Events website example

Every Touch of Spice event is a bespoke masterpiece. We curate the unimaginable into reality.

At Touch of Spice we do what we love, and we love what we do. Well recognised for curating some of the most innovative and creative events in New Zealand, our team of experts are dedicated to ensuring your event is perfect in every way. We listen, understand, respect and complement some of the most successful companies, brands and people, in the world.

We will source, secure and manage everything from exclusive venues, sponsorship partnerships, brand leveraging opportunities, and outstanding catering right through to ensuring the ultimate atmosphere is created and everything runs exactly as planned.

Let Touch of Spice curate an unforgettable event designed uniquely for you.  

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Inspire, motivate, and empower your team with our dynamic corporate experiences.

Our ‘outside the box’ capabilities allow us to curate superior, innovative and strategic events, executed with charm.

Showcase your company at its finest as we take care of every detail for you. Eliminate stress levels and let us work with our exclusive range of suppliers and unique venues to competently craft the ideal experience, atmosphere and dynamics for your brand. 

With consideration thrown into every single aspect of your guests’ experience we will interpret your intentions, goals and strategies, the relationship with your audience and your branding goals. From aesthetics to atmosphere, every element will excel.

Personal Bio for Blog site

16 year old Laura Erichsen has the potential to create a storm amongst the worlds sailing community. After being recognised by Russel Coutts in her first ever season, she is now being mentored by the hero himself. 

With private coach Barry Makay at hand, Laura’s determination, hard work and dedicated support team focussing on Laura’s goals, this woman is ready to take on the 2017 Open Bic World Championship in Lake Garda, Italy. 

“I feel freedom, calm and connected to the landscape. I feel like I am where I am meant to be when I am on the water.” Through commitment, perseverance and a natural talent sailing has offered Laura an extensive amount of opportunities. Resulting in a vast list of success both nationally and internationally.

Follow along on Laura’s blog as she shares the highs, the lows and the realities of her passion. Learn what the pursuit of being a World Champion sailing contender really feels like.

Personal Profile for Business

Hatch’d brand and design embodies urban style, grace, clarity and untouched sophistication.

Founder, Leigh Cooper offers a unique talent throughout a project. I listen intently to you and your requirements. I am able to visualise your thoughts immediately and utilises my research and design experience as I develop visual masterpieces which envelope your needs. 

I will research a project thoroughly and commit to offering only the best work for my clients. “I sketch and draw up ideas, that the client never sees. I keep going until it is perfect. I love the refining process of creating the exact branding and project development my clients desire”.

With a BA in Graphic Design from AUT, a Diploma in Design and Visual Arts, a Certificate in Business Management and design creativity pulsing through my veins, I brings an abundance of genius, aptitude, skill and experience to the table. I understand the situation from all angles and operate in a very professional, yet inviting manner.  

All projects at Hatch’d are touched with elegance, power and an exclusive tone tailored specifically to your brand.

With a passion for branding, re-branding, start-up businesses and ongoing collateral projects Hatch’d brand and design offers dedication, commitment and a smooth transition to your polished and perfect final result. 

Touch base with me today to discuss your options.

 

Real Estate Profile

Ray White partners Duncan and Kelly Good are dedicated to achieving your optimum results. The Goods supreme track record offers an in depth market knowledge and humble passion for results. Their unique, successful partnership combines quality, professionalism and warmth.

Duncan and Kelly embody integrity, energy, hard work and success in every detail of your real estate transaction. The approachable couple unites their strengths to ensure you receive outstanding service.


Specialising in residential sales their substantial business backgrounds also yields expertise in commercial transactions. Duncan’s auctioneer experience offers a superior advantage to the vendor, as he understands the complete auction process.


Living, sharing and embracing all Wanaka has to offer the Goods are vibrant members of the community. With a core value to establish trust through transparent relationships, they listen to your needs and find you the right results efficiently. Enthusiastic and energetic, dedicated and committed.

The Goods have got you covered.

Website Home Page (Sample)

WELCOME

The Garden Store is guaranteed to bring out the green fingers and garden designer in you! The abundance, quality and variety we offer is unparalleled. We are fully equipped and stocked to help you complete your garden setting.

Locally known for our quality selection of unique and popular plants and our friendly garden experts. We take great pride in providing the highest of service, expertise and products for our customers. If we do not stock what you require we will do our best to source it.

The garden is an extension of your living space. Whether you are looking for an outdoor sanctuary, orchard, a feature garden, privacy or a garden makeover, we are your one stop garden store.

Our Gift store is filled with inspirational homewares, gifts and décor items. Find furniture, a gift, a voucher and an impressive pot, stunning vases, candles, cards and much more all in the one visit.

We love what we do, and we love to share our knowledge. Our goal is to make you successful in the garden by taking the guesswork out of gardening and your exterior spaces! We are here to take care of all your garden and gift requirements.

Sponsorship Document (Sample)

The NZBLAX team is a powerhouse of eager, enthusiastic, disciplined women, completely devoted and dedicated to their sport.  The New Zealand Women’s National Lacrosse Team are focused and passionate about representing their country at the 2017 FIL World Cup in England. 

The team is full of intensity, spirit, dedication, devotion and zest. The intentions have been set, and the team are committed to their goal to place within the top 5 finalists at the 2017 World Cup.  

“I can do anything I want if I’m ready to work hard at it.  I am strong both physically and mentally, I am determined and will work hard. We are all capable of achieving our goals” (LR)

Lacrosse is a team game, originally played by native North American Indians, in which a small galvanised rubber ball is thrown, carried, and caught with a long-handled stick that has a curved frame at one end with a piece of shallow netting in the angle.  You score a goal by throwing the ball into the goal of the opponent.  The aim of the game is to outscore your opponent. It is a contagious mix of ancient traditions and explosive energy. There is nothing quite like it.

With the speed and power of rugby and hockey and the endurance, agility and strategy of soccer and basketball, this game is exciting and thrilling to watch and even more astounding to play.  Women’s lacrosse prohibits body contact and requires swiftness strength and agility creating a graceful game of tremendous energy and spirit.  

Still fresh to New Zealand, yet centuries old for North America the popularity of the sport is experiencing rapid growth and it is the dedicated New Zealand players and coaches that are helping to create this trend. This is no easy task with all coaches and administrators being volunteers and the financial demands on each player being extreme.  

The faithful and devoted NZBLAX coaching team, have set the desired benchmark of placing in the top 5 at the 2017 FIL World Cup Tournament and have also created and developed a world class preparation programme for the players.

This programme is more than just physical training and game practice, “it is all encompassing and purposeful, with significant carryover to our physical ability, mental strength, tactics, reflection, team building, workshops. The programme challenges all of us, regardless of our age, ability or background, the program is phenomenal” (LR)

2017 will be the Fourth time New Zealand has been represented at a Lacrosse World Cup Tournament, with improved results every time. The groundwork has been done, now it is time to roll out even more success.

The team are performing at the top level of their sport.  Many international athletes are paid full time to perform like this.  The NZBLAX women are working full time in other jobs, studying part time, planning weddings, training daily and trying to balance and juggle families, relationships, friends and life “participating in amateur sport is tough, perhaps tougher than professional sport in some regards.  Amateur sport requires the same effort, time, sacrifice, mental strength, focus and determination as seen in professional sport, but with the extra burden of limited resources, often due to financial limitations and time.”(LR)

An average training week consists of two strength sessions, two sprint training sessions, one endurance session, time with personal trainer for plyometrics, agility and individual programs, team training time, stick and shooting practice.  There is at least 2-3 hours everyday dedicated to their sport. “Then there’s viewing games to see what people are doing and improving your technique, learning tactics and moves” (LR) 

Commitment to the cause is an understatement. “Sometimes you just have to want it more and be prepared to work harder, and sacrifice regularly to be an amateur athlete” (LR)

With assisted funding directed to the correct areas of the sport the huge financial pressures that burden the players would be taken away, resulting in even more focus and attention to the game at hand, and ultimately achieving the desired goals. 

The basic costs include; training facility costs, training equipment, uniforms for the 2017 team, development assistance for all involved, training initiatives, drill and coaching manuals, individual cleats, sticks, boots, athletic tape “you name it” (TL)  Relying on the generosity of friends and family, and the team’s personal finances is becoming an unachievable stretch.

The total expenses for each player will reach well over NZD$12,000. Many of these costs will inhibit players from participating, even once selected for the National team.  “Girls drop out because they can’t afford to keep playing, they might end up as one of the best on the team, so it sucks they have to give up” (TL)

One of the NZBLAX players works at Starship children's hospital as a cardiorespiratory physiotherapist, studying in her spare time, holding down a mortgage and still finds the discipline to play and fund her lacrosse at a world class level.

It is not just Lacrosse players the country is creating, but astounding role models that are being developed.

Throughout these cumbersome training regimes, and lifestyle challenges the NZBLAX women are acquiring skills not only in Lacrosse but in time management, prioritisation, commitment, dealing with social implications and the whirlwind of being amateur athletes.  

