This Time Last Year

This Time Last Year

This time last year I was in hotel quarantine. It wasn’t part of my plan to be in a hotel for 14 days, when I flew down to Melbourne to visit my father.  My trip was a deliberate ‘ check-up of my dad’s place and him as well,’ to see how he was traveling; a 4-night stay, however, in the words of John Lennon, ‘life is what happens when you are busy making other plans.’  On the flight back from Melbourne after being in lockdown for just over a week, I spent a nervous time still unsure if I would be going into quarantine with another passenger, Geraldine.  The two of us flew home on our private jet! We were the only ones on the flight feeling quite special and quite ridiculous at the same time.  Sitting on the wing side seats, with probable luggage under the plane, more than likely sliding into the walls, without any other luggage to buffer it.  Quite a bizarre experience and certainly a first!

Looking back, those 2 weeks - 14 days in the hotel went quicker than I expected, and out of a perceived major inconvenience, I turned it into something good.  For several years I’ve been saying, I’ll get on to this book, the follow-up a book to ‘The Poo In You’.  As I’m out of stock of this book, I wanted to create a book that would be like a sequel, and give more details on living a life in harmony with the gut, the inner and outer world that a human has to navigate to stay well and in tip-top condition.  I knew there would be more to this book, I was struggling with a title and even the content, until I found myself in a confined environment, that I couldn’t leave and circumstances I couldn’t change!  I was forced to get on with it, and I really don’t think I would have been able to produce my book if it wasn’t for this time.

When I arrived at the airport at Maroochydore on the 3rd of June, both Geraldine and myself were greeted by a tall corporate-looking lady with a black mask over her nose and mouth!  I did not wear a mask!  Geraldine was escorted in one direction and I into another.  2 male and 2 female police officers were in the customs room when I arrived. I noticed Geraldine was able to leave and make her way out of the airport, because the night before she stayed overnight in the Melbourne airport and did not exit, she had originally traveled from Tasmania, and was told if she left the airport, she would have to do quarantine in Brisbane!  So Geraldine spent a very uncomfortable night sleeping on her yoga mat with a jacket for a pillow, in an airconditioned airport.  She woke up with a cold!  Don’t you just love the irony of that!

I was getting nervous, as I was all ready to plead my case for isolating at home in our cottage, just like I did back in 2020 when I got caught out flying home from Thailand. I thought I had a red-hot chance of speaking with reason to these police officers. Constable Shayne was an absolute gentleman and showed respect to me as he gave me my three options.  Option one is to fly back to Victoria and wait out the lockdown and the possible rules that go with that.  Not happeningOption two, fly to Sydney at my expense and do my 2 weeks there, again still not knowing if I would be able to cross the border when the two weeks were up.  Not happening.  Option three, get in the little white bus parked out the front of the airport and be escorted down to a hotel in Brisbane by two very attractive male policemen, where I would carry out quarantine for 14 days, finishing, all being well, on the 17th of June!  I selected option three.  But I added my own option to that, Option four - I’ll do the quarantine, but I’ll turn it into an opportunity to write. I’ll be disciplined, and I’ll write for 5 hours every day.  I’ll watch movies too, I’ll exercise, I’ll call up people I want to talk to, and I’ll do the quarantine but I’ll maintain my own council over the situation.  This is what got me through.  My brother Andrew mentioned to me before I left Melbourne, if you are unlucky and have to do the ‘time’, make it pay, make it work for you, and set up a schedule and follow your schedule every day.  He was 100% correct.

Each day, I got up around 7 am, deep breathing first, then I exercised in the room, and moved about, just like I would if I were walking at home in the country.  I paced the room, 10 meters of it, sometimes with Darryl on the phone and walked for 25-30 minutes, then I did a few gym sessions to on line trainers, that was fun, then I got sick of that and went back to my routine, and every day I felt like I was getting fitter too.  When I finished the exercise, yoga, and stretching session, I would shower, and then the knock on the door would mean my cold breakfast would arrive in brown paper bags.  I would nibble on the banana bread, which wasn’t too bad, and really the only decent thing in the breakfast bag.  I would heat up the kettle and have hot water with lime and fennel essential oil (I had my oils with me), then begin my writing, with my laptop set up on the table in the room.  By 1pm. I had done pages and pages of writing, and the information flowed. I would reward myself with lunch, which again arrived with a knock at the door and in a brown paper bag.  After lunch, I would watch a movie or if really motivated, keep writing.

Before I left for Melbourne, I had the presence of mind to have Alex Fullerton - from Author Support Services send me the framework for writing my book, as I thought I would look at it during those cold Melbourne nights. I never worked on the book while at my dad’s place, as we were too busy doing other things.  I cleaned out dad’s cupboards, tidied the house, went through photos and family history with dad, and turned our 11 days together into heaps of fun, although always a little anxious as we didn’t know when I would be able to fly back to Queensland without quarantine!!!  That was constant stress, however, keeping busy helped both dad and I to get through that.

