‘The most confused we ever get is when we try to convince our heads of something our hearts know is a lie’ ~  Karen Moning

With Mother’s Day here there are 3 life-changing lessons I’ve learned as a Mum.   

I wish I’d known them earlier as they’ve made motherhood less stressful, more enriching and empowering.

If you’re a mother, father, grandparent or carer, I hope it helps you too, especially no. 3 – recognising the feminine in our evolutionary blueprint;

The fundamentals

There are fundamental things I’ve learnt (and that are still work in progress) e.g. asking for help, being kinder on myself, being more honest about how I’ve felt, how tiring and relentless parenting is, patience and regarding our children as my greatest teachers and all the rest…   

3 deeper findings

But there are deeper findings that when I discovered them, felt like a big, reassuring hug that made sense and stirred an inner strength that somehow has made motherhood enlightening and strengthening.   

They are;

  1. Honouring matresence.
  2. Understanding Post Natal Depletion and
  3. Recognising the feminine in our evolutionary blueprint.


  1. Honouring matresence.   

If the term matresence is new to you, it’s defined as ‘The transformation of becoming a Mother’. 

Just like adolescence, it takes time for the transition to take place and involves intense hormonal and neurological changes following the birth of a child.

It can take as little as 4 – 6 weeks, often longer e.g. as long as 6 months (if it is honoured/recognised, longer if it is not).  

It’s a window of time that’s completely dedicated to bonding with our babies, feeding, nurturing, replenishing our bodies and honouring our transformation, energising and replenishing us for child rearing and creating a fulfilling transition into motherhood while discovering a new sense of self as we learn to listen to and trust our powerful maternal intuition.  

Traditionally every culture recognised this transformation and honoured a form of matresence.     Keep reading to learn what happens when Matresence goes wrong, it’s likely to sound familiar…

Then to learn more, read my post, ‘…When Matresence goes wrong’ and my video interview with the wise and informed, Dr Oscar Serrallach, Author of ‘The Post Natal Depletion Cure’.  

  1. Understanding post-natal depletion.

Dr Serrallach coined the term ‘postnatal depletion’. He suspects the syndrome affects up to 50% of mothers (I suspect it’s more) and can affect them anywhere from the birth of their child up until the child is 10 years of age.  

Dr Serrallach says, ‘post natal depletion occurs when matresence goes wrong’. 

Sound familiar?

When I first heard this term many years ago, I knew it was exactly what I had experience.  Post natal depletion may present as;

  • an autoimmune condition
  • hormonal imbalance
  • lack of energy
  • extreme tiredness or depression
  • intolerance to stress and so much more… 

I wrote about my own version of postnatal depletion and what it looked like here

There’s a lot I would’ve done differently had I known how depleted I was physically and emotionally after having children.  It’s no wonder many of these conditions ‘flare up’ one – two years after having children.  

  1. Recognising the feminine in our evolutionary blueprint.

There’s a strong ancestral lineage of feminine wisdom throughout our evolution.

I’ve gained an inner strength recognising this intimate connection with the natural world and learning about the divine feminine (energy).  I thought it was a bit woo woo – it’s not.  It may take a mindset shift though…    Understanding this energy is super important for our emotional and physical wellbeing (think nervous system) and therefore, for our families, our communities and our world.

Stay with me…

Suzanne Kingsbury, Author and Business owner, says the divine feminine is an energy that has been with both men and women since ancient times. 

There is both a masculine and feminine energy in everyone and we need both energies to achieve our potential.   To our benefit but also to our detriment, in the past 100+ years, our feminine energy (in both men and women) has mostly been suffocated / ignored.

For those unfamiliar, the divine feminine is not in the sense of male v female but an aspect of each individual that’s associated with creation, intuition, patience, nurturing, right brain, community, sensuality, collaboration and empathy – regardless of gender.  As opposed to the masculine energy that’s associated with things like courage, independence, striving, assertiveness, left brain, logic, control, competition, organisation and more.  

As imagined for the last century or so, women have fostered their masculine energy to earn their place and compete with men. Not only for the right to be educated and remunerated well but for the necessity to support our families, run the home and go to work when men (and women) went off to world wars.   

It’s a patriarchal existence we’ve carried on with, and for many good reasons, however at the time, our parents, grandparents, great grandparents etc. had to ignore and suffocate their feminine energy.   Behaviours we’ve modelled and generally, haven’t thought to question.  But I believe it’s making us sick.

As Mothers, when we have children, this feminine, nurturing, intuitive, energy within us is heightened, it’s instinctual, and it kicks in to help guide us in raising and supporting our families.

I remember having babies and going back to work part-time in my corporate role, (a masculine dominant energy), but feeling a very strong inner turmoil of conflict.   I wanted to be at home nurturing and nourishing my babies but torn by the feelings of needing to continue working long hours and striving to maintain my management position while leaving the responsibility of raising my children to others.   There are many women who have the inner balance and manage this incredibly well and don’t feel this inner turmoil.  However there are many of us who like me, who have this inner conflict, and without us realising it can make us feel depleted, stressed and at odds with being a mother.   Particularly as we have to let go of the masculine qualities that have defined us for so long such as, independence, control and organisation.

Yet if I’d had this knowledge of the different energies and their aspects, I think I would’ve understood WHAT I was feeling so much better and been able to reconcile how I was feeling and actually I wasn’t incapable, I wasn’t being lazy or going crazy!   

I would have understood Matresence, it’s important role and that it’s not forever.  Rather it’s an imperative for raising strong, healthy, happy children.  That my low immunity and hormonal imbalance was actually post natal depletion and that if I had nourished myself better and understood the transformation I was undergoing I would’ve perhaps been less stressed and far kinder on myself i.e. happier and healthier.    

But I underplay what can happen when this energy continues to be suffocated or ignored. 

