Beetroot, Macadamia + Feta Salad

As the weather’s warming up here in Melbourne, Australia I’m craving salad again. This is one of my top 5 salad recipes. It's really nourishing, filling and has a beautiful balance of flavours. Peppery rocket, creamy macadamias, earthy, sweet beetroot and tangy marinated feta cheese. It’s super quick and easy to make and it leaves me feeling full for ages!

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  • Serves 4

  • Prep time 15 mins

Ingredients:

  • 120g rocket

  • 250g beetroot

  • 3/4 cup macadamia nuts

  • 75g marinated feta (you can find a vegan one at health food shops)

  • 60ml cold pressed virgin olive oil

  • cracked pepper

Method:

  1. Empty the rocket into a salad bowl.

  2. Cut the beetroot into bite sized pieces and arrange on top of the rocket.

  3. Pour the macadamia nuts over the top of your beetroot.

  4. Break up the feta over your salad.

  5. Pour the olive oil over the top evenly.

  6. Crack pepper on top according to taste.

Note: you can use fresh beetroot roasted in the oven for 30-40 mins on 180 degrees celsius but this will add to the prep time. If I’m in a hurry I use pre-packaged baby beetroot from the supermarket.

Mindset with Chrissy Roil

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5 beliefs that are holding you back…

…and how to break through them.

Before we begin I’d love to know… how’s your self care going? If you’re reading this post about self beliefs then I’m guessing you’re already a self care advocate. If that’s the case I’d love to gift you my free 5 Day Self Care Challenge to help you level up your routine. If that’s not the case and you’re wondering “what do you mean self care?”, or thinking “oh yeah I should really try to make that a priority”, then my 5 day challenge is the perfect way to start your practice! Click here to join up!

Every Tuesday night I attend an online training webinar with the amazing women from the Gratitude Gang. If you’ve never heard of the Gratitude Gang before or aren’t sure what it is then I’ll give you a little summary. We’re a group of women around the world who help support one another in our online health and wellness businesses. We’re passionate about helping people improve their health, finances, and lives in general. Our Tuesday night trainings are often filled with golden nuggets of personal development and they are seriously the highlight of my week! Never thought I’d say that about work, but there you go!

One particular gem in the Gratitude Gang is Chrissy Roil. She was living the corporate life prior to joining the Gang and simply wasn’t feeling fulfilled. Whilst on maternity leave she came across the Gratitude Gang and decided it was the perfect next step. She’s managed to achieve her goal of staying at home with her son Koa, and is now living her dream life, helping other women achieve their own personal goals.

Chrissy hosted one of our recent training sessions about mindset and how to break through limiting self beliefs. I was amazed at how many of them were holding me back and I want to share them with you now so you can reflect on whether shifting your own negative beliefs could help you unlock your power and reach your full potential.

#1 STOP CARING ABOUT WHAT OTHERS THINK!

Society teaches us to comply and conform, so naturally when we step outside of the norm and do something a little different we’re going to attract attention (including judgment).

It makes people uncomfortable when we do things differently because all of a sudden they start to evaluate their own choices. If they feel particularly uncertain about the choices they’ve made they may criticise what we’re doing to reassure themselves.

Remember, this is about them, not you! If you’re happy with your choice then you don’t need to worry about what they’re saying. Also, if they don’t have the life you want then you probably don’t need to take advice from them. Ask yourself... are they happier, healthier, wealthier, and wiser than me? If not, then it might be time to disregard what they’re saying.

In other words, we need to build our “F off muscle”. Our dreams are too important to let the judgment of others thwart them. We have ourselves, our families and our communities to look after.

The opinions of others won’t pay your bills! So go out there and fulfil your dreams. At the end of the day, what are you more likely to regret? Doing something that was right for you, which might be outside the norm, or “fitting in” and always wondering what could’ve been if you’d been brave enough?

#2 NO = NEXT OPPORTUNITY

Do you often feel rejected in life? When people decline your offer do you make it mean something about you?

Whether you’re providing a service, selling a product or simply trying to connect with someone as a friend, changing the way you see their decline can seriously impact your level of self belief.

