Five Amazing Wellness Tips We Can All Learn From My Trip to Hayman Island

I’m still relishing in the goodness of my recent trip to Hayman Island. It was gloriously decadent without being brash and over-the-top, and focussed on the things that mean the most to me – health, wellbeing and finding serenity in the craziness of modern life. Sounds amazing, right?

Well here’s how it works. Hayman Island, the 5-star luxury resort in the Whitsunday Islands, has just launched their very own Spa & Wellness Program, led by their resident wellness expert, Ryko Kalinko. Think of this as an opportunity to reconnect with yourself, learn new life skills, relax and indulge in some seriously tasty (yet superbly healthy) fare over 4 blissful days.

Here’s what I learned…

1. Make The Morning Your Most Precious Time of Day

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I’m not a ‘bed springer’. I slowly open my eyes, resist the early morning light and usually roll straight back over for an extra half hour of sleepy bliss. On the flip side of that, I never sleep in past about 8:30am, but for those lucky bed springers this seems like a late start.

But here’s what I learned; those sacred few hours between around 5-7am are the most precious of the day. The world is awakening, the tide is turning and your spirit is ready to be embodied. Sleep through all that and you’ve missed out on a really beautiful, grounding time of day.

And so I’m changing. Instead of going back to sleep I’m making an effort to wake up when I first open my eyes, embracing the morning with a little meditation and morning exercise to lube up my limbs and get me ready for the day ahead. Be it chi gung, tai chi, movement meditation or yoga (all of which you learn at the retreat), I’m trying it. So stay tuned for the instalments on my Weekly Wellness Rituals, as they’re bound to pop up soon.

2. Be Open To Receiving and Sharing Information

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I never used to be very good at opening up. I preferred to pretend things were always great, when in reality I may have wanted to scream. Or cry. Or do both at the same time. Over the past few years, as I’ve worked hard at delving into the depths of myself, I’ve learned to open up, express myself and share information with other people. It’s a gloriously liberating experience feeling open to receiving, because when we spend our lives giving, it leaves us with nothing in the tank. Of course, you need to still give, but giving and taking in equal measures is what creates balance and harmony.

Ryko is a true wealth of information and knowledge. In fact, I’d go as far as to say that he is the most spiritually advanced person I’ve ever met. His ability to listen and heal and teach is truly what sets this program apart from many other wellness programs out there, so by being open – rather than resistant – to any changes or experiences that come up, allows you to really get the most out of your stay. That same can be said in life, too.

3. Let Go of Inhibitions

Let Go

One of the mornings we were there was spent doing a series of morning exercises, one of which included interpretive dance. At first we were all a little apprehensive as we bounced around on the grass, our arms flailing and my baby bump gently shuffling from side to side. From a distance we must have looked ridiculous, but as we kept going and let go of those inhibitions, the experience was hilariously fun. I felt free, alive, filled with energy and happy. So, so happy.

The lesson? So much of life is dictated by rules and worries of what other people think. It’s confining, uncomfortable and totally unnecessary. Even if you still live within those confines (and let’s be honest, most of us do), make time to break free of these shackles with a little free movement in the park, or in the privacy of your own home. I’m already planning on making morning dance a daily ritual with my son as soon as he’s old enough to stand up, and I already swan around the house making my husband break into fits of hysterical laughter. It’s great to feel uninhibited, so strip off and let loose, would you!

4. Slowing Down Ironically Speeds You Right Up

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Know someone who’s like a bee in a bottle? You know, manically busy, stressed and so highly strung it’s almost hard to be around them. We all have one of those in our life, and while the fear of slowing down might make them feel their ‘to-do’ list is getting done, the reality is the busyness in their head is causing them to move around in circles. Oh, the irony.

Here’s the truth. No matter how busy you are, if you make just a little time to stop! And breathe, even 2 minutes, you will instantly reset your brain and have more clarity, focus and concentration than you did just 2 minutes ago. By slowing down, even for a few breaths, you are actually speeding right up, but in a much healthier, more manageable way. There’s nothing good about stress, rushing around, manically switching from task-to-task, so make it a priority to switch off EVERYDAY and learn to push reset. Your mind (and body) will thank you for it.

Tell me Happies…
What do you think of these lessons?
Do you want to do the Hayman Spa & Wellness Retreat?

Stay Happy,

Yaz x

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Video: The Weekly Wellness Ritual – Wrap It, Baby

In this week’s wellness ritual I talk about the idea of wrapping yourself in a scarf. Of course, the simple pleasure of physically wrapping yourself in something cosy and warm is heavenly, but on a deeper, more spiritual level there’s something so safe and secure about feeling sheltered from the outside world. There’s also something so nurturing about this little act, which is what’s it’s all about, really. Loving yourself, taking care of yourself, embracing the good things in life.

Let’s take a look at what I mean…

Tell me Happies…

What do you think of this week’s ritual?
What do you do to nurture yourself?

Stay Happy,

Yaz xx

Sensational Winter Foodie Tips You Actually Want To Try

Wowza, is it just me or is it cold outside? For those out of town, Sydney is enjoying this glorious patch of sunny, yet bone-chillingly cold, weather that is gloriously refreshing if you A) are in the sun or B) wrapped in cashmere. I’ve opted for both.

