New Year, Same old me

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New Year…same old me.

For the last 4 years I have not set a single new year resolution (here is last years new year post). This year I have not even given myself an expectation as to how I will change over the year! January is a month for hibernation. Almost always, the coldest, greyest and hardest month of the year. Yet we use it to make big changes? Its bonkers. I take my time in January to see how things settle. My mum died in January 4 years ago, it certainly changed my perspective and many things happened that year to teach me how to live. To live each day the best I can, not as fast as I can.

Last year I did a huge amount of work on releasing fear, anger and resentment. It culminated in me taking a huge stand for myself and walking away from the clinic I was working in to be me. So why would I want to make a list of things I want to change? Every year I try to urge others to wait for spring to make big changes. Otherwise, use January/February  to be kind to yourself, to recharge and be ready to renew.

I recently read something from someone else about being mediocre. “Do you want to live a mediocre life?”. I have taken time to think about this. I have always answered “NO WAY” to this in the past. The answer I have come up for now is this. 

YES

Yes, right now I am absolutely comfortable with being mediocre. Anyone who knows me will be surprised at my answer. Yeah right, the Louise who loves the stage, the limelight, who wants everyone to want and need her around.

Don’t get me wrong, I still know I am brilliant! I know how much I can help others and the world around me, however, right now I am ok with not doing that. Especially not in the same way as I have before. I have been so angry over the years, with the way the world works. Lies, propaganda and corporate greed are a fact of life. YES every small step we take towards change will change our world. Every time we take a look within ourselves and get a little closer to gratitude and self love there is a huge energy shifts around us. These changes are sustainable, these changes are for life. So I am hoping to make mediocre changes this year. Be smaller and quieter in what I say and definitely, how I say it. 

Mediocre is often kinder. it is less pushy and demanding, less bright and bold. Maybe thats what the majority of us need right now. We all know what we need to do to be happier- it is all around us, everyone pushing and shoving to get you to use their way to self-love, health, happiness and (of course still all we want is…) the perfect body. For now I am going to be me. I have not got the perfect body or the perfect solutions. I do have a huge bunch of tools to help you to find yours. I can use my small ways to help you to find beyond mediocre. However I choose not to push my way in front of you, for you to find me and me to help guide you to yourself.

I will take my time slowly and carefully, watching and waiting. There is huge opportunity to be found in 2016. There is no rush, no deadline to be brilliant. Once you take that pressure away, see what you need and really want. What will your body tell you when you take away this forced need to be something else. Where will you go, what will you experience. I have not been anywhere since Easter (apart from Macau, but that is a home from home). Normally I would have really itchy feet, need to be and go and see. I am really feeling more grounded, secure and safe being in the same place for more than a couple of months. Finding the holiday in the everyday rather than living full speed ahead to breaks. So am I happy being average, steady and contained, for now I am.

2016 will be full of ups and downs, just like all the years before it. I am looking forward to what comes my way. I have taken January to be quiet, hibernating, preparing for the opportunity and life of spring and summer. I have catered to my needs and been happy to be out of the spotlight- for now!

How about you, are you content with mediocre?

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Nurture Your Life- Your REAL FOOD weaning guide

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Nurture Your Life ebook Loula Natural

Nurture Your Life is the second in my series of books on natural health (the first was Culture Your Life published 2014). Children’s nutrition is a big passion of mine. As a Naturopath and Nutritional Therapist I see many children with chronic conditions like persistent illness, skin conditions, energy and growth issues and a staggering increase in children with allergies and intolerances. With two children of my own, I feel compelled to help these kids find their strength and return them to health to help prevent more serious conditions in their future.

Weaning a child onto food is a very powerful first step in a child’s relationship with food. A relationship which is of fundamental importance to health. Think of your own love/hate relationship with food. There are so many non-foods in our diets in the west, our supermarkets are sometimes almost 80% stocked with chemical, processed and unhealthy foods. Conventional avenues still persist that rice cereal (which may be hugely inflammatory to an immature digestive system) is the food we should be starting our kids on. This book does not recommend that route.

I hope you enjoy reading it and ask questions, keep reading, become informed as to how the body works. Change your own relationship to food if need be. Lets start our kids off the right way, with foods to nurture their life from the beginning.

 

Download here:

My new weaning book

My new weaning book

Here is a link to all the recipes I used when weaning.

