Friday, December 31, 2010


2011 is here and I feel very excited about the gifts a new year can bring - so many possibilities, so much to learn, so much to share and lots of love to boot.

Make this year your healthiest ever - I'm here to help you do this – I will show you how. Stick with me and we will go places together.

Enjoy my blog in 2011 friends!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

HAPPY Christmas to you all.... and... the winner is...

Firstly - Happy Christmas to you all. I trust it will be full of blessings and you will enjoy family time, giving, delicious eats and rest.

This will be my last blog post for the year and what an exciting way to end the year with the gift of wellness.

Over the next few weeks I'm going to go slow and take it easy. There may be a blog post here and there but I'm taking time off to rejuvenate.

But before I toddle off - I have an announcement to make - the winner of my GIVEAWAY!

CONGRATULATIONS to Jadegrrrl. I know you're going to love this! Be sure to email me with your postal address - I would love for you to have this in time for Christmas.

Signing out whilst sending love.

Nat x

Monday, December 20, 2010

Clinique Super Skin Super Food Party

Before I embarked on my Malaysia travels I was lucky enough to attend the Clinique Super Skin Super Food Event at Zinc @ Fed Square with two of my good friends.

The food was amazing - infused not only with taste but with goodness. It was a welcome change to see an event dedicated to promoting healthier eating, whilst still being all about delicious flavours.

Healthy food isn't boring food anymore. Healthy food can be creative and delicious. I want to share with you Luke Nguyen's Steamed Line Caught Mulloway It was delectable! I will definitely be making this many times over in my own kitchen.


600g mulloway fillet, skin on, sliced into 5 even pieces

Sea salt

2 sheets banana leaf (40cm in length), softened


½ tablespoon pounded galangal (2cm piece)

1 tablespoon pounded turmeric (4cm piece)

1 tablespoon pounded lemongrass

¼ tablespoon pounded garlic

½ teaspoon red curry powder (ayam brand)

2 tablespoon vegetable oil

2 tablespoon fish sauce

Combine pounded galangal, turmeric, lemongrass & garlic in a mortar and make a fine paste.

In a mixing bowl, combine all marinate ingredients, mix well then allow the ingredients to infuse for 10 minutes.

Season the fish with sea salt then add to the marinate mix and marinate for 2 hours. Turning it after the hour.

Wrap the fish in banana leaf and steam in a bamboo steamer on rapid boil for 7-8 minutes.

Serve with suggested Salad (seen in full version of the recipe)

Sarah Wilson hosted the evening and did a wonderful job along side top chefs Luke Nguyen & Teresa Cutter. I was fortunate enough to be able to catch up with her for a chat and a quick snap. I must say I have really enjoyed our connection this year and look forward to more in 2011.

Tis the season to GIVEAWAY!

I'm in a mood.
The mood to give! So, I'm giving one lucky person the chance to win a wellness pack just in time for Christmas. The pack includes our famous Organic Pagoda Chai as well as a bottle of Weleda Lavender Creamy Body Wash. Total Value $40.

You have until Thursday to tell as many people as you know to enter - simply by being a follower of the blog you will go in the draw to win.

Winners will be announced thursday - so watch out the the announcement because I will need postage details to ensure it arrives in time for Christmas!

Remember - products free of nasty chemicals and toxins equal a more fertile, healthier YOU! Best of Luck and blessings this Christmas season.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Good Food Friday Treats :: freekeh with roasted parsnip and honey

Have you heard of Freekeh? It's an ancient grain which holds a nutty flavour and is kinda chewy when cooked well. You can give it a try once you make this delicious recipe.

freekeh with roasted parsnip and honey

165g cracked freekeh
625ml water
sea salt flakes and fresh ground pepper
3 parsnips, halved lengthways, top portions puatered
2 tbs olive oil
1 red onion, cut into 8 wedges
3 sprigs of thyme
25g walnuts
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 glove of garlic, thinly sliced
1/2 tsp honey
finely grated zest and the juice of one lemon
125ml extra virgin olive oil
95g natural sheep's milk yoghurt
small handful of mache (lamb's lettuce)

1. Place the freekeh and water in a small saucepan over a high heat and bring to the boil. Redce the heat to low, pop on a lid and summer for 15 minutes or until all the water has been absorbed. Pop the lid back on and leave to cool. Transfer to a large bowl, season with a sprinkle of salt and pepper, stir well and let sit.

