This month our columnist reveals why she consults an astrologer every Chinese New Year and what really works for glowing skin
I’m all about switching the concept of a New Year’s resolution to a New Year’s solution. Usually around Chinese New Year in February, I consult a wonderful astrologer and change facilitator, Alexandria Walsh Roberts. She and her husband Paul founded The Mastery Project , which is all about managing change. We consult annually for astrology in life and business. She combines many modalities and shares a well-rounded perspective on life in general.
I believe it’s always important to be aware of what’s in front of me in life. I also believe in the power of now, because it’s what we do and feel now that creates our future. I’m passionate about nutrition and understanding how we can maintain and nurture our long-term wellbeing. This is where I’ll choose to invest my energy not just this year but every year. Here are some of the things I’m looking forward to right now.
This year I’m….
1. Changing the small things
Just changing one thing can make a big difference and create a new healthy habit. For me, at this time of year, it might be adding an extra green juice or an extra serving of my Super Elixir supplement to my water or smoothie every day. If I feel I need to detox, I find myself drinking more water and focusing on raw foods, plants and omitting sugar and wheat completely. I also add a lot of juicing, particularly having celery juice in the morning. This combined with fresh air, steam and my personal infrared Thersage sauna, and making sure I eat dinner before 6pm, really helps.
2. Getting my beauty sleep
A good night’s sleep is a must! I have learned to be a better sleeper in recent years and am a solid seven-hours-a-night girl now. We need our beauty sleep, it’s a scientific fact. I learned from my nutritional doctor Dr Simone Laubscher PhD, that the outer or top layer of our skin comprises tightly-packed dead skin cells which are constantly shed throughout the day. During deep sleep, the skin's metabolic rate speeds up, which helps with repair. Whether it’s damage from factors such as ultraviolet rays or internal toxic overload from too many late nights, we really do need our 'beauty sleep’.
For quality beauty sleep, I brew a pot of Welleco Sleep Well Calming tea and spritz my pillows with Sleep Welle Calming Mist . The lavender scent really adds to the sense of calm I try to create before bed. If I still have trouble calming my mind, I lie on my back, place my feet up the wall, and stretch my arms (like the yoga pose viparita karani – 'legs up the wall' pose.). It has an immediate meditative effect on me. All I need is five minutes like that and I’m calm and ready for sleep.
3. Trying kite surfing
I choose activities I can master, improve, and enjoy. When it comes to sports, I’m up to try almost anything! I live close to a brilliant kite surfing school in Miami where I live, so maybe that will be my next challenge. I also want to master slalom water skiing between buoys and against a stopwatch. Miami is such a great city for water sports. I still practice yoga most days but am thinking about sharing some of that time with Pilates. I also want to be fit enough to try heli-skiing again.
4. Ticking off some bucket list destinations
I would love to visit Antarctica, Patagonia and the Galapagos. As a family we love to travel – thank goodness we are all flight friendly! It’s a great way to adventure, explore and build experiences together. Having said that, it’s the simple times that have brought us closest together.
5. Growing my own organic vegetables
I am preparing to build an organic or hydroponic garden at home so I can have fresh vegetables at my fingertips. They are my daily diet staple.
6. Being here now
Most importantly, I am learning the art of life balance, practising being in the here and now which means less screen time, more listening, quiet contemplation and spontaneously responding to whatever is going on instead of ploughing ahead with a fixed idea. I’ve found the best way to learn is through having an open heart and open mind. I encourage myself to slow down and be open to life’s opportunities.
7. Enjoying inspiring books and podcasts
I love science, nutrition and people’s life journeys so a collection of biographies and nonfiction books are always on my bed stand. I really enjoy watching TED talks around science, medicine and spirit. I’m really interested in how the body works and how we can heal ourselves through natural sciences and nutrition. I’m also interested in how the mind and spirit affect the body and its ability to heal and thrive. I’m fascinated by the profound effect of natural products on and inside the body.
A favourite non-fiction book is My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist's Personal Journey by Jill Bolte Taylor, a brain scientist who had a stroke at age 37.
I’ve started listening to podcasts too. The BBC’s Desert Island Discs, mindbodygreen.com and Goop have some great ones.
As for novels, I’m loving The Song of Achilles by American novelist Madeline Miller. Set in Greece, it tells the story of the love between Achilles and his friend Patroclus. It is beautifully written.
8. Mixing up my fitness to stay motivated
Enjoyment is always my prime motivator so for me spending time outdoors, no matter what the weather, is one of my favourite things to do. I also believe mixing things up is fun and helps with motivation. One day it could be bike riding, surfing, or stand-up paddle boarding, and the next might be yoga or walking the dogs. A holistic approach to my health is key to feeling and seeing optimum benefits, inside and out.
9. Wearing workout-to-street wear
Making sure I’m dressed in clothing that is beautiful, functional and practical also helps motivate me. Victoria Beckham’s new collaboration with Reebok is a clever mesh of high performance and minimalistic design that takes me from my workout to the street. I also look to Goop and Gwyneth’s line G-Sport for the latest concepts in fitness fashion.
10. Launching a new supplement
We’ve been developing a new line of Superboosters, which is extremely exciting! They are therapeutic bioactive formulations designed for targeted support. One of the first releases is Women’s Libido + Hormone Support. It’s a medicinal blend of herbs and adaptogens that help balance hormones naturally increase vitality and libido. And it tastes deliciously of fresh raspberries and peach flesh! I either add a single vial to water or combine with my daily Super Elixir Greens.