I remember the moment really well. It was February 2006, and I was at a big personal development event in London’s Excel Exhibition Centre. I was walking through the concourse when a smiley teenager handed me a single-sided leaflet. On it was a picture of a beaming chap wearing a chef’s hat and inviting me to his ‘Raw Food Party’ which promises of all kinds of health benefits: clearer skin, sharper mind, slimmer body, and greater energy.
I was curious and so I went along.
That Raw Food Party was the very first wellness event I’d attended. Back then, wellness wasn’t the mega trend that it is today. What I learned on that day triggered me to upgrade my diet significantly and become a ‘nutty advocate’ fighting for the rights of myself, my family, friends, and community to be well and free from physical, emotional and mental pain in which many people find themselves.
- Chronic illness is the norm
- 1 in 4 children have autism
- 1 in 4 adults are overweight or obese
- 1 in 6 suffer from anxiety & mood disorders
- 7 men in Australia commit suicide daily
- 44% of women over 45 are dependent on anti-depressants
- The unsustainable way we’re treating the environment, consumerism all around us
- A lot of conflicting messages about food
- Most people are not happy at work
Do you notice this?
I left the Raw Food Party back in 2006 feeling overwhelmed, anxious and vulnerable as, in the space of eight hours, my belief system about the food and drinks I was consuming had been completely challenged. All the things that I had been eating, enjoying and considering to be healthy had been put into question. I was confused, I was fearful, I was angry. But above all, I was really concerned about the wellbeing of the people I loved who seemed to be heading towards a future of chronic illness and pain.
That was the start of my wellness journey and since then, I have attended hundreds of wellness events around the world, implemented many changes in my own life, and gradually created and developed my own philosophy of resilience and wellbeing. This has evolved into a way of life and a personal and professional passion to help others.
The 2018 Wellness Summit
When I attended the 2018 Wellness Summit in Melbourne, I have to admit to going along with an element of an ‘I won’t learn anything new’ attitude. How wrong could I have been? It was packed with some amazing speakers, exhibitors and wellness products.
I found it so useful that I put together a summary of the things that I learned from this event.
Sleep is important – you can’t survive for more than two days without sleep before hallucinating, and hallucinating isn’t fun I can assure you. Fifty percent of Australians struggle with sleep, and sleep affects every aspect of life.
‘When we don’t eat well, we feel like crap. When we don’t sleep well, we can barely function.’
Agrochemicals – this opened my eyes and ears to the risks proposed by weed killer, glyphosate. This is the type of insight that always makes me feel uncomfortable as you may choose to eat well unaware that what you’re eating is covered in toxic chemicals. I’ve done a bit of research since then, and definitely worth you looking into it too.
Wellness Tourism is now a big trend and it was good to meet Joanne Vomerio who has set up a new business to make it easy for people to plan wellness holidays. In the past, wellness was focused on the spa and the gym. Today, it’s more integrated into the overall experience.
Another brand that caught my attention and my taste buds was Hilbilby. Their range of fermented vinegars tasted awful neat but were nicer when diluted in warm water. A great addition for supporting your gut health which is just going to get bigger as more and more research supports the premise that the gut is the centre of our physical and mental health and wellbeing.
Quite possibly the biggest eye-opener was the presence of Zazen Water and the presentation by the founder and CEO, Janet Parker. Janet’s message was simple:
‘There are many things you can do from a health and wellbeing perspective. The simplest thing we can do is change the quality of water’.
The water we’re drinking is often chemically treated with filtrations that improve the taste. That doesn’t sound too healthy, does it? Zazen Water adds minerals and energy back into the water and alkalises it, in order to support life.
I was so impressed that I bought a zazen Water filter. To me, it’s the closest most of us will get to drinking spring water, and it’s so convenient to be able to turn ordinary tap water into mineral-rich spring water in the comfort of my own kitchen!
I actually managed to bag the Raw Energy community a discount! You can buy a new Zazen Alkaline Water System or Shower Filter from www.zazen.com.au and receive 10% discount off the recommended retail price (RRP)! You just need to add this code when you check out: getrawenergy10
- Self-love or the lack of it was another key insight. ‘When you find your true, raw self, you can show up in a big way.’So many people are plagued with the feeling of not being enough. Wherever those feelings have come from, we didn’t arrive from the womb with low self-worth. The truth is that you are good enough and you need to accept yourself first and then love will follow. Self-love starts by nourishing your body and being truthful about where you are in your life.‘If you work on yourself, the relationship will be better than ever’.
- Habits rule, yay! It’s not what you do once in a while that will have an impact on your wellness. It’s what you do consistently that will determine how you look, feel and behave. It takes 28 days to create a habit and if you’re looking for some inspiration and practical tips, join RAW Energy’s Healthy Habits.
- Mobile phones came under the spotlight as new research is linking blindness to mobile phone usage. A great book to read is: “How to Break Up with Your Phone”. One for us all, I think. I certainly need to read it as my relationship with my phone is a bit too close. I’m going to try to have whole days apart from now on.
- Life-changing food – this story was so inspiring. The story of a woman, searching for answers to help her chronically ill children. The doctors told her that food wasn’t the solution, her friends ridiculed her for ‘creating weird children’ and not allowing them to eat ‘normal food’. In the end, she took matters into her own hands, managing her children’s health through food and creating a successful blog and a recipe book that has sold 85 thousand copies.
In summary, it was a great event packed with information and insight. It was awesome to be part of the experience and to leave inspired to continue giving myself the gift of wellness and to share the tools and gifts of wellness with others to help them navigate a way through the wellness maze.
Many tools and strategies were shared and a key theme that ran throughout was that bad stuff happens, but when it does, remember:
‘This too shall pass – with every negativity you can look back and say if this hadn’t happened, who would I be?’
Every time I go to an event, I try to implement at least one new thing into my life. For me, the Wellness Summit will be the event that brought the importance of drinking quality water home to me in a big way and provided a solution to accessing quality water on a daily basis. In the UK, we tried going to a local spring with big glass canisters. But, as you can imagine, that didn’t last too long! Since then, we’ve made do with reverse osmosis and bottled mineral water. Now, though, I have learned about zazen Alkaline Water and am the proud owner of a new tank. As CEO of zazen Water said,
‘There are many things you can do from a health and wellbeing perspective. The simplest thing we can do is change the quality of water.’
So, give yourself the gift of wellness today and invest in your own zazen water tank to give yourself and your family the gift of Alkaline Water every day.