going on internally, you may need to seek assistance from a practitioner such as a naturopath to pin-point any internal imbalances, which in-tern will help to clear, heal and provide a glow to your skin!
Questions? Comments? I'd love to hear from you!
Lately I've been craving a weekend getaway, a place where I can escape from the outside world to pamper and relax my mind, body & spirit and re-connect with nature. What's more perfect to tick all of these boxes than a yoga or wellness retreat!? We are so lucky to live in such a beautiful country with amazing natural landscapes and beaches and there are beautiful retreats on many of our doorsteps. This week I've researched and selected my top 6 Australian yoga and wellness retreats to share with you.
Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat - QLD
Located in the hinterland of QLD's Gold Coast this lifestyle retreat combines organic living, spa, movement and relaxation with delicious organic cuisine and vital wellness seminars in a dedicated low tech environment. Gwinganna provides scenic views of the coast and surrounding valleys and a casual relaxed atmosphere. Gwinganna is Ecotourism Certified and is fully registered with Land for Wildlife, a program committed to protecting and enhancing wildlife habitat on the property and have released five rescue koalas and two echidnas onto the property as part of this program. A few of their unique features include over 16 different environmental walks across 200 hectares. Around the property, you can explore and enjoy the organic gardens which provide an abundance of herbs, greens, fruits and vegetables. The main garden is also home to the composting, worm farming and chickens.
Fully Inclusive packages start from 2 days min.
GAIA Retreat and Spa - NSW
Gaia Retreat and Spa located close to Ballina is for anyone looking for absolute luxury. Founded in 2005 by Gregg Cave, Ruth Kalnin, Olivia Newton-John and Warwick Evans, who shared a dream to create a place of heart where you own the experience – a place to refocus, rebalance and truly restore.
With a range of Retreat Package that start from a min 2 nights, they offer something for everyone including couple and honeymoon options. This retreat offers a luxury spa, a culinary restaurant with only fresh and organic produce that features a fine-dining 3 course experience for dinner, Naturopathic clinic and a fitness center with a range of activities such as meditation, tennis, cooking classes, boxing, Tai Chi and much more. A pool, spa and sauna is also available for guests.
GAIA Retreat and Spa has won numerous awards including World's Best Day Spa in the World Spa Awards for 2015 & 2016. It features the Samira Yoga Lookout, Samira – ancient Sanskrit meaning ‘wind of God and breeze’ is not only the highest point on the property, but in the Ballina Shire which offers spectacular views as far as the horizon takes you. Perfect for the most breathtaking sunrises or a relaxing spot to unwind with one of many stunning sunsets from one of their romantic daybeds.
Hidden Valley - WA
Hidden Valley Eco Lodges & Day Spa offer weekend getaway yoga, health and wellness retreats with lodges nestled amongst the Jarrah forest in Pickering Brook, WA. Each retreat includes numerous yoga classes as well as healthy organic meals designed and prepared with local produce by their chef. Offering not only a relaxing and healthy escape, Hidden Valley also includes luxury treatments in their beautiful Day Spa which is all included in the retreat package.
Samadhi - Wellness Spa & Health Retreat - VIC
Located in Daylesford, approx. a 1.5 hour drive from Melbourne, Samadhi offer a generous range of wellness retreat packages to suit absolutely anyone's needs. To cultivate a sense of peace and tranquility the retreat was built according to Feng Shui principles, purpose built to enhance your healing experience. As you enter Samadhi you are welcomed with sculptural gardens, a water feature and numerous sculptural art pieces. Offering a luxurious sense of sanctuary within the Retreat - to step inside the retreat, is to step into another world. Offering numerous Wellness activities such as yoga, meditation, Qigong, spirituality, spa therapies and much more.
Choose a weekend stay or a 3-5 days 'Wellness Retreat', or create a custom package that suits your needs.