It is energy and energy needs to move otherwise it ‘stagnates’.  Stagnant energy combined with poor food and lifestyle choices can trigger distress and dis-ease in the body.   I believe it’s no coincidence that it’s so common for women to ‘suddenly’ experience autoimmune conditions, hormonal imbalances, lower energy, digestive issues etc. after childbirth.

Other examples of feminine wisdom in our evolutionary blueprint

A couple of other quick examples of the feminine wisdom within our evolution I find empowering and fascinating;

  1. Mitochondrial eve. Mitochondria are a buzz-word in the health world right now and for good reason.  Simply they are organelles in every cell, responsible for our energy production.  They are fundamental to a well, energetic, being.   However, what’s not so well known is that all mitochondrial DNA during reproduction are inherited from our female side i.e. rather than the DNA coming from both male and female (as in most cellular reproduction), mitochondria are only accepted from female DNA.   Giving rise to the theory of a “Mitochondrial Eve”, a woman from whom all people inherit their mitochondrial DNA from one generation to the next.  I wrote about this more in my e-book, ‘7 simple steps to get-up & Glow’.
  2. Ngarngk.  In our local Nyoongar, Australian native language the sun (giver of life) has the same name for mother, also giver of life – Ngarngk.  Giving more evidence to the strong feminine that is intrinsic in our evolutionary blueprint.  
  3. Mother Nature. And of course there is Mother Nature, also known as Mother Earth – ‘a Greco-Roman personification of nature that focuses on the life giving and nurturing aspects of nature by embodying it, in the form of the mother’ (wikipedia)

The knowledge is there within us, it just takes time, space and wisdom to release it, let it bubble to the surface and guide us to reach our full potential as women, mothers and men.   

What next?

So if, (when) you feel down or overwhelmed or overjoyed in your most important role in the world, you’re struggling with an illness you can’t get to the bottom of (no matter your age), consider the above and our evolutionary blueprint.   Do you need to reconnect to the feminine (or not)?  To learn to hear your intuition and gain an even greater inner strength that will guide you to your full potential?    While at the same time lightening the ‘motherload’, feeling less stressed and rediscovering your true self … 

Simple things we can do to reconnect with the divine feminine (for men and women);

  • Spending more time outdoors, preferably barefoot.
  • Spending quality time chatting with friends and family.
  • Being creative e.g. time for painting, cooking, dancing, gardening or whatever gives us pleasure.
  • Trusting our intuition and taking time to listen.
  • Being kind to ourselves.
  • Stimulating the senses and feeling free to feel more.   When we feel we heal.
  • Tracking our cycle with the moon, (obviously not one for men)!
  • Taking time to notice beauty, flowers, the beach, the warm sun on our skin etc.
  • Being more feminine e.g. wearing makeup, your hair out, a dress or skirt occassionally, feminine colours etc.
  • Introducing natural elements that connect us with mother earth e.g. crystals, wooden furniture, stones and himalayan salt lamps.

In conclusion

There’s no right or wrong, but if it these sentiments feel right, embrace more of those innate feminine qualities and take a moment or two to notice how it makes you feel.  That is where the healing is.

I’ve focused this discussion on Motherhood and my heart goes out to all those women who have suffered loss or for whatever reason won’t be Mothers.  Yet this discussion is still relevant.  There is this same feminine wisdom in all of us (men and women) and it needs to be honoured, with or without children.

This is my personal interpretation only.  There are many resources available to further your own learning, some of my favourites is the work of Dr Kelly Brogan & the book by Dr Rudy Eckhart, ‘The truth of love and fear’.

To transform your wellbeing and your families, from the inside out, simply and naturally contact me  https://www.katebarnes.com.au/contact/ for an initial discussion or let’s start with my popular wellness kickstart program – my 7 day enriched mama program.

Today I rise.

Very simply, they’re not less tolerant.  It may seem they are, however, it’s more likely;

  1. it’s no longer a home made cake after school or dinner.  Generally kids are exposed to WAY more sugar & simple carbs which affect mood, blood sugars etc.
  2. the sugar being used is much sweeter than it was 20 – 30 years ago. Todays highly processed high fructose corn syrup is sweeter than ‘traditional’ sugar originating from sugar cane AND so children have a ‘sweeter’ palate.
  3. the sweet treats often come packaged up with additives, preservatives, colours and flavourings, giving them a shelf life of … FOREVER, which they didn’t used to have nearly as much.
  4. childrens’ digestive systems are impaired e.g. leaky gut, low stomach acid, pathogenic infections (dysbiosis & microbiome imbalance), making them more sensitive to these foods.  If your child suffers from an autoimmune condition, allergy or digestive issues, they will have one of these digestive complaints.
  5. Their desire for sugar is heightened because it’s added to most packaged foods.  So their palate is ‘sweeter’ and if they have microbiome imbalance they can also crave sweetness.
  6. ​​​​​​​The sweeteners used e.g. high fructose corn syrup, white sugar are cheaper to use, so used more liberally to induce purchase and desire BUT are more highly refined and higher in fructose, which is more debilitating to the body, especially for our little ones.

And traditionally our sweet palate would’ve been satisfied with the natural sweetness found in leaves and tubers, a long way from the sweetness we’ve got used to today!

Simply, sugar is not what it used to be when we were growing up. I know it can be difficult for grandparents and others to understand this when they just want to give their grand children a little treat!

So to avoid a sugar overdose try this;

  1. Explain to friends and family members why sugar is not what it used to be.  They may or may not understand, that’s okay.
  2. Trade.  If the kids collect way too many chocolates than you’re comfortable with, try trading for a family experience they’d love, a visit to the toy shop or similar.
  3. Start new Easter traditions e.g. we always bought the kids new winter PJs or try including jokes and fun things in the easter hunt as well as the easter eggs.