All too often we associate a “no” with failure, we make it mean that we’re bad, wrong or unworthy. But really people say “no” for their own reasons. Your offer may not be coming at the right time for them, or they might not feel worthy enough to take you up on it. Chances are they have a whole bunch of excuses and reasons as to why they can’t have what you’re offering.

Think about how often you’ve said “no” to playing with your child, catching up with a friend for breakfast, buying a new outfit, or prioritising your health... you’ve probably made excuses like “I have all these other things to do first”, “I’m too busy”, “I’m too tired”, “I can’t afford it” or even “I don’t deserve it”. Guess what? Other people are making the same excuses. Some of them might even be legitimate. But when they’re not, that’s about them, not you, that’s them getting in THEIR own way.

You know the saying “you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink”? Same goes for people, we can’t force them to prioritise themselves, even when we know they’re so much worthier and capable than they believe. But we can be there when they’re ready to take us up on it, when they realise that they’re worthy enough to say “YES!”

In the meantime though, don’t waste your time trying to convince someone, or worse... thinking that it means something bad about you. It doesn’t! Move on to the next opportunity...

Chrissy reminded us of a story we heard on one of our retreats about a business owner increasing their annual revenue by $670,000 from asking people if they’d like to buy a $2 item. What if they’d stopped asking after the first person said no?

#3 IT’S TOO HARD

Excuses, excuses, excuses. We all have them, but all they really do is get in our way! We can come up with plenty of excuses as to why we shouldn’t do something, and our brain is super clever at talking us out of stuff. But if we can talk ourselves out of something, then we can damn well talk ourselves into something! Or better yet… stop talking and start acting!

Action will help us build belief! Action creates confidence! Does Beyonce sit around whining about how hard it is? No! She just get’s the job done. For her Homecoming concert at Coachella she rehearsed almost every day, for 115 days, with some of those days lasting 11 hours! All after birthing twins. She set her goals and got into action. She’s since said she would never push herself that far again, but even if we all worked 20% as hard as Beyonce, we’d be achieving a mammoth feat. We have the same amount of hours in the day as her so not even the “no time” excuse will suffice.

When we really think about what’s actually hard, it’s probably the life we’re currently living. If we did the things that are certain to bring us joy we’d find our life is actually a whole lot easier. It’s about choosing our hard. Imagine how hard life is going to be if we don’t get into action and achieve our goals… what will we have to sacrifice? What will our health be like? What will we have to say no to? What will we regret not doing? Now, that’s hard!

We need to choose our hard… we can do the work that’s going to get us past the excuses now, or miss out later on?

#4 I’M NOT 100% SURE

We all have doubts about what we’re doing, particularly if we’re perfectionists or if someone else has a different opinion to ours. Belief doesn’t always come naturally, sometimes we need to build it. So if you know in your heart or your gut that you want to achieve a particular goal, or have a certain career, then you may need to work on building your belief in what it is that you want to do. It might be building your belief in the industry you’re in, recognising why the product or service you’re selling is beneficial, or getting a clear understanding of why you want to achieve a goal.

Sometimes it’s about shifting our focus from the negative to the positive. Say it’s a product for example, rather than focusing on all the reasons why people say they don’t want to buy it, focus on why people should buy it. That’s what good marketers do, they list the features and benefits, not the imperfections. If you were to write a list of why your business, product, service or dream is worth it, you’ll most likely notice that you’ll feel a whole lot prouder and more confident about putting it out into the world and just going for it.

If you’re not sure if it’s really in your heart click here

#5 I’M NOT ………….. ENOUGH

Similar to making external excuses about why we shouldn’t do something, many of us are also prone to talking ourselves out of something because we think we’re not enough. We even get really specific and put words in front of “enough”… good/smart/funny/pretty/talented etc. etc. If you’re female, chances are you’ve felt this way about your appearance in some way. It’s hard not to with all the messaging we get from the media. The common themes throughout my life have been “not skinny/tall/pretty/smart/confident/sexy enough”. In hindsight I know I could’ve achieved so much more if I’d just stopped telling myself I wasn’t enough and started believing I was. Even if I had to “fake it till I made it”. Nowadays I can catch myself and I have a bunch of strategies to get out of it. Here are some that I find helpful…

  • Think about what you would say to a loved one who was doubting whether they were good enough. Treat yourself as kindly as you would treat them.

