Staying Nourished When You Travel

Begin your holiday feeling nourished

A change in our environment and our daily routine when we travel can provide a wonderfully refreshing experience that stimulates our senses leaving us feeling invigorated and renewed. But how does travelling, especially in an aeroplane               , affect our Vata Dosha?

Vata is governed by space and air, with qualities that are light and drying. When we fly there is an increase of Vata due to the pressure in the cabin, the plane’s enclosed air conditioning system, and the fact that we are no longer on the ground.

​This can lead to experiencing the not-so-pleasant symptoms of dry skin, dry nostrils, and constipation. Luckily there are some practical ways to prepare for this so that you can arrive refreshed and ready to enjoy your holiday.

Tips for staying nourished when you travel

Before you go

  • Be prepared well ahead of time which takes the pressure off you and avoids last minute rushing. This helps to keep your Vata Dosha in a calmed state.
  • Having a massage before you leave relaxes your nervous system and keeps your skin nourished with oil.
  • Avoid junk food that can make you feel sluggish and stimulants like coffee and tea that increase Vata Dosha.

On the plane

  • Massaging the soles of your feet with a little organic sesame oil helps to ground you and is very relaxing.
  • Also rub a little of the oil into your nostrils and ears to counteract dryness and can protect your airways.


  • On the plane, stay hydrated with warm water, avoid overly salty food and snacks, and stay away from the stimulation of caffeinated drinks.
  • Once you arrive, treat yourself to a soothing chai, a herbal tea or a smoothie with coconut water to keep up your hydration.

Arrive refreshed

  • ​Include a refreshing facial spray bottle with aloe vera or rosewater in your hand luggage. This can be used throughout the flight to help keep your skin hydrated.
  • Practice breathing exercises to equalise the breath within your body, creating a state of relaxation.
  • Regular meditation is beneficial to keep you feeling centred instead of scattered.

Depending on which part of the world you are travelling to, and which season you are entering, there are several other vital Ayurvedic tips that you can use.

Article by Liesl Horne Ayurvedic Lifestyle Coach

For a more detailed consultation with Liesl,  please feel free to contact us on                            03 9844 5294


Feminine Health

Recently the government announced its intention to remove GST from feminine hygiene products.  Great we may think but read this report about these products and decide for yourself!

It’s estimated that as many as 1 in 10 women of childbearing age suffer from some kind of reproductive organ condition at some time in their life.   Endometriosis and Ovarian Cysts are two of the most common dis-eases that cause discomfort and anxiety in many women and one of the main causes is shocking.

Toxic Feminine Hygiene Products                                                                                                                    One of the leading causes of endometriosis and cysts on the ovaries and other female problems has been found to be caused by commercial pads and tampons.  Cysts actually form in order to contain toxic waste from chemical dioxins contained in pads and tampons and medicinal residues that have been prescribed for the conditions in the reproductive region. The pharmaceutical industry uses dioxins in these products so that women bleed more during menstruation therefore requiring them to buy more product.

Do you remember the widely reported Toxic Shock Syndrome?   Not too long ago, there were such excessive toxins in these products, it was actually killing some women. TSS is caused either by poisonous toxins from Staphylococcus aureus (staph) or group A streptococcus (strep) bacteria and is a life-threatening condition.

When they finally managed to get the dosages worked out everybody thought the issues went away, but it’s still a very real problem.

Symptom recognition is crucial. Should any of the following symptoms occur whilst you are using feminine hygiene products, seek medical help immediately:

  • Sudden high fever
    • Vomiting
    • Diarrhea
    • Low blood pressure
    • Seizures
    • Rash on palms or soles of feet
    • Muscle aches
    • Redness of your eyes, mouth and/or throat


We have to remember that anything placed on the skin will absorb into the body. This distresses the system as the toxins have not passed through our digestive system where the acids have the chance to break them down.  By absorbing through the skin, toxins settle in the tissue and remain there. Monthly, we are placing these products in an area where the skin is at its thinnest and therefore toxins can be absorbed more quickly.

