Apps for Health & Wellness

If you’re anything like me, you spend a lot of time on your phone. Between texting, calling, emailing, Facebook, Instagram, Spotify, Google Maps, TransLink Journey Planner and apps for managing both my Facebook page and my blog, there is a lot that I get done on my phone every day. But, as you know, one of the best things about having a smart phone is that there is an app for everything, however, this doesn’t always mean that every app is awesome, so in no particular order, I thought I’d list a few of my favourite health and wellness apps to help make your life a little easier. Continue reading

How to Live (Happily) with Food Intolerance

With increased awareness and understanding, over 17% of the Australian population (that’s 3.7 million people) are avoiding particular foods due to allergy or intolerance. Whenever I meet someone new, one of the most common things I am told about or asked about is that person’s (or their friend or family member’s) food intolerance or allergy, and how hard it is for them to find out what to eat or for them to actually stop eating the food that gives them their symptoms. Often, people are unwilling to completely remove said foods from their diet (I certainly was) and have an emotional attachment that makes them feel like they are missing out or feel that the food is a comfort to them, so continue to eat the food, or even worse – binge eat the food.
With this in mind, I thought that I would discuss my tips on living with a food intolerance, mixed with a bit of tough love, because you may not really realise, but by eating the food you are intolerant to, you are setting yourself up for a lot of damage.

Continue reading

Sugarfree September

There’s been a lot of stuff going around the media and the internet lately about quitting sugar – a lot of it saying that its bad for you or too extreme, but on the most part that it can be a really good way to get your health in control, which is certainly my perspective.

Have you heard of ‘I Quit Sugar’, the movement created by Sarah Wilson? I for one think it’s a fantastic direction as far as the health world is concerned. I’ve followed Sarah Wilson’s blog for years now – in fact I remember when she first Quit Sugar, as an experiment when she had nothing else to write about for her health column at the time.

From the outside, it can seem like Sarah Wilson’s lifestyle and expectations are unrealistic and unattainable for an everyday person, which I believe is the reason she cops so much flak Continue reading

Status Update (including some exciting news!!)

As its been a while since I posted a blog, and I have some exciting news, I thought that maybe I should give you lovely people an update.

The view of the glorious snow-capped Mt Bogong from my Mum's driveway in Mt Beauty

The view of the glorious snow-capped Mt Bogong from my Mum’s driveway in Mt Beauty

 

Essential healthy road trip snacks while giving Louie some fresh air - coconut yoghurt, fruit and nuts

Essential healthy road trip snacks while giving Louie some fresh air – coconut yoghurt, fruit and nuts

You may have noticed on my Instagram that I have been on a bit of a road trip back to my gorgeous home town of Mt Beauty to see my long time lady-friend, Laura, and the wonderful Josh tie the knot!

Photo by Sybrena Pahina

Photo by Sybrena Pahina

After quite a hard slog personally, they managed to put together the wedding of their dreams, complete with a cake made entirely of cheese wheels, mulled wine, a photoshoot in the snow, and plenty of giggles! I had the privilege of being a very big part of the wedding, helping wherever I could both up here and in Mt Beauty around the day. I even got to help make the wedding favours with Josh; cauliflower pickle, capsicum relish and pineapple and vanilla jam, with the labels I handwrote, to boot! It really was a fabulous day, with Laura texting me two days later; “Is it just me, or did I have the BEST WEDDING EVER?!!” (Classic Laura quote).

Handmade with love

Handmade with love

Before all this, in a moment of pure spontaneity, I hopped on a bus to buy some groceries for breakfast, but instead decided to ride the bus over to Carindale and get a haircut – just like that. I was in a bit of a rut and remembered the last time that I did a dramatic chop was a big moment of change for me, so in the spirit of that, I cut my hair in a way I had half-heartedly considered and I have not looked back. As soon as I my haircut was done, I walked into one shop, found one outfit, tried it on and knew that it was the exact thing that I was looking for to wear to the wedding (alas, the only photo I have of said outfit is of me in that changeroom). For someone like me who rarely has money to spend on such things, a moment like that means a hell of a lot. And now, when I get dressed in the morning I feel like my bubbly, sassy, baben self again – completely worth it!

Feelin my baben self!

Feelin my baben self!