Lacrosse as a sport offers endless opportunities for New Zealand children.  It offers a position for every single person and their individual talent. It is a great opportunity for future generations who do not fit the standard mould for team sports to be able to participate and reap the rewards of being a team player.  The results would prove immeasurable, not just for the NZBLAX but for the entire community. 

Lacrosse as a youngster gives children and teens the opportunity to “learn more about teamwork, hard work, self discipline and sacrifice - on and off the field. It then aids the foundations of learning about inner strengths and weaknesses and how to overcome them.  Most of the girls began the sport as an outlet, a place to focus my energy in a positive way” - LR. 

The continuation of developing outlets for our youth to participate in makes complete sense. Funding for this team to achieve their short term goal at the 2017 World Cup tournament will certainly not be a ‘one hit wonder’ but it will create a snowball effect for future generations.

“Playing lacrosse has helped me develop focus and commitment as an individual but also team awareness as part of the wider group.  It has enabled me to make some of my closes friends over the years and has also beenconstant when other areas of my life have been changing” - LR

The programme the the NZBLAX are being built up with includes mental, technical and tactical strength training and also vital character development, team cohesion and leadership skills.  All necessary to be successful on the scoreboard and beyond.  It is pivotal that the team share the same ethos, mindset, attitude and ideology. The largest gap in training would come from not being able to spent this time working on the team culture, values and beliefs.

It is the women’s talent, drive, commitment and belief that has brought them so far, but now we call for support from you. Watching the players, and listening to their power and passion is exciting, they have the determination to achieve their goals.  They do, however require some fundamentals to make this journey.  “It’s the little things that having enough funding would mean, we could have a small pool to cool down in, instead of standing in a rubbish bag with ice” or “we could travel in one bus and talk about our team and use that time effectively instead of being separated in eight cars” - (LR)

These women are ingrained with a passion for their sport “Passion and self belief is what allows amateur international athletes to sacrifice other aspects of life to participate.  Playing sport, especially international, is expensive therefore in order to work and train at an international level, I believe that all high level amateur athletes possess and underlying gritty quality that gets them up every day and then it’s their uncanny desire and strong drive that gets them through.” (LR) 

New Zealand can support this electric, dynamic team.  Keep these phenomenal all inclusive training programmes running. Aid in the creation of amazing kiwi athletes who have the mental and physical capacity to handle all that life throws at them.  Learning how to act on the field is one thing, but these training programmes equip the athletes with life skills and the education and knowledge to be able to act calmly, rationally yet make life changing, responsible and resourceful decisions in the boardroom, in the school PTA meeting or potentially even while running the country. “It can get pretty stressful and the older girls with their knowledge and experience know how to calm us down, and get us back to basics” (TL)

Supporting the NZBLAX is also supporting the future of the country.   

As the country watch these women overcome challenges on and off the field and learn from retired players who become coaches, officials and administrators the younger generation will be equiped with new skill sets, inspiration, motivation and committed attitudes. 

“After each training camp I see women feeling more empowered within themselves, the camps teach women how to work in teams, by being more insightful and accepting of who they are so they can be more accommodating to others around them” LR

Members of our entire New Zealand community will be affected by the positive aspects of this sport and the success of the NZBLAX.  It is your generosity and support that helps shape the nation. 

Support this ground breaking team, and let’s reap the rewards as a country.

Biography for stage show program (Sample)

Living in the uplifting town of Wanaka in Central Otago, Jenn Shelton is inspired daily by her beautiful alpine surroundings. Blessed with a powerhouse vocal ability and a unique, soulful tone, Jenn’s versatile voice presents as an old soul, born to sing in a fresh, vibrant body.

With 7 years of passionate work in the Mental Health industry, and the creation of a successful album funded by the Mental Health Foundation to raise awareness working with the team on this Rock Opera project rings true to Jenn’s heart.

Jenn’s extensive performance and production history includes touring the country in theatre and performance troupes, and working alongside the likes of Ozzie Ozourne, KISS and various NZ Artists. Lead singer in the band No Reason, producer and performer in the SOAR stage show, Thriller in the Chiller, Shooter Jet Christmas Cracker, main character in Alfies theatre play, solo vocal singer at Coca Cola Christmas in the Park 2012 & 2013, Big Night In regional artist winner, composition for a Fringe Festival play and Jenn was also crowned 'New Zealand's Best Female Vocal' in TV ONE's Countdown to 2011. 

Aside from her active performing schedule Jenn runs her own successful business in vocal technique, performance coaching, songwriting and stagecraft and has also worked extensively in Theatre in Education.  With her compassion and understanding of Mental Health, her experience in front of an audience, and in behind the scenes production, her ability to coach all ages and stages of singers, and her unique, breathtaking singing voice Jenn is a force to be reckoned with.

Restaurant Review (Samples)

COME MY AMIGO, LET US EAT!  

A restaurant meaning “Friend” in Spanish, surely this sets the tone. Set in the heart of Wanaka’s village, Nikki and her team have created the epitome of every parents dining dreams with a huge lawn within view from every table, colouring activities for children and staff who really engage with children.  Amigo’s provides wind and sun sheltered outdoor seating with a view right up the Wanaka’s beautiful lake.  More seating is available inside during those snowy months beside the cosy fire, amongst Mexican themed backdrops. 

The staff are warm, welcoming and more than happy to help. It’s like one big happy family at Amigo’s. Your name is remembered and every celebration celebrated! The food is your typical Mexican grub; nachos, quesadillas, tostadas, ribs, chimichangas, comidas and enchiladas, it’s hard not to embrace the theme as the words roll off your tongue.  As a health nut this would not be my first choice for heart and cellulite saving fuel, yet there are basic salad and steak options. Gluten or dairy free options and an extensive bar make this a winner for families and large groups. This would not be the setting for a romantic evening, but if it is a general good time you are after then Amigo’s is a great choice.

Best dish recommendation: The South Western Crispy Tostada - a green salad with fresh guacamole, covered with freshly grilled chicken and the secret Amigo’s sauce, all served in a crunchy, edible nacho bowl. When else in life are you allowed to eat the bowl?!

Overall score: 7/10

YOU WILL REMINISCE ABOUT YOUR SPELLBOUND STATE AT RELISHES FOR YEARS TO COME

Positioned on the lake front of Wanaka this sophisticated restaurant manages to combine uniqueness and traditional in one spell binding state for your dining experience. The meals are stemmed from basic home made food, with a dynamic chef that twists them into healthy, flavoursome, elegantly manicured meals. A local favourite when the budget allows, and a common spot to return to when travelling through town.

With beautiful oak floors, a stunning lake view, very professional and friendly staff, appropriate background music and an all day menu, Relishes is your perfect answer for a coffee and cake or beautiful meal. 

The local owners Tash and Toby Lahood have designed Healthy smoothies, breakfast bowls, eggs Benedict, delicious salads and open sandwiches, pork, lamb, duck, steak and vegetarian options, everyones choice is covered.  I’m certain their head chef must dream in flavours!

Catering to large groups, romantic dinners and well behaved families one will not be disappointed. With elegant seating both inside and out, you will be very comfortable. Well trained Baristas are right on the pulse with coffee and the exclusive wine, beer and cocktail list offers the right taste for everyone.  

Best dish recommendation: Currently the coconut and fennel pork dish is my favourite. The sides are every changing based on what is seasonally averrable and growing in their organic garden. With crackling to make you melt and flavours that blow your mind, you simply cannot go past this option. 

Overall score: 9/10

Short Advertisements (Sample)

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3. Put your best foot forward with these luxury, NZ made, pure sheepskin wonders. Bo Boots are your best friend on a cold winters day. Honest, practical, styled and soothing. Created with style, designed for comfort, durable and welcoming. Bo boots let you put your feet up, without sitting down.

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Blogs & Articles (Sample)

HOW TO FIND YOUR BEST TYPE OF WORKOUT

I often head off to bed, knowing I am going to wake up early in the morning to release that sweat, and kick start my day for the best. The problem I often face is should I go to Yoga? Go for a run? do weight training? Or do some HIIT (high intensity interval training)? How intensely do I need to work out in order to 'make it count'?

As I delved deeper into these questions, my research came to the conclusion that the answer is VARIETY; you should do all of them! Basically different exercise types have different purposes and different benefits.

"Our body requires different training, in different ways to remain fit, strong and supple."

Put simply, if you are trying to achieve many different results, such as, weight loss, toning, cardiovascular fitness or even weight gain, one type of exercise is highly unlikely to accomplish all of those goals.

Therefore, it is important to do enough different types of exercise to reap all the physical benefits mentioned above. If you are not sure what exercises to do for which goals, the following should help you out. 

Aerobic Exercise

To have a strong and healthy heart. A heart that will protect you against heart disease, you must do aerobic exercise. Aerobic exercise means you need to push yourself so that your heart is beating at 65% - 85% of your Maximum Heart Rate. If your heart rate isn't up to this level, then quite simply you are not pushing yourself hard enough and you will not reap the benefits, or notice any change over time. Yes, think boot camp trainer screaming at you to push harder!  It doesn't matter what TYPE of exercise you do, you just need your heart rate to be up there.  It could be running, cycling, swimming, skiing, snowboarding, kayaking, having sex, ayanga yoga, vinyasa yoga, ashtanga yoga, whatever works for you! You also need to keep it there for 20 -30 minutes, at least 3 times a week.

