a dash of
SPICE |October 2015|
Weight Loss Myths
content: Feature: Living to the max
Fashion & Beauty
Food & Drink
Health & Fitness
Seeds of Inspiration Living
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+ editor’s note: In this issue we have two very dynamic women who share their stories of how their lives went from being routine and ordinary to extraordinary. Colleen Roberts and Harmanpreet Kaur give you glimpse of their lives and how they went from living what society and generations of women before had d ictated as the standards for a woman, to living with passion and liberation. I have never been pregnant and just reading Colleen’s travel around Australia while pregnant with her twins was exhausting. As I journeyed with h er through her story, I visualised the arid soil and the metaphorical boulders that she had moved just to keep her children together and safe. Harmanpreet’s story was a sweet reminder that full-‐time work, marriage and children are no barriers to pursuing your passion. While both women have started their online business, the hours that they put in and the commitment must take a toll on them, but from reading their stories, one would never guess. If you missed the first issue, “A Dash of Spice” was a metaphor for women to pepper up our lives and to start living fully and to start NOW. Even if you are going through a difficult phase or a challenge, find something to perk you up – just like how a dash of spice can perk up a dish. I started this magazine for women to share their journey from one phase to another and to share their talents, interests and h obbies. So a dash of SPICE is a magazine where women inspire women. If you have a story you’d like to share and inspire women, we’d like to hear from you. Drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and b e part of the spicy family. Begin again; Live again; Love again.
Editor, A Dash of Spice
Colleen Roberts, age 47, lives in Perth, Australia and a proud mother of five children, and has one grandchild. Colleen currently works full time at Polytechnic West as a Divisional Admin Coordinator, has completed Cert IV in Frontline Management, Cert IV in Training. She is also a Certified Life Coach and currently studying Marketing. She is owner of http://www.onlinecoachsupport.com and is passionate about promoting and supporting other coaches that may feel overwhelmed with the techy and marketing aspects of running a b usiness.
no stone unturned: “NEVER GIVE UP” and “As long as myself and my children are healthy, we will get by” are the two mantras that I live by. Lack of self-‐esteem and money struggles have been my two main issues and still play a major part in my story. One thing I have learnt is that the one thing holding each of u s back is the lack of faith in ourselves. My life today is as a single mother of five and I have a beautiful granddaughter who is three and a half years old. Each of them is healthy, which I am very grateful for. Over the years I h ad been involved in a few other relationships they have not lasted. I seemed to be in their life for a specific purpose or to help get them through whatever they needed, p utting myself second instead of first. I was always very determined also to protect the kids and myself from having someone move in and the children not be comfortable in their own home, or to have another big financial struggle.
Now that the children have nearly become adults and earning their own income I am able to be more flexible with how I spend my free time. I grew up in a small suburb in Perth, Australia and our family consisted of my mum and dad, my older brother Andrew and younger sister Helen. We were all happy enough, were taught family values and to be respectful of others. We played with kids up the street and had lots of family holidays on my great Uncle’s farm in Capel, a few other family holidays down south and went on quite a few camps. Although the family home was paid off within a few years, we never grew up with having much money. Both mum and dad were very careful. My dad was and still is a very good saver, “always putting money away for a rainy d ay”; always grumbling when he had to spend money, though ensuring he was putting some money in long term saving accounts for us kids until we each reached 18 years of age. We grew up mostly with second hand clothes and made do with what we had. He was born in the great depression years when a lot of families were doing it tough.
growing pains: Us kids got teased a lot as we didn’t have the nice clothes or toys or things that we wanted. The feeling of not being good enough or as good, smart, funny, pretty as others was something each of us kids felt. We lacked self-‐ esteem and it seemed that for my sister and me, it followed us throughout our life.
