Seasonal foods for late Summer in Melbourne

Just as the romantic, balmy evenings wane and summer romance ends, so does the beautiful produce that graces our tables. Before you resign yourself to the winter that ensues; remember to savour the last of late summer produce that tends to be sweet and juicy to moisten our bodies in preparation for autumn 🍂. Autumn is the season where pathologies influenced by dryness arise such as cough, rhinitis, hay fever and eczema.

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Eating in season is a great way to reduce your shopping bill given seasonal produce is available in abundance thus costs less. Given it is fresher, this means it is also full of vitamins and minerals. Eating late summer produce at this time of the year provides the body with energy, the right balance of yin, yang, vitamin salt and minerals required to healthily get through to autumn.

Here is a list of some of my favourite seasonal fruits and vegetables to be enjoyed now in Melbourne:

  • apples
  • banana
  • berries
  • fig
  • grapes
  • pears
  • avocadoes
  • basil
  • beans
  • capsicum
  • carrot
  • Chinese greens
  • cucumber
  • eggplant
  • garlic
  • lettuce
  • spring onions
  • Green peas
  • spinach
  • sweet potato
  • tomato
  • zucchini

As Hippocrates said, “Let food be your medicine and medicine be your food”. Don’t worry there are herbs 🌿 and acupuncture to back this up!

@Ilana Sowter Acupuncture Melbourne, Ivanhoe, Northern suburbs

Wake up & smell the roses: to your purpose

It’s Wednesday morning and many of you may be thinking, bugger, another day at work and it’s only Wednesday!

Remember before all our complaints and dislikes comes the gratitude for the simple and essential things in life we take for granted. You’re alive! You have choices, you have purpose, you came here to do something and only you can take the risk to find out what it is. We are well off enough to have access to the Internet, a cup of coffee and a roof over our heads. All of these things are miracles that we bypass everyday.

When I coach my clients to awaken to the gratitude and find their life purpose we move out a lot of the crap that is plaguing their lives and blocking them from really flourishing as they are.

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It’s an absolutely divine day today here in Melbourne, so reach over and smell those roses, think about what you have that is good in your life and what you are looking forward to in the future. Only good lies ahead! 🌹

@Ilana Sowter Acupuncture Melbourne, Ivanhoe, Northern suburbs

Bringing good qi & health into the home with indoor plants

My friend Margi is a big fan of indoor plants, her house is full of clambering ivy and propagated succulents. Did you know that by having indoor plants in your home or office, air can be recycled and cleaned?

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Propagating plants

I always encourage my acupuncture patients to explore some of the vast and fabulous parks that Melbourne has to offer. Getting out into green parks and nature is so good for you, and if you are too busy to get out… then bring the plants to you!

Your local nursery, (I recommend Bulleen Art & Garden or CERES in Brunswick) will have a range of indoor plants or you can propagate your own. Take a fresh, green cutting of ivy, geranium or a succulent and place it in a glass of water. Change the water daily and eventually you will notice roots emerge. Then it is ready to place in a pot with soil.

Benefits of indoor plants include improving immunity, plants can increase humidity in the air so that pathogens are less likely to survive. Bringing an indoor plant to a loved one who is ill or hospitalised can speed up recovery.  Green is a calming colour for the liver energy in Chinese medicine and would you believe that having plants around you at work can increase your productivity?!

@Ilana Sowter Acupuncture, Melbourne

 

Beach benefits for fertility, pregnancy & beyond

I always recommend a beach visit for wellbeing to my patients. At all stages of life it is essential … from fertility, pregnancy, children to adults. The sea is rich in minerals and iodine! If you swim regularly in the sea you will notice your skin becomes firmer and blemish-free.

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The combination of fresh air, salt water and sunshine which contains vitamin D (n.b. most Australians are vitamin D deficient!). So make sure some of your body is exposed to the sun without sun cream or coverage.

Just like a good acupuncture treatment, you will often feel relaxed after a day at the beach, probably because all the tension in your body has been unwound and it is time to rest and recover it. Swimming in sea water and walking on the morning dew grass removes positive ions that we accumulate from the electromagnetic and pollution-filled world we live in.