Strength Training

To ward off arthritis, osteoporosis and keep your muscles and bones strong you must take part in strength training. This doesn't have to be lifting ridiculous amounts of weights in the gym (but by all means go ahead, if that is your thing) If it's not you can select from many formats. Typical types of strength training include; weight training, yoga/pilates, resistance training, 3D training and plyometrics. Whatever you do, you must train your muscles hard enough so that they are really tired by the end of each session.  To see real benefits, make sure you are strength training 2 to 3 times a week for about 30 to 40 minutes.  Personally, I was training myself in the gym, using really heavy weights, and finding I was slowly becoming quite addicted to the strength I was gaining, however, the results aesthetically were not what I was after for my body, my huge muscles just weren't working so well for me in my cute dresses! I toned it down a bit to lighter weights and more repetitions, and added some yoga for strength into my week, instead of so many weights workouts, and I established this worked best for my body type. Everyone is different, you may need to experiment to find out what works for you.

 

Mobility Training

To keep your body flexible and limber mobility training is a must. You will reduce the risk of pain and injury in your joints and muscles, you will also find your performance becomes better in other areas of your training as your body becomes more supple and stronger, and ready to bend or stretch further. You should always aim to stretch every muscle before and after any exercise routine, we recommend keeping the muscles moving, and focussing more on active movement than simple stretching before a workout. Think of it as loosening off those sleepy muscles and joints, so they are ready to fire on impact. The main flexibility training types include stretching, mobility workouts, yoga and pilates.  

So if you too are struggling to work out what type of workout you should be doing, now you know!  Keep it varied, and make sure you are covering every niche. It is also a nice way to keep it exciting, and find friends who are into different types of workouts, then you can see a different person each day! The best way to workout out is if you have to answer to someone else if you can't make it.

Think is it rising my heart rate? If not, you should looking at incorporating more aerobic training to strengthen your heart. However, running your heart out every day is great for heart health, but are you keeping your muscles supple? If not, start incorporating some stretching in. Finally, if you are a weights warrior try to establish if you are also gaining enough cardio and stretching into your workouts. 

Most importantly, keep moving and keep having fun!

Blogs & Articles (Sample)

CALMING FOOD FOR CHILDREN

We’ve all seen it. A child, given sugar in some form of treat ‘food’ be it a lollypop, an ice cream, a biscuit, a sugary drink or even something that is claimed to be a ‘healthy muesli bar’, even the cereal they are eating for breakfast, or the bread and jam their sandwich is made from.  The problem is one hit of refined sugar, and they want more, more, more!

As sugar hits the blood stream, it causes our blood sugar spike, then  insulin is released by the body to try to bring the blood sugars back to a regular state, the body increases dopamine production, stimulating the pleasure centers of the brain (a physically identical response to that of heroin)  when suddenly, blood sugars drop and the child needs more sugar to keep up with this sugar high! WHAMMO a blood sugar crash and you have a full blown tantrum, screaming match, hyperactivity, lack of concentration, attitude tardiness, tears…the list goes on! 

Children have tiny digestive systems, the food hits them so much faster than adults, and the highs and lows are so much more dramatic for them than for us adults. They can’t see that they are being irrational or erratic; they just know they feel bad/sad/angry and need to let us know.

So if we dial the clock back a bit and think about what we are giving the kids, and how a treat for one minute, is going to turn into a destroyed 15/30 minutes later, perhaps we should look at the food ‘treat’ we are offering and change it for something else.

Of course, books, new toys, a cuddle, a sticker, a stamp, a turn on something special, a play date or an outing are all wonderful treats in themselves, sometimes this is too expensive or too difficult to manage at the time.  

It's also important to remember that because children do have smaller yet more active systems, they naturally require smaller meals more often to keep their blood sugars in check. Often misbehaviour could be as simple as the fact that they are actually hungry or thirsty. This is not always easy to accomplish as everywhere we go with our children it can be difficult to find healthy, blood sugar helping foods on offer!

"Wouldn’t it be great if you could carry around some food that you knew would have a calming affect on your child and that tasted great?"

The main culprits to behavioral issues purely from food include refined sugar, processed foods, additives and food colorings. So, yes, even those ‘red skinned sausages’ that we like to call ‘savaloys’ or ‘cheerios’ in New Zealand are full of food colorings and additives and are not REAL food.

The main food additives are E110 Sunshine Yellow, E124 Ponceau 4R, E122 Carmoisine and E211 Sodium Benzoate, if you can avoid those to begin with you are off to a great start!

Cooking or making food from scratch is by far the best option, as you know it is ‘real’ food and that it has been grown on a tree or in the ground! If you must buy packaged food (no snubbing here, we all know that there is a time and a place for some pre-packed food!) turn the box or container over and check the ingredients list. Take a look at the sugars per serving on the conversion table, ideally you want those sugars to be under 5g per serve.

Also take note of the ingredients list when shopping. In short, you basically want to avoid any numbers in the ingredients list e.g E102 Tartrazine, E104 Quinloine yellow, E155 Brown GT, these are not natural and will affect your childs behavior and health.

"Be sure to spot the hidden sugar, it can be hard to spot it in children’s food as it can be called so many different things." 

Sugar is also named sucrose, glucose, fructose, maltose, dextrose, fruit syrup, molasses and maltodextrin.

Look for “no added sugar’ on the packet. If you can’t see that on a label then read the nutritional information panel and look under “carbohydrates – of which sugar”

Consider adding fish oils to their diet.  There isn't enough scientific evidence to be completely sure about for this one (yet) but initial studies and anecdotal evidence suggests that increasing the amount of omega 3 oils in your children's diet can improve disruptive behavior.

The evidence so far suggests that taking fish oil supplements which contain sufficiently high concentrations of omega 3 oils may well have a beneficial effect on dyslexic and ADHD children and possibly undiagnosed children too, I have even noticed differences in my own children's behaviour and attitudes since introducing Omega-3 supplements into their diets.

So, while the most important way of helping your over-active child is by improving the quality of their diet, giving fish oil supplements may also be worth considering.

I know, wouldn’t it be wonderful if I could suggest some cheap packaged food that was full of nutrients and goodness for your child, that would calm their irrational behavior and help them to grow up big and strong?

 

Sorry…there is no quick fix. We at square one can however remind you that fresh is best. Local or organic fruit and vegetables, brown rice, home made whole grain bread, millet puffs, and other grains like quinoa, black rice, oats, couscous and buckwheat or kasha (children need the energy in grains to run around, grains are low glycemic index, so will provide them with that energy for longer, yet calmer bursts of time) Protein, like meat, nuts, fish, cheese and yogurt and of course the occasional home made baking (where sugar can be substituted for honey or coconut sugar, which contains less blood sugar raising agents), home cooked meals with no additives. Food that you make yourself from scratch, is your answer. 

Here are some ideas:

  • Little scroggin mixes of nuts, dried fruit (not too much) and buckwheat
  • Natural Yogurt, with no extra colourings, preservatives or sugars
  • Fruit and Vegetables, cut into shapes
  • Hummus to dip Vegetables into
  • Low salt crackers, that have no trans fats in them and hummus
  • Cheese - high saturated fat is fine, just make sure the sugars are low
  • Home made baking - then you know what is in it
  • Left overs in small tubs
  • Water
  • Grain Bread sandwiches with healthy spreads and fillings (real butter is a much better option than margarine which is full of trans fats)

Remember to make a huge batch, freeze half, eat 1/3 and save the other 1/3 for leftovers. It may sound like hard work to begin with but once you find your rhythm you will be fine, plus you will have a freezer full of delicious home made meals, and your family will be functioning so much better for all the goodness you are serving them, you may even find you have more time to play, relax…or do that last load of washing ;-)

Do we really need vitamin E?

What exactly is vitamin E anyway?

Vitamin E is an antioxidant that protects our cells membranes from damage.  Vitamin E is made up of a group of 8 fat-soluble vitamins. It is mostly important for cells that carry oxygen like the cells of lungs and red blood cells. It has a role in our immune function, DNA repair and other metabolic processes.

Adequate amounts of vitamin E can help keep skin heal and help scaring, it can also protect against heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s and age related eye damage.

Antioxidants, including vitamin E are obtained through eating a well balanced diet high in fruits, vegetables and whole grains, rather than from supplements. Foods highest in vitamin E includes; tofu, spinach, almonds, sunflower seeds, avocados, shellfish rainbow trout, olive oil, broccoli and  pumpkin.

Should I take a vitamin E supplement?

So far, the only confirmed benefits of vitamin E supplements are in people who have an actual deficiency. Vitamin E deficiencies are rare and are more likely in people who have digestive problems, people on very low-fat diets and cystic fibrosis sufferers.

Are there side effects to overdosing on vitamin E?