Otherwise enjoy the special time to spend with friends and family and when you’re back in a routine, you can get back on track and importantly, focus on strengthening their immunity! My mini ebook, ‘Why kids get sick’ is a perfect place to start.

Download it on my site for free.

To transform your wellbeing and your families, from the inside out, simply and naturally contact me here https://www.katebarnes.com.au/contact/ for an initial discussion on what’s right for you or let’s start with a healthy aging review and assessment.  

Here’s a quick recipe round up of some of my popular meals, snacks and treats for the Easter break.  They’re all gluten free, low in sugar, can be dairy free and most importantly, DELICIOUS.
If you’re wanting to get creative in the kitchen or looking for some quick and easy, yummy healthy recipe ideas, these are for you.   Happy Easter & happy holidays!

Quick and Easy Chocolate Gifts & Treats;

​easy home made chocolate

home made (everything) rocky road

best ever chocolate brownie cake

chocolate pistacchio and prune truffles

chocolate crackles  – An oldie but a goodie!


A Crunchy Granola (great for travelling and if you need a healthy breakfast or snack on the go)!


Slow cooked cinnamon beef cheeks with cauliflower cream


Lemongrass, Garlic & Coconut Fish Curry


A feastive one pan breakfast (perfect for brunch or a lazy morning).

I recently went to a public talk, ‘Bring back the fat’ hosted by Christine Cronau, Nutritionist and Author, who transformed her weight and health on a high fat, low carb diet 18 years ago.

Her presentation shared case studies, benefits and more on adopting a ketogenic diet (high fat, adequate protein, low carb), which I’ll share more on at another time.

It was the speaker after the break, Dr Aseem Malhotrah, a cardiologist, author, researcher and professor of evidence-based medicine that I was curious to hear from.

Dr Aseem is well credentialised.  A Cardiologist, Harley Street Roc Private, The King’s Fund – Trustee,  Academy of Medical Royal Colleges – Choosing Wisely Steering Group, Advisor National Obesity Forum.   He’s written numerous health and academic articles for medical journals and mainstream media on topics related to obesity, heart disease and health policy.  He’s also won a number of awards for his work and was named in the Sunday Times Debrett’s list in 2016 as one of the most influential people in science and medicine in the UK.

His opening slide read;

‘The demonizing of saturated fat and cholesterol and the mass prescription of statins; the biggest mistake in the history of medicine?”

It got my attention.

Here’s a brief overview of what he shared;

On the state of the medical system.  

  • Approximately 10% of published literature is clinically relevant and of high quality – ‘a lot of information helping decisions being made (on improving patient outcomes) is falling far short of what’s needed for good patient outcomes’…   ‘Medicine is not an exact science.  It is an art of probability’.
  • He shared the below diagram saying of the 3 areas feeding into improving patient outcomes, very little time is given to ‘patient values and expectations’ with the majority of evidence coming from the other two areas.  However as noted, in regard to the ‘best available clinical evidence’ only 10% is clinically relevant or of high quality?  Implying it is difficult to improve patient outcomes relying on this model.
  • Dr Aseem proposes a more consultative approach with his patients while at the same time digging deeper into the ‘clinical evidence’.

On predicting heart disease or Coronary Artery Disease (CAD).

  • ‘Cholesterol levels in most cases are ineffective in predicting heart disease’.   The most important factor / risk for heart attacks is insulin resistance.  Fyi insulin resistance is when the cells become resistant to insulin and unable to use it as effectively, leading to high blood sugar.
  • ‘The paradigm (for testing for heart disease) needs to shift from cholesterol (analysis) to sugar and insulin resistance (analysis).”

Other indicators for heart disease testing include a;

  • calcium score
  • fasting glucose
  • stress test
On the effectiveness of statins to manage CAD… 
  • His research showed that statin drugs do not change mortality rates.
  • 1 in 3 people suffer side effects of statins including muscle weakness, erectile dysfunction, type 2 diabetes and memory loss.
  • While side effects may not be felt immediately, they can develop with time and be experienced years later.   The older the patient is, then the more vulnerable they become.
  • When fasting insulin goes down, commonly triglycerides go down.
  • In his view statins should be prescribed when there is cardiovascular risk or heart disease diagnosed, not for high cholesterol alone.
  • While undertaking a healthier lifestyle, side effects of taking statins can be reversed within just two weeks of stopping them.
  • There are no withdrawal symptoms experienced when no longer taking statins.
  • He advised, when patients are given all the evidence, he commonly sees medication reduced.
  • The question was asked, ‘why do statins reduce cholesterol’.  His response was they reduce inflammation.   When inflammation is reduced, cholesterol commonly reduces.

As you’d assume, Dr Aseem is not without critics.

After the publication of an article in the British Medical Journal, ‘Saturated fat is not the major issue’ his findings were questioned by an Oxford University Professor – Sir Rory Collins.  It prompted an independent review, which found Dr Aseems findings valid.  However, the review also found that the Professors University research was financially conflicted due to payments made to his department and to the University.

Concluding comments.

  • His concluding comment, ‘science is not enough.  Opposition of invested interests is what’s needed’.
  • ‘Saturated fat does not clog the arteries.  Coronary heart disease is a chronic inflammatory condition, the risk of which can be effectively reduced from healthy lifestyle interventions e.g. exercise, good food, sleep and stress management’.
  • People are potentially being placed on medication when they are not ill.
  • Taking a pill diverts the more imperative need to take personal responsibility for an individuals’ wellbeing.
  • And this quote by Dr Christiaan Barnard, Cardiac Surgeon and Dr of worlds first heart transplant,‘I’ve saved the lives of 150 people with heart transplantations.  If I had focused on preventive medicine earlier, I would have saved 150 million’

Although why wait to see a Doctor when healthier lifestyle choices can be made today?  