Its going to be 36 degrees tomorrow in Melbourne tomorrow! I dare you to visit the beach and feel the wonder of summer!!!

@Ilana Sowter Acupuncture Melbourne, Ivanhoe

 

 

Blogging in the Melbourne rain: acupuncture for positive mindset

It was supposed to be hot and sunny today, however we in Melbourne were greeted with humid air and rain! So easy to get yourself down if you were planning a glorious day outdoors!

Remember though that rain brings clean air as it washes away the pollution and stagnant energy that builds up in this eclectic city we call home!

Looking at the things differently and trying to see the positive that occurs when we receive what we perceive as bad news can change our attitude and life for the better. Hence, why the rain reminded me of this today because people strangely often complain about it when it is essentially vital to our life! No rain, no plants, no food, no clean air nor water.

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If you have been trying to change your mindset and find it difficult to do so, acupuncture can be highly beneficial. Acupuncture involves the insertion of fine, sterile needles into certain points on the body and is very relaxing and grounding. I also offer coaching services and I find that patients who are ready and willing to make changes reap the benefits in their physical and emotional health when combined with acupuncture. If you tend to stress, worry, become anxious or feel so down that you can’t get motivated, this combined therapy of acupuncture and coaching I offer  in Ivanhoe, Melbourne could just be for you.

Breastfeeding & society: mother of 4 shamed in National Gallery Australia

I was shocked to read that a mother was told to go to the parents room when feeding her baby daughter at the Versaille’s exhibition at the National Gallery in Canberra! The security guard approached her indicating it was an issue of decency and modesty.

This is outrageous considering that we are in 2017 and there are these kinds of qualms going on in our Australian culture. Many women struggle with breastfeeding, mastitis and maintaining a healthy milk supply, imagine going through these issues then being told to go and shut yourself away in a room because you are doing something indecent in public.

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I like to think we live in a society now where we are all loving and accepting of however we feed our babies, whether from a boob or bottle they are all beautiful little creatures who deserve love and to be respected regardless of how they are nourished. The WHO (World health organisation) recommends that babies are breastfed to 6 months and up to two years for the health and wellbeing of both mother and baby. Breastfeeding is not only great for babies, it can reduce the mother’s chances of developing breast cancer later in life. They probably don’t tell you that if you buy a pink bun from Bakers delight.

Acupuncture and Chinese herbs are excellent for supporting a mothers breast milk supply, and are just effective for mastitis if you are looking for an antibiotic or drug-free treatment. If you are struggling with generally breastfeeding, find a good lactation consultant they can make all the difference.

@Ilana Sowter Acupuncture Melbourne, Ivanhoe

Benefits of getting into nature: wild recharge

Kelly tells me of the most incredible time she had chilling by herself and hiking in the wilderness on a tiny Island off Hawaii.

It had been a long week, and I needed to get right out of the burbs, and right out of Sydney! Inspired by Kelly, I took my city slicker self to Seaforth, to embrace one of Sydney’s most secluded and unknown Coastal Walks to Bantry Bay. As I hiked through the lush bush dotted with Australian Wildflowers, the sweet smell of their nectar and the peppermint trees calmed me. Breatheable Bush Medicine.

Working and living in a big, stressful city is challenging. Sometimes we need to escape! We spend most of our time at work indoors, and a lot of our weekend socialising indoors, eating and lazing about. Take a moment to take yourself and the special people in your life somewhere very natural and beautiful. You will feel amazing. It’s very good for you.

Bushwalking through the Garigal National Park was very quiet much to my delight, and as I hiked up to the summit, not knowing where I was going, but relishing the anticipation there it was. After all that climbing, herbal fumes and dodgy pathways I arrived at the big rock to take in the Awesome Vista and eat my banana.

The View

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Avoid being tread on more common paths such as the Bay Run or Eastern Beaches Coastal Walk. Go somewhere off the beaten track, be inspired to connect with nature and bring forth your progeny.

“Your heart is full of fertile seeds, waiting to sprout”. Morihei Ueshiba

Ilana Sowter Acupuncture Melbourne, @Ivanhoe