My dad would always say, “Be nice”. We didn’t realise at the time that he also meant to be nice to ourselves; we just thought that he meant to be nice to everyone else. To this day, both my sister and I hate that saying. It seemed no matter how nice we were to others we got the raw end of the deal. We would go out of our way to apologise to someone if we thought that we had upset them, always b e there for everyone else, and put ourselves second to everyone. We had to do jobs to get minimal pocket money and were always told not to waste our money. I started working part-‐time as a “check out chick” in Kmart and would work as much as I could after school and on holidays. When I finished school, I started work full time as a clerk and typist at Central Law Courts in Perth. I could spend my money on what I wanted, but was quite often told I was wasting it, no matter what I bought. We learnt that we had to b e independent and I moved out of home when I was 18.
Colleen, second from left, with her sons, daughters and granddaughter.
not a child, almost a woman: I got engaged when I was 21 though we broke up a year later, which did nothing for my self-‐esteem as he moved on to my cousin and was still going to be in my life to a degree. About two years later I was involved in my next major relationship, with my ex husband, the father of all of my children. We got together and a few months later I discovered I was pregnant with twins. He was happy one minute and the next would be angry as he thought I had trapped him. He had large debts from his previous marriage and was away when in Broome when I told him. I went up by bus to see him for a week. He left his job to come back to Perth with me. For a time we were living with his parents – not my choice. I was still working full time until about three months b efore I was due. He wasn’t working, but wanted to get away from Perth. He was also very controlling and possessive and wanted me away from my family and friends especially before the twins were born.
the yo-yo ride across australia: He got a job as a butcher in a remote outback town, Laverton, which supplied us with a house. So I left work and we both packed up and moved. Isolated was how I felt in Laverton. We stayed for about a month or two when he d ecided to leave the job as he hated it there and I would have either had to have the girls in Kalgoorlie or back in Perth which he didn’t want. He said his boss wasn’t going to be giving him much time off for the birth. With my long-‐term savings, we had bought a long-‐range four-‐ wheel drive. 5
As we drove, we kept seeing this sign to Alice Springs and we decided to take the plunge. He organised for a job as a butcher in Alice Springs and off we set just having enough money for fuel, food and a week’s accommodation in a caravan park. We travelled across the desert, on an ungraded road until we got to Alice Springs.
We were there a few weeks when he again decided that he wanted to go back to Western Australia and work in Broome. Again he organised for a job and we left Alice Springs. By then I was 35 weeks p regnant with the twins. We travelled across the Tanami Desert, got to Broome and then headed straight back to Perth. It was so nice to see my family again and I thought we were now going to have the twins back in Perth. We were back home a week when he decided he wanted to go back to Alice Springs. This time he drove alone and I came over by plane. The girls were born in Alice at 38 and half weeks. This is normal for a twin pregnancy so lucky they didn’t come earlier. I was away from my family and friends.
As long as I had him I didn’t need anyone else, or so he would say. This was a major event and I was away from everyone. 6
My mum and n ana had booked to come over about two weeks later.
Colleen (in red dress) with her mother, brother and baby sister.
Colleen, with her Father and granddaughter.
His mum and dad were there about five d ays after the girls were born when we had just left the h ospital. He again found work and we stayed there for eight weeks. The gypsy in him wanted to still travel so he organised a job in Townsville (towards the top end of Queensland), then soon afterwards Bundaberg and then down to Melbourne. We were living mostly in onsite vans though in Melbourne, we lived in our tent for two months. We were intending on selling our four-‐ wheel drive and getting a bus but decided not to. We drove back to Perth and bought an old caravan, doing it up so we could take off again. We ended up making it more into an onsite van and stayed in Perth u ntil the girls were 13 months old then off to Wyndham (top end of Western Australia). He organised another job with a house to live in and off we took. We stayed there for about a month before taking off again to Katherine in Northern Territory. We got married. The twins, 17 months old, were my flower girls. Only my mum and dad came over-‐ no other family or friends. No one else was even invited except for his parents though they didn’t come over as he h ad been married b efore. We got married in the morning, in front
of a small congregation of people that we didn’t really know. We couldn’t afford a honeymoon so that was it. All over by lunchtime. Soon after we were off again over to Cape York, at the top end of Queensland and then b ack to the middle of Australia to Alice Springs. This time I got a job during the day at a lawyer’s office and he was working at a restaurant at n ight so one of us was always with the twins. We stayed there until the end of the year before heading b ack to Western Australia, moving to Bruce Rock (a small town in the wheatbelt) where our next child Luke was born. Again I was away from everyone. His parents came and stayed for about two weeks after. We left Bruce Rock and off to Merredin when Luke was six weeks old as the butcher shop had been sold. From there we went to a few other country towns before coming back to Perth where we found a house, just up the street from his parents. We continued to rent for a couple of years. My next child Brandon was born. When he was about six months old I went back to work. Soon after I realised I was pregnant with Emily. As we were trying to buy our own home, I worked up until a month or two weeks before she was born. We found a large five bedroom, two-‐bathroom house and finally settled down. In saying that though, things were far from good.