Eden Health Retreat - QLD
Nestled in an ancient valley within Currumbin Valley known for its healing energy, Eden is a very special place. A place to nurture your mind, body and spirit and find absolute seclusion from an increasingly busy world. A place of healing and rejuvenation since 1984, it's Australia’s longest established health retreat. Their lodges are ecologically-sensitive lodges which are nestled in the rainforest with picture perfect views. One of their unique activities outside the pampering and relaxation facilities is their Australia’s longest flying fox. During your stay Eden Health Retreat encourage their guests to completely disconnect from technology and the outside world so you can refocus on yourself and your wellbeing.
Retreat packages start from a min 4 nights.
Eden Health Retreat are offering two specials: 25% off for all stays up to June 2017 and 30% off advanced booking special (if you book and pay for your stay 3 months in advance).
Golden Door Health Retreat & Spa - NSW
Located in the Hunter Valley Golden Door offer health and wellness retreats that have been developed to motivate change and give you the tools you need for lasting results. The packages include everything from informative seminars, a huge range of activities, spa indulgences, relaxation and nutritious, healthy meals. Features include their Spa Elysia and Wellness Centre offering a range of treatments and services including Zen Monk Therapy, Acupuncture, Astrology & Numerology, Holistic Coaching and much much more.
Questions? Comments? I'd love to hear from you!
Last year I took two days off work, I was bed ridden with some sort of cold/flu, it took me two days but on the third I was up and back to my normal self, not only do I not get sick often, when I do, my body seems ti fight it off a lot quicker, and generally without the need for antibiotics. I have to thank a healthy lifestyle for this one. This all may be common sense to us folks, but the truth is really in pudding. So here's my top tips for staying sick free this winter:
Exercise, Exercise, Exercise
I know what your thinking - 'it's so damn cold and dark outside Amy and I'd much prefer to say in bed where it's nice and warm'....and yes I also have the same thoughts sometimes, but I promise you, pulling yourself out of bed to go for a run or a walk really assists to keep your body & immune system strong. If you don't like being out in the cold, head to gym and ask a friend to join you for a regular workout to keep you motivated. Exercising increases levels of "soothing" brain chemicals like serotonin and in fact reduces the symptoms of depression, to help you banish those winter blues and keep you smiling through those chilly days. Exercise does not only work out your body, it's also a great workout for your brain and keeping fit and active provides better cognitive function. Not only does exercise make you feel great, it helps you have a great night's sleep too!
Be a tea drinker!
Echinacea tea is excellent for banishing colds as its antiviral & antibacterial and interestingly can raise levels of infection-fighting white blood cells (I'm actually drinking some right now!). Lemongrass & ginger tea is also a winner as it includes anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidants.
You can also slice up some pieces of ginger, add some manuka honey and fresh lemon to hot water and Voilà! you have one badass home-made cold fighting delicious tea! In summer just add cold water fresh mint for a yummy iced tea.
Vitamin C is your new best friend!
Healthy eating is a big factor for your immune system, feeding your body with natural nutrients keeps you staying happy and healthy. Think of your body as a plant, if you don't water it often and kept it in the dark, it would be wilted and the leaves would be dull... If you watered the plant often, gave it sunlight and looked after it, it would flourish and be bright and vibrant - just like your body. If you are prone to catching a cold in the cooler months, boost your immune system with Vitamin C - found in broccoli, citrus fruits & kiwi fruit. Remember having Vitamin C in it's natural form is always best. Generally most of us you do not need supplements unless you need an extra boost every now and then if you are feeling a cold come on or are sick.
Rest & Relax
It's important to always dedicate some time for yourself to rest and relax, and it's especially important over winter to keep the immune system strong. If you are run down and tired, this will increase the likelihood of catching something. If you feel a cold coming on, try to rest straight away if possible, and have some tea or fruit or vegetables filled with Vitamin C to assist your immune system to banish the sickness.
Rug up like an Eskimo (maybe not an Eskimo, but stay warm)
Keeping your body warm (at a comfortable temperate) during winter can also decrease the likelihood of sickness. Eating healthy provides you with energy which keeps your body warm on the inside. Drink warm drinks, have warm meals such as soup and when you venture outside make sure you're dressed appropriately for the weather. As they do in Europe, layered clothing always works best!
Thoughts? Comments? I'd love to hear from you!