  • Think of people you admire and why. Chances are the reason you like them is because they’re so uniquely themselves. They’re probably confident about who they are, or are at least trying to build their confidence. It’s unlikely they’re perfect, yet they’re not letting their imperfections get in the way of their success, so why are you?

  • Write a list of all the successes you’ve had in life and all the qualities that you bring to the table. Then get proud about them! Say them over and over again until you recognise how amazing you are.

  • Write down 50 things that you love about yourself. If that’s too hard, write down 50 things you’ve learned about yourself.

Remember… you can achieve anything you set your mind to!

If this post really resonated with you and you’d love some further guidance on implementing these, check out my coaching packages here. I’d love to help you level up your life!

How I got out of my latest funk

TRIGGER WARNING: Anxiety, Depression, Suicidal Ideation.

Earlier this week I was in a bad place. A deep, dark hole of misery and self-pity. I was wallowing. Despite knowing all the strategies I could use to get myself out of my slump, I just couldn’t seem to break free. I was aware of the negative self-talk tape that was on repeat in my mind, but I couldn’t re-write it. Usually I’m pretty healthy but my body was craving stodgy food, sugar and alcohol and there was no way I was going to bother exercising. I was constantly on the brink of tears and I was becoming snappy. I was snowballing towards suicidal ideation and I knew I had to break the cycle before it got too dangerous. I’ve been there before and it’s hard to come back from that place.

My partner and I had a podcast interview to record at night and I really wasn’t in the mood, but it was important, so despite my anxiety about messing it up I committed and we went through with interviewing Faustina Agolley. I’d worked with her in my twenties and I remember her being incredibly effervescent and confident. I was mesmerised by her in those days. More recently I’d become aware of her struggles with anxiety and I was intrigued for a different reason. For someone who suffered from anxiety she’d achieved an awful lot. Looking at my own history of success it seemed a bit lacklustre in comparison. I would advise anyone against comparing themselves to others, but here I had an opportunity to get curious and to find out some answers. I asked Faustina how she overcomes her anxiety and she introduced me to the work of Mel Robbins.

The next day, when I was still feeling a bit crappy I did a little googling and discovered a Ted Talk by Mel. It was a massive wake up call and although it was confronting to have such a kick up the butt, it was exactly what I needed. After beginning to implement the strategies that Mel talks about, like the 5 second rule, I felt my mood transform. So I’ll just leave this video below for anyone who’s in need of a bit of a nudge…

I’d also realised that my “to do” list was making me feel pressured, rather than productive. I’m a natural problem solver and since I was feeling a little more motivated I had a think about how to transform my “to do” list into a more helpful tool. I was well aware of all the jobs I needed to do and I had them all written down, so instead of adding to the list and crossing them off like I normally did, I decided to write a new list of the things I managed to get done during the day. I committed to also writing down the little things, to give the everyday tasks credit too, because being in such a slump, even getting out of bed was a small miracle. I spoke to my friend later that night and she told me she’d started writing a “Ta Dah” list… the exact same thing I’d thought of, but with a way cooler name (thank you divine intervention!). Here’s my list from my first productive day…

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Aside from these two important steps I also had extensive chats with my partner and one of my mentors about what I was going through. I can’t stress enough how important it is to have supportive people in your life. Those who will help to build you up when you’re feeling down. People who will really listen but also ask the right questions and get curious about what’s going on. When you’re feeling vulnerable, those who can empathise with you, as well as walk beside you whilst you search for a way to move forward, are like pure gold.

I also shared my experience on social media in the hopes that others who might be going through a rough time would know they weren’t alone. I often fall into the trap of sharing only the highlights so I figured it was a good opportunity to let people know that I’m human and have shitty days too. I don’t want anyone putting me on a pedestal or thinking I’m even close to perfect. I had a bunch of messages from friends and acquaintances offering support, solidarity and just generally checking in on me. In a world where there’s so much divisiveness and disconnection, it’s great to know you’re not alone, that there’s still community out there. And by sharing our vulnerabilities we allow that connection (thanks Brene Brown).