2. Preheat Oven to 180 degrees

3. Remove the woody centre of the parsnips. Heat an ovenproof fry pan over a medium heat, add the oil, onion and parsnip and cook for 3-4 minutes or until light golden brown. Scatter with the thyme, walnuts, cumin and half the garlic, then season with a pinch of salt. Roast for 10 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and drizzle with honey and then set asside.

4. Finely chop remaining garlic and place in a small bowl with the lemon zest and juice. Whist in the oil and season.

5. Spread the sheeps's milk yoghurt onto a large plate. Sprinkle with the freekeh, drizzle with a little of the dressing and pile the parsnip, onion and walnuts on top. Scatter with the mache and drizzle with the remaining dressing, then serve.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Sick Christmas Bellies

I shared this on the Practical Parenting website yesterday. I thought it appropriate to share on Fertile Body, Heart and Soul also. This time of year is crazy. A few of my tips, might just help get you and your little ones through the silly season.

With the festive season in full swing many parents may find themselves with sick little ones – usually following a session of over indulgence. I hear the same story so often - children literally eating themselves sick.

Most young children lack the ability to switch off when they are full. Their immature gut and digestive systems simply can’t handle foods the same way that adult’s can – in fact many adults lack the ability also. In addition this time of year foods are generally richer and heavier than normal, children are probably allowed more treats and are eating at irregular times. This places substantial strain on normal body function.

My best suggestion throughout the Christmas period is to aim for a balance. As a parent, it’s your job to make sure that your child is getting the nutrients they require - unfortunately it doesn’t come in the shape of candy canes or snowballs. Even the fussiest of children generally have at least one healthy food they do enjoy, so be mindful and aim to get the good stuff in.

If you do find your child ill from eating too much, it is common that vomiting will occur (often overnight). Usually it is nothing to be too worried about and normally the child wakes the following morning feeling ok. If vomiting continues be mindful of dehydration. Introducing a probiotic to assist the tummy is an excellent way to get things working well again. Also try to limit foods and keep a bland diet for a few days. As difficult as it may be, it is important that you don’t allow a repeat effort of overeating too soon after. Immature tummies do recovery very quickly but if they are repeatedly abused long term digestive issues can result.

There are so many delicious foods around including healthy ones, so enjoy and be mindful your family’s health this festive season. I wish all readers a wonderful Christmas and many blessings for 2011.

Monday, December 13, 2010

The Choice this Christmas

original image here

I've been so blessed to have some time off this silly season. I have just got back after two weeks on holiday in beautiful Malaysia, where I had very little contact to my 'real work' life. No phones, no internet, just me and my family, the sun and the water, lots of delicious food and a quiet mind. It actually just occurred to me, I didn't think about work, babies, writing, educating... not once. How wonderful! I do love these things, but there is such a thing as brain fry and I could feel myself yearning for a rest. Luckily for me this holiday was filled with relaxation, time to rest my mind and enjoy. Now I'm home my mind is buzzing with ideas and stories I want to put on my blog. It's amazing what a holiday can do.

I do feel as though I've been plunked smack bang into the middle of crazy Christmas happenings. I'm choosing not to let it consume me this year. Of course, we will still celebrate Christmas - it's a very important time for family as well as me personally. I take it as a time to count my blessings and be thankful for all that I have been given.

Surviving the festive season can be difficult. There are so many commitments, indulgent foods, alcohol, late nights, socialising, temptation... I could go on and on. It seems to be a common theme that at this time of year. Everywhere to you look celebrities, health professionals and guru's give advice on how to get through this time of year. I sat here to type my 'tips' to get through the next 11 days but I struggled to get my point across. OF course the first thing I think of to say is "eat well, sleep enough, drink adequate water", but that stuff you already know and hear on repeat this time of year. What I focus on on is choice. Your choices. The choices we all make, not just this time of the year but all year to be a better, healthy person and to reward your body with everything it deserves.

My best advice to you this this Christmas season, is to create space in order to have YOU time. No matter what. Create the space. You are in charge of your schedule. Can you schedule in some down time, even if it's 5 minutes to sit and be still, clear your mind and focus on your breathing? Of course you can! Mini meditation can replenish much better than sugary sweets or coffee which will only find you more tired in the long run. Go for a walk, get to bed 30 minutes earlier or rise with the sun and just enjoy.

