The tried and tested, unsponsored, unfiltered had-to-share, word-of-mouth ones. At Body+Soul we’re privy to new health and wellness stories, products, initiatives and trends all the time, and like you, we like sharing them with each other.
Given there are always so many new releases and activities, we wanted a place to share the ones that do more than just what’s on the label. Maybe it boosted our confidence, gave us inspiration or made us proud. Whatever it is, if we think you might like to hear about it, we’re hoping to share them with you each month in a new column we promise is free of influence.
So, from our team to you, these are the nine things that have been making us happy and are literally feeding our Body+Soul this month. We hope they’ll feed yours too!
This isn’t like a ‘dear diary, today I saw a cute boy’ kinda journaling, but my very skeptical-about-everything husband actually started journaling and said it was really helping him digest a busy day of work, so I decided to give it a try.
Turns out, simply writing down what happened during the day and how I’m feeling about it is like a one-way therapy session that I didn’t know I needed and it’s helped me stop my mind relentlessly ticking over when I try to get to sleep.
I mean, if anyone found it fossilised in 500 years to see if they could gain any insight into what life was like for a 30-something, I’m sure they’d find it terribly boring, but I’ve found it really helpful and can’t recommend it enough.
2. Locally-founded healthy sodas
It feels like I’ve been looking for a natural, healthier alternative to soft drink since, well forever. I came across the Nexba brand of sodas a few years ago and more recently found an absolute gem from them in the form of its ‘Nexba Watermelon Cucumber & Mint Sparkling Water’ (which is sugar-free and has nothing artificial in it). It’s delicious on its own if you’re going sans-alcohol, but also mixes well with gin or vodka for a girl’s afternoon.
I was even more excited when I found out the (now huge) brand started as a small business, with two young 20-year-olds selling Iced Tea out the back of a van in Bondi for a year. Now stocked in Coles and Woolies, the brand has removed over three billion grams of sugar from Aussie diets in the last 10 years (by replacing normal soda with Nexba). That sure feeds the soul with each sip.
3. The midday shower
WFH has its perks, let’s be honest. Mostly not having to wear pants.
BUT as our beauty editor Kelsey Ferencak pointed out last year “trying to find a balance between work and life (especially when your ‘workspace’ is in your bedroom)” can be challenging. When your computer is right in front of you begging you to write one last email and there’s not an inch of your house where you seem to be able to escape a screen, we have found the answer.
Enter the midday shower. Think of it as a new-found luxury, usually reserved for weekends and holidays, the midday shower is your key to feeling instantly refreshed in no time. It’s the no rush wash that you deserve, and this one isn’t a quick post-workout, pre-rushing out the door kinda shower, it’s time for you.
So enjoy it. Exfoliate properly. Pop on a hair mask. Heck you might even have time to shave your legs properly without sacrificing a knee-cap to the razor and use your lunch break, (the time you’d normally whip down to the dodgy canteen or takeaway next door) to invest in a midday shower, the WFH hack you never knew you needed.
4. Travelling through taste with cultural cooking
It’s been over a year since we left our beautiful Australian shores, and while it’s great to holiday here, sometimes we crave a little of the culture we once tasted.
Australian chef and Bali resident, Dean Keddell saw first-hand what happened to the Balinese economy when tourism stopped and it wasn’t good. To do his part, he’s produced a gorgeous coffee table cookbook of authentic Balinese cuisine, with the proceeds going back to five Bali charities who are getting local families through the pandemic. It’s called Our Bali (Bali Kiti) Your Bali (Bali Kamu).
Not only is this book absolutely beautiful to look at and have in your home, but the book is full of ‘secret’ local recipes that have been handed down between generations, so it’s a really authentic and special way to take a culinary vacation.
5. All natural, winter-proof skincare
As someone who struggles with combination skin and patches of psoriasis, trying to find skincare that will leave my skin feeling clean but not stripped is like searching for the perfect pair of jeans – a needle in a haystack. It can be pretty disheartening and uncomfortable when it’s not working out.
