Loving Lately

Loving Lately – 21.02.17

February 21, 2017
Loving Lately - 21.02.17

GUYYYYS. What is there not to love lately? Sure, I have my ups and downs just like everyone else, but 2017 has been a pretty good year so far and I’ve been doing so many things that light my soul on ire.

It’s been a bit since I’ve done a loving lately post, so let’s just dive on in!


Natural perfumes

On Australia Day (my first ever, whipeee) I was walking through The Rocks Market amongst celebrating crowds, aimlessly wandering the various stalls together with my boyfriend. As we were walking, I was telling him how I really wanted to make the switch to natural perfumes.

BF: “Whaaaat, so no more of my beloved Chloé perfume?”

Me: “Nop, sorry. I’m breaking up with Chloé.”

And just as we were walking around talking about how bad conventional perfumes are (if you think this is BS, go do your research, we are literally spraying POISON on us by using normal perfumes!), we stumbled across a little perfume stall that was inviting people to come and try their testers. I’d never seen or heard of the brand Amacyn, but I was immediately intrigued by their beautiful packaging and tested my way through the various scents. The reason why I hadn’t yet made the switch to natural perfumes is because I couldn’t find one that was long-lasting, so I had a little chat with the lady and she gave me a mini lesson on essential oils and which combos will stay longer than others. In the end, I chose their “I am Kind” perfume (one of the most long-lasting, according to her), a sweet woody scent with a rich aroma of woody patchouli and the sweetness of vanilla, neroli, jasmine and iris. All of their products are 100% all natural plant extracts (no synthetic chemicals, no artificial and animal fragrances, colours, phthalates, parabens or synthetic ingredients), there is no animal testing and the packaging is environmentally friendly. Win!

If you are still using normal perfume, I really really urge you to read up on it (for example, here and here). Perfumery is undergoing a quiet revolution with many more natural choices popping up, and ultimately we need to equally careful about what we put on our body as what we put in our body.

Loving Lately - 21.02.17

Kombucha

With the crazy heat wave in Sydney and one scorcher day after the other, kombucha has become my new favourite way of keeping cool. Not only is it incredibly good for your gut health, it’s also super refreshing and I personally love the taste. Call me crazy, but the way some have a beer after a long day at work, I look forward to my evening kombucha in similar fashion.Hot tip: if you have a social occasion but don’t feel like drinking, bring some bottles of kombucha to the party and people won’t even notice that it’s not beer…I’ve done it a couple of times and it always works! #healthchictip

Are you still thinking “What the heck is kombucha even?!” In short, kombucha is a fermented beverage of black tea and sugar, but the sugar used to brew kombucha is almost entirely consumed during the fermentation process, so don’t worry! Here’s a speedy overview of why Kombucha is so good for you:

  • It improves your gut bacteria and can consequently help with digestion
  • It helps to detoxify the body
  • It supports the nervous system
  • It’s anti-microbial
  • It can give you a boost of energy

I’ve tested my way through a couple of brands since I moved to Sydney, but so far my favorite is Remedy Kombucha (they are also “I Quit Sugar” approved). You can check out all their flavour here; my personal fave is Apple Crispy and Hibiscus. Oh, and they just launched their new raspberry flavour!

Loving Lately - 21.02.17

Rooftop yoga, upping your self-care game and new funky yoga mats

Throughout February and March, I am collaborating with the  Old Clare Hotel on a rooftop yoga event together with my friend and yoga instructor Kristy Da Silva for weekly Saturday morning yoga sessions followed by a wellness talk led by me. Let me tell you, the pool and view from up there is gorgeous!

Kristy’s yoga class is designed for all levels, regardless of whether you are a complete beginner or seasoned yogi, so don’t worry! And I’m sure we all have some area of our life in which we can improve our self-love game, so I’m confident that you will walk away from my talk with a list of micro-goals on which you want to work on. Vie Active will also be there to give you a little shopping release and get all the right gear for 2017. Plus, there will be refreshments from Remedy Kombucha…Yes yes yes!

The first two sessions were a full success, but it’s not too late to still get tickets for the last two sessions!

P.S.: How gorgeous is my new yoga mat from Unit Nine? It’s their Khaki Alligator yoga mat and I’m absolutely obsessed with it, but have a look at their other prints here. Anna, the founder of Unit Nine, is such a beautiful soul and should you have the pleasure of ever meeting her, you can truly see how passionate she is about what she does.

Loving Lately - 21.02.17Loving Lately - 21.02.17

World Organics

If you’ve read this blog post, you know how much I used to struggle with acne. Naturally, I’ve been on quite a journey to figure out products work for me. Even though I choose natural options whenever possible, my skin doesn’t always deal well with natural products – just because it’s natural doesn’t mean your skin reacts well to it. So I’m always very careful when it comes to trying new products.

The make-up products from World Organics, however, have passed my test and that’s why I wanted to share them with you.  Their beautiful range is 100% BioGrot certified organic and only uses natural plant ingredients like calendula, turmeric, amla and lotus.