” A woman who cuts her hair is about to change her life” – Coco Chanel

The outfit in question

The outfit in question

***MOST IMPORTANTLY***

I have also (very excitedly) been putting together my very own nutritional medicine and wellness coaching business – Miranda’s Wellness . This will be an interactive way for me to help you achieve your wellness goals and individualise the knowledge I have gained from 4 1/2 years of study to suit your health needs on a face-to-face basis, and I cannot wait to get started! My nutritional medicine and wellness coaching consultations will be available in the South Brisbane area, with a few extra services I’ll be giving you teasers about over the next few weeks.

I keep telling everyone that I feel equal parts terrified and excited, but I suppose that is just a sign that I am really passionate about the whole thing. I have already changed the banner on my blog and plan on putting in a few more changes bit by bit until I’m ready to launch (sometime within the next three weeks).

If you’d like to know more, please feel free to email me at mirandaswellness@outlook.com.

 

 

What have you been up to?

 

 

What I’ve Learnt from not Having a Car

It’s been about six months now that I’ve been living without a car. I mean, I do own one, its just sitting in a paddock somewhere in Wodonga quietly rusting until I save up enough to get it running again. Anyway, here in Brisbane I don’t have a car, so I’ve had to figure out how to get by without one.

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It may seem like a completely daunting task for some (especially here in Brisbane, where most people I’ve spoken to would rather not use public transport), but honestly, it hasn’t been too bad. While I can’t just jump in a car and go to a shop, friend’s houses or restaurants on a whim, I’ve had to rely on public transport and my own two feet, and for the majority of the time its been a positive experience, so I’d like to share with you some of the things I’ve learned from it.

1. Patience

Brisbane’s transport system is made up of mostly buses, some trains, catamarans (known as the CityCat) and ferries. Its not the most amazing system (with transport less frequent than it is in Melbourne), and the TransLink journey planner is useless if you don’t have a map of the city in your head, but for the most part, especially with practice, it gets the job done.

I usually take buses to get around this gorgeous city, and honestly, they aren’t always on time, and buses being buses, they are affected by local traffic if your bus line isn’t lucky enough to be on a busway (a highway specifically for buses – its fantastic!). At first, the lack of punctuality from the bus lines can be rather frustrating, but I’ve realised that there is no point getting worked up about it. The reality is, no amount of frustration is going to get the bus moving any quicker. Instead, I just pop in my headphones and enjoy the time that I have. Its a useful time to make a shopping list, plan a date with a friend or read a book, which is a much more positive experience than fretting that I’ll be late.

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2. Punctuality

My punctuality hasn’t always been perfect, but through having to rely on something else to get me somewhere has forced my hand to get organised and more often than not I get where I need to be earlier than intended, and with everything I need with me, too! (Unbelievable, I know!) I’ve got a fairly accurate estimation in my head of how long it will take for me to get anywhere (either by foot or public transport) and if not, I just use the journey planner. But, for example, walking, I can get to Woolloongabba in 20 minutes, South Bank in 30-40, the CBD in 50-60, The Valley in 55, while through public transport I usually take about 15 minutes off most of those values and that’s fairly accurate. (Oh, and the CityCat will get me to Ascot in an hour – see, I’ve totes got it down pat). So as long as I leave the house with that amount spare, I’ll get there on time. I know that these times will not change (unless I run) so I plan around it and arrive wherever I need to be, very calm and on time, which makes me feel super!

3. Its much easier to get exercise

Sometimes the difference in time to get somewhere via public transport, including walking to the stop, waiting for the transport to arrive, etc, compared to just walking the whole way there is negligible. And if you’re a fan of running or cycling, it is even faster. I often opt for walking places – even if I just walk one way – because it increases my incidental exercise for the day, so I’m walking rather than sitting again, it gives me a chance to listen to beautiful music, my brain get a chance to churn through whatever is concerning me at the time (good or bad), my cortisol (the stress hormone) is broken down through my exercise, improving my wellbeing and sleep onset, the glucose in my blood is taken up into my muscles (a mechanism of transporters called GLUT-4) to be used for energy by the cells and reducing the reliance on insulin for this mechanism, and its free!

If you have to carry something, you are also making your muscles stronger, which in turn improves the strength of your bones. Really, its a very positive way to transport yourself around, in my book.

4. I’m more capable than I realise

Its one of those motivational spiels that you hear all the time, but its only when you are tested that you recognise this within yourself. Having no car presents many challenges – the grocery shopping is probably the hardest and most common of these challenges, but navigating, especially around a new city, and just carrying heavy things in general are probably the most difficult challenges when you don’t have a car.