What to do?

  1. Consult with your health practitioner and assess how healthy your lifestyle is.
  2. Take positive action toward a lifestyle that promotes health and wellbeing.   Find a buddy or family member or a coach and do it together.  It’s better together.
  3. Addin great foods for heart health including healthy fats and foods that are in their most natural and whole form.
  4. Reduce or eliminate inflammatory foods e.g. foods that are highly processed and refined.
  5. Sleep well and get to bed early so you make better choices and your body has a chance to rest and repair and manage stress.
  6. Listen to your body and the quiet (or noisy) clues it’s giving you.

If his research has peaked your interest I encourage you to do your own research, ask questions and become informed about this important topic and where the money (funding) trails lead.

To transform your wellbeing and your families, from the inside out, simply and naturally contact me here https://www.katebarnes.com.au/contact/ for an initial discussion on what’s right for you or let’s start with a healthy aging review and assessment.  

References & resources;




Dr Ross Walker https://medium.com/@drrosswalker/statin-use-in-older-people-16a000be0634

Journal, Summer 2017, Nurturing Therapies for Heart Disease

‘saturated fat is not the major issue’, British Medical Journal



This week the ABC published an article, ‘What’s in our kids lunch boxes’?

It’s been preying on my mind.

Schools from differing socio-economic backgrounds suburbs were visited in the same city in Victoria to see what was inside childrens’ lunch boxes.

What they found isn’t too surprising but was deeply concerning (see images below).

Briefly, here’s what they found;

  1. ‘Not a lot of difference’ in terms of healthiness between the suburbs according to nutritionist Mandy Sacher.  I don’t agree.  The lunch boxes in Broadmeadow (lower socio economic suburb) included more sugar, processed and refined foods, potentially causing a greater impact on childrens digestion, hormones, brain function and blood sugars, setting them up for behavioural issues, lower immunity, developmental delays, irritability, mood swings and more.
  2. Most kids, independent of school or suburb, went to school with a bread sandwich as their main lunch item with Vegemite or ham being the preferred fillings in the wealthier suburb, compared to Nutella in the poorer suburb.
  3. Overall, ‘the sample suggests the challenge of packing an interesting and nutritious lunch box is universal’.
  4. The emphasis given in the article was that not enough good quality protein is being given to children.  I also saw that not enough healthy fats (needed by every cell in every body), nutrients generally and fibre (for feeding a healthy microbiome) are sadly lacking.

Yes, it may be just a snapshot of one city and a couple of schools at a point in time, but I think it’s probably a snapshot of society generally.

Lunch is only one meal in the day.  Does it really matter?   YES.  It makes up a third of our daily food intake.

And we know for many, breakfast is not going to be too different in terms of the few (if any) nutrients growing children are getting i.e. a bowl of highly processed cereal with milk or toast and vegemite!   Kids get home from school tired and hungry (needing real food i.e. nutrients), and make poorer choices around homework, relationships and more.  Then let’s assume dinner is meat and some veg – awesome.  But…  It’s NOT enough.

Snapshot of lunch boxes from Broadmeadows.

snapshot of lunch boxes from Brighton (read the article for lunch box details)

In summary.  

Children are growing, developing and DEMANDING every type of nutrient for their brains, hormones, immunity and so much more and they’re not getting enough of what they need – no matter where they live.

The ABC’s “universal snapshot” shows in images that our children are under nourished i.e. they are potentially ‘malnourished’.   Sandwiches and packet foods are not enough.

How can they be expected to perform at school and in life when the fuel tank is empty?

I fear for this generation and the generation to follow them.  It makes me sad. 

I know you’re aware of this and doing great things in your home to nourish yourself and your families but…  in todays world to get kids eating a good lunch is hard.  Even for the healthiest of us, including me – irrespective of wealth.

After making lunch boxes for 10 years (where did that time go) – I know!

And now as they’ve got older and their peers are so much more influential in their choices, it’s harder again.

It’s one thing to know what makes a good nutritious lunchbox, another getting kids to eat it especially when their buddies are opening up packets of ‘food’ and munching on vegemite sandwiches, and ‘no-one wants to swap their lunch with you!’ OR they just won’t eat the healthy ‘stuff’ and are fussy eaters.  It’s easy to relent.  But that’s like saying to them it’s ‘okay’ and it’s not.  Every now and again is okay – not most of the time.

Which is WHY as parents and carers, it’s important to stay strong in encouraging our children to eat well in their early years.

I think of it as my gift to them and that one-day, they’re going to be grateful for all those ‘weird’ foods in their lunch boxes (fingers crossed).

In saying that, an unhealthy lunch box is not about lazy, un-financial or ill-informed parenting.  

It’s a symptom…

It’s a symptom of deeper issues at play;

  1. After a while kids will crave simple carbohydrates and sweet foods usually found in packets laden with additives and refined sugars.
  2. Kids palates and microbiomechanges making it more likely for them to make the unhealthier choice and refuse their veggies or meat.
  3. When children are deficient in key nutrients for example, the texture of some foods is physically very hard for them to tolerate and yet they’re labelled as ‘fussy eaters’.
  4. Life is full.  We feel we have little time to prepare healthy lunch boxes.
  5. It’s hard to know what truly is healthy for our kids and what’s not?
  6. A healthy lunch box isn’t always seen as a priority in society.
  7. Packet food for breakfast and lunch boxes is big business.  And their marketing campaigns are hard to ignore and don’t have our wellbeing in their best interest.
  8. As parents, carers, teachers and leaders we are not being taught or shown what healthyis.  Traditionally this knowledge was originally passed down from one generation to the next – and we learnt it all before the ‘a-pill-for-an-ill’ mentality took over.   As women and men moved from the home (farm) into the workforce and convenience foods became a ‘saviour’, this fundamental knowledge has been lost.
  9. Generally, eating good, nutrient rich food isn’t seen as a priority or a necessity.