I was especially pleased with their Luminous Liquid Foundation as it sits very well with my skin instead of camouflaging it. It’s packed with antioxidants, cold-pressed oils and supercritical extract, which means it doesn’t just act as a foundation, but is a protective moisturizer & nourishes the skin too. And because foundation covers your whole face and stays on for a full day, you really want to make sure that it’s not full of nasties that are going to sicker through into your blood stream. It’s a YES from me!

Loving Lately - 21.02.17

APSU

I love getting “unready” at the end of the day — turn on some relaxing music, switch on my Himalayan sea salt lamp, sprinkle some lavender essential oil over my bed pillows and light a candle. Maybe make some tea, read for a 15-minutes and then fall asleep peacefully.

If every day could end that way I’d be one happy girl, and probably a lot calmer. My evenings most definitely don’t always look like that! But I do have some non-negotiables. And anyways, it’s often the small things that count. Like lighting a candle while I prepare my dinner, or for when I’m getting ready. It almost instantly calms me down and the

My new favorite is the Varanasi candle from an Australian spa brand called APSU, filling the air with the luscious aroma of rose combined with the sweetness of jasmine and richness of sandalwood. The best part is that they even have a travel-sized candle! I’ve never even thought of bringing my own candles when traveling, but that’s such a good idea and I can totally see how it makes you feel more at home and at ease when abroad. Definitely something I’ll keep in mind for my next travels.

Loving Lately - 21.02.17
What are YOU loving lately?!
Wellbeing

My Journey From Self-Destruction To Self-Love

February 14, 2017

Do you sometimes do things that you know aren’t good for you and you will feel like crap afterward?

I’m sure you are all quietly nodding your heads right now. Regardless of whether your destructive behavior is downing a pint of Ben and Jerry’s each night, or getting embarrassingly intoxicated in front of the wrong people, I think we can all relate to the fact that sometimes we feel a bit out of control of our own behavior.

The picture you see above shows me in the summer of  2011 vs 2016.

On the left is an 18-year-old girl who just graduated high school, didn’t have much self-esteem, was fighting an eating disorder, valued partying and alcohol over her health, spent hours on the tread mill to be skinny, was using food as a coping mechanism and had no self-awareness whatsoever.

On the right is a 23-year-old girl who pumps more iron than alcohol, practices yoga, meditates every day, did a health coaching course in order to help others in their own self-love struggles while putting in the daily work to be the best possible version of herself. She prefers a calm night in with friends or herself over excessive clubbing, she’s confident with her imperfections and doesn’t try to be someone that she is not.

So, when you answered HELL YES to my first question, please know that you are not alone. Who among us doesn’t display some sort self-destructive behaviors from time to time, if not on a regular basis? But let me tell you that it’s possible to turn it around. And trust me, I’m no superwoman. I might seem disciplined from the view of an outsider, but from within I have always felt undisciplined with a lack of self-control. For the longest time, my struggle with binge eating has made me feel like I could never change, but I did.

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Travel

Wholesome Travel Guide To Singapore

February 7, 2017

Initially, Singapore didn’t really strike me as a very healthy place. There’s deep fried Asian food everywhere, when you are at the local markets it’s impossible to know what you are eating and I didn’t see a lot of people being very active. That is, if you don’t count the shopping marathons that are possible in Singapore (you can literally walk through the entire 4 million-people city via malls underground.

But after a couple of days exploring the city with my other half Vic, I was more and more impressed with the healthy cafés and studios that we discovered. They aren’t as easily visible at first sight like I am now used to in Australia, but if you do a bit of research, you will realise that there are actually plenty of great options. It’s a place where the health scene is really up and coming, so if you keep your eyes peeled, I’m sure you will discover some new and exciting places.

Below is a list of places that I’ve hit up and can wholeheartedly recommend. Enjoy!

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Food, Recipes

Vegan Peanut Butter And Vanilla Nana Ice Cream

January 31, 2017

Nana Ice Cream

It’s no secret that I go nanas for bananas. A good 20% of my recipes on this blog include bananas, like my favorite post-workout green smoothie, my peanut butter covered banana snack or these vegan banana blueberry pancakes.

With the scorching temperatures in Australia at the moment, it’s about time that I come up with my first nana ice cream recipe for this blog. I always have frozen bananas in the freezer for smoothies anyways, so whipping up this recipe is fairly simple.

I’m sure most of you already know the basic concept of blending frozen bananas in a blender/food processor until the results have the exact texture of soft serve ice cream.  The banana tastes surprisingly neutral, making it a great refined sugar free/dairy free base for other flavors. I’m not going to sit here and tell you that it tastes exactly like the real deal, but it certainly can satisfy your ice cream cravings! Whilst most other frozen fruits make for an icy texture, banana makes it creamy and rich thanks to its high pectin content.

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Lifestyle, Wellbeing

My Honest Review Of The Institute For Integrative Nutrition

January 24, 2017

It’s been about a year since I completed my health coaching course through the Institute of Integrative Nutrition and this post is long overdue. I’m often asked by others about my opinion of the course and if I think it’s a good program.

The answer is….maybe.

