Your Summer Body Made in Winter

Winter is time for comfort good food and warmth.

There’s no doubting this recent cold snap has got me wanting to curl up in bed with a cup of hot chai and a bowl of crunchy double cooked Dutch cream potatoes.

The mornings have been Arctic, as have the nights. It’s so easy to hit the snooze button on our alarms, to let comfort foods creep back into our diet, while our training programs slip out the door.

The problem with that is, before we know it, Spring is upon us and we’ve stacked on way too much flab to fit into last year’s swimmers. So, how do you make sure that doesn’t happen?

If you’re not up to motivating yourself, allow me. Today?? Tuesday, 21 June 2016 at 8:34 am marks the Winter Solstice. This day is 4 hours and 31 minutes shorter than December’s Summer Solstice…If I’m not making myself clear, we have reached the half way mark and are officially on our way back to bikini season.

I’m a big fan of planning and lets face it, goals are much easier to nail when we have a plan. Set yourself up a calendar or space where you can count down the number of days until the first day of spring.

If you can actually see the days ticking down, it will spur you on to plan your meals and get your training done.

Find a work out buddy!
There’s strength in numbers, the old saying goes, and that’s especially true when it comes to exercising. Fact; social support encourages physical activity.

Meal Planning
This is a bit of a no-brainer, but it should be a priority. A slamming booty starts in the kitchen, so plan ahead. While it may be tempting to crawl up under a blanket and order a takeaway, you’ll pay for it later.

Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing bad about the occasional splurge like that, but don’t let the frequency get out of control. The 80/20 rule seems to work for me… be 100% disciplined 80% of the time and the 20% naughty won’t matter so much 🙂

Plan your training
Don’t let your training slide and get caught off guard by the arrival of warmer weather by setting yourself a good program to follow. If this means literally blocking time for “meetings” throughout your working week then do it!!

When we’re about one month shy of spring, start incorporating a few more high intensity cardio sessions into your routine to help strip away any excess potatoes.

Stay hydrated
We tend to forget about H2O over the winter months. Our bodies still need lots of water to function properly, especially if you’re in an air-conditioned office all day.

A lack of hydration can have some bad knock on effects that could be used as excuses not to train, like headaches, lethargy, poor concentration levels and thirst mistaken for hunger which can then lead to overeating. I try to have at least 1 L of herbal tea (non-caffeinated) per day in winter, either in a big flask if I’m on the move or by keeping a pot on my desk whilst I work. Not only are you hydrating but you are also receiving the healing power of plants, double bonus.

Throughout winter I like to do a 3-5 day cleanse every 6 -8 weeks. I find it really keeps me in check with what I’m putting in and also gives the immune system a good shove.

A juice cleanse is the perfect way to boost your detoxification systems, flush out toxins, hydrate your cells and nourish your body, and leave you feeling better than ever.

Stay in control over winter with these tips, and come spring, you’ll be ready to show off that hard earned summer body!

To make an appointment with our Wellness Expert:
Bondi Beach: 02 8897 0077
Bondi Junction: 02 9386 4411
Email: [email protected]


Devour or Avoid

About inflamed skin conditions…

The immune system plays a vital role in maintaining the health of all tissues in the body. Usually the immune system’s reaction protects the body and aids healing.

However, the immune system’s reaction is misdirected at healthy tissues and causes intense inflammation and damage.
Often an immune reaction is triggered by substances a person touches or eats, but it can be difficult to pin point why the immune system reacts.

Causes can be topical irritants such as perfumes, soaps, washing powders, cosmetics, dyes, detergents, mold, animal hair, pollen, temperature, dust & dust mites, nickel, chemicals, latex, wool, synthetic fibers, mineral oils, bacterial or fungal pathogens.

“I often find that a person who has eczema has multiple allergies combined. Food and topical allergens often coincide with each another” Grace Barnes, Naturopath, Face Plus Medispa, Bondi Beach.

Natural solutions?
Avoid in food allergies:
Common food allergens associated with skin disorders are:
• gluten
• dairy
• eggs
• soy
• corn
• peanuts and
• artificial additives, preservatives and colours.

You can avoid these for 2 weeks then slowly reintroduce one food group every week to determine if a flare-up occurs.

Replace inflammatory saturated fats:
Replace foods such as meat products and dairy with the anti-inflammatory unsaturated fats such as those from deep sea fish, avocado, olive oil, coconut oil, nuts and all seeds particularly flaxseed, chia and hemp seeds.