Additional to dioxins, bleach, fragrances, odour neutralisers and other chemicals are often added, many of which are harmful to the body and some are known to be carcinogenic. These crude oil plastics can cause other problems too.  For example, plasticising chemicals like BPA and BPS disrupt embryonic development. They are also linked to heart disease and cancer. Phthalates, which give paper tampon applicators a smooth finish, are known to disrupt gene expression and DEHP may lead to multiple organ damage. Synthetics and plastic restrict air flow and trap heat and dampness, potentially promoting yeast and bacteria growth in the vaginal area.

Conventional tampons contain pesticides and a whopping $2 billion is spent annually on pesticides to spray cotton crops.   Often tampons will contain genetically-modified organisms (GMOs) as according to the USDA, 94 percent of all U.S. cotton is genetically engineered. 

Tampons and pads with odour neutralisers and artificial fragrances are virtually a chemical soup, laced with artificial colours, polyester, adhesives, polyethylene (PET), polypropylene and propylene glycol (PEG), contaminants that are all linked to hormone disruption, cancer, birth defects, dryness and infertility.

  • The chlorine bleach used to give tampons and pads that ultra-white clean look can create toxic dioxin and other disinfection by-products (DBPs) such as trihalomethane. Studies show dioxin collects in the fatty tissues. According to an EPA draft report, dioxin is a serious public health threat that has no “safe” level of exposure! Published reports show that even trace dioxin levels may be linked to:
  •      Abnormal tissue growth in the abdomen and reproductive organs
  •      Abnormal cell growth throughout the body
  •      Immune system suppression
  •      Hormonal and endocrine system disruption

Disclaimer:  If you are experiencing any health issues that may be mentioned above, visit your health care professional immediately.

This report is put forward by Don Tollman who is an author, public speaker, trainer, imaginist, entertainer and experimental nutritional-eating researcher. He has written multiple books on a variety of skill-specific mental functions and self-improvement topics. He has been a coach and mentor for key personnel with Xerox, General Motors and Pitney Bowes corporations. Don has spoken to more than 1,000 audiences in all 50 states of USA and in 7 foreign countries. His media credits include more than 50 radio and TV talk show appearance per year. He has been a return guest on the Donahue Show, Entertainment Tonight, ABC Talk Radio, and he’s a regular guest on The Aware Show in Los Angeles, CA, as well as many newspapers & magazines.  He regularly visits Melbourne and offers a free evening seminar to introduce people to the idea of taking responsibility for their own health and wellness.

‘Prevention is always better than cure’ and prevention will come from learning.

Are there healthy alternatives?

If you have teenage girls whose ‘cycles’ have begun, it is vital to educate them early on about the difference between unbleached natural products and those that contain chemicals and dioxins. Tampons create a favourable environment for bacteria growth with micro-tears in the vaginal wall allowing bacteria to accumulate.

Use only unbleached, natural fibre tampons or pads as a first step to protect one of the most sensitive and vulnerable parts of your body

Try a Lunette Menstrual Cup.  They are comfortable, easy to use and form a seal so there is no leakage for up to 12 hours. They are hygienic and safe to use as they are made of soft medical grade silicone and are BPA free. This means no yeast, bacteria or odour; just cleanliness and comfort. Two added bonuses – one is financial as you only need one or maybe two, so there is no on-going purchases.  Secondly, they are designed, developed and packaged with the environment at heart so they are  the best alternative to disposable period products which pollute our planet.

 Natural  Remedy Tip

PMS Bath Soak Blend

Add 3 drops of Clary Sage, 2 drops of Chamomile, 2 drops of Geranium and 2 drops of Lavender to a running warm bath. Tip: Mixing these oils with 1/4 cup Epsom salt before adding to the bath will help keep the oils from floating on top of the water and it will give the benefits of magnesium.


It is always wise to research anything that will be placed on or in the body before using or ingesting it.  These days most foods and products will contain harmful chemicals or will have been genetically modified in some way, so it is important to use natural or organic sources where possible. The more we learn to listen to our body and trust what we feel, the healthier we will become.

All the products mentioned are available through The Purple Dragonfly.  The Essential Oils for the Bath Soak are available as a kit containing 5ml bottles of each oil (which have many other uses) and an information leaflet. 