getting off the rollercoaster:
We split in July 2000, divorcing the following year and that was such a horrible time. My children were nearly 2, 3, 5 and twins were 7. My income became the parenting pension and the family allowance. My ex husband went from working full time to casual so no maintenance was paid. When we divorced he decided that he did not want any financial commitment. He wanted his name off the mortgage as he had left the family home (moving in with another woman initially for the first year then when that ended back to his parents house). As he had left with nothing he was not going to contribute to the personal loan that we also had of about $12,000. I had two options – either sell the house and find a rental or try and refinance the mortgage so it was in
my name. We had only been in the house for two years so not much equity. As I wasn’t working things didn’t look too good. I didn’t want to unsettle the kids more by selling and moving. One thing in my favour was that I had b een paying the mortgage and the b ills for the whole last year with the income that I was receiving proving that I was a good budgeter. After much effort and negotiating with the government agencies, I was able to refinance the house such that half the mortgage was in my name and the other half owned by the government agency.
standing up, standing out: With this extra responsibility I got a part time job at two local petrol stations d oing shift work when I didn’t have the children. This was very stressful and dangerous at times. This job though taught me to be very assertive. There were situations that I had to think quick or showed that I was not scared – one of them being threatened with getting set alight with petrol from an irate customer. The fear or being held up on any shift, as there was n o security, drive offs and abuse from customers was a constant. Then with a friend’s h elp I got contract work at Polytechnic West and slowly worked my way to where I am today. My mum died suddenly of a massive heart attack in 2003. She was only 64 and I was just starting to spend more quality time with her and dad as they supported me through my divorce. I was finally free to catch up with my friends and family whenever I wanted and when I wasn’t working. Dad sold the spare block, which mum, had initially bought when they first got married. With my share, I refinanced the other half of the house. I started attending seminars on how to grow my wealth and now my main source of income is as a Level 4 Divisional Administration Coordinator within Polytechnic West. I am also a life coach. These last few months have b een challenging to say the least and I will end it with my two mantras: “never give up” and “As long as myself and my children (and now my grandchild) are healthy we will get by.” 7
building a community: In 2013 I and a few other coaches formed a small amazing Facebook Group – Niche Networkers. I wanted to incorporate my idea of helping other coaches who were struggling with the techy aspects of creating an online coaching business. We were all feeling quite overwhelmed and also wanted a safe place that we could share our triumphs and our challenges with one another. Andrea Lavelle’s idea was to create a directory of coaches and Allie Atkinson wanted to support and encourage each of the July 2012 intake to achieve their certification within the coaching academy. In 2014, Andrea Lavelle, Allie Atkinson, Tara Tulum and I decided it was time start up a membership site. We were each trying to do this in addition to creating our own online businesses and juggling other aspects in our lives such as working full time, children and family and health issues. We were also four very different people trying to make things work in different parts of the world and different time zones which took a toll. In June/July we had 48 foundation members sign up with a donation to get us started though Andrea and later Tara and Allie, stepped d own as core members but are still active members. So for now my vision is to be promoting each of our financial members, getting them and their businesses out to the public, whilst still providing techy, marketing and emotional support to all members including our Facebook community. 8
Sydney Coaches Meetup in May 2015