Too much vitamin E from supplements can lead to excessive bleeding, or hemorrhaging, headache, fatigue, nausea and kidney failure. Topical vitamin E may irritate the skin badly.

Vitamin E supplements should not be taken in early pregnancy, and there have been studies to prove an increased risk in prostate cancer in men who took a multivitamin PLUS an extra vitamin E supplement.

In our opinion, it would be best to make sure your diet was full of high-density vitamin E foods and avoid the supplements, unless advised alternatively by your health care professional.  There seem to be more results pointing towards horrible side effects from overdose of vitamin E, rather than benefits of having more than your fair share. So keep eating clean and real food and reap the rewards. Happy olive oil drizzling people!

What is your metabolic type?

Did you know that everyone has a different metabolic type? Yes, that’s right! That’s why your friend can down 3 servings of protein, but she still feels hungry, yet you eat one and feel full.  It’s also why she may feel invigorated and ready to rock after eating, where you feel lethargic, bloated and horrible… and it could be why she looks amazing and you just can’t budge that last 5kg.

If you are one of these people who have followed a balanced diet plan to the last full stop, exercised vigorously and are still not finding the results you are after then maybe you are simply working against your metabolism.

Many diets these days are made for one simple type of metabolism. Now, we’ve said this once, but we will say it again. EVERYONE IS DIFFERENT and this is where our favourite subject bio-individuality comes into play. There are so many different factors influencing your individual state of health, from your genetic make up to your current constitution. You could be suffering from hormonal issues, auto immune diseases, digestive issues, thyroid problems, the list goes on. You may even be suffering from something you don't even know about.  So, we ask the question again; how could there possibly be one simple diet answer for everyone? Answer; There just cannot be.  It is just so important to look at your unique lifestyle and system and work out the real food that your body needs to help you be the best you can be.

So, what's right for you? 

Most weight loss diets are made for people who have no problems processing any form of carbohydrate.  Their bodies react to carbs by simply releasing the right amount of insulin to handle the rise in blood sugars. However, many people (for various reasons) have insulin resistance. This is where their bodies produce excess insulin, thus leading to fat storage and energy levels that peak and trough. Resulting in massive carbohydrate and sugar cravings, high blood pressure and fatigue (yes, heading toward type 2 diabetes).  

Alternatively lately there has been hype in the 'Paleo diet' and similar which involves no grains at all being eaten, which is fine if your body doesn't need grains to survive (this is a hot topic of debate that we wont venture into right now). These diets wildly affect the health of those people who cannot process such large amounts of protein and fat.

Still confused?... Enter...Your individual Metabolic type.  There are 3 main metabolic types;

The Protein Type:

In short your cells burn carbohydrates too quickly therefore you need a high-protein intake in order to strengthen your sympathetic system and in turn acidify your too-alkaline metabolism or alkalize your too-acid metabolism (therefore, balancing your pH levels) Protein types do well on a diet that includes plenty of high-density, high-fat proteins known as “high-purine” proteins.

Foods like; red meat, dark meat, chicken, turkey, salmon, tuna, herring, sardines, mussels. Protein types can also eat freely whole fat foods in the form of cheese, eggs, cream and milk. Protein must be included at every meal.

The Carbohydrate Type:

If you’re a carbohydrate type you need a higher percentage of carbs in your diet (read whole grain carbohydrate NOT refined carb) to strengthen the parasympathetic branch of your nervous system, to bring your pH levels into balance.

Foods like; A higher volume of vegetables, fruits, whole grains on your plate. It’s important to remember you still need some protein at most meals, but focus on leaner, lighter meats, like seafood and poultry.  Restrict the red meat consumption in favor of lighter meats and lighter seafood like haddock, cod, sole and flounder.

The Mixed Type:

You guessed it, you people fall right in the middle of the other two types which have more clear-cut metabolic imbalances. You need to eat a mix of protein and carb type foods; this will support both sides of your autonomic nervous system and keep your cellular oxidation rate in balance.

If you would like to take the Metabolic type quiz please click here to request it, we will email it to you and then you can begin your health journey in a way that is appropriate to your body's needs!

It’s also important to note that whilst your metabolic type does play a large role in which foods will help you to be the best you can be, this is only one piece of the puzzle that makes up your complete unique self.  There are so many influential factors involved in you finding the results you want. Please touch base with us if you would like to know more.

A fit, yet hungry and confused Mother

Standing at the Rugby sideline last saturday watching our under 7’s slam themselves around in the mud while they played rugby, us Mothers who had all been running or training that morning began to moan again of hunger, body aches and confusion.

"I just don't know what I should eat for breakfast", "I'm just not hungry at first, and then I'll miss the window and I'm starving", "I wish someone would just tell me what I should eat to make all of this training worth it!" , were amongst some of the 'cries' for help.

Having now trained, 'trial and errored’ my way through years of fitness, strength training, yoga and nourishment, I had some stories to share and some suggestions for my over worked, over trained, under fed and under paid Mother colleagues!  So that they could train the way they wanted too AND still have the energy to play, laugh, parent and run with their kids.

There were many comments about how confused they were. About how they had been to see certain physicians or self diagnosed and cut gluten entirely from their diets, some were trying the Paleo diet (in their own very unique manners), some were binging out on carbs and fuelling themselves with whatever they wanted (as they felt the deserved it after training so hard) and some were purely starving themselves into the brink of collapse or exhaustion. This was not cool!  There was just no education or information being given out by the professionals to these Mums who were admittedly exercise addicts who just wanted some nutrition advice.

 There’s just not a lot of time in there for soaking chia seeds and making Kombucha scoby’s is there? There is however, time for injury, stress and malnutrition… leading to more stress, injury and illness.

Being one of these Mothers who needs her fitness fix daily – yet wants to put her family first (therefore wakes up at ridiculous starry skied hours to hit the pavement or the gym) I really felt there was a need to offer suggestions to many of you out there who are doing the same thing. As I give you a brief rundown of the lessons I have learned please remember all of these ideas are based on my studies and my own research, essentially I have treated myself as a bit of a guinea pig for years, trialling new suggestions, all in the aim of finding out what will actually happen, I guess that is how us "health geeks" really learn!  Please feel free to comment with any suggestions or lessons you have learnt in your own pursuit of energy satisfaction.

Since becoming a Mum (7 years down) I have always exercised. Hard. I remember waking up super early to pump (breast milk) so that I could run without being in agony. I did that with both my children – don’t recommend it.

I recommend sleeping more. That would have most likely helped me out more. Sleeping and then taking a nice walk in the daytime with bubs. Not a run, and a walk, and no sleep (my poor adrenal glands were headed for a crash).

Nutritionally; I guess I have always been monitoring in some way what I was eating. Trying to be healthy - but most probably just starving myself when I needed food most! At times I have tried to just relax and eat whatever my body craved – sure that was great for creating milk, but not so good for my jeans situation.  Plus, eating sugar creates the horrible cycle of craving more and more sugar, then feeling guilty, then feeling depressed and hating everything about yourself... not a good way to roll.

I’ve tried starving myself, which also doesn’t work, sure; you're thin, but you are a shell of the person you want to be, you injure yourself VERY easily and you inevitably reach breaking point because you are trying to be an amazing Mum (and everything else) yet you need fuel to function – so you end up ripping into the muffins or the chocolate milk.  You become slightly deranged as your poor brain can't keep up with the demands of everyday Motherhood.  Sure, you are there in person... but that's about it.

I’ve tried the Southbeach diet, the Atkins diet, calorie counting and all inevitably take me to the same place. I loose the baby weight and then my body stays reasonably the same BUT my head becomes so confused and I begin focusing on all the silly things that don’t matter, rather than just enjoying REAL food and my family!

Last year I even tried the Paleo diet (this is where you essentially eliminate all refined sugars, grains, anything processed from your diet) basically I ate grass fed meat and vegetables for every meal, with a few nuts and bananas in between. This worked out well for my body’s sake but I became slightly angry and lost, and I’m sure that was based on the theory that “you are what you eat” I was totally stuck in the mindset of a cow/deer/chicken. I believe I started to take on some of the traits of these animals. I was lifting heavy weights and eating many cooked meals, I was grounded and focused, yet slightly aggressive and forceful (yes - I took a lot of 'selfies', but it was all in the aid of research. I am truly baffled by what you can achieve, and how when you get there... a million other problems arise and your head wants to explode)

The entire YANG side of my balance circle was full up – but there was no YIN involved at all. I had NO balance... and no energy for my babes.

Then I decided to flip the coin completely and became vegetarian, which seemed to be more my calling as meat never settled well in my stomach, but I didn’t know entirely what I was doing and was not monitoring my iron or B12 and other mineral levels correctly. I stayed off gluten and have never really eaten dairy. I started to feel light headed a lot, I was spacey and scattered, I wasn't sleeping well and seemed to loose interest in everyday activities.  I was light and happy-ish but I couldn’t lift weights like I was used to, or run as fast, or for as long as I knew I could. More injuries and more scatterbrained decisions. There was no way I could be a good Mum, wife or friend like this! I was tired and lethargic and not really present in mind for anything.