*Obviously I watched more than just one Mel Robbin’s video, so here’s another that I found really useful…


ANZAC Day and a recipe for ANZAC Biscuits

ANZAC Day: a national day of remembrance in Australia and New Zealand that broadly commemorates all Australians and New Zealanders "who served and died in all wars, conflicts, and peacekeeping operations" and "the contribution and suffering of all those who have served". - Wikipedia

I still have mixed feelings about ANZAC day. I’ve always felt yuck about war, and wondered why those in power can’t seem to resolve conflict peacefully instead of resorting to an action that means thousands of innocent lives are lost.

Then again, I’ve never been in a position of power that’s required navigation of such delicate matters and I understand the importance of respecting the bravery of those who had no choice but to serve their country. Both of my grandfathers fought in the second World War, so ANZAC Day is something my family has always marked. My father, making speeches at local services, and my brother marching as a cadet.

With a background in education, I feel it’s important to teach my son about significant days. As a mother, I’m careful not to glorify war, so instead, I commemorate ANZAC Day with age appropriate activities.

This year I asked my son the night before what he knew about ANZAC Day. They’d read a book in class called Anzac Ted, so we viewed a read aloud on YouTube. In the morning we arose early to watch the Dawn Service in Melbourne and around Australia presented by the ABC News. I was pleased to see a greater acknowledgement of Indigenous soldiers, previously excluded from recognition. I also noticed the voices of women were more present than in previous years… female soldiers, mothers and grandmothers. There was also discussion of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and the need to appropriately support returned soldiers. War affects everyone, so I feel it’s important to see the views from as many people as possible.

Sadly, the coverage cut to news of a potential attack in Gallipoli that had been prevented by police. Much weight was given to the evidence that it was Islamic State who was planning this attack. Obviously it’s important to report the news, although I couldn’t help but feel a sense of fear mongering going on, a reminder of the importance of war against our “enemies”. There has been pushback against days like ANZAC and Remembrance Day as many believe it’s simply a justification for the lost lives in the name of the Empire and Manhood. I hope that the extensive coverage of the planned attack in Gallipoli isn’t simply a way of asserting notions of “us against them”, subtly reminding people that we are still at risk in order to justify war. I believe much damage is done here, particularly for the Muslim community, when the majority of representations we see are of terrorists. The vast majority of the Muslim community I know are peaceful, welcoming and diligent and I wish there were more images like that in our media.

I also wish Australia would treat the suffering and significant events of other peoples and countries with as much respect as it gives to the soldiers who’ve fought for us. It’s clear to me that the first war in Australia (that of colonisation) is given far less attention than our national days of remembrance, and I hope that this changes as quickly as possible.

With such a heavy morning, we spent the rest of it doing more frivolous activities, colouring in poppies, a symbol of war remembrance and making ANZAC cookies (recipe below).

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This afternoon we might revisit the story of ANZAC Ted with some historical literacy activities. Education begins at home and I’m aware that parents are a child’s earliest teacher, so I’m committed to marking this day with reverence and understanding, since I know my child is watching.

Lest we forget (any of it).

ANZAC BISCUITS

ANZAC biscuits were sent in food parcels to Australian and New Zealand troops in Europe during World War I. The recipe was created and named for the soldiers of the Australia and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC).

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Ingredients

1 cup white spelt flour

1 cup rolled oats

1 cup dessicated or shredded coconut

3/4 cup coconut sugar

pinch of salt

1/4 cup golden syrup

125g (4 oz) unsalted butter, cubed

1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (sodium bicarbonate)

2 tablespoons boiling water

Method

Preheat oven to 180c (350f). Line three baking trays with baking paper.

Sift flour into a bowl. Add oats, coconut, coconut sugar and salt. Make a well in the centre.

Pour golden syrup and butter into a small saucepan and stir over low heat until butter has melted completely.

Dissolve the bicarbonate of soda in boiling water and add to the butter mixture. It will foam a little, this is normal, stir to combine.

Pour the wet ingredients into the well of the dry ingredients and mix to combine.

Using tablespoons, drop the mixture onto the sheets of baking paper with enough room between them to spread.

Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden (watch them, they cook quickly). Allow to cool on trays for a few minutes so they don’t break when transferring to wire racks.

Enjoy warm with a cup of tea.