Making time for preparing good food now is better than making time for sick kids, doctors, specialists, medication and the slippery slope into auto immunity and chronic illness later.

Perhaps by bringing awareness to these deeper issues / thoughts it will make it easier next time you’re preparing lunch boxes in the heat of the busy morning.

And if your children refuse to eat your healthy lunch box, don’t give up, there is a good reason for it.  Rather find someone you know who understands the deeper issues or contact me for a complementary initial discussion to hear more about how we will get them enjoying a wide variety of foods and so much more.

It’s a complex issue.  Strong social leaders like chef Pete Evans and also Sarah Wilson (I Quit Sugar), with massive international audiences, have tried to change what ‘healthy’ looks like in our schools at a government level, with only limited success.

But is it totally up to the government?  Of course not – we need to be aware of the deeper issues and take responsibility ourselves.

It starts in our homes, at our tables and in our hearts.

Think about real food – clean, natural, real …

Let’s bring back healthy lunches.

And for simple ideas on how to save time and pack a healthy lunch box, with loads of nourishing, delicious recipes, a reminder to check out my ‘Lunch box rescue’ ebook

As a Mother, Scientist, Business Owner and Wife I understand how full life is.  It is my passion to work with women to simplify the overwhelm we often carry in managing it all while still nourishing our families and ourselves.  Simply.  Naturally.  Contact me here for a complementary call.  Why wait?

The thought of ‘starving myself’ is unappealing. I’m sure you feel the same. However with all the discussion about intermittent fasting (IF) I’ve been excitedly drawn to the idea and in the past week have been experimenting (while doing my gentle cleanse). ‘What’s taken me SO long?’ I hear you say.

Hmmm thoughts like, how do I do it? I’d starve myself! I’ll get it wrong, It’s not for me etc etc!

Yet across the world in different cultures, some form of fasting has been practiced for spiritual and religious reasons for centuries. Touted as a way to refocus the mind and body, sometimes lasting 24 hours or more. Then go back a few hundred thousand years and fasting was a part of our day to day existence. It’s in our DNA.

An ancient practice or way of life that’s become the ‘new thing’ and in our world of abundance and over consumption of food perhaps for good reason.

If you have or you’ve been interested like me, here’s what I’ve discovered, but first… what exactly is it and what is autophagy?!

Intermittent Fasting.

Traditionally a fast is not eating food for consecutive days or even weeks. Intermittent fasting however, involves not eating food for just 12 to 16 hours a day and reducing the window of time you eat to an 8 to 12 hour period. That’s it.

The ideal timeframe for health benefits seems to be 16 hours.
The benefits to be gained are when fasting happens consistently over a longer period of time i.e. no quick fix (sorry)!

• promotes healthy weight
• improves blood sugar
• helps a healthy heart
• reduces inflammation
• reduces appetite
• protects cognitive (brain) health
• helps fight stress-induced cravings

“Intermittent fasting is hypothesised to influence metabolic regulation via effects on (a) circadian biology, (b) the gut microbiome, and (c) modifiable lifestyle behaviours, such as sleep. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28715993

Other benefits;

It simplifies a healthy lifestyle by reducing the food choices we need to make every day. As a Mum this is especially attractive!

Abstaining from food for longer than normal means we give the body a break from constant digestion, more time for rest and repair.

It’s easy. Intermittent fasting is straightforward. It doesn’t require any extra thought to menu planning or long shopping lists.

It kickstarts ketosis. A state that happens when we no longer have glucose to use as a fuel and we resort to burning fat for fuel so ‘retraining’ our systems to burn fat stores for fuel – our natural state. (as Naomi Whittle, Author & CEO says – “it is nature’s reset button”)

How it works.

One of the most exciting ways is a process called autophagy.

If you haven’t come across this term, in Greek auto means ‘self’ and phagy means ‘to eat’.  Autophagy refers to a self-eating process within our cells that encourages the proliferation of new, healthy cells.

‘Fasting is a crucial component that ultimately controls inflammation in the body and activates autophagy’ ~ Yoshinori Ohsumi, 2016 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.

Imagine, as our bodies aren’t working on digesting so much food, they get the chance to tend to cellular functions. Functions that include removing waste and toxins from the body. It gives our digestive system and body a chance to rest and repair. In doing this it takes ‘stress’ off the bodies important functions.

Without food, insulin levels in the blood decrease and can keep the body sensitive to insulin, which gives better blood sugar control. With blood sugars being managed better, and the stress on the body reduced, the body can then start to burn fat.

Hence it’s easy to see how IF helps with;
• Metabolism
• Weight management and consequently
• Better sleep (and all that goes along with these improvements)!

Note: enjoying nutrient rich drinks in the fasting timeframe, especially mineral rich drinks and some healthy fats, such as bone broth may assist the fasting benefits.

It may not be for everyone.

It seems that if our hormones need some love and attention or there are other imbalances, fasting may backfire e.g. I’ve worked with clients who fast and after losing weight initially their energy and weight can plateau. As soon as they introduce smaller more regular meals, their energy increases and sleep improves.

Support your liver and kidneys well before fasting. This is important. If our detox pathways are clogged, not detoxing efficiently we don’t want toxins recirculating throughout the body causing unwanted trouble.

And if you have trouble metabolising fats then it may be important to start very gently e.g. a 12-hour window of fasting rather than 16 hours and see how you feel.

We are all bio-individual and while something may work for one it may not work for another at a particular time and place. Listen to your body and do what’s right for you and always consult with your health practitioner.

One more thing, food and the preparation of food in our homes has magical qualities in how it brings us together and nourishes us. It’s important we always continue enjoying food in this way and the love, thought and preparation that goes into sharing it with those around us.