Colleen is putting together her new course specifically for members – The Honeycomb Effect. She loves the analogy of the honeybees. Whist the end result is for them to make the honey, their most important role and journey starts with them cross pollinating the flowers (taken from the One Minute Millionaire by Mark Victor Hansen and Robert G Allen). By breaking down each step in building our honeycomb we will each achieve our goal. It covers six major aspects – Getting Started. M oney Magic, Creating Content, Marketing Psyche and Funnels, Ninja Support and Partnerships. Click on the link if you are a life, biz or wellness coach and would like to be a part of our facebook community or http://www.onlinecoachsupport.com/fb_registration.html If you are interested in becoming a member then check out the link which will give you some more information http://www.onlinecoachsupport.com/become-‐a-‐member.html If you would like to organise a chat with Colleen Roberts, then email email@example.com
+ the coach: Living large by living small
“My purpose on earth is not to dust furniture and household displays or scrub the floors till they sparkle.”
"Live large by living small". This has been my mantra since the start of last year, 2014. Since my cancer scares in 2012, I had become increasingly conscious of the stressors around me and vowed to lead a less hectic life.
allowed me to have time for myself and my loved ones; where my time would be spent in taking care of myself rather than in worry that something is not done. I always joke with my friends that my purpose on earth is not to dust furniture and household displays or scrub the floors till they sparkle. Surely that cannot be your purpose on earth, right?
I have been asked by my friends and students about how I manage without a domestic help which is common here in Singapore. Some don't believe me, arguing that it is impossible to manage work and domestic responsibilities given the volume of my work. My new philosophy for life is to keep it simple; the floors in my home are In a way 2013 was a transition year for cleaned in 10 minutes max; I h ave me -‐ moving out of my hectic and very few ornaments so there is h ardly frustrated life to one that b rought me any dusting to be done; I buy small more fulfilment; something that Before then, I had big plans to live to a bigger flat, so that I can h ave a bigger living room, a bigger dining room, a bigger home office, an extra bedroom, an extra bathroom and the list goes on. So the endless arguments would start in the h ouse about why we should move while another defended the stay.
minimal wastage from food that has expired. What do I mean by living large? Well, it's about living a life filled with purpose; filled with the joy of companionship; a life free of worry over something “not being enough”. My new philosophy is living in the present and being contented with the present. I keep my environment simple, I keep my wardrobe simple, I keep my meals simple – this is my daily life. It is predictable, it may appear dull but I worry less. I know my bills will always be paid and that my family will not go to bed hungry. My husband and I spend almost 2 hours every morning chatting or debating over politics, social issues or our views on health and finances. We discuss our problems and give each other advice. We can do that because we live small. Rachpal has designed an online coaching programme for women in transition. For a FREE CONSULTATION, write to her at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit her website at www.oneasiacoach.com 9
Burning question from last issue was – Rachpal, do you have a professional designer for your Facebook posts? Many of you commented that you want to create such p osts but don’t know where to start. Truth is I don’t have a professional designer now. When I started last year, I engaged a professional designer but I could not afford the retainer fee for long. So I started dabbling with the Apps and I didn’t get far as I didn’t h ave the time nor the patience. I once again engaged help, but this time it was a novice and we had a wonderful 6 months together and we parted ways as I had specific requirements and when something came out different, the meaning was lost. So once again, I was on my own. Left with little choice, I had to learn fast. I looked up the Internet for Apps that would work on my Android phone and most importantly, I could master in less than 30 minutes. I made mistakes, some things I’m still figuring out but for now, it’s good enough.
spice up your life
Apps for Prolooking Posts
SNAPSEED (download it FREE for both Apple and Android). My absolute favourite App. This picture was on the cover of the first issue of the magazine and was edited using Snapseed. It’s a great app as it allows you to adjust colour, crop and give it the different feel that you can even make the picture look vintage or black and white. This is where I START when I am editing pictures for my p osts and for the magazine too! It’s easy to use and you can always revert to the original photo if you don’t like the edits.