Store any extras in an airtight container for as long as two weeks.

Why Travelling Scares the Sh** Out of Me

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Have you ever done the “rocking chair test”? You know, the one where you imagine yourself in old age, in your rocking chair, reflecting on your life? You contemplate whether you’re happy, whether you lived your life well, whether you have any regrets?

It’s my favourite reflection tool and I do it on a regular basis. For over a decade, the same regret has come up for me… travel. Not regretting travel I’ve done, but regretting travel I haven’t done. I mean, I’ve travelled a little bit. My parents took me to the usual overseas places Aussie kids go… Bali, Fiji and Cairns, but beyond that I haven’t really done a lot.

It’s surprising, considering I’m someone who loves to explore, try new things, and experience culture. So what’s been holding me back? To be honest, I’m still working that out but I think it has to do with fear (I mean… doesn’t everything?). In order to travel, I would have to get really out of my comfort zone, I’d probably make mistakes, I’d have to be really responsible, and I’d most likely put myself in dangerous situations.

There’s also the FOMO factor. In my 20s I was very determined to be available for as many modelling jobs as possible, the thought of missing out on “my big break” was too overwhelming for me. Mind you, my big break never came, and I spent all that time not travelling! There were also all the social events that I might miss out on if I were travelling… the fear of not knowing what people were talking about when I came back triggered old primary school feelings of exclusion. My friends, however, travelled on a regular basis and seemed to fit seamlessly back into the circle, with exciting tales to tell, so it can’t just be that.

I suppose money was a bit of an obstacle. I’ve always found saving a challenge, and of course, you can’t travel without savings. In order to be able to travel, you usually have to make a few sacrifices, give up a few luxuries, and work a bit harder to stash away as much as you can. Sacrifice is a skill I’m still building (I WANT IT ALL!). If it’s not already clear… I live a pretty privileged life.

And then there’s the guilt… I’m not sure where the story came from but travelling always seemed to be reserved for the rich, the lucky, and the retired. Maybe if I’d been open to backpacking I might’ve had a different idea about travelling, but living in a hostel with a bunch of strangers was absolutely terrifying to me. On some level, I didn’t feel I deserved to travel, I hadn’t worked hard enough to deserve a break from anything, I should be at home, slaving away.

I think the biggest fear for me is the “what if?” aspect. I’m really good at catastrophising! I can conjure up all sorts of horrific events that COULD happen whilst we’re travelling… robbery, set ups, abduction, natural disasters, mass shootings, or just a plain old crappy time. Even the little things that would make me feel uncomfortable or stressed are enough to talk me out of travelling… getting lost, making a booking error, falling ill, language barriers etc. etc…. I can think of so many reasons why NOT to travel.

But, at the end of the day, (or the end of my time), if I don’t face my fear, get out there and explore, I KNOW I’ll be kicking myself in my rocking chair. And if I can get out of my comfort zone and take the leap, I can open myself up to a world of possibilities, experiences, lessons, skills, memories, quality time with my family, and an understanding of myself that I just couldn’t gain from staying in one place.

So… this year… I’m going to conquer my fear of travelling! I promise myself that I will go somewhere I’ve never been before, somewhere a whole day away, somewhere that gets me out of my comfort zone, forces me to be responsible, fix my mistakes, and learn how to keep myself safe. Here goes…

I love helping others conquer their fears, so if travelling’s been on your bucket list for a while and you need help getting into action click HERE

Why Self Care is So Important

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Self Care has been a constant theme throughout my life. Obviously, as a child, I was a natural at self care, most privileged children are. Growing up, I had a wonderful self care role model. My mother always “looked after herself”, dressing her best and taking care of her skin, she was, and still is, an avid reader and foodie who loves a bit of indulgence here and there. Don’t get me wrong, my mum probably sacrificed way too much for us. As a born nurturer, she loves to take care of others, but there were moments when I was young that she would have “me time”, or treat herself, and I’m so grateful that I grew up witnessing that.

Self care is different for everyone. Personally, I’ve got a pretty extensive and varied repertoire when it comes to self care… journaling, meditation, crystals, baths, cups of tea, nature walks, skincare routines, regular exercise, nourishing food, and a pamper session whenever the budget allows. For my partner, self care consists of television, sleep ins, red wine and the odd KitKat. There’s no right or wrong when it comes to self care, as long as the person is doing what feels right for them.