My YIN side was weighing heavily... Again, I needed to find the balance.

I needed a slap in the fact by this point! Luckily I had started studying to become a Health Coach by then, and started to see the world and food in a new light.  I kept eating whole grains and complex carbohydrates. I brought grass fed ‘happy’ meat and fish back into my diet when I felt like eating it and I introduced more Yoga and less weight training, focusing more on body weight training and endurance. I found I was a lot more balanced and my body didn’t change a whole heap – I lost some of the muscles in my arms and shoulders, and re-gained a little bit of my booty but that was a it really. I found I had a lot more happiness in my brain from the small amount of complex carbohydrate... AND get this, my family had me back again. I was present, energetic and ready to JUST BE!

Without turning this into a novel. I should tell you that now I’m now, NOT starving, not lethargic, not suffering from menstrual cramps and headaches or bloating and have the energy to keep going without crashing and burning. I am involved in HIIT training, tabata training, running, walking, yoga and chillaxing and do you know what? I feel awesome!  I'm not the skinniest I can be, but I'm not the largest either... I'm just me! I'm eating healthy and I am focusing on longevity of life. I'm a Mum, who's reasonably fit, trying to take on the world in my own special ways and thriving on natural energy and natural fuel sourcing for my body.

Moral of the story: I’m simply eating REAL food. Meaning – it grew in the ground, it fell off a tree, it was raised and fed grass. I eat breakfast, lunch and dinner. If I am hungry in between, I eat too. 

Now, I'm not saying I know it all, but what I am saying, is that once you let go of that mental state where you are fighting your poor body, and begin to embrace it and what it has given you... you too will have the energy for life again.  Half the time the weight will start falling off as well, as your cortisol levels drop due to stress reduction (stress that was wasted on food choices).

If I have done some weight training I might have a whey based protein powder blended with some wheatgrass and milk, water, or coconut water (for restoration of my muscles) I will eat eggs and spinach, mushrooms, onions, brocolli (whatever vegetables we have!) for breakfast, or a superfood blend (chia seeds, oats, flaxseed, cinnamon, sunflower and pumpkin seeds etc) and the day continues on like this:

Here is an example of how your plate should look. Its so easy really isn't it? Remember your plate also holds your career, relationships, spirituality and physical activity. Make sure you are pursuing each of these primary foods as well.

If I am hungry I will eat.  REAL FOOD.

Starving yourself doesn’t help at all. You’re poor body just wants to hold on to everything, all the fat, because it thinks it’s headed for starvation.

If you want the energy to be as super-of-a-Supermum as you can then focus on filling your body with the right energy, so that you can participate and be your best. You're going to look great no matter what, because you are eating real food so your body will settle where it’s meant to.  If you want to train like the best of them, please please realise you NEED to fuel it properly or it will go Kaput.  Food is to be enjoyed, with friends and family, to nourish your body and your soul.

Make sure you have some form of real protein (grass-fed meat, free range eggs, oats, chia seeds, quinoa, whole dairy) in each meal and then a massive amount of vegetables and some complex carbohydrates: meaning, non processed, non refined carbohydrate or whole grains. 

If you need a snack grab some fruit – as that is filled with fructose (good sugar) and put smear some nut butter on it. A current favourite is a banana or apple with almond/ cashew/ sunflower/  pumpkin seed butter on top. Alternatively a handful of nuts (unsalted and preferably non roasted) Or grab a tub (again preferably make your own) of hummus and as many vegetables as you require.

And last but by no means least FAT – you need some saturated fat in your diet, the good fat that is. I’m talking coconut oil (organic and fair trade to save the palm trees) organic grass-fed butter, nut butters, nuts (non salted!) avocado, you catch my gist.  Saturated fat WILL NOT MAKE YOU FAT, it will help improve your bone strength, liver, lung and brain health and your immune system. It will also satiate you - meaning you wont crave that sugar you normally do. It will slowly release into your system giving you the energy and fuel you need to be amazing.

Jump off the wagon of stressing about food. Just eat the REAL stuff.  The FOOD FOR HUMANS. Fuel yourself properly for the day ahead. Don’t feel bad for eating if you are hungry, your body needs it to function properly (just make sure you are fueling it with real food, it really is that simple).  You can't be everything to everyone if you are starving yourself.

Now; Go forth, conquer that washing, broken arm, tiny person meltdown (or large person) and best of all be as Super of a Super mum you ever could be.

PMS is such a bitch

I would have to say there is not one woman I have come across who hasn’t suffered from some symptoms of the dreaded PMS at some point in their life. 

The suffering goes from headaches and backaches, pimples, kidney pains, throbbing legs, restless legs, a swollen, bloated body, abdominal cramping and pain, inability to exercise or some cases even move out of bed, swollen, painful breasts, anger, rage, moodiness, weepiness, irritability, anxiety, depression, painful and aching muscles…and the list goes on.

"It’s just not fair! It feels like these hormones of ours are out to get us, like they are attacking us for being beautiful women.  I know I for one can act like a complete irrational cow, I am completely aware of the situation and that I do not need to react in that certain way, or that it is not nearly so dramatic or important, yet I can’t seem to control what comes out of my mouth or how I act. It’s horrific! "

So what exactly is PMS?

Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is a group of symptoms linked to the menstrual cycle. PMS symptoms occur 1 to 2 weeks before your period/menstruation/bleed starts. The symptoms usually go away after you start bleeding. PMS can affect menstruating women of any age and as discussed the effect is different for every single woman. For some people, PMS is just a monthly bother. For others, it’s a debilitating situation that may be destroying a normal life.

I have noticed, since analyzing my hormones to the n’th degree, my diet, my lifestyle and all other influential factors in my world, I have gained control of my PMS. I also have to say that without sounding like a broken record – ditching sugar from my life has made the most profound impact.  All the symptoms I suffered eased and now the lead up to, and days of my period are completely ‘livable’ and I think my family may be none the wiser as to what time of the month it is.

Some of those holistic treatments and lifestyle changes for PMS included:

  • Regular exercise, this can vary from high-intensity, moderate-intensity and low-intensity, do what your body is calling for; if you went for a huge run or a crazy session at boot camp yesterday – then today is a great day for some yoga, or movement class. Also remember, walking is absolutely awesome.
  • Eating healthy foods; We have been harping on for long enough about this so you will have some idea, but for those of you who still want to reach for the 'skinny/trim' milk, or eat a 'low-fat-but-high-sugar-biscuit' what I am meaning here is to fill yourself up on fruit, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, good fats and plenty of water.
  • Avoid processed foods, salt, sugary foods, caffeine, and alcohol, especially when you’re suffering from PMS symptoms.
  • Getting enough sleep. Try to find about 8 hours of sleep each night.
  • Find healthy ways to cope with stress. Talk to your friends, exercise, or write in a journal. Some women also find yoga, massage, or relaxation therapy helpful.
  • Don’t smoke.
  • And I also found that cutting dairy out if I had tender breasts solved that problem.

In more severe cases of PMS, prescription medicines may be used to ease symptoms. One approach has been to use drugs that stop ovulation, such as birth control pills. Women on the pill report fewer PMS symptoms, such as cramps and headaches, as well as lighter periods.  However, there are many other implications of taking the pill (that we will save for another blog) so make sure you have done your research hard and deep before starting on a specific birth control – just to ease pain. Maybe its best to look at your natural options first?

I most definitely have to take my hat off to magnesium, it has taken my horrific cramps from high on the scale of agony down to zero, as I say, I seem to float through the month with no cramping these days.

The following vitamins and minerals have also been found to help relieve some PMS symptoms:

  • Folic acid (400 micrograms)
  • Calcium with vitamin D (1300mg for ages 9-18, 1000mg for ages 19-50, 1200mg for ages 51 and older)
  • Magnesium (400 milligrams)
  • Vitamin B-6 (50 to 100 mg)
  • Vitamin E (400 international units)

 

 

Some women find their PMS symptoms relieved by taking supplements such as:

  • Black cohosh
  • Chasteberry
  • Evening primrose oil

The above supplements are certainly based on your individual situation, and hormone balances. Please speak to your doctor or a registered practitioner before popping these pills on mass!  They may affect any other medications you are on and are not to be taken lightly.

We are women, we have been there, we know how much it sucks…but now we can say we have made it through the other side. It is an ongoing quest as we age and our hormones change due to life changing, but, remember you don’t need to live half of every month in a horrible state, try some of these options or reach out for help. You are NOT alone!!

Written by: Jess Eastwood

Finding my mojo again

It had been a long summer holiday with the children. Sure, it had been awesome, but it had been draining none the less and I was starting to feel a teensy bit like a slave to my 4 year old and 7 year old! That whole 'life revolves around their schedule' was starting to kick in as I decided it better to let them dictate the actions we took, rather than me rush them in and out of the house unneccessarilly.

They were happily playing with their LEGO and I was desperate to get out of the house and get some fresh air.  As I sat their waiting for them (unbeknownst to them that I was waiting) to start fighting so I could break it up with a "lets go biking". I decided this was ridiculous!