In summary

It takes time. While the lure of immediate weight loss is attractive, it’s not healthy. Far better to do it gradually and IF seems to have the good results when done over a longer period of time and while still enjoying a nutrient rich, real food diet, without ‘empty’ calories.

Personally, at the end of the week I’ve enjoyed a renewed energy, clarity of thought and calmness. I love my gentle cleanse and do it a couple of times a year.   This time I did it with my hubby which was a really great experience and more enjoyable.   Just until this Sunday the 13th of February, 2019 you can download the cleanse manual for free here and join me on a LIVE call as I walk you through it for even better outcomes.

And now I’m looking forward to experimenting more with IF and seeing how it works best for me.   If you’ve fasted before or done my cleanse let me know how it went?  I’d love to hear.


Home of Dr. Axe

https://www.naomiwhittel.com, ‘Glow 15’
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6bAkvnvX0W8 Yoshinori Ohsumi

‘Is giving up the carbs’ something you’ve committed to?   Are you feeling an extra need for carbs with the change of seasons & maybe feeling guilty?

Cutting back or giving up carbs is something we know we need to do BUT…  in reality is hard! (Especially those sneaky mid afternoon chocolate fixes)?!

Carbohydrate (carb) cravings might feel like;

So how do we kick these cravings and live a little more?…

Three things;

  1. Stabilising blood sugars.
  2. Learning what’s really causing the craving?
  3. The change of seasons.

Great.  So how do we do that?!

Firstly let’s look at blood sugars.

We understand how simple carbs can send our blood sugars on a crazy rollercoaster ride – you know the ones i.e. pasta, rice, pizza, bread, biscuits, generally highly refined and processed foods and grains that the body can use quickly for fuel.

This conversation with my son and analogy about twigs v logs will help.

Twigs v logs.

I’m not sure how the conversation started.  We were sitting at the family dinner table when our youngest stated he wanted to eat more pasta and pizza because it was good for him?!

He was ‘fishing’ for a bite that’s for sure.  I reckon he got a bit more than he could chew!!

Stay with me because this might help your family too.

About to jump up and down and correct his misguidance, I caught myself and kept quiet for a moment (not so easy to do)!

With my hubby’s support, I explained …

It’s like keeping a good fire burning.

To make a good fire what do we use?  ‘Logs and twigs’.
What gets it started, by making it burn fast and hot?  Twigs.
So what makes the fire burn steadier and for longer? ‘logs’.
What happens if we used just twigs and no logs?  ‘We need to keep adding twigs constantly’!

So there are 3 types of energy our bodies use for fuel;  fats, carbs and protein (macro nutrients).

Fats and protein are like the logs – add them to the fire, or our metabolism and they give us good, sustaining, steady energy for a longer time.

Simple carbohydrate is like the twigs.  When added to the fire (or our metabolic system) alone, they’re burnt up super quickly.  We need to add more and more twigs to the fire to keep it alight!

It’s an over-simplified analogy of energy production but he totally got this.  And maybe it’ll help you and your family too.

So getting back to our blood sugars.  It’s like the twigs.

The twigs burn quickly, and quickly need to be replenished to stop the fire going out.  It’s the same for us.  Eating a lot of simple carbohydrates means we need to keep replenishing the fire.  If we don’t, our blood sugars swing and cravings kick in (we need energy).  It’s almost always leading to excess energy and fat storage i.e. weight gain.

Eat more sustaining fuel i.e. protein and fats and our blood sugars are more stable, (this doesn’t necessarily apply to type 1 diabetics).

An interesting fact about these sources of energy is that fats and protein are essential to our diet.  We need to get these energy sources from our food.  Carbohydrate on the other hand is non-essential i.e. our body metabolises (makes) glucose (a product of carbohydrate) from fats and protein as and when required.  Carbohydrate therefore is a non-essential dietary fuel – i.e. we actually don’t need much in our diet.


Secondly, what’s driving the craving?

Let’s assume you’ve stabilised your blood sugars but you’re still guiltily reaching for the bowl of pasta or slice of cake!   Stop.  Before eating the cake, take a moment to think about WHY you’re reaching for it?  Is it boredom, tiredness, stress, lack of movement, self care, time outside, the need for comfort etc?   Or is there a microbiome imbalance driving the need for simple carbohydrates & create further imbalance?  This article, ‘parasites, the silent epidemic‘ might help answer this for you.

When we crave foods, it’s more likely there is  a deeper spiritual or emotional need not being met.  To help identify this though we need awareness and we  can only have awareness if we stop, slow down and take a moment to notice or feel what it is our bodies are really asking for?


Thirdly,  is it seasonal?

Through the winter months and the transitioning of the seasons, we can naturally crave more comforting, heartier or starchier foods.  It may be that your body needs a few more of these whole foods and complex carbs such as basmati rice, sweet potato, quinoa and other unprocessed, gluten free whole foods.   At times women (and our hormones) can especially benefit from adding more of these foods into the day.  If this resonates for you, perhaps experiment and see how you feel.

So in summary HOW do we manage cravings?


13 ways to kick the cravings.