As a result of all this coldness, your body is losing heat. It’s pouring out your head, your feet and even your pores, so now is the time to cultivate some extra warmth in your loins to help get you through the winter ahead. Just given birth? You’re extra susceptible. According to Chinese medicine, you lose a lot of heat after giving birth, so it’s even more important to nourish your body with warming foods and spices to help bring your body back into a state of equilibrium.

Here’s how to do it…

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1. Get Your Ginger Kick

Ginger’s healing ability reads like a must-have of superfoods. It fires up your circulatory system, increases your digestive juices, improves the absorption of nutrients into the body, helps relieve congestion, reduces gas and nausea and is an amazing anti-inflammatory. Basically, it leaves your insides filled with goodness that also happens to aid digestion and boost your immune system. If you can, try to add fresh ginger to as many meals as possible, throwing it in smoothies, juices, stir fries, daal, teas and even baked goods.

2. Skip The Cold Aisle

It’s natural for your body to steer clear of the ice cream aisle come winter, but it might also be beneficial to avoid other cold foods as well. Think: yoghurt, cheese, milk and ice-cold beverages. Instead, try to add warmth to your system through broths, soups, teas and roasted vegetables instead.

3. Think Light and Hot

In winter your body is working to regulate your temperature and keep you warm. It’s like there’s a little furnace in there keeping the coal burning. As a result, you want to keep your food warm, moist and relatively easy to digest in order to help the process along. Some of the best options include soups and light broths (especially if you feel as though you’re about to get sick), stews (with seasonal vegetables and small amounts of high quality protein) and hot water with lemon and a dash of cold pressed extra virgin olive oil.

4. Drink Up!

Lover of green juices and icy morning smoothies? Me too. But come winter these cooling drinks are best replaced with something more warming. My Coconutty Cacao Hot Chocolate is a perfect option, otherwise try simple tea blends like ginger and lemon, berry or lavender instead.

5. Don’t Scrimp on the Fats

The old healthy fats reign supreme yet again, this time helping your body regulate its temperature and keep your warm. Grab a handful of nuts, enjoy the benefits of coconut oil, or add avocado to your favourite meal of the day.

Tell me Happies…

How do you keep warm in winter?
Do these tips help?

Sip This: Coconutty Cacao Hot Chocolate

It’s the perfect weather for a warming winter drink that fills up your belly as much as your ‘feel-good-o-metre’ and I think this one might just have just smashed it out of the park. It’s essentially a hot chocolate, quickly crafted out of raw cacao, coconut oil, cinnamon, vanilla bean and hazelnuts, all mixed with a touch of vanilla extract. It’s so easy you can make it in under 5 minutes, and the taste lingers on your tongue for a good while after you’ve finished up. In short, it’s delectable, not to mention a great little winter warmer if you’re feeling run down.

Here’s the drink in question…

hot_chocolate

Here’s what you need…

1 x  cup of almond milk
2 x tablespoons of raw cacao
1/2 x teaspoon of coconut oil
3 x hazelnuts
2 x cloves
1 x vanilla bean or 1/2 a teaspoon or so of pure vanilla extract
1 x healthy dash of cinnamon
1 x dash of Manuka honey (optional)

OPTION: You can also add some yummy nut butters to the mixture, like cashew and turmeric, almond butter, or brazil nut butter. Play around.

And here’s what you need to do…

Step 1: Heat your milk in a saucepan and add your raw cacao and coconut milk, cloves, cinnamon and vanilla, stirring as you bring it to a very gentle simmer.

Step 2: Now, pour the heated mixture into a blender (or use a hand held) with the hazelnuts and honey (if you’re using it) and blend for a few seconds.

Step 3: Slowly pour the mixture as is, or through a sieve, into a mug and sip away, perhaps even sharing the moment with a bliss ball to really get you tingling.

Tell me Happies…

What do you think of this recipe?
How do you have your hot chocolate?

Stay Happy,

Yaz xx

Video: The Weekly Wellness Ritual

There’s nothing like a bad night’s sleep to get you thinking of ideas. As I tossed and tumbled around my sheets last night it came to me that I really should be doing more videos on The Happiness Cocktail. It’s a lovely way for me to connect with all of you and for you to see me, as I am, in (practically) person. So, here I am with my new weekly video series simply titled: The Weekly Wellness Ritual.

In a time when people are wanting to find simple ways to reconnect with themselves, it’s important to find solutions. This video series will give all of you, dear Happies, extremely simple ways to bring balance back into your life. Who knows where it will take us? But all I know is that I would have most likely tried, continue to try, or perhaps am experimenting for the first time, simple solutions to combat everyday stresses in a bid to chill out and remain calm.

So, to kick it off we start with the basics. STOP! AND BREATHE. It really doesn’t get much easier than that, does it? Then why don’t we do it all the time? When life gets in the way of you feeling connected with yourself, it’s time to put on the brakes, slow down and just be with your breath. Even just for one minute.

Here’s the video…

And here’s the part where you share your wellness rituals and suggest ideas for upcoming weeks.

 

Stay Happy,

Yaz xx