I wanted to go biking. I was the Mother. I was the Boss, not them...

But on the flip side, it's just no fun draggling kids out of the house when we are not rushing to make it to school before the bell, or to swimming lessons before its over, or to sports before the team give up on my little players. 

I left them to it. They were playing so nicely, it was stupid to break it up. I then decided that if I was so desperate to get into my mountain biking again properly I needed to take it into my own hands and make it happen more often. I wandered off to the office and as synchronicity would have it, up popped an advertisement for a local women's mountain biking skills course that ran every Wednesday night for 5 weeks. I stood their, staring at the screen, convincing myself of all the reasons why I shouldn't do it.

I often go riding with my husband, he is an amazing mountain bike rider.  I do my 'thing' and try to keep up and pretend I'm not scared. He does his 'kind thing' and shares advice and tips along the way, and of course encouragement... which I take as patronising... and well.. as I become more frustrated and angry because I don't really understand what he means, and I don't like telling him what to do, he becomes more confused with my feminine reactions.  

A lesson from your husband is just not the best medicine for a really happy ride (as good as his intentions are) it all lies with me struggling on a hormonal, emotional level! I always feel like I am holding him back from a great ride OR I find he takes me down some scary as track in the forest and I loose all my confidence... you can see how it's just not a good idea, unless I knew what I was doing and really didn't need his advice or general man speak!

So, I continued anyway to find more reasons as to why I shouldn't sign up.  It clashed with my husbands touch rugby night, it would be too hard to arrange a babysitter during the middle of the week, I would be tired come that time of night, I wouldn't be good enough to cycle with those people, I would make a dick of myself, I didn't even know what the parts of half my bike were called... and on and on it went.

Then I asked to myself - what would you say to your client?!

I would remind her how much her battery needed to be recharged and filled with joy as well as everyone else. I would ask her what made her tick as a kid, what gave her passion to keep going, what excited her, what made her feel like HER?... and whammo - the decision was made. I signed up that night, without even talking to the hubby. Babysitters are a common breed. I could make it work, and that I did.

It was time to learn how to get up this hill!

I swallowed my pride and turned up on the first night and met some lovely women, who it turns out were all in the same boat and just wanted to re-gain their confidence on a mountain bike again. The majority of us were Mothers who used to have confidence, but somewhere along the line lost it. I also guess I found more anxiety when I was in the forest or out on the tracks because my brain was overthinking everything regarding my next move on the bike, and I would think silly things like "don't jump that, you can't do it, you will crash and then who will do all of your work?!" etc etc. The majority of us do that.

This Mission WOW bike course had me at 'hello' because one of the first things our coach said was "As girls, we over-think everything, especially in a biking situation...well here we all are to learn more skills and gain some confidence" She had hit the nail on the head. I would be back next week.

Over the next few courses I went from totally doubting my ability, to completely backing myself around some tight, steep, gnarly berms, turns and tracks. I was actually speaking nicely to myself in my head and convincing myself that I could do things. I tried them, and it turned out that the more I backed myself, the more successes I had. I didn't fly over my handlebars and I didn't make an idiot of myself, and even when I did have to stop and push or pull my bike, I didn't care...turns out neither did anyone else!

 It was so inspiring and motivating to be around a bunch of about 30 other completely inspiring and wonderful women who all felt the same way.

Everyone knew how everyone else felt and therefore all comments were empowering and supportive and you could just see these women blossoming into confident riders. Heck, none of us a necessarily heading into the competitive mountain biking scene, but everyone learned many skills that they didn't previously have, and more importantly, I think, learned to speak kindly to themselves!

Now that the course is finished I am so excited to jump on my bike and head out for a ride. I'm not the most awesome rider in the pack, and I am not the worst, but the coolest thing now is that I have confidence in my decisions on how and where to ride and I know my ability and what to do. If anyone out there is just gagging to get out and do something for themselves I highly recommend it. I feel like I am me again.  I feel like I finally have my Mojo back!

Find your "you time" again and go do something completely random. At the same time as I joined the biking course (I guess I was on a roll...and the kids were still not fighting!) I signed myself up for the local adults hip hop dance classes.

This was again one of the best things I could have done for myself. I used to dance as a child and teenager and pour my heart and soul into it. I sat exams and I did well, but more importantly I absolutely loved every second of it! I have danced with my kids most days of their lives and music plays a massive part in our lives, BUT, I have always wanted to go back to dance class and get my groove on.

So there I was, all signed up and full of memories of the youthful dancer I was. As the ladies rolled in for dancing I felt slightly nervous, and unsure of what I was about to embark on.  I decided I could hardly walk out of the studio, Wanaka is too small, people know me! So there I stood in front of the mirror with our amazing teacher (Rachel Erichson from Dance Out Loud studios) and she started to share with us some brilliant dances and moves. I joined in, eyes on the floor and my body only giving half of what it really had because I was too embarrassed to really get into it. 

"What if I send my arm off in one direction and its the wrong way and there I am looking like an egg in the mirror?" or " What if I spin the wrong way and crash into everyone? GAAAA! Maybe I should just leave...I know some of these people"

Then she turned the music on, and off we went. WOW. This was AWESOME! I was having the best time. I was doing just fine keeping up. Yeah - Im not about to hop on a stage anytime soon, but I was having a ball. I was beading with sweat and most of all I was smiling and laughing.

Im now up to week 7 and it turns out that I can watch myself in the mirror while I dance with the group. I can even hold my head up and give it my all. It's so much fun! I feel like I did as a young girl. I come home and I am ready to be a good Mum and a loving wife. Its so important to remember what made you tick in your youth and try to get back on that horse.

Go on, swallow your pride; sign up for something that you love or have always wanted to do, or had on your bucket list. I swear. You will have no regrets (even if you do fly over the handle bars!) It makes a great story ;-)

The best part of this whole thing is that I am 'me' again. I remember little bits about myself, things I was forgetting because I was just constantly doing what needed to be done. I can laugh, I can have fun, and I can do the things that I like to do as well as keeping my family happy. I think my family are even happier now that I am off doing my own thing more often because I find I have more patience and time to spend with them when I am present. Do what makes you happy...because it will make everyone else around you happy too.

Written by Jess Eastwood

The Uphill battle

So…recently I kind of threw the towel in on Square One. I was getting a bit exhausted helping everyone else, and not really looking after myself. Don’t get me wrong - I absolutely loved working with all of my clients and watching the change in them made everything worth it. However, at the same time I was battling with juggling the kids over school holidays, christmas, house rentals, other work commitments, general family life, friends, dogs blah blah and then my Dad was diagnosed with stage 3 Throat Cancer.

What a slap in the face that was.

Most people I know have been touched by the biatch that is cancer, some have been lucky and made awesome escapes, some have made narrow ones. Then there have been many who haven’t won the stupid fight, and their memories are with us all every day, as well as the heart ache and longing to see them again.

As I came to terms with what was going on with my Dad, and expected the worst (which was really unlike me, but I was just so used to all the bad news) I decided to put my Health Coaching on hold and focus on healing my Papa. They were the longest, most emotional months of my life!  

Long story short (without undermining his battle) after 7 weeks of radiation every day, chemotherapy and a barrage of doctors, nurses, specialists, dieticians and the mind blowing people he met on the way, he was one of the luckier ones who has managed to come out the other side and received the result of:

And I still had my Dad.

"NO NODULES PRESENT ON THE THROAT AND NO VISIBLE TUMOUR!!!!"

(YEP, EVEN THE DOCTOR USED EXCLAMATION MARKS!)

HOLY SHIT. 

HE DID IT.

There is no rhyme or reason as to what ‘cures’ those cancer cells. I must say Dad had the most positive attitude I have ever witnessed, causing all of those around him to adopt the same attitude. He also made a heap of life changes for the best that also managed to salvage some relationships.

Also between my Aunty and myself we had him filled to the brim with holistic remedies and potions! I was waiting for customs to turn up on one of our doorsteps suggesting we were doing something illegal. (So backward the system is, when these remedies have healing proof. Anyway, I am sidetracking)  

ANYWAY! Once this nightmare crossed the line, and we had some positive results I decided it was time to go back to work. I was still not in the right frame of mind for my clients, and knew I needed to be the best of myself to help them be their best.

So I decided it was time to work for someone else. No late night invoicing and research, no juggling kids and emails at the exact same time, being able to focus 100% at work, and then 100% on the kids. When I was at home, I would be present, and when I was at work I would be present. (Didn't think about the rest of it, had my blinkers on)

I started working for an amazing New Zealand travel company, who were warm and wonderful and running a really successful business. It was great to be a part of it, and to walk into work and out each night and get paid for all then hours I did!  However, flexibility was missing. Having worked for myself for over 8 years now, I really struggled with this. It wasn’t the fault of anyone that there was no flexibility, it was just the nature of the job. I really battled with this, and as Murphys law would have it, my kids were sick a whole heap of days and I was really sick too (I really had dropped my game!).