Increasing consumption of these foods will also increase selenium, vitamin D, zinc and other helpful nutrients that support good skin health.

Increase fruits and vegetables:
The increase in fresh fruit and veggies will increase the intake of Vitamin C, bioflavonoids, iron, carotenoids and vitamin E which are important anti-inflammatory foods.

Juicing can improve overall skin appearance and reduce various types of inflammation in the body. “I am a massive fan of juicing, especially in winter. I recommend a 3-5 day juice cleanse every 4-8 weeks to clean house and keep a solid glow” says Grace.

Consume healthy probiotics:
Eating fermented foods can be very helpful or taking a probiotic supplement. Studies indicate that some probiotics such as L. Rhamnosus can reduce infant atopic dermatitis significantly. A healthy gut is a healthy body with glowing skin!

Inflamed skin can also be associated with a high incidence of unbeneficial microbes such as candida in the digestive tract.
Avoid sugar and processed foods:

These have a vast impact on our immune health and our gut health. These foods will aggravate any type of allergy drastically and will increase inflammatory skin ailments. Sugar is the worst culprit of all.

Drink plenty of filtered water:
Filtered water aids detoxification and elimination of waste. The skin is a large eliminative organ and it is very important to drink plenty of water to flush out toxins.

Exercise that gets you sweating also aids elimination through the skin and improves lymphatic circulation. Exercise helps reduce stress which is a major factor for eczema.

Herbal Teas:
Don’t underestimate the power of herbal tea infusions!! Chamomile tea, licorice tea, nettle tea, albizia tea and/or calendula tea and drinking Aloe Vera gel can reduce inflammation.

Stress less:
Always a factor with any type of chronic disease, stress will increase inflammation in the body over a long-period of time. There are studies indicating that massage, meditation and relaxation techniques can reduce symptoms experienced.

Excellent skin foods:
Coconut oil, avocado oil, olive oil, rosehip oil, argan oil, natural vitamin E oil and if it is good for your skin it will also be good to put on your hair and even eat for improved skin health.

To make an appointment with our Wellness Expert:
Bondi Beach: 02 8897 0077
Bondi Junction: 02 9386 4411
Email: [email protected]


How to glow this winter: Foods to keep that summer glow

Radiant skin is a tell tale sign of health, and what you see in the mirror reflects your diet and environment.

Having a clean diet and lifestyle enhances both skin colour and texture, bestowing a healthy glow that turns back the hands of time.

Here are my top 5 tips for glowing skin this winter:
Drink plenty of good quality water.
I’d suggest drinking approximately 2.5 Litres per day depending on your size, constitutional makeup and lifestyle.

We tend to drink less water in the winter, turning to hot drinks like cocoa and coffee, but don’t forget that your skin needs hydration from the inside out. Warm water with lemon can be very refreshing and hydrating at the same time, dump a whole wedge of lemon in your water to ensure you get all the goodness from the pith and skin.

I like to keep a pot of herbal tea next to me as I work, I’ll drink around 1-2 Litres of herbal tea on a good day J Note; Boiling tap water does not eliminate harmful chemicals, so use filtered water for your tea.

Add orange fruits and veggies to your daily diet.
Beta-carotene, an orange plant pigment, ignites a healthy glow that begins on the inside. Yellow-orange fruits and dark green veggies are packed with a family of pigments called ‘carotenoids’.

The body converts beta-carotene into active vitamin A — or retinol — which is required for healthy eyes, reproduction and skin. Beta-carotene zaps aging by acting as an antioxidant or substance that reduces oxygen damage caused by UV light, pollutions and other environmental hazards like smoking…which brings me to my next tip. Don’t smoke kids!

Be warned! Over time, a daily dose of 20 milligrams of beta-carotene — the amount found in about three carrots — can cause the soles of your feet, palms of your hands, your nose and even the whites of your eyes to turn pumpkin-yellow in colour. Although nontoxic, it’s not a good look.

Ditch the Caffeine
Like sodium and alcohol, caffeine dehydrates our bodies. Caffeine makes the liver work overtime, which causes toxic build up in the body. When our bodies are in toxic overload, low-level toxins make their way to your skin and disrupt healthy skin function.