The body is complex and there is a lot to consider other than food alone in the production of energy and to curb cravings, (something I go into far more detail in my 21 day foundational program, ‘Get-up & GLOW with Kate‘)

Commonly these 12 ideas make a great difference;

  1. Reduce or eliminate sugar (carbohydrate) including refined and processed grains.
  2. Stay hydrated.  Drink more filtered water.  Add in a pinch of good quality salt rich in minerals e.g. himalayan or celtic sea salt.
  3. Add in a cup of bone stock each day.
  4. Add in more healthy fats and protein for good energy.
  5. Reduce or eliminate caffeine.
  6. Add in more nutrients especially minerals e.g. bone stock or supercharge (e.g. with gelatin or a raw egg) a smoothie.
  7. Add in bitter foods e.g. dark leafy greens and herbs either in soups, salads or smoothies, to help support liver health.
  8. Enjoy better sleep with earlier nights and mornings.
  9. Spend more time outdoors, especially in the early morning or late afternoon sunshine.
  10. ‘Speak’ more kindly to yourself.  Be aware of your thoughts.
  11. What time of the year is it?  Does your body actually need more complex carbohydrates or more seasonal foods to help it transition through the colder or warmer months?
  12. Then what are the cravings telling you?  Listen to your body.  Is it because you feel like you’re missing out?  Does it relate back to childhood when treats were a reward for feeling down?   Or is it an imbalance in the microbiome?
  13. Starting anything new can be hard.  It’s easier to stay in our comfort zone.  Think of it as an experiment and stretch past your comfort zone where the magic happens.

Cravings can infact be an invitation to continue our personal evolution to becoming the best version of ourselves.  

Try any one of the above for 2 – 4 days and the cravings will pass.  As you nourish your mind and body more deeply, blood sugars will begin to stabilise and your mood improve as your body returns to balance or homeostasis.

Making change and new choices is more enjoyable and successful with community, knowledge and accountability.  If you’re looking for a super quick reset grab my free copy of A Gentle Cleanse and register for my upcoming call!  Grab it and register here.

Or for more lasting lifestyle unleveling join me in my next round of Get-up and Glow!  Where we go into this topic in more detail and create new healthFUL habits for life.   We start on the 30th of August for 21 days to inner and outer radiance.  It’s our foundational detox program. You can join me through this link!

And, ‘never give up because great things take time’. 

Along with the excitement and busyness of this time of year there’s a potential danger ahead!

In fact it might already be ‘weighing’ you down…

Self sabotage.

Unfortunately those healthier choices you’ve been enjoying and worked hard at, may start to go by the wayside (or is that weighside), leaving you bereft and a few too many kilo’s heavier.

That’s not how you want to start a New Year!

So how in the world do you stay on track while STILL enjoying this special time of year?

… By feeling good.

It’s not about denial or deprivation. No way. It IS about how you FEEL about your choices, and, feeling good within yourself.

You might be thinking, ‘hmmm… easier said than done!’

It’s true but my 12 simple tactics make it easily said and done.
I Promise!

1. Rather than do … be.

Rather than busily or distractedly eating and drinking try being more in the moment e.g. sipping your drink slowly, chewing mindfully – taste and think about it – challenge yourself to being fully engaged in conversation at the same time.

Being more present and aware means we absorb our food better, feel full quicker and consequently eat less. And most importantly have far more engaging interactions with friends and family – win, win, win.

2. Stay hydrated + Wedge.

If you’re having a drink, remember to wedge in a glass of water in between drinks and remember how good you’re going to feel tomorrow. Stay well hydrated with good quality water – always.

3. Fuel up.

When you’re going out take time to fuel up with good wholesome food throughout the day or prior to going out. You’ll be less hungry and won’t feel the need to fill up on foods you know don’t work for you. And you’re going to feel good the next day. For lots of quick snacks and great ideas visit my website https://www.katebarnes.com.au

4. Stock the pantry.

You’ll be on the go, shopping for holidays and festivities, finishing up work commitments and going out. Keep the pantry, fridge and freezer stocked with essentials so you can create healthy food choices quickly and easily.

5. Commit to activities that make you feel good first thing in the morning.

When we do this we immediately put our mind in the right space and feel more in control, making good choices easier.

For example;

Other choices that will lift our vibe and strengthen our mind;

6. Resting or napping.

7. Getting quality sleep.

8. Spending time outside and in the sunshine.

9. Guarding time.

Time is our most valuable asset especially at this time of year, question choices. Do we really need to attend that event? or go shopping at that time? clean those windows now? Question your choices, say ‘no thank you’ when you can, we understand.

10. Supplementing.

If you feel your body is going to need a vitality boost there are a couple of supplements that can help manage stress and deplete when we’re busy e.g. a good quality magnesium, b vitamins, vitamin c or msm (natural sulphur). Always check with your health practitioner before supplementing.

Using essential oils such as frankincense, vetiver and serenity can also be great for getting us out of our busy minds and into our bodies.

11. Stressing less.

Then if sticking to ‘the plan’ is stressing you then please try not to. It’s so much more important to thoroughly enjoy the choices you make and the special time you have catching up with family and friends.

No guilt or regret – those feelings are worse than that bowl of christmas pud or that extra glass of champers!

12. Breathing.

When we’re busy it’s easy not to. However it’s possibly the best and quickest hack to feeling good. Remember to breathe – deeply.

It’s easy to neglect these fundamental ‘feel good’ choices when there’s lots on, yet it’s actually the most important time to commit to them.

These simple choices will position your mind in a way that makes it easier to cope with stressors and/or self sabotage when they come to play and in many ways are inevitable at this time of year.

Be prepared and I hope you … feel good!

What one, simple choice that you know is right for you, can you commit to? The one thing that’s non negotiable because it makes you feel good and you’re going to enter the New Year feeling healthy, happy and light – mind and body!

‘If you want to conquer the anxiety of life, live in the moment, live in the breath’
~ Amit Ray​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

We’ve all heard it or said it, more often in a state of worry, frustration, anger, or to calm the kids or our nearest and dearest…

‘take a breathe’

It’s only been in the past couple of years I’ve realised HOW potent this simple act is.

You may be thinking, ‘Of course, it’s automatic, it’s the basis of life, what more?’

It’s just that.

Breathing is so automatic and instinctual it’s easy to take this healing force of nature for granted.

When was the last time you took a moment to really notice HOW you breathe?…

​​​​​​​Take a moment now.