I have a habit of getting a bit over-excited when I grocery shop, and if I happen to be a bit low on my Go-Card (bus ticket card thingy), I have to then walk my groceries home on a walk that would usually take 20 minutes without heavy groceries (I buy a lot of heavy vegetables, whole chicken, tinned vegetables and oil in glass jars) – usually 35-40minutes home if you include stopping, which sometimes has to happen when I haven’t thought things through. During this walk home (which I have now completed countless times) I’m desperately willing random strangers to take pity on me and help me out, and oh my goodness, do I ever feel sorry for myself! But in the end, every time, I make it home, I’m still alive, my food is fine and my arms are just a tad stronger than they were before I went shopping (even if they do hurt for a few days afterwards). The point is, I get shit done. I have to. I have no choice. I chose to spend my last dollars on groceries and toilet paper – things I need to survive – and if I don’t walk it home, struggling the whole way, its not going to walk itself to my house, so I push on, and realise, hey, I did it. And it really wasn’t so bad.

I’ve also managed to develop the map of Brisbane in my head. So much so that I can direct people who have lived here much longer, with accuracy (which always feels good). Its a comfort, because I am starting to know at the very least, vague directions to walk, which buses to take and where the nearest bus/train/ferry/CityCat stop is in order to get me where I need to go. I have a similar map in my head of the trains/trams/buses of Melbourne that I developed over 3 years of living there, which always makes me happy when I go back to visit my friends and venture around – it just makes life easier.

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5. I am not a superwoman

No matter how resourceful I’ve managed to become over the last few months, I’ve had to face facts that I can’t do it all. Sometimes I have bought too many groceries and need to take the bus. Sometimes I have no idea where I’m going, and I will get lost. Sometimes if I’m given too short notice of something, I can’t get there in time. And sometimes, I will have to walk home in the rain without an umbrella because there is just no way around it. But that’s ok.

When I was incredibly sick at the end of semester I had no other way to get to the doctor than taking a taxi, and to be honest, I preferred it. I wasn’t relying on/burdening anyone else, I wasn’t going to pass out walking there in a park or on the bus, and I felt safe and independent knowing that taking a taxi was an option. It did take a chunk out of my student budget, but boy was it worth it.

 

How do you get around? Are you a fan of public transport? Would you opt for walking instead of your usual transport after reading this post? Or does it just seem all too hard. Let me know in the comments below.

Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram @mirandaswellness

My Name is Miranda Partridge, and I am a Proud Feminist

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about my feelings about feminism and how they relate to my wellness journey, so that I could share with you why being a proud feminist is so important to me.

Firstly – what is feminism?

Feminism is, simply, the belief that women deserve the same rights as men. It’s not about burning your bra, hating men, or being “anti-family”, but rather about standing up for the respect and rights of women in an equal way to men.

Because of a small group of very extremist feminists, the word ‘feminism’ is not something that many of us feel they want to associate themselves with, despite upholding feminist beliefs. I’ve even had discussions with some of the men in my life who may have rolled their eyes when I’ve said that I am a feminist or who didn’t even realise that feminism was a thing, but because I only associate myself with the dudest of dudes, these conversations have only brought about more understanding of the world on their part, and sometimes the realisations that they themselves are feminists – yes, you can be a feminist without being a woman, you may also call this “Being A Decent Human Being”.

My fabulous sister, Alysia

My fabulous sister, Alysia

But to me, being a feminist has never been something I was ashamed of, even without the label ‘feminist’ I always knew I felt strongly about women’s rights. I remember being teased in High School for specifically saying the word “passionate” when it came to the horrific practices of female genital mutilation and child prostitution I had been learning about at the time – apparently the word “passionate” was funny… yeah, I still don’t get it – and I remember standing up to said idiot saying “What’s wrong with the word passionate? I am passionate. How can you not be passionate with all these awful things in the world?” (a rare moment of confidence for a 15 year old me). As I grew older, I was properly introduced to the term ‘feminist’ and realising that I was one was all the more empowering for me.

But what does this have to do with wellness? Everything, my darlings, absolutely everything!

Feminism is a great thing for wellness, because your pursuit of wellness becomes less about the way you look, and “proving people wrong”, and more about proving to yourself what you are capable of and making the right choices for the benefit of your own health. Of course, there will always be a component of vanity within it all, but as long as you are not judging yourself (or others) on the way you look, I believe that is an important distinction. I am a realist after all, and I can’t pretend I don’t feel great if I think I look great.