I went on a holiday and chose to completely switch off. Admittedly I was in another country - but I'm choosing this Christmas to be less indulgent in the foods I eat and indulge more through replenishing my body with what it needs mentally and physically. I choose less hype and more rest. I feel certain this is going to be the best Christmas EVER.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Good Food Friday Treats :: Aromatic Baked Fish

I was speaking with the lovely Sam Gowling this week, who by the way will be doing some work in our clinic from time to time. Sam is a therapeutic chef, business coach and motivation speaker - all in all, one heck of a cleaver lady! She asked me if I was vegetarian - I'm assuming she got that vibe from my Good Food Friday Treat's.
Answer: for the most part, yes I am. I do eat the odd bit of meat when fed to me, but I generally don't cook it for myself. I know my body feels better without it. Chinese Medicine understands this. Everybody is different. Some people need meat. Others don't. People with weak Spleens (digestive function) will not respond well to raw foods, just as people who are blood deficient often require meat. Food isn't simply one size fits all. Sam and I sat and talked about this for a little while, where she shared about her new love of specific foods that she can feel are doing her body good.

What I do enjoy is fish. So I guess technically you could call me a Pesceterian. Fish is delicious, baked and grilled. It is easy to digest and gets the digestive system working. This recipe is appropriate for those who are cold or deficient - in other words it is warming and invigorating. It will also assist in getting your blood pumping!

aromatic baked fish
whole trout (cleaned and scaled)
bay leaves
sea salt
chopped tarragon
lemon slices (cut thinly)
bunch chinese green

Place fish in pyrex dish and add remaining ingredients. Bake in a warm over (150 degrees) until fish is tender. Enjoy with rice and a side-dish of steamed greens.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

See you soon!

I'm so very lucky to be taking a break for a little while. Until I'm back on deck, you will find wonderful contributions on here, from people who I love and admire their work. Good Food Friday Treats will still be shared - I have some wonderful recipes lined up for you all to enjoy.
So until then, happy reading!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Nikki Yazxhi talks beauty @ Fertile Body, Heart & Soul.

I was fortunate enough to catch up with Nikki Yazxhi from bellaMUMMA. Nikki is a lifestyle and beauty writer who features in various glossy publications that I love (eg. Shop till YouDrop). I wanted to hear her thoughts on using natural products - a subject I feel very strongly about. It's great to eat healthily and live healthy, but what about what we put on our skin everyday?

I'll let Nikki tell you why it's important to consider your options when it comes to skin care and beauty products.


Research have shown putting chemicals on the skin can be more harmful than ingesting them. When you eat something that has chemicals, the enzymes in your stomach and saliva can break it down and flush it of the body. However if you apply chemicals on the skin, they are absorbed straight into the blood stream; there is no breaking down, no filtering; therefore the body can be attacked with these toxins. 

These toxins are not only harmful, they can block the pores of the skin and make it prone to pimples, acne and eczema.

Always check the labels of what you buy . Make sure they don’t contain chemicals such as petroleum, parabens, alcohols or artificial fragrances. If they do, then they’re not natural and are unlikely to be gentle on your skin.

With that in mind here are more reasons why ‘natural’ is better…

Natural products are:
Because natural products are made from natural ingredients, they don’t contain the harsh petrochemicals that can harm skin. Using natural ingredients means that the product will do what it was designed to do, naturally, and won’t damage your skin or hair.

Most natural products are environment-friendly as they don’t need to go through rigorous processes that pump awful chemicals into the atmosphere. It’s more usually a case of harvesting the natural ingredients and then putting them in a bottle.

Most of the recipes for natural products are ones that have been around for generations and have been used for years way before the products containing chemicals arrived.


I totally agree with Nikki's list. We are LOVING our Weleda products in the clinic at the moment. The Lavender Body wash is beautiful - perfect for a Christmas gift. I am also an avid fan of Jurlique - their rose geranium oil is divine. If you’re not already using natural products, I encourage you to give them a go. Know that your body will love you for it.

My picks from L to R - Weleda lavender body wash and Jurlique rose geranium oil

Monday, November 29, 2010

Esoteric Healing

This is Sara. She is my beautiful business partner. We have been together for eight years now. In this eight years, we have shaped our treatments into something we know is both gentle and extremely effective. Recently Sara has added a new facet to our services here at The Pagoda Tree - Esoteric Healing. I sat down for a chat with her about what it is and who would benefit from it. Here is what she had to say;

What is Esoteric Healing?

‘Esoteric’ means ‘inner-most’. Healing, in this case, refers to the ‘true’ meaning of the word where the energetic root cause is addressed and cleared. So Esoteric Healing is a modality that can help someone to heal by discovering a connection to their inner-most, which is the connection to their inner heart. In the inner heart we can discover the true truth, so anything that is ‘not that’ can come up to be healed.