PIXLR (download FREE for Android and Apple). My latest love. Not only does it allow you to edit the photo effects, you can also create photo collages, add borders and my absolute favourite, you can put in a text and there so many different font types to choose from. You can make your pictures fun by adding stickers and the different effects, like the stripes in this picture to create a running track.
WORD SWAG (download FREE for Apple). I’m not happy as it’s only for Apple users, sigh. Nevertheless, great app as it has many templates that you can choose from if you don’t have your own visuals. And they have a wide range of typography to choose from. The post above was created using both template and typography from Word Swag.
glitter and glam
fashion/beauty: My love for intricate Indian jewellery spawns back way in time when I would admire my mum getting dressed for functions. She always made it seem so effortless looking like an ethereal classic Indian beauty and trust me on this, she made use of whatever little she had. Accessorizing was the key! Moving forward, I got a wakeup call one fine d ay when I realised I can’t b e looking like a mass-‐produced jewellery factory at a function; I wanted to look unique, classy and confident. That’s when I decided no more p rocrastination and it’s time to get down to business. My mission was clear -‐ my love of Indian jewellery should be enjoyed b y every other woman who feels zapped out like me every time there was a wedding or celebration to go to. We women get so bogged down with work and our billion duties where we always fail to put ourselves first and end up going to a function so d rained out that we look dreadful. I felt if my zest for Indian jewellery could inspire anyone to look and feel good, half my goal would be achieved. This thought gave birth to Treasure Trove, an online business which was a concept procreated by my sister, the silent partner and me. Sourcing out great suppliers was a task but it has been an adventurous road so far. It has been an achievement reaching out to women very much like me who want to look good and feel good. 12
Bling Bling…the Indian Spice Express By Harmanpreet Kaur
Our guest writer this month is Harmanpreet Kaur, 38 years old, is a career woman and entrepreneur, married and a mother to a bubbly little boy. She is a dynamic young woman, juggling her many roles, which include a full-‐time job, an independent Mary Kay Beauty Consultant and managing her own online Indian accessories business, Treasure Trove. Harman’s passion in her online business is evident as she brings in new designs, which are versatile, not just for ethnic wear but also to be enjoyed when you’re in a dress or jeans. To look up more of Treasure Trove’s collection, click here https://www.facebook.com/treasure.trove.948
I am sure a lot of you reading this article right now can relate to me. I feel that we women should stop acting like the self-‐sacrificial lamb. There is no hidden law that states that just b ecause you are born with an extra X chromosome you are supposed to evolve your life around other beings. My roles in life have been diverse and becoming a mother was a very fruitful experience albeit a tough one and the “gal” in me stopped existing; I was pushed into more responsibilities. Thus this new path that I have embarked on the past 2 years keeps me very focused and I waste no time in categorising my to-‐do list daily.
“Always remember, your biggest enemies are hiding in you – laziness, fear, doubt, indecision. Be a warrior of your dream, a knight of your goal and a soldier of your wishes.”
Tip 1: If you have one chunky piece like a necklace, that’s all you need, with a dash of make-‐up to spice up your look and outfit. No need for earrings.
Tip 2: (picture on the left) Necklaces made from beads, pearls or other neutral coloured stones are excellent way to jazz up your work outfit. Ethnic pieces do not just belong with ethnic clothes or events.
Tip 3: Get the kids involved. As you can see, my little boy absolutely loves d ressing up too. I’ve trained him to wait patiently for Mummy to dress up.