For the most part, I believe it has absolutely everything to do with your self esteem. One of the hardest things about being a female in the modern world is dealing with the judgement of others. Even before you go out into the world, your brain is analysing you and telling you all of the ways that you will be judged, because the reality is, at one point or another you have unfairly judged another woman about the way she looks/acts/walks/speaks because it made you feel better about yourself. Of course, I have done this. Once upon a time I lived in a small town, I had shitty self esteem and I was in an unhealthy circle of friends where we all judged each other and those around us. All of these negative words about other people only bring more negativity (even if we only say them in our heads) so I believe that by becoming the sort of person who stops themselves (and others) from being judgemental, you end up realising all the good in not only yourself, but those around you. The reality is, now that I have been around some of the most inspirational women I know, I’ve engaged in stimulating conversations, read empowering feminist articles, watched Ted Talks, gotten to know myself and just grown as a human being, I have realised the detriment of these judgemental thoughts and have seen myself try to discourage these words in myself and those around me and it’s helped me to realise that I’m a total babe, and so is everyone else.

In addition, one of the best things I have done lately is to skinny dip with a good friend. I am now so at ease about being naked and bearing my belly or even my boobs, that it’s helped me love myself even more – so I urge you to try it. Your body is beautiful, and I hope that the small part of you that knows this is growing every day.

Just a small collection of some of the most wonderful women I know: Lauren, Debbie and Laura

Just a small collection of some of the most wonderful women I know: Lauren, Debbie and Laura

I have such an appreciation for the beauty of the women around me and love to go out of my way to tell them how totally baben they are, inside and out. Especially now that I am single, I have such a deep appreciation for my female relationships. There is something about a friendship between two women that cannot be matched by a friendship or relationship between a man and a woman. Shared experience, the ability to understand each others feelings and the inspiration you get from being around an incredible woman who has experienced different and similar things to you, is something that shapes who you are and gives you more understanding about who you are and who you want to be. This has taken time to set in for me, because for a very long time, my closest friends were men. But being self-aware is always important for your wellness journey, as it gives you strength, but if you don’t have that strength, your female friends are the best ones at giving it to you and helping you find more of your own.

Recently I have become very open about talking about sex, and how much I enjoy it. Because I don’t feel shame in having sex and enjoying sex. It bothers me when people judge me or other women about this, but on the whole, I mostly feel empowered and confident because the reality is that admitting these things just means that I am human, and quite frankly, my opinion is the only one that matters when it comes to my life (including my sex life). With this sexual empowerment comes confidence and better self-esteem, because why should we feel ashamed about enjoying sex, being naked, having breasts, or enjoying our sexuality? There is a lot of pot-kettle-black behaviour around sex, and it is way too acceptable in society to use the word ‘slut’ to make a woman feel ashamed about her sexual behaviour, while it’s rare for a man to be under the same scrutiny, while the term “man-whore” is met with grunts and high-fives as men find it empowering (I’ve literally seen men do this over the top of a dinner table covered in food). Why can’t more women be empowered by their sexuality? As long as they feel safe and are enjoying themselves, what does it matter? Being confident and accepting of your own sexuality is crucial to your wellness journey as it helps you know yourself better, gives you confidence and helps you to enjoy your life (and sex itself) more.

When you have the confidence to feel passion about the topic of feminism, you are often met with groans and eye-rolls (sorry guys, but from my experience, mostly from men), but that shouldn’t be a reason to pull back. Being a woman, despite some opinions I’ve heard, is freaking fabulous! When a group of women is at ease, we have the most heart-felt, hilarious and judgement-free conversations that provide some of the most profound insight you can imagine. So what, we have our period, which can suck at times, but at least we have an efficient way to know that our body is doing what we need it to do. Plus, as far as I’m concerned, boobs are just awesome. So, be empowered by your femininity, however it may appear (it is different for everyone), stand up for the rights and respect of yourself and every other woman in the world by politely pointing out someone else’s judgement, or stopping your own judgemental thoughts, let your own sexuality empower you, and remember that being a woman is just fantastic, because it really really is!