Our bodies are naturally at the very least ‘gentle.’ This is the ‘natural’ rhythm of our bodies. However, most do not live this way… we are very far away from it!! In fact, in a session when I ask clients to begin by breathing gently, they find this very difficult. This is great for them to experience because then they can see the momentum they have been in and hence, how far away from gentleness they actually are.

Sacred Esoteric Healing is presented by Serge Benhayon from Universal Medicine.

Why does it appeal to you?

Esoteric Healing feels very true to me. In my own experience I have discovered what it feels like to live in gentleness and then also begin to discover that that is just the beginning!

In helping people to discover more of who they truly are rather than improving function alone feels very important to me. Most people are in a lot of motion, highly stressed, emotional, anxious and are not connected to how their body ‘feels’ which is our most natural sense.

Most of all, for me - it is beautiful to witness when people feel, maybe sometimes for the first time, how awesome and lovely they really are.

For fertility & women’s health Esoteric Healing is invaluable. A woman will begin to connect to her body and her own gentleness. She will also begin to feel where the issues are really coming from.

What should a patient expect?

When someone comes in for the first time, I talk a little bit about Esoteric healing and the Gentle breath meditation. I will also ask them about their body and where they are at right now. What do they feel? What’s coming up for them at the moment (emotional, stress, specific situations, etc)?

After we chat briefly I will ask them to get up onto the table where I will place my hands in different positions on the body, using specific patterns, depending on what’s going on. The client is not required to do anything at all, just to let go into the session as much as possible and let their soul do the healing.

After a 1 hour session, I may chat briefly about what I felt in the body however sometimes I prefer to leave them in their gentleness- feeling their own loveliness.

It is totally up to each individual as to how often they come. It is important for them to feel what is right for them. Each session helps to clear what is coming up and also helps to deepen their connection with themselves, their body and their inner-heart. So if someone has recognised their own gentleness and they feel committed to building this in their body, they may decide to come weekly or fortnightly for a while to support this.

I have been enjoying the benefits of sessions with Sara. It's wonderful for us to have different treatments available at the Pagoda Tree that can appeal to many clients because one thing we know - is that no two people are the same. It's a matter of finding what works for you.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Good Food Friday Treats :: Granola

This recipe comes straight out of The Tao Diet Cookbook - one of the books we sell here in the Clinic. Granola is a gentle meal for the digestive system. According to Chinese Medicine it tones and supports the middle (digestion/gut) and nourishes the spleen. It's best enjoyed in summer.

750g rolled oats
125g hazel nuts
150g wholemeal flour
250g desiccated coconut
1 tsp sea salt
375g currants
100g sultanas
1 cup rice malt
2 tbs honey
1 tsp good quality vanilla essence
1/2 cup apple juice
1 tsp corn oil or sesame oil

Set aside the dried fruits. Combine dry ingredients and rub in the oil. Next, mix the dry ingredients with the liquids. Spread out the mixture on a baking tray and place in a preheated, warm oven. Bake until browned.
Remove from oven and turn, using a wooden spoon. Repeat until the mix is thoroughly browned. It doesn't matter if there is some moisture. Allow to cool.
Mix in fruits. Store in an airtight glass container.

Enjoy with milk as a breakfast or dessert.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Lunar Cycle & the Time of Lunar Return

You may have heard of the term 'lunar cycle.' It refers to the idea that the moon has an influence on the body and the menstrual cycle. Have you noticed that you ovulate or menstruate with the moon? Francesa Naish first brought my attention to the Lunar Cycle and how it effects fertility. Francesa, a natural fertility herbalist, wrote the book Natural Fertility.

The word menstruation comes from the greek language and translates into 'month' & 'moon.' We have known forever that the moon pulls the tides, and given our body is 70% water, it should be no shock that it effects and influences the body. What might come as a surprise is the idea that you might be fertile more than once in your menstrual cycle – possibly outside the ovulation phase - this term is referred to as Spontaneous ovulation, induced by the lunar cycle.

Firstly, how is it relevant to fertility?

Naish suggest that there are several ways in which the moon affects our reproductive function.

1. Gravity. Through gravitation pull on fluids - an ovum is suspended in fluid. If it's in the right position at the right time, this will influence ovulation and the egg is forced to be released.

2. Light. Dependent on if the moon is new or if it is full, amount of light available changed. It has been shown that the moon increases levels of follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), essential for ovulation. The body also absorbs light in other ways - all essential to specific body function.