This month I’ve been trying the Blessed By Nature Soothing Cream Cleanser and it has actually changed my entire skincare regime and improved my skin tenfold. It leaves my skin soft to the touch, non-oily but perfectly smooth and hydrated. It has some really great natural ingredients including Vitamin C-rich Kakadu Plum, restoring Evening Primrose, soothing Calendula and Chamomile and hydrating Aloe Vera Leaf juice.
It’s also not tested on animals, vegan and Australian owned and made with naturally derived ingredients. I feel glowy on the outside and can’t help but get a little boost of confidence on the inside.
6. The ‘Run Rota’
I used to run every single day but last year, that fell to the wayside. I’ve been trying to get back into it but finding it hard to find the time. Enter the ‘run rota’. Every week I’ve set myself a challenge to complete four one-hour runs, three during the week and one on the weekend. I need to tick them off in a calendar I’ve made.
This process holds you accountable. Your natural competitive nature comes out and you to get some runs under your belt early on in the week so you need to do less work on Thursday/Friday. I’ve been doing this for most of this month and haven’t missed one (although admittedly they’re often walk/runs as I’m just getting back into it)! It’s a genius motivation hack. On off days, I would try opting for something less stressful on the body such as yoga or Pilates.
7. Caramilk Hokey Pokey
Ok so I know we’re a health and wellness website and I know I’m about to recommend a bar of chocolate loaded with refined sugars and saturated fats. But moderation, right? And a dietician told us we should eat the damn chocolate here and here. So it’s fine.
The new Caramilk x Hokey Pokey mash-up is the bomb and as the name of this article suggests it is literally feeding my mind, body and soul this week. And probably next week.
A delicious fusion of caramelised white chocolate and crunchy honeycomb pieces, woah the hokey pokey and that’s what it’s all about.
(You bet I wrote this piece just to be able to use that sentence.) Now go and put your right hand in and your right hand out and try it before its too late.
8. Beauty recycling
Is there a name for someone who gets joy out of recycling? I’m not sure. But if there was, I’d recycle it over and over. I’m not calling myself an eco-warrior and I have been known to use frequent single-use plastics when I have to, but I really am someone who gets pleasure from putting things in the yellow bin.
I save all my nespresso pods and send them back in a pre-paid satchel, I am the person who cuts the ribbon ties off fashion bags because they cannot be recycled. At Easter I enjoyed rolling all my Easter egg foil into tiny little balls and revelled in the process of tossing them into the recycling bin like I was Shaquille O’Neal.
Now, I can recycle my old beauty products too. Major stores like David Jones and Mecca have teamed up with TerraCycle to ensure empty beauty packaging doesn’t end up in landfill and it’s about bloody time. I’ve started a mini collection of all my beauty products that I take back to David Jones on the reg, and there’s nothing more satisfying than dropping off that beauty loot knowing its going to a better place.
Side note: You can also return old clothes and textiles to H&M, Zara and Uniqlo and sheets and towels to Sheridan too. You bet I’ve got a bag at home to deliver.
9. Becoming a plant mama
After killing a fair few house palms over the years, I really abstained from purchasing plants during COVID for fear of yet another fatality.
However, with more time on my hands these days, I’ve finally given in and purchased a small rubber plant for my new room from Bunnings that I intend to grow lovingly. Living in an apartment I can’t have a pet, but it is nice to have something to look after something that isn’t myself. Plus, rubber plants don’t need to be watered all the time so she’s pretty low maintenance (unlike my own self-care regimes).
Her name is Margot and she’s doing so well (which makes me feel super proud and strangely maternal towards her).
Top tip: if you have trouble remembering to water your plants, make sure they’re right in front of your eyeline when you’re in bed – it’s impossible not to see their cute little leaves that way and think about giving them a little drink every now and again!