Tip 4: When you have an outfit that has all the sparkles, go easy on the accessories. Here I’ve worn a very simple necklace with a tiny p endant but I’ve played up on the hair and large earrings. Your necklace and earrings do not have to match (that’s such an ancient concept)! Instead look for a neutral stone or a something in white or rose gold that will match the larger jewellery. Here I have a simple gold chain and small p endant to complement the tiny diamantes on the earrings and the stones on my outfit.
+ food and drink:
spice, dice and splash
Grilled Sambal Fish & a Spritzy Sour Plum
Grilled Sambal Fish Ingredients: 200g fish (snapper or selar) 5 small chilli padi 5 red chillies 5 cloves of garlic 2 inches ginger 2 inches lemon grass stalk Salt to taste 1 teaspoon fish sauce 1 teaspoon sugar 2 tablespoons olive oil Method: • Wash the fish and pat dry with paper towel. Rub the fish with salt and set aside.
Spritzy Sour Plum
For the marinade, mix all the ingredients in a blender or you can pound them too. Rub the marinade on the fish and set aside in the fridge for about one to four hours. Heat the grill over medium heat and add the oil. Once the oil is hot, place the fish and grill each side for about 4 minutes or until fish is cooked. Garnish with some salad and lemon wedges and serve with rice.
Ingredients: 250 ml chilled sparkling water 2 dried sour plums 2 tablespoons lime juice 2 tablespoons sugar syrup Method: • Soak the sour plums in the lime juice and sugar syrup for about an hour or until the plums soften. • Once it is soften, use a fork to mash it such that the plum mixes well with the lime juice and sugar syrup. •
Pour mixture into a tall glass and add the chilled sparkling water. 15
+ money mine:
LEARN FROM THE BEST One advice Suze Orman constantly repeats is that if you don’t know what to do with your money, it is best not to do anything at all. How I wish I had heeded that advise in 2008 when I had decided to transfer my investment to a novice in the industry. Stupidly I believed that we all have to start somewhere; after all, wasn’t I once a novice in my trade? Within 2 months of the transfer, markets crashed worldwide and my funds plummeted by almost 30%. Well, the financial crisis was something he could not have predicted and so many people worldwide had suffered similar or worse fates, so I cut my financial advisor some slack and continued to allow him to manage my funds. Then from 2013 onwards, I began to h ear less and less from him and then it was complete silence until early 2015 when he requested a meet-‐up. The funds had hardly moved over the years and in fact, no growth and some small dips. At this meeting, he said that he was not able to predict trends in the markets and therefore had n ot made good decisions with the funds entrusted to him. I’ll spare you the emotional gamut but there was one lesson I learnt that day – stick to the experts. At 46, my focus is on b uilding my retirement fund and it is my responsibility to learn how to plan my finances so I’m going back to b asics. I’m starting with Napolean Hill’s Think and Grow Rich. Until then, as S uze Orman says, it’s best not to do anything at all until I fully understand what I’m doing with my money. 16
live life to the fullest
health and fitness:
3 Weight Loss Myths and Tips Myth 1: Celebrities lose weight in less than a month, so can I! • •
This picture was taken just 2 months ago when I was on a short holiday. It took two hours on a bumpity taxi ride to get to this beach and as you can tell, I was pretty excited. But that bubble burst as soon as I saw this photo later that evening. The two folds at my abdomen! How did I, who prided myself for eating healthy and working out regularly, got to this state? It got me thinking and hence this article – to tell of you of some myths that we’ve believed about weight-‐loss.
Stop watching celebrities weight-‐loss shows. All that weight d id not just clamber upon us in one month or two months. That extra waistline (or some friends call it wasteline) slowly attached itself to our waist, arms and hips over a span of a few months or a few years. So what makes you think you can shed it in a few weeks?? This unrealistic expectation sets us for failure creating stress and feeling of hopelessness. Let’s get real – they have money and all the support system and resources to lose that weight. You and I have to juggle work, family, kids, housework, preparing meals, maintaining the family budget, and you really think you can do that 3 hours work out a day even if it is spread out throughout the day?
