As a child I remember being woken in the middle of the night with my little brother in pain from ‘growing pains’. Mum feverishly applying the Dencorub trying to give him relief from the discomfort. Now I’m a mother of an active boy, I’ve experienced the same wake up calls and felt the same desperation, trying to comfort him (and especially as it’s usually in the middle of the night, when much needed sleep beckons).

In this post I share what growing pains are, what causes them and some natural remedies to help alleviate them.

What are growing pains?

Not every child gets growing pains, however approximately 40 – 60% of children do. Typically they occur at night in children’s legs, between the ages of 3 – 12 years old. The pain can be in the upper part of the legs, the calves (back of the legs below knees) or behind the knees in both or one leg, usually both.

They happen at night as the body naturally goes into repair and build mode. The pain is most likely to come and go and not occur every night.

What causes them?

While it’s still unclear of the exact cause, the research I’ve done points toward nutrient deficiencies. For example, a study of children experiencing growing pains (and no other conditions) showed that only 6% had normal vitamin D levels. The best source of vitamin D and the one most easily metabolised (used) by our bodies is sunshine. Other supplemental sources we use is a fermented cod liver oil.

Personally, my son would experience them after an active day of physical exercise. This isn’t the case for all kids though.

Rubbing magnesium oil into my son’s legs helped to give him instant relief. Magnesium is known as the “nerve mineral” and is a nutrient we can quickly become deficient in. It helps relax the muscles and the nervous system.

I’ve also used magnesium with a soothing essential oil blend to help relieve the pain.

The common belief is that children’s bones are growing faster than the muscles and tendons, however bones grow slowly and usually there’s no damage seen in the child’s bones or muscles. Growing pains often respond to simple treatments – helping dispel the belief it’s associated with “growing pains”.

Natural remedies that help replenish deficiencies and relax the body:

Something else to consider.

Are there mal-absorption issues? Is there anything that might be slowing down or preventing the absorption of nutrients in your child, e.g. gut flora (microbiome) imbalances, toxicity overload or compromised detoxification pathways?

If the pain persists visit your health practitioner for a full check up.


‘Cravings are an invitation to create the next best version of ourselves”

The body is amazing. It knows when to go to sleep, wake up, go to the bathroom, maintain our temperature and tighten the eyes when the light gets bright.  It knows the miracle of pregnancy and childbirth.  The heart never misses a beat.  Our lungs are always breathing. The body is a super-computer that never makes mistakes.  So is your craving or that sweet tooth just a common desire for sweetness or excess?   OR is it actually an invitation for something else?

Many people view cravings as weakness, but really they are important messages meant to assist us in maintaining balance.

When you experience a craving, deconstruct it.  Ask yourself, what does my body want and why?

Let’s take a closer look at cravings and ten primary causes:

  1. Lifestyle & mindset. Being dissatisfied with a relationship, feeling unloved or having an inappropriate exercise routine (too much, too little or the wrong type), being bored, stressed, uninspired by a job, or lacking a spiritual practice may all cause emotional eating. Eating can be used as a substitute for entertainment or to fill the void or the unhappiness within ourselves.
  2. Water.  Lack of water can send the message that you are thirsty and on the verge of dehydration. Dehydration can manifest as a mild hunger, so the first thing to do when you get a craving is drink a full glass of water. Excess water can also cause cravings, so be sure that your water intake is well balanced and mineralised well.
  3. Yin/yang imbalance. Certain foods have more yin qualities (expansive) while other foods have more yang qualities (contractive). Eating foods that are either extremely yin or extremely yang causes cravings in order to maintain balance. For example, eating a diet too rich in sugar (yin) may cause a craving for meat (yang). Eating too many raw foods (yin) may cause cravings for extremely cooked (dehydrated) foods or vise versa.
  4. Inside coming out. Often, cravings come from foods that we have recently eaten, foods eaten by our ancestors, or foods from our childhood. A clever way to satisfy these cravings is to eat a healthier version of one’s ancestral or childhood foods.
  5. Seasonal. Often the body craves foods that balance the elements of the season. In the spring, people crave detoxifying foods like leafy greens or citrus foods. In the summer, people crave cooling foods like fruit, raw foods and ice cream, and in the fall people crave grounding foods like squash, onions and nuts. During winter, many crave hot and heat-producing foods like meat, oil and fat. Cravings can also be associated with the holidays, for foods like turkey, eggnog or sweets, etc.
  6. Lack of nutrients. If the body has inadequate nutrients, it will produce odd cravings. For example, inadequate mineral levels produce salt cravings, and overall inadequate nutrition produces cravings for non-nutritional forms of energy, like caffeine.
  7. Hormonal. When women experience menstruation, pregnancy or menopause, fluctuating testosterone and estrogen levels may cause unique cravings.
  8. De-evolution. When things are going extremely well, sometimes a self-sabotage syndrome happens. We crave foods that throw us off, thus creating more cravings to balance ourselves. This often happens from low blood-sugar and may result in strong mood swings.
  9. Sleep. The right amount of sleep is fundamental to good energy and feeling good about ourselves.  When we are low in energy or need comfort is also a time  when we can experience cravings. Make sure to get enough sleep and enough restorative hours of sleep before 12:00am.
  10. Microbiome imbalance i.e. the bugs (bacteria, viruses etc) living within our digestive system can cause cravings.  When this population of bugs is out of balance, without us realising it, we crave foods, especially sweet foods.   OR these populations of ‘bugs’ can lead to disrupted sleep or mood, that then leads to cravings to try and lift our energy while at the same time satiating the nutritional needs of our microbial balance, not ours.