3. Ionisation. The full moon brings an increase in positive ions, while the negative ions proliferate as the moon wanes. The adrenals are particularly sensitive to this.

4. Electromagnetism. The electrical potential of living organisms increases as full and new moons have an affect on the nervous system.

Here is the interesting part:

The moon takes 28 days to orbit the earth; the same amount of time of a healthy menstrual cycle is. Of course this can vary from woman to woman but essentially it's 4 weeks from the start of one cycle to the next. However the repetition of the phase of the moon at which you were born has a strong influence on your fertility. I hear you say huh? At least, that was my initial thought when I was first introduced to this idea. This means that if you ovulate – you’re fertile, however there is an added element - another part of your cycle influenced by the moon and your own body clock, in which you are also potentially fertile.

The Rules.

Jonas made the rules! (Dr Eugen Jonas) He had an understanding of astrobiology; a combination of astrology, psychology and medicine. Dr Jonas based much of his findings through working with Catholic women who were using the rhythm method. He felt that, "if there were any truth in the ancient ideas of astrologers, that Man and Universe were part of the same harmonic unity, then as important an event as conception must surely be subject to the same cosmic laws." (Pg 100. Naish, 1999) Dr Jonas researched writings of ancient astrologers and discovered this: Women are fertile during a certain phase of the moon. He determined the patterns where a woman is fertile outside their expected mid-cycle ovulation time.

Rule # 1. The time of a woman's fertility depends on the recurrence of the angle between the sun and the moon that occurred at the woman's birth. Again, huh? Basically the concept is this. A woman is fertile at the same phase of the moon that was present at her birth.

Rule #2. The sex of the child conceived depends on the position of the moon at the moment of conception. So if a child is conceived in the male sign of the zodiac it will be male and same for the female. I just want to put in a caveat to this - please don't go decking out the nursery in pink based on this. I can’t be responsible for redecorating costs!

Rule #3. The distrubition of gravitational forces, at the time of conception can affect the viability of pregnancy and feotus. According to Jonas' you are fertile when the sun and moon are at the same relative angle as they were at the exact time of your birth, whether or not this coincides with your mid cycle ovulation.

There are still a lot of unanswered questions as to how this all works, but what has been established is that the lunar cycle is connected to, and has an affect on fertility.

Extra Ovulation?

The belief is this. Biologically tension, due to the effect on certain moon phases, builds up in a woman's nervous and hormonal systems, and in the event of intercourse may lead to another follicle being released, resulting in a spontaneous ovulation. What Jonas went on to discover was that this event occurs at the time of lunar return (the phase the moon was in at the time of her birth). This is one way to explain those mystery conceptions or those which don't match with ovulation or scan dates. It is possible, some of us get more than one chance a month to conceive.

Detecting the 'extra' ovulation is possible although not as clear as the mid-cycle ovulation. Women mostly report ovulation pain, a sudden temperature dip or rise and increase fertile mucus following intercourse. When I read this, my sceptical hat sat up tall on my head but as I continued to read Johnas findings he also observed that following this freakish event, the endometrium immediately begins to thicken and prepare for implantation! Amazing. The body certainly seemed to know exactly what it was doing.


Using this theory for conception (or contraception the opposite - protect!!) is simple. You time intercourse when the moon is in the same phase as it was at the time of your birth. Here is how it works: If you are born four days before a full moon, then potentially you will be fertile four days before each moon. Some women's timing will fall within their ovulation phase, this means they get one GREAT chance at conception, whilst others will be far outside mid-cycle ovulation, giving them essentially two chances in a month.

To calculate your 'extra' day

This is tricky! However guess what I found? An iphone application that does it for you! Searching on my iphone and sure enough, should I want to know this date - I don't have to get out my calculator, moon charts, dates, times and so on. I am not connected to or endorsing this product in any way. I'm actually yet to download it, but I have heard on the grapevine it works.

And so,

I admit that for a long time I was sceptical that such events could take place - an extra chance of conception in a month. This theory isn't fully understood - mostly by those who need concrete proof. In my profession, proof is in the pudding not necessarily on paper! Whilst there are some aspects I am not fully certain of in Dr. Jonas findings, (one being gender selection with relevance to the moon) I think he was definitely onto something!

And finally,

I'm certain there will be plenty of questions about this post. Thank you to the lady who wrote in and requested I blog about it. I had been thinking about sharing this idea for sometime, and coincidently this was to be the week I did. Don't be afraid to ask any questions. It is an unique concept and I'm sure your query wouldn't be dissimilar to many other women's.


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