Getting real with myself

It’s been amazing. I’ve had the most wonderful time on maternity leave. Yes, there have been many sleepless nights and even some challenging moments with both kids having meltdowns simultaneously as I’m trying to get out the door or cook lunch or take a breather!

But generally I’ve loved it. Cherished it. And been very grateful for it all.

So with a little sadness and trepidation, mixed with excitement and curiosity, I am preparing myself to return to clinical work in December. Rather than the headstrong sink or swim type of gal I usually am, I’m easing my way into it in an attempt to embody more self-love and gentleness.

One of the rewards of breastfeeding is having moments throughout the day where you have to sit and just be. It is at these times that I deeply connect with my little one, but also get to reflect on my life.

As I sit there, feeling connected and loved, I find myself easily entering a state of enquiry. So many questions flowing through my mind challenging my state of reality and assumptions, urging me to change and grow - How do I want to live my life? Why am I a doctor? Why am I running my own business? How can I help others more, and be available for my family? How, what, why?

What if?

As the end of the year comes closer I want to share with you something I recently did, which was so simple yet profound. I created a weekly calendar and allocated times for everything I wanted to do. All of my expectations about how much work I will be doing, how much time to work on my business, how much time for study, family, yoga, exercise, daily meditation practice, cooking, friends etc etc etc… I basically did a big brain dump and tried to organise it in some way into my weekly planner.

And what I found was life changing.

I couldn’t fit everything in.

Not even remotely….

And then it dawned on me.

No wonder I forever feel like I’m not doing enough.

That I’m not enough.

It explains the pressure I constantly carry, created from the feeling that I’m not studying enough. Nor working enough.  Or doing enough exercise or spending enough time with my kids.

But in truth, if I continue with this, I can never meet my expectations of what is enough. It’s just not humanly possible. I’m setting myself up to fail in a big way and to condemn myself in the process.

But not this time round!

Next year, I’m challenging my expectations and getting real.

I’m setting myself up to win. I’m scheduling in me-time, time to be in the moment, in the state of enquiry and in that state of love and connectedness.

I’m setting myself up for a marathon, not a sprint. I do believe I can have it all, just not all at once. So to make my inner child feel like she’s not missing out, I’m drawing up a big plan to show her how even if it takes an additional 6 months, 12 months or even 18 months longer, we still get there.

And we get to enjoy the journey too!

So as the end of 2016 comes around, I wish you all luck in getting real with your plans for 2017.  And may you too push through the murkiness of misaligned expectations of self and come out the other side shining too.

With love,  


P.S Thanks for reminding me of this during 2017. I’m always open for a bit of gentle nudging in the right direction….

Stress and anxiety free

The perks of pregnancy; what you can do to help your morning sickness

There's nothing like a personal experience to help give some perspective on what my patient's might be going through. I'm not going to lie, my first four months pregnancy has been tough! Fatigue and all day nausea and vomiting is exhausting, not to mention unpleasant. I went through all sorts of feelings during this time, while being absolutely over the moon to be growing a baby, it was difficult to stay positive while having to stay so close to a bucket and carry a sick bag everywhere I went! I felt the guilt that I wasn't supplying my growing bub with adequate nutrition. All I wanted to eat was fruit, something I generally try to limit to one serve per day, and even supplements were difficult to keep down. 

Pregnancy Diet

My advice:

1. Don't be too hard on yourself. A few months of a less than ideal diet isn't going to undo all the good nutrition you put in prior. So far in my pregnancy, I ate a lot more fruit than I would usually, but it's better than nothing! And now that the nausea is over (thank goodness) I am weaning myself off slowly and increasing my intake of nutrient dense foods like eggs, meats and butter (things I went off completely for a few months). 

2. Eat little and often. I wasn't great with this one and would often forget or get too busy to eat. Preparation is key here, have ready to eat snacks on hand - nuts, fruit, vege sticks or rice crackers with hummus/pesto work well.

3. Try healthy foods in different forms. I usually don't eat too many raw vege's in winter but veggie sticks with hummus was the only way I could get my veg in. 

4. Preconception care. If you can, aim to spend 3-6 months preparing your body for pregnancy. This should include personalised advice from a qualified practitioner, a super nutrient dense diet for both mum and dad and prenatal vitamins and minerals.

5. Correcting nutrient deficiencies such as vitamin B6 and zinc. This is easier to do prior to pregnancy to potentially prevent morning sickness and should be part of your preconception care.

From one mum-to-be to another, good luck!

Abi Walker

BHSC Naturopathy, PGDIP Dietetics, BSC Human Nutrition