My self care has changed throughout the years, depending on my budget, but I’ve usually been able to find creative ways of making it happen, making my own face masks from ingredients at home, long baths with candles and dreamy music, or taking a book and some homemade food for a picnic by myself. It wasn’t a constant routine, or dedicated time, just when I felt like it, really, so I didn’t really notice when it started to drop off.

I met a man who made me feel beautiful, treasured, special. I was a muse to him, fuelling his creative flow. He praised me constantly, marvelling at my beauty, my unique personality, building me up so high. “You don’t need to wear make up, you’re beautiful without it”, he’d say, and I’d think “wow! here’s someone who loves me for who I really am”. He’d praise me when I’d put on weight, saying there was “more of me to love”, that I could be any weight and he’d still love me, in fact, he preferred it. These probably sound like lovely, kind things to say, perhaps they would’ve been if it’d stopped there, but it continued, and I began to wear less make up, eat more food, and exercise less. According to him, the oracle cards I played with, and other spiritual activities I loved indulging in were silly “mumbo jumbo” stuff, so I hid them until I forgot about them. The friends I cherished “didn’t really have my best interests at heart”, so I would spend less and less time with them. He would tell me how much he loved my cooking, and would always come around for dinner, until it became a habit that I would cook for him, according to his taste, not mine. It got darker and more sinister, but I’m not ready to go into that just yet, other than to say that I was a big old mess.

I don’t blame him entirely, I was definitely responsible for allowing him into my life, and for giving him so much say over what I did. But as a young, impressionable woman who didn’t understand what gaslighting, manipulation, or emotional abuse were or how to avoid them, I don’t blame myself entirely either. It took many attempts for me to leave that relationship. He was an expert at reeling me back in, he’d done this before. Eventually, I managed to make the final break. For years afterwards I tried to repair the wounds, upping the self care so I could reconnect to the person inside that I’d lost sight of. I revelled in exploring the ends of myself, trying out different things, tuning into how I felt about each one and empowering myself in any way I could. I revisited old things I loved, things I’d forgotten about, and I got even deeper into the “mumbo jumbo” stuff than before.

I was feeling strong, powerful, centred. Until the next relationship. I fell into old patterns quickly and allowed myself to be dominated. All the parts of myself that I’d reunited with fell away and I became a shell of myself, catering to each and every whim of my partner. Unable to make any decisions for myself, from what I should do for a career, down to what I should wear, I consulted my partner. And then I became a mother. Self care was even harder then, I barely had any time for it, and with the pressure of being everything all at once for my baby and my husband, there was no time or space left for me. Mummy guilt was a serious and wretched thing, and self care just felt plain selfish. I fell quickly into a deep depression, became suicidal, and tried to check myself into a hospital. At that point, it was clear that something had to change.

Luckily I had a great network of friends, I’d also been working on my own business and as I gained confidence and “permission” from my friends to start looking after myself, I began the journey back to Casey. Self care became a huge priority… regular exercise, nourishing food, nights out with my friends… cafe time, alone with a book. Sometimes I had to fight for it, particularly a trip away with friends, but the more time I spent practising self care, the stronger, and healthier I became.

Self care enabled me to feel worthy. At first the feeling was guilt, not worth, but with enough practise and support from my friends I was able to overcome that. Nowadays, I know that if I’m feeling crappy it’s self care that I need to look at first, and usually I find that it’s dropped. It’s a constant juggle, a balancing act, meeting all my commitments and finding time for self care. Sometimes it feels impossible to manage, but whenever my self care drops too low, everything seems to fall to pieces and I can’t get anything done. I’ve made the mistake of reducing my self care enough times to know how important it is, and I’m really good at getting back on track with it now.

Sometimes I wonder what might have happened if I’d not practised self care in my darkest days, whether I’d still be here today. I honestly believe that self care saved my life, so if you see someone who’s struggling, or if it’s you that’s finding it hard to hold on, please take the time to consider if a lack of self care is a factor.

To sign up for my FREE 5 day self care challenge click HERE.