Myth 2: They did it on the weight-‐loss show in 3 months, so can I! • •
Stop believing that weight-‐loss challenge participants lose weight easily and quickly. All that they have to do is focus on working out for several hours a day. They also have meal p lanners, personal trainers at their disposal and a support system to take care of their family and other daily tasks. Any coach or trainer that tells you it’s possible to lose that 10 kilos in a month is setting you up for failure. For that to happen, it often entails having to make big adjustments to your life that sometimes is not feasible, nor ecological. You don’t live on an island and it is just not humanly p ossible to prepare one meal for yourself and another for your family.
Myth 3: If I exercise more and eat less, the weight will start coming off. Listen up -‐ -‐losing weight is not as easy as gaining weight. Just thinking about it is not going to work. You need a Plan -‐ here I write not as a weight loss or fitness expert BUT as an EXPERT of several attempts at weight loss and finally figuring out what works and what doesn’t. Get started somewhere. Start a p lan and have a goal that fits into your lifestyle. Start by taking baby steps, which also means that you might NOT reach that desired weight or dress size by year end but at least you will not be setting yourself up for failure! THE PLAN Goal -‐ State what is the desired weigh loss you want and by when. Schedule -‐ Start an online calendar if you haven’t got one already. -‐ Key in your calendar all the routine tasks you do (include h ours at work, household chores, kids’ activities). This will instantly show you where your free blocks are every day. -‐ How much time can you spend on exercise (number of days per week and n umber of hours/minutes on those days. So perhaps on M onday and Tuesday you can spend one hour each day and on Friday and Saturday, 30 minutes each day). Exercise routine (Choose exercises that you like as you will be more motivated to do those rather than those that you don’t as it will feel like punishment. For example, I like trail-‐running and h ate the treadmill). -‐ What is the cardio exercise that you want or like to do? -‐ What are the toning exercise you want or like to do? -‐ What areas will you focus on during the exercise days? So 2 days could be cardio, another day abs & back muscles and another day toning the muscles in arms. Meal plans -‐ Change your eating patterns or meal plan (which foods do you enjoy that will support you in your weight loss and which foods don’t that need to be removed). -‐ What are some h ealthy snacks you can buy or prepare that you can carry in your bag that will help stave off hunger p angs? -‐ Water, water and more water – I like to add some apple cider vinegar in mine. I find the tangy flavour refreshing. _______________
+ seeds of inspiration:
where women inspire women
living simply to simply live
I love eating out because everything is nicely laid out in beautiful stone or glassware the beautiful table cloths – it makes me feel special. But eating out all the time is not practical and can be pretty expensive; so the next best thing is to eat at home in style. The funny thing about women is that we have all these beautiful dinner and tea sets sitting in the cupboard for that special day and sometimes years go by and they remain untouched. I blame my dear Mother for this – always keeping the best for that special occasion when we special guests! So when I started living on my own, I decided to break that rule and use all my stone and glassware whenever I wanted to. I will lay my table with that off-‐white table cloth even when I’m serving curry and I don’t care if the curry spills because that’s what washing machines are for, right? Sometimes I just mix the d ifferent pieces that I’ve collected over the years and that adds to the conversation over the meal. So go on and make everyday that special day. Open that cupboard and pull out that hidden treasure tucked away at the back that you had forgotten about. 20
the spicy route
Since 1995, my Mother has been my constant travel companion ever since I accompanied her and Father to visit their family in Punjab, India. The first holiday with my parents was filled with rich experience as they took me through the villages where they were born and raised and introduced me to the relatives and a life that I’ve only, until then heard about. It’s been 20 years since Mother and I first started travelling together and since then, we’ve been to America and Australia together. Since Father became ill and he passed away in 2012, she’s requested to only visit Punjab, where her family still resides. Mother is 83 years old and travelling with her now is different from even 5 years ago; her mobility is limited, her dietary needs have changed and she has more medical conditions. However, that h as not deterred me from travelling with her. I enjoy our time away together and with a little careful planning, we end up having a very good trip. So if like me, you would like to travel more with your elderly parents but have doubts, read my checklist and tips on how to make the travel experience memorable for all of you.