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Christmas Kraut

 

Untitled designChristmas Kraut Loula Natural fi

Christmas Kraut Loula Natural fb

This spicy, tart and juicy Christmas Kraut is a match made in heaven for your plate, throughout the holiday season.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Traditional Christmas foods are naturally rich in fats, nutrients and, of course, sugar! Many of us will also be enjoying a tipple or two at parties over the coming weeks. Adding a fermented aspect to these meals, this Christmas Kraut may help the body to deal with and digest all these excess foods and drinks. Hopefully lessening the fatigue, bloating, hangovers, sugar highs (and lows) and of course the noxious fumes that generally comes with turkey, sprouts et al.

Christmas Kraut star loulanatural

Perfect on the plate at the main event or served with cheese, this Christmas Kraut will totally change some of your Christmas traditions!! It will certainly be on the menu for me for years to come.

christmas kraut made Loula Natural

So simple, if you are in a warmish climate you could ferment this in a week and have it ready for your Christmas table this year.

Christmas kraut collage Loula natural

To find out how to make a basic sauerkraut see here and for my beetroot and ginger flavour see here.

Christmas Kraut
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Ingredients
  1. Ingredients
  2. 1 whole green cabbage thinly sliced
  3. 1 whole red cabbage thinly sliced
  4. 1.5% Salt
  5. 250g of fresh cranberries cut in half
  6. 1 orange (zest and segments cut in 3)
  7. 2tsp Pumpkin pie spice (or use a mix of cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, ginger and star anise)
Instructions
  1. Retain 1/2 of the outside cabbage leaves for later.
  2. Make sauerkraut by mixing the cabbage with the salt. Massage the cabbage until it starts to wilt and release water.
  3. Add and combine the cranberries, orange and spices.
  4. Press the mixture into a fido (airtight sealable jar) jar and keep pressing down to release liquid.
  5. When the mixture is all in the jar and there is liquid covering the top, press down the outside cabbage leaves to keep any stray bits of cabbage from floating to the surface of the liquid.
  6. Seal and leave to ferment on the counter for a week-28 days. Keep tasting the kraut every few days.
  7. Put in the fridge for an additional week.
  8. Enjoy, Merry Christmas
Notes
  1. This recipe is especially nice with cheese or an alternative to cranberry sauce.
Adapted from How to Ferment: Sauerkraut
Loula Natural http://loulanatural.com/
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How to ferment; Beetroot and Ginger Sauerkraut

Untitled designBeet and Ginger Kraut Loula Natural fi
Beetroot and Ginger Sauerkraut Loula Natural

Basic Sauerkraut is so delicious (see my how to here). I have it with eggs, add it so my coleslaw (kraut slaw here) and try to have it with any meat dish as a side. The sour flavour works well to stimulate gastric acids too so it a great primer for any fat, protein rich foods.

kraut with food

Since cabbage has so many health giving properties (read here), combining it with beetroot and ginger makes so much sense. The rich, sweetness and earthiness of the beetroot goes so well with the heat of the ginger and the sourness of the kraut. It hits all of the senses on the palate and really satisfy the taste buds.

Of course the rich myriad of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and blood boosting qualities of the beetroot with the anti-inflammatory, warming and nourishing properties of ginger are made even more available to the body with the fermentation process. The presence of a well balanced symbiosis of bacteria allows the body access to these nutrients, to absorb and use them to help promote wellbeing and healing.

Start in the same way as you would with the basic sauerkraut. When the cabbage and salt have been massaged together, combine the beetroot and ginger (I have used raw and powdered ginger and both work well) before packing it all into your jar.

Beetroot and Ginger Sauerkraut
A rich nutritious flavouring of sauerkraut. Great to assist in the body's wellbeing and healing process. Really good to help digestion of fat or protein rich foods in a meal.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 whole green cabbage thinly sliced
  2. 1 whole red cabbage thinly sliced
  3. 1.5% Salt
  4. 1 raw beetroot grated
  5. 1 inch of fresh ginger grated or 1tbsp of dried ginger
Instructions
  1. Retain 1/2 of the outside cabbage leaves for later.
  2. Make sauerkraut by mixing the cabbage with the salt. Massage the cabbage until it starts to wilt and release water.
  3. Add and combine the grated beetroot and ginger.
  4. Press the mixture into a fido (airtight sealable jar) jar and keep pressing down to release liquid.
  5. When the mixture is all in the jar and there is liquid covering the top, press down the outside cabbage leaves to keep any stray bits of cabbage from floating to the surface of the liquid.
  6. Seal and leave to ferment on the counter for a week-28 days. Keep tasting the kraut every few days.
  7. Put in the fridge for an additional week.
  8. Enjoy!
Notes
  1. You can flavour your kraut in this way with anything you choose! be creative!
Loula Natural http://loulanatural.com/
If you like fermented recipes come and checkout my dedicated board on pinterest:

 

 

Beetroot and Ginger Sauerkraut Loula Natural pin

Can you change how you look in under a minute?