One day I was listening to a podcast that confirmed what I was battling with. Their research confirmed that the most important thing for a working mother is flexibility in her role. I spoke to my employers and we all agreed we had tried to make it work, but that organisation wasn’t the right place for flexibility.  So I am finishing up there this week, sadly, I will miss the team, but in the interest of all of us, the right call has been made.  I know there are many of you out there working your asses off, juggling motherhood, family life, illness who don't have the option to switch to the business you created. I take my hat off to you and promise to offer support and life hacks to help you along your journey. Keep it up, You are seriously amazing.

The last week for me has been filled with sleepless nights and a bazillion ideas racing through my mind!  Maybe I got lost, we all do sometimes. "You don't know what you have got till it's gone" rings loud and true in my ears. Maybe I needed my own "Health strategist" to figure this all out.

These bags represent all the ideas running through my head! Each one made to support you and your requirements.

I seriously love each and everyone of our you! Our amazing followers, and clients. It is you that keep us going! It is your successes, your triumphs and your real life that reminds me we are all human and that we all need each other. I love that people don’t feel alone after they spend time with me. That they feel like they’ve made a friend in business and life (and I do too!) And that they don’t need to sign up for something that lasts months, years and beyond. I’m there to help them at the stage they’re at. I’m keen on empowering, not enabling. I’m there to offer my opinion, offer shared wisdom and advice based on things I know work.  Your comments when both Arna and I are out and about are so heart warming and fulfilling, it's just so awesome to be a part of such an amazing community of like minded people who are all trying their hardest, and in all reality, are doing a really good job!

So, with excitement I write this blog entry to let you all know that I am back on board, firing with all cylinders and ready to rock your worlds again. Watch this space, I have some amazing ideas and plans in the pipeline. Square One Health will have your motor oiled the way its supposed to be, and all the confusion simplified, the noise gone and the support you need available.

I am 100% committed to helping you fight your own uphill battles.  Turns out I am made for this job!  As a health coach my clients all require completely different results and support. I promise I am there with your best interest at heart.

Thanks for supporting us throughout the last few months. You are all amazing and I am humbled by the kind words and care that came from many of you. Onwards and Upwards team!  We’ve got this, let’s go live our lives the best way we can!

Written by Jess Eastwood

The silent hell (sample)

14th August, 2016. It was one of those epic ski days, those days where I actually wanted to pinch myself. I was skiing with a group of great friends and my kids were off in their lessons. I was officially living the Treble Cone ski dream for the next hour. 

I stood, looking out at the breathtaking view and deciding on my next ski line to take down the hill. I was waiting on my friends to catch up. The sun was belting down and there wasn't a cloud in the sky. Then, suddenly from behind my right shoulder I heard a wee squeal of excitement, then the haunting noise of my friends worried scream, then ... well, I don't remember.

At some point I then opened my eyes and I was on my side. I felt like I was being chocked to death, I needed my helmet OFF, but I couldn't get my words together to ask for it. Everyone was saying my name and asking if I was okay, but I still couldn't respond. I wanted to, but I couldn't. All I could see was the view I had been looking at, but sideways.

I was waiting for my body to tell me what was broken or hurt, but I was numb, and I was confused. So confused. I couldn't seem to make my brain work the way it used to! Someone finally took my helmet off and I mustered a smile and asked my friend if she was okay (she was lying on the other side of me, underneath one of my legs. I couldn't understand how she had ended up there with no sliced face from my ski, but thankfully she was okay!)

By now a wee posse of friends skiing the same route had arrived and everyone was asking me random questions, that I really couldn't answer! After convincing them I didn't need ski patrol and that nothing was broken I stayed sitting in the snow for 15 minutes, still body scanning myself and trying to work out what had happened. 

I SKIED DOWN TO THE BASE (AS I FELT REASONABLY OKAY...APART FROM A 'WEIRD' HEADACHE, A DAZED STATE, A VERY SORE COLLAR BONE, SORE BACK AND AN ACHING SHOULDER) I DO BELIEVE, I THOUGHT I WAS INVINCIBLE.

So after a couple more runs (!!!!) and a trip back down the hill (thank goodness I did not drive) I decided I would take some Panadol (this is big for me as I am not a painkiller taker, boy was that about to change!) The head pain and eye sight was becoming worse, and I was desperate to watch my friend who had been on TV 'The Block NZ' for weeks, as she took her house to auction...but I couldn't even watch the screen for 1 minute without agonising pain in my eyes.

I was scared, so confused and in disbelief that anything serious was wrong. I also didn't let on to my husband how bad things were, as I didn't want to frighten him or the kids. I trotted off to bed and spent the night in sweats having nightmares.

Next morning I popped some more pain relief, headed to my usual 6.15am gym class, in a severe dazed state with a bad headache. I was playing 'fake it till you make it' apparently! Friends said I was' not on the planet' at the gym and very out of it. Still I drove home, then drove my children to school, then took my 'Girls on the Run' running group. This beautiful bunch of mothers and carers told me to get myself straight to the doctor...as I was losing balance a lot, and I think I was finally accepting that things weren't right.

The doctor told me I should be right in 3 days and that I had a mild concussion, a bruised collar bone and my shoulder would need physio. I had severe whiplash (due to the extreme speed of the accident) and I had been winded. No more driving, and to go home and rest with pain killers. No screens, no noise, no light, no exercise...just sleep...SERIOUSLY...did this woman know me at all?!!

I did however do that, I couldn't actually physically manage anything else. The adrenalin had clearly worn off, and I felt like I had literally been hit by a bus.

I SLEPT FOR 2 WEEKS.

THE SILENT BITCH THAT WAS CONCUSSION, WAS ABOUT TO TAKE OVER MY LIFE.

I couldn't do a thing. Just getting to the bathroom was enough for one day. I had nightmares (the neuropsychologist I was to see down the line explained why this was happening...a friend had hit me from behind! I was now in a state of constant stress and fear of anything or anyone taking me out unaware at any given moment) I couldn't spend time with my friends, I couldn't even walk with them, as my subconscious was frightened that they would hit me! (that and the fact I was good for about a 5 minute walk only)

I couldn't look after my children, only 5 minutes a day after school and 5 minutes before they went to bed, I couldn't run, jump..let alone walk! I couldn't make myself food, let alone my family. I was bed ridden and useless. There was no Netflix and social media scrolling as it caused agonising pain just to look at the screen. I also couldn't talk to anyone for longer than 4 minutes as the act of having to watch their facial expressions, gave me nausea and a headache, and made me unbelievably tired...let alone listening to, and remembering, and responding to their actual story!

Back to another doctor, after 2 weeks (so much for 3 days and she'll be right) and this doctor was unbelievably helpful, she tested me on a few things and explained I had a severe concussion and said rest was my only option and that this would take a lot of TIME. She sent me to a concussion clinic...and my new world became appointments with Physios, an Osteopath, a Chiropractor, a Neuro-psychologist, a Neurologist, Doctors, an Optometrist and an Occupational Therapists, IT WAS ACTUALLY INSANE!.

My poor husband had to do everything for all of us. That guy deserves the worlds biggest medal, he's a champion.

I WAS LIVING IN MY OWN WEE HELL. 

NO WORK (YOU ALL KNOW HOW MUCH I LOVE MY CLIENTS, AND BUSINESS!) 

NO SOCIAL LIFE (I MISSED SO MANY DEAR FRIENDS SPECIAL EVENTS) 

NO BEING A MUM OR A WIFE OR AN ANYTHING! 

I LITERALLY WENT INTO A WORLD OF DEPRESSION AND ANXIETY. 

IT WAS COMPLETELY HORRIFIC.

I hid the extent of my world to most people, I was just in a lonely hell. I looked normal on the outside (it's not like you can wear a cast on your broken brain) I would appear normal, however, on the inside my head was filled with fog, I was using all of my energy just to create words and sentences, to stand up straight and to do things like smile. I would see someone I knew on the street as I headed to an appointment, I would talk to them, get back to my car and have to sleep before driving home. The brain is AMAZING...it fuels EVERYTHING! When it is broken, it can't do jack!

My poor Mum had Phone calls of despair from me, I'd do things like phone her up from the supermarket car park (when I wasn't even going to the supermarket) and just cry to her because it felt like my whole life was gone. (Sorry Mum!!) I would try to see a friend, or go to a school event and have to leave early, go home, crawl into bed and cry.

It was hard, as my friend who had crashed into me felt horrific, it was so hard for her, I tried to hide my symptoms, but as she is such a good friend, I often crumbled and moaned I use this platform to remind her that not once have I EVER blamed her, it was a complete freak accident. She has been amazing throughout my entire recovery.

I learned to walk with my dog again, my complete best furry friend, I couldn't have done it without his motivating expressions to get out and chase the bunnies. Prior to the accident, I was running a good 40km minimum a week, and the rest of it (gym, dance class, yoga, coaching girls on the run, trampoline action with kids, handstand practice...I was active!) So to simply whittle down to managing 2 x 10 minute dog walks a day...things were dull.