Personally, I was absolutely wowed by the course. It was exactly what I was looking for and I loved every minute of it. It changed my life and has allowed me to create this beautiful passion-fuelled life I now live. It has helped me heal myself, connected me with like-minded individuals all around the world and has enabled me to inspire people to live their life to their fullest.

But whether IIN is a good choice for you, depends on YOU and what you’re after. Let’s have a closer look:

What is IIN?

 IIN is a 1-year long online program designed for people who are passionate about health and wellness. It is broken down into weekly modules (which you can work through in your own time) in which you will learn about nutrition, healthy lifestyle choices, mind and body connections, coaching and business skills. The course aims to empower you to transform your personal life and in turn help others transform their lives too.

A common question I get is whether it provides you with enough education and tools to work in the field of health, and this is a bit tricky because it completely depends on how you want to use it. Personally, I wanted to a) deepen my knowledge on nutrition and wellbeing b) continue on the self-development journey that I was on c) gain coaching tools and techniques to help others who are struggling with food and body image issues. For the latter, I knew that I didn’t need a 4-year nutrition degree. Yes, I wanted to help people eat healthy and do the right things for their body, but I knew from the beginning that I wanted to work with people where food wasn’t REALLY the issue. IIN seemed to be the perfect fit. It would take one year, I could complete it while working 80% on the side, it had an incredibly holistic approach teaching you over 100 different dietary theories + mind/body connection, and the cost was reasonable.

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Food, Recipes

Cleansing Green Gazpacho With Kefir

January 4, 2017

Green Gazpacho

Soup is one of my favorite things to make – it’s comforting and warming especially in the fall and winter. Now that I live in Sydney where the winter is hotter than most summer days in Germany, I don’t crave soups as often to heat me up from the inside. What I do crave is it’s consistency and the nutritional benefits of blending a shit ton of veggies into one big bowl. Enter: gazpacho.

Gazpacho is a soup made of raw vegetables and served cold, originating in the southern Spanish region of Andalusia. Traditionally it is made with tomatoes and is hence red. Then there’s also green gazpacho’s, which are usually made using ripe green tomatoes (yup, that exists!). This soup uses neither and is instead, it’s filled with cucumber, spinach, frozen peas, avocado and a hella lot of spices and herbs. The soup is light and refreshing while being incredibly creamy, due to the avocado.

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Travel

24h Getaway at The Billabong Retreat

December 29, 2016

Billabong Retreat Sydney

The other week Phil and I were lucky enough to be invited to The Billabong Retreat, which is a yoga and meditation retreat about a 1-h drive outside from Sydney. A little getaway is exactly what I craved before heading off to my beloved-but sometimes crazy family over the Christmas holidays, so this couldn’t have come at a more perfect time.

Billabong offers different retreat programs, like a yoga, wellness or meditation program. We opted for the latter, and even though the program runs for a couple of days, you can join it for just 1 or 2 days if you like. I’ve built up a meditation practice ever since moving to Sydney, but this trip really allowed me to tap back into it and also to discover new techniques that I had never tried before.

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Real Talk

How To Survive The Christmas Holidays As A Binge Eater

December 11, 2016

How To Survive The Christmas Holidays As A Binge Eater

Christmas holidays are supposed to be a magical time, filled with loved ones, laughter and sharing beautiful meals together…There are occasions to look forward to, people to see and things to celebrate. But for someone suffering or recovering from an eating disorder, Christmas can mean panic, fear and overwhelm.

First off, there’s the plethora of parties like the office luncheon and the Secret Santa parties. Then there’s the gift baskets full of food everywhere, left-over cake in the office kitchen and your well-meaning grandma who has baked you all your favorite childhood cookies. And there is also a lot of stress, a lot of busyness, a lot of un-self-care.

Over the years, I totally developed a personal holiday FOMO. While it seemed that everyone else was just going with the flow and couldn’t wait for the holiday season, I was stuck in my anxious head trying to figure out how I would get through weeks and weeks of being confronted with food, social obligations, and family.

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Travel

Wholesome Travel Guide To Melbourne

November 26, 2016

Wholesome Travel Guide To Melbourne

I’m in love with Melbourne. There’s just something about its deeply-engrained coffee culture, boutique shops and mix of new/old architecture that gets me excited. Melbournians are especially spoilt for choice when it comes to all things healthy, both in the food and fitness department. If they had nicer beaches and a bit warmer weather, I’d totally consider moving there!

I’ve only been twice so far, but in that time I have made sure to explore as many places as possible. And by that I mean I went out for a pre-workout juice, breakfast, brunch, lunch, afternoon snack and dinner every day because there were so many amazing options and I wanted to check them all out. Plus some workouts here and there. In case you missed the latest #vicandstef travel shabam, check out our hashtag here.

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Fitness

New To ClassPass? Try These 8 Sydney Studios

November 12, 2016

ClassPass

It’s no secret that I love my ClassPass membership. I basically rave about it to anyone that I meet and can’t stop talking about how amazing it is. There’s recently been some changes to the model which I’m disappointed about, but I’ll get to that in a second…In case you’ve been living under a rock for the last year and haven’t heard about Classpass (they just celebrated it’s 1-year Aussie anniversary), let me fill you in:

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