While we can sing coffee’s praises as a laxative, it is a diuretic, which means it causes you to lose hydration, which has a direct effect on your skin.

Dehydrated skin causes inflammation (redness) and premature aging (collagen loss). Additionally, without enough water flushing your system, toxic build up in the skin can also cause acne.

Dump the dairy
If you are acne-prone, be wary of how much dairy you are consuming. Milk is one of the worst things to consume if you want to maintain clear skin, it is often loaded with hormones, negatively effects the production of sebum, and glues dead skin cells together.

Stay away from processed sugars and artificial sweeteners
Aside from causing dehydration and creating acne, sugar causes inflammation, producing enzymes that break down collagen and elastin, resulting in sagging skin and wrinkles. Digested sugar permanently attaches to the collagen in your skin through a process known as glycation. Aside from increasing the effects of aging, glycation can also exacerbate skin conditions like acne and rosacea.

The solution? All Things in moderation.
Overall, consuming too much coffee, and all the milk and sugar that may be in there, will age you faster than you want. So, what do you do? My motto: less is more. Wean yourself off slowly, but try. Try hard. Drink more water to flush out toxins and combat dehydration.

Consume less caffeine or switch to decaf or herbal tea. It’s not easy, but worth it in the long run.
It’s all about balance and moderation. Minimise some of the habits that are detrimental to your skin and see how it responds for at least two weeks. Listen to your body, read your skin!

To make an appointment with our Wellness Expert:
Bondi Beach: 02 8897 0077
Bondi Junction: 02 9386 4411
Email: [email protected]


Bone Broth: Heal & Seal

Let’s talk bones…

You see, bone is living tissue, rather than inert structure. Bone is also slightly elastic, owing to the collagen, which combines with the calcium phosphate to lend “elastic rigidity.”

Bone is full of minerals, mostly calcium and phosphorus, along with sodium, magnesium, and other trace minerals. If the connective tissue – and most animal scraps and bones you use will have tendons, ligaments, and cartilage – still attached, bones also include contain chondroitin and glucosamine, popular joint supplements that are the raw materials for bone and cartilage formation.

Bone broth has long been praised for its awesome healing powers. I first read about bone broth back in 2006 when I purchased the book ‘Nourishing Traditions’ By Sally Fallon (a must read for wellness devotees).

I was pretty pumped to learn about bone broth’s health giving properties. I hunted down some local, ethically raised and certified organic bones and set to work in my kitchen, cramming the bones into my Le Creuset with whatever vegetables I had in the fridge…

The result? A secret weapon to support optimal health and longevity. You can add the broth to soups and stews or simply pour yourself a mug and enjoy as a hearty warming drink.
Time poor? Star Anise Organic wholefoods will do all the broth-ing for you!

Here’s why you should consider drinking bone broth:
Heal and seal your gut. A cup a day can work miracles for leaky gut syndrome but it’s also good for protecting non-leaky guts. The gelatin in the bone broth (found in the knuckles, feet, and other joints) helps seal up holes in intestines. This helps cure chronic diarrhea, constipation, and even some food intolerances.

Protect your joints. Taking glucosamine supplements to help with joint pain has been common knowledge for years; it makes sense that bone broth has glucosamine too.

Unlike supplements, broth also includes a host of other goodies that help keep your joints happy, healthy, and pain-free. The chondroitin sulfate in bone broth has also been shown to help prevent osteoarthritis.

Look younger. Bone broth is a rich source of collagen. You can find collagen in all kinds of “plumping” products these days, but why stick it on the outside when you can drink it? Not only is drinking it cheaper, but it can make your skin, hair, and nails look just as radiant.

Sleep better, and feel better. The glycine in bone broth has been shown in several studies to help people sleep better and improve memory.

Immune support. Bone marrow can help strengthen your immune system. A Harvard study showed that some people with auto-immune disorders experienced a relief of symptoms when drinking bone broth.

Stronger bones. The phosphorus, magnesium, and calcium in the bones seep out into the broth leaving you with the essential building blocks for healthy bones.

It’s environmentally sustainable! Waste not want not, what else were you going to do with those chicken carcasses, soup bones, and veggies going bad in your fridge?

Add a couple shots of apple cider vinegar to your stock. This aids in the extraction of minerals without really altering the flavor.
Roast your bones beforehand.