Back to hotel quarantine, around 4 days before I was due to end my quarantine at the Mariot Bonvoy, I got a call from reception, they said that because I was flagged as someone that had spent my time in Melbourne in a not-so-hot zone, I could go home early, but I had to be ready in the next 15 minutes.  I was a bit put out, but I scrambled up all my things, packed away my writer’s office, and emptied out rubbish into bags I’d kept, surveyed my environment as it if I would never see it again.  I was ready one minute over the time, I phoned reception, only to be told they made a mistake, I still had to do the four more days!  I wasn’t upset about this, as I had work to do. I shrugged it off pretty quickly and got back to setting up my space again.

I had a view of the Brisbane River, I thought about what it must look like when it floods and hoped like hell that would never happen again, but it did in February this year and we all know how that turned out.  The whole quarantine thing really was a disaster if you ask me, and I have experienced all types of quarantine from home, hotel, lock-down, and then even time in a Thai Hospital (a whole other story), and every part of the experience has taught me to roll with the punches, to adjust, to pivot. I’m not saying I always do this well, but it helps if you have some tricks up your sleeve.  For me writing, recording, thinking, reading, and viewing specific documentaries or movies that had or have a purpose, for me makes the day worthwhile.  Keeping my movement up, keeping active, and keeping thankful, grateful, seeing the good in every situation, what a difference that can make.

I have come to realize the hills and valleys and crevices in my mind are full of potential brilliance and positivity If I train it proportionately.  There is no room for negativity, there is always good in every situation.  Out of hotel quarantine came my book Lifestyle Reset The Essential Guide To Healing You and the Planet.  This book is my legacy, with every subject that relates to mental health, bowel health, Iridology, Recipes that are plant-based, and some good reasons to embrace a plant-based lifestyle in the first place.  Ayurveda concepts, a dosha quiz, photographs of my creations in the kitchen, my family, and even my dad doing a little yoga with me.  All this came together with a whole lot of help from Alex and her team, Darryl with the photograph sourcing and placement, and myself for just writing what I believed needed to be written.

This time last year, I was inside a hotel, I was pacing the floor, watching movies, even sharing a gym session with Darryl via zoom, and envying him the sunshine I could see beaming through our little atrium-style gym, surround by glass doors letting the nature shine through.  This time last year I learned to accept the unacceptable, and you know what I am better for it.  If you would like a copy of my book, and a surprise gift, click on this link.  Lifestyle Reset is one of my best creations.  I know you will love it.


How To Think Healthy

How To Think Healthy

You have to think healthy to be healthy.  It starts with your thoughts, which for some people, run around in their heads like wild children after eating sweets!

Every day we have around 62 thousand thoughts that furnish our cerebral chambers, what is disconcerting is they are usually the same 62,000 thoughts we had yesterday! Change your thoughts, and you change everything. The title of this article is aptly ‘How to Think Healthy‘!  To think healthy you must first recognize what you are currently allowing to dominate your thoughts.  What do you think about when you first become conscious after a deep sleep?  What comes into your mind, what do you allow to come into your mind?  For some of you, thinking healthier thoughts will become a new discipline, it will require you to train your brain, like you may have trained your body when you lifted weights or started a gym routine.

Healthy thinking leads to a healthier body, there is no doubt in my mind about that, but for some of you, this is challenging because the wild kids have moved in and they are trashing the house!  To change that, you must accept with excitement and joy, that you can change those thoughts and the thinking process.  I’ll share a few of my steps that will help you to ‘think healthy’.

Step one - Recognize your thoughts!  When I start to go down a negative thinking path I call it out and identify it for what it is.  An example of this is, I may refer to myself as clumsy when I drop a cup or bump the bench with my leg, I may even refer to myself as a ‘bit of a dick‘ but then I notice my words to myself and change the statement to ‘careful‘, ‘this body is important,’ I need that leg to be working in tip-top condition! I’m so happy and grateful that I can move slowly and cautiously and keep safe. I’ve changed the vibration towards myself instantly, to more caring and more complimentary.  I can do this because I am very aware of language and the positive or negative effect my internal language can have on how I feel.  This may take time for you to learn, but it’s going to be a worthy idea, especially when you notice you can do it.  I have a whole chapter on ‘Attitude not Altitude’, in my new book ‘Lifestyle Reset, The Essential Guide to Healing you and the Planet’.  This book came out of a difficult situation and personifies everything I have already mentioned here.  Change your thoughts, change your reaction to things that happen to you, and you can change everything for the better.

Step two - turn your first thoughts into gratitude.  I say this to myself often.  I am so happy and grateful now that….. my body feels fit, I can stretch and I’m flexible, I can run up the driveway, I can exercise every day.  I am so happy and grateful for this green drink that cleans my blood.  I am so happy and grateful for this beautiful essential oil aroma that fills the room with positive and calming vibes.  I am so happy and grateful I can walk, talk, think, be, and love.  I am so happy and grateful that I have 10 toes, 10 fingers, arms that work, legs that are strong, ears that hear, and teeth that can chew.  I am so happy and grateful I can see, and this self-talk goes on.  This one sentence, I am so happy and grateful, can be directed to something that hasn’t happened yet.  I am so happy and grateful that I have won the lotto because I can see some of the funds going to the lovely young man who sold me the ticket, I can see the swimming hole being created on our property and a lovely gazebo being built specifically as a bird observatory area.  I am so happy and grateful that everything I need shows up at perfect and divine timing.  I am so happy and grateful that I am super healthy.  You see, I am thinking of myself as healthy.

