Last Thursday night in the lofty yoga room of The Raw Kitchen I let a little magic into my life. I was invited along to the Barefoot Beauties event, a collaborative seminar on health and femininity and if I had been wearing socks I am sure they would have been blown right off. But it would be slightly blasphemous to wear socks to an event called Barefoot Beauties, wouldn’t it?
The atmosphere was phenomenal. A big rustic room full of buzzing women (and some open-minded men) ready to be enlightened by three strong ladies with inspiring stories of their own wellness journeys. There were tea-light love hearts. There was a raw food banquet. There were pictures of vagina cupcakes. There were tears and laughter, learning and questions. It was everything you would want from a wellness gathering and The Naked Word should be very proud of the event they hosted.
Every woman that took to the stage (and I am sure everyone that was sitting in the audience) had experienced their own health struggle. But instead of wishing they hadn’t they all describe that these moments of illness were in fact their awakenings. Their moments of self-actualisation. As Natalie perfect put it, it was their catalyst for change.
As someone who has just experienced my own catalyst for change, it was a deeply inspiring evening that bolstered all my efforts for change.
Natalie Baldock: Real Food Advocate
I really like it when people take a sometimes fluffy subject like ‘listening to your body’ and sock it to you with chutzpah. While I love fluffy talk and am prone to it often it’s also nice just to be given straight up information once and a while. It’s like a loving kick in the arse.
Natalie had always pushed herself to athlete levels (and it shows – girl is fit!) but through her life this striving for physical perfection came at a price. Subsequently she developed her own health issues, including some pretty poor gut health which she how now healed.
She was a wealth of information and really took us through the steps of how to create the perfect plate (the proportions of fats, proteins and carbohydrates).
Highlights from Natalie…
- Plate up your food in the following ratios – 30% protein, 60% plant-based carbs, 10% good fats. She then provided some pretty delicious examples all of which she will be including in her upcoming program.
- Eat onions, lemons and limes everyday. These ingredients all have potent cancer fighting properties.
- Don’t get caught up in labels. As she said “I am vegan in Summer, I am paleo in Winter. Just eat real food”.
- Fresh turmeric is one of the most powerful anti inflammatory foods we can eat. Play with it, try and incorporate it into your life.
- A woman after my own heart – eat local. Eat real. Eat organic as much as possible.
- Care for the Vitality Triangle – your nervous system, your digestive system and your immune system. They are all linked and looking after them is the key to vitality.
- Maybe look into Intermittent Fasting. We are one of the only cultures that doesn’t fast and there is a lot of science backing up its health merits. As always, research, listen to your body and consult with a professional if you are unsure of what you are doing. There is a great article here and here.
Kira Westwick: Risotto Rebel
For those of you that don’t watch Masterchef, shame on you! Only joking, but it would mean that you did miss out on seeing Gold Coast Health Coach Kira Westwick shine!
She consistently produced the most vibrant delicious fare in a magical reality TV land that is mostly populated with flour, cream and sugar, often shocking the judges with her knack. Lime and Coriander Smoothies, anyone? My husband had to keep a rolled up newspaper by the couch due to the amount of times he walked in on me licking the TV screen. Most notably was a challenge where the contestants had to cook the best risotto and Kira chose to cook it with quinoa (oh, the humanity?!). Matt’s cravat actually screamed. But her bet paid off and she surprisingly won the challenge. Wellness devotees around Australia pumped the air.
And if the Masterchef judges opinions don’t tell you she’s great then you can sleep well tonight as I reassure you – in my expert opinion – that she deserved to be there. Her Mojito Green juice was face slappingly refreshing, her Almond Milk Banana Smoothie made me cry a bit and her hazelnut slice saw previously sweet wellness groupies clawing each others eyes out to get the last piece.
Highlights from Kira
- Healthy eating is actually the easiest thing in the entire world. It really isn’t complicated. Just eat real food (there it is again). Focus on vitality.
- Always have something live on your plate (i.e. raw or fermented). Your entire meal can be cooked, like a curry or a frittata, and all it needs is a big plonk of raw watercress on the top to transform it from bland to brilliant.
- When you are cutting the peel of a lime for your smoothies and juices leave some of the pith (white sutff) on there – that is where the cancer healing ingredients are found.
- You don’t need a huge shopping budget to eat healthily. Don’t make it too hard and expensive. If you don’t have the money to grab a whole bag of raw cacao, coconut oil and organic maple syrup just go and get a good quality block of organic dark chocolate (70% or more) and just melt that. Don’t. Make. It. Hard.
- Organic Ghee is the perfect alternative for coconut oil if you don’t like the coconut taste of coconut oil in all your meals.
And to pay the worlds most unintentionally back-handed compliment – my favorite part of Kira’s speech was actually the end of it. Hear me out.
Kira was wrapping up when she realised that she hadn’t fully satisfied the voyeurs in the room (cough cough) and spoken much about her Masterchef journey. She predictably said that it was a “crazy experience” and “full on” and “amazing”. I was close enough to the front to see her chin dimple and then start to wobble and my heart jumped a bit. Did one of the Masterchef judges enter the room? Was Kira about to cry?