My amazing Mum, Kathy

My amazing Mum, Kathy

Writer’s Block

I’m sitting here on my bed in my very messy room, coughing my guts up and struggling to come up with a topic for you guys. It’s 4.45pm on a Monday and I’ve walked the 50 minutes to The Valley, with a quick lunch break on the way, printed off resumes, spend 2 hours writing on a topic that I figured out will need more than a few hours to adequately cover (stay tuned), then walked the 50 minutes back home and I still don’t know what to write.

On my walk home I did come to the realisation that its been a while since I wrote something personal on here. In my goal to inspire you I forgot that this isn’t just about the way that I can help you, but (selfishly) the way that you can help me, which in its own way helps you.

Mira and Anna

The last year of my life has been a complete whirlwind, and while I’m enjoying the journey and learning and loving so much about myself along the way, I have to admit, it can get really hard. Now I’m not about to sit here and tell you hard my life is (because honestly, it really isn’t that bad), but it’s really important to me that I am my authentic self on here, because if I can’t do that, how can I possibly expect you to be interested in what I have to say? After all, this blog is called Miranda’s Wellness and my goal is to share my wellness journey with you as well as helping you with your own journey.

So lately, I have been rather disoriented. I finished a 4 1/2 year long chapter of my life, I’m unemployed, dirt poor, and still coming to terms with what it is to be single, as this is the first time I have really been single in my lifetime. I’m very lucky, because I have great friends, some who have also just finished the degree and truly are the only ones who get how I’m feeling, some who keep me company long-distance via text and social media, some who I live with and make me giggle every day, and some who are so generous with their time, their support, their love, their company and their listening. But despite all this, here I am, in the messy room I’ve been attempting to clean for a few weeks now, and still feeling stuck. The space of my room really is a representation of the space in my head – unorganized, cluttered and stagnant.

That’s not to say I’m not making progress, guys – on both my head and my room – slowly.

Strong feet

 

But when I say that you help me, I mean it! For starters, you ask for my help, my opinion and my knowledge, which helps because I’m forced to look at something new/unfamiliar or look at something from a new perspective. I don’t try to pretend that I know everything, I am and will always be learning, but when you engage with me it pushes my learning that bit further, which I love. Secondly, you make me accountable, because I know that if I want to help other people I must first help myself. Part of that is to make healthy choices, or have a healthy attitude about the choices that I do make, and it motivates me to make those choices if I can show them off on Instagram and Facebook (come on, we all do it!). And thirdly, I get to see the things you do or eat or make when you post them on my wall, use my Instagram tag (#mirandaswellness) or tag me, which not only gives me fab ideas, but it makes me proud to see that a. you associate the healthy things you do with me (very freakin cool) and b. you want to share these positive parts of your life with little ol’ me (even more freakin cool!) and it spurs me ever further.

The thing is that what I want to show you that, hey! I’m human too! And I think that so far I’ve been fairly successful with this. My Instagram account @mirandaswellness is my personal and only Instagram account, so I post everything on there, the green smoothies, the chocolate cake, the yoga, the tea, the festivals, the beer! Being congruent in my lifestyle is very important to me, but I refuse to pretend that I am perfect – it just doesn’t sit well with me because I know that I’m not. We all have an ideal person we can see ourselves being, and some people are better at being that person than others. All I know is that, for me, I’ve realised and accepted that every day there is a part of me that wants to sit in front of the TV eating piles of cheese and chocolate all day, and some days that part of me is very big, most days its small, but its always there. All I can do is force myself to remember the positive things that I feel when I make better choices and if I do give in, not to beat myself up about it or let it ruin my day, and also, not to let myself get away with too much *insert fatty cheeky gluttonous Miranda face here*.

Dorky tea face

Another thing I will also say is that I don’t buy in to those fitspo “what’s your excuse?” posts out there. If they work for you, that’s brilliant, but I’m not the sort of person who gets positive motivation out of stuff like that, and I just want to say that if you are also someone who ends up beating themselves up because you see posts like that, just don’t subscribe to that bullshit. You know you, you know what works for you and what doesn’t, and you know how to improve the things about yourself that you want to. I’m all for tough love, but I’d rather read something empowering about how you are a total babe just as you are and if you want to be healthy because its good for the person that you are, not for the way that you look, then please, go forth and run, squat, dance, cycle, lift, do whatever. And if you can’t find anything that says as much, then here:

YOU, my friend, are a TOTAL FREAKING BABE!

So there you go, I was lost, but I found my rant in the end. I hope it makes sense to you, or at the very least made you love yourself a little more.

Ballin Mira