What about pregnancy cravings?  

Even more so.   Cravings during pregnancy can indicate imbalance in any one of the above points.

The most important thing is when a craving comes along – take time to slow down or stop, and listen to what your body is telling you.  Be aware of the choices you’re making and what’s really driving them.   It’s only when you are aware that you can understand what it is your body needs and is best for you as an individual…  And it’s probably not going to be a bucket of hot chips or a block of milk chocolate.

Our cravings are an invitation to create the next best version of ourselves.

What is it you’re really craving?   Is it time to accept the invitation for a stronger, healthier,  happier you?  

‘Action is the foundational key to all success’
~ Pablo Picasso

A friend and business compatriot, who I admire greatly, recently asked me to share my 3 biggest lessons for the past year with her online membership.

My first thoughts went to the 3 things that’ve helped me evolve and grow as a better person and parent and how that could help her members?

For example:

  1. Moving / exercising more.
  2. Getting to bed earlier and getting up earlier
  3. Using energy medicine and calming my nervous system!

However, after pondering her question it dawned on me that these 3 things wouldn’t have happened unless I’d taken action.

And THAT is the hard part – taking action, pushing ourselves forward, learning and growing.

It’s not always easy…

Early morning swims, Denmark Western Australia.

My 3 biggest lessons from 2017:

1. Take action (be courageous).

Taking action meant having to step outside my comfort zone – which takes courage. It’s so much easier to do nothing, but that’s not where change and growth happens.

I listened to a great podcast on the Good Life Project with Jonathan Fields and Caroline Adams Miller, Author of ‘The Road to Grit’. She quoted research that showed, people who go out of their comfort zones most days are happier! Now that’s an incentive.

So what helps us to actually take action? It’s a strong connection with our WHY our deep desires.

WHY exercise more? WHY eat better? or WHY lose weight?

Often we are forced to take action – there’s no alternative. Or as Fi Redding from the Happiness Hunter says, ‘it’s either desperation or desire’ that motivates us.

Let’s make it desire rather than desperation in 2018.

2. Be aware + be kind on me.

Leaving my comfort zone is tough. It’s easier when I’m aware of my thoughts and can be kind on myself.

If you’ve stopped to take a moment to listen to the stories you tell yourself, you’ll know what I mean. I think I can confidently say I am my harshest critic. But it’s hard to close the door or no longer listen / hear that person when they’re in my head!

A few things that’ve helped me be kinder to me this year and I hope help you:

♥︎ I read ‘The Untethered Soul’ by Michael Singer. A brilliant read with great tools to help quieten the negative mind chatter.

♥︎ Early mornings. To give myself time to meditate, journal and be aware of the thoughts that can keep me safe and comfortable, but un-evolved. Mornings are a magical time of day and my day undoubtedly goes better getting up early. It helps us be more in control of our day, right upfront.

♥︎ Exercise most days, preferably outside. Running, walking, yoga and pilates. This has probably made the biggest difference of all. We are molecules in motion, movement helps our mind, our mood, our hormones, our sleep, our day and so much more. It’s true that sitting just might be the new smoking and our biology needs to connect with nature and the great outdoors.

♥︎ The Happiness Hunter has helped me greatly in learning how to be aware of my thoughts and be kinder to me.

3. Gather a support crew.

Lastly and importantly, getting support from others, having them beside me, guiding me out of my comfort zone. My support crew.

Mankind is defined as a collective. We are tribal, social beings. We aren’t designed to do this ‘gig of life’ flying solo plus it’s more fun together.

Gather your support crew to make change happen and your desires will come to life.

An Example.

I joined a running club this year, Aspire to Run. How I joined shows how this can all come together.

My neighbour mentioned the group to me and suggested I go along with her to a session. But of course all the stories came up, ‘you’re too unfit’, ‘you won’t be able to do it’, ‘you’ve got stuff on’, ‘it’s too late to get up early’ etc etc. This went on for months! One night she sent me a text and said something like, ‘running tomorrow can pick you up on the way past’, again I was about to say ‘no’ when I mentioned it to my hubby who said, ‘Do it, you’ll love it’.  So I did and haven’t looked back. If only I’d done it sooner! But I learnt the lessons. I took action, which took courage, I had to be aware of my self sabotaging thoughts and be kind on myself, ‘it’s okay to be unfit, you’ll get stronger’, I changed the commentary in my mind and most importantly – I had support.

I wouldn’t still be doing it without the camaraderie and support of the fantastic bunch that is Aspire to Run. And I am super grateful to my amazing hubby and gorgeous neighbour.

These 3 things are a formula I now know work for me. It’s also how I launched and ran my new online program this year, Our Happy Children. (running again in March next year)! I used these 3 steps and THE most important ingredient of all was getting the support I needed which came by working closely with business coach / mentor, Cristina Londono at Wallnut Studio, assistant, Kylie McKinnon-Smith and Anne Clark, First Step Virtual Assistant. Again, it wouldn’t have been the great success it was without these incredible women beside me.

So to help make next year one of your best yet, whether it’s health, family, work or finances, I hope these 3 tips can help you make the changes you know you need to make.

What small or big action are you going to begin with?

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