Step three - appreciate the little things.  I love to observe nature, birds nesting, even swooping.  Appreciation is a chemical enhancer, a neurotransmitter that is created in the brain when we appreciate and acknowledge openly our joy, our appreciation.  Appreciation follows on from gratitude beautifully.  If you are sick, fighting a disease, appreciate the lessons of the dis-ease, once again affirm out loud, I love this aching back, I am aware that my body is talking to me, and I appreciate that I can change this discomfort, I can become wise, study methods for improving posture and natural pain management, I can stretch, I can take time out of a busy day to nurture my body.  I can even squat, and hold my head up high.  I appreciate that I can do this!  A tougher one may be Cancer, but again it’s a disease.  I have met people who have talked to themselves out of Cancer.  They have created a regular pro-active conversation with themselves about their disease, their appreciation, and gratitude that the disease has taught them other ways to look after their bodies.  This is a humbling thing to hear and experience, but to know that it could work demonstrates the power of the mind.

Step four - Question with childlike fascination things around you.  I have known many healthy people who have lived well into their 90’s.  What separates them from other people who are much younger and more acidic, are several phenomenal characteristics that shine the light as bright as a brand new spotlight. These extraordinary folk, are childlike, fascinated by everything, take time to observe, stay happy with simple things, and laugh at themselves and life.  One extraordinary man survived the Kokoka campaign during the second world war.  He was a lovely mentor to me and left a beautiful positive wake long after his eventual passing.  Another survived the Holocaust, Auschwitz concentration camp, he is 98 now, and still alive and kicking.  The one thing that stands out about this man is, his childlike fascination and he is not bitter.  He has found a way to move on through all his past horrors, and he celebrates every moment of life.

Step five - Learn something new, different!  This in turn requires you to test your mind.  Remember something that you have newly learned and recite it, record it until it’s logged in, this changes the thoughts in your head. On a physiological level, learning new things is good for your brain. … Additionally, learning new skills stimulates neurons in the brain, which forms more neural pathways and allows electrical impulses to travel faster across them. The combination of these two things helps you learn better.

Change your thoughts, and you change everything!  Study yourself, and check where your opinions, bias, and beliefs originated from.  This is a powerful exercise in itself!  Think about how a healthy person behaves, how do they walk, how do they project.  A healthy person is energetic, playful, genuinely pulsating at a frequency that is obvious.

Think healthy, even if you are not until the cells in your body believe you and respond accordingly.  Think healthy.  You can do this.

Thanks for tuning in. x Annie



Stamina Bites Recipe

Stamina Bites Recipe

These delicious little bites are ideal and quick to make for any time snacking.  Here is my recipe for your joy.

You will need: 

  • 1 x 500gm pack of Stamina Mix (can use standard fruit and nut mix).
  • 1/2 cup desiccated coconut
  • 1 tablespoon honey or maple syrup
  • 1/2 dried cranberries
  • 1 drop Madagascar Vanilla essential oil (contact Annie for more information on this)*
  • extra water

Process all ingredients in a food processor, until combined enough to form into little balls.  Roll balls by hand and store them in a container in the refrigerator.  *note:  If you don’t have Madagascar Vanilla, you can use 3 drops of Vanilla essence instead.

Cacao Version:

  • All above ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons cacao powder

Process all ingredients in a food processor, you may need a little extra water.  Roll into balls and coat with desiccated coconut.  Store in the refrigerator.  Please note:  Recipes like this one can be found in Annie’s books - In The Raw, and Lifestyle Reset - The Essential Guide To Healing You and the Planet.  

Annie runs ‘raw food workshops’ and associated events, retreats and essential oil classes every few weeks.  Check out the Workshop and Events on the website.

Dont you just love a visit to the Dentist?…..

Dont you just love a visit to the Dentist?…..

So how do you like going to the dentist, having your mouth poked, prodded, and sometimes injected? Up until a year or so ago, I would put it off rather than face the music because of previous trauma.  Trauma doesn’t go away easily!

Ironically, it’s very rare that you find someone that actually likes going to the dentist.  More people stress out about the dentist than any other practitioner.  It’s probably a profession that has more depressed practitioners than any medical profession because most dentists are feared rather than revered. A brain surgeon is looked upon with such respect, Action movie stars get accolades for their craft, but the poor old average dentist would rarely be on someone’s Christmas card list let alone have happy kids and parents bound into their surgeries exclaiming, ‘come and get it - can’t wait to have an injection!’ (more…)

The Death of a Toad!

The Death of a Toad!

As I walked up towards the top of the property with a load of weeds and garden mulch to dispose of, I noticed, not for the first time, a deceased toad on the road.  He was flattened by the wheels of a visiting vehicle that traveled along our driveway.  As I said, the toad was quite dead and flat, and the precariousness of its passing occurred to me. (more…)