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Change how you look loulanatural

Internet marketing bombards our feeds and screens. Countless numbers of before and after images to prompt us and cajole us to buy something. I see these all the time and knowing what is in most of the products, it makes me so cross. I very rarely wear any make up- have very little skincare routine and always use natural products on my skin. I have good skin and I think it is a combination of clean eating and living.

change before and after loulanatural

So I decided to do an experiment. What if I took two photos, different intensions and different compositions to see if I could manipulate perception. I sat down in a chair and I had a set of thoughts, made my facial expression neutral and took a picture. I then simply turned my head away from the light had a different set of thoughts, a neutral facial expression and took another picture. Put them together and posted them asking you to guess. Well it worked!

People instantly wanted to know whatever it was I did, were eager to know just what I had done to “look so good”. I had more comments on this post  in a matter of minutes then any other in the same time period. Everyone asking what and how!

Nothing, I did nothing, except change how I spoke to myself and how I presented myself. I even reversed the images (I actually took the after picture first!)

Yes thats it!

Guess what it worked! Transforming this experiment into a bit of a profound experience for me. Not only was I chuffed that people obviously know me well, many of you expected that what I did was completely natural and probably something fermented! Also so many of you chose to communicate with me, I had your attention. I also received dozen of personal messages from friends asking me for the answer.

All of you collectively came up with the real secrets to good skin, methods I do actually use!;

Water (drinking and directly on the skin)

Sleep

Natural products like clay masks, vinegar, kombucha (I also use rose and neroli water)

Oil cleansing (I also use oils with essential oils on my face and take my make-up off  if I wear it with oil)

Massage (I also love my facials with natural products)

Lots of you, of course, realised that beauty comes from within and of course know that I always talk about the vibrancy and nourishment you get from fresh, real and fermented foods. I was once told you could tell someones health by looking at the whites of their eyes and mine were bright white!

I was amazed how many people actually created changes in the photos, looking one to the other- expecting the before to be terrible and the after to be so much better. “Plucked my eyebrows?” was popular. Another change was had I had botox and my eyes were visibly lifted. It made me question, does how we frame ourselves make people see us differently. When we frame ourselves positively and declare ourselves beautiful- is that what we direct others to see? Try it for yourself- instead of saying to your friends that you want to change something; lose weight, I hate my skin, I have bad/sallow complexion, reduce lines, change hair etc. Try saying how pleased you are with something; I really like this shirt, I love my body shape at the moment, my skin is glowing. See what the other person says, more importantly how you actually see yourself. Do it in front of a mirror.

However, the single biggest thing that makes you gorgeous is the “you” that comes shining through. The person you believe you are, will always come through. Good or bad.

In the “before” picture I told myself how tired and old I was looking. You can see this in my eyes and mouth, a little sadness and despondency.

Before loulanatural

In the “after” picture I told myself how wonderful I am, how amazing my skin was and how happy and grateful I am to be me. So many of you remarked how young and amazing my skin looked.

after loulanatural

Sure I changed the light, but my eyes and mouth are different in both pictures. I really tried to stay neutral to keep the angle and position the same (this cannot be said with most before and after images of course). I wonder what the reaction would have been had the pictures been in the reverse?

other way loulanatural

So whats the point? Well how many of us buy into this way of advertising? All of us I would say- why else would it be so damn popular! How many of us buy this miracle worker, use it and think- oh its a little better but not the same as the pictures I saw, and look for the next thing? Maybe actually all you need to change is your perception, of yourself. There are many ways you can do this and its been a huge leap for me.

Thank you for helping me come to this conclusion, this experiment actually went in a different way than expected and I have learnt a huge amount about myself in a very short period of time. I would love to know what you think?!

Change how you look loulanatural pin

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