Ring in for more information and to place your order 03 9844 5294

An Ode to Delicious Cherries

An Ode to Delicious Cherries

There are some beautifully sweet cherries in the shops at the moment and they are a fantastic powerhouse fruit packed with vitamins A, C, E, and minerals such as iron, copper, zinc, potassium and manganese. The high levels of anthocyanins and antioxidants   make them an excellent food to help the body’s fight against many blood and digestive complaints. Cherries also contain potent anti-inflammatory properties and are particularly beneficial for those suffering with chronic pain and sports injuries.

Cherries are well-known as a ‘brain food’ and can help to improve memory, focus, and concentration and to reduce brain fog. They are also a fantastic food for cardiovascular health and can help reduce the risk of related conditions.

Cherries are an excellent source of melatonin which is known to calm the nervous system, decrease irritability, ease headaches and promote a restful night’s sleep.   This soothing effect on the brain neurons makes it an essential food for those who suffer from insomnia or for those who have high anxiety and stress in their lives. Cherries are rich in fibre and are a great natural remedy for constipation.

Simple Cherry Smoothie Recipe

Blend frozen bananas and cherries together in a food processor with some almond or coconut milk.
Add a little lemon juice (and/or yogurt) for a delicious dairy-free (leave out the yogurt) & fat-free drink that both kids and adults will  love.
Pour into glasses to serve.

Crystals for Healthy Skin and Liver

Crystal for the Skin

Aventurine is a multipurpose crystal for skin ailments. If you submerge the crystal in water overnight, you can wash your skin and hair with the energetically charged water to help with acne, allergies, flaky skin, dandruff, hair loss and many other skin irritations. It also helps heal wounds.

Love your Liver

As the days gradually become longer and warmer it is really important to kick start our health for the increased activity that the sunny weather will promote.  We will want to go out walking, working hard in the garden, take exercise to tone up for that lovely  swimwear we bought in the sales and of course Spring cleaning.  Our bodies respond to this by mobilising the eliminative organs to detox the accumulated waste of a sedentary Winter.

While the colon, kidneys, lungs and skin all play a major role in this important cleansing process, it is the liver that is most in focus now as springtime energies stimulate the liver to cleanse the blood and internal organs of impurities. These impurities may be due to fatty, processed or undigested foods, a deficiency in enzymes, or environmental toxins including heavy metals, drugs, poisonous chemicals, polluted air and contaminated water. When the body is overburdened with toxins, the liver may be stressed causing symptoms such as allergies, headaches, nausea, irritability, foggy thinking, muscle tension, skin eruptions, itching and fatigue.

In women, PMS, fibroids and endometriosis are signs of liver stress, since the liver must process excess estrogens out of the bloodstream.

Spring is the best time to do the liver-gallbladder flush, so make an appointment with Catherine, our natural health practitioner to get this underway.

Crystals for the Liver: 

AmethystEither Amethyst  or Citrine can be used to energise water to enhance  liver function.  Some suggest Malachite but this must never be placed directly in water to be ingested as it becomes toxic in that form.


Australian Organic Awareness Month

October 2016 is Organic Awareness Month

There is growing awareness of the benefits and a huge move towards eating Organic foods – dairy, meat and vegetables – we know it makes sense but what about other things we regularly use?   Cotton clothing, deodorants, moisturisers, make-up, toothepaste, tampons; all full of chemicals to assist with production, to create an acceptable colour, to assist with non-creasing and imported goods are sprayed with chemicals for our ‘safety’.    Anything that touches our skin absorbs directly into our blood stream so what we wear, sleep on or in, apply to our body or breathe in affects our health.

You might be surprised to know that conventional cotton accounts for nearly 25% of the insecticides and 10% of the pesticides used throughout the world, although is it grown on only 3% of the total cultivated area. Cotton crops have been plagued by numerous diseases and pests over the years and rank fourth in the list of most heavily chemical fertilised crops.  Unfortunately,  the excessive use of chemicals in conventional cotton production has led to a great deal of environmental pollution.