Do you breathe through your nose or through your mouth? Does your tummy or does your chest raise when you breathe? Do you have a shallow or deep breathe? Is your breathe long or short? How often do you sigh or yawn? Then, for those of you with children, how do your children breathe?

Your answers will give you clues as to whether your breathe is optimising or diminishing your wellbeing. (And if you or your children have difficulty breathing optimally and haven’t explored a root cause, perhaps see a health practitioner who can help).

Among many healing attributes our breathe also helps us tolerate stress, improve our brain function and increase our energy reserves.

Movement is the mechanism, the essence of who we are as human beings and our moving breathe helps enable this essential mechanism.

In Hindu, prana refers to breathe & ‘life force’.

We know this but it’s easy to neglect our breathe, yet our breathe may be the missing link to very simply managing our full & often stressful lives.

Here’s why…

When I learnt that shallow breathing from the chest and mouth breathing initiates the sympathetic nervous system i.e. the fight and flight or stress response and that deep, diaphragmatic breathe or through the nostrils initiates the parasympathetic nervous system i.e. rest and digest – I started paying close attention.

Can it be that simple? Yes.

If we allow it, how we breathe has the power to mitigate stress in an instant. It can bring us into the present moment, quieten our minds, give objectivity to our thoughts, change our state of mind and importantly allow us to enjoy & sense each precious moment.

A friend and colleague, Silvia Gonzalez-Quinones at the fabulous, Be Alive Physiotherapy has this analogy,

‘Our breathe is the gateway to the nervous system’. It’s true.

When 90% of illness can relate to stress (in its many different forms), a quick hack to reset our nerves (& stress) can be the golden ticket.

When our nervous system is balanced i.e. in homeostasis, our health and wellbeing elevates. We;

In doses, stress is good for us, however in todays world it can be unrelenting. For example;

Along with other emotional and mental stressors, these can all place stress on our body at any one time. So if we can manage stressors that can easily be controlled / managed in any given moment, it’s worth doing.

Three quick 30 second stress hacks using the breathe…

1. 3 deep breathes.

Take 3 long, deep breathes through your nostrils, into your diaphragm, (so it distends), and with each breathe lasting approximately 10 seconds e.g. in for 3 seconds, hold for 3 seconds, out for 3 seconds.

2. The 4-7-8 breathing exercise by Dr Andrew Weil:

  1. Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound.
  2. Close your mouth and inhale quietly through your nose to a mental count of four.
  3. Hold your breath for a count of seven.
  4. Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound to a count of eight.
  5. This is one breath. Now inhale again and repeat the cycle three more times for a total of four breaths.

3. While doing an activity on ‘auto-pilot’ try to come back into the present moment by focusing on HOW you breathe. Long, slow, deep breathes through the nose, into the tummy and out e.g. next time you’re driving, walking, listening to the kids, in a meeting, packing lunch boxes, folding washing etc.

Try one now. Choose one of the three above and give it a go.

Then importantly, when you finish take 5 seconds to notice how you FEEL.  What do you notice?

Other ideas that take a bit longer and I love;

There are lots more. If this feels right and you know it can help, make it happen, it can take 30 seconds and feels great.

“When we breathe, we feel. When we feel we heal”

I remember when I thought I didn’t have time for anything but a quick lunch of cheese and tomato on toast with a pinch of S&P!

It was when the kids were younger, my energy was lagging, immunity low and get up and go sadly lacking.  That’s when I knew I had to change my ways…

I was skipping the essentials.

It’s easy to do, yet skipping essential nutrients is a BIG mistake, especially when life is full and we’re raising our families.  Yet this is commonly the time bad habits become a new normal. Running on not much more than adrenaline, we can cope… for a year or two.

Until one day that tired, lack lustre feeling includes:

Nutrients that are essential, are essential because we can only get them from our food.   For our bodies to function, these essential nutrients – are essential!

It seems obvious, but I see too many people skipping the essentials or not getting enough in the food they’re eating or they assume is ‘healthy’, and it’s not.

It’s not intentional, often from habit, lack of time, lack of thought, fear of change, a lack of priority etc.

Yet, by making better choices we instantly start to FEEL so much better, our energy, our mood, our sleep.  We gain time and our joi de vivre returns!

‘… when you know better, you can do better’

Load up on the essentials.   It’s just one of my many energy hacks for busy mama’s.  In this short video with Andrea Tegan at Wholehearted Family Health we discuss my top 5 hacks for more energy and importantly HOW to get around those behaviours that STOP us in our tracks.  If you haven’t come across Andreas fabulous work, check it out at https://www.wholeheartedfamilyhealth.com.  It’s THE wellness hub for busy mama’s.


My top 5 Energy Hacks with Andrea Tegan


Or maybe you’re thinking… ‘that sounds way too hard’ or ‘too time consuming’ or ‘I don’t have time right now’?

It’s not true.

Here’s the thing.  You’re already taking time to make a choice or to prepare food, even if it is toast and cheese.

Think of it as ‘upgrading’ the choice you’re already making.  Same amount of time, same thought power, different choice.   You can do that.

The ideal food to eat is grown in a healthy soil and freshly picked, jam-packed full of nutrients and good bacteria. This isn’t always possible and that’s why farmers markets or deliveries are a great option.

Wherever possible choose organic foods that don’t carry a toxic burden and weigh you down even more.

If this all makes sense and you’re ready to make a change AND at the same time transform your energy and your wellbeing then join me in Get-up & Glow with Kate the ultimate vitality reset.  We start on Monday, 3rd September (With our recorded pre – glow call this Friday 31st)!

It’s the gentle upgrade you’ve been looking for – no extra effort required.  Plus you’ll enjoy weekly meal plans to help take away the ‘mental load’ about WHAT to eat for you & your family!

Spring is the perfect time to tend our inner garden, mind, body and soul, come and join me.


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