I then managed to get myself back to my gym and find a small amount of happiness from being able to hit some form of a routine again. Sure I was doing what felt like the worlds lamest exercises, but I was still surrounded by that familiar setting, at a familiar early bird time of day. I wasn't sleeping at night, I was sleeping a lot during the day, so it didn't really matter what time I did things. I was in my own world of recovery. Hubby was sole charge of the children. It was a weird machine, but we did it.

I was left with lingering debilitating fatigue, it's like a brick wall that slams you in the face, when your 'life bucket' is full. It doesn't take much to fill that bucket, and when it's full, it bursts, and the fatigue is scary and humiliating. I suffered anxiety attacks before the simplest of events like going to the supermarket, going to a child's pantomime, heading to an appointment. The anxiety would set in as I feared if I could make it through the 'mission', before the fatigue cloud came in at rapid speed and I had to lye down and close my eyes instantly.

I learned a lot about myself, and about my relationships with people. My support crew were unbelievable. Constant phone calls, even though they knew I was too tired to talk, they would just leave chirpy, cheerful voice messages for me to hear when I was up to it. They would message me, and offer help to the hubby. They never gave up on me, which was heart breaking, as many times I gave up on myself....I couldn't even check my fucking emails, it hurt so much. It hurt my head, my eyes and it exhausted me beyond belief.

If you are reading this and you are suffering from a Concussion or those who have hit Post Concussion Syndrome please realise what you are going through is normal and you are not alone! For those with a loved one suffering...

JUST BE THERE FOR THEM, NEVER STOP LETTING THEM KNOW...IT IS SO LONELY ON 'PLANET CONCUSSION' AND JUST KNOWING THERE ARE PEOPLE STILL THERE FOR YOU WHEN YOU COME OUT OF THE HIDEOUS FOG LITERALLY MAKES A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE.

If you are concuss, or were and are still in the 'fog of hell', be patient (trust me, I am the most impatient person ever...well, I was!) REST, REST, REST...it;'s your best friend. No alcohol, no stimulants, no caffeine, fresh real food, some sort of a routine around meal times, or just tiny things like a shower each day. Keep presenting to your doctor if you don't feel like yourself, and accept the help you are offered. That was another massive thing for me - letting go of trying to control everything. ACCEPT that you have this 'traumatic brain injury' and put yourself first. Focus on getting better.

I was determined to dance again. It was the highlight of my week. I had to take 8 weeks off, but then I made it back to class, and sure, it meant sleeping all day just to make it to a one hour dance class, then having to sit and watch half of the routines...but being surrounded by my tribe was pure heaven, and I am certain it aided my mind and mood in recovery.

I also learned how to meditate, YUP...I slowed down so much that I meditated up to 3 times a day. Only for a simple 10-15 minutes at a time, but I believe it changed my world. I still meditate as often as I can each day. I personally use the app 'headspace', however there are many other options out there. I will never stop this practice. It slows me down entirely. I am refreshed, grateful, calm, and so insanely less 'highly strung' than ever before. I am now able to cope with the drama on such a different playing field.

Meditation helped me connect with the present moment by finding wellbeing in the NOW before anything happened. I became happy and satisfied by simply the sensation of breathing. We are always 'butting in' to our 'now' with more thoughts, more of 'what's next' or 'what else do I need to do right now' or of course our cell phones 'bing' at us with the next notification. It's so nice to just stop, and appreciate what is right in front of you right then and there! Cortisol levels dropped when I started meditating, stress levels dissipated as the constant high frequency happening all around me dissolved through me focussing on only one thing (meditation).

I am a firm believer of the idea that things happen for a reason. As much as it was horrible to think about, yes, maybe it was true. Prior to the accident I was running around like a blue-ass fly, helping and training my clients, and doing that thing that Mums do ;-) then this happened and I completely re-prioritised my life. I now hear the birdsong (I even just told my children to open the window as a bird was singing really loudly in the garden! I was writing this as I heard it...in the past I wouldn't have heard it)

I re-connected with the people and things who matter. Work does not need to consume me. I also learned to let other help me, to ask for help, and to let my children deal with the fact that someone else was going to help them, other than me, and that they would be just fine!! 

I also learned that exercise is 100% an aid for depression. I know I have posted about this before, but I feel even more strongly about this now. It took the hideous pressure headaches out of my head, it made me appreciate that I could still move (sure I wasn't moving like I used to) but I was moving! and that was awesome! I have always been an exercise addict, but this is a new level of appreciation. Get moving team, get the kids moving, the Grant parents moving, soothe your brain, re-build your brain with fresh blood and oxygen. It is a fact. MOVE.

So, from the girl who couldn't put her head down to vacuum, wipe a bench, do her shoe laces up, make a school lunch. Couldn't co-ordinate her eyes and mouth to read her son a bedtime story, Couldn't catch up on the school newsletter, or read emails from her children's teachers. Couldn't go to the school gate because it was too busy for her broken brain. Couldn't be a Mother (horrifically heart breaking), Couldn't be a wife, cried to her parents most days down the phone line, couldn't be there for her friends if they were struggling, couldn't remember things, concentrate, read, watch, participate or laugh. I am so excited to say that I am nearly there! 

Those who are also suffering, you will be too! I can now run again without needing to sleep all day, I dance again, I made it to a Coldplay concert (with ear plugs and no alcohol), I can be an actual Mum, Wife, Friend and Human being again. I can offer hope, promise and motivation to anyone out there who is also suffering from post concussion syndrome and living in the 'concussion fog of life'.

You will get through it, you will be yourself again. Sure, it's apparently going to take me a complete year to two years to be right back to myself again (able to work a full days work/look at a screen without a special eye protector/ avoid neon lighting/ not take naps/ not suffer headaches/ not crumble into pieces when I get home from a small social gathering or simple coffee with a friend/ and the rest of it!) but I don't mind! I am so freaking excited to be alive, be able to walk/run/jump and bounce.  I have managed to loose the anxiety and compulsion to be always doing something. I appreciate the most tiny things in life. We are so lucky to be alive!

I did it! Have THE BEST TIME on stage with my dancing tribe. Loud music, bright lights, nerves and memory required!

If anyone needs to talk about their concussion, or someone else who has a head injury, I come to the table with first hand experience and a mass amount of research and ideas on holistic recovery. It was my only project for 5 months! Please reach out, and please remember, you WILL get better, you will 'dance' again!

Most importantly, I am back and ready to tackle your struggles head on. My coaching programs are tweaked and even better than ever and I am excited to work with you again! It's time to pull all of that endless chatter out of your mind and make some healthy real life choices, so you can be your best selves too.

LAST BUT NOT LEAST, THANK YOU ALL TO MY FAITHFUL FOLLOWERS AND SQUARE ONE SUPPORTERS, YOU HAVE BEEN OUT OF THIS WORLD. 

I AM MOTIVATED AND READY TO ROCK..AFTER I HAVE A WEE NAP ;-)

2017 has a plethora of new ideas, products and goodness coming your way. WATCH THIS SPACE. 

BREATHE AND SMILE.

 

Meet the team website page (Sample)

Managing Director and Designer

xxx is our world experienced jeweller she is a dynamic of inspiration, creativity and business. A co-founder of xxx, xxx established the founding collections and supplier network for the company and invariably ensures the highest quality of services for every client. xxx designs each exquisite piece for xxx established international client base. 

xxx travels internationally to collaborate with private clients and is often requested as the guest speaker for exclusive Business courses.  With her diligent managerial talents, compelling business sense and compassion for every individual client she works with she is a powerhouse of her own.  

xxx is an assiduous designer for current collections, planner and jewellery architect for future seasons.  Her sensational passion and ability are undeniable. “I believe people should have access wherever they are to high design, beautifully crafted jewellery and customer service second to none”.

With a BA Honours Degree in Jewellery Design from the elite Central Saint Martins College, London, collaboration with top designers and prestigious companies such as Goldsmiths, De Beers and Cartier, experience working for Benney, Goldsmiths and Silversmiths to the Queen, xxx has a plethora of design experience and intelligence.  Her jewellery has walked the catwalk at London Fashion week and she has exhibited pieces around the United Kingdom.  It becomes transparent to see that xxx more than a well-trained jeweller.

When she is not running the company, designing collections, working with clients and investors or competing in many of our stunning alpine sports events,  xxx relishes her family time with Husband xx and 2 adorable children.

Head of Sales and Operations

xxx is our insanely organised operations and sales principal. With a head for strategies and savvy ideas xxx controls the smooth operation of the business. First and foremost xxx ensures all of our endearing clients are supported without exception.  

xxx maintains that all xxx processes and orders run smoothly with her flawless preparation capabilities. xxxx will liaise with our Master craftsmen and suppliers to ensure harmony throughout the evolution of our pieces. With her surplus of international sales and marketing experience, skills and knowledge xxxx ensures xxx ultimate customer service standards are always exceeded.

xxx is a top planner. She has created world class systems and loyal customer service operations.  Her marketing genius, co-ordination and development in the complex back end of our website is second to none. It is through xxx diligent work ethic that our operations run seamlessly.

xxx is also a Mother of two handsome boys, a delicious baker and and her ability to kick-box like a pro certainly feeds into her dedicated, disciplined vocation here at xxx.