As our awareness grows, manufacturers have been forced to change ingredients in many cotton products.  In the case of sanitary products, for example bleach was used to make the products pure white.  No-one would want to use a grey coloured product right?  We want pristine white but that involved a highly poisonous bleaching agent which caused toxic shock leading to death in many women. Whilst that bleach has now been banned, many other toxins remain in these products.

The same situation applies to deodorants with many still unaware of the hidden dangers in the active ingredients of modern day deodorant. These products use potentially hazardous chemicals as a way of reducing perspiration and odour with the primary ingredient being aluminium.   Working to block the underarm pores,  Aluminium has been linked to several potentially life threatening diseases.

As awareness rises manufacturers are forced to be more open with their labelling; not fully open but improving.  Not all ingredients are required to be listed if they are in low enough measures but, of course, when a product is used on a daily basis there is a build up in the body and the levels can reach catastrophic proportions in some people.

Even supposedly natural products need to be screened carefully. Sodium Lauryl Sulphate is toxic manufactured chemical and is used in many beauty and body products including those for babies.  As public awareness grew, manufactures began to substitute Sodium Laureth Sulphate, a plant based chemical, proffered as a ‘natural’ alternative.  However, the interaction with the other chemicals in the product,  it becomes as toxic as Sodium Lauryl Sulphate.

the-chemical-maze-bookThere is a great little book called the Chemical Maze which lists every chemical used in manufacturing and the level of danger they represent to our health.  Simply laid out, it is very quick to check out the ingredients of any product and clearly shows levels of toxicity.  None of this is to create paranoia that we are slowly being poisoned but it is our awareness that creates change and puts the control of what we are exposed to firmly back into our hands.

Australian Organic Awareness Month at The Purple Dragonfly

At the Purple Dragonfly we carry The Chemical Maze, natural salt deodorants, soap, healthy cookware, bedding and other clothing items.  Also we can obtain any other natural and safe products you would like to introduce into your family.

Try this out!

Homemade Natural Deodorant with Coconut Oil


  • 3 tbsp organic virgin coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp shea butter
  • 3 tbsp baking soda
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 5 drops preferred essential oil  (good ones to try are lavender, orange or clary sage)


  1. Make a double boiler by placing a half-pint glass jar in the middle of a small pot of water. Bring water to a simmer. Add coconut oil and shea butter to the jar and let melt.
  2. Turn off the heat, add baking soda and cornstarch, and stir until completely smooth. Mix in the essential oil of your choice. Let cool.
  3. At room temperature, the deodorant is hard. You can scrape out a small ball and apply it directly to your armpits, or transfer it to an old deodorant tube for easier application.In warmer months, you’ll need to keep this deodorant in your refrigerator to prevent the coconut oil from liquefying.

Leave us a comment if you have enjoyed our blog.

Jane xx

Apricots and their nutritional value

It’s a Beautiful World

We see the world through two very precious organs – our eyes – and to keep our eyes healthy we need Vitamin A.   Apricots are rich in minerals and a great source of Vitamin A and they are one of the most healing fruits you can eat.

Apricots are – 

  • a great source for organic iron, copper and cobalt making them very beneficial for anaemia, digestive disorders and reproductive health.
  • highly beneficial for autoimmune disorders such as chronic fatigue syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, asthma, colitis, and IBS.
  • wonderful for keeping the heart strong and healthy
  • a powerful weight-loss agent
  • an excellent food for disease prevention, especially lung, skin and stomach illnesses.
  • very helpful in helping to regrow hair and improve the quality of hair, skin, and nails.

Fresh apricots are always best; wild or organic varieties do not have any preservatives such as sulphur dioxide.   If fresh apricots are not available, dried varieties are a great alternative. apricots-dried A handful of dried organic apricots each day provide a healthy snack that helps keep you energised and focused throughout the day.