As her voice started to waver she explained to the large audience that she was an incredibly shy person. Then the tears fell and she spoke about the fact that prior to Masterchef she was too scared to even cook for her friends and there she was on a nationally cooking competition and now she is travelling Australia spreading the word. She stepped it up and is now living her bliss. She was so proud of herself that she did it. Imagine what you could do if you just stepped up? I don’t think I was alone in momentarily considering what it was that I was putting off for fear of failure.
It was really touching and so inspiring. And I may have snort-cried a bit. (Don’t wear liquid eyeliner when you go to see Kira speak)
Stella Muse: Feminine Badass
Elise Carr stood at the front of the stage; tall and willowy in a perfectly tailored navy blue suit and what Tyra Banks would certainly describe as “fierce” heels. Her mane was wild and you could tell that at least some of it’s bouffant-ness was on account of all the ideas swirling around up there. There was a definite twinkle in her eyes.
I didn’t know quite what to expect when Elise Carr, cleverly disguised as her alter ego Stella Muse, took to the stage. You see “health” – I’m down with that, yo. However femininity? My nickname at uni was “Robbo”. My shoulders are broader than most professional swimmers. I once had a bodybuilder boyfriend tell me he would kill for my calves (we didn’t date long). Basically whether it is right or wrong, “femininity” is not a word I would often associate with myself. It is actually sort of my sore point.
Was I going to get anything out of this at all?
A resounding yes. A massive-shout-from-the-rooftop yes. And yes, a little-bit-of-a-girl-crush Yes.
Elise was first to the stage and bravely inspired a not-yet-warmed-up crowd to unashamedly open their minds, hearts and legs to the power of divine femininity. To embrace their yoni. What is a Yoni I hear you say? Our Yoni is our entire sexual reproductive system. Directly translated from Sanskrit it is the source of life and passage of the soul. Yep, I am talking about your bits.
Elise, who is writing an entire book on the Yoni, believes that busy modern women are not listening to thier yoni enough when we don’t listen to this we stifle ourselves of a life of love, pleasure, creativity and purpose. There I was thinking my vagina was nothing more than a multi-purpose piece of equipment and here she was telling me that all my power as a women comes from within it?
Disconnection to this femininity leads to feelings of unworthiness, disempowerment and limiting beliefs. Not accepting our bodies, feeling unequal in relationships, not exploring spirituality. I couldn’t help but think of that sore spot I mentioned… the fact that I am constantly embarrassed by my tom boyishness. The effect that has previously had on my confidence. Could she be onto something?
To demonstrate her point, Elise led us through an exercise to “connect with our yoni”. She instructed everyone in the room to place their hands on their yoni. Loud gulping and darting eyes followed. “Yes really” she encouraged us to place our hands on whatever we considered our yoni, for some it would be where there uterus lies, others their ovaries and (for the braver amongst us) the vulva. She instructed us to close our eyes and listen to our Yoni’s. What are they telling us?
I have to admit, there was palpable skepticism (including from yours truly) and a few giggles. But we obliged. We are all an open-minded people?
There I was, hand on my uterus, waiting in the dark for a voice that didn’t exist – until it did. As bizarre as this sounds I honestly heard loud and clear a sentence that was not just a typical “what’s for dinner” thought. It spoke in a way that is not my standard internal natter. It was bizarre. “Did my vagina just talk to me?” So I listened a bit more, intrigued at whether I would hear more. And I did.
Even though I categorically know that I heard something it still feels a bit weird to type publicly where I am fair game for judgement. But then I thought to one of my heroes, Elizabeth Gilbert who wrote Eat Pray Love and that scene where she laid herself on the floor of her bathroom and bare to her own inner wisdom. She heard someone tell her to go back to bed. This was the start of her leaving her husband, a move she very much needed to make. Was it her yoni? Serious question.
And though I speak for myself it seemed that the crowd that opened their eyes was very different from the one that closed them.
As you can see she had an effect on me and a lot of what she said deeply resonated. We need to embrace who we are and awaken ourselves to our own possibilities. In her words, awaken our divine femininity. Elise suggested a few ways that we can tune back into ourselves (and you should also head over to her site here and sign up to her newsletter to get her free eBook on the subject!);
Highlights from Elise…
- Self-exploration and self-pleasure is key – be it physical. emotional or spiritual.
- Engage in creativity. As she said, we as women are naturally creators; we create life. It is intrinsically in our nature. Not supporting this is suppressing the divine feminine.
- Collaborate. In many other cultures women gather to share and support each other. It seems that it has been somewhat lost and she encouraged everyone in the room to create space with the women in their life. (She also hosts some pretty divine sounding Goddess Circles of her own – check them out here).
- Self-loathing separates you from your body. Amen.
- Put yourself first. Think of yourself as a watering can; how can you water all the flowers around you if you don’t fill yourself up. When you look after yourself, you can look after those around you better.
Did you attend the Barefoot Beauties event?
I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.