This adds color and flavor.
Don’t be afraid to simmer long and slow. Smaller animals require less cooking time to extract nutrients, so chicken can probably go for twenty hours and produce a quality stock, but beef or lamb bones can go for several days, provided you keep the heat low and watch the water level to prevent burning.

Add feet. Especially chicken feet, for added collagen – and more gelatin.

I’d toss poultry fat. It’s a relatively high-PUFA animal fat, and a day of simmering has probably damaged it beyond repair.

Veggies are optional, but tasty. They add flavor, and the classic mirepoix blend of carrots, onions, and celery is always a welcome addition. Herbs work well, too.

I’m partial to thyme, bay leaf, and whole peppercorns, with maybe a sprig or two of rosemary added. If you’re doing herbs and veggies, add them toward the end of cooking, especially if you’re doing a marathon two-day stock making session.

To make an appointment with Wellness Expert:
Bondi Beach: 02 8897 0077
Bondi Junction: 02 9386 4411
Email: [email protected]


The power of facial massage: Beauty in your hands

Facial massage is not just for therapeutic purposes. 

You may already be a fan of a body massage to help release tension and the stresses of your daily life but have you considered the benefits of a face massage?

Your face has 43 muscles and also 300 pressure points that are intrinsically linked to other areas on the body, meaning that stimulating and massaging your face can also have a positive impact on the body.

Not only does massage relieve tension, it also stimulates lymphatic drainage, helps increase blood flow and oxygen to those areas, thereby increasing collagen production, which helps give you a more youthful appearance if performed regularly.

The best thing is, it’s free and you only need your skilful hands and some understanding of pressure points.

Face Plus Medispa therapist Yvonne is a big fan of facial massage for its beauty and general wellbeing benefits. Face massage helps to eliminate toxins and encourages oxytocin production; this hormone acts as a neurotransmitter to the brain and is renowned for its effects as a mood enhancer.

Pressure Points

There are many benefits to working on pressure points during massage; it reduces stress, helps to clear colds and congestion, stimulates cell turn over, and improves skin texture and clarity.

Yvonne recommends the ‘Heavenly Pillar’, an acupressure point located one fingers’ width below the base of the skull. “This point helps relieve stress related to the skin, eliminates toxins improving the skin complexion and is also known to treat insomnia, swollen eyes, headaches and stiff necks”, she says.

You can stimulate this point by holding your thumbs in place and pressing for 2-3 minutes daily, whilst breathing in a deep and relaxed manner.

Another area Yvonne recommends targeting is the Third Eye Point, which is found between the eyebrows. This stimulates and opens the mechanisms of the pituitary gland connected to the endocrine system, which provides radiant health for the skin and can help alleviate pain and mood swings.

To access the Third Eye Point, place your index finger just above the bridge of your nose, in between your eyebrows and use a gentle pulsing action for a couple of minutes.

Face Massage Tricks and Tips

Choosing a massaging product that is suitable for your personal skin type is very important. Don’t be afraid to ask a professional for advice or ask for testers before buying an expensive product.

Remember that different seasons can result in a different product being required. For example, you may need an oily moisturiser in the winter but in the summer, where humidity levels are higher you may require something lighter unless you are constantly in air conditioned environments.

Yvonne says: “My favourite is Dr. Spiller Vitamin Skin Function Oil that is suitable for the face and body and restores natural lipids to the skin, which can be lost because of harsh product use or environmental factors. Rich in essential fatty acids such as jojoba oil, antioxidant Vitamin E and Retinal Palmitate, it softens nourishes and restores barrier function”.

“I also love Ultraceuticals Ultra Hydrating Lotion for a more lightweight agent that is suitable for oily skin types. It contains Vitamin E, Aloe Vera and Sodium PCA that mimics the natural moisturising factor the skin produces. It’s cooling refreshing and soothing”, she adds.

For best results ensure the skin is properly cleansed, free from make-up and surface debris when doing a facial massage. Sanitize your hands and have the nails well groomed cut back.

Massage is definitely an important tool to achieve a healthy complexion. Yvonne recommends to make time to give yourself a 10-20 minute massage once a month.

To experience a facial massage at the hands of a professional, why not book an appointment at one of our Face Plus Medispa clinics in Sydney?

We’d be happy to advise on suitable products for your skin type and share tips on the pressure points mentioned so that you are equipped to continue this wonderful and restorative regime at home.

Book a skin consultation here