Dried Fruit Compote with Green Tea and Lemon

Ingredients to make 8 servingslemon-tea green tea

  • 3 x green tea bags
  • 3 x 1/4 cups boiling water
  • 1 tablespoon natural cane sugar or equivalent substitute to taste.   (Remember fruit is naturally sweet)
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest
  • 3 cups mixed dried fruit, such as apples, apricots, pears, figs and/or raisins


  • Steep tea bags in boiling water for 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Remove tea bags and stir in sugar and lemon zest.
  • Cut any large pieces of fruit into halves or quarters.
  • Place the fruit and tea in a slow cooker.
  • Cover and cook until the fruit is plump and tender and the liquid is syrupy.  1 ½to 2 ½ hours on high or 3 ½ to 4 hours on low.
  • Transfer to a bowl and let cool slightly. Cover and refrigerate until chilled.
  • Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate for up to 4 days.

Thanks for reading our blog.  If you have enjoyed it, please leave us  your thoughts in the comments below

Jane xxx

PS:  If you have not already liked our page on Facebook, please come on over and like our page.

Seeking the Truth

More and more we are seeing the truth of situations being revealed in the world.  It was predicted that in the new millennium there would be revelations in all areas of world matter and we have all witnessed it on a global and personal level over the last years.

From the year 2000 we have seen the prediction spectacularly manifesting;  the downfall of unethical business such as Enron, the Church’s historical cover up of child abuse, Julian Assange making public thousands of emails showing shady dealings with government officials and even the inaccurately report of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq which has lead the western world into a long and costly war, mainly in loss of life of men, women and children, with very little positive outcome to show for it.

sodalite-roundIndividually, we re experiencing it too with our craving for truth became stronger. We say ‘If only he/she would be honest with me. I can just feel they are not being truthful’. We question the motives of government and systems that are showing increasingly not to be in our best interests.  But more importantly, we are questioning our own truth.  There is an innate part of us that is awakening to the realisation that inner truth is the key to peace and harmony in our life and we want it!

We know deep within us that we have been living the illusion that we are not good enough, that we do not have enough or that we are not strong enough to make changes; that there is nothing we can do to change our world.  Now we are beginning to challenge the illusion and see the reality – we are strong enough and we can change our little part of the world.  If we each do it for ourselves it will spread like ripples on a pond.  It doesn’t need to be major upheaval, just little steps towards the inner truth we seek.

Can’t means Won’t

We have been taught to be afraid of failure often disguised as worrying about what others think of us.  I’m sure you remember as a child acting out in frustration and a parent saying to you ‘Stop it, people are looking. They will think you are naughty?’.  This was how the pattern started, teaching us that we were failing in some way, that we were wrong to show our feelings, of being ourselves.   A simple set of words that our parents used because they had the same pattern laid on them as children.  Similarly, they inadvertently taught us lack because that was the experience of their parents and maybe they were embarrassed by it, they tried to protect us from disappointment because they perhaps had not had the opportunity to fulfil their dreams and felt less in the eyes of others because of it; so many scenarios created out of love and fear.   As parents we all want to be seen as effective and how our children behave and what they achieve is an indication to the world that this is this case and therefore we and they become acceptable.  And we all want to be acceptable!

Every time you hear yourself think or say ‘I can’t’, challenge it.  Ask yourself ‘Can I?’  or ‘Am I afraid to try?’.  We know we are capable of anything because we only have to look back over our lives and remember the challenges we have faced.  The basic things like learning to walk – we’d never done it before yet we stood up and kept trying until we got it right.  We all experienced that first day of school; going to a place we had never been and having to leave our family to stay with strangers.  It was, for many, a traumatic experience yet we overcame it, we learned to cope with the unknown.  And what about learning to drive a car?  Do you remember having to learn how to reverse around a corner?   Did you get it right the first time?  No, you just kept trying until you got it right and each time you got it wrong it was a step towards mastering it.

This is the truth we seek; the fact that we are enough, we can do anything we put our mind to and we always have the necessary strength to take us through to the end.  We are good people, amazingly strong and fantastic and what we each bring to the world is a unique pattern of experience that adds to the whole. Best of all, it is our ‘mistakes‘ that make us who we are, that guide us through difficult times and act as inspiration for others.  So, are they mistakes or just another enlightening experience?

Sodalite stone has a strong vibration that will bring your attention to the qualities sodalite-1of idealism and truth.