Pre-‐trip Checklist • Check their passport for validity and visas. • Change the currency for them and put it in clear ziplock bags so that they can easily spot it in their bags. F amiliarise yourself with their handbags as they usually have multiple compartments and forget where they placed their money, medications or reading glasses. • Carry a travel light and put it n ext to their bed in case they need to go to the toilet at night. • Have a printout of their medication in case there is an emergency and you can give it to the medical personnel at the local hospital; or in case they lose the medications, you can go to the local d octors to get a prescription. • If their mobility is limited, request for wheelchair assistance at the airports. Do this at booking. • Pay for extra leg room for their comfort especially if they have arthritis. • Make their meal requests prior to departure. • Put a bold coloured ribbon on their suitcase handle so that you can easily spot it on the turnstile. • Make sure their hand-‐carry luggage or handbag does not have liquids or sharp objects like a nail-‐ clipper or shaving kit. • Carry an extra set of clothes in the hand luggage in case of any spills or little “accidents”. • Carry a shawl or cardigan, as flights can get cold.
Travel Tips • Keep your daily visits to the minimal; on your own you could perhaps visit three places of interests in a day but with the elderly, you could only manage one or two. • Plan your daily itinerary so that you factor in p laces for toilet stops and meals. Not all toilets are elderly friendly so you also need to factor that in. • Carry toilet wipes and h and sanitiser or wet-‐wipes. • Carry a water bottle as their throats can get dry and itchy when the climate changes. • Involve them in the activities; whenever Mother visits the village, she always wants to be part of the action. One visit, she wanted to be on the farm while we did the harvesting so we brought her there and sat her on the chair. On another day, she insisted in participating in the food preparation so we brought the vegetables to where she was sitting in the yard. • Check with the staff at places of interests if they have wheelchairs. I was pleasantly surprised that most of the major Sikh temples in Punjab have wheelchairs making it easier for Mother. • Not all tours are suited for elderly because of their pace of travel, so you might have to do private tours.
in the hot seed
q & a:
A client called me with a dilemma. She had registered herself with a headhunter and for three months, there were n o leads so she registered with a second headhunter. Coincidentally, both headhunters got her interviews on the same day and she later on found out it was for the same position and the same organisation. The first meeting was with the Director and the second meeting was with the department head that she would be reporting to. She was uncertain how to handle this situation and asked me for advise.
First it’s puzzling why the Director and department h ead were working with two d ifferent headhunting firms! Doing a perceptual position, I asked h er if she were in the Director’s position and at the meeting, finds out that the potential candidate had a meeting scheduled with the head later that day and Director could be puzzled why she d id not voice it out so that they could have planned better – perhaps both of them meet her together. I advised her to alert the two headhunting firms to inform the organisation of the meetings and if they would like to meet her together. Unfortunately, the Director was upset about the two meetings and cancelled both the meetings thus she lost the interview opportunity. Naturally, she was disappointed but I asked to consider if she really want to work in such an environment where the Director refused to work around a situation where there was an easy solution? His reason for refusing the meeting was that candidate had approached two search companies! Now, that cannot be a reasonable reason. It seems more like internal power politics and lack of internal communication. Unfortunately such power politics still exist and my take is, if the leader gets upset over something like this, how does the leader handle bigger crisis? Stay with the facts in situations like this and keep the emotions out.
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â€ŚI specialise in Transitional Transformation Coaching for women in transition; to smoothen the transition period, to give clarity and equip you with skills to move effortlessly to the next phase. My coaching philosophy is to take you from being a blunt tool to the sharpest tool in the shedâ€Ś Rachpal Kaur Tulsi
+ Reigniting Personal Belief; Reclaiming Personal Power Rachpal Kaur Tulsi Consultant/Coach www.oneasiacoach.com 24
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