Its energy may stimulate you to live up to your own ideals and ideas, about the nature of truth.

It has strong metaphysical properties that may stimulate latent creative abilities and it aids teachers, writers and students to understand the deeper philosophical principles.

Its energy is particularly helpful to aid the development of intuition.

It is excellent to aid communication and may help you if you are doing public speaking. It may help you to understand the patterns behind such things as astrology and the tarot.

Its color is mainly blue, or blue-grey with white Calcite mixed within the stones.

These crystals are a beautiful blue color, so they is a lovely stone to make into jewellery, but there are some stones that contain inclusions in shades of yellow, red and green.

The meaning of its name relates to its high sodium content. , This is a strong third eye chakra and throat chakra stone that brings an excellent energy into your life. Within the third eye chakra area is where the pineal gland is located.

working within the third eye with Sodalite stone has a strong ability to accelerate the process.

If you missed our other post Soladite is the Chrystal for Truth Seekers, then please click here to read it.

Sodalite Stone

It will aid you to develop your intuition, This stone has a vibration that aids truth, and helps you to better understand the life you are living, and how you came to be in the situation in which you find yourself.

Many people find it easier to avoid the truth, as it can sometimes be uncomfortable at certain times. This stone aids idealism and self-discipline, and the combination will benefit you to enhance your ability to live a more authentic life.

Sodalite Stone has strong metaphysical properties that may stimulate latent creative abilities.

It may help you to understand the deeper philosophical principles, and may assist you if you are doing public speaking.

Its energy may aid you with developing your intuition and stimulate psychic visions. It will help you to understand the patterns behind such things as astrology and the tarot.

This lovely blue stone has a vibration that may stimulate the qualities of idealism and truth, and it aids you to communicate and begin to live up to your own ideals and ideas.

When you buy a new stone or crystal, it is advantageous to use it on its own first. Once you are fully aware of its energy, you may choose to combine it with other stones.

Combine stones for short periods to begin with, as individuals may react differently. Knowing how you can combine various stones may be helpful, as this allows you to get the most from your crystals, and may help you to solve specific problems in your life.

Seo-mel bringer of new vision


Speaks of instinct of survival; we are eternal beings and the crocodile reminds us that our spirit survives eternally.  It precedes the body and if the spirit suffers the body will suffer as a result.  The corocodile has lived on this planet for millions of years reminding us of the eternal nature of our being. re-creation and the desire to pass on our strength to our young.  The most important part

Look for an opportunity to ingest new knowledge and wisdom. This totem animal contains all the unbridled creative forces of the world and the fury and ferocity of Primal Energies. It is the keeper and protector of all knowledge.

Know that this is the beginning of a new period of growth and regeneration. Use breathing techniques to keep yourself balanced during this time of change and give yourself time to integrate all of the changes you are making in your life.  Patience is key at the moment.

Essential Oil – Black Pepper

Versatile Bananas

Bananas are the original convenience food – packaged by nature and ready to go.  The following information will help you see bananas in a new light and get you eating them regularly.

Bananas contain three natural sugars – sucrose, fructose and glucose combined with fibre giving an instant, sustained and substantial boost of energy; just two bananas provide enough energy for a strenuous 90-minute workout.   Not surprisingly, bananas are the number one fruit with the world’s leading athletes.  But energy isn’t the only way a banana can help us keep fit, it can also help overcome or prevent a substantial number of illnesses and conditions, making it a valuable addition to our daily diet.

 Depression: Feel more positive after eating a banana. Bananas contain tryptophan, a type of protein that the body converts into serotonin, known to make you relax, improve your mood and generally make you feel happier.

PMS: Bananas contain vitamin B6 which regulates blood glucose levels improving your mood.

Anaemia: Bananas are high in iron and can stimulate the production of haemoglobin in the blood.

Blood Pressure: This unique tropical fruit is extremely high in potassium yet low in salt, making it perfect to beat blood pressure.   In fact, the US Food and Drug Administration has recently allowed the banana industry to make official claims for the fruit’s ability to reduce the risk of blood pressure and stroke.

Brain Power: In a recent trial 200 students at a Twickenham school ( England ) were helped through their exams  by eating bananas at breakfast, break, and lunch in a bid to boost their brain power. Research has shown that the potassium-packed fruit can assist learning by making pupils more alert.

Constipation: Bananas are high in fibre so including them in the diet can help restore normal bowel action.

Hangovers: Make a banana milkshake, sweetened with honey. The banana calms the stomach and, with the help of the honey, builds up depleted blood sugar levels, while the milk soothes and re-hydrates your system.

Heartburn: Bananas have a natural antacid effect in the body, so try eating a banana for soothing relief.

Morning Sickness: Snacking on bananas between meals helps to keep blood sugar levels up and avoid morning sickness.

Mosquito Bites: Rub the affected area with the inside of a banana skin to reduce swelling and irritation

 Bee Stings:    In the case of bee stings, first remove the sting and wash the area. Then apply the banana skin to reduce pain and swelling.

Nervousness and Anxiety:   Bananas are high in B vitamins that help calm the nervous system.    Studies at the Institute of Psychology in Austria found pressure at work leads to gorging on comfort food like chocolate and chips thus potentially increasing weight.  The report found that overweight and obese workers are  more likely to be in high-pressure jobs.  By avoiding panic-induced food cravings, we can keep our blood sugar levels steady by snacking on high carbohydrate foods such as bananas.

Ulcers: Because of its soft texture and smoothness, banana is the only raw fruit that can be eaten without distress in the case of intestinal disorders. It  neutralizes over-acidity and reduces irritation by coating the lining of the stomach.

So, bananas really are a natural remedy for many ills.  When compared to an apple, it has four times the protein, twice the carbohydrate, three times the phosphorus, five times the vitamin a and iron and twice the levels of other vitamins and minerals.  Bananas are also rich in potassium and is one of the best value foods around.

Banana and Peanut Ice Cream

Blend two ripe frozen bananas and then lace with a little vanilla, a little cinnamon and a good dollop of smooth peanut butter.   Drizzle with honey or agave syrup and add some nuts.  As an alternative, substitute almond or hazelnut spread and slivered almonds.  In the case of total nut allergies avoid any nuts and add a little melted chocolate and banana pieces.

Preparing Your Kitchen Space

Don’t you  just love the fresh start that a new year brings?  Your first Nourish Note for 2017 begins with creating a calm and organised space in the kichen, the central place of your home that can help to support your health throughout the year.   Being prepared is a key factor in maintaining healthy food habits and there is no better place to start than in your kitchen.

When our ‘space’ feels clear and organised we’re generally more inspired to spend time getting creative with our food and cooking.  This helps to keep us motivated with our food choices and away from unconscious eating.

So,  how does being organised relate to our dosha?  Your Vata Dosha, which governs all movement rhought he mind and body, helps to express our imagination.  Yet when we feel overwhelmed our  productivity can come to a standstill.  Being organised gives us the soace to be creative in a relaxed environment.

here are some steps Liesl Horne from Ayurvedic Essence uses to help clear out the clutter and make room for inspiration.

Make a Start By:

  • Clearing out the junk and any out-of-date products in your cupboards and fridge
  • Wiping down all surfaces with diluted white viengar and your favourite essential oil
  • Labeling and organising your food in clean glass jars which is a great way to find your ingredients at a ghlance
  • Tending to your veggie or herb patch for a few minutes a day.


Planning Meals is well Worth Your time

It makes economic sense to plan ahead, knowing exactly what you need to buy for the week.  Also it can help you to be more mindful of nutritional choices and what seasonal produce is available.

I love to sit down and relax with a cup of tea and spend an hour or so on a Sunday afternoon looking through my favourite cookbooks, making my shopping list and meal plan for the week.

Why not take the time next weekend to enjoy three of your most inspiring recipe books of the moment?  Choose recipes to include over the next month along with your easy to-to staples….

Meals can be as simple as these summer fruit breakfast dishes my family has been enjoying over the holidays.

Join Liesl at The Purple Dragonfly on Saturday, 25 February from 1pm – 5pm.

256 Yarra Street, Warrandyte

Bookings essential:  03 9844 5294

Cost:  $95


Light and Colour

Colour exists in every part of the Universe; it is around us everywhere and we are influenced by colour constantly whether we realise it or not. Even when we have our eyes closed or it is dark, we still see colour. Even when we dream, we see colour.  Colour seems to describe life – evoking senses, feeling and memories.  We use colour to describe our feelings such as ‘feeling blue’ or ‘in the pink’, ‘green with envy’ or ‘seeing red’.  We are aware that some colours lift our spirits whilst others hide just how we are feeling.  Colours can be exciting, motivating, inspiring or balancing, calming and nurturing.

Where do these feelings come from?  We learn to differentiate colour at an early age.  Naming each one correctly can be a very young child’s ‘party piece’.  The ability of identification and naming colour is stored in the cortex of the brain, the area that governs formal education. The reflexive, instinctual response to colour is stored in the primitive, mid-brain area.

Colour is the visible section of the wavelength of light. The wavelengths of visible light (colour) lie between 400 and 700 nanometers (a nanometer is one billionth of a meter).  As the wavelength gradually increases from 400 to 700 nm, it is perceived as violet through the spectrum to red. (The wavelength is lengthening and slowing as it moves towards 700nm.)  We perceive coloured objects as a result of the photons, which make up the wavelength, being absorbed or reflected by that object.  A coloured object will absorb all the wavelengths (colours) that exactly match it and reflect the rest.  This is what we see.  Therefore, a red tomato absorbs all the rays except the red one that it reflects, so we see it as red.

Science recognises the effect of x-rays, ultraviolet rays and microwaves on our physical bodies but finds difficult the idea that our emotions and thought processes could also be affected. Light plays a major role in stimulating and regulating our physiological responses.  Therefore, as colour is the way in which we perceive light through the various wavelengths, it clearly can create different psychological and physiological effects.  Dr. Max Luscher, a leading colour expert, believed that a personal colour preference or dislike indicated a particular state of mind and/or a glandular balance. This, he believed, shows the reaction to be part of the ancient primal memory.

As science techniques have become more sophisticated, it has been shown that certain regions of the brain are light sensitive and respond differently to different wavelengths.  It is believed that these different wavelengths of radiation (colour) act on the endocrine system to affect hormone production.

As early as 1942, Russian scientist S V Krakov found that the colour red stimulated the sympathetic portion of the autonomic nervous system and blue stimulated the parasympathetic portion.  Robert Gerard, who tested a group of normal adult males, confirmed this in 1958.  By shining a red light onto a screen in front of the group, an increase in blood pressure, respiration and eye blink rate was noted.  When a blue light was shone, a marked reduction in these rates was recorded.  The heart rate in both cases remained unaffected. On an emotional level, blue increased feelings of relaxation and lessened anxiety and hostility.  The colour red increased excitement and tension.

Put simply, these experiments indicate that the autonomic nervous system and the part of the brain connected with vision become more active when stimulated by the red light and less aroused by the blue light. Clear, white light was used as the control and consistently indicated no difference either way.

Further experiments during the early ‘70’s have shown that specific colours will affect moods, breathing and pulse rate and blood pressure.  The colours that can increase each symptom are yellow, orange and red (red having the minimum effect).  The colours that can decrease each symptom are black, blue and green (green having the minimum effect).

Colour is used today as a tool to aid health in hospitals.  The maternity wards will use blue light (450nm) for the treatment of jaundice in newborn babies.  The light breaks up the biliruben that accumulates in the body and allows the natural processes to eliminate it.

This same blue light has been to be effective in reducing arthritic pain in experiments conducted in 1982.  A study in San Diego headed by Dr. Shanon McDonald showed that the light could positively affect the pain levels in a group of middle-aged women with rheumatoid arthritis.  The levels would vary with the length of exposure to the light.

Dr John Anderson conducted experiments using red light on migraine sufferers.  By flashing red lights into the eyes of sufferers a substantial amount had no migraine after one hour and the rest felt an improvement in symptoms.

(Further reading and bibliography notes – Light